Into the Night by Sarah BaileyStarring: Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock, who's just moved to Melbourne and is struggling with the changes in her life after leaving her five-year-old son in the custody of his dad in her small hometown.
What happens: In this complex sequel to The Dark Lake, Gemma and her hostile new partner investigate the murder of a homeless man as well as the fatal stabbing of a movie star, whose death took place on camera while filming a zombie crowd scene.
For fans of: atmospheric Australian mysteries and troubled-yet-smart heroines.
Not of This Fold by Mette Ivie HarrisonWhat happens: When Draper, Utah police dismiss the strangling of a Hispanic immigrant, empty nester and Mormon bishop's wife Linda Wallheim agrees to help a mutual friend look for the killer, even if it means battling dogmatic Church members and facing danger.
Read it for: This 4th outing for Linda features nuanced looks at several timely topics, including racism and homophobia.
Read this next: For another series that examines the plight of immigrants in the U.S., pick up Suzanne Chazin's Jimmy Vega novels.
Lives Laid Away by Stephen Mack JonesWhat happens: In Detroit's Mexicantown neighborhood, August Snow, a half-Mexican and Half-African American ex-cop who won millions in a wrongful dismissal suit, investigates the death of an immigrant teen found dead in the river and dressed as Marie Antoinette.
Series alert: This is the 2nd mystery novel, after the award-winning August Snow, by poet and playwright Stephen Mack Jones.
For fans of: Walter Mosley; Loren Estleman's hardboiled, Detroit-set novels; and David Housewright’s Rushmore McKenzie series.
A Murdered Peace by Candace RobbWhat it is: a historical mystery set in 1400 York, England, during the tense time after King Henry IV usurped the throne from Richard II.
What happens: Kate, a widow of some means who has three adopted children, offers shelter to a friend whose husband was involved in an uprising against the king and tries to clear her beloved cook's name when he's suspected of murder.
Don't miss: the atmospheric descriptions in this well-researched 3rd Kate Clifford mystery; Kate's delightful Irish wolfhounds.
The Blood by E.S. ThomsonFeaturing: Jem Flockhart, a young woman who disguises herself as a man in order to work as an apothecary in Victorian London, and Will Quartermain, an engineer and friend of Jem, who knows her secret.
What happens: Called to a floating seaman's hospital on the Thames, the friends learn about deaths and disappearances of people connected to the hospital and uncover a secret society that may play a role.
For fans of: Victorian mysteries, like Will Thomas' Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn mysteries, Alex Grecian's Walter Day novels, and Charles Finch's (less gritty) Charles Lennox novels.
Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg CabotWhat happens: When New York College hosts the first ever Tania Trace Teen Rock Camp, assistant residence hall director (and former teen singing sensation) Heather Wells finds herself trying to stay alive while surrounded by teenage divas in training and working with her P.I. fiancé Cooper Cartwright to catch a killer on the loose.
Read it for: Like the other books in the series, this frothy 4th Heather Wells mystery has a chick-lit feel and plenty of humor.
Fall of Angels by Barbara CleverlyWhat happens: Handsome, well-bred young World War I vet DI John Redfyre begins work with the Cambridge CID in 1923 and attends a holiday concert scandalously headlined by a female trumpeter, who later suffers a suspicious, near-fatal accident.
Series alert: This is the 1st in a new series by the bestselling author of the Joe Sandilands mysteries; the 2nd John Redfyre book, Invitation to Die, comes out in August.
Read this next: If you enjoy this look at Cambridge in the 1920s, try Dorothy L. Sayer's Gaudy Night, which is set at Oxford in the 1930s and also deals with women's rights and poison-pen letters.
A Free Man of Color by Barbara HamblyWhat it's about: In 1833, Benjamin January, a doctor and free man of color, has returned to New Orleans after years in Paris, and must earn his living in the racially divided city as a piano player. But after doing a favor for a former piano student -- a white woman -- he's suspected of murder and turns sleuth to clear his name.
Series alert: Originally published in 1997, A Free Man of Color is the 1st in a 16-book series (the latest, Cold Bayou, came out in October).
Want a taste? "January knew the man would hit him the moment he let go and knew also that he'd better not hit back."
The Prague Sonata by Bradford MorrowWhat happens: In New York, musicologist and former concert pianist Meta Taverner is given a partial manuscript of a mysterious 18th-century sonata. The dying old woman who gave it to her requests that Meta find its true owner...who hasn't been seen since World War II. This leads Meta to Prague, where she looks for answers and the rest of sonata.
Is it for you? Pick it up if you appreciate complex historical stories with multiple perspectives and timelines, missing-item mysteries, and lyrical language.
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise PennyThe setup: In a remote monastery, 24 monks should be contemplating nature and God, but one brother's mind -- and hand -- turns to murder.
What happens: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec arrive to investigate the murder of the order's choir director and meet with the monks, who've taken vows of silence but are the voices on a bestselling album of Gregorian chants.
Series alert: This is the 8th in an elegant, award-winning series; since the well-drawn characters evolve over time, newcomers may want to pick up the 1st in the series, Still Life.
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