This month’s selection of new Mystery novels are truly global, being set in countries from Saudi Arabia to Sweden, Egypt to Estonia, France to Australia, all provide many hours of exciting mysterious entertainment.
The dove’s necklace : a novel / Raja Alem ; translated from the Arabic by Katharine Halls and Adam Talib.
“When a dead woman is discovered in Abu Al Roos, one of Mecca’s many alleys, no one will claim the body because they are ashamed by her nakedness. Following Detective Nassir’s investigation of the case, the secret life of the holy city of Mecca is revealed, a city, and a civilization, at once beholden to brutal customs, and reckoning (uneasily) with new traditions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
City of jackals / Parker Bilal.
“Hired to investigate the disappearance of a university student who may have become involved in political activities, Makana is drawn by a gruesome murder into an ethnic rivalry and gang war among young men from South Sudan.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Murder on the Quai / Cara Black.
“November 1989: Aimée Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris’s preeminent medical school. She lives in a 17th-century apartment that overlooks the Seine with her father, who runs the family detective agency. But the week the Berlin Wall crumbles, so does Aimée’s life as she knows it. First, someone has sabotaged her lab work, putting her at risk of failing out of the program. Then, she finds out her aristo boyfriend is getting engaged to another woman. And finally, Aimée’s father takes off to Berlin on a mysterious errand. He asks Aimée to help out at the detective agency while he’s gone. But the case Aimée finds herself investigating a murder linked to a transport truck of Nazi gold that disappeared in the French countryside during the height of World War II.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
A death along the River Fleet / Susanna Calkins.
“Lucy Campion is crossing Holborn Bridge over the murky waters of the River Fleet one morning when, out of the mist, she sees a specter moving toward her. Lucy soon realizes the otherworldly figure is in fact a young woman, clearly distraught and clad only in a blood-spattered white nightdress. Lucy is concerned for the woman’s well-being and takes her to see a physician. When, shockingly, the woman is identified as the daughter of a nobleman, Lucy is asked to temporarily give up her bookselling duties to discreetly serve as the woman’s companion while she remains under the physician’s care. As the woman slowly recovers, she begins, with Lucy’s help to reconstruct the terrible events that led her to Holborn Bridge that morning.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Inspector Singh investigates : a frightfully English execution / Shamini Flint.
“Inspector Singh is irate. He’s been instructed to attend a Commonwealth conference on policing in London: a job for paper pushers, not real cops, as far as he is concerned. And as if that isn’t bad enough, his wife is determined to come along to shop for souvenirs and visit previously unknown relatives. But it isn’t long before the cold case that lands on Singh’s ample lap turns into a hot potato and he has to outwit Scotland Yard, his wife and London’s finest criminals to prevent more frightful executions from occurring on his watch or indeed, from being added to their number.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Apothecary Melchior and the mystery of St Olaf’s Church / Indrek Hargla.
“Set in fifteenth-century Tallinn when Estonia is at the edge of Christian lands and the last foothold before the East: a town of foreign merchants and engineers, dominated by the mighty castle of Toompea and the construction of St Olaf’s Church, soon to become the tallest building in the world. Apothecary Melchior is a divisive figure in the town: respected for his arcane knowledge and scientific curiosity but also slightly feared for his mystical witchdoctor aura. When a mysterious murder occurs in the castle, Melchior is called in to help find the killer and reveals a talent for detection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The final word : a novel / Liza Marklund ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“Annika Bengtzon has spent her career telling stories that need to be heard. As a journalist, she’s always been at the front line of criminal reporting, alongside the investigating officers. And now a court case that she’s been reporting on, the savage murder of a homeless man, has begun to attract a lot of attention. With the stakes rising by the day, Annika is once again flung to the heart of a complex case. But nagging at the back of her mind is her sister’s mysterious absence. After a series of anxious text messages, she’s not heard another word. In the midst of a tense public situation, Annika’s own complicated past looks set to rear its head. Some voices refuse to be silenced.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The women of the Souk : a Mamur Zapt mystery / Michael Pearce.
“Cairo, Egypt, 1913. When schoolgirl Marie Kewfik is kidnapped, snatched away as she strolled through the bustling bazaars of the Souk, the Khedive insists that the Mamur Zapt, Head of the Secret Police, takes charge of the negotiations for her safe return. The Kewfiks are one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Egypt but, as the Mamur Zapt discovers, not everyone thinks it’s worth the trouble to secure the release of a mere girl. He also learns that there is more to Marie’s kidnapping than meets the eye and the subsequent fallout will shine a glaring light on the dangerous tensions running through Egyptian society.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The crow girl / Erik Axl Sund ; translated by Neil Smith.
“In a Stockholm city park, the abused body of a young boy is discovered. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg heads the investigation, battling an apathetic prosecutor and a bureaucratic police force. But with the discovery of the mutilated corpses of two more children, it becomes clear that a serial killer is at large. Superintendent Kihlberg turns to therapist Sofia Zetterlund for her expertise in the psychopathology of those who kill, and the lives of the two women become quickly intertwined–professionally and personally. As they draw closer to each other and to the truth about the killings, what surfaces is the undeniable fact that these murders are only the most obvious evidence of an insidious evil woven deep into Swedish society.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)