New Mysteries for December

Police procedural mysteries are predominant in this month’s selection of new mystery novels, also included are two historical mysteries and one where a Defense Lawyer is the protagonist. One novel that is far removed from the previous plot forms is Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie murders, and is highly recommended.

Syndetics book coverWithout mercy / Jefferson Bass.
“Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton has spent twenty-five years solving brutal murders but none so horrific and merciless as his latest case: A ravaged set of skeletal remains is found scattered in the woods of nearby Cook County. They are all that is left of a victim who had been chained, hand and foot, to a tree on a remote mountainside. The bones tell Brockton and his longtime graduate assistant, Miranda, that the victim was a young male under the age of thirty. As they dig deeper to establish his identity, they uncover warning signs that long-simmering hatred is about to explode into violence, engulfing the region in chaos.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath at the seaside / Francis Brody.
“Tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there. Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend. Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA voice in the night / Andrea Camilleri ; translated by Stephen Sartarelli.
“Inspector Montalbano decides to cheer himself up by dealing with a young driver’s road rage in his own unique way. But his joy is short-lived, as at police headquarters he receives an angry phone call from a supermarket boss; there’s been a robbery at his store and Montalbano’s colleague is treating him as a suspect. On arrival at the scene, Montalbano quickly agrees with Inspector Augello that this was no ordinary break-in, but with the supermarket’s infamous links to the Mafia creating problems at every turn, this isn’t going to be an easy case for the inspector to solve.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBetween the crosses / Matthew Frank.
“Now a freshly-minted DC, war-hero-turned-copper Joseph Stark is called to the scene of a double murder. The husband and wife victims were shot dead in their own home. It looks like a tragic burglary gone wrong. But Stark has a creeping feeling that the killings might be something more chilling. And when new evidence points to a twenty-year-old cold case the hunt is on.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMagpie murders / Anthony Horowitz.
“When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway. But Conway’s latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSlaughter Park / by Barry Maitland.
“The final book in the critically acclaimed Belltree Trilogy. Harry Belltree’s obsessive pursuit of justice has cost him everything, his job in homicide, his marriage and his newborn child. He has nothing left to lose, or so he thinks. Then his estranged wife disappears, leaving their baby daughter behind. The police think Jenny has murdered a man. Harry thinks she’s in danger. When severed limbs are found dangling from the branches of trees in a suburban park, Harry’s former colleagues are pulled off Jenny’s case. It’s up to Harry to track his missing wife down on his own and to lay bare, at last, the extraordinary conspiracy that led to his parents’ murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRather be the devil / Ian Rankin.
“For John Rebus, forty years may have passed, but the death of beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand and it still preys on his mind. Murdered in her hotel room on the night a famous rock star and his entourage were staying there, Maria’s killer has never been found. Meanwhile, the dark heart of Edinburgh remains up for grabs. A young pretender, Darryl Christie, may have staked his claim, but a vicious attack leaves him weakened and vulnerable, and an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme threatens his position. Has old-time crime boss Big Ger Cafferty really given up the ghost, or is he biding his time until Edinburgh is once more ripe for the picking?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe twelve dogs of Christmas / David Rosenfelt.
“Defense lawyer Andy Carpenter usually tries to avoid taking on new cases at all costs. But this time, he’s happy, eager, even to take the case that’s just come his way. Andy’s long-time friend Martha “Pups” Boyer takes in stray puppies that the local dog rescue center can’t handle, raises them until they’re old enough to adopt, and then finds good homes for them. With Christmas just around the corner, one of Pups’s neighbors has just reported Pups to the city for having more than the legal number of pets in her home under the local zoning laws. Andy happily takes Pups’s case, and he feels confident in a positive outcome. Who could punish someone for rescuing puppies, after all, especially at Christmastime? But things get a lot more complicated when Randy Hennessey, the neighbor who registered the complaint against Pups, turns up dead.” (Adapted from Syndetic summary)

Syndetics book coverAsh and bones / Mike Thomas.
“At a squalid flat near the Cardiff docks, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong when the police aren’t the only unexpected guests. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range; the original suspect is left in a coma. The killer, identity unknown, slips away. Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help, but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe plague road / L. C. Tyler.
“1665, and the Great Plague has London in its grip. Everyone who can has fled and the only sounds are the tolling bells and the incessant cry of ‘bring out your dead!’ Where better, then, to hide a murdered man than amongst the corpses on their way to the plague pit? John Grey, now a successful lawyer, is called in by Secretary of State Lord Arlington to investigate an unexpected admission to the Tothill pit. The man was, before his murder, known to be carrying a letter from the Duke of York to the French ambassador. But the letter has vanished and Arlington wants it. The contents will compromise not only the duke but many others around him. But Arlington is not the only one trying to recover the letter. Somebody has killed once to try to obtain it and is prepared to kill again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for December

New mysteries in this month’s selection are once again located in many different places around the world, from Amsterdam to Australia, Scotland to Los Angeles, and Oslo to Cork, New Mexico to Belfast. Highly recommended are two debut mysteries, Holding by Graham Norton, and Goodwood by Holly Throsby, both writers are well known for their previous careers, one as a comedian and the other as a song writer/singer.

