Category: Recent picks

New Mysteries for March

New mysteries for March include more Scandinavian crime from Ake Edwardson & Yrsa Sigurdardóttir; the new Joe Pickett novel from C.J Box; Thomas Perry’s acclaimed new thriller; the latest in J.D Robb’s Eve Dallas series; & some cosy crime with M.C Beaton & Laura Childs….

Syndetics book coverRoom no. 10 / Ake Edwardson ; translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles.
“Meticulous observation and persistent psychological analysis can find solutions that not even modern forensics can provide, as shown in Edwardson’s intricate seventh novel featuring Chief Insp. Erik Winter (after 2012’s Sail of Stone). When the body of 29-year-old Paula Ney is discovered hanging in Room 10 of Gothenburg’s sleazy Hotel Revy, an obvious murder victim, despite a mystifying suicide note, Winter recalls that 29-year-old Ellen Borge disappeared in a case involving the Hotel Revy 18 years earlier and never seen again. Painstaking police work, including endless interviews with Ney’s oddly unemotional parents, alternate with Winter’s recollections of the earlier case and the beginnings of his working relationship with Det. Insp. Fredrik Halders. The old and new investigations intertwine and merge in a fascinating fashion…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe day is dark / Yrsa Sigurdardottir ; translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton.
“Yrsa Sigurdardóttir is widely regarded around the world as one of the best Nordic crime writers working today. Yrsa’s previous book in the series, Ashes to Dust, also featured lawyer and sometime sleuth Thóra Gudmundsdóttir and received rave reviews internationally. In The Day is Dark, when all contact is lost with two Icelanders working in a harsh and sparsely populated area on the coast of Greenland, Thóra is hired to uncover the fates of the missing people. When she arrives in Greenland, she discovers that these aren’t the first two to go missing. The local townspeople believe that the area is cursed, and no one wants to get involved in the case. Soon, Thora finds herself stranded in the middle of a wilderness, and the case is as frightening and hostile as the landscape itself. Chilling, unsettling, and compulsively readable, The Day is Dark is a must read for readers who are looking for the next big thing in crime fiction coming in from the cold…” (Description from

Syndetics book coverBreaking point / C.J. Box.
“Bureaucracy run amok drives Wyoming construction company owner Butch Roberson to the breaking point in Box’s excellent 13th Joe Pickett novel (after 2012’s Force of Nature). When game warden Pickett investigates a cut fence between private land and public land, he comes across Roberson, who says he entered the public land to scout elk. Before leaving, Pickett delivers a friendly warning to Roberson, who resents the laws restricting his access to public land, to repair the fence. Later, Pickett learns that Roberson is the prime suspect in the killing of two armed EPA agents. Vindictive EPA regional director Juan Julio Batista, who quickly arrives on the scene, calls in a lot of manpower, while Pickett leads a team on horseback into the mountains after Roberson….Thrilling wilderness chases, chilling stories of the abuse of power, and Pickett’s indomitable frontier spirit power this explosive novel…” (Adapted from Syndetics review)

Syndetics book coverThe boyfriend / Thomas Perry.
“*Starred Review* Perry is a master at multiple narrators. Here he juggles the narrative reins between PI Jack Till and hitman Joey Moreland. Till takes a case that the LAPD has given up on: the murder of a high-end prostitute whose killer seems to be targeting women of the same physical type lissome strawberry blondes working as female escorts in cities across the country. The parents of the latest victim want to find their daughter’s killer even if the police don’t, and hire Till to help. He quickly determines that the killer is more than just a john; able to ingratiate himself with the various women, he becomes their live-in boyfriend before killing them. But is there more to it than that? Is the killer using the women’s homes as a convenient hiding place while he tends to other business and then, with business concluded, murdering the women to cover his tracks?… The suspense is more intense because the characters, heroes and villains, have worked their way so far under our skin. It’s nothing new to call Perry a master of the genre, but it’s no less true for being widely acknowledged…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCalculated in death / by J.D. Robb.
“In bestseller Robb’s engaging 37th Eve Dallas thriller (after 2012’s Delusion in Death), Dallas and her partner, Delia Peabody, look into the death of Marta Dickenson. Found with a broken neck at the bottom of a stairway in an Upper East Side Manhattan building, which is under renovation by a financial consultant group, Dickenson was employed as an accountant by a firm nearby. And her briefcase, containing files she had been auditing, was stolen. Confident it’s a case of murder, Dallas and her smoothly running team conduct an ever-widening probe of accountants, financial advisers, their spouses, and their lovers. Her husband, Roarke, a former hacker and now owner of his own electronics company, lends his special skills. Robb (the pen name of Nora Roberts) supplies her usual winning blend of keen investigative work, striking characterizations, and enthusiastic sex, all leavened with a fine sense of humor…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath of yesterday : a Hamish Macbeth murder mystery / M.C. Beaton.
“Near the start of Beaton’s delightful 29th Hamish Macbeth mystery (after 2012’s Death of a Kingfisher), art student Morag Merrilea complains to the Scottish police sergeant about the theft of her sketchbook in a pub where she was drinking heavily one night. When Morag disappears and later turns up dead, Macbeth attempts to solve the crime, but blustery Detective Chief Superintendent Blair keeps ordering him to do the most menial tasks. Meanwhile, Macbeth’s love life has more snags than an old wool sweater, as shown by his strained relationships with Priscilla Halburton-Smythe and Elspeth Grant, not to mention his infatuation with Hannah Fleming, the sister of suspect Geordie Fleming. A second victim found by Macbeth ups the pressure and media interest…Cozy fans are in for a treat…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweet tea revenge / Laura Childs.
“While helping her friend Delaine get ready for her wedding, Theodosia, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop, finds the dead body of the would-be groom, Douglas. In between running the shop, she asks questions and chases clues at Delaine’s request. The illegal Cuban cigars sold under the table at Douglas’ cigar shop catch the attention of local police, but Theo is focused on Douglas’ ex-wife, Simone, who is angry and impetuous. Matters are complicated by a team of television ghost hunters who bring Theo and Delaine to the site of Douglas’ death, hoping to connect with his spirit. Childs flavors an intelligent and layered mystery with colorful characters and tea history, along with recipes and resources…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe boy in the snow / M. J. McGrath.
“The two-week 1,150-mile Iditarod dog sled race from near Wasilla to Nome, Alaska, forms the backdrop for McGrath’s outstanding second mystery featuring half-Caucasian, half-Inuit Edie Kiglatuk (after 2011’s White Heat). A native of Ellesmere Island, Edie comes to Alaska to help her ex-husband, Sammy Inukpuk, who’s trying to regain his self-respect by racing. In the forest outside Wasilla, Edie encounters a mysterious bear that leads her to the frozen body of a baby boy lying in the saddle of a snowmobile. Edie, a homesick, guilt-ridden “outsider in her own world,” seeks to untangle the disturbing truth behind the infant’s death, aided by her policeman friend, Derek Palliser, who’s also assisting Sammy in the race…This affecting novel should melt even the most frozen human hearts…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurder below Montparnasse / Cara Black.
“A tantalizing clue to the whereabouts of Paris PI Aimee Leduc’s mysterious mother puts a personal spin on Black’s intricate 13th mystery set in contemporary Paris (after 2012’s Murder at the Lantern Rouge). Yuri Volodya, an elderly Russian who wants to hire Aimee to protect a valuable painting, possibly a Modigliani, tells Aimee he knew her mother, Sydney, whom she hasn’t seen since Sydney abandoned her at age eight. When the painting is stolen and Yuri is later tortured and killed, the police investigate. Meanwhile, a bizarre accident sidelines Aimee’s part-time hacker helper, “cash-poor aristocrat” Saj de Rosnay. Leduc must also cope amid threats of violence without trusted computer expert Rene Friant, lured to America by a Silicon Valley firm in a lengthy, well-developed subplot…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for February

New mysteries for February include the latest entry in Alan Bradley’s popular series about 12 year old crime solver Flavia de Luce; the new Alex Delaware novel from Jonathan Kellerman; a continuation of Robert B. Parker’s ‘Spenser’ series by Ace Atkins; David Hewson’s adaptation of the second season of Danish TV crime series ‘The Killing’; & more cozy crime from Leslie Meier & Sharon Fiffer’s…

