Razorblade Tears by S.A. CosbyWhat it's about: Two homophobic ex-con fathers, one white and one Black, team up after their gay sons are murdered on their wedding anniversary, leaving their three-year-old daughter an orphan. But before the dads can wreak vengeance, they need to find out who's responsible.
Read it for: the gritty, well-wrought characters; the propulsive pacing; the evocative Virginia setting; and the probing look at prejudice.
Read this next: David Joy's When These Mountains Burn, which takes place in western North Carolina, or Attica Locke's Highway 59 series, set in Texas.
Dead by Dawn by Paul DoironWhat happens: On a cold December day, someone puts metal spikes on a remote road and Maine game warden Mike Bowditch's vehicle ends up in an icy river. He manages to get himself and his wolf dog out, but now he needs to survive the wilderness -- and whoever sabotaged him.
Series alert: This 12th outing for Mike, following One Last Lie, offers well-formed characters and an action-packed story that alternates between Mike's current situation and events from earlier that day (when he began investigating a four-year-old suspicious death).
For fans of: C.J. Box, William Kent Krueger, and Nevada Barr.
A Study in Crimson by Robert J. HarrisWhat happens: In 1942 London, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson hunt a serial killer calling himself "Crimson Jack," who is murdering women on the same dates that Jack the Ripper did decades earlier.
Inspired by: the 1940s Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone, which also situated Holmes in World War II-era England.
Reviewers say: "Both the strong characterization and plot bode well for a sequel" (Publishers Weekly); "thoroughly challenging and pleasingly multilayered" (Booklist).
Ghost Blows a Kiss by Carolyn HartStarring: sassy, fashionable, and dearly departed Bailey Ruth Raeburn, an emissary of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions.
What happens: On a job in her old hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma, Bailey Ruth saves Fran Loring from drowning, only for Fran to then be accused of murder. Bailey Ruth is sure Fran didn't kill Mrs. Chandler, especially with a host of suspicious family members in town to visit wealthy, terminally ill Mr. Chandler.
Series alert: Newcomers will quickly get up to speed in this charming 10th Bailey Ruth book, but those who want to start with the 1st entry can pick up Ghost at Work.
The Bombay Prince by Sujata MasseyStarring: intrepid Perveen Mistry, an Oxford graduate and Bombay's only female solicitor, who works at her father's law firm.
What happens: Edward, the Prince of Wales, arrives in 1921 for a tour in the midst of India's move toward independence. After a Parsi college student who'd opposed the prince's visit is murdered, her family turns to Perveen for help.
Read this next: Try Abir Mukherjee's 1920s-era Sam Wyndham books or Nev March's 1892-set Murder in Old Bombay if you want other richly detailed, India-set historical mysteries like this 3rd in a series.
The Transparency of Time by Leonardo Padura; translated by Anna Kushner What happens: In 2014 Havana, aging ex-cop Mario Conde helps a friend by tracking down items stolen by his boyfriend, including an old Black Madonna statue -- but Mario's not the only one looking for the art.
Why you might like it: This stylistically complex 9th Mario Conde book has a large cast of characters and will appeal to fans of leisurely paced mysteries as well as general fiction readers who'd like an evocative, Cuba-set tale that delves into religion and history.
Did you know? The first four Mario Conde books written by well-known Cuban author Leonardo Padura formed the basis for TV's Four Seasons in Havana.
The Crossing Places by Elly GriffithsWhat it's about: DCI Harry Nelson calls on forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway to examine a child's bones, thinking they could belong to a girl who went missing ten years earlier. The two grow close while working together, but threats and danger abound -- and another girl disappears.
Series alert: This is the award-winning novel that introduced Ruth, who, as of this year's The Night Hawks, has starred in 13 mysteries.
Why Ann Cleeves fans might like it: Like Vera Stanhope, Ruth is smart and dedicated to her job, but she also has an outspoken personality that rubs some people the wrong way.
The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson; translated by Victoria CribbIntroducing: Hulda Hermannsdottir, a dogged 64-year-old Detective Inspector with the Reykjavik Police who's being forced into retirement.
What happens: With two weeks left on the job, Hulda is begrudgingly allowed to select a cold case to investigate. She picks the murder of a Russian asylum seeker -- and not everyone's happy about it.
Why Ann Cleeves fans might like it: This debut in the Hidden Iceland series is good for those who like mysteries with seasoned female police detectives, like Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope.
Out of Bounds by Val McDermidWhat happens: Teens crash a stolen car, killing all but one of them, who's left in a coma. A routine DNA test of the survivor reveals a familial link to an old murder -- but DCI Karen Pirie hits a roadblock after learning the boy is adopted. Meanwhile, she also gets involved with a suspicious suicide and Syrian refugees.
Why Ann Cleeves fans might like it: Like Cleeves' Shetland Island novels, this 4th Karen Pirie book is gritty, suspenseful, and set in Scotland, and like Vera Stanhope, Karen presents a deceptive Columbo-esque picture to the world.
Firewatching by Russ ThomasIntroducing: Adam Tyler, a tenacious 29-year-old South Yorkshire Detective Sergeant based in Sheffield who investigates cold cases alone.
What happens: When a six-years-missing man is found dead, Adam works on the high-profile case with ambitious constable Amina Rabbani and DI Jim Doggett, who's known for his offensive "banter." Their main suspect? The victim’s son...who's also Adam’s recent one-night stand.
Why Ann Cleeves fans might like it: Like Cleeves' new Two Rivers novels, this series starter features clever plotting, smart dialogue, and a gay cop as the main character.
Contact your librarian for more great books!