Syndetics book coverDeadly secrets / Britta Bolt.
“Pieter Posthumus wouldn’t live anywhere but Amsterdam even though the big Earth 2050 conference, with its crowds of delegates and protestors, has left him feeling somewhat under siege. At least his work at the Lonely Funerals team is quiet. Then one of the delegates is left for dead under a bypass. Ever curious, Posthumus agrees to look into the case, which sparks memories of his own time as a student radical. Amsterdam has always attracted people with fierce views, but is someone willing to kill for their principles? Or did the attack have a much more personal motive? Forced to contend with family secrets, political machinations and international conspiracies, Posthumus finds himself in ever deeper, darker waters as he tries to uncover what really happened, and why.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCold earth / Ann Cleeves.
“In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea. At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind, she shares his Mediterranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity. Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was, and how she died.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe wrong side of goodbye / Michael Connelly.
“Harry Bosch is still working, both as a volunteer at a suburban cop shop and as a PI, but he’s very picky about his cases, which is why when a billionaire of dubious reputation comes calling, Harry is weary. But the mogul, nearing death, has a compelling story to tell: a dalliance with a Latina student decades ago may have produced a child, who may or not still be alive but who may have produced a grandchild. Harry’s job is to determine if there is an heir and then to report only to the mogul, not to any of his greedy underlings. The first part goes relatively easily yes, there is an heir but the mogul is murdered before Harry has a chance to talk to him. Juggling his investigation with the responsibilities of his volunteer gig, Harry finds himself caught between the sometimes contradictory demands of finding bad guys and helping victims.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSoulmates : a novel / Jessica Grose.
“Attorney Dana Powell learns of her ex-husband’s death from the front page of the New York Post. Drawn by the photo of his familiar eyes, she’s stunned as she absorbs the news that Ethan and Amaya (the Other Woman) were found dead in a cave in New Mexico. Once she’s been contacted by local law enforcement with a tip about the pair’s last whereabouts as yoga instructors, a hint at foul play, and a nudge toward citizen investigation, Dana heads off to the Zuni Retreat in search of answers. If Ethan was to blame in a murder-suicide, she needs to know what went wrong. Disguised as a yoga student in search of grounding, she encounters the famed guru Lama Yon and sifts through Ethan’s past to come to terms with her own.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe missing hours / Emma Kavanagh.
“One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace. Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been. What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChameleon people / Hans Olav Lahlum ; translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson.
“1972. On a cold March morning the weekend peace is broken when a frantic young cyclist rings on Inspector Kolbjorn ‘K2’ Kristiansen’s doorbell, desperate to speak to the detective. Compelled to help, K2 lets the boy inside, only to discover that he is being pursued by K2’s colleagues in the Oslo police. A bloody knife is quickly found in the young man’s pocket: a knife that matches the stab wounds of a politician murdered just a few streets away. The evidence seems clear-cut, and the arrest couldn’t be easier. But with the suspect’s identity unknown, and the boy refusing to speak, K2 finds himself far from closing the case. And then there is the question that K2 can’t get out of his head: why would a guilty man travel directly to a police detective from the scene of his own brutal crime?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe queen’s accomplice / Susan Elia MacNeal.
“In bombed and blacked-out 1942 London, a young woman’s horrifically butchered body is discovered in Regent’s Park near graffiti proclaiming that “Jack Is Back.” With the discovery of a second, similarly brutalized corpse, a pattern emerges: the murders explicitly mimic Jack the Ripper’s, and both women have been tapped for the Special Operations Executive, a top-secret unit that sends women spies behind enemy lines. American expat Maggie Hope, an experienced SOE operative, joins the investigation jointly conducted by Scotland Yard and MI5. The stakes rise when a young woman trained by Maggie disappears, possibly abducted by the killer that the press dubs the Blackout Beast.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSo say the fallen / Stuart Neville.
“Det. Chief Insp. Serena Flanagan of the Belfast police investigates the apparent suicide of Henry Garrick, who was bedridden while slowly and painfully recovering from a serious car accident. It seems that his wife, Roberta, and a family friend, Rev. Peter McKay, gave him his evening medication of a packet of morphine granules mixed into a tub of yogurt, but after they left, he added an additional 10 packets and died during the night. The case is officially closed, but Flanagan can’t help following the remaining loose ends until something approaching justice is done in this complex and compassionate study of the human condition.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHolding / Graham Norton.
“Duneen is a quiet place, far enough from the big towns to have kept its own rhythms. Its residents include cast down policeman PJ who lives a lonely, uneventful life punctuated only by the next meal, until now; the beautiful and mysterious family of three spinster sisters each with their own secrets and sorrows; and of course, the town’s gossip who think she knows the answers. When a grim discovery is made on a building site up by the old school, it becomes the catalyst for long buried secrets and rivalries to come to light and this silent, once innocent and repressed-seeming town is revealed to have a much darker, hungrier undertow.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGoodwood / Holly Throsby.
“Goodwood is a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone. It’s a place where it’s impossible to keep a secret. In 1992, when Jean Brown is seventeen, a terrible thing happens, two terrible things. Rosie White, the coolest girl in town, vanishes overnight. One week later, Goodwood’s most popular resident, Bart McDonald, sets off on a fishing trip and never comes home. People die in Goodwood, of course, but never like this. They don’t just disappear. As the intensity of speculation about the fates of Rosie and Bart heightens, Jean, who is keeping secrets of her own, and the rest of Goodwood are left reeling.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for October

Another great assortment of new mysteries selected from our recently received new material. Included are three translated Scandinavian mysteries and several historical mysteries mixed with the customary cold cases, missing persons and kidnappings found with in this genre. Highly recommend is Mark Douglas-Home’s mystery titled Malice of Waves, something slightly different with an oceanographer detective.