Syndetics book coverSpeaking from among the bones : a Flavia de Luce novel / Alan Bradley.
“Twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is inordinately interested in death and passionate about poisons. When she’s feeling blue, she thinks about cyanide, since its color reflects her mood. She also has a penchant for finding corpses and an extraordinary ability to ferret out the stories behind their untimely deaths. Here she is the first to espy the body of St. Tancred’s Church organist Crispin Collicutt during the excavation of the eponymous saint’s remains to mark his quincentennial, in 1951. Flavia also must deal with a crisis at home when her widowed father is forced to put the family estate, Buckshaw, up for sale. And while uncovering motives, Flavia also unearths a number of local families’ secrets, including some involving her late mother. Bradley’s Flavia cozies, set in the English countryside, have been a hit from the start, and this fifth in the series continues to charm and entertain…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGuilt : an Alex Delaware novel / Jonathan Kellerman.
“A series of horrifying events occur in quick succession in the same upscale L.A. neighborhood. A backyard renovation unearths an infant’s body, buried sixty years ago. And soon thereafter in a nearby park, another disturbingly bizarre discovery is made not far from the body of a young woman shot in the head. Helping LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis to link these eerie incidents is brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. But even the good doctor’s vast experience with matters both clinical and criminal might not be enough to cut down to the bone of this chilling case – and draw out the disturbing truth. Backtracking six decades into the past stirs up tales of a beautiful nurse with a mystery lover, a handsome, wealthy doctor who seems too good to be true, and a hospital with a notorious reputation…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlex Cross, run / James Patterson.
“Detective Alex Cross arrests renowned plastic surgeon Elijah Creem for sleeping with teenage girls. Now, his life ruined, Creem is out of jail, and he has made sure that no one will recognize him by giving himself a new face. A young woman is found hanging from a sixth floor window, and Alex is called to the scene. The victim recently gave birth, but the baby is nowhere to be found. Before Alex can begin searching for the missing newborn and killer, he is called to investigate a second crime. All of Washington, D.C. is in a panic, and when a third body is discovered, rumours of three serial killers send the city into an all out frenzy. Alex’s investigations are going nowhere, and he is too focused on the cases to notice that someone has been watching him and will stop at nothing until he is dead…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRobert B. Parker’s Lullaby / Ace Atkins.
“Picked by the Parker estate to continue the late author’s beloved Spenser series, Atkins (White Shadow; Wicked City) must have been well aware that fanatical fans would scrutinize every word to ensure that the new novel would be as good as the original. They won’t be disappointed in certain aspects as Atkins delivers the customary crisp, witty repartee between Spencer and the book’s other colorful characters. An abandoned teenager raising her younger sisters in South Boston’s seedy projects, Mattie Sullivan is convinced the Feds convicted an innocent man for killing her addict mother and coerces Spencer into investigating the cold case. Joined by Hawk, his uncompromising partner, Spenser relentlessly follows clues despite violent threats from Southie thugs. Verdict Atkins avoids the risk of doing anything different with Parker’s characters and maintains the rhythm and cadence of Parker’s pointed prose…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe killing. II / David Hewson ; based on the Bafta award-winning TV series writen by Soren Sveistrup.
“It is two years since the notorious Nanna Birk Larsen case. Two years since Detective Sarah Lund left Copenhagen in disgrace for a remote outpost in northern Denmark. When the body of a female lawyer is found in macabre circumstances in a military graveyard, there are elements of the crime scene that take Head of Homicide, Lennart Brix, back to an occupied wartime Denmark – a time its countrymen would wish to forget. Brix knows that Lund is the one person he can rely on to discover the truth. Reluctantly she returns to Copenhagen and becomes intrigued with the facts surrounding the case. As more bodies are found, Lund comes to see a pattern and she realises that the identity of the killer will be known once the truth behind a more recent wartime mission is finally revealed…” (Description from

Syndetics book coverGun machine / Warren Ellis.
“Detective John Tallow is a classic burnout, sleepwalking on the job until the day his supercop partner (and only friend) is killed by a shotgun-wielding lunatic. The incident was Tallow’s first on-the-job shooting, and he doesn’t disagree with the majority view that he shouldn’t have been the cop left standing. Then, when a shrine of ritualistically displayed firearms is found in the apartment building where his partner died, Tallow finds himself wanting answers. Analysis of the cache connects each weapon to a murder, and Tallow is assigned to work with two wildly eccentric geniuses on the crime-scene unit to try to end the killer’s decades-long killing spree. Gun Machine is built around a trio of intoxicating weirdos who twist the mold of the familiar detective-and-forensic-specialist combo. Strong interplay between historic Manahatta (think Native American) and technology’s future role in policing creates a big-picture backdrop for catch-the-crazy-killer thrills…” (Adapted from Syndetics sumamry)

Syndetics book coverThe Golden Calf / Helene Tursten ; translated by Laura A. Wideburg.
“The murder of Kjell B:son Ceder, the so-called restaurant king of Goteborg, kicks off Tursten’s complex and compelling fifth Det. Insp. Irene Huss investigation to be published in the U.S. (after 2012’s Night Rounds). Someone shot Ceder in the head twice at point-blank range. Suspicion initially focuses on his much younger wife, Sanna, who stands to inherit Ceder’s fortune, but subsequent events force Huss and her colleagues to reconsider. Two other men are found murdered in the exact same way shortly after the first killing, and all three deaths may have a connection with a three-year-old financial scandal. The press had dubbed one of the other victims, Philip Bergman, as “the Golden Calf” for his facility in attracting business investors. Once again, the doggedly effective Huss proves herself a capable and sympathetic lead in the service of yet another clever plot that effortlessly meshes police procedural and whodunit…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEaster bunny murder / Leslie Meier.
“At the start of Meier’s delightful 19th Lucy Stone mystery (after 2012’s Chocolate Covered Murder), the families gathered outside elderly Vivian Van Vorst’s mansion, Pine Point, in rural Tinker’s Cove, Maine, for VV’s annual Easter egg hunt are puzzled to find the gates closed. Then the Easter Bunny emerges from the house, runs clumsily toward the gates, and collapses on the ground. The Easter Bunny-VV’s grandson, Van Vorst Duff-dies on the way to the hospital. VV had always been generous with her wealth, but Lucy, part-time reporter for the local newspaper, learns that she has been reclusive recently and funds may have been tight. Did some envious family member off Duff because he was VV’s heir, or did he die of natural causes? If it’s murder, is money or revenge the motive? Cozy fans will enjoy Lucy’s hunt for the truth…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLucky stuff.
“In Fiffer’s charming if lightweight eighth Jane Wheel mystery (after 2011’s Backstage Stuff), antiques picker Jane decides it’s time for a new life, now that her son has gone to boarding school. After putting her Evanston, Ill., house on the market, Jane sends her treasured curios to her friend, Tim Lowry, for safe storage in her hometown, Kankakee, Ill., and heads there for a brief visit. She finds the town has been turned upside down by comedian Lucky Miller, there with a production crew to film a roast for his comeback. Jane’s mom and dad, who run the EZ Way Inn, are in the thick of all the hoopla. Then, Jane learns that Lucky is looking for much more than a comeback, and a death from peanuts casts a pall over the proceedings. Leave it to sleuth Jane to figure out what’s going on by the time of the climactic bowling tournament…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBabylon / Camilla Ceder ; translated by Marlaine Delargy.“Inspector Christian Tell and his team are called to the scene of a double murder. University lecturer Anne-Marie Karpov lies dead in her home, alongside her student and lover, Henrik. The crime appears straightforward: Henrik’s girlfriend Rebecca, a woman in therapy for her violent jealousy, had been spotted outside Karpov’s flat, and her fingerprints are found on the door. But shortly afterwards, when Rebecca’s flat is burgled in a seemingly unconnected attack, Tell begins to wonder whether she might be the victim in a larger game. It emerges that items on the Red List – artefacts raided from Iraqi museums – were found among Henrik’s possessions. As the truth behind Anne-Marie and Henrik’s past begins to emerge, the dead woman’s ex-husband, Danish gangsters and Turkish black marketeers all come into the frame. Tell must unravel a web of hidden motives that spans continents, all while trying to salvage his stormy relationship with Seja…” (Description from

Syndetics book coverLife and limb / Elsebeth Egholm.
“There is no beauty in death, thinks crime journalist Dicte Svendsen. And so it would appear as she arrives at her next murder scene. A young woman has been found in the carpark next to the sports stadium. Dressed in jeans and a pink T-shirt with I love U written on it, in she sits propped up against a car. The words rag doll come to mind as she seems to be held together by skin and hair alone; as if someone had removed the skeleton. Not only that, her eye sockets were empty.This was the work of a very particular killer…” (Sundetics sumamry)

New Mysteries for January

New mysteries for January include the 2nd entry in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series from Norwegian crime’s ‘Godmother’ Anne Holt; the new Charlie Fox thriller from Zoe Sharp; Andrea Camilleri’s latest Inspector Montalbano; and a new historical tem up from husband & wife team Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini.

