Category: Recent picks

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)

New Mysteries for March

This month’s selection of new mystery novels includes several translated works, many well-known crime writers and several new writers. Hotel du Barry, a debut novel by Australian writer Lesley Truffle is highly recommended.

Syndetics book coverThe killing forest / Sara Blaedel ; translated by Mark Kline.
“Following an extended leave, Louise Rick returns to work at the Special Search Agency, an elite unit of the National Police Department. She’s assigned a case involving a fifteen-year-old who vanished a week earlier. When Louise realizes that the missing teenager is the son of a butcher from Hvalsoe, she seizes the opportunity to combine the search for the teen with her personal investigation of her boyfriend’s long-ago death. Louise’s investigation takes her on a journey back through time. As she moves through the small town’s cramped network of deadly connections, Louise unearths toxic truths left unspoken and dangerous secrets.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAscension / Gregory Dowling.
“This novel is set in Venice in the mid eighteenth century, when the city had lost its political and financial primacy but had become Europe’s pleasure capital, famous for its gambling dens, its courtesans, its hectic carnival, its music, art and theatre and the most highly organised secret service in Europe. The hero-narrator is Alvise Marangon, a Venetian in his early twenties who is unwillingly recruited into the Secret Service and becomes embroiled in a conspiracy to murder the city’s leader.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBryant & May and the bleeding heart/ Christopher Fowler.
“A teenager sees a dead man rise from his grave and moments later is killed in a sudden hit-and-run accident. Seven ravens housed in the impenetrable fortress that is the Tower of London vanish without a trace and legend has it that when the ravens leave, the city will fall. Bryant and May must figure out how these two inexplicable, seemingly unrelated mysteries fit together as they begin an investigation that finds them confronting a group of latter-day body snatchers and exploring the corridors of an eerie funeral parlour, all to unearth the truth behind the gruesome legend of Bleeding Heart Yard.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath under a Tuscan sun / Michele Giuttari ; translated by Isabelle Kaufeler.
“In his dark and fetid prison cell, serial killer Daniele de Robertis plans his retribution. The betrayals he has suffered haunt his dreams until, one night, he escapes. In a small, beautiful village in the Tuscan countryside a prominent lawyer and his wife are murdered. As the police inspect the scene they find nine terrifying photographs: nine women, slaughtered. It is Florentine Police Chief Michele Ferrara’s worst nightmare: a case involving the untouchable men and women at the top of Italian society, a dark and powerful cult which knows no bounds, and mounting victims. Amongst a web of obsession, manipulation and violence, Ferrara must face his demons.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlood sisters / Graham Masterton.
“In Cork, Ireland, Det. Supt. Katie Maguire must investigate when Sister Bridget Healy, an elderly nun in a nursing home, is found slain in her bed. Another two nuns go missing. The authorities discover that Sister Bridget and the other nuns all served at Bon Sauveur Convent, formerly a home for unmarried women and their babies. Secrets and the lengths people will go to protect them are abundant, and even Katie has a secret of her own.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI am your judge / Nele Neuhaus ; translated from the German by Steven T. Murray.
“Police Detective Pia Kirchhoff is about to leave on her long-delayed honeymoon when she receives a phone call. An elderly woman has been shot and killed while walking her dog. When a short while later another murder is committed and the modus operandi is eerily similar. Two more murders follow in short order. None of the victims had enemies and no one knows why they were singled out. As fear of the Taunus Sniper grows among the local residents, the pressure rises on Detective Kirchhoff. She and her partner, Oliver von Bodenstein, search for a suspect who appears to murder at will, but as the investigation progresses, the police officers uncover a human tragedy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSidney Chambers and the forgiveness of sins / James Runcie.
“Forgiveness of betrayal, deceit, abuse, vengeance, neglect is at the heart of this fourth Grantchester mystery, featuring full-time Anglican priest and part-time detective Sidney Chambers. Starting with a distraught man who seeks sanctuary, believing he’s murdered his wife, and ending with an art theft after the disastrous Florence flood of 1966, Chambers is continually called on to solve crimes, in concert with his good friend Inspector Geordie Keating. These include a man killed when a piano falls on his head; threats to Sydney’s best friend, Amanda Kendall, as she prepares for her wedding; and the explosion in the science building of a boys’ school.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo shred of evidence / Charles Todd.
“It’s 1920, and Insp. Ian Rutledge has been sent to the Cornish countryside to investigate a case of attempted murder. Four gently bred young women insist they were trying to save Harry Saunders from drowning, not kill him. However, Harry’s in no condition to tell what really happened, and the one witness says otherwise. Cornwall is definitely not Rutledge’s favorite place, and he is painfully reminded of his past here. Nevertheless, he is determined to do his duty, especially since he has a personal connection to one of the accused women.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn vino veritas / Peter Turnbull.
“Andrew “Big Andy” Cragg, a minor gang member, really a gofer or errand boy, drops into a London pub. Over a pint, Cragg drunkenly confides to a stranger that he once helped dispose of a murder victim in a neighborhood south of the Thames. The stranger turns out to be an undercover Scotland Yard detective, who seizes Cragg’s beer glass as evidence as soon as he walks out of the pub. A young woman’s body is indeed found in the spot Cragg designated, sending Det. Chief Insp. Harry Vicary and his team to their missing person files. One thing slowly leads to another, and eventually the squad painstakingly analyzes 10-year-old clues.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHotel du Barry / Lesley Truffle.
“When a laughing baby is found amongst the Hotel du Barry’s billowing sheets, tucked up in an expensive pair of ladies’ bloomers and neatly pegged to the laundry line, the hotel staff resolve to keep the child. The hotel’s owner, Daniel du Barry, still mourning the loss of his lover in an automobile accident, adopts the little girl, names her after his favorite champagne and seeks consolation in fatherhood. Cat du Barry grows up beloved by both hotel staff and guests, equally at home in the ninth floor premium suite as she is in the labyrinth below stairs. Years later Daniel du Barry dies in sinister circumstances and Cat determines to solve the mystery with the assistance of her extended hotel family.” (Adapted from Book cover)