Syndetics book coverBlue Madonna / James R. Benn.
“It’s late May 1944. Captain Billy Boyle is court-martialed on spurious charges of black market dealings. Billy is given an opportunity: he can avoid his punishment if he goes behind enemy lines to rescue a high-value Allied soldier. A secret chamber and tunnels, once used by escaping Huguenots in the 17th century, has since been taken over by the Allies. But this “safe house” on the outskirts of Chaumont turns out to be anything but, two downed airmen, one Canadian and the other American, have been murdered. Billy is flown in as part of a three-man team on June 5, 1944, the night before the Normandy invasion, and must solve the mystery of who is behind the murders before then leading a group escape back to England, with both the Germans and a killer hot on their heels.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe owl always hunts at night / Samuel Bjork ; translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.
“When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found. Detective Mia Kruger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team is unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMalice of waves / Mark douglas-Home.
“Cal McGill is the sea detective: an oceanographer and one-of-a-kind investigator who uses his knowledge of the waves to find where objects came from, or track where they’ve gone. For five years Priest’s Island has guarded the mystery of Max Wheeler’s disappearance. In this isolated township on the edge of the Atlantic, there are no secrets, except what really happened to fourteen-year-old Max. Now Cal McGill has taken up the quest. A grieving father, a community riven by tragedy and resentful of the suspicion all make a powder keg of secrets and vengeance ready to explode.” (Adapted from Syndectics summary)

Syndetics book coverHellfire / Karin Fossum ; translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson.
“A mother and child are found brutally murdered in an old caravan on a remote piece of land. A bloody footprint is discovered at the scene, and Chief Inspector Sejer is called to investigate. Meanwhile, another mother, dying of cancer, confesses to her 21-year-old son that he is adopted. The man who abandoned them, whom the boy has become obsessed by, is not his real father. Why do we lie to those closest to us? Hellfire delves deep into the dark heart of family, and what drives people to commit the most horrific of crimes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ice beneath her / Camilla Grebe ; translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel.
“A young woman is found beheaded in an infamous business tycoon’s marble-lined hallway. The businessman, scandal-ridden CEO of the retail chain Clothes & More, is missing without a trace. But who is the dead woman? And who is the brutal killer who wielded the machete? Rewind two months earlier to meet Emma Bohman, a sales assistant for Clothes & More, whose life is turned upside down by a chance encounter with Jesper Orre. Insisting that their love affair is kept secret, he shakes Emma’s world a second time when he suddenly leaves her with no explanation. As frightening things begin to happen to Emma, she suspects Jesper is responsible. But why does he want to hurt her? And how far would he go to silence his secret lover?”
(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeep waters / Patricia Hall.
“1964. Detective Sergeant Harry Barnard has been ordered to track down notorious Soho club owner Ray Robertson, who hasn’t been seen for several days. The case takes on a greater urgency when a battered body is discovered at the gym Ray owns. Is Ray the killer or is he a victim? Photographer Kate O’Donnell meanwhile is working on a feature about the regeneration of Canvey Island, finally being rebuilt after the devastating East Coast floods of 1953. But as Kate and Harry are about to discover, the Canvey Island floods, the murder and Ray Robertson’s disappearance are connected in more ways than one.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTimetable of death / Edward Marston.
“1859. St Mary’s Church, Spondon. A little girl playing hide-and-seek jumps into a freshly-dug grave to find a dead man already occupying it. It is the body of Cedric Norton, a senior director of the Midland Railway. Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming travel to Derbyshire to investigate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQuick and the dead : an Alex Quick mystery / Susan Moody.
“When her business partner, acclaimed art historian and university professor Dr Helena Drummond, disappears, Alexandra Quick is consumed by guilt. Shortly before she vanished, Helena had complained of being menaced by a stalker, and Alex had dismissed her fears as groundless. Now Alex, a former police detective, is determined to use her finely-honed investigative skills to find out what’s happened to her friend and colleague. But the more she uncovers, the more Alex realizes how little she really knew Dr Helena Drummond. As it becomes increasingly clear that the woman she thought she knew so well has been keeping a great many secrets from her, Alex must decide: is Helena a victim or is she a killer?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlind sight / Carol O’Connell.
“A blind child and a Catholic nun disappear from a city sidewalk in plain sight of onlookers. There, then gone, vanished in seconds. Those who witnessed the event still cannot believe it happened. Detective Kathy Mallory and the NYPD’s Special Crimes Unit enter the investigation when the nun’s body is found with three other corpses in varying stages of decomposition left on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, home to the mayor of New York City. Sister Michael was the last to die. The child, Jonah Quill, is still missing. Behind her back, the squad’s name for her is Mallory the Machine, yet she has a dark understanding of what it is to be human. A child is waiting, time is running out, and atop her list of liars is the mayor himself, and a theory of the crimes in which no sane cop could believe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRat run : an Anderson and Costello mystery / Caro Ramsay.
“In August 1992, a young mother and her two small sons were brutally murdered in the woods behind their home. Her neighbour Andrew Gyle was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment. Now, twenty-three years later, a macabre discovery throws new light on the case. Could there have been a shocking miscarriage of justice? DCI Colin Anderson and his partner, DI Costello, uncover serious discrepancies in the original investigation it becomes clear that not everyone is telling them the truth.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mystery Fiction for September

This month’s selection from the recently received new mystery novels are set in a wide variety of places, from Aosta, Italy to Blackasen, Finland. From Osaka, Japan to Kolkata, India, Normandy, France to Sweden. Experience some great mysteries in some wonderful places.

