Category: Recent picks

New Mysteries for May

This selection from the latest additions to Wellington City Libraries Mystery collection sees the return of two popular detectives. Inspector Montalbano in Andrea Camilleri’s latest mystery titled Game of mirrors and Commissario Guido Brunetti, in Donna Leon’s most recent work, titled Falling in love.

Syndetics book coverCompulsion / Allison Brennan.
“Investigative reporter Maxine Revere has a theory: that the five New York City murders for which Adam Bachman is being tried are just part of his killing spree. In probing the disappearance of a retired couple who vanished the prior summer, Max uncovers striking similarities to Bachman’s MO and develops a theory that Bachman wasn’t working alone. Max wins a coveted pre-trial interview with the killer, whose disarming composure in the face of her questions is combined with uncomfortable knowledge of Max’s own past. She leaves the room convinced, but unable to prove, that Bachman knows exactly what happened to the missing couple.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGame of mirrors / Andrea Camilleri ; translated by Stephen Sartarelli.
“Inspector Montalbano and his colleagues are stumped when two bombs explode outside empty warehouses, one of which is connected to a big-time drug dealer. Meanwhile, the alluring Liliana Lombardo is trying to seduce the Inspector over red wine and arancini. Between pesky reporters, amorous trysts, and cocaine kingpins, Montalbano feels as if he’s being manipulated on all fronts. That is, until the inspector himself becomes the prime suspect in an unspeakably brutal crime.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKeep the midnight out / Alex Gray.
“When the body of a red-haired young man is washed up on the shore of the beautiful Isle of Mull, Detective Superintendent Lorimer’s tranquil holiday away from the gritty streets of Glasgow is rudely interrupted. The body has been bound with twine in a ghoulishly unnatural position and strongly reminds Lorimer of another murder: a twenty year old Glasgow case that he failed to solve as a newly fledged detective constable and which has haunted him ever since. As local cop DI Stevie Crozier takes charge of the island murder investigation, Lorimer tries to avoid stepping on her toes. But as the similarities between the young man’s death and his cold case grow more obvious, Lorimer realizes that there could be a serial killer on the loose after all these years.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBehind closed doors : a novel / Elizabeth Haynes.
“Ten years ago, fifteen-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished while on a family holiday in Greece. Was she abducted, or did she run away? Lou Smith worked the case as a police constable, and failing to find Scarlett has been one of the biggest regrets of her career. No one is more shocked than Lou to learn that Scarlett has unexpectedly been found during a Special Branch raid of a brothel in Briarstone. Lou and her Major Crimes team are already stretched working two troubling cases: nineteen-year-old Ian Palmer was found badly beaten; soon after, bar owner Carl McVey was found half-buried in the woods, his Rolex and money gone. While Lou tries to establish the links between the two cases, DS Sam Hollands works with Special Branch to question Scarlett. What happened to her? Where has she been until now? And why is her family, with the exception of her emotionally fragile younger sister, Juliette, less than enthusiastic about her return?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat you left behind : a novel / Samantha Hayes.
” Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community. Desperate for a vacation, Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher has just come to Radcote for a stay with her sister, Jo, but the atmosphere of the country house is unusually tense. Lorraine becomes determined to discover the truth behind these deaths. Are they suicides, or is there something more sinister at work?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFalling in love / Donna Leon.
“One of Italy’s finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli, once a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to Venice and La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca. Brunetti and his wife, Paola, attend an early performance, and Flavia receives a standing ovation. Back in her dressing room, she finds bouquets of yellow roses, too many roses. Every surface of the room is covered with them. An anonymous fan has been showering Flavia with these beautiful gifts in London, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and now, Venice, but she no longer feels flattered. A few nights later, invited by Brunetti to dine at his in-laws; palazzo, Flavia confesses her alarm at these excessive displays of adoration. And when a talented young Venetian singer who has caught Flavia’s attention is savagely attacked, Brunetti begins to think that Flavia’s fears are justified in ways neither of them imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYou can trust me / Sophie McKenzie.
” On a quiet, gray, Saturday morning, Livy arrives at her best friend Julia’s flat for a lunch date only to find her dead. Though all the evidence supports it, Livy cannot accept the official ruling of suicide; the Julia she remembers was loud, inappropriate, joyful, outrageous and loving, not depressed. The suspicious circumstances cause Livy to dig further, and she is suddenly forced to confront a horrifying possibility: that Julia was murdered, by the same man who killed Livy’s sister, Kara, eighteen years ago.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGone / Rebecca Muddiman.
“Eleven years ago, troubled teenager Emma Thorley went missing. The police assumed she was a runaway. But now a body has been found in woods near Blyth. DI Michael Gardner knows he didn’t take Emma’s disappearance seriously enough back then, and is determined to make up for it now. But when he and DS Nicola Freeman start to reinvestigate, they discover that nothing is as simple as it seems. As news of the discovery travels, the past will come back to haunt all those involved. Because there are consequences when good people do bad things, and some secrets cannot stay buried for ever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Insect FarmThe insect farm / Stuart Prebble.
“When twenty-year-old Jonathan Maguire wakes up in a pool of blood and with a dead body beside him, his shock and grief quickly turn to panic. Being arrested for murder will prevent him from fulfilling the promise he made to his parents, that after their death he would take care of Roger, his mentally handicapped older brother. Roger lives in a strange and complex world of his own creation, populated by millions of tiny insects, his insect farm. As the police move in, it emerges that Roger may know far more than he has revealed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGarden of lies / Amanda Quick.
“The Kern Secretarial Agency provides reliable professional services to its wealthy clientele, and Anne Clifton was one of the finest women in Ursula Kern’s employ. But Miss Clifton has met an untimely end and Ursula is convinced it was not due to natural causes. Archaeologist and adventurer Slater Roxton thinks Mrs. Kern is off her head to meddle in such dangerous business. Nevertheless, he seems sensible enough to Ursula, though she does find herself unnerved by his self-possession and unreadable green-gold. Slater intends to remain close by as they venture into the dark side of polite society. Together they must reveal the identity of a killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for April 2015

