New mysteries for May include plenty of Foreign intrigue, with new novels from Donna Leon, Camilla Lackberg, Fred Vargas & Andrea Camilleri; a new series set in Barcelona from Antonio Hill; and debut mysteries from Kate Rhodes & Jamie Mason…
The Swedish girl / Alex Gray.
“Eighteen-year-old Kirsty Wilson can’t believe her luck when she lands a room in a luxury Glasgow flat owned by the beautiful Eva Magnusson, a wealthy fellow student from Stockholm. But her initial delight turns to terror when Kirsty finds the Swedish girl lying dead in their home and their flatmate accused of her murder. Kirsty refuses to accept that he is guilty and, inspired by family friend Detective Superintendent Lorimer, attempts to clear his name. Meanwhile, Lorimer calls on his trusted colleague, psychologist and criminal profiler Professor Solly Brightman, to help unravel the truth behind the enigmatic Eva’s life and death. Together, they discover some shocking revelations about this seemingly demure young student…” (Syndetics summary)
Alive! : a Valentino mystery / Loren D. Estleman.
“Actor Craig Hunter’s life was on a downward trajectory that ended with his death from a beating in a San Diego bar. Valentino, among the last of his friends, feels guilty for ignoring Craig’s final pleas for help. The deceased’s ex-wife feels guilty too, but she might have a hidden agenda: it turns out that Craig had unearthed the legendary missing film reels of Bela Lugosi’s horrible audition for Frankenstein. A rare find brings out the worst in collectors, and Valentino has trouble narrowing down which one crossed the ethical line. His formidable suspect list includes a mob boss, an elitist collector, and that ex-wife… Leisurely paced and impressively researched, this is just the ticket for film buffs…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The ghost riders of Ordebec / Fred Vargas ; translated from the French by Sian Reynolds.
“More than ten million copies of Fred Vargas’s Commissaire Adamsberg mysteries have been sold worldwide. Now, American readers are getting hooked on the internationally bestselling author’s unsettling blend of crime and the supernatural. As the chief of police in Paris’s seventh arrondissement, Commissaire Adamsberg has no jurisdiction in Ordebec. Yet, he cannot ignore a widow’s plea. Her daughter Lina has seen a vision of the Ghost Riders with four nefarious men. According to the thousand-year-old legend, the vision means that the men will soon die a grisly death. When one of them disappears, Adamsberg races to Ordebec, where he becomes entranced by the gorgeous Lina—and embroiled in the small Normandy town’s ancient feud…” (Description from Amazon.com)
Bear is broken : a Leo Maxwell mystery / Lachlan Smith.
“Leo Maxwell just received his bar licence and has been shadowing his older brother Teddy, a well known San Francisco criminal lawyer. The novel opens with Teddy being shot point blank in the head as the two brothers eat lunch in Teddy’s usual restaurant. In the aftermath of the shooting, Leo faces a new reality and tries to sort the truth from the lies regarding Teddy’s- business practices, ethics, and private life; in addition, Leo realizes that if his brother survives, Teddy will never be the same man he once was. Because of Teddy’s success as a criminal defense lawyer, the police don’t seem interested in investigating his shooting, and Leo is determined to find the shooter himself…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
Crossbones yard / Kate Rhodes.
“British poet Rhodes provides an intriguing backstory for her lead, Alice Quentin, in her fiction debut, about a twisted serial killer. As children, Alice and her brother, Will, witnessed their father beat their mother. This domestic violence affected Will more than Alice. While Alice has become a successful London psychologist, homeless and mentally disturbed Will sleeps in a van he parks outside her apartment building. One morning, Alice is surprised to learn that all her appointments have been canceled so that she can assist the police. Morris Cley, who murdered a prostitute four years earlier, is about to be released from jail, and the authorities want Alice to predict the likelihood that he will kill again. She becomes involved in another criminal matter after she finds a woman’s corpse in Crossbones Yard, the site used until the 19th century as a graveyard for prostitutes. Might Will have committed this recent murder?…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
Three graves full / Jamie Mason.
“*Starred Review* First-novelist Mason hooks the reader with her first sentence, There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard. Mild-mannered widower Jason Getty is responsible for burying one body, but he’s shocked when two others are discovered in his yard and found to be the work of the home’s previous owner, Boyd Montgomery, who came upon his wife, Katielynn, in bed with Reid Reynolds three years earlier, just weeks before Reynolds was to marry his childhood sweetheart, Leah Tamblin. Getty, on tenterhooks, is massively relieved when police wrap up the latter two murders, until persistent detective Tim Bayard finds blood traces in Getty’s house that point to a third crime. As Getty prepares a cover-up, Tamblin comes looking for answers and resolution, and what seemed a closed murder case opens up again…Portraying characters so well and so thoroughly, examining and explaining their motives even for murder, requires a level of skill that is rare, marking this as an astonishingly accomplished debut and Mason as a writer to watch very closely…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
The lost boy / Camilla Lackberg ; translated from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally.