Syndetics book coverCrowned and dangerous / Rhys Bowen.
“Set in late 1934,this novel opens on the road to Gretna Green, Scotland, where distant heir to the British throne Lady Georgiana Rannoch and the Honorable Darcy O’Mara plan to elope. En route, Darcy learns that his father, Lord Kilhenny, is in custody for killing Timothy Roach, the wealthy American who bought Kilhenny Castle and the adjacent horse-racing stable. Lord Kilhenny argued with Roach, his fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and he drank too much on the evening in question to remember whether he’s guilty, so he’ll likely hang for the crime. To save Georgie from scandal, Darcy ends his engagement to her and returns home to County Kildare, Ireland.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJourney under the midnight sun / Keigo Higashino ; translated by Alexander O. Smith, with Joseph Reeder.
“A twenty-year-old murder. A chain of unsolvable mysteries, can one detective solve this epic riddle? When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case, which remains unsolved, to the point of obsession.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAdam’s rib / Antonio Manzini ; translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar.
“Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone has been demoted from the police force in his native Rome for beating up a rape suspect. He’s been reassigned to the town of Aosta in the Italian Alps. Schiavone is cut off from Rome, from his friends, and, most grievously, from his beloved, murdered wife. Schiavone’s lethargy is interrupted by a maid’s discovery of her female employer hanging from a light fixture. The scene and the condition of the woman’s body make Schiavone believe this is not, as was first believed, a suicide but rather a carefully staged murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the month of the midnight sun / Cecilia Ekbäck.
“Stockholm 1856. A telegram arrives on the Minister of Justice’s desk, with the news of a massacre on one of Lapland’s mountains; a priest, a law enforcement officer, and a local settler have been slaughtered by one of the indigenous Sami people. The murderer is in custody; he refuses to talk. The Minister dispatches his son-in-law, a geologist, to investigate for there is more than one reason to visit Blackasen: it is a mountain with many secrets, a mountain that has never been mapped. Magnus does not journey alone. The Minister’s daughter, in disgrace, is sent with him. What they discover about the murders and what lies behind them will be as nothing compared with what they discover about themselves.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA rising man / Abir Mukherjee.
“Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. But with barely a moment to acclimatise to his new life or to deal with the ghosts that still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that will take him into the dark underbelly of the British Raj. With rising political dissent and the stability of the Raj under threat, Wyndham and his two new colleagues, arrogant Inspector Digby and British-educated, but Indian-born Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID embark on an investigation that will take them from the luxurious parlours of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA summer with Kim Novak / Håkan Nesser ; translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.
“Fourteen-year old Erik and his friend Edmund spend their summer vacation in 1962 by a Swedish lake, daydreaming about Ewa, a young teacher who looks just like actress Kim Novak. When Ewa’s fiancé is found dead, Erik’s brother is the prime suspect at first, but the actual killer is never found. Twenty-five years later, when Erik happens to come across an article about unsolved crimes, he is overwhelmed by memories about that summer. What really happened back then? And why was Ewa’s fiance murdered?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhen the music’s over : an Inspector Banks novel / Peter Robinson.
“Det. Insp. Annie Cabbot investigates the rape and murder of 15-year-old Mimosa “Mimsy” Moffat, a white girl found naked on a country road, who lived in the nearby estates in Wytherton, York, and ran with a crowd that included several older guys of Pakistani descent. Cabbot must tread carefully in the racially charged atmosphere during her investigation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRevolver / Duane Swierczynski.
“In 1965, Philadelphia police officer Stan Walczak and his partner are in a bar, taking a break from their duties managing street protests in a poor neighborhood, when someone enters with a gun, and both men are shot dead. In 1995, Stan’s son, Jim, a Philadelphia PD homicide detective, looks into the rape-murder of magazine fact checker Kelly Farrace, a case that attracts the interest of a City Hall eager for a quick resolution. In 2015, Jim’s daughter, Audrey Kornbluth, returns home from Houston to attend the unveiling of a plaque memorializing the 1965 slayings. Audrey’s on the verge of flunking out of Criminal Scene Investigator school, but she hits on the idea of reinvestigating the 50-year-old murders, a choice that not everyone in her family supports.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA dreadful past / Peter Turnbull.
“Things are slow for Det. Chief Insp. George Hennessy and Det. Sgt. Somerled Yellich. Hennessy and his team have time to look at a case that’s not only cold but practically frostbitten: a 20-year-old murder of a couple and their 17-year-old daughter in an isolated house. Now the son, the sole survivor of the massacre, tells the police that he has found a damaged vase in an antique shop that was stolen from his family the night of the murders. Hennessy and company start to trace the vase and re-interview the victims’ neighbors for details they might not have told the police before.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA climate of fear / Fred Vargas ; translated from the French by Siân Reynolds.
“A woman is found murdered in her bathtub, and the murder made to look like a suicide. A strange symbol is found near the body.Then a second victim is discovered, who was also part of a group of tourists on a doomed expedition to Iceland ten years earlier.How are these deaths, and rumours of an Icelandic demon, linked to the secretive Association for the Study of the Writings of Maximilien Robespierre? And what does the mysterious symbol signify? Commissaire Adamsberg is about to find out.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mystery novels for September

Three translated novels, one from the Japanese and two from the Swedish are included in this month’s selection of new Mystery novels, along with American and British titles. Leif G. W. Persson’s mystery, translated from the Swedish, titled The dying detective is highly recommended.