Another truly global selection of new Mysteries for this month, apart from the usual British and American settings, there are mysteries set in France, Australia, Sweden, Scotland and Kyrgyzstan. Highly recommend is the debut mystery by Karim Miske, titled Arab jazz.

Syndetics book coverLies that bind / Maggie Barbieri.
“Maeve’s moving on with everyday life when the unthinkable happens: her father dies of a massive heart attack. Maeve’s mother died when Maeve was very young, and growing up, it was always just her and her father. But on the day of his funeral, Maeve learns a shocking secret: she might have a sister she’s never met. Maeve knows her father would never have kept something like that from her, unless he thought he had to.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA killing winter / Tom Callaghan.
“When Inspector Akyl Borubaev of Bishkek Murder Squad arrives at the brutal murder scene of a young woman, all evidence hints at a sadistic serial killer on the hunt for more prey.But when the young woman’s father turns out to be a leading government minister, the pressure is on Borubaev to solve the case not only quickly but also quietly, by any means possible. Until more bodies are found.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe invisible man from Salem / Christoffer Carlsson ; translated by Michael Gallagher.
“In the final days of summer, a young woman is shot dead in her apartment. Three floors above, the blue lights of the police cars awaken disgraced ex-officer Leo Junker. Though suspended from the force, he can’t stay away for long. Bluffing his way onto the crime scene, he examines the dead woman and sees that she is clasping a cheap necklace a necklace he instantly recognises. As Leo sets out on a rogue investigation to catch the killer, a series of frightening connections emerge, linking the murder to his own troubled youth in Salem a suburb of Stockholm where social and racial tensions run high and forcing him to confront a long ago incident that changed his life forever.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverThe Port Fairy murders / Robert Gott.
“It is 1943 and the newly formed homicide department of Victoria police is struggling to counter a fascist group called Australia First that has been festering in Australia since before the war, as well as investigating a double murder in the fishing village of Port fairy.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverDoctor Death : a Madeleine Karno mystery / Lene Kaaberbøl ; translated by Elisabeth Dyssegaard.
“It is 1894, and in the French provincial town of Varbourg, Madeleine and her father, Dr. Karno, use forensic science to help the city commissioner solve a particularly troubling murder, the death of 17-year-old Cecile Montaine. As the mystery unwinds, it becomes clear there are several other players involved in this crime, and that perhaps other deaths around the city can be tied to the same killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSoil / Jamie Kornegay.
“When Jay Mize gave up the comforts of a respectable career and home to begin an experiment in soil-free farming, he expected to be on the cutting edge of an agricultural revolution. But a crippling flood washes out his efforts and places him on the road to bankruptcy, and his wife, Sandy, concerned about Jay’s mental health, leaves with their son. Soon after, Jay comes upon a corpse in the Tockawah River behind his house; convinced the body is part of a plot to destroy him, he sets about making it disappear. Meanwhile, a nosy deputy with a roving eye for the town’s single women is poking around the Mize farm (not to mention Sandy’s apartment) in search of a big bust to validate his wayward career. Add to that a revenge-seeking vagrant roaming the woods behind Jay’s property and perhaps his paranoia isn’t so misguided after all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCry uncle / Russel D. McLean.
“Scottish PI J. McNee, is working undercover for the Dundee constabulary by hiring on with grandfatherly crime boss David Burns. McNee’s handler, Sandy Griggs, is vengeance with a badge. He’s convinced that Burns murdered his sister and wants the man dead, not jailed. McNee must function as moral arbiter between these two while trying to stay alive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe chess men / Peter May.
“Fin Macleod, who has devolved from Edinburgh cop to security overseer for an estate owner on Lewis, and an old friend, Whistler Macaskill, are on the bogs when they come across a downed plane, one that had been buried under layers of peat and muck until a bog burst slid the layers off. Inside the plane is the body of one of Macleod’s and Macaskill’s best friends from their youth, Roddy Mackenzie, a Celtic rock star of the past, whose plane disappeared almost 20 years before but who apparently, died from foul play rather than the crash.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArab jazz / Karim Miské ; translated from the French by Sam Gordon.
“Kosher sushi, kebabs, a second hand bookshop and a bar: the 19th arrondissement in Paris is a cosmopolitan neighbourhood where multicultural citizens live, love and worship alongside one another. This peace is shattered when Ahmed Taroudant’s melancholy daydreams are interrupted by the blood dripping from his upstairs neighbour’s brutally mutilated corpse. The violent murder of Laura Vignole, and the pork joint placed next to her, set imaginations ablaze across the neighbourhood, and Ahmed finds himself the prime suspect. However detectives Rachel Kupferstein and Jean Hamelot are not short of leads. What is the connection between a disbanded hip-hop group and the fiery extremist preachers that jostle in the streets for attention? And what is the mysterious new pill that is taking the district by storm?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe widow’s confession / Sophia Tobin.
“Broadstairs, Kent, 1850. Delphine and her sister Julia have come to the seaside with a secret, one they have been running from for years. The clean air and quiet outlook of Broadstairs appeal to them and they think this is a place they can hide from the darkness for just a little longer. But this is a town with its own secrets, and a dark past. When the body of a young girl is found washed up on the beach, a mysterious message scrawled on the sand beneath her, the past returns to haunt the town, and they cannot escape what happened here years before.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mystery fiction for March

This selection of the best new Mysteries added to Wellington City Libraries collection this month, includes several translated novels, two from the Norwegian and one from the German languages. Set in Swedish Lapland in 1717, Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback is highly recommended also Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye, a debut novel based on true events set in Florida in 1935.

