Shot in the Dark: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo CoyleWhat it's about: A dating app, Cinder, has business at Manhattan's Village Blend percolating as users meet there -- until a bitter Cinder user threatens a former date in the coffeehouse and manager Clare Cosi finds another customer floating in a nearby river. Are the two incidents related? With trouble brewing, Clare searches for a killer.
Series alert: This is the 17th engaging Coffeehouse mystery; readers who want to watch recently engaged Clare's romantic relationship develop throughout the cozy series can start with the 1st book, On What Grounds. Recipes are included.
A Death of No Importance: A Mystery by Mariah FredericksIntroducing: intelligent, observant ladies' maid Jane Prescott, who takes a job working for the nouveau-riche Benchley family in 1910 Manhattan.
What happens: After pretty Charlotte Benchley's playboy fiancé is murdered, Jane partners with a journalist to solve the crime in a case that touches on class differences, a mining accident, anarchists, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
For fans of: Downton Abbey, Victoria Thompson's Gaslight mysteries, or Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy mysteries.
Scot Free: A Last Ditch Mystery by Catriona McPhersonStarring: Lexy Campbell, a Scottish marriage counselor who moved to California several months ago to marry the man of her dreams. But he's a cheat, they're divorcing, and she's going home.
What happens: The cops arrest one of Lexy's clients, a sweet elderly woman, for killing her husband; Lexy knows she's innocent, and forgoes flying back to Edinburgh to prove it.
Who it's for: Readers who like fish-out-of-water stories or humorous cozies with eccentric characters will enjoy this lighthearted series debut.
A Necessary Evil by Abir MukherjeeWhat it's about: In 1920 Calcutta, the crown prince of a small Indian kingdom is assassinated. It happens in front of Police Captain Sam Wyndham, a World War I veteran who'd worked for Scotland Yard, and Sergeant "Surrender-not" Banerjee, who'd been at Harrow with the prince. The two cops try to determine who ordered the killing, but religion, romance, and palace intrigue complicate their investigation.
Series alert: Like A Rising Man, the initial book in the series, this 2nd Sam Wyndham novel offers a strong sense of place, dry humor, a compelling plot, and well-realized characters.
Murder in Pigalle by Cara BlackWhat it's about: It's a sweltering June in Paris, the city is hosting the 1998 World Cup, and unmarried five-months-pregnant PI Aimée Leduc must find a missing girl. Her neighbor, 13-year-old budding detective Zazie, had told Aimée she'd been investigating the serial rapist who'd been attacking schoolgirls...and then the girl disappeared.
Series alert: This is the 14th book in the atmospheric, character-driven Aimée Leduc series, and it'll please those who love international mysteries, Paris, and strong, clever female detectives.
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall SmithStarring: intuitive, kind Precious Ramotswe, the founder and owner of Botswana's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
What happens: Precious investigates the unexpected losing streak of a local soccer club and her beloved white van develops an odd rumble.
Who it's for: Fans of charming cozies with strong senses of place will like this 10th in a series that inspired the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency TV show starring Jill Scott.
Brutality: A Fina Ludlow Novel by Ingrid ThoftWhat it's about: Middle-aged soccer mom -- and former college soccer star -- Liz Barone is suing her alma mater for the cognitive damage she suffered as a player. When she's brutally attacked at home, leaving her in a coma, her mom hires PI Fina Ludlow, who wades through the financially lucrative and emotionally charged world of collegiate sports.
For fans of: Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, and Carol Higgins Clark.
Series alert: This 3rd Fina Ludlow mystery is a Shamus Award-winner for Best PI Novel.
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