Syndetics book coverSecrets of death / Stephen Booth.
“Residents of the Peak District are used to tourists descending on its soaring hills and brooding valleys. However, this summer brings a different kind of visitor to the idyllic landscape, leaving behind bodies and secrets. A series of suicides throughout the Peaks throws Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and his team in Derbyshire’s E Division into a race against time to find a connection to these seemingly random acts, with no way of predicting where the next body will turn up.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI am death / Chris Carter.
“Seven days after being abducted, the body of a 20-year-old woman is found on a green patch of grass by the Los Angeles International Airport. She has been left with her limbs stretched out and spread apart, placing her in a five-point human star. The autopsy reveals that she has been tortured and murdered in a most bizarre way. But the surprises don’t end there. This killer likes to play, and he left a note lodged inside his victim’s throat. Detective Robert Hunter, who leads LAPD’s Special Section, Ultra Violent Unit, is assigned the case. But almost immediately a second body turns up. Hunter knows he has to be quick.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAfter the fire / Jane Casey.
“After a fire rips through a North London tower block, two bodies are found locked in an 11th floor flat. But is the third victim that ensures the presence of detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad. It appears that controversial MP Geoff Armstrong, trapped by the fire, chose to jump to his death rather than wait for rescue. But what was such a right wing politician doing in the deprived, culturally diverse Maudling Estate? As Maeve and her senior colleague, Derwent, pick through the wreckage, they uncover the secret world of the 11th floor, where everyone seems to have something to hide.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWritten in red : an Oxford dogwalkers’ mystery / Annie Dalton.
“Shortly before Christmas, Professor James Lowell is found brutally attacked in his rooms at Walsingham College, where Anna Hopkins works as an administrator. Baffled as to why anyone would wish to harm such a gentle, scholarly man, Anna discovers that Lowell had a connection with her fellow dogwalker, Isadora Salzman, who knew him as an undergraduate in the 1960s, a co-member of the so-called Oxford Six. It turns out that Isadora has been keeping a surprising secret all these years. But someone else knows about Isadora’s secret: someone who has sent her a threatening, frightening letter. Could the attack on Professor Lowell have its roots in a 50-year-old murder? And who is targeting Isadora and the surviving members of the Oxford Six?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKiller look / Linda Fairstein.
“New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world, well-known for its glamour and style. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the runway, where American haute couture continually astounds with its creativity, daring, and innovation in the name of beauty. Yet high fashion means high stakes, as Alex Cooper quickly discovers when businessman and designer Wolf Savage is found dead in an apparent suicide, mere days before the biggest show of his career.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe silent dead / Tetsuya Honda ; translated by Giles Murray.
“When a body wrapped in a blue plastic tarp and tied up with twine is discovered near the bushes near a quiet suburban Tokyo neighborhood, Lt. Reiko Himekawa and her squad take the case. The victim was slaughtered brutally, his wounds are bizarre, and no one can figure out the “what” or the “why” of this crime. Reiko makes a discovery that leads the police to uncover eleven other bodies, all wrapped in the same sort of plastic. Only a few of the bodies are identifiable and those that are have connection to each other. The only possible clue is a long shot lead to a website spoken only in whispers on the Internet, something on the dark web known as “Strawberry Night”.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStalker / Lars Kepler ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“A video-clip is sent to the National Criminal Investigation Department. Someone has secretly filmed a woman through her window from the garden. The next day she is found dead after a frenzied knife-attack. The police receive a second film of another unknown woman. There is no way of identifying her before time runs out. When her husband finds her he is so traumatized that he cleans the whole house and puts her to bed. He may have seen a vital clue, but is in such an extreme state of shock that the police are unable to question him. Psychiatrist Erik Maria Bark is called in to hypnotize him but what the man tells him under hypnosis leads Erik to start lying to the police. If the lights are on, a stalker can see you from outside. But if the lights are off, you can’t see a stalker who is already inside the house.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBurn what will burn : a novel / CB McKenzie.
“Bob Reynolds doesn’t recognize the body in the creek, but he does recognize the danger of it. He’s a newcomer to town, not entirely welcome, and not entirely on good footing with the sheriff. So far he’s kept his head down, mostly over the bar at the Crow’s Nest. But he has interests other than drinking and spending his inheritance, including one that goes by the name Tammy Fay Smith and who may have caught the sheriff’s eye as well. Reynolds would rather pretend he never saw the body, but when it disappears, he begins to doubt what little he knew about this secretive town, a town that seems to become more unwelcoming by the day. Try as he might, he just can’t forget the body, despite the advice he’s been given to do so, and despite the evidence to suggest that he might be disappearing himself soon enough.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe dying detective / Leif G.W. Persson ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“Retired Chief of the National Crime Police and Swedish Security Service Lars Martin Johansson has just suffered a stroke. He is paying the price for a life of excess – stress, good food and fine wine. With his dangerously high blood pressure, his heart could fail at the slightest excitement. In the hospital, a chance encounter with a neurologist provides an important piece of information about a 25-year-old murder investigation and alerts Lars Martin Johansson’s irrepressible police instincts. Lars Martin Johansson is determined to solve the atrocious crime even from his deathbed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ashes of London / Andrew Taylor.
“London, September 1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back.Under orders from the government, James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer, is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city. But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The best of the best: must reads from recent fiction selections

The following titles have been chosen from our monthly new fiction selections. They are all highly recommended for great reading.

Syndetics book coverCompany Town / Madeline Ashby.
“A brilliantly twisted science fiction mystery.”

Syndetics book coverWaking lions / Ayelet Gundar-Goshen ; translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston.
“A thrilling novel from an award winning author that explores the boundaries between love and hate, guilt and forgiveness, good and evil.”

Syndetics book coverReader, I married him : stories inspired by Jane Eyre / edited by Tracy Chevalier.
“Twenty one short stories celebrating Charlotte Bronte, published in the year of her bicentenary and stemming from the now immortal words from her great work Jane Eyre. The stories are by many much acclaimed authors, original and very entertaining.”

Syndetics book coverThe crow girl / Erik Axl Sund ; translated by Neil Smith.The Crow Girl
“Another international sensation, this new Scandinavian murder mystery will not disappoint.”

Syndetics book coverGahan Wilson’s Out there / editor, Gary Groth.
“The joy of the science fiction and fantasy cartoons and writing of Gahan Wilson, guaranteed to make you laugh.”

New Mystery Novels for July

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.

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverCity 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)

Syndetics book coverMurder 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)

Syndetics book coverA 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)

Syndetics book coverInspector 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)

Syndetics book coverApothecary 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

New Mystery novels for June

Included in this month’s selection of new Mystery novels is the new mystery by the popular writer Stuart MacBride, titled, In the cold dark ground. Also the first novel by Chinese writer Song Ying, titled Apricot’s revenge: a crime novel, is set in China it promises an ingenious plot, providing captivating reading.