The best of the best: must reads from this month’s fiction selections

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

Syndetics book coverOur lady of the ice / Cassandra Rose Clarke.
Steampunk Antarctica is the setting for this complex and brilliant science fiction mystery.

Syndetics book coverPostal. Volume 1 / created by Matt Hawkins ; Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, writers ; Isaac Goodhart, artist.
A very dark suspense filled graphic novel, that is reflected in the great cover.

Syndetics book coverParis nocturne / Patrick Modiano ; translated from the French by Phoebe Weston-Evans.
A thrilling classic, that demonstrates the skill of this Nobel prize winning author.

Syndetics book coverMy name is Lucy Barton : a novel / Elizabeth Strout.
A compelling, compassionate novel, writing that is perfect.

Syndetics book coverThe treacherous net / Helene Tursten ; translation by Marlaine Delargy.
Yes, another Scandinavian crime novel, they just keep getting better and better.

New Mysteries for February

Some old favourite writers are included in this month’s selection of new Mystery novels along with several new exciting talents. One highly recommended debut mystery is titled The Man on the Washing Machine by Susan Cox. With this novel Susan Cox was awarded by the Mystery Writers of America the 2014 First Crime Novel award.

Syndetics book coverWhere it hurts / Reed Farrel Coleman.
“Gus Murphy, a retired cop, had everything a man could want: a great marriage, two kids, a nice house and the rest of his life ahead of him. But when his family is blown apart, he is transformed from a man who believes he understands everything into a man who understands nothing. Divorced and working as a courtesy van driver, ex-con Tommy Delcamino comes to him for help. Months earlier, TJ Delcamino’s battered body was discovered and the police don’t seem interested in finding the killers. In desperation, Tommy seeks out the only cop he ever trusted, Gus Murphy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe memory of evil / Roberto Costantini ; translated from the Italian by N.S. Thompson.
“The third book in the Commissario Balistreri trilogy. The memory of 31 August 1969 has been at the back of Commissario Michele Balistreri’s mind for over four decades. It was not only the day that preceded Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s seizure of power in Balistreri’s birthplace of Libya, but that on which his beloved mother Natalia fell to her death, and the resulting suicide verdict that Balistreri has always suspected to be a flagrant cover-up for her murder. The memory of 23 July 2006 has been at the front of investigative journalist Linda Nardi’s mind for the past five years. Ever since her and Balistreri together thwarted a phantom-like killer stalking Rome, Nardi has been intent on shedding further light on the Vatican Bank’s shadowy involvement in the abominations uncovered that summer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe man on the washing machine / Susan Cox.
“When former party girl and society photographer Theophania Bogart flees to San Francisco to escape a high-profile family tragedy, a series of murders drags her unwillingly out of hiding. In no time at all she discovers she’s been providing cover for a sophisticated smuggling operation, she starts to fall for an untrustworthy stranger, and she’s knocked out, tied up and imprisoned. The police are sure she’s lying. The smugglers are sure she knows too much. Her friends aren’t sure what to believe. The body count is rising and Theo struggles to find the killer before she’s the next victim or her new life is exposed as an elaborate fraud.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Chelsea strangler / Susanna Gregory.
“In the sapping summer heat of 1665 there is little celebration in London of the naval victory at the Battle of Lowestoft. The King, his retinue and anyone with sufficient means has fled the plague-ridden city, its half-deserted streets echoing to the sound of bells tolling the mounting number of deaths. At Chelsea, a rural backwater by the river, there are more immediate concerns: the government has commandeered the theological college to house Dutch prisoners of war and there are daily rumours that those sailors are on the brink of escaping. Moreover, a vicious strangler is stalking the neighbourhood. Thomas Chaloner is sent to investigate the murder of the first victim, an inmate of a private sanatorium known as Gorges.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome by nightfall / Charles Finch.