Syndetics book coverBlessed are those who thirst / Anne Holt ; translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce.
“*Starred Review* This second U.S. release in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series, (following Blind Goddess, 2012) is a starkly realistic glimpse of Norwegian policing filtered through Hanne’s self-deprecating narration and Holt’s savvy use of environment as catalyst. In 1994, Hanne is a star police investigator slogging through the unbearable combination of heat and crime waves assaulting Oslo. Hanne’s share of the mountainous caseloads includes the brutal rape of a young medical student and the apparent mystery of blood-doused outbuildings throughout the city, which could indicate violence or just vandalism. Fighting powerlessness, the victim and her father strike back with their own parallel investigations that overtake Hanne’s when she becomes distracted by the constant demands of hiding her sexual orientation and stonewalling those who dare to care for her. Before Hanne can regroup, the vandalized sheds are linked to a series of missing female immigrants, and the two cases begin dueling for resolution. Holt pokes at brittle, surprisingly vulnerable Hanne with an unrelenting combination of humidity, impossible cases, and love until she evolves a bit, professionally and personally. ..” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDie easy : a Charlie Fox thriller / Zoë Sharp.
“In Sharp’s white-knuckle 10th Charlie Fox thriller (after 2012’s Fifth Victim), professional bodyguard Charlie takes on an assignment in post-Katrina New Orleans-the first job with her lover and partner, Sean Meyer, since he recovered from being shot in the head, though he’s forgotten much of their relationship. Tasked with protecting wealthy businessman Blake Dyer during the After Katrina Foundation fundraising event, Charlie is grateful for what appears to be a straightforward task. But when a face from her and Sean’s military past reappears and there’s a calculated attack on the party, Charlie realizes that there might be more at stake than just the financial well-being of several powerful men. Sharp convincingly mixes hand-to-hand combat with the ups and downs of Charlie’s attempts to rebuild her old life with Sean, even as that possibility grows dimmer by the day…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe age of doubt / Andrea Camilleri ; translated by Stephen Sartarelli.
“Near the start of Camilleri’s exquisite 14th mystery featuring Insp. Salvo Montalbano (after 2011’s The Potter’s Field), the self-deprecating, passionately foul-mouthed Sicilian policeman befriends a young woman, Vanna Digiulio, while both are stranded in a traffic jam during a storm that’s washed out the coast road. Vanna’s claim to have been on her way to Vigata to meet her aunt’s yacht, the Vanna, strikes the inspector as suspicious. When the yacht docks with the disfigured body of a man that the Vanna picked up from a dinghy adrift near the harbor mouth, Montalban informs the boat’s owner, an imperious signora, that she must remain in port while he investigates the man’s murder. His proposal that she stay with her niece elicits the reply, “What niece?” The awkward humanity and everyday sadness of Camilleri’s characters make them instantly sympathetic, while wry commentary on language, food, and local customs lend color…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Bughouse affair / Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini.
“Victorian-era San Francisco-based Pinkerton detectives Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon have their hands full with two parallel cases that soon converge. Her pickpocket case escalates into a murder investigation, as does his home burglary probe. On top of all that, a visitor claiming to be Sherlock Holmes just has to meddle and complicate Quincannon’s life. -VERDICT Of course you’ll order multiples; we’re talking Muller and Pronzini here! The locked-room dilemma is familiar territory for Pronzini, and this series launch is sure to delight his readers in particular. The easy and amusing read flows beautifully. Occasionally, the very symmetrical structure of male and female protagonists, victims, and criminals is a stretch, but the authors’ gift for dialog and good storytelling propels us through any historical posturing…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTaboo / Casey Hill.
“Forensic investigator Reilly Steel, Quantico-trained and California-born and bred, imagined Dublin to be a far cry from bustling San Francisco, a sleepy backwater where she can lay past ghosts to rest and start anew. She’s arrived in Ireland to drag the Irish crime lab into the 21st century, plus keep tabs on her Irish-born father who’s increasingly seeking solace in the bottle after a past family tragedy. But a brutal serial killer soon puts paid to that. When a young man and woman are found dead in an apartment, the gunshot wounds on their naked bodies suggest a suicide pact. But Reilly’s instincts are screaming that something’s seriously amiss, and as more bodies are discovered, the team soon realises that a twisted murderer is at work, one who seeks to upset society’s norms in the most sickening way imaginable…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverExtra credit / Maggie Barbieri.
“Barbieri’s diverting seventh mystery featuring English professor Alison Bergeron (after 2011’s Physical Education) finds Alison juggling her teaching duties at St. Thomas University in the Bronx with far more dangerous pursuits. Second marriages for both Alison and her new husband, NYPD homicide cop Bobby Crawford, create a spate of complex and delicate family relationships. Alison’s 19-year-old twin stepdaughters bring resentment and some wild romantic entanglements, while Bobby is a little too friendly with ex-wife Christine. But when Christine’s brother, Chick, is found dead in his sleazy apartment with $250,000 tucked into his mattress, events spin out of control. Alison, sarcastic and brash, wins no friends in pursuing the source of the money, as well as losing the trust of her best friend and the seriously annoying Bobby. Quirky characters complement a plot that offers a number of entertaining if sometimes illogical surprises. An irresistible hook at the conclusion will draw readers to the next installment…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFinal sail : a dead-end job mystery / Elaine Viets.
“While PI Helen Hawthorne works the cruise ship circuit, her husband Phil Sagemont contends with problems on land. Both are masters at working undercover in number 11 of this fun series (Pumped for Murder)…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurder in the Irish Channel / by Greg Herren.
“It begins as a simple missing persons case–a young MMA fighter’s mother has mysteriously disappeared. But as New Orleans private eye Chanse MacLeod starts digging around, he discovers that she is the leader of a group fighting the powerful Archdiocese of New Orleans over the closing of two churches. As the trail leads from corrupt church officials to powerful real estate developers to the world of cage fighting, Chanse soon realizes there are a lot of powerful people who want to make sure she stays gone–and don’t have a problem with getting rid of a pesky gay private eye…” (Syndetics summary)

New Mystery novels for December

This selection from the new mystery fiction received this month includes the new Colin Bateman, Susan Hill, and Ian Rankin novels – some great holiday reading for mystery fiction enthusiasts.

Syndetics book coverThe prisoner of Brenda / Bateman.
“When notorious gangster ‘Fat Sam’ Mahood is murdered, the chief suspect is arrested nearby. But he seems to have suffered a breakdown. Incarcerated in a mental institution, he’s known only as the Man in the White Suit. The suspect remains an enigma until Nurse Brenda calls on Mystery Man.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover A small hill to die on : a Penny Brannigan mystery / Elizabeth J. Duncan.
“When the pregnant teenage daughter of a wealthy newcomer to Llanelen is found dead in the nearby woods, spa owner Penny Brannigan investigates the family’s suspicious financial dealings while her paramour, Detective Inspector Davies, tracks down the killer.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA death in the small hours / Charles Finch.
“Visiting his uncle’s estate in Somerset for what he hopes will be a quiet working vacation, politician and new father Charles Lenox investigates a series of seemingly small acts of vandalism only to uncover a sinister plot by an adversary who may be targeting someone Lenox loves.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEleven little piggies / Elizabeth Gunn. “Chief of Detectives Jake Hines’ new-parent nightmares about an impending ecological disaster on a Minnesota farm have a deadly real twist. Forced to choose between the land they love and the easy money they’d get if they sold it to sand miners for oil drilling, a hard-working Minnesota farm family resorts to loud family fights. But when the body of the best farmer of the group is found in the trees behind the field where Chief of Detectives Jake Hines is hunting geese on his day off, the discussion becomes deadly serious.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverA question of identity : a Simon Serrailler crime novel / Susan Hill.
“The seventh Simon Serrailler crime novel. Duchess of Cornwall Close: sheltered accommodation, a mix of bungalows and flats, newly built and not quite finished. Despite the bitterly cold weather, elderly residents are moving in. They don’t notice the figure in the shadows, someone who doesn’t mind the cold. Then, one snowy night, an old lady is murdered, dragged from her bed and strangled with a length of flex. DCS Simon Serrailler and his team are aware of bizarre circumstances surrounding her death, but they keep some of these details secret, while they desperately search for a match. All they know is that the killer will strike again, and will once more leave the same tell-tale signature.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverUndercover : a Harpur & Iles mystery / Bill James. “After a gang shooting involving an undercover police officer, Colin Harpur and his boss Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles are called to another Force’s ground to investigate what the Home Office see as spectacular failings. Harpur can imagine the pressure the officer would have been under. If a gang decided to kill, a spy would have to go along with it. But with careers of fellow officers who might be in secret, dangerous alliance with villains at risk, Harpur knows that he and Iles have an exceptionally tough inquiry ahead.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverStanding in another man’s grave / Ian Rankin. “It’s twenty-five years since John Rebus appeared on the scene, and five years since he retired. But 2012 sees his return. Not only is Rebus as stubborn and anarchic as ever, but he finds himself in trouble with Rankin’s latest creation, Malcolm Fox of Edinburgh’s internal affairs unit. Added to which, Rebus may be about to derail the career of his ex-colleague Siobhan Clarke, while himself being permanently derailed by mob boss and old adversary Big Ger Cafferty. But all Rebus wants to do is discover the truth about a series of seemingly unconnected disappearances stretching back to the millennium. The problem being, no one else wants to go there and that includes Rebus’s fellow officers. Not that any of that is going to stop Rebus. Not even when his own life and the careers of those around him are on the line.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverThe heresy of Dr Dee : being edited from the most private documents of Dr John Dee, astrologer and consultant to Queen Elizabeth / Phil Rickman. “At the end of the sunless summer of 1560, black rumour shrouds the death of the one woman who stands between Lord Robert Dudley and marriage to the young Queen Elizabeth. Did Dudley’s wife, Amy, die from an accidental fall in a deserted house, or was it a calculated murder? Even Dr John Dee, astrologer royal, adviser on the Hidden and one of Dudley’s oldest friends, is uncertain. Then a rash promise to the Queen sends him to his family’s old home on the Welsh Border in pursuit of the Wigmore Shewstone, a crystal credited supernatural properties. With Dee goes Robert Dudley, considered the most hated man in England. They travel with the entourage of a London judge sent to try a sinister Welsh brigand with a legacy dating back to the Battle of Brynglas, in which close to a thousand Englishmen died at the hands of the Welsh. After the battle, many of the bodies were, according to legend, obscenely mutilated. Now, on the same haunted hill, another dead man has been found, similarly slashed.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverMistletoe, merriment, and murder / Sara Rosett. “Super organizer Ellie Avery could really use some Christmas cheer when Gabrielle Matheson, a grinchy professional rival, sets up shop in the same small Georgia town. But before the halls are even halfway decked with holly, someone uses Ellie’s terrifically tasteless white elephant swap gift as a murder weapon. Ellie’s now a suspect. Besides playing Mrs. Santa for her Air Force pilot husband and their two kids, shielding her eyes from the garishly over-decorated house down the street, and helping a client who’s a hardcore hoarder, Ellie also has to solve this ho-ho-homicide and find a killer who wishes her a very deadly Christmas.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverBeneath the abbey wall : a novel / A.D. Scott.
“On a dark, damp Sunday evening, a man taking a shortcut home sees a hand reaching out in supplication from a bundle of sacks. In an instant he knows something terrifying has happened. In the Highlands in the late 1950s, much of the local newspaper’s success was due to Mrs. Smart, the no-nonsense office manager who kept everything and everyone in line. Her murder leaves her colleagues in shock and the Highland Gazette office in chaos. Joanne Ross, a budding reporter and shamefully separated mother, assumes Mrs. Smart’s duties, but an intriguing stranger provides a distraction not only from the job and the investigation but from everything Joanne believes in.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for November