Syndetics book coverCity of stairs / by Robert Jackson Bennett.
“You’ve got to be careful when you’re chasing a murderer through Bulikov, for the world is not as it should be in that city. When the gods were destroyed and all worship of them banned by the Polis, reality folded; now stairs lead to nowhere, alleyways have become portals to the past, and criminals disappear into thin air. The murder of Dr Efrem Pangyui, the Polis diplomat researching the Continent’s past, has begun something and now whispers of an uprising flutter out from invisible corners. Only one woman may be willing to pursue the truth, but it is likely to cost her everything.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDreamless / Jørgen Brekke.
“A promising young singer is found dead in a clearing in a forest, gruesomely murdered, her larynx cut out, and an antique music box placed carefully atop her body, playing a mysterious lullaby that sounds familiar, but that no one can quite place. Chief Inspector Odd Singsaker, of the Trondheim Police Department, still recovering from brain surgery, is called in to investigate. Singsaker fears the worst when another young girl, also known for her melodic singing voice, suddenly goes missing while on a walk with her dog one night. As the Trondheim police follow the trail of this deadly killer, it becomes clear that both cases are somehow connected to a centuries-old ballad called “The Golden Peace,” written by a mysterious composer called Jon Blund, in the seventeenth century.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWolf winter : a novel / Cecilia Ekbäck.
“Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. While herding the family’s goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors’ strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson’s widow, Maija is drawn into a dark history of tragedies and betrayals.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScarred / Thomas Enger ; translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.
“An elderly woman is found dead in a nursing home. Bjarne Brogeland, who heads up the investigation, soon realizes that they are on the trail of a meticulous killer who has developed a keen taste for revenge, a killer who has only just begun.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMotive : an Alex Delaware novel / Jonathan Kellerman.
“Katherine Hennepin, a young woman strangled and stabbed in her home. A single suspect with a solid alibi leads to a dead end, one even Alex Delaware’s expert insight can’t explain. The only thing to do is move on to the next murder case, because there’s always a next one. This time the victim is Ursula Corey: a successful, attractive divorcée who’s been gunned down, not a robbery but an execution, a crime that smacks of simple, savage revenge. And along with that theoretical motive come two strong contenders for the role of perpetrator: the dead woman’s business partner/ex-husband and her divorce lawyer/secret lover. But just as Alex and Milo think they’re zeroing in on the most likely suspect, a bizarre new clue stirs up eerie echoes of the unsolved Hennepin murder. And the discovery of yet another crime scene bearing the same taunting signature raises the specter of a serial killer on a mission, whose twisted method is exceeded only by his manipulative and cunning madness.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe final minute / Simon Kernick.
“It’s night, and I’m in a strange house. The lights are on, and I’m standing outside a half-open door. Feeling a terrible sense of foreboding, I walk slowly inside. And then I see her. A woman lying sprawled across a huge double bed. She’s dead. There’s blood everywhere. And the most terrifying thing of all is that I think her killer might be me. For Matt Barron, a traumatic car-crash, a man with no memory and haunted by nightmares, he is forced to turn to the one person who can help, ex-Metropolitan cop, turned private detective, Tina Boyd. Soon they are both on the run” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSummertime / Vanessa Lafaye.