“It’s London in 1876, and the whole city is abuzz with the enigmatic disappearance of a famous foreign pianist. Lenox has an eye on the matter, as a partner in a now-thriving detective agency, however, his grieving brother asks him to come down to Sussex, and Lenox leaves the metropolis behind for the quieter country life of his boyhood. Or so he thinks. In fact, something strange is a foot in Markethouse: small thefts, books, blankets, animals, and more alarmingly a break-in at the house of a local insurance agent. As he and his brother to investigate this small accumulation of mysteries, Lenox realizes that something very strange and serious indeed may be happening, more than just local mischief.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHis right hand / Mette Ivie Harrison.
“Draper, Utah, a tight-knit Mormon community is thrown into upheaval when their ward’s second counselor, one of the bishop’s right-hand men, is found dead in an elaborately staged murder on church property. Carl Ashby was known as a devout Mormon, a pillar of the community, and a loving husband and father. Who would want him dead? But the entire case is turned upside down by the autopsy report, which reveals Carl Ashby was a biological female. In the Mormon Church, where gender is considered part of a person’s soul, some people regard transgenderism as one of the worst possible transgressions of faith. Church officials seem to be more upset by Carl’s gender than by his murder, and more concerned with hushing up the story than solving the crime.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDance of death / Edward Marston.
“London, Autumn 1916. When he slips out of a house in the early hours of the morning, Simon Wilder is too preoccupied to realise that is being stalked. As he walks along the street, lights begin to dim as a warning that there’s another Zeppelin attack. Guns begin to pound away as British aeroplanes attack the Zeppelin. Suddenly, it bursts into flame and lights up the whole sky. The crowds cheer as the great fireball drops slowly down and crashes in a field but the one person unable to watch is Simon Wilder. While he is staring up at the sky, he is stabbed to death and left in an alleyway. It will prove to be a very puzzling case for Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCoffin Road / Peter May.
“A man stands bewildered on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris. He cannot remember who he is. He is physically shaken, borderline hypothermic, and overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty. The only clue to his identity is a folded map of a path named The Coffin Road. He does not know where this search will take him. A detective from across the border in Lewis sits aboard a boat, filled with doubt. DS George Gunn knows that a bludgeoned corpse has been discovered on a remote rock twenty miles offshore. Though, having grown used to a quiet and predictable routine, he does not know whether he has what it takes to uncover how and why.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOn the bone / Barbara Nadel.
“In Istanbul, the golden city on the Bosphorus, ancient myths and modern evils are at work. On a buzzing street in the fashionable district of Beyoglu, a young man drops dead. Ümit Kavas’s death was natural but the autopsy betrays a shocking truth: his last meal was human flesh. Under desperate pressure from their superiors, Inspector Cetin Ikmen and his colleague Mehmet Süleyman begin their most obscure investigation yet. How did Ümit Kavas, apparently a good, liberal man, come to partake in the greatest taboo of all? Did he act alone? And who was his victim? Soon they find themselves embroiled in a dark web of underground worlds: of Turkey’s old secular elite; a community of squatters; and a new gastronomy scene breaking every boundary. But where does the truth lie?”
(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe treacherous net / Helene Tursten ; translation by Marlaine Delargy.
“The body of a teenage girl is found in the woods, naked and horrifically scarred. Then there’s the mummified body that is discovered bricked up in a chimney on a demolition site, not to mention the city’s ongoing problem with gang violence. With the sudden influx of cases and one detective out on maternity leave, everyone is stretched thin and on the edge. To make matters worse, Irene feels more than a little intimidated and put off by the new superintendent, Efva Thylqvist, who uses her sex appeal and smooth talking to skirt issues and bend the predominately male staff to her will.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for January