New mysteries for November include ‘The Bat’, the latest translation of Jo Nesbo’s work, which was the first of his novels to feature Harry Hole; a newly acclaimed debut, ‘Sacrifice’, from Tim O’Mara; another entry in John Loomis’ witty & well regarded ‘Frank Coffin’ series; Pulitzer-prize winner, Julia Keller’s first crime novel; first Inspector Sejer novel, which launched Karin Fossum’s career as the Norwegian Queen of Crime; and the latest release from David Baldacci…

Syndetics book coverThe forgotten / David Baldacci.
“Army Special Agent John Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida. A picture-perfect town on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Paradise thrives on the wealthy tourists and retirees drawn to its gorgeous weather and beaches. The local police have ruled his aunt’s death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller’s father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be. What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt’s death was no accident and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed…” (Syndetics Sunmamry)

Syndetics book coverThe Bat / Jo Nesbø ; translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett.
”As Harry tracks down the murderer of a Norwegian TV star reduced to living in desperate circumstances, he is fully formed as the difficult, vulnerable personality we have come to know. The evocation of Australia itself has the customary Nesbo expertise (Barry Forshaw Independent )…The Bat appeared in Norway in 1997, and it’s a fascinating book, filling in the gaps in Hole’s biography and telling the story of the murder case in Australia that cemented his reputation as a brilliant investigator.It is a stunning opening to the series (Joan Smith Sunday Times )…Scandinavian noir goes Down Under. what’s fascinating is seeing Hole already equipped with all the obsessional attributes that would merge so brilliantly in subsequent novels (Marcel Berlins The Times )… Even with this first book Nesbo’s command of the idiom is completely in place – there is no sense that the writer was finding his feet and aficionados will be very pleased to slide this onto their bookshelves alongside the other Harry Hole novels (Barry Forshaw Daily Express )…” (Review from

Syndetics book coverSacrifice fly / Tim O’Mara.
“Raymond Donne wasn’t always a schoolteacher. Not only did he patrol the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as one of New York’s Finest, but being the nephew of the chief of detectives, he was expected to go on to bigger things. At least he was until the accident that all but destroyed his knees. Unable to do the job the way he wanted, he became a teacher in the same neighborhood, and did everything he could to put the force behind him and come to terms with the change. Then Frankie Rivas, a student in Ray’s class and a baseball phenom, stops showing up to school. With Frankie in danger of failing and missing out on a scholarship, Ray goes looking for him only to find Frankie’s father bludgeoned to death in their apartment. Frankie and his younger sister are gone, possibly on the run. But did Frankie really kill his father? Ray can’t believe it. But then who did, and where are Frankie and his sister?”…(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSome kind of peace / Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff ; translated from the Swedish by Paul Norlén.
“Dr. Siri Bergman runs a private psychotherapy practice in central Stockholm with her best friend Aina. Since her husband’s death in a diving accident, Siri has lived alone in an isolated cottage outside the city. Terrified of the dark, she drinks wine to steady her nerves and leaves the lights on when she goes to bed, unable to shake the feeling that someone is watching through her windows. When the lifeless body of Sara Matteus, a young patient with borderline personality disorder and a tragic history, is found floating in the water near Siri’s cottage, she knows that someone has been watching her – and he’s coming for Siri next. But she is not alone. With a young policeman named Markus, she begins her own investigation. As Siri’s past and present start to merge and disintegrate, virtually everyone in her inner circle becomes a potential suspect…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMiss me when I’m gone / Emily Arsenault.
“Author Gretchen Waters made a name for herself with her bestseller Tammyland—a memoir about her divorce and her admiration for country music icons Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton that was praised as a “honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love.” But her writing career is cut abruptly short when she dies from a fall down a set of stone library steps. It is a tragic accident and no one suspects foul play, certainly not Gretchen’s best friend from college, Jamie, who’s been named the late author’s literary executor. But there’s an unfinished manuscript Gretchen left behind that is much darker than Tammyland: a book ostensibly about male country musicians yet centered on a murder in Gretchen’s family that haunted her childhood. In its pages, Gretchen seems to be speaking to Jamie from beyond the grave—suggesting her death was no accident…and that Jamie must piece together the story someone would kill to keep untold… (Review from

Syndetics book coverFire season / Jon Loomis.
“Beleaguered Police Detective Frank Coffin is on the trail of a firebug in Fire Season, the third in this sharply witty mystery series set in Provincetown, Massachusetts Until a replacement can be found, Frank Coffin is pulling double duty as a detective and interim police chief for the Provincetown, Mass. Police. The off-season has just started for this tourist town and the streets should be quiet. But they’re not. When three fires are sparked in quick succession, it looks like there’s a firebug on the loose. A firebug who doesn’t care who he hurts. With a deputy terrified of UFOs, a severed head in a lobster tank, and the fact that Frank’s mother is setting some fires of her own, it’s another busy season in P’town in Fire Season, an excellent addition to Jon Loomis’ acclaimed series…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA killing in the hills / Julia Keller.
“Pulitzer-prize winner, Julia Keller’s first crime novel – the first in a new series featuring prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins – set in the beautiful crime-ridden town of Acker’s Gap. Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, visitors see only its stunning natural beauty. But for those living there it’s a different story. The mountain roads harbour secret places, perfect for making the prescription drugs that tempt its desperately poor. Bell Elkins left a broken teenager, savaged by a past she couldn’t forget. But, as prosecuting attorney for Raythune County, Bell is back and determined to help clean up the only home she has ever known. As winter sets in and her daughter is witness to a shocking triple murder, Bell finds her family in danger. Can she uncover the truth before her world is destroyed again?”…(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChampagne : the farewell / Janet Hubbard.
“Max Maguire, a twenty-nine-year-old female detective with the New York Police Department, flies to France to attend the wedding of her friend, Chloe Marceau, at a grand estate east of Paris in the Champagne region. There Max meets an older man, the urbane Olivier Chaumont, and experiences a fairy-tale evening. But when Chloe’s widowed aunt, the beautiful and successful Lea de Saint-Pern, is found murdered, Max and Olivier are snapped back into their professional roles. To Max’s chagrin, she is banned from an official investigative role, while Olivier, a magistrate, is put in charge of the investigation. She insinuates herself into the victim’s family until their long-held secrets begin to surface like bubbles in a glass of champagne. After another family member is found dead on the day of Lea’s funeral however, Max puts her career and her tentative relationship with Olivier in jeopardy as her determination to find the murderer–and prove herself in the process–takes over…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the darkness / by Karin Fossum ; translated by James Anderson.
”The first ever Inspector Sejer novel, which launched Karin Fossum’s career as the Norwegian Queen of Crime.Eva is walking by the river one afternoon when a body floats to the surface of the icy water. She tells her daughter to wait patiently while she calls the police, but when she reaches the phone box Eva dials another number altogether. The dead man, Egil, has been missing for months, and it doesn’t take long for Inspector Sejer and his team to establish that he was the victim of a very violent killer. But the trail has gone cold. It’s as puzzling as another unsolved case on Sejer’s desk: the murder of a prostitute who was found dead just before Egil went missing. While Sejer is trying to piece together the fragments of a seemingly impossible case, Eva gets a phone call late one night. A stranger speaks and then swiftly hangs up. Eva looks out into the darkness and listens. All is quiet. Gripping and thought-provoking, In the Darkness is Karin Fossum’s first novel featuring the iconic Inspector Sejer. The prize-winning series has been published around the world to great acclaim…” (From

