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.
American by Day by Derek B. MillerWhat it is: the wry, intricately plotted follow-up (though it works as a standalone) to 2012's Dagger Award-winning Norwegian by Night.
What happens: Chief Inspector Sigrid Odegard leaves Oslo for upstate New York to search for her missing brother, who's suspected of killing his African American girlfriend. Sigrid connects with the witty, thoughtful Sheriff, and learns about the U.S. (and how it differs greatly from Norway) while exploring political and racial issues.
For fans of: fresh stories with strong characters and Scandinavian flair.
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.
Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru: A Poe and Dupin Mystery by Karen Lee StreetWhat happens: Edgar Allan Poe finds a disturbing package of dismembered crows on his doorstep, two men who'd traveled to Peru mysteriously die, ornithologist Helene Loddiges is kidnapped, and Poe and C. Auguste Dupin (whom Poe fans will know) investigate it all.
Why you should read it: Combining history and fiction, this entertaining 2nd in a trilogy (following Edgar Allan Poe and the London Monster) offers humor, a touch of the macabre, a writing style inspired by Poe, and a fascinating look at 1844 Philadelphia.
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.
Back to Bologna: An Aurelio Zen Mystery by Michael DibdinWhat happens: World-weary Venetian police detective Aurelio Zen is sent to Bologna to investigate the murder of the unpopular owner of the local soccer team. The case quickly spirals out of control and entangles Zen with a semiotics student, his professor, a mysterious immigrant "princess," a celebrity chef, and an incompetent private detective.
Series alert: This 10th of 11 books in the delightfully dark yet humorous Aurelio Zen mysteries is "a tour-de-farce worthy of Groucho Marx" (Kirkus Reviews).
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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