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.

Syndetics book coverI’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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverFall / 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverDead 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverBlackout / 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)

Syndetics book coverWe 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)

Syndetics book coverA 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)

Syndetics book coverScandalous 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)

New Mysteries for October

International mysteries abound in this month’s selections with stories set in Japan, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Australia, England and the United States. As well as an award winning Filipino crime novel from debut author F.H. Batacan.

Syndetics book coverThe investigation : a novel / J.M. Lee ; translated by Chi-Young Kim.
“Watanbe Yuichi, a young guard with a passion for reading, is ordered to investigate a murder. As he digs further and further in to his investigation, the young guard discovers a devastating truth. At once a captivating mystery and an epic lament for lost freedom and humanity, The Investigation, inspired by a true story, is a sweeping and gripping tale by an international literary star.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll that followed : a novel / Gabriel Urza.
“A psychologically twisting novel about a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town. All That Followed peels away the layers of a crime complicated by history, love, and betrayal. The accounts of three townspeople in particular – the councilman’s beautiful young widow, the teenage radical now in jail for the crime, and an aging American teacher hiding a traumatic past of his own – hold the key to what really happened. Inspired by a true story, All That Followed is a powerful, multifaceted novel about a nefarious kind of violence that can take hold when we least expect.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrendel’s game / Erik Mauritzson.
“Chief Superintendent Walther Ekman isn’t sure what to make of the letter from a self-proclaimed cannibal calling himself Grendel. But he owes it to the people of Stockholm to make sure there isn’t a flesh-eating monster in their midst. A look at missing-persons reports reveals a disturbing pattern that could be the work of a methodical serial killer. The delivery of a severed body part to Ekman’s home means there’s no doubt that Grendel is, in fact, real. It also means that the killer is trying to draw the detective into a deadly game of cat and mouse.” (Adapted from Booklist)

Syndetics book coverSmaller and smaller circles / F.H. Batacan.
“In northeast Manila’s Quezon City is a district called Payatas — a 50-acre dump that is home to thousands of people who live off of what they can scavenge there. It is one of the poorest neighborhoods in a city whose law enforcement is already stretched thin, devoid of forensic resources and rife with corruption. So when the eviscerated bodies of teenage boys begin to appear in the dump heaps, there is no one to seek justice on their behalf. In the rainy summer of 1997, two Jesuit priests take the matter of protecting their flock into their own hands.” (Adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverGive The Devil His Due / Sulari Gentill
“When Rowland Sinclair is invited to take his yellow Mercedes onto the Maroubra Speedway, renamed the Killer Track for the lives it has claimed, he agrees without caution or reserve. But then people start to die and it seems that someone has Rowland in their sights. A strange young reporter preoccupied with black magic, a mysterious vagabond, an up-and-coming actor by the name of Flynn, and ruthless bookmakers all add mayhem to the mix.” (Adapted from Fishpond summary)

