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Mystery September 2012
"Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after."
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001), American author and aviator
New and Recently Released!
The Empty Glass - by J.I. Baker
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 07/19/2012
Share The Empty Glass ISBN-13: 9780399158193
ISBN-10: 0399158197
Historical Mystery. How did 36-year-old Marilyn Monroe really die? Combining historical events with fiction, this "impressive" (Publishers Weekly) debut novel provides some answers. Early on August 5, 1962, Los Angeles County Deputy Coroner Ben Fitzgerald examines Monroe's body and immediately doesn't like what he sees. Though people in power want to label her death a suicide, the evidence doesn't agree. As Ben investigates, he mines Monroe's diary for clues, meets an attractive gossip columnist, and discovers a high-level cover-up. It's been 50 years since Marilyn Monroe died, but she lives on in film, pictures, and plenty of new books -- for another recent mystery that deals with the end of her life, try Max Allan Collins' Bye Bye, Baby.
Broken Harbor - by Tana French
Publisher: Viking
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 07/24/2012
Share Broken Harbor ISBN-13: 9780670023653
ISBN-10: 0670023655
Police Procedural. In this psychological tale, top homicide cop Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy and his rookie partner tackle a high-profile case. In a cookie-cutter home located in one of Ireland's half-finished housing developments, a brutal attack leaves a woman in intensive care and her husband and young children dead. Not only does the case prove perplexing, but a terrible memory from a childhood vacation in the area haunts Scorcher. Though this is the 4th in Tana French's hugely popular Dublin Murder Squad series, newcomers can easily start here (Scorcher played only a small role in Faithful Places). Veteran fans who are looking for authors similar to French might want to try Erin Hart's Nora Gavin books or Benjamin Black's Quirk novels; all three authors pen suspenseful, atmospheric Irish-set mysteries that feature vividly drawn characters.
The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken: A Vish Puri Mystery - by Tarquin Hall
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 07/10/2012
Share The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken%3a A Vish Puri Mystery ISBN-13: 9781451613155
ISBN-10: 1451613156
Mystery. In his 3rd outing, Vish Puri, India's "most private investigator," is on a diet...or at least his wife thinks he is. She's worried her 200-pound, 52-year-old husband (whom she calls "Chubby") will have a heart attack like his uncle. But Vish isn't the one killed by butter chicken at a posh hotel dinner; instead, it's the wealthy father of a star Pakistani cricket player. The deliberate poisoning sets off a chain of events that has Vish traveling to Pakistan, a place he has no interest in visiting. Also on Vish's plate: the curious case of a fellow MOPS (Moustache Organization of Punjab) member's partially shorn moustache! If you like exotic locales and charming humor, check out this "thoroughly engaging series" (Booklist).
Valley of Ashes - by Cornelia Read
Publisher: Grand Central
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/14/2012
Share Valley of Ashes ISBN-13: 9780446511360
ISBN-10: 0446511366
Mystery. Having just moved to seemingly perfect Boulder, Colorado for her husband's job, former reporter Madeline Dare, who's no stranger to cursing or sarcasm, becomes a stay-at-home mom to her almost one-year-old twin girls. She loves her family and her life -- and then a few weeks go by. Her husband's on the road a lot, and when he's home, he doesn't seem to like her. She's tired, lonely, and hungry for work. Taking a freelance position at a local newspaper, she investigates a serial arsonist -- and things get a bit too hot to handle. This highly readable 4th in a series will please author Cornelia Read's many fans, and, with its dark undertones and look at marriage, it might be a good choice for those who enjoyed Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.
The Twenty-Year Death - by Ariel S. Winter
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/07/2012
Share The Twenty-Year Death ISBN-13: 9780857685810
ISBN-10: 0857685813
Noir Fiction. This "audacious and astonishingly executed" (Booklist, starred review) debut novel has a great hook: it contains three interconnected crime stories, each set in a different decade (1931, 1941, and 1951) and penned in the style of a different classic author (Georges Simenon, Raymond Chandler, and Jim Thompson). Linking the trio of tales (set in France, Hollywood, and Maryland) is alcoholic American writer Shem Rosenkrantz, who's married to a French woman (he's a supporting character in the first two stories and narrates the third). Fans of Simenon, Chandler, and Thompson will surely want to pick up The Twenty-Year Death, as will mystery readers who love fresh twists on the past.
