Some old favourite writers are included in this month’s selection of new Mystery novels along with several new exciting talents. One highly recommended debut mystery is titled The Man on the Washing Machine by Susan Cox. With this novel Susan Cox was awarded by the Mystery Writers of America the 2014 First Crime Novel award.
Where it hurts / Reed Farrel Coleman.
“Gus Murphy, a retired cop, had everything a man could want: a great marriage, two kids, a nice house and the rest of his life ahead of him. But when his family is blown apart, he is transformed from a man who believes he understands everything into a man who understands nothing. Divorced and working as a courtesy van driver, ex-con Tommy Delcamino comes to him for help. Months earlier, TJ Delcamino’s battered body was discovered and the police don’t seem interested in finding the killers. In desperation, Tommy seeks out the only cop he ever trusted, Gus Murphy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The memory of evil / Roberto Costantini ; translated from the Italian by N.S. Thompson.
“The third book in the Commissario Balistreri trilogy. The memory of 31 August 1969 has been at the back of Commissario Michele Balistreri’s mind for over four decades. It was not only the day that preceded Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s seizure of power in Balistreri’s birthplace of Libya, but that on which his beloved mother Natalia fell to her death, and the resulting suicide verdict that Balistreri has always suspected to be a flagrant cover-up for her murder. The memory of 23 July 2006 has been at the front of investigative journalist Linda Nardi’s mind for the past five years. Ever since her and Balistreri together thwarted a phantom-like killer stalking Rome, Nardi has been intent on shedding further light on the Vatican Bank’s shadowy involvement in the abominations uncovered that summer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The man on the washing machine / Susan Cox.
“When former party girl and society photographer Theophania Bogart flees to San Francisco to escape a high-profile family tragedy, a series of murders drags her unwillingly out of hiding. In no time at all she discovers she’s been providing cover for a sophisticated smuggling operation, she starts to fall for an untrustworthy stranger, and she’s knocked out, tied up and imprisoned. The police are sure she’s lying. The smugglers are sure she knows too much. Her friends aren’t sure what to believe. The body count is rising and Theo struggles to find the killer before she’s the next victim or her new life is exposed as an elaborate fraud.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Chelsea strangler / Susanna Gregory.
“In the sapping summer heat of 1665 there is little celebration in London of the naval victory at the Battle of Lowestoft. The King, his retinue and anyone with sufficient means has fled the plague-ridden city, its half-deserted streets echoing to the sound of bells tolling the mounting number of deaths. At Chelsea, a rural backwater by the river, there are more immediate concerns: the government has commandeered the theological college to house Dutch prisoners of war and there are daily rumours that those sailors are on the brink of escaping. Moreover, a vicious strangler is stalking the neighbourhood. Thomas Chaloner is sent to investigate the murder of the first victim, an inmate of a private sanatorium known as Gorges.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Home by nightfall / Charles Finch.
“It’s London in 1876, and the whole city is abuzz with the enigmatic disappearance of a famous foreign pianist. Lenox has an eye on the matter, as a partner in a now-thriving detective agency, however, his grieving brother asks him to come down to Sussex, and Lenox leaves the metropolis behind for the quieter country life of his boyhood. Or so he thinks. In fact, something strange is a foot in Markethouse: small thefts, books, blankets, animals, and more alarmingly a break-in at the house of a local insurance agent. As he and his brother to investigate this small accumulation of mysteries, Lenox realizes that something very strange and serious indeed may be happening, more than just local mischief.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
His right hand / Mette Ivie Harrison.
“Draper, Utah, a tight-knit Mormon community is thrown into upheaval when their ward’s second counselor, one of the bishop’s right-hand men, is found dead in an elaborately staged murder on church property. Carl Ashby was known as a devout Mormon, a pillar of the community, and a loving husband and father. Who would want him dead? But the entire case is turned upside down by the autopsy report, which reveals Carl Ashby was a biological female. In the Mormon Church, where gender is considered part of a person’s soul, some people regard transgenderism as one of the worst possible transgressions of faith. Church officials seem to be more upset by Carl’s gender than by his murder, and more concerned with hushing up the story than solving the crime.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Dance of death / Edward Marston.
“London, Autumn 1916. When he slips out of a house in the early hours of the morning, Simon Wilder is too preoccupied to realise that is being stalked. As he walks along the street, lights begin to dim as a warning that there’s another Zeppelin attack. Guns begin to pound away as British aeroplanes attack the Zeppelin. Suddenly, it bursts into flame and lights up the whole sky. The crowds cheer as the great fireball drops slowly down and crashes in a field but the one person unable to watch is Simon Wilder. While he is staring up at the sky, he is stabbed to death and left in an alleyway. It will prove to be a very puzzling case for Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Coffin Road / Peter May.
“A man stands bewildered on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris. He cannot remember who he is. He is physically shaken, borderline hypothermic, and overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty. The only clue to his identity is a folded map of a path named The Coffin Road. He does not know where this search will take him. A detective from across the border in Lewis sits aboard a boat, filled with doubt. DS George Gunn knows that a bludgeoned corpse has been discovered on a remote rock twenty miles offshore. Though, having grown used to a quiet and predictable routine, he does not know whether he has what it takes to uncover how and why.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
On the bone / Barbara Nadel.
“In Istanbul, the golden city on the Bosphorus, ancient myths and modern evils are at work. On a buzzing street in the fashionable district of Beyoglu, a young man drops dead. Ümit Kavas’s death was natural but the autopsy betrays a shocking truth: his last meal was human flesh. Under desperate pressure from their superiors, Inspector Cetin Ikmen and his colleague Mehmet Süleyman begin their most obscure investigation yet. How did Ümit Kavas, apparently a good, liberal man, come to partake in the greatest taboo of all? Did he act alone? And who was his victim? Soon they find themselves embroiled in a dark web of underground worlds: of Turkey’s old secular elite; a community of squatters; and a new gastronomy scene breaking every boundary. But where does the truth lie?”
(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The treacherous net / Helene Tursten ; translation by Marlaine Delargy.
“The body of a teenage girl is found in the woods, naked and horrifically scarred. Then there’s the mummified body that is discovered bricked up in a chimney on a demolition site, not to mention the city’s ongoing problem with gang violence. With the sudden influx of cases and one detective out on maternity leave, everyone is stretched thin and on the edge. To make matters worse, Irene feels more than a little intimidated and put off by the new superintendent, Efva Thylqvist, who uses her sex appeal and smooth talking to skirt issues and bend the predominately male staff to her will.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)