Love Like Blood by Mark BillinghamPolice Procedural. When her partner Susan is brutally murdered at their apartment, DI Nicola Tanner (introduced in last year's Die of Shame) decides she must have been the real target -- Tanner works with the Honour Crimes Unit, where she's discovered there's a pair of professional killers at work...and she believes these men killed Susan. Though on compassionate leave, Tanner gets rule-bending detective Tom Thorne to help her check things out. With plot twists and thrills aplenty, this 14th Tom Thorne novel may keep you up late.
Let the Dead Speak by Jane CaseyPolice Procedural. A teenage girl returns home early from visiting her father and stepfamily to find her mother missing and their London home covered in blood. Investigating the possible murder, DS Maeve Kerrigan and the homicide team -- including old pal DI Josh Derwent and ambitious newcomer DC Georgia Shaw -- struggle to piece together what happened, where the body might be, and who's responsible. If you appreciate suspense, finely wrought characters, and tight plotting, check out this excellent 7th entry in the Maeve Kerrigan series.
Bad Housekeeping by Maia ChanceCozy Mystery. Having just moved back to her quaint upstate New York hometown, bookish 28-year-old Agnes Blythe is stunned when her professor fiancé dumps her. She'd planned to start graduate school the following week, but unable to face being near her ex, she instead agrees to help her glamorous 70-something Great Aunt Effie renovate a rundown hotel. But more trouble arises: a murder victim is found in the hotel! So the odd couple of Agnes and Effie must nail the real culprit before they're locked up. If you like your cozy mysteries with humor and quirky characters, check out this 1st in a new series.
The Last Place You Look: A Mystery by Kristen LepionkaMystery. Nine months after her cop father died on duty, PI Roxane Weary is still a mess. Even so, she agrees to help the desperate sister of a man on death row. The woman thinks she's seen her black brother's white girlfriend, who could clear his name...but if it's really her, where's she been for the last 15 years, gone since the day her parents were murdered? Roxane finds solace in whiskey and sex, but also finds purpose in her search, even as she gets harassed by cops and links the missing girl to one of her late father's cases. This accomplished debut set in Columbus, Ohio has a hardboiled feel, great dialogue, complex characters, and a tough female detective; fans of Sue Grafton may want to check it out.
Persons Unknown: A Novel by Susie SteinerMystery. Having left the Met police for Cambridgeshire in order to give her adopted 12-year-old son a new start, detective Manon Bradshaw finds things aren't going as planned. Her black son is being bullied, she's single and pregnant, and most troubling, someone close to her family has been murdered and the police think her son may be involved. The case pits her against colleagues, but Manon will do whatever she can to find the real killer and prove her son's innocence. Told from multiple points of view, this thought-provoking 2nd book to feature Manon (after Missing, Presumed) slowly builds momentum and addresses timely topics.
The Force: A Novel by Don WinslowCrime Fiction. Denny Malone is a highly decorated NYPD detective at the head of an elite anti-gang task force -- he's also a dirty cop who skims cash and drugs, and worse. Tracing Denny's rise and fall and his attempts to avoid federal jail time, The Force showcases authentic dialogue and shockingly believable characters in a taut, gritty book. If you're on the hold list for this bestseller, try other atmospheric novels that examine police corruption, such as Joseph Wambaugh's The Choirboys, Thomas Mullen's Darktown, or Ian Rankin's Malcolm Fox mysteries.
This section? It's elementary, my dear!
Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay FayeHistorical Mystery. In 1888 London, Jack the Ripper is killing women and terrorizing the city's East End. Inspector Lestrade calls in Sherlock Holmes, who quickly becomes embroiled in the case and is even accused of being the Ripper by one newspaper. Though author Lyndsay Faye isn't the first person to pit Sherlock against the Ripper (there've been books, movies, games), Holmes fans will certainly want to read Dust and Shadow since talented novelist Faye wonderfully captures Watson's voice and presents an insightful look at Holmes and his time.
The Beekeeper's Apprentice: Or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. KingHistorical Mystery. When 15-year-old orphan Mary Russell runs into Sherlock Holmes, she isn't aware that the Sussex beekeeper is the famous, retired detective. She soon learns the truth, and the chance encounter proves pivotal as Holmes, impressed with Mary's intellect, becomes her mentor and teacher -- and eventually something more -- as the two solve crimes together. The Beekeeper's Apprentice is the 1st in Laurie R. King's popular continuation of the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre. If you like well-researched stories and intelligent lead female characters, be sure to check out this intricately plotted series.
The Sherlockian by Graham MooreMystery. In 2010, literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the exclusive Baker Street Irregulars group. After a fellow member -- who had just discovered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's missing diary -- is murdered, Harold looks into the killing. Meanwhile, in 1890s London, Conan Doyle himself hunts a serial killer with the help of his friend Bram Stoker. Though there's no shortage of modern books featuring homages to Conan Doyle and Holmes, real-life Sherlockians should relish this novel as much as they do a well-placed red herring.
The Baker Street Letters by Michael RobertsonMystery. Lawyers and brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath rent offices at 221B Baker Street and, as part of their lease agreement, they must answer every letter that arrives for Sherlock Holmes. When Nigel reads a letter written by a little girl whose father is missing and decides he must help, the two men find themselves dealing with a murder and taking a trip to Los Angeles. If you like this "lively and inventive" (Kirkus Reviews) debut, be sure to look for others in the Baker Street Brothers series.
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