Syndetics book coverMimosas, mischief, and murder / Sara Rosett.
’’Rosett’s winning sixth Ellie Avery mystery (after 2010’s Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder) takes amateur sleuth Ellie, husband Mitch, and their two kids to Smarr, Ala., Mitch’s hometown, where they’re first slammed with the news of the sudden death of Mitch’s elderly grandfather, Grandpa Franklin. When someone breaks into the late gentleman’s home, the police are reluctant to confirm a burglary. Even after Grandpa and casket go missing, the authorities insist there’s nothing further to investigate. Complications arise after the stranger who attended Grandpa’s funeral turns out to be the corpse Ellie finds in Grandpa’s guest room. The strange behavior of Uncle Bud and Felicity, the wife of Mitch’s favorite cousin, has Ellie considering adding relatives to her list of suspicious characters. A rumor of hidden money, secret letters from a famous recluse, a fire, a threatening message, and a crazed gunman add to the cozy mischief…” (Review from

A blind godess, blood, bones and a wolf

Enjoy the latest mysteries that have landed on our shelves this month:

Syndetics book coverThe blind goddess / Anne Holt ; translated [from the Norwegian] by Tom Geddes.“A small-time drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. A young Dutchman, walking aimlessly in central Oslo covered in blood, is taken into custody but refuses to talk. When he is informed that the woman who discovered the body, Karen Borg, is a lawyer, he demands her as his defender, although her specialty is civil, not criminal, law. A couple of days later, Hansa Larsen, a lawyer of the shadiest kind, is found shot to death. Soon police officers Håkon Sand and Hanne Wilhelmsen establish a link between the two killings… Their maverick colleague in the drugs squad, Billy T., reports that a recent rumor in the drug underworld involves drug-dealing lawyers. Now the reason why the young Dutchman insisted on having Karen Borg as a defender slowly dawns on them: since she was the one to find and report the body, she is the only Oslo lawyer that cannot be implicated in the crime. As the officers investigate, they uncover a massive network of corruption leading to the highest levels of government…” (Description from

Syndetics book coverBlack skies / Arnaldur Indriadason ; translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb.
“A man is making a crude leather mask with slits for eyes and mouth, and an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a ‘death mask’, once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves. He has revenge in mind. Meanwhile, with Detective Erlendur absent, his colleague Sigurdur Oli is in the spotlight. A school reunion has left Sigurdur Oli dissatisfied with life in the police force. Iceland is enjoying an economic boom and young tycoons are busy partying with the international jet set. In contrast, Sigurdur Oli’s relationship is on the rocks and soon even his position in the CID is compromised: when he agrees to visit a couple of blackmailers as a favour to a friend he walks in just as a woman is beaten unconscious. When she dies, Sigurdur Oli has a murder investigation on his hands. The evidence leads to debt collectors, extortionists, wild parties. But when a chance link connects these enquiries to the activities of a group of young bankers, Sigurdur Oli finds himself investigating the very elite he had envied…(From Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverBones are forever / by Kathy Reichs.
“In Reichs’ latest Temperance Brennan novel, the forensic anthropologist discovers the bodies of several babies in a seedy Montreal apartment. The babies appear to have been born to the same woman, an Edmonton prostitute who’s on an RCMP list of missing women (a list compiled as part of an investigation into a man who killed prostitutes). Brennan and Quebec cop Andrew Ryan fly out to Edmonton to try to track down the mother, and Brennan reunites with a local cop with whom she had a previous personal relationship. Although the writing equals Reichs’ customary quality, the novel’s pace is unusually slow; Brennan is normally juggling a couple of primary cases, with others intruding on her time, but here she’s mostly focused on a single investigation, and the story tends to drag on, rather than zipping from scene to scene. It’s not a bad book by any means and definitely should be recommended to fans of the series…(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHour of the wolf : an Inspector Van Veeteren mystery / Håkan Nesser ; translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson.“‘Hakan Nesser, the godfather of Swedish crime … His Van Veeteren novels have a puckishness and sprightliness that too often elude his younger, gloomier pretenders … Nesser has thus far only been a minor player in the British Nordic crime scene: Hour of the Wolf should be the book to change that’ Metro. ‘The Swedish novelist Hakan Nesser is in another league, exhibiting a skill and consistency rare in crime ¬fiction. Hour of the Wolf, translated by Laurie Thompson is one of his finest novels, starting with a road accident and unravelling its terrible consequences. The victim is a 16-year-old boy, struck by a car while walking home late at night, and the accident sets in motion a series of murders. One of the victims is related to Nesser’s detective, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, who has retired to become an antiquarian bookseller. The ex-policeman’s old team rallies to obtain justice for their much-loved former boss in a novel that combines a clever plot with authentic emotion’ Sunday Times…” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverWatching the dark / Peter Robinson.
“When Detective Inspector Bill Reid is found murdered in the tranquil grounds of the St Peter’s Police Treatment Centre, and compromising photographs are discovered in his room, DCI Banks is called in to investigate. Because of the possibility of police corruption, he is assigned an officer from Professional Standards, Inspector Joanna Passero, to work closely with him, and he soon finds himself and his methods under scrutiny. It emerges that Reid’s murder may be linked to the disappearance of an English girl called Rachel Hewitt, in Tallinn, Estonia, six years earlier. The deeper Banks looks into the old case, the more he begins to feel that he has to solve the mystery of Rachel’s disappearance before he can solve Reid’s murder, though Inspector Passero has a different agenda…Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabbot, just back at work after a serious injury, is following up leads in Eastvale. Her investigations take her to the heart of a migrant labor scam involving a corrupt staffing agency and a loan shark who preys on the poorest members of society. As the action shifts back and forth between Tallinn and Eastvale, it soon becomes clear that crimes are linked in more ways than Banks imagined, and that solving them may put even more lives in jeopardy…” (From Syndetics sumamry)

Syndetics book coverThe beautiful mystery / Louise Penny.
“*Starred Review* An entire mystery novel centering on Gregorian chants (whose curiously hypnotic allure is called the beautiful mystery )? Yes, indeed, and in the hands of the masterful Penny, the topic proves every bit as able to transfix readers as the chants do their listeners. It begins when the choir director of a monastery in a remote corner of Quebec is murdered, his skull bashed in with a rock. Outsiders are not allowed inside the monastery’s walls, where 24 cloistered monks pray, make chocolate, and sing though a few years earlier, a homemade recording of their chants was released and created a sensation, helped along by the inaccessibility of the artists. Now, with the murder, the doors of the monastery are opened to Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, charged with finding a killer among a group of largely silent monks, who, it quickly becomes apparent, are engaged in a civil war over their music, The deepest passions could appear dispassionate, the face a smooth plain while something mammoth roiled away underneath…there is always something mammoth roiling away beneath the surface of Penny’s novels but this time the roiling is set against the serenity of the chanting, producing a melody of uncommon complexity and beauty…’ (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHot blooded / Lisa Jackson.
“New Orleans is beginning to be afraid . . . A prostitute lies strangled in a seedy French Quarter hotel room. Miles away, in a rambling plantation house on the sultry shores of Lake Ponchartrain, popular late-night radio host Dr. Samantha Leeds receives a threatening phone call. All in a day’s work for a celebrity. Who would think to link the two? A second hooker’s corpse turns up. Samantha’s ominous caller persists, along with a mysterious female claiming to be a woman from her past – a woman who’s been dead for years. With Detective Rick Bentz convinced that the serial killer prowling the shadowy streets of New Orleans is somebody close to Samantha, she doesn’t dare trust anyone. Especially not Ty Wheeler, her seductive new neighbour who seems to know more about her than a stranger should. Somebody has discovered Samantha’s darkest secret. Somebody is convinced that lives must be sacrificed to pay for her sins. So far, the victims have been strangers. But as a cunning, cold-blooded killer grows bolder, Samantha wonders in dread if she will be the next to die . . .” (Description from

Syndetics book coverThe Abbey / Chris Culver.
“Ash Rashid is a former homicide detective who can’t stand the thought of handling another death investigation. In a year’s time, he’ll be out of the department completely. That’s the plan, at least, until his niece’s body is found in the property of one of the city’s wealthiest citizens. The coroner calls it an overdose, but the case doesn’t add up. Against orders, Ash launches an investigation to find his niece’s murder. But the longer he searches, the darker the case gets – and if he doesn’t solve it fast, his niece won’t be the only family member he has to bury…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFirst Frost : a DS Jack Frost investigation / James Henry.
“Denton, 1981. Britain is in recession, the IRA is becoming increasingly active and the country’s on alert for an outbreak of rabies. Detective Sergeant Jack Frost is working under his mentor and inspiration DI Bert Williams, and coping badly with his increasingly strained marriage. Probably not helped by the fact that he never goes home…” (Syndetics summary)

Chilling new mysteries

This month the new mystery picks focus more on the grittier, darker and bloodier side of the genre. Grisly murders are solved in locales as diverse as Glasgow, Chicago, Sweden and Florida.