Syndetics book coverThe domino killer / Neil White.
“When a series of shocking and seemingly random murders shocks Manchester, criminal lawyer Joe Parker and his police detective brother, Sam, must work together to solve the case. And before they know it, they’re in way over their heads.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGreen hell / Ken Bruen.
“Ex-cop Jack Taylor has again hit rock bottom: one of his best friends is dead, the other has stopped speaking to him; he has given up battling his addiction to alcohol and pills; and his firing from the Irish national police is ancient history. But Jack isn’t about to embark on a self-improvement plan. Instead, he has taken up a vigilante case against a respected professor of literature at the University of Galway who has a violent habit his friends in high places are only too happy to ignore. Between pub crawls and violent outbursts, Jack’s vengeful plot against the professor soon spirals toward chaos. Enter Emerald, an edgy young Goth who could either be the answer to Jack’s problems, or the last ripped stitch in his undoing.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ravens / Vidar Sundstøl ; translated by Tiina Nunnally.
“It’s been a long, dark time since a gruesome discovery drew U.S. Forest Service ranger Lance Hansen into a murder investigation that is now approaching a resolution–although not to his satisfaction. Lance is haunted by visions of Swamper Caribou, the Ojibwe medicine man whose death a century earlier remains unexplained. Lance’s former father-in-law has the ability to interpret dreams–and what he reveals may be key to understanding both deaths, past and present.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for September

This month’s selections include a 1930s German mystery based on true events, a Hong Kong police inspector dealing with international politics, and a sinister secret from the 1950s comes back to haunt later generations.

Syndetics book coverMalice at the palace / Rhys Bowen.
“Lady Georgiana Rannoch won’t deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn’t one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing. Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds–and Georgiana’s beau Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places–the investigation brings them precariously close to the prince himself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurder in the paperback parlor / Ellery Adams.
“With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Jane Steward is organizing a week of activities for fans of love stories at her book-themed resort. But her Regency readers barely have time to brush up on their Jane Austen before tragedy strikes Storyton Hall. Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed. Rosamund had as many enemies as she did admirers, including envious fellow novelists, a jealous former lover, and dozens of angry fans. It’s up to Jane, with the help of her book club, the Cover Girls, to catalogue the list of suspects and find a heartless killer quickly–before the murderer writes someone else off…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverX / Sue Grafton
“X: The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss. X: The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. X: The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet. Sue Grafton’s X : Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVixen : a Nameless Detective novel / Bill Pronzini.
“When Nameless is hired by Cory Beckett, a beautiful young woman who claims to be a model, to find her missing brother, Kenneth, it seems to be a routine matter. When agency operative Jake Runyon locates and questions the frightened young man, Cory Beckett’s motives come into question and the case takes on darkly sinister complexities. A series of twists and turns drive the story to a truly shocking climax. For not until then do the detectives realize how devilish Cory Beckett really is, a femme fatale who has brought something new to the species–new, and terrible.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIce cold / Andrea Maria Schenkel ; translated from the German by Anthea Bell.
“Set in 1930s Munich, this is another chilling novel from the author of ‘The Murder Farm‘. A rapist and murderer is at large in the city. Kathie has come to Munich looking for work, but is drawn into a world of casual sex and prostitution. As she tries to make her way in the world, it becomes clear that she is in grave danger.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe night sister : a novel / Jennifer McMahon.
Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper’s sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel’s past. Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Amy stands accused of a horrific crime. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds revealing the story of two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLast words / Michael Koryta.
“Markus Novak just wants to come home, he’s been all but banished, sent to Garrison, Indiana to assess a cold case that he’s certain his boss has no intention of taking. But it’s not often that the man who many believe got away with murder is the one calling for the case to be reopened. The answers lie in the fiendish brain of a dangerous man, the real identity of a mysterious woman, and deep beneath them all, in the network of ancient, stony passages that hold secrets deadlier than he can imagine. Soon Novak is made painfully aware that if he has any chance of returning to the life and career he left behind in Florida, he’ll need to find the truth in Garrison first.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEmperors once more / Duncan Jepson.
“Senior Inspector Alex Soong of the Hong Kong police is a contradictory character: a student of traditional martial arts and Chinese history, he drives an imported Mustang and loves American jazz. With Hong Kong about to host an economic summit between the Chinese and the faltering G8 powers who are massively in debt to them, the stage is set for an explosive rewriting of history. When Alex will not join with shadowy conspirators seeking to manipulate public opinion against the West he is forced to run a desperate race against time that will lead him into the pitiless heart of the ancient conspiracy, and pit him against the final ruthless stage of its campaign to alter the balance of power between East and West forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for August

This month’s selection of new mysteries from the new titles added to our collection includes the latest work from poplar authors Kjell Eriksson, Peter James, Tony Parsons, and Kathy Reichs. Highly recommended is the debut crime novel titled The Evidence Room by Cameron Harvey.

