Death of an Unsung Hero: A Lady Montfort Mystery by Tessa ArlenWhat it's about: In 1916, Haversham Hall is a hospital for World War I officers suffering from shell shock (though some locals feel the men are simply malingerers). After one of the men is murdered and another patient is blamed, Lady Montfort and housekeeper/quartermaster Mrs. Jackson are on the case in this nicely plotted, richly detailed 4th in a series.
For fans of: Charles Todd, Jacqueline Winspear, country house mysteries, and stories set in England during World War I.
The Glass Room: A Vera Stanhope Mystery by Ann CleevesWhat happens: When DI Vera Stanhope's neighbor Joanna goes missing, Vera finds her at a country house writers' retreat -- but a man's been murdered and Joanna's discovered standing over the body, holding a knife.
Is it for you? Yes, if you'd like a modern take on the traditional English mystery and appreciate fully realized (and realistically flawed) characters.
Media buzz: This is the 5th entry in the consistently satisfying, atmospheric series that's the basis for the popular British crime show Vera.
Antique Blues: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery by Jane K. ClelandWhat it's about: Antiques expert and bride-to-be Josie Prescott agrees to appraise two pieces for her friend Mo: her dad's vintage guitar and a Japanese woodblock print Mo bought from her sister's unpleasant boyfriend. When it seems like at least one of these is a fake and a murderer strikes, amateur sleuth Josie investigates.
Series alert: This is the 12th in an engaging cozy series that features sympathetic characters, intriguing details about antiques, and a charming coastal New Hampshire setting.
Memento Mori: A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire by Ruth DownieStarring: Gaius Petreius Ruso, a military doctor working in Roman-occupied Britain who's married to native Briton and former slave Tilla.
What happens: A friend’s wife is found murdered in a sacred hot spring in the tourist town of Aquae Sulis (Bath), so Ruso and Tilla try to clear their friend's name and uncover the real killer in their witty 8th outing.
For fans of: Steven Saylor, Lyndsay Davis, and entertaining, well-researched historical mysteries.
Crimson Lake by Candice FoxFeaturing: former Sydney cop Ted Conkaffey, who's innocent but was charged with the brutal rape of a teen and freed due to lack of evidence.
What happens: Ted's notoriety, the threat of rearrest at any time, and continual harassment send him north, to the crocodile-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake. There, he rents a shack and helps convicted killer turned PI Amanda Pharrell (who may also be innocent) with a case.
Is it for you? Definitely, if you like Australian crime fiction or gritty, atmospheric mysteries peopled with intriguing characters.
A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew WilsonStarring: the "Queen of Crime" herself, Agatha Christie.
What it is: a sequel to A Talent for Murder and an homage to Golden Age mysteries that finds Christie traveling to the Canary Islands, where she investigates the suspicious death of a British agent on Tenerife.
Try this next: Nicola Upson's atmospheric Josephine Tey mysteries (the 1st is An Expert in Murder), which also feature a real mystery author turned fictional detective.
Now May You Weep by Deborah CrombieWhat happens: London DI Gemma James and her best friend Hazel travel to Scotland, ostensibly for a cookery class...but Hazel, who's married, secretly plans to meet up with her ex, a distillery owner, who's soon murdered. Meanwhile, Gemma's lover, Scotland Yard Supt. Duncan Kincaid, deals with a custody battle involving his former mother-in-law.
Who should read it: Fans of Scotch whiskey will especially enjoy this intricately plotted 9th Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James mystery.
Reviewers say: "many-layered, deceptively mellow, packing quite a kick" (Booklist).
The Heavens May Fall by Allen EskensStarring: Minnesota private detective Max Rupert and attorney Boady Sanden, friends who find themselves on opposite sides of a case.
What happens: Max and Boady both confront personal demons and their own convictions about guilt and innocence during the trial of a man who has been charged with the murder of his wife.
Why you might like it: This 3rd book featuring Max has legal drama, compelling characters, and an ending you won't see coming.
Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher FowlerWhat it's about: Something odd is going on in London...again. The Peculiar Crimes Unit's octogenarian police detectives Arthur Bryant and John May investigate the disappearance of seven Tower of London ravens and the death of a teen who'd claimed he'd seen a reanimated corpse. And then there are the budget cuts they have to deal with.
Series alert: This cleverly plotted, darkly humorous 11th in the Peculiar Crimes series will please fans and newcomers alike.
Seeking Whom He May Devour: Chief Inspector Adamsberg Investigates by Fred Vargas; translated from the French by David BellosWhat happens: Residents of a French Alpine village disagree on whether the killer of sheep and later a woman is a large wolf, a werewolf, or a person. With his ex-girlfriend living in the area, eccentric Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg is drawn into the curious case.
Series alert: This is the amusing, engrossing 2nd Chief Inspector Adamsberg investigation after The Chalk Circle Man; the 8th book translated to English, A Climate of Fear, was released last year.
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