Syndetics book coverRush of blood / Mark Billingham.
“Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, their perfect holiday takes a tragic twist: the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves. When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don’t always like what they find: buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some dark secrets, hidden kinks, ugly vices…Then, a second girl goes missing. Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody can imagine? A brilliantly plotted, utterly gripping thriller about the danger of making friends on holiday, Rush of Blood is Mark Billingham’s most ambitious and accomplished work to date…” (Description from

Syndetics book coverVengeance / Benjamin Black.
“Why would suicide need a witness? On the east coast of Ireland, Victor Delahaye, one of the country’s most prominent citizens, takes his business partner’s son out sailing. But once at sea, Davy Clancy is horrified to witness Delahaye take out a gun and shoot himself dead. This strange event captures the attention of Detective Inspector Hackett and his friend Pathologist Doctor Quirke. The Delahayes and Clancys have been rivals for generations and the suicide lays bare the perplexing characters at the heart of the mystery, from Mona, Delahaye’s toxic young widow, to Jonas and James, his strange, enigmatic twin sons; and Jack Clancy, his down-trodden, womanizing partner. And when a second death occurs, one even more shocking than the first, Quirke begins to realise that terrible secrets lie buried within these entangled families; and that in this world of jealousy, ruthless ambition and pride – nothing is quite as it seems…” (Description from

Syndetics book coverThe last victim : a novel / Karen Robards.
“Charlie Stone, thirtysomething, single, and attractive, is the only known survivor of the infamous Boardwalk Killer. Fifteen years later, as a psychiatrist researching serial killers on death row, she encounters murderers in the safety of a cinder-block room with plenty of chains and a guard. That is, until the Boardwalk Killer returns, and she is called upon by the FBI to assist in the investigation. But there’s more! The ever-popular and tireless Robards grants Charlie psychic abilities: she can see and talk to the ghosts of the recently, violently departed. Inconveniently for Charlie, she is also doggedly, comically haunted by the ghost of the devilishly handsome Garland, one of her research subjects. Robards successfully infuses the thrilling murder investigation with the unlikely, even otherworldly, but definitely steamy romance between specter and woman…( Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSummertime death / Mons Kallentoft ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“As the temperature in Sweden reaches a record-breaking 45 degrees, forest fires break out. However, when a teenage girl is discovered naked and bleeding in the local park, it is clear that the raging heat is not the only plague affecting the town. Then a second girl is found dead. Alarmed by the fact that the victims are the same age as her daughter, detective Malin Fors must work round the clock to capture the perpetrator. But as every lead comes to nothing, it is as if the opressive heat is clogging up the wheels of her investigation…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe nightmare / Lars Kepler ; translated from the Swedish by Laura A. Wideburg.
“Lars Kepler returns with a piercing, bestselling sequel to The Hypnotist. After spellbinding audiences in The Hypnotist, Detective Inspector Joona Linna is back in The Nightmare, an internationally bestselling Swedish thriller published to critical acclaim in dozens of countries. As the Swedish newspaper Arbetarbladet put it, “The reader is ready to sell his own soul for the opportunity to read this book without interruption, in one sitting.” On a summer night, police recover the body of a young woman from an abandoned pleasure boat drifting around the Stockholm archipelago. Her lungs are filled with brackish water, and the forensics team is sure that she drowned. Why, then, is the pleasure boat still afloat, and why are there no traces of water on her clothes or body? The next day, a man turns up dead in his state apartment in Stockholm, hanging from a lamp hook. All signs point to suicide, but the room has a high ceiling, and there’s not a single piece of furniture around—nothing to climb on. Joona Linna begins to piece together the two mysteries, but the logistics are a mere prelude to a dizzying and dangerous course of events. At its core, the most frightening aspect of The Nightmare isn’t its gruesome crimes—it’s the dark psychology of its characters, who show us how blind we are to our own motives…(Description from

Syndetics book coverJudgment call / J. A. Jance.
“When high-school principal Debra Highsmith disappears, and her body is later found by Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady’s daughter, Jenny, Joanna investigates. Matters are muddied when Jenny sends a friend a crime scene photo that quickly becomes widely disseminated on the Internet, even before the victim’s family has been notified. Joanna soon learns that Highsmith had been using the identity of a long-deceased child. Is her murder connected to her past or to a more recent student suspension that angered the student and his father? With little to go on, Joanna and her team conduct their investigation and are finally able to learn more about Highsmith from her best friend and her grandmother. After a further murder, the chase is on in earnest, and Joanna finds she must deal with a killer who doesn’t seem to care whether he lives or dies…” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGods and beasts / Denise Mina.
“A Glasgow post office one week before Christmas. Martin Pavel cowers on the floor, his eyes locked on those of a terrified child. Above them a masked gunman wields an AK47 while the boy’s grandfather calmly volunteers to help the robber gather the money. Then the old man stands passively, hands by his sides, while the gunman raises the barrel and shoots him to shreds. Recently returned to work after the birth of her twins, DS Alex Morrow is called in to head the investigation. Why did the grandfather offer his help? Was it a moment of madness, a noble act of self-sacrifice, or did the old man and his killer share a dark past? Morrow’s enquiries lead her to the door of Kenny Gallagher, a politician fighting for his political life – and his marriage – after he’s publicly accused of having an affair with a young employee. And unknown to Morrow a temptation too great to resist leads two of her colleagues, DCs Leonard and Wilder, to make a rash decision and leaves them at the mercy of a ruthless blackmailer. The complicity of an old man in his own death, a promiscuous politician and a bag of untraceable money – one city, three crimes and a powerful connection that runs from Glasgow’s dark criminal underworld to the international spheres of the super rich…(Description from

Syndetics book coverComplication / Isaac Adamson.
“A mysterious missive propels Lee Holloway on a bizarre journey from Chicago to Prague in Adamson’s atmospheric and satisfyingly twisted tale. Following his father’s death, Lee finds a letter from a woman named Vera who doubts the circumstances of Lee’s younger brother Paul’s death five years earlier. She promises in writing to reveal the mystery at a Prague cafe. On impulse, Lee flies to Prague and meets the shady Vera at a dark place called the Black Rabbit. Vera believes that Paul was murdered for helping steal a magical centuries-old watch known as the Rudolf Complication. Made by an alchemist, the watch ran both forwards and backwards and supposedly granted its wearer eternal life. Not long after, Lee is approached by a crusty ex-detective, Zdenek Soros, a man convinced that Paul’s murder is connected to a notorious serial killer known as the Right Hand of God. Woven into Lee’s attempts to discover the truth about his brother’s death-and life-are interconnected stories that form the history of the Rudolf Complication itself, as much a character as any person in the book. The plot could easily have collapsed under the weight of its own complexity, but Adamson (Tokyo Suckerpunch) pulls it off with style and a whopper of a twist…” (Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for July

Love a good mystery? Here’s a selection of the newest to land on our shelves …

Syndetics book coverVery bad men / Harry Dolan.
“Anthony Lark has a list of names—Terry Dawtrey, Sutton Bell, Henry Kormoran. To his eyes, the names glow red on the page. They move. They breathe. The men on the list were once involved in a notorious robbery. And now Lark is hunting them, and he won’t stop until every one of them is dead. David Loogan—editor of the mystery magazine Gray Streets—is living a quiet life in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her daughter. But soon David and Elizabeth are drawn into Lark’s violent world. As Elizabeth works to track Lark down, David befriends Lucy Navarro, a reporter with a crazy theory about the case that threatens to implicate some very powerful people. And when Lucy disappears, David decides her theory may not be so crazy after all…” – (adapted from summary)

Syndetics book coverFlowering Judas : a Gregor Demarkian novel / Jane Haddam.
“Twelve years ago, Chester Morton disappeared from his hometown in Mattuck, New York, leaving no trace and never to be heard from again. For the past twelve years, his mother has kept the search for her son alive—paying for a billboard overlooking the local community college, putting up new flyers every week, hounding every law enforcement agency she can get to listen. Her determination has made his disappearance very high profile but it’s also been damaging to her family, her children and to herself. Now, Chester’s body is finally found—hanging from the very billboard that has been advertising his disappearance. Chester’s corpse, however, is recent—meaning that Chester had been alive, somewhere, until very recently. Under pressure and with limited resources, the local police turn to Gregor Demarkian—a former FBI agent and a frequent consultant on such cases—to try and unravel the truth buried within this very complex and tragic case and find out once and for all what really happened all those years ago…” – (adapted from summary)

Syndetics book coverWinter of the lions / Jan Costin Wagner ; translated from the German by Anthea Bell.
“Every year since the tragic death of his wife, Detective Kimmo Joentaa has prepared for the isolation of Christmas with a glass of milk and a bottle of vodka to arm himself against the harsh Finnish winter. However, this year events take an unexpected turn when a young woman turns up on his doorstep. Not long afterwards two men are found murdered, one of whom is Joentaa’s colleague, a forensic pathologist. When it becomes clear that both victims had recently been guests on Finland’s most famous talk show, Kimmo is called upon to use all his powers of intuition and instinct to solve the case. Meanwhile the killer is lying in wait, ready to strike again. In Kimmo Joentaa, prizewinning author Jan Costin Wagner has created a lonely hero in the Philip Marlowe mould, who uses his unusual gifts for psychological insight to delve deep inside the minds of the criminals he pursues.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFallen angels / Connie Dial.
“Two ex-cops are currently turning out mysteries centering on the LAPD’s Hollywood Division: Joe Wambaugh, who left the job fairly early after establishing the genre of gutsy, raucous police procedurals, and Connie Dial, who retired as commanding officer of the Hollywood Division after 27 years, including patrol, undercover, and narcotics work. Wambaugh gives readers a totally wild ride, often veering off into tangentially related war stories and cop humor, careening back into plot limits just in time. Dial’s ride (this is her third novel) is much more controlled when it comes to obeying conventional limits with plot and characters. Captain Josie Corsino, beset at home with an absentee husband and a troubled adolescent son, almost finds working in the byzantine politics of the L.A. police a relief. The plot focuses on how Corsino oversees the investigation into the murder of a 17-year-old Hollywood starlet at a notorious “party house” in the Hollywood Hills. The investigation quickly uncovers a netherworld of connections that can destroy careers. As with Wambaugh, the great thing about Dial is that readers know her take on the LAPD and the craziness of Hollywood crime is based on long reflection…” – (adapted from Booklist summary)

