This month’s selection from our recently received new mystery fiction includes three new debut mystery writers, Samuel Bjork, Grant Bywaters, and Vaseem Kahn. Also included are old favourites, Tami Hoag, Anne Holt and Stuart Woods. Highly recommended is the new mystery from Gunnar Staalesen, titled We shall inherit the wind.
I’m travelling alone / Samuel Bjork ; translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.
“When a six-year-old girl is found dead, hanging from a tree, the only clue the Oslo Police have to work with is an airline tag around her neck. It reads “I’m travelling alone”. Holger Munch, veteran police investigator, is immediately charged with re-assembling his homicide unit. But to complete the team, he must convince his erstwhile partner, Mia Kruger, a brilliant but troubled investigator to return from the solitary island where she has retreated with plans to take her own life. Reviewing the evidence, Mia identifies something no one else has noticed, a thin line carved into the dead girl’s fingernail: the number 1. Instinctively, she knows that this is only the beginning.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The red storm / Grant Bywaters.
“The Red Storm is the Winner of the PWA Best First Private Eye Novel competition. Newly-minted private investigator William Fletcher is having trouble finding clientele. He’s not the only man out of work, but his past as a former heavyweight contender with a few shady connections, not to mention the color of his skin in race-obsessed New Orleans, isn’t helping lure clients to his door. Stuck without any viable alternative, he takes a case from an old criminal acquaintance, Storm. His only client assures him that the job is simple; locate his missing estranged daughter, Zella, no questions asked. But when Fletcher starts knocking on doors, he sets off a catastrophic chain of events that turns the city into a bloody battleground between two rival syndicates.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Fall / Candice Fox.
“Someone is angry at Sydney’s beautiful people and the results are anything but pretty. On the rain-soaked running tracks of Sydney’s parks, a predator is lurking, and it’s not long before night-time jogs become a race to stay alive. Detective Frank Bennett’s new girlfriend Imogen Stone is fascinated by cold cases, and her latest project, the disappearance of the two Tanner children more than twenty years ago is leading her straight to Eden, Frank’s partner in the Homicide Department. And as Frank knows all too well, asking too many questions about Eden Archer can get you buried as deep as her past.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The bitter season / Tami Hoag.
“Kovac and Liska take on multiple twisted cases that explores a murder from the past, a murder from the present, and a life that was never meant to be As the trails of two crimes a quarter of century apart twist. They race to find answers before a killer strikes again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Dead Joker / Anne Holt ; translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce.
“Chief Prosecutor Sigurd Halvorsrud’s wife is found dead in front of the fireplace in the family living room. The cause of death is instantly apparent, she has been brutally decapitated. Halvorsrud immediately falls under suspicion. Then a journalist at one of Oslo’s largest newspapers is found beheaded. What links these two horrifically violent crimes? Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is called in to lead the investigation with her old colleague Billy T. But the most demanding task that Hanne Wilhelmsen has ever faced in her career clashes with the worst crisis in her personal life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The unexpected inheritance of Inspector Chopra / Vaseem Kahn.
“On the day he retires, Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits two unexpected mysteries. The first is the case of a drowned boy, whose suspicious death no one seems to want solved. And the second is a baby elephant. As his search for clues takes him across the teeming city of Mumbai, from its grand high rises to its sprawling slums and deep into its murky underworld, Chopra begins to suspect that there may be a great deal more to both his last case and his new ward than he thought. And he soon learns that when the going gets tough, a determined elephant may be exactly what an honest man needs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Blackout / David Rosenfelt.
“New Jersey state police officer Doug Brock has been after infamous criminal Nicholas Bennett for years. When Bennett kills someone close to Doug, however, Doug’s investigation and his life start spiraling out of control. He’s placed on indefinite suspension from the police force and breaks things off with his fiancé, but he can’t let the case go, and he continues an off-the-books investigation on his own. When Doug’s former partner on the force, Nate Alvarez, receives a call from Doug saying he’s discovered something big, something terrifying, something they need to call in the FBI to handle, Nate is furious that Doug has still been working the case. But when the call ends abruptly, and shortly afterward Doug is found in a hotel room, shot and in critical condition, Nate’s anger turns to fear.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
We shall inherit the wind / Gunnar Staalesen
“Varg Veum sits by the hospital bed of his long-term girlfriend Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a painful reminder of the mistakes he’s made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind farm inspector, Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics. Then the first body appears, tied to a cross and facing the mouth of a fjord.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
A death in the family : a Detective Kubu mystery / Michael Stanley.
“Faced with the violent death of his own father, Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu, the smartest detective in the Botswana police, is baffled. Who would kill such a frail old man? Kubu’s frustration grows as his boss, Director Mabaku, bans him from being involved in the investigation. The picture becomes even murkier with the apparent suicide of a government official. When grief-stricken Kubu defies orders and sets out on the killers’ trail, startling and chilling links emerge, spanning the globe and setting a sequence of shocking events in motion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Scandalous behavior / Stuart Woods.
“After a series of nonstop adventures, Stone Barrington is eager for some peace and quiet in a rustic British setting. But no sooner does he land in England than he’s beset by an outrageous demand from a beautiful lady, and an offer he can’t refuse. Unfortunately, Stone quickly learns that his new acquisition comes with some undesired strings attached, namely, a deadly mystery involving the complex relationships of the local gentry, and a relentless adversary who raises the stakes with every encounter.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)