Syndetics book coverThe killing lessons / Saul Black.
“When the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper’s isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it’s the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it’s just another stop on a long and bloody journey. And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done. For San Francisco homicide detective Valerie Hart, their trail of corpses, women abducted, tortured and left with a seemingly random series of objects inside them, has brought her from obsession to the edge of physical and psychological destruction. And she’s losing hope of making a breakthrough before that happens. But the slaughter at the Cooper farmhouse didn’t quite go according to plan. There was a survivor, Rowena’s ten-year-old daughter Nell, who now holds the key to the killings.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAfter the storm / Linda Castillo.
“When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder finds herself tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones and notifying the family. Evidence quickly emerges that the death was no accident and Kate finds herself plunged into a thirty year old case that takes her deep into the Amish community to which she once belonged. As Kate digs deep into the case only to discover proof of an unimaginable atrocity, a plethora of family secrets and the lengths to which people will go to protect their own.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOpen grave : a mystery / Kjell Eriksson ; translated from the Swedish by Paul Norlen.
“Professor Bertram von Ohler has been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine. This news causes problems in his otherwise quiet upper-class neighborhood. Not everybody is happy with the choice of winner. Mysterious incidents start to occur. Boyish pranks say the police, but what follows is certainly not innocent amusement. Police inspector Ann Lindell becomes involved in the case and immediately is transported back into her own past.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe evidence room / Cameron Harvey.
“Everyone in Cooper’s Bayou knows the story of Raylene Atchison, the local woman who was murdered on the banks of the bayou, and her daughter, Aurora, who was found on the steps of the mini-mart, alone. But when Aurora, who was raised far away from Cooper’s Bayou, returns to Florida to settle her grandfather’s estate, she learns that the suspect in her mother’s murder was wrongly accused. Aurora meets Josh Hudson, a cop who has been put on administrative leave at the Evidence Room, a warehouse of dusty and forgotten items that could hold the key for solving Raylene’s murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYou are dead / Peter James.
“The last words Nick Walton hears from his fiancée, Logan Somerville, are in a terrified mobile phone call. She has just driven into the underground car park beneath the block of flats where they live in Brighton. Then she screams and the phone goes dead. The police are on the scene within minutes, but Logan has vanished, leaving behind her neatly parked car and mobile phone. That same afternoon, workmen digging up a park in another part of the city, unearth the remains of a woman in her early twenties, who has been dead for 30 years. At first, to Roy Grace and his team, these two events seem totally unconnected. But then another young woman in Brighton goes missing and yet another body from the past surfaces. Meanwhile, an eminent London psychiatrist meets with a man who claims to know information about Logan. And Roy Grace has the chilling realization that this information holds the key to both the past and present crimes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSleeping dogs / Thomas Mogford.
“An old friend persuades Gibraltarian lawyer Spike Sanguinetti to take a well-earned rest on Corfu’s beautiful north-east coast. But when the bloodied body of a young Albanian is found and a local man accused of his murder, Spike reluctantly agrees to take the case. Beneath the island’s veneer of wealth and privilege Spike uncovers truths so damaging that those involved will go to any lengths to protect them. And when a vulnerable young woman disappears, Spike knows that there are some sleeping dogs he cannot let lie.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fraud / Brad Parks.
“A rash of car-jackings terrorizing Newark become newsworthy when one such theft ends in the murder of a wealthy banking executive. The affable, wisecracking Ross is assigned the story, but he’s weary of only writing about victims of crime who happen to be rich and white. To balance his reporting, he finds a Nigerian immigrant of more modest means who was also killed during a recent carjacking. When it turns out the two victims knew each other, sharing an unexplained round of golf at a country club shortly before their deaths, Carter is plunged onto the trail of a deadly band of car thieves that includes a sociopathic ex-convict.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Slaughter Man / Tony Parsons
“On New Year’s Day, a wealthy family is found slaughtered inside their exclusive gated community in north London, their youngest child stolen away. The murder weapon, a gun for stunning cattle before they are butchered, leads Detective Max Wolfe to a dusty corner of Scotland Yard’s Black Museum devoted to a killer who thirty years ago was known as the Slaughter Man. But the Slaughter Man has done his time, and is now old and dying. Can he really be back in the game? And was the murder of a happy family a mindless killing spree, a grotesque homage by a copycat killer or a contract hit designed to frame a dying man?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpeaking in bones : a novel / Kathy Reichs.
“Temperance Brennan, the forensic anthropologist finds herself drawn into a world of dark secrets and dangerous beliefs, where good and evil blur. Professionally, she knows exactly what to do, test, analyze, identify. Hazel “Lucky” Strike, a strident amateur detective who mines the Internet for cold cases, comes to Brennan with a tape recording of an unknown girl being held prisoner and terrorized. Strike is convinced the voice is that of eighteen-year-old Cora Teague, who went missing more than three years earlier. Strike is also certain that the teenager’s remains are gathering dust in Temperance Brennan’s lab. Brennan has doubts about working with a self-styled websleuth. But when the evidence seems to add up, Brennan’s next stop is the treacherous backwoods where the chilling recordings (and maybe Cora Teague’s bones) were discovered. Her forensic field trip only turns up more disturbing questions, along with gruesome proof of more untimely deaths.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverThe dying season / Martin Walker.
“When Bruno chef de police is invited to the 90th birthday of a powerful local patriarch a war hero with high-level political connections in France, Russia and Israel, he encounters a family with more secrets than even he had imagined. When one of the other guests is found dead the next morning and the family tries to cover it up, Bruno knows it’s his duty to prevent the victim from becoming just another skeleton in their closet. Even if his digging reveals things Bruno himself would rather keep buried.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for July