Syndetics book coverThe case of the missing Madonna : a Patrick de Courvoisier mystery / Lin Anderson.
“Brother Robert from the abbey on St Honorat, a picturesque island off the French coast, has requested Patrick de Courvoisier’s help in locating a valuable painting which has disappeared from the monastery’s vaults. At the same time, an old enemy from Patrick’s past has arrived in Cannes in search of a different stolen painting. As it becomes increasingly clear that the two investigations are linked, Patrick’s enquiries lead him to uncover a shocking wartime secret: a secret the British Royal family would prefer to keep hidden.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe eloquence of the dead / Conor Brady.
“When a Dublin Pawnbroker is found murdered and the lead suspect goes missing, Sergeant Joe Swallow is handed the poisoned chalice of the investigation. On the way he uncovers deep-rooted corruption, discovers the power of new, scientific detection techniques and encounters a ruthless adversary. With authorities pressing for a quick resolution, the public living in fear of attack and the newspapers happy to point to the police’s every mistake, Swallow must use every trick in his arsenal to crack the case.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe graveyard of the Hesperides / Lindsey Davis.
“Albia, Marcus Didius Falco daughter is a remarkable woman in what is very much a man’s world: young, widowed and fiercely independent, she lives alone on the Aventine Hill in Rome and makes a good living as a hired investigator. The renovation of a rundown dive bar called The Garden of the Hesperides, uncovers human remains buried in the backyard. There have been rumours for years that the previous owner of the bar, now deceased, killed a bar maid and these are presumably her remains. Albia will investigate this possible murder. Or murders, as more and more remains are uncovered, revealing that something truly horrible has been going on at the Hesperides.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA bed of scorpions / Judith Flanders.
“What’s an editor to do with so many demands? Do you deal with the morning’s pile of manuscript submissions first? Or do you concentrate on your ex-lover, whose business partner has just been found dead in their art gallery, slumped over his desk with a gun in his hand? It’s another day at Timmins & Ross publishing house, but when sharp-tongued editor Samantha Clair’s CID boyfriend is brought in to investigate Frank Compton’s death, her loyalties become stretched. And when one of Aidan Merriam’s artists is found dead in identical circumstances, Sam takes on the art world and the CID, armed with nothing more than her reliable weapons: satire, cynicism and a stock of irrelevant information culled from novels.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle Sister / David Hewson
“Kim and Mia Timmers were ten years old when they were accused of murdering the rest of their family and the lead singer of the world famous band, The Cupids. The sisters, who have been in a Marken institution for ten years, are now due for release. Pieter Vos, DI in the Amsterdam police, is given cause to re-open the case when the girls disappear along with a nurse who was supposed to escort them to a half-way house. It soon becomes evident that there is more than meets the eye at Marken, and senior staff at the institution are beginning to panic as they fear certain secrets might come to light. When the dead body of the nurse washes up on the beach at Marken, it becomes clear that someone is posing as the third sister, Little Jo, who died ten years ago.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTundra kill : a novel / Stan Jones.
“Nathan Active, the top cop in a swath of the Alaskan tundra that is larger than15 U.S. states, has a new mystery to unravel after a dog musher is killed by a snowmobile. When the case is connected with Alaska’s gorgeous female governor, Active is swept into the bizarre family affairs and outsized political ambitions of the most dangerous woman he has ever met.” (Adpated from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the cold dark ground / Stuart MacBride.
“Sergeant Logan McRae is in trouble. His missing-persons investigation has just turned up a body in the woods, naked, hands tied behind its back, and a bin bag duct-taped over its head. The Major Investigation Team charges up from Aberdeen, under the beady eye of Logan’s ex-boss Detective Chief Inspector Steel. And, as usual, she wants him to do her job for her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe blood strand : a Faroes novel/ Chris Ould.
“Having left the Faroes as a child, Jan Reyna is now a British police detective, and the islands are foreign to him. But he is drawn back when his estranged father is found unconscious with a shotgun by his side and someone else’s blood at the scene. Then a man’s body is washed up on an isolated beach. Is Reyna’s father responsible? Looking for answers, Reyna falls in with local detective Hjalti Hentze. But as the stakes get higher and Reyna learns more about his family and the truth behind his mother’s flight from the Faroes, he must decide whether to stay, or to forsake the strange, windswept islands for good.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverApricot’s revenge : a crime novel / Song Ying ; translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin.
“A business tycoon in China is found dead; he apparently suffered a heart attack while swimming. But soon it becomes clear that he was murdered. Three immediate beneficiaries of his death become the suspects: the vice president of the company, Zhou, who is in line to take over his position; his young widow, Zhu, who stands to inherit a huge amount of wealth; and his arch business rival, Hong. Nie Feng, a young investigative reporter for a magazine, interviewed the victim just a few days before he died. Through his own research, Nie Feng discovers a new suspect who is not on the police’s radar.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAunty Lee’s chilled revenge / Ovidia Yu.
“Slightly hobbled by a twisted ankle, crime-solving restaurateur Aunty Lee begrudgingly agrees to take a rest from running her famous café, Aunty Lee’s Delights, and turns over operations to her friend and new business partner Cherril. The café serves as a meeting place for an animal rescue society that Cherril once supported. They were forced to dissolve three years earlier after a British expat killed the puppy she’d adopted, sparking a firestorm of scandal. The expat, Allison Fitzgerald, left Singapore in disgrace, but has returned with an ax to grind (and a lawsuit). At the café one afternoon, Cherril receives word that Allison has been found dead in her hotel-and foul play is suspected. But when a veterinarian, who was also involved in the scandal, is found dead, suspicion soon falls on the animal activists.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mystery novels for May

This month’s selection of new Mystery novels recently received by Wellington City Libraries includes four novels based around food that eventually leads to various forms of murder, although none to do with poisoning. There are many hours of reading pleasure for enthusiasts of this genre.

