New mysteries for August include new titles from Laura Lippman, Elaine Viets & Joanna Campbell Slan; a new Dave Robicheaux novel from James Lee Burke; the translation of Karin Fossum’s first Inspector Sejer novel; Ace Atkins’ continuation of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series; and the mysterious new author Robert Galbraith…
And when she was good / Laura Lippman.
“*Starred Review* Readers first met Heloise, a brainy madam with class, in award-winning crime writer Lippman’s stellar short story collection, Hardly Knew Her (2008). In her eighteenth book, Lippman deepens her distinctively ironic and caring inquiry into the hypocrisy and sleaze of Baltimore and the endless array of oppressive and violent acts against women that take place the world over. Heloise runs an airtight operation with a devilishly clever cover, a fail-safe filing-shredding system, and a firewall around her son, who believes that his father is dead, although Heloise’s tyrannical and murderous former lover and pimp is in prison instead… Vigilant Heloise feels reasonably secure until she reads the headline Suburban Madam Dead in Apparent Suicide, the start of harrowing disclosures that put everything she’s worked so hard to achieve in danger. Lippman, so smart, clear-sighted, and polished and yet so intense and furious, surveys the intersection of perpetual misogyny and the criminality of sex work in this stylishly righteous tale of atrocities and revenge.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
Light of the World: Robicheaux novel / James Lee Burke.
“*Starred Review* Hats off to the Library of Congress cataloger who applied the subject heading Good and Evil to Burke’s latest Dave Robicheaux novel. In that simple tag lies the core of this acclaimed series. Robicheaux, the Cajun detective with a melancholy streak as wide as the Mississippi, grieves lost innocence in all its forms, but as much as he remembers goodness in the past, he crusades against evil in the present. The bad guys against whom Robicheaux along with his equally tormented comrade-in-arms, Clete Purcell campaigns sometimes take the form of bent rich guys driven by blind greed. But occasionally the evil comes in a more chilling, vaguely supernatural form depravity beyond sociology giving these novels a darker, more mythic tone, with Robicheaux cast as a contemporary Beowulf, asked to plunge deep into the heart of darkness to confront the Grendels lurking beneath the surface of daily life. So it is here, when serial killer Asa Surette, believed dead, resurfaces in Montana with scores to settle, including one with Robicheaux’s daughter, Alafair.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
The girl next door / Brad Parks.
“*Starred Review* Reporter as detective hero isn’t anything new, but few have been as convincing in the dual role as ink-stained wage slave Carter Ross, the fearsomely articulate hero of Parks’ fine new novel. He didn’t become a newshawk to save the world; he did it because he wants to find stuff out. He’s not uncomfortable in the role of professional bystander. It’s not just what he does; it’s who he is. And when a nice young woman who works for the newspaper is brutally murdered, he’s sure who did it. Someone in newspaper management, of course. Aren’t they responsible for all evil? But this is a detective story so there’s more to it, and Ross’ constant prodding finally gets him suspended, which means he no longer has to worry about making nice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The cuckoo’s calling / Robert Galbraith.
“Lula Landry, a celebrity model rumored to have a drug problem, falls to her death one snowy night. Even though the police rule it a suicide, Lula’s brother asks struggling London PI Cormoran Strike to investigate. Cormoran knows what he’s up against: the rich are famously good at blockading information sharing. Nonetheless, he and his new assistant, Robin, forge an effective partnership as they interview fashion insiders, jealous boyfriends, and dysfunctional family members. The results are devastating. Cormoran’s own celebrity roots and status as a wounded veteran (he lost his leg in Afghanistan) color a fascinating tale that explores the lifestyles of the rich and the unhappy. Galbraith’s take on contemporary celebrity obsession makes for a grand beach read. It’s like a mash-up of Charles Dickens and Penny Vincenzi.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland / Ace Atkins.
“Boston PI Spenser and Henry Cimoli, owner of a Boston gym, formerly a haven for boxers but now supported by spandex-clad exercisers, have been friends for years. Now Henry needs help. Developers are bullying the mostly older occupants in Henry’s condo in an attempt to make them sell cheap. So far it’s been mostly intimidation, but folks are scared. Hawk, Spenser’s longtime cohort, is out of town, so the PI enlists the assistance of Zebulon Sixkill, an intern of sorts. They send the developer’s thugs on their way and then negotiate a lucrative buyout for Henry and his neighbors, but it could be all for naught when the developer is decapitated and a plethora of greedy, jealous, and ambitious players attempt to take control. After an uneven start at re-creating Spenser (Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby, 2012), Atkins finds his footing this time, settling into the character more comfortably and concocting a fairly complex caper with urban development, organized crime, and sex all playing roles.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
Foal play / Kathryn O’Sullivan.
