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.
Death 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)
Lie 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)
All 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)
Out 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)
Just 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)
The 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)
Tennison / 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)
Murder 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)
Fatal 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)
Satan’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)