Syndetics book coverDeath sits down to dinner / Tessa Arlen.
“Lady Montford and her pragmatic housekeeper Mrs. Jackson once again become entangled in a clandestine murder investigation, this time in glittering world of society London. Lady Montfort is thrilled to receive an invitation to a dinner party hosted by her close friend Hermione Kingsley, the patroness of England’s largest charity. Hermione has pulled together a select gathering to celebrate Winston Churchill’s 39th birthday. Some of the oldest families in the country have gathered to toast the dangerously ambitious and utterly charming First Lord of the Admiralty. But when the dinner ends, one of the gentlemen remains seated at the table, head down among the walnut shells littering the cloth and a knife between his ribs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLie in plain sight / Maggie Barbieri.
“It’s a busy day at the bakery Maeve Conlon owns when she receives a phone call from the high school saying Maeve’s employee’s daughter, Taylor Dvorak, is ill. Taylor’s mom is out on a delivery and Taylor has her own car, so harried Maeve gives the school nurse permission to send Taylor home on her own. But Taylor never makes it: Somewhere between the school and her house, she just vanished. Not only does Maeve feel responsible, but she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Taylor’s disappearance than meets the eye. So Maeve decides to take matters into her own capable hands.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll things cease to appear / Elizabeth Brundage.
“Upstate New York. George Clare comes home from his position as an art teacher at a private college to find his wife killed and their three-year-old daughter alone. George is the immediate suspect, and a persistent cop is stymied at every turn in proving him a heartless murderer. Three teenage brothers who previously lived in the house become entangled in the investigation. But behind one crime there are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally served.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut comes the evil / Stella Cameron.
“Once again Alex Duggins and her veterinarian friend Tony Harrison are thrown into a major murder investigation. An almost fresh body is discovered in a disused well among the ruins of a 14th-century manor house, the motive for the killing a baffling mystery. The victim was a widow who had lived quietly in the picturesque Cotswolds village of Folly-on-Weir for the past ten years. Who on earth could want her dead, and by such brutal means?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJust not cricket / Joyce Cato.
“When travelling cook Jenny Starling is asked to cater the tea for a village cricket match, the last thing she expects is to be faced with the murder of one of the players. Tristan Jones was a bit of a ladies man, but the slick city financier had lost a lot of people their savings and investments, so it is safe to say the list of suspects is a long one, and the local police find themselves operating on a sticky wicket. But when another body is found, it looks as though even the canny cook might be caught out for a duck. Fielding clues and red herrings isn’t easy, especially when suspect statements seem to stump everyone else involved with the investigation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe night wanderer / Alys Clare.
“Eleventh century Cambridge is rocked by a series of brutal murders. Called out to attend a body found on a lonely stretch of river bank, its throat torn out, apprentice healer Lassair is skeptical of the sheriff’s verdict that this was the result of a wild animal attack. But when a second body is discovered, similarly mutilated, rumours engulf the town that the legendary demon known as the Night Wanderer has returned to wreak havoc. Determined to stop the fear spreading and prove that the killer is human, Lassair and lawman Jack Chevestrier investigate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTennison / Lynda La Plante.
“The back story of the iconic DCI Jane Tennison. In 1973 Jane Tennison, aged 22, leaves the Metropolitan Police Training Academy to be placed on probationary exercise in Hackney where criminality thrives. She struggles to cope in a male-dominated, chauvinistic environment, and learns quickkly how to deal with shocking situations without the help or sympathy from her superiors. Then she becomes involved in her first murder case.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurder in an Irish village / Carlene O’Connor.
“In the small village of Kilbane, County Cork, Ireland, Naomi’s Bistro has always been a warm and welcoming spot to visit with neighbors, enjoy some brown bread and tea, and get the local gossip. Nowadays twenty-two-year-old Siobhán O’Sullivan runs the family bistro named for her mother, along with her five siblings, after the death of their parents in a car crash almost a year ago. One morning, as they’re opening the bistro, they discover a man seated at a table, dressed in a suit as if for his own funeral, a pair of hot pink barber scissors protruding from his chest.With the local garda suspecting the O’Sullivans, and their business in danger of being shunned, it’s up to feisty redheaded Siobhán to solve the crime and save her beloved brood.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFatal catch : a DI Andy Horton mystery / Pauline Rowson.
“DI Andy Horton is called out to examine a gruesome catch by two fishermen: a human hand. Is it that of missing violent criminal, Alfie Wright – or is he the killer? And where is the rest of the corpse? Soon Horton finds himself immersed in a complex case where everyone has a reason to lie and no one is who they seem. Assailed by doubts both in his personal and professional life, Horton desperately tries to keep his emotional feelings under control and his focus on his work. His instincts tell him to trust no one and believe nothing; he’s not sure, though, whether this time he’ll succeed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSatan’s lullaby : a medieval mystery / Priscilla Royal.
“It is the autumn of 1278. The harvest is in. The air is crisp. Dusty summer breathes a last sigh before the dark seasons arrive. For Prioress Eleanor, dark times arrive early in Norfolk. The head of her order, Abbess Isabeau, has sent Father Etienne Davoir from its headquarters in France to inspect all aspects of Tyndal Priory from its morals to its roofs. Surely the Abbess would not have chosen her own brother for this rare and thorough investigation unless the cause was serious and she had reason to fear intervention from Rome. Prioress Eleanor knows something is terribly amiss. The situation turns calamitous when Davoir’s sick clerk dies from a potion sent by Sister Anne, Tyndale’s sub-infirmarian. Is Sister Anne guilty of simple incompetence or murder?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for April

We have another great selection of new mystery novels from this month’s recent additions to the collection. There are four translated mysteries, from the French, Japanese and Swedish. Highly recommended is a mystery featuring an oceanographer, titled The woman who walked into the Sea by Scottish author Mark Douglas-Home.