“Smalltown hilarity buoys O’Sullivan’s charming debut, winner of Malice Domestic’s best traditional first novel competition. On a hot Fourth of July, Colleen McCabe, the fire chief of Corolla, N.C., goes to the scene of a burning house owned by cantankerous former school teacher Myrtle Crepe. Inside lie the remains of a charred female, whom everyone fears is Myrtle. Later, Colleen inspects another burned body, which washed up on the beach earlier in the day. Colleen knows better than to do some inconspicuous investigating, especially since her best friend and town sheriff, Bill Dorman, has given her a stern warning against it, but keeping her nose clean proves easier said than done. Readers will enjoy the quirky supporting cast-from Pinky Salvatore, the town’s closest thing to a criminal, to Little Bobby, Myrtle’s beleaguered only child-though some will hope the author will develop Colleen more in future installments.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
Board stiff : a dead-end job mystery / Elaine Viets.
“In Viets’s entertaining 12th Dead-End Job mystery (after 2012′s Final Sail), Sunny Jim Sundusky, the owner of a Florida paddleboard concession, hires married PIs Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont to find out who’s been vandalizing his boards and otherwise trying to drive him out of business. When a customer, Ceci Odell, expires in the ocean on her rented board, Helen and Phil discover that Ceci’s death was no accident. A bitter ex-employee, the victim’s abusive husband, and greedy competitors all have a stake in seeing Sunny Jim fail-as do the city officials of fictional Riggs Beach, known as “Rigged Beach” for its rampant corruption. Meanwhile, a blackmailer threatens to expose the role Helen and her sister played in the disappearance of Helen’s ex-husband, Rob. Attempting to end the extortion, she reveals a deception that may leave her current marriage as dead as the murdered paddleboarder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Picture perfect corpse / Joanna Campbell Slan.
“Police detective Chad Detweiler is overjoyed to learn he’s having a baby with Kiki Lowenstein. But when his estranged wife, Brenda, is found shot to death with bullets from his revolver, the proud papa-to-be finds himself up the creek without a lawyer. Meanwhile, Kiki and Dodie Goldfader are in for a surprise when an unidentified young woman bursts into their craft store claiming to have killed Dodie’s son. Embarking on a memorial scrapbook project as a ruse to unravel the facts, Kiki can’t stop herself from wondering if the man she loves is tangled up in murder.” Description from Amazon.com)
Eva’s eye / Karin Fossum ; translated from the Norwegian by James Anderson.
“Eva Magnus is a struggling artist and the divorced mother of a seven-year-old child, Emma. One afternoon she and Emma are walking by the river when an unknown man’s body floats to the surface of the icy water. She tells her daughter to wait patiently while she calls the police, but when she reaches the phone box Eva dials another number altogether. When the police discover the body, it doesn’t take long for and his team to determine that the man, Egil, died in a violent attack. But Egil has been missing for months and the trail to his killer has gone cold. It’s as puzzling as another unsolved case on Sejer’s desk: the murder of a prostitute who was found dead just three days before Egil went missing. Sejer sets to work piecing together the fragments of these two impossible cases; soon enough he realizes that they might not be as separate as they had seemed. Gripping and thought-provoking, Eva’s Eye is Karin Fossum’s first novel featuring the iconic Inspector Sejer.” (Description from Amazon.com)
The gift of darkness / V.M. Giambanco.
“Twenty-five years ago in the woods near the Hoh River in Seattle, three boys were kidnapped. One did not come home. A quarter of a decade later, a family of four is found brutally murdered, the words thirteen days scratched near their lifeless bodies. Homicide Detective Alice Madison ran away from home as a child, one breath away from committing an unforgivable act; as an adult, she found her peace chasing the very worst humanity has to offer. Madison believes these murders are linked. And she has thirteen days to prove it. To stop a psychopath, Madison must go back into the woods and confront the unsolved mystery of the Hoh River Boys. She must forget her training and follow her instincts to the terrifying end as enemies become allies and, in the silent forest, time is running out to save another life.” (Description from syndetics summary)