There is a great array of characters filling the pages in this selection of the newly received mystery fiction. From serial killers, to vicars, painters to mathematicians, and of course the usual steadfast Private Investigators and Police Detectives. Highly recommended is Swedish writer David Lagercrantz’s mystery titled The Fall of Man in Wilmslow.

Syndetics book coverLives lost / Britta Bolt.
“Pieter Posthumus is enjoying a quiet drink in his favourite bar when the screaming starts. A minute later, the owner of the guesthouse next door rushes in: one of her tenants has been murdered. Marloes, the guesthouse owner, is an odd but kind soul. Posthumus cannot believe it when she is arrested, for both her tenant Zig’s murder and another death several years before. He knows there are questions unanswered: what is the link between the two cases? Why people are so keen to think Marloes is guilty? And why did Zig paint just one picture every year, a copy of a Dutch master, but with one peculiar twist?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gentle art of murder / Jeanne M. Dams.
“Murder threatens to disturb the creativeness of Sherebury’s art college. One late-summer’s evening, before the beginning of the new term, Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired police detective Alan Nesbitt, are guests at Sherebury University art department’s drinks party to introduce the new teaching assistant, sculptress Gillian Roberts However, tragedy strikes on a tour of the sculpture department, when the lift breaks down and a corpse is discovered at the bottom of the lift shaft. Dorothy and Alan become involved in the ensuing investigation, putting their local knowledge and sleuthing skills to good use once again. But when another member of the art faculty goes missing and someone receives threatening phone calls, it seems the killer still has something to hide and may very well strike again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe burning man / Christopher Fowler.
“London is under siege. A banking scandal has filled the city with violent protests, and as the anger in the streets detonates, a young homeless man burns to death after being caught in the crossfire between rioters and the police. But all is not as it seems; an opportunistic killer is using the chaos to exact revenge, but his intended victims are so mysteriously chosen that the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to find a way of stopping him. Using their network of eccentric contacts, elderly detectives Arthur Bryant and John May hunt down a murderer who adopts incendiary methods of execution. But they soon find their investigation taking an apocalyptic turn as the case comes to involve the history of mob rule, corruption, rebellion, punishment and the legend of Guy Fawkes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA good way to go / Peter Helton.
“On his first day back at work following his suspension, DI McLusky finds himself in the midst of a major murder enquiry when a body is discovered in the canal at Netham Lock. Chained, weighted down, tied to a buoy by the neck, it has all the hallmarks of a premeditated, ritualistic killing. As he questions those who knew the victim in an attempt to uncover the dead woman’s secrets, McLusky’s investigations are disrupted by the discovery of a second body. Bound and gagged like the first, but there are differences. If McLusky could only work out what connects the victims, he would be one step closer to catching the killer, and preventing more deaths.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe truth will out / Jane Isaac.
“Eva is horrified when she witnesses an attack on her best friend. She calls an ambulance and forces herself to flee Hampton, fearing for her own safety. DCI Helen Lavery leads the investigation into the murder. With no leads, no further witnesses and no sign of forced entry, the murder enquiry begins. Slowly, the pieces of the puzzle start to come together. But as Helen inches towards solving the case, her past becomes caught up in her present. Someone is after them both. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want. And as the net starts to close around them, can Helen escape her own demons as well as helping Eva to escape hers?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Fall of Man in Wilmslow / David Lagercrantz ; translated from the Swedish by George Goulding.