Syndetics book coverVictim without a face / Stefan Ahnhem ; translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles.
“Detective Fabian Risk returns to his hometown to resolve a string of hideously inventive murders. The first victim was a bully who liked using his fists. The second was a thug who favoured steel-capped boots. Their bodies bore the marks of a killer who knew their sins. A single clue was left at the scene: a class photo from 1982, with two faces neatly crossed out. There are eighteen men and women in the photo who are still alive and one of them is the lead detective on the case. Who is the faceless killer who’s come back to haunt them?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe promise / Alison Bruce.
“In a single night, Kyle Davidson’s life is derailed. His relationship is over, he is denied access to his young son and everything important to him is at risk. His thoughts stumble between fear and revenge. Kyle Davidson has a choice to make. Meanwhile, after the tragic end to a previous case, DC Gary Goodhew finds himself questioning his reasons for returning to work until the badly beaten body of a homeless man is found on Market Hill. Having known the homeless man for several years Goodhew feels compelled to be part of the investigation, but routine lines of enquiry soon take a dark and unexpected turn.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe woman who walked into the sea / Mark Douglas-Home.
“Cal McGill is a unique investigator and oceanographer who uses his expertise to locate things, and sometimes people, lost or missing at sea. His expertise could unravel the haunting mystery of why, twenty-six years ago on a remote Scottish beach, Megan Bates strode out into the cold ocean and let the waves wash her away. Megan’s daughter, Violet Wells, was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a local hospital just hours before the mother she never knew took her own life. As McGill is drawn into Violet’s search for the truth, he encounters a coastal community divided by obsession and grief, and united only by a conviction that its secrets should stay buried.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe case of Lisandra P. / Hélène Grémillon ; translated from the French by Alison Anderson.
“Buenos Aires, 1987. When the beautiful Lisandra is found dead at the foot of a six-story building, her husband, a psychoanalyst, is immediately arrested for her murder. Convinced of Vittorio’s innocence, one of his patients, Eva Maria, is drawn into the investigation. As Eva Maria combs through secret recordings of Vittorio’s most recent therapy sessions in search of the killer, she is forced to confront her most painful memories, alongside some of the darkest moments in Argentinian history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Midsummer’s equation / Keigo Higashino ; translated by Alexander O. Smith.
“Manabu Yukawa, the physicist known as “Detective Galileo,” has traveled to Hari Cove, a once-popular summer resort town to speak at a conference on a planned underwater mining operation, which has sharply divided the town. The night after the tense panel discussion, one of the resort’s guests is found dead on the seashore at the base of the local cliffs. When they discover that the victim was a former policeman and that the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, they begin to suspect he was murdered. As the police try to uncover where Tsukahara was killed and why, Yukawa finds himself enmeshed in yet another confounding case of murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe soldier’s curse / Meg and Tom Keneally.
“In the Port Macquarie penal settlement for second offenders, Hugh Monsarrat hungers for freedom. Originally transported for forging documents passing himself off as a lawyer, he is now the trusted clerk of the settlement’s commandant. Housekeeper Hannah Mulrooney, who, despite being illiterate, is his most intelligent companion. Not long after the commandant heads off in search of a rumoured river, his beautiful wife, Honora, falls ill with a sickness the doctor is unable to identify. When Honora dies, it becomes clear she has been slowly poisoned. Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney suspect the commandant’s second-in-command, Captain Diamond. Then Diamond has Mrs Mulrooney arrested for the murder. Knowing his friend will hang if she is tried, Monsarrat knows he must find the real killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ice child / Camilla Läckberg ; translated from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally.
“January, Fjallbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. When she finally reaches the road, a car comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t t manage to stop. By the time Detective Patrik Hedstrom receives word of the accident; the girl has already been identified. Four months ago she disappeared on her way home from the local riding school, and no one has seen her since. It quickly becomes clear that she has been subjected to unimaginably brutal treatment. And it’s likely she’s not the only one.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe girl who came back / Susan Lewis.
“When Jules Bright hears a knock on the door, the last person she expects to find is a detective bringing her the news she’s feared for the last three years. Amelia Quentin is being released from prison. Jules’s life is very different now to the one she’d known before Amelia shattered it completely. Knowing the girl is coming back she needs to decide what to do. Friends and family gather round, fearing for Jules’s safety. They know that justice was never served; every one of them wants to make the Quentin girl pay. The question is, what will Jules do; and which of them, her or Amelia, has the most to fear?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe light on the water / Olga Lorenzo.
“Anne Forster, recently divorced and trying to find her feet, takes her daughter Aida on an overnight bushwalk in the moody wilderness of Wilson’s Promontory. Aida, who is six and autistic, disappears; Anne returns from the walk alone. Some of the emergency trackers searching for Aida already doubt Anne’s story. Nearly two years later and still tormented by remorse and grief, Anne is charged with her daughter’s murder. She is stalked by the media and shunned by friends, former colleagues and neighbours. On bail and awaiting trial, Anne works to reconstruct her last hours with Aida.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe guardian stones / Eric Reed.
“In mid-1941, children evacuated to the remote Shropshire village of Noddweir to escape the Blitz begin to vanish. It was not uncommon for city children faced with rural rigors to run away. But when retired American professor Edwin Carpenter, pursuing his study of standing stones, visits the village and discovers bloody clothing in the forest, it is clear there is a more sinister explanation. The village constable is away on military duty so the investigation falls to his daughter Grace. Some villagers see the hand of German infiltrators bent on terror. The superstitious, mindful of the prehistoric stone circle gazing down on Noddweir, are convinced malevolent supernatural powers are at work. And Edwin, determined to help Grace find whatever predator is in play, runs into widespread resentment over America’s refusal to enter the war.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)