The Policeman's Daughter by Trudy Nan BoyceStarring: Sarah Alt, aka Salt, a white beat cop working The Homes (an inner-city housing project in Atlanta), who disobeys higher-ups to investigate the murder of a drug addict she's known for years.
Series alert: Though this is a prequel to the two earlier Sarah Alt books, newcomers can easily start here.
Who it's for: fans of authentic, compelling urban police procedurals featuring strong female cops, like Rachel Howzell Hall's L.A.-set Detective Elouise Norton novels.
Plum Tea Crazy by Laura ChildsWhat it's about: In Charleston, S.C., tea shop proprietor Theodosia Browning and her 60-something tea sommelier Drayton Conneley witness a banker's death during a special Gaslights and Galleons parade, and tenacious Theodosia tries to figure out who shot him.
Is it for you? If you like cozy mysteries and teas of all types, you'll want to indulge in this richly detailed 19th Tea Shop mystery. Recipes, tea time tips, and tea resources are included.
The Echo Killing: A Mystery by Christi DaughertyIntroducing: Risk-taking Savannah, Georgia, crime reporter Harper McClain, who as a 12-year-old found her mother murdered.
What happens: When there's a new killing that eerily resembles Harper's mother's death, Harper can't help but look for answers when the police won't, even if that means alienating her secret lover -- who happens to be a cop.
Author buzz: This is the first adult book by Christi Daugherty, a former crime reporter and the author of the young adult Night School series.
Murder in an Irish Churchyard: An Irish Village Mystery by Carlene O'ConnorWhat it's about: In the small Irish village of Kilbane, the local priest calls freshly minted police officer Siobhán O'Sullivan to the church's graveyard: an American tourist researching his genealogy has been murdered in a snowstorm. When her ex is put in charge of the case, Siobhán deals with her romantic feelings while adjusting to life as a cop and keeping track of her five siblings and the local bistro they all run.
Series alert: This is the charming 3rd in a fun series peopled with likable characters that's perfect for those who love the Emerald Isle.
A Treacherous Curse: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna RaybournWhat it's about: Unorthodox Veronica Speedwell helps Stoker, a friend and enigmatic scientist, clear his name after his former archaeological partner (who left Stoker for dead and stole his wife) goes missing.
Series alert: Set in 1888, this 3rd Veronica Speedwell novel continues the series' trend of deliciously witty dialogue and intricate plots.
For fans of: clever, adventurous heroines like those found in books by Anne Perry, Tasha Alexander, Kerry Greenwood, and Elizabeth Peters.
The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir; translated from Icelandic by Victoria CribbIntroducing: newly promoted (and unhappy about it) Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja, who has her own issues.
What happens: A seven-year-old girl witnesses her mom's murder. Protecting the traumatized child, Huldar and Freyja navigate around each other (they recently had a one-night stand) while trying to discover what the girl knows...and then the killer strikes again.
Who it's for: Fans of complex characters, atmospheric settings, and Nordic police procedurals will like this 1st in a series.
If You Like: Laura Lippman
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. CainStarring: the sultry young wife of a rural diner owner and the aimless drifter she falls for...and with whom she conspires to kill her husband.
Did you know? Originally published in 1934, this compelling noir is considered one of the best novels ever written, and two movies based on it have been made: one in 1946 starring Lana Turner and John Garfield, and another in 1981 starring Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson.
Why Laura Lippman fans might like it: James M. Cain's dark, gritty tales inspired Lippman's new novel...and Sunburn's femme fatale is a fan of Cain's work too.
Invisible City by Julia DahlIntroducing: Rebekah Roberts, a New York Tribune reporter raised from infancy by her dad after her Hasidic mom left them.
What happens: To find the killer of another Hasidic woman, Rebekah digs into the insular world her estranged mother still belongs to.
Award buzz: This 1st in a series won a Macavity and a Shamus Award.
Why Laura Lippman fans might like it: the determined female reporter, the richly described city, and the tight plotting.
A is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery by Sue GraftonWhat it's about: Tough California PI Kinsey Millhone (no pets, no plants, no kids, and no current spouse) tries to uncover who really killed Nikki Fife's husband, even though Nikki's already served time for the crime.
Series buzz: This 1st book in Sue Grafton's alphabet series was originally published in 1982. Due to Grafton's recent death, there'll be no "Z" for fans: the last Kinsey book is 2017's Y is for Yesterday.
Why Laura Lippman fans might like it: the crackling dialogue, the strong sense of place, and the appealing, clever heroine.
Missing, Presumed: A Novel by Susie SteinerIntroducing: smart, single (but lonely and looking) DS Manon Bradshaw.
What it's about: Using multiple narrators, this rich mystery and 1st in a series follows the high-profile case of a missing Cambridge graduate student. Meanwhile, Manon also looks into the death of a black teen and tries to help his young brother.
Why Laura Lippman fans might like it: the authentic characters; the interplay of the personal and professional; and the city setting (though Manon is in England instead of the U.S.).
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