Things You Might Say...
For the Love of Mike: A Molly Murphy Mystery - by Rhys Bowen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/01/2004
Share For the Love of Mike%3a A Molly Murphy Mystery ISBN-13: 9780312989040
ISBN-10: 0312989040
Historical Cozy. In 1901 Manhattan, feisty Irish immigrant Molly Murphy goes it alone after the death of her mentor, PI Paddy Riley. But making a living and staying safe while being an unmarried female private detective isn't very easy, and Molly's thrown in jail after two cops mistake her for a prostitute during a late-night stakeout. Once she's free, Molly takes on a missing person's case (attempting to find the wayward daughter of an aristocratic family) and goes undercover in the garment business (hoping to expose industrial espionage). Meanwhile, her work puts her in contact with her former beau, police captain Daniel Sullivan. This 3rd outing featuring the delightful Molly provides an evocative look at turn-of-the-century New York City.
That's How I Roll - by Andrew Vachss
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/20/2012
Share That ISBN-13: 9780307379948
ISBN-10: 0307379949
Crime Novel. Maybe there's good and bad in everyone, but at least where Esau Till grew up, "it's the bad in you that's more often the most useful." Now on death row, 40-something Esau, a wheelchair-bound assassin and master bomb maker born with spina bifida, writes his life story (his last "bomb") to protect his beloved mentally challenged younger brother, Tory-boy. During the process, he recalls the boys' murderously violent father (he was known by everyone as the Beast), how he got into his line of work, and his brother's fierce loyalty and physical strength. If you like gritty noir novels, That's How I Roll, a "chilling tour de force" (Publishers Weekly), packs plenty of punch.
Have Mercy on Us All - by Fred Vargas; translated from the French by David Bellos
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/06/2005
Share Have Mercy on Us All ISBN-13: 9780743284011
ISBN-10: 0743284011
Police Procedural. Despite his unusual intuition, eccentric detective Comissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg doesn't register anything out of the ordinary when a scared single mother reports a series of markings that resemble backwards number fours on the apartment doors in her Paris building. But when an ex-sailor turned modern-day Parisian town crier receives anonymous, ominous messages, Adamsberg and his straight-laced sidekick, Danglard, begin to suspect that the notes are linked to the fours on the doors, especially when a suspicious death occurs. Kirkus Reviews says that "captivating characters, historical oddities, and clever plotting all add up to a scintillating tale." Those who enjoy this 3rd book in the series and want to read about more crime in the City of Light can seek out Cara Black's Aimée Leduc mysteries.
What's So Funny? - Donald E. Westlake
Publisher: Grand Central
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/01/2008
Share What ISBN-13: 9780446401159
ISBN-10: 0446401153
Crime Caper. What's so funny? Hapless crook John Dortmunder's 13th outing, that's what. After an ex-cop persuades him (i.e. blackmails him and threatens jail time), Dortmunder agrees to do the impossible: steal a chess set that's unique (it was intended to be a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar), heavy (it's over 600 pounds), valuable (it's made of gold and jewels), and well-protected (it's been buried deep in a bank vault for over 60 years). Gathering his usual crew, Dortmunder decides on a gambit and gives it a go. What's So Funny?, which many reviewers are calling one of the best in the series, is as much fun for newcomers as it is old-timers -- though readers who like first things first will want to pick up The Hot Rock.
'Til Death Do Us Part - by Kate White
Publisher: Warner Vision Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/01/2005
Share ISBN-13: 9780446614931
ISBN-10: 0446614939
Mystery. Author Kate White, who's also the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, uses her knowledge of socialites and high society to humorous effect in this 3rd mystery featuring likeable Bailey Weggins, a true-crime writer at fictional Gloss magazine. Months after being a bridesmaid in a college roommate's ritzy wedding, Bailey learns that her fellow bridal attendants are dying in a series of suspicious "accidents." In an attempt to solve the murders -- and save herself -- Bailey travels to a tony part of Connecticut to talk to the self-absorbed bride. Readers can start anywhere in the series, though those who want to start with the 1st book should pick up If Looks Could Kill.
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