“June 8, 1954. Alan Turing, the visionary mathematician, is found dead at his home in sleepy Wilmslow, dispatched by a poisoned apple. Taking the case, Detective Constable Leonard Corell quickly learns Turing is a convicted homosexual. Confident it’s a suicide, he is nonetheless confounded by official secrecy over Turing’s war record. What is more, Turing’s sexuality appears to be causing alarm among the intelligence services, could he have been blackmailed by Soviet spies? Stumbling across evidence of Turing’s genius, and sensing an escape from a narrow life, Corell soon becomes captivated by Turing’s brilliant and revolutionary work, and begins to dig deeper. But in the paranoid, febrile atmosphere of the Cold War, loose cannons cannot be tolerated. As his innocent curiosity fast takes him far out of his depth, Corell realises he has much to learn about the dangers of forbidden knowledge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSignature kill / David Levien.
“A young woman’s body is found on a side street in Indianapolis, horrifyingly arranged. Meanwhile, Frank Behr, who is down on his luck and virtually broke, takes on a no-win case to locate a single mother’s wayward daughter who’s been missing for many months. Suddenly Behr feels the two cases may be connected, but he is years removed from his life as a legitimate police officer and has few friends left on the force. His relentless focus has always been his greatest strength and his deepest flaw. As the death toll rises, it becomes clear Indianapolis has a serial killer in its midst, an invisible average Joe who passes beneath the radar but commits unspeakable acts. Frank Behr’s pursuit will lead him to a dark place, and ultimately to a devastating decision from which he will not be able to turn back.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Demon summer / G. M. Malliet.
“Someone has been trying to poison the 15th Earl of Lislelivet. Since Lord Lislelivet has a gift for making enemies, no one, particularly his wife,finds this too surprising. What is surprising is that the poison was discovered in a fruitcake made and sold by the Handmaids of St. Lucy of Monkbury Abbey. The powerful Lord complains loudly to the local bishop, who asks Father Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former MI5 agent, to investigate. Just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe killing of Bobbi Lomax / Cal Moriarty.
“Halloween 1983. Bobbi Lomax was the first to die; the bomb killed the prom queen on her own front lawn. Just moments later, one of the nails from the city’s second bomb forced its way into the brain of property investor Peter Gudsen, killing him almost instantly. The third bomb didn’t quite kill Clark Houseman. Hovering on the brink, the rare books dealer turns out to be Detectives Sinclair and Alvarez’s best hope of finding out what linked these unlikely victims, and who wanted them dead and why. But can they find the bomber before he kills again?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInto the night / Jake Woodhouse.
“A woman is pushed in front of a train by a man in police uniform. And a body is left on a rooftop, its hands scorched and head missing. Another day in Amsterdam: Western Europe’s murder capital. The killer announces to the world that this is merely the beginning. The man tasked with stopping the body count is Inspector Jaap Rykel. But as Jaap searches the beheaded body for clues as to its identity, what he finds makes his blood run cold. Why on earth are there pictures of himself and his home saved on the victim’s phone.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)


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