The Curse of Penryth Hall by Jess ArmstrongIn 1922 England, Ruby Vaughn, a modern-minded American, visits Penryth Hall to catch up with an old friend. But after a murder and talk of a local curse, Ruby works to keep her friend safe and unearth the truth. This award-winning, Gothic-tinged debut offers an "intriguing and altogether enchanting mystery" (Kirkus Reviews). Read-alike: Sarah Penner's The London Séance Society.
Murder on Tour by V.M. BurnsMichigan bookstore owner Samantha Washington has finally gotten her debut mystery published and has been added to an author panel at a local book festival. There, she quickly learns that two panelists have accused a third of plagiarism...and later, a murder occurs. Though this is the charming 9th in a fun series, newcomers can still enjoy it. For fans of: bookish cozies and books-within-books.
The Final Curtain by Keigo Higashino; translated by Giles MurrayTokyo detective Kyoichiro Kaga investigates two recent murders that are seemingly unrelated and discovers a link to the death of his own mother ten years earlier. This gripping, intricately plotted 4th Kyoichiro Kaga mystery works well as a standalone novel. For fans of: Golden Age mysteries; the Detective Kosuke Kindaichi novels by Seishi Yokomizo.
Blood Betrayal by Ausma Zehanat KhanThis sequel to Blackwater Falls finds Colorado police detective Inaya Rahman, who's assigned to a Community Response Unit, working the fatal police shooting of a Black graffiti artist in Blackwater Falls and (unofficially) a Denver police shooting that's left a Latino bystander dead. If you like this "penetrating, of-the-moment police procedural" (Kirkus Reviews), try Attica Locke's Highway 59 books.
Books You May Have Missed
The Blue Bar by Damyanti BiswasIn this evocative series starter, Mumbai's Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput hunts for a serial killer targeting young women. This has him dealing with the city's gritty underworld as well as police corruption in a case that seems to have links to the ten-years-missing bar dancer he once loved. For fans of: Deepti Kapoor's Age of Vice; Kwei Quartey's Emma Djan novels.
Death of a Dancing Queen by Kimberly G. GiarratanoTo help support her mom who has Alzheimer's, 24-year-old Billie Levine becomes a PI working out of a Jewish deli in Teaneck, New Jersey. But she's off to a rough start when a missing person's case turns into a murder investigation, complete with cops and the mob in this fun, fast-paced mystery. For fans of: Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels; Elle Cosimano's Finlay Donovan books.
The Nightingale Affair by Tim MasonAfter an odd murder occurs in 1867 London, former police detective turned PI Charles Field rethinks an old -- and he thought, solved -- case, where Florence Nightingale's young nurses were targeted in Crimea. Following The Darwin Affair, this is the 2nd novel featuring Charles Field, a real detective believed to be the inspiration for Charles Dickens' Inspector Bucket.
A Dangerous Business by Jane SmileyYoung widow Eliza Ripple works at a well-run brothel in 1851 Monterey, California, where the women are protected and customers screened. Nevertheless, a killer is targeting sex workers in town, so Eliza and her friend Jean, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's Auguste Dupin, decide to investigate. Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres. Read-alikes: Frog Music by Emma Donoghue; Missy by Chris Hannan.
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