“No. 1 international bestseller and Swedish crime sensation Camilla Lackberg’s new psychological thriller – irresistible for fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo. Mats Sverin was Fjallbacka’s financial director on a regeneration project worth millions. When he is found murdered, Detective Patrik Hedstrom must find answers. It seems Mats was a man who everybody liked yet nobody really knew – a man with something to hide…Is it just a coincidence that his high school sweetheart, Nathalie, has returned to the area? What does she know about who Mats really was? However, Nathalie has her own secret. Something has made her and her five-year-old son flee to their remote family home on the ‘Ghost Isle’. And that is where she’ll stay and shield her son from the evils of the world…” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)
The summer of dead toys / Antonio Hill.
“A riveting crime thriller set during a sultry Barcelona summer, introducing Inspector Hector Salgado, a transplanted Argentine living in Barcelona. While working on human trafficking case, Salgado’s violent temper got the best of him and he beat a suspect within an inch of his life. Ordered on probation, he fled to Argentina to cool off for a few months. Now he’s back in Barcelona and is eager for another big case. But his boss has other plans. He assigns Salgado to a routine accidental death: a college student fell from a balcony in one of Barcelona’s ritzier neighborhoods. As Salgado begins to piece together the life and world of the victim, he realizes that his death was not all that simple: his teenage friends are either overly paranoid or deceptively calm, and drugs might be involved. Hector begins to follow a trail that will lead him deep into the underbelly of Barcelona’s high society where he’ll come face-to-face with dangerous criminals, long-buried secrets, and, of course, his own past. But Hector thrives on pressure, and he lives for this kind of case—dark, violent, and seemingly unsolvable…” (Description from Amazon.com)
Gone West : a Daisy Dalrymple mystery / Carola Dunn.
“In September 1926, Sybil Sutherby contacts her old school friend Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher. Sybil is widowed and living with her daughter at a remote farmhouse in Derbyshire, where she works as the confidential secretary to reclusive novelist Humphrey Birtwhistle, who writes westerns under a pen name. It seems that Humphrey has been ill, and Sybil has taken over writing the books only to have sales increase, along with advances. When Daisy arrives, she meets a household of quirky relatives and would-be suitors who are taking advantage of Birtwhistle’s hospitality. Sybil is afraid that one of them is slowly poisoning her employer to keep him ill so that she can continue writing his books. When he dies under suspicious circumstances before Daisy can investigate, Sybil’s fears appear confirmed. Daisy’s husband, Scotland Yard detective Alec Fletcher, is unhappy that his wife is once again involved in a murder case…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The dance of the seagull / Andrea Camilleri ; translated by Stephen Sartarelli.
“Camilleri’s agreeable 15th Insp. Salvo Montalbano mystery (after 2012’s Age of Doubt) finds the Sicilian detective sitting on the deck of his home in Vigàta, watching a seagull performing a strange death dance. The image hovers in his mind during the events that follow, the first of which is the disappearance of his right-hand man, Fazio… In addition to searching for the missing Fazio, Montalbano tries to identify a body found in a deserted well. Both investigations are pieces of a larger, satisfying mystery in which Montalbano investigates, among other things, the docks and late-night deliveries from fishing trawlers…(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The golden egg / Donna Leon.
“Commissario Guido Brunetti, out of a sense of guilt and at the urging of his compassionate wife, investigates the suspicious death of a disabled man, Davide Cavanella, in Leon’s intriguing 22nd mystery featuring the crafty Venetian police inspector (after 2012’s Beastly Things). Davide’s mother is unwilling to discuss his death. Worse, there’s no official evidence of Davide’s existence: he apparently was never born and never went to school, saw a doctor, or received a passport. The colorful locals are uncooperative. Brunetti’s understanding of the Venetian bureaucracy, which operates smoothly on bribery and familial connections, allows his subordinates to enlist the help of various aunts and cousins, as is neatly shown in a subplot involving the mayor and his son. Appreciative of feminine charms, the deeply uxorious Brunetti amply displays the keen intelligence and wry humor that has endeared this series to so many…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)