Hidden Treasure by Jane K. ClelandWhat happens: Everything is going right for Josie Prescott -- her TV show about antiques has been renewed and she's just bought the New Hampshire house of her dreams with her new husband.
The problem: She finds a missing treasure that others want, and then her new coastal home's elderly former owner suddenly disappears.
Who it's for: This 13th Josie Prescott mystery should work for fans of Barbara Allan's Trash 'n' Treasures cozy mysteries or Miranda James' Cat in the Stacks series (which also features a Maine Coon cat).
Bryant & May: Oranges and Lemons by Christopher FowlerWhat happens: Someone burns down a London bookstore and then a high-profile politician is almost killed by a crate of falling oranges and lemons. With an odd nursery rhyme connection and powerful leaders wanting answers, the Peculiar Crimes unit is reinstated, with eccentric senior detectives Arthur Bryant and John May on the case.
Series alert: This is the delightful 18th outing for the amusing duo.
Want a taste? "Every act of recollection alters a narrative. Stories are strange fruits that ripen and mutate."
Germania: A Novel of Nazi Berlin by Harald GilbersWhat happens: In 1944 Berlin, Jewish former police detective Richard Oppenheimer, who's alive because his wife is Aryan, is forced to investigate a serial killer murdering women connected to powerful Nazis.
Series alert: This 1st Richard Oppenheimer novel is an international bestseller and the only entry so far to be translated into English.
Read it for: the well-researched historical details; the atmospheric portrayal of Berlin at the end of the war.
Absence of Mercy by S.M. GoodwinWhat it is: a gritty historical mystery with an "ingeniously clued and perfectly executed plot" (Booklist) and the 1st in a new series.
Starring: Detective Inspector Lightner, who's an injured Crimean War veteran, a stutterer, and the second son of an English duke.
What happens: In 1857, Lightner leaves London's Met police in order to train New York City investigators. But things don't go as planned, and he ends up investigating three curious murders -- including that of the detective who hired him -- with disgraced cop Hieronymus Law.
House of the Patriarch by Barbara HamblyStarring: Benjamin January, a free man of color in 1840 New Orleans, who was educated in France and now teaches piano and solves problems.
What happens: At the request of a close friend, January agrees to help a visiting English couple find their teenage daughter, who went missing from a crowded steamboat on New York's Long Island Sound. Posing as a slave, he deals with racism and encounters religious zealots (and P.T. Barnum) while looking for the lost girl.
Series alert: This is the riveting, vividly detailed 18th outing for the appealing January.
Watch Her by Edwin HillWhat happens: Harvard research librarian Hester Thursby and her friend, Boston sergeant detective Angela White, attend a for-profit art school's open house and are soon investigating a suspicious burglary, financial transgressions, a decades-old tragedy, and murder.
Series alert: This is the 3rd outing for Hester; she made her 1st appearance in Little Comfort.
Reviewers say: "Complex characterization and a masterly mystery make this a superior read" (Kirkus Reviews).
If You Like: Deanna Raybourn
And Only to Deceive by Tasha AlexanderWhat it's about: Tired of her overbearing mother, Emily marries a viscount and is widowed before she even gets to know him. Meeting his associates, including his handsome best friend, she learns he may have been involved in illegal activities -- and could even still be alive.
Series alert: This lively book introduces Lady Emily Ashton, whose 15th outing, The Dark Heart of Florence, comes out in March.
Why Deanna Raybourn fans might like it: Both Lady Emily and Lady Julia Grey star in lighthearted romantic Victorian mysteries featuring widows who first investigate by delving into their husbands' deaths.
The Woman in the Water by Charles FinchStarring: Charles Lenox, a 23-year-old aristocrat in 1850 London, who's beginning to formally pursue his interest in detection -- an interest that is considered unseemly for someone of his station -- with his loyal valet Graham always ready to assist.
Series alert: Since this is a prequel, new readers can easily start with this 11th Charles Lenox mystery. The latest Lenox book, An Extravagant Death, comes out this month.
Why Deanna Raybourn fans might like it: Though the main character is male, he's a witty, charming sleuth in an atmospheric Victorian London, and the books have character-driven plots and a bit of romance.
The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth PetersStarring: Amelia Peabody Emerson, a feminist archaeologist married to an eccentric Egyptologist and the mother of a precocious son.
What it's about: In 1896 England, Amelia takes care of her brother's two insufferable children for the summer and gets caught up in a mystery at the British Museum that involves a curse, a cure, and murder.
Why Deanna Raybourn fans might like it: First published in 1988, this fun 5th entry in a beloved series offers adventure-filled plots, fully realized characters, sparkling writing, and vivid settings.
A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry ThomasWhat it's about: After her social ruination, extraordinarily clever Charlotte Holmes created the alter ego male detective Sherlock. Now, amid other cases, she helps a woman find a missing former love...who turns out to be Charlotte's own illegitimate half-brother.
Series alert: Though this is the 2nd Lady Sherlock book, it's fine for newcomers. If you like first things first, pick up A Study in Scarlet Women. Want the latest? Murder on Cold Street came out in October.
Why Deanna Raybourn fans might like it: Charlotte is an intelligent and convention-defying character in a vividly depicted England.
Contact your librarian for more great books!