“Florida, 1935. In Heron Key the locals are preparing for the 4th of July barbecue, unaware that their world is about to change forever. Missy, the Kincaid family’s maid, feels that she has wasted her life pining for Henry, whom she hasn’t seen since before the war. Now he’s returned with a group of other destitute veterans, unsure of his future, ashamed of his past. When a white woman is found brutally beaten, suspicion falls on Henry. And as the tensions rise, the barometer starts to plummet. The residents think they’re ready, and so do the soldiers. They’re wrong. For far out over the Atlantic, the greatest storm ever to strike America is heading their way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ice queen / Nele Neuhuas ; translated by Steven T. Murray.
“The body of 92-year-old Jossi Goldberg, Holocaust survivor and American citizen, is found shot to death execution style in his house near Frankfurt. A five-digit number is scrawled in blood at the murder scene. The autopsy reveals an old and unsuccessfully covered tattoo on the corpse’s arm, a blood type marker once used by Hitler’s SS. Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver Bodenstein are faced with a riddle. Was the old man not Jewish after all? Who was he, really? Two more, similar murders happen, one of a wheelchair-bound old lady in a nursing home, and one of a man with a cellar filled with Nazi paraphernalia, slowly the connections between the victims becomes evident.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA study in murder / Robert Ryan.
“The year is 1917 and Major John Watson is held in a notorious prisoner of war camp deep in Germany, there as Medical Officer for the British prisoners. With the Allied blockade of Germany, food is perilously short in the camp and when a new prisoner is murdered all assume the poor chap was killed for his Red Cross parcel. Watson, though, isn’t so sure. Something isn’t quite what it seems and a creeping feeling of unease tells Watson there is more to this than meets the eye. And when an escape plot is apparently uncovered in his hut and he is sent to solitary confinement, he knows he has touched a nerve. If Watson is to reveal the heinous crimes that have occurred at the camp, he must escape before he is silenced for good.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAunty Lee’s deadly specials / Ovidia Yu.
“Rosie “Aunty” Lee, the feisty widow and amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home-cooking restaurant, few know more about what goes on in Singapore than Aunty Lee. When a scandal over illegal organ donation makes news, she already has a list of suspects. Aunty Lee’s Delights is catering a brunch for local socialites Henry and Mabel Sung. Rumor has it that the Sungs’ fortune is in trouble, and Aunty Lee wonders if the gossip is true. But soon after arriving at the Sungs’, her curiosity turns to suspicion. Why is the guesthouse in the garden locked up and what’s inside? Where is the missing guest of honor? Then Mabel Sung and her son, Leonard, are found dead. The authorities blame it on Aunty Lee’s special stewed chicken with buah keluak, a local black nut that can be poisonous if cooked improperly. She’s certain the deaths are murder and that they’re somehow linked to the organ donor scandal. To save her business and her reputation, she’s got to prove it and unmask a dangerous killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for February

