Shot in the Dark: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo CoyleAs Village Blend manager Clare Cosi attempts to finalize a date for her wedding, her ex-husband becomes addicted to making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these quickie matchups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one dark night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find.
The corpse is a successful entrepreneur who became notorious for his "hit it and quit it" behavior: prowling for women on dating apps, then devastating his conquests with morning-after insults. Though the NYPD quickly arrests one of his recent victims, Clare finds reason to believe she's been framed.
Now, with the help of her ex and crew of quirky baristas, Clare starts "swiping" through suspects in her own shop, determined to find the real killer before another shot rings out.
Scot Free: A Last Ditch Mystery by Catriona McPhersonLexy Campbell fell in love and left her native Scotland for a golden life in California―hitched to a hunk, building her marriage counseling practice, living the dream. Six months later she's divorced, broke, and headed home. There's just one last thing. Lexy's only client―sweet little old Mrs. Bombarro―is in jail for murdering her husband with a fireworks rocket.
Lexy knows the cops have got it wrong; all she needs is a few days to prove it and somewhere cheap to sleep at night. But checking into the Last Ditch Motel brings an unexpected slice of life and a whole world of trouble.
by Rita Mae Brown
With the New Year just around the corner, winter has transformed the cozy Blue Ridge Mountain community of Crozet, Virginia, into a living snow globe. It’s the perfect setting for Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen to build a new work shed designed by her dear friend, local architect Gary Gardner. But the natural serenity is shattered when out of the blue, right in front of Harry and Deputy Cynthia Cooper, and in broad daylight, Gary is shot to death by a masked motorcyclist.
Outraged by the brazen murder, Harry begins to burrow into her friend’s past—and unearths a pattern of destructive greed reaching far back into Virginia’s post-Revolutionary history. When Harry finds incriminating evidence, the killer strikes again.
Heedless of her own safety, Harry follows a trail of clues to a construction site in Richmond, where the discovery of mysterious remains has recently halted work. Aided as always by her loyal, if opinionated, companions, crime-solving cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and Tee Tucker the Corgi, Harry hunts for a link between the decades-old dead, the recently violently deceased—and ancient secrets that underlie everything.
Charmed Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery
by Carolyn Haines
Zinnia, Mississippi is rife with quirky characters, but the arrival of three sister witches―and their intention to open a Wiccan boarding school―sets the small town on its ear. And bodies begin to accumulate as a result. Faith, Hope, and Charity Harrington are sexy and smart. They’re setting up their boarding school in an old dairy―a piece of property with tremendous development potential. And they’re standing in the way of “progress,” according to some in the town.
When young Corey Fontana goes missing, Delaney Detective Agency is hired to find the youth―who’s well known as a local hooligan. His mother, Kitten Fontana, who is married to the kind of land development, believes the witches have abducted her son and makes no bones about it. She’s willing to pay hard cash to find her son, especially if she can implicate the witches in his disappearance.
When Sarah Booth Delaney and her partner, Tinkie Richmond, find Corey, unharmed, it is only the beginning of a series of events that include midnight dances under a full moon, love potions, and murder. Are the sister witches criminals… or victims? Do they truly have magical powers, as they claim? Sarah Booth and Tinkie must find the answer before more people are harmed.
Murder in Pigalle by Cara BlackJune, 1998: Paris’s sticky summer heat is even more oppressive than usual as rowdy French football fans riot in anticipation of the World Cup. Private investigator Aimée Leduc has been trying to slow down her hectic lifestyle—she’s five months pregnant and has the baby’s well-being to think about now. But then disaster strikes close to home. A serial rapist has been terrorizing Paris’s Pigalle neighborhood, following teenage girls home and attacking them in their own houses. Zazie, the 13-year-old daughter of the proprietor of Aimée’s favorite café, has disappeared. The police aren’t mobilizing quickly enough, and when Zazie’s desperate parents approach Aimée for help, she knows she couldn’t say no even if she wanted to.
Back to Bologna: An Aurelio Zen Mystery by Michael DibdinWhen the corpse of the shady Bologna industrialist who owns the local football team is found both shot and stabbed with a Parmesan knife, Aurelio Zen is summoned to oversee the investigation. Anxious for a break from his girlfriend, who attributes Zen’s slow recovery from routine surgery to hypochondria, he is only too happy to take on what first appears to be an undemanding assignment. The case quickly spins out of control, becoming entangled with the fates of a student semiotics, a mysterious immigrant claiming to be royalty, and Bologna’s most incompetent private detective. Meanwhile a prominent postmodern academic accuses Italy’s leading celebrity chef of being a fraud. Back to Bologna is dazzlingly plotted and delivers both comic and serious insights into the realities of today’s Italy.
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall SmithMma Ramotswe’s ever-ready tiny white van has recently developed a rather disturbing noise. Of course, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni–her estimable husband and one of Botswana’s most talented mechanics––is the man to turn to for help. But Precious suspects he might simply condemn the van and replace it with something more modern. Can she find a way to save her old friend?
In the meantime, Mma Makutsi discovers that her old rival Violet Sephotho, who could not have gotten more than fifty percent on her typing final at the Botswana Secretarial College, has set her sights on none other than Mma Makutsi’s fiancé, Phuti Radiphuti. Can Mma Ramotswe’s intuition save the day? Finally, the proprietor of a local football team has enlisted the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to help explain its dreadful losing streak. The owner of the team is convinced he as a traitor in his midst. But how is Mma Ramotswe, who has never seen a football match in her life, going to discern who is throwing the game? Help, it turns out, may come from an unexpected quarter.
There are few mysteries that can’t be solved and fewer problems that can’t be fixed when the irrepressible Precious Ramotswe puts her mind to them. A good cup of red bush tea might be the best solution of all.
Brutality: A Fina Ludlow Novel by Ingrid ThoftWhen soccer mom Liz Barone is attacked in her kitchen and left with a life-threatening injury, Fina Ludlow is hired by Liz's mother to identify her attacker. It's unusual for Fina to take a case that isn't connected to the family firm, Ludlow and Associates, but Liz was in the process of suing her alma mater, New England University--a suit that could be a legal gold mine.
Twenty years earlier, Liz was an NEU soccer star known for her physical toughness; however, a serious cognitive decline has soured her soccer memories. She's convinced that her aggressive style of play--and the university's willingness to ignore head injuries in favor of a win--has put her health and her future in jeopardy, and someone needs to be held responsible.
Was Liz attacked to stop her lawsuit, or were there other secrets in the seemingly innocent woman's life? Fina convinces her father and boss, Carl, to take the case, and discovers that wading into the financially lucrative and emotionally charged world of collegiate sports requires nerves of steel. As the list of suspects grows and hidden agendas are revealed, Fina wonders if any game is worth the price.
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