Syndetics book coverBonefire of the vanities / Carolyn Haines.
“Despite the wishes of her overprotective fiancé, Sarah Booth Delaney can’t give up her detective work, no matter how dangerous it becomes. It’s too much a part of her. On this case, avoiding danger might be impossible—she’s on the trail of a porn-star-turned-psychic operating from a haunted estate on the edge of town. Medium Sherry Cameron promises to reunite grieving family members with their dearly departed, but it seems vaguely suspicious that Sherry will only accept emotionally vulnerable and tremendously wealthy clients. Aging billionaire Marjorie Littlefield fits the profile perfectly—her daughter died in a tragic accident as a young girl, she’s been estranged from her son for decades, and she’s planning to leave her considerable inheritance to her cat. Convinced she’s uncovered a scheme to separate a lonely woman from her fortune, Sarah Booth talks her way onto the estate as a maid, where she finds Marjorie and several other wealthy eccentrics ready to commune with the dead. Between chores, Sarah Booth explores the estate, mingles with the other staff…and finds a few dead bodies. But which guest or staff member might be the killer? Even Jitty, Sarah Booth’s personal haint, won’t tell until Sarah Booth has uncovered all of Sherry’s well-kept secrets…” – (adapted from summary)

Syndetics book coverWicked business : a Lizzy and Diesel novel / Janet Evanovich.
“Lizzy Tucker’s once normal life as a pastry chef in Salem, Massachusetts, turns upside down as she battles both sinister forces and an inconvenient attraction to her unnaturally talented but off-limits partner, Diesel. When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences. On their way they’ll leave behind a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and general mayhem. Diesel’s black sheep cousin, Gerwulf Grimoire, also wants the Stone. His motives are far from pure, and what he plans on doing with the treasure, no one knows . . . but Lizzy Tucker fears she’s in his crosshairs… Treasures will be sought, and the power of lust will be unmistakable as Lizzy and Diesel attempt to stay ahead of Anarchy, Grimoire, and his medieval minion, Hatchet, in this ancient game of twisted riddles and high-stakes hide-and-seek…” – (adapted from from summary)

Syndetics book coverA deeper darkness / J.T. Ellison.
“As a medical examiner, Samantha Owens knows her job is to make a certain sense of death with crisp methodology and precision instruments. But the day the Tennessee floods took her husband and children, the light vanished from Sam’s life. She has been pulled into a suffocating grief no amount of workaholic ardor can penetrate—until she receives a peculiar call from Washington, D.C. On the other end of the line is an old boyfriend’s mother, asking Sam to do a second autopsy on her son. Eddie Donovan is officially the victim of a vicious carjacking, but under Sam’s sharp eye the forensics tell a darker story. The ex-Ranger was murdered, though not for his car. Forced to confront the burning memories and feelings about yet another loved one killed brutally, Sam loses herself in the mystery contained within Donovan’s old notes. It leads her to the untouchable Xander, a soldier off-grid since his return from Afghanistan, and then to a series of brutal crimes stretching from that harsh mountainous war zone to this nation’s capital. The tale told between the lines makes it clear that nobody’s hands are clean, and that making sense of murder sometimes means putting yourself in the crosshairs of death…” – (adapted from summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cold room / Robert Knightly.
“NYPD detective Harry Corbin hasn’t been allowed to work on a homicide case for almost a year following his unearthing of corruption amongst his colleagues and superiors. So when a young woman’s body is found dumped and mutilated on a sweltering New York morning, Corbin jumps at the chance to redeem his career and solve the case. Identification of the Jane Doe proves to be difficult until Corbin stumbles upon a link to a Queens Catholic church that provides sanctuary to Eastern European immigrants. What then follows is a journey into the dark and secretive world of illegal immigrants, where humans are exploited and life is cheap…” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDead men and broken hearts / Craig Russell.
“November 1956. The world is in turmoil. While the Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Uprising boil away in the background, Lennox has more immediate concerns, like getting his personal life, and his business, back on track. So, when a woman comes into Lennox’s office and hires him to follow her husband, whom she suspects of leading a double life, it seems the perfect case. Straightforward, typical – if a little sordid – and most of all, legal. But as he begins to dig deeper, Lennox realizes that this is no ordinary case of marital infidelity. He finds himself caught by the police in a room with a dead body; pursued by shadowy members of the intelligence community; and once more a target of the Three Kings, the crime bosses who between them run Glasgow’s underworld. Lennox must again draw on the violent, war-damaged part of his personality that he has tried to keep buried, in order to survive…” – (adapted from summary)

New Mysteries for June…

New mysteries for June include David Hewson’s novel length adaptation of the popular Danish crime series ‘The Killing’; a new Swedish mystery from Ake Edwardson; R.J. Ellory’s latest thriller; Charles Todd’s new Bess Crawford mystery; and two new début authors…

Syndetics book coverThe killing / David Hewson.
“This adaption of ‘The Killing’ is a huge success…So how does it survive this possibly awkward transmutation? The answer, in short, is extremely well. David Hewson – the author of more than a dozen detective novels set in Italy and with no need to stoop to anything too hurriedly commercial – has taken what was television gold and turned it into literary gold. Indeed he has done it so well that his book is now being translated and readied for publication in Danish….The publisher makes much of the fact that instead of sitting in front of his telly with one finger on the pause button and the other on his keyboard, Hewson went to Copenhagen and ‘constructed with’ Soren Sveistrupp, the series script writer. What has emerged from their meetings is really very interesting…His (Hewson’s) take is as valid as yours or mine. It creates an odd dynamic between author and reader which I rather liked…This is one of the most engrossing detective novels I’ve read in a long time’ –The Daily Telegraph, 5-Star Review…” (Description from

Syndetics book coverSail of stone / êAke Edwardson ; translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles.
“In his sixth outing (after The Shadow Woman), Erik Winter investigates two missing-person cases in Gothenburg, Sweden. One involves the disappearance of an old girlfriend’s father, who traveled to Scotland to search for his own father, presumed to have died during World War II. When the missing man is found dead, Winter goes to Scotland to determine whether wartime smuggling activities played a part in this case. In an unrelated story line, Winter’s colleague Anetja Djanali investigates a case of possible domestic abuse. The more she tries to contact the possible victim, the more she is stonewalled by the woman’s family….Fans of Scandinavian mysteries, especially those who like Camilla Lackberg, Kjell Eriksson, and HAkan Nesser, will enjoy adding this award-winning author to their reading list…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA dark and broken heart / R.J. Ellory.
“It should have all been so easy for Vincent Madigan. Take four hundred grand from the thieves who stole it in the first place and who could they turn to for help? Madigan is charming, resourceful, and knows how to look after himself. The only problem is that he’s up to his neck in debt to Sandia – the drug king of East Harlem. This one heist will free Madigan from Sandia’s control and give him the chance he needs to get his life back on track. But things go wrong when Madigan is forced to kill his co-conspirators and a child is shot in the crossfire. Now both Sandia and the collected might of the NYPD are hunting him down, and the one cop assigned to lead the case is the very last person he could have expected. Employing every deception and ruse he can think of, Madigan must stay one step ahead in a battle of wits that will test him to his limits. Can he evade justice for his crimes, or will his own conscience be his final undoing?…” (From Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe priest : a novel / Gerard O’Donovan.
“From the most riveting writer to come out of Ireland since John Connolly, the first in a series of Dublin-based thrillers introducing Inspector Mike Mulcahy, who is pitched into a deadly battle with a religion-obsessed serial killer..Struggling to find his feet back in Ireland after a lengthy posting with Europol in Spain, drugs specialist Mike Mulcahy is plunged into unfamiliar territory when the daughter of a politician suffers a horrific sex attack. Dragged into the case against his will, Mulcahy becomes convinced there is more to it than a random frenzied sexual assault, especially when he discovers that the weapon used by the attacker to torture the victim was a crucifix…Sidelined and overruled, Mulcahy sets about his own investigation, but frustrations abound at every turn—until reporter Siobhan Fallon turns up asking awkward questions. As more young women are attacked and assault turns to murder, Mulcahy and Fallon are drawn into an uneasy alliance, and each step they take hurtles them ever closer to the monstrous killer known only as The Priest and a final showdown that is as explosive as it is unforgettable…” (Description adapted from

