A Scandal in Scarlet by Vicki DelanyWhat happens: Gemma, the perceptive manager of a Cape Cod bookstore selling all things Sherlock, and her friend Jayne, who runs Mrs. Hudson's Tea Shop, help with a charity auction -- and when a murder occurs before the first gavel strike, Gemma, Jayne, and Gemma's cop boyfriend all try to deduce the killer.
Series alert: This well-plotted 4th cozy Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery has Sherlockian book references that fans will relish.
Did you know? Prolific Canadian author Vicki Delany also writes the charming Lighthouse Library mysteries under the name Eva Gates.
Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors by Christopher FowlerThe setting: an English country house in 1969, where a weekend party gets cut off from the rest of the area due to military exercises.
What happens: Police detectives with London's Peculiar Crimes Unit, Bryant and May follow a playboy star witness to the manor, and are soon trying to suss out a killer in their charming 15th outing, a prequel to the series.
Why you might like it: The quirky, delightful duo are hard not to love and the plot is twisty and tight as a drum.
Hearts of the Missing by Carol PotenzaIntroducing: Sgt. Nicky Matthews of New Mexico's Tsiba’ashi D’yini Reservation police, who has supernatural visions but isn't Native.
What happens: Someone's killing locals and violating Native American spiritual laws in order to disturb the victims' eternal rest.
Awards buzz: This is a Tony Hillerman Prize-winning debut novel.
For fans of: Tony Hillerman, Anne Hillerman, Aimee and David Thurlo, and evocative mysteries that combine Native American traditions and modern science.
A Shot in the Dark: A Constable Twitten Mystery by Lynne TrussWhat it's about: In 1957, a theater critic ready to reveal new details about a bank robbery he witnessed years ago is killed, causing eager rookie Constable Twitten to investigate in this witty caper.
About the author: Lynne Truss wrote the bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves; this is her 1st mystery featuring Constable Twitten though he's also appeared on BBC Radio in Truss's Inspector Steine series.
Read this next: For another look at crime 1950s Brighton, England, pick up Elly Griffiths' delightful Magic Men mysteries.
Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Golden Samovar by Olga WojtasWhat happens: Shona McMonagle, an Edinburgh librarian who learned languages, music, martial arts, etc. at the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, becomes, at the behest of Miss Blaine, a time traveler in czarist Russia on a secret mission...only she doesn't know what the mission is.
Did you know? Author Olga Wojtas attended the real Edinburgh school that inspired the fictional Miss Blaine's, which also appears in Muriel Spark's classic novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Who it's for: readers who want something a bit different, enjoy a bit of time travel, or like witty satire along the lines of P.G. Wodehouse.
Good Books You May Have Missed
Buried in Books by Kate CarlisleWhat it's about: San Francisco book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is getting married (to a hunky ex-MI6 agent)! But pre-wedding events are complicated when her two feuding former besties both show up, she discovers a rare book forgery, and a murder occurs.
Read it for: quirky characters, bookbinding details, and recipes.
Series alert: This is the 12th Bibliophile book (the 1st is Homicide in Hardcover, and newcomers may want to start there); look for the 13th entry, The Book Supremacy, in June.
Broken Places by Tracy ClarkIntroducing: African American Chicago cop-turned-PI Cass Raines, who was raised by her grandparents and lives in Hyde Park.
What happens: After vandals hit a local church, the priest, who's like a father to Cass, asks for her help -- but it isn't long until his body is found next to a dead gang member, and the cops try to wrap things up as a murder-suicide. Cass isn't having it, and sets out to find the truth in this debut novel.
For fans of: Sara Paretsky, Trudy Nan Boyce, and Rachel Howzell Hall.
Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake by Sarah GravesWhat happens: Opening a chocolate-themed bakery in a coastal Maine village, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree and her friend Ellie have their launch hindered by a hurricane and the murder of a health inspector.
Series alert: Jake also stars in Sarah Graves' Home Repair is Homicide series, but this is the 1st Death by Chocolate novel (recipes included). The follow-up, Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake, arrives this month.
For fans of: Katherine Hall Page, Diane Mott Davidson, and Leslie Meier.
Greeks Bearing Gifts: A Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip KerrWhat happens: In 1957 Munich, Bernie Gunther, a former hardboiled cop who unwillingly worked for the Third Reich, takes a job as an insurance adjuster, which has him in Athens checking out a claim and getting involved in a murder investigation that ties back to the war.
Sad news for fans: Philip Kerr died of cancer in March 2018 at age 62.
Series alert: Greeks Bearing Gifts is the intricately plotted 13th Bernie novel; the 14 (and final) book, Metropolis, is a prequel set in 1928 and publishes later this year.
A Dangerous Crossing by Ausma Zehanat KhanHow it begins: Audrey Clare is a Canadian case worker in Greece helping Syrian refugees -- but a French Interpol agent and a Syrian boy are dead in her office tent and she's nowhere to be found.
What happens: Audrey's brother calls in favors to get his friends, police Insp. Esa Khattak and Sgt. Rachel Getty, assigned to the case, and the duo are soon darting around Europe looking for Audrey -- and the truth behind her disappearance.
Series alert: This is the vividly drawn, suspenseful 4th outing for Rachel and Esa, and like the others, it features a timely topic thoughtfully examined.
Contact your librarian for more great books!