This month’s selection of the best new mysteries from our recently received new material includes the latest crime novels by popular authors Tess Gerritsen and Stuart MacBride.

Syndetics book coverClose to the bone / Lisa Black.
“Theresa MacLean arrives early one morning at Cleveland’s cash-strapped Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office, where she literally steps into a pool of blood seeping from the fatal wounds of deskman Darryl Johnson. More homicides rapidly follow elsewhere, and Theresa, an intrepid 12-year veteran of the Trace Evidence Department, connects the killings to the decade-old strangling of coworker Diane Allman.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath comes to the Ballets russes / David Dickinson.
“London, 1912, and the famed Ballet Russes have come to London to perform. Anticipation is high, for Diaghilev’s troupe is renowned throughout Europe. At the end of their famed performance of Thamar at the Royal Opera House, the Georgian queen stabs her prince to death and throws him into the river. But life mirrors art when the prince is found truly dead, stabbed through the heart in the orchestra pit below stage. But the corpse is not the dancer in the programme. It is his understudy. Powerscourt is summoned to investigate. But who was the intended victim, the understudy, or the star of the Ballets Russes?” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverThe death season / Kate Ellis.
“When DI Wesley Peterson is summoned to investigate a killing, he assumes that the case is a routine matter. But soon dark secrets and deadly deceptions start to emerge from the victim’s past, and Wesley begins to realize that a simple incident of cold-blooded murder is altogether more calculated and complicated that he could ever imagine. As more victims fall prey to a faceless killer, Wesley sees the investigation affecting him more personally than ever before. And when his precious family becomes a target, Wesley has no time to lose.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDie again : a novel / Tess Gerritsen.
“Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are summoned to the home of Leon Gott, a well-known big-game hunter and taxidermist. He has been eviscerated, and his nude body hung upside down, his ankles bound with nylon cord. Despite the gruesome scene and the overpowering stench, the two women immediately begin processing the clues, and what they find leads them to the wilds of Botswana. It was there six years earlier that Gott’s son, Elliot, and other members of his tourist group were slaughtered while on safari. Then Rizzoli and Isles discover that Elliot’s former fiancée was murdered the same day as Gott.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Cheapside corpse / Susanna Gregory.
“London in the spring of 1665 is a city full of fear. There is plague in the streets of St. Giles, the Dutch fleet is preparing to invade, and a banking crisis threatens to leave Charles II’s government with no means of paying for the nation’s defense. Amid the tension, Thomas Chaloner is ordered to investigate the murder of Dick Wheler, one of the few goldsmith-bankers to have survived the losses that have driven others to bankruptcy-or worse.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKilling for keeps / Mari Hannah.
“Two brothers from the same criminal family die within hours of each other, five miles apart, one on the edge of a Newcastle industrial estate, the other in a busy A & E department of a local hospital, unseen by the triage team. Both victims have suffered horrific injuries. Who wanted them dead? Will they kill again? Investigating these brutal and bloody killings leads DCI Kate Daniels to break some rules, putting her career as well as her life on the line.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverThe missing and the dead / Stuart MacBride.
“One mistake can cost you everything. When you catch a twisted killer there should be a reward, right? What Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae gets instead is a ‘development opportunity’ out in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire. Welcome to divisional policing, catching drug dealers, shop lifters, vandals and the odd escaped farm animal. Then a little girl’s body washes up just outside the sleepy town of Banff, kicking off a massive manhunt.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTaken for dead / Graham Masterton.
“It is a sunny Saturday in county Cork, and an Irish wedding is in full swing. Drunk uncles are toasting the bride. The Ceilidh band has played for hours. But the cutting of the cake will bring the wedding to a horrifying end. For there, grinning gruesomely up from the bottom tier is the severed head of the local baker. Katie Maguire, of the Irish Garda, does not have any leads – until another local businessman goes missing in horrific circumstances. The murders appear to link to The Kings of Erin, a terrifying gang of torturers and extortionists. But these are dangerous men. And they will stop at nothing to throw Katie off the trail.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLand of the blind / Barbara Nadel.
“A body is found in the ruined Constantinople hippodrome: a woman, clutching a piece of red stone. She’s recently given birth, but there’s no sign of the baby. Inspector Cetin Ikmen discovers she was a Byzantine specialist on a crusade to protect the historic but now squalid areas of Istanbul that her enemy, property developer Ahmet Oden, seeks to destroy and rebuild. As Ikmen searches for the lost child and the truth behind her death, the people of Istanbul rise up in protest against their government in Gezi Park, and the city lurches into chaos and anger.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlack Valley / Charlotte Williams.
“Jessica Mayhew has a new client at her psychotherapy practice: artist Elinor Powell is in shock following the death of her mother, Ursula, who was murdered during the theft of a valuable painting at her studio. Elinor is a beautiful but vulnerable young woman who has grown up in the shadow of her famous Welsh ancestors and under the wing of her twin sister, Isobel. There is a suggestion that Isobel’s husband, art dealer Blake Thomas, might be responsible for Ursula’s murder. But when Blake also dies in mysterious circumstances, Jessica is drawn into a quest that not only leads her into mortal danger but also threatens to destroy her entire moral code as a therapist.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for January

The selection of new Mysteries this month feature mysteries set in Medieval Britain to modern day Norway, from Tibet to Detroit, with many different eras and locations in between. Something for all readers of mystery novels and perhaps new readers of this exciting genre will also become avid fans.

Syndetics book coverThe winter king / Alys Clare.
“