Syndetics book coverMonkey wrench : a quilting mystery / Terri Thayer.
“Dewey Pellicano continues to transform her late mother’s quilt shop, making her own mark with contemporary trends. She’s worried about her employees, college student Vangie and part-time instructor Pearl, who is newly widowed and floundering with old age. When Vangie’s shady boyfriend ends up dead of an overdose, Vangie calls Dewey for help. At the same time, Pearl hires a part-time caretaker through a campus-advertised service that sounds too good to be true. It is, because the students are using their senior clientele as a front for a prescription pill mill. When another death occurs, Dewey senses a pattern, and she’s not about to let it go any further. VERDICT This engaging and thought-provoking fourth entry (after Ocean Waves) in Thayer’s excellent quilting series is an easy-to-recommend cozy with its likeable characters, loyal cop boyfriend, and community of quilters…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn her blood / Annie Hauxwell.
“It’s not that easy to kick the money habit. After the world meltdown forces London’s bankers to go cold turkey, people look elsewhere for a quick quid: the old fashioned East End. So when investigator Catherine Berlin gets an anonymous tip-off about a local loan shark, the case seems straightforward – until her informant is found floating in the Limehouse Basin. In another part of town, a notorious doctor is murdered in his surgery, and his entire stock of pharmaceutical heroin stolen. An unorthodox copper is assigned to the case, and Berlin finds herself a reluctant collaborator in a murder investigation. Now Berlin has seven days to find out who killed her informant, why the police are hounding her and, most urgently of all, where to find a new – and legal – supply of the drug she can’t survive without. Smart, stylish and fast-paced, In Her Blood heralds the arrival of a remarkable new talent in crime fiction…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFreezing / Clea Koff.
“Forensic anthropologists and best friends Steelie Lander and Jayne Hall operate Agency 32/1, a Los Angeles nonprofit that creates forensic profiles of missing persons. Their work is difficult but rewarding. When body parts are found on the side of a freeway, FBI agent Scott Houston asks Jayne and Steelie for help in identifying the victim, or victims. The women soon become entangled in Houston’s pursuit of a serial killer. Koff, a forensic anthropologist who identified bodies in Rwanda and the Balkans (as recounted in her gripping memoir The Bone Woman), fills her debut thriller with fascinating true-to-life forensic details. She also steadily builds the suspense to the climactic twist. Verdict Koff has written a procedural with emotional depth. Readers who enjoy Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs won’t want to miss this…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn unmarked grave / Charles Todd.
“Set in the spring of 1918, bestseller Todd’s outstanding fourth Bess Crawford mystery (after 2011’s A Bitter Truth) finds the British nurse and her co-workers in France contending with the Spanish influenza epidemic as well as battlefield carnage. When the number of flu victims kept in a shed before burial is one more than the official count, Bess is shocked to discover the corpse of Maj. Vincent Carson, who once served in her father’s old regiment, in the shed. That the major’s neck is broken suggests that his body was dumped amid the flu victims to conceal his murder. Before Bess can act on her suspicions, she catches the dread disease herself, leaving the trail to the truth even fainter on her recovery. Caroline and Charles Todd, the mother-son team who write as Charles Todd, remain unmatched in their ability to convey the horrors of trench warfare and the effect on its participants…”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for May…

Including new titles from Donna Leon and James Patterson. Also featuring hardened and haunted homicide cops, a killer with a penchant for blowfish toxin, investigating crime writers, and intrigue and conspiracy aplenty.

Syndetics book coverThe drowning / Camilla Lackberg ; translated from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally.
“Christian Thydell has been receiving anonymous threats since he began writing his novel THE MERMAID. When one message, secreted within a bouquet of flowers, causes Christian to collapse at the launch party, crime writer Erica Falck is compelled to investigate. Erica’s husband detective Patrik Hedstrom, meanwhile, is puzzled by the disappearance of Christian’s friend Magnus Kjellner four months previously. When a body is found frozen in the sea near Fjallbacka, he finds he has a murder enquiry on his hands…Clues in Christian’s debut novel THE MERMAID point to a horrific secret buried deep in his past…(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeastly things / Donna Leon.
“When a body is found floating in a canal, strangely disfigured and with multiple stab wounds, Commissario Brunetti is called to investigate and is convinced he recognises the man from somewhere. However, with no identification except for the distinctive shoes the man was wearing, and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, the case cannot progress. Brunetti soon realises why he remembers the dead man, and asks Signorina Elettra if she can help him find footage of a farmers’ protest the previous autumn. But what was his involvement with the protest, and what does it have to do with his murder? …Both a gripping case and a harrowing exploration of the dark side of Italy’s meat industry, Donna Leon’s latest novel is a compelling addition to the Brunetti series.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cold room / Robert Knightly.
“The new mystery from the author of Bodies in Winter – NYPD detective Harry Corbin hasn’t been allowed to work on a homicide case for almost a year following his unearthing of corruption amongst his colleagues and superiors. So when a young woman’s body is found dumped and mutilated on a sweltering New York morning, Corbin jumps at the chance to redeem his career and solve the case — and finds himself on a journey into the dark and secretive world of illegal immigrants, where humans are exploited and life is cheap . . .” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe prodigal son : a Carmine Delmonico novel / Colleen McCullough.
“Holloman, Connecticut, 1969. A very rare and lethal toxin, extracted from the blowfish, is stolen from a laboratory at Chubb University. It kills within minutes and leaves no trace behind — unless a doctor knows what to look for — and worried biochemist Dr. Millie Hunter reports the theft at once to her father, Medical Examiner Dr. Patrick O’Donnell. Patrick’s cousin Captain Carmine Delmonico is therefore quick off the mark when the bodies start to mount up. A sudden death at a dinner party followed by another at a gala black-tie event seem at first to be linked only by the poison and Dr. Jim Hunter, a scientist on the brink of greatness and husband to Millie…Is he being framed for murder — and if so, by whom?…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover11th hour / James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.
“Millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down and Detective Lindsay Boxer discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco’s most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from an SFPD evidence locker. Anyone could be the killer – even her closest friends on the force. Lindsay is then called to the most bizarre crime scene she’s ever seen: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor. Another head is unearthed in the garden, and Lindsay realises that the ground could hide hundreds of victims… 11th Hour is the most shocking, most emotional, and most thrilling Women’s Murder Club novel ever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReady, scrap, shoot : A Kiki Lowenstein scrap-n-craft mystery / Joanna Campbell Slan.Ready, Scrap, Shoot
“With bills piling up and a brassy new partner at her scrapbooking shop, the last thing Kiki Lowenstein needs is a surprise visit from her browbeating mother. But when shots fired into the crowd narrowly miss Kiki at her daughter’s May Day pageant, it’s another mother — St. Louis’s wealthiest matriarch-who winds up dead. While creating a memorial album for the murdered beer heiress, Kiki becomes bait in a dangerous trap as threats from her old foe mount against her. With help from friends in high and low places, including hunky beau Chad Detweiler, Kiki finds herself facing a grave ultimatum: catch the killer or be cropped out of her own family album.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNight rounds : A Detective Inspector Irene Huss Investigation / Helene Tursten ; translation by Laura A. Wideburg.
“In the fourth instalment of the Detective Inspector Irene Huss series, one nurse lies dead and another vanishes after their hospital is hit by a blackout. The only witness claims to have seen Nurse Tekla doing her rounds, but Nurse Tekla died sixty years ago. Detective Inspector Irene Huss of the Violent Crimes Unit has the challenge of disentangling wandering ghosts and complex human relationships to get to the bottom of this intriguing case.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPromise : for every promise, there is a price to pay– / Tony Cavanaugh.
“Top Homicide cop Darian Richards has been seeking out monsters for too long. He has promised one too many victim’s families he will find the answers they need and it’s taken its toll. After surviving a gunshot wound to the head he calls it quits and retires to the Sunshine Coast in an attempt to leave the demons behind. But he should have realised, there are demons everywhere and no place is safe. A serial killer is prowling the Sunshine Coast area and Darian tries to ignore the fact his experience could make a difference hunting him down. All he wants is to sit at the end of his jetty on the Noosa River and ignore the fact that girls from the area have vanished over the past fourteen months. All blonde and pretty. Youngest: 13. Oldest: 16…Darian can’t sit idly by and he decides he is going to find the killer and deal with him … his way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStolen prey / John Sandford.
“Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Deephaven, an entire family has been killed-husband, wife, two daughters, dogs. There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’s cop instincts-it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen in drug killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit. Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAfraid to die / Lisa Jackson.
“Others may dread the bone-numbing cold of winter, but the killer relishes it. The way the frigid water preserves his victims, the feel of their icy skin beneath his fingers. Before long, the world will see their beauty – and his vengeance. The Bitterroot Mountains are in the grip of a hard winter when the detectives first see the two bodies: each frozen solid, yet deliberately displayed. Both victims are women known to Detective Selena Alvarez. Each of them is wearing a piece of her jewellery. Selena’s partner Regan Pescoli and the entire department are working on this case, and so is P.I. Dylan O’Keefe, a man Selena got too close to once before. But this killer already knows too much about the mistakes Selena has tried to outrun. The secrets of her past are coming to the surface, one by one. And soon a madman bent on revenge will show her just how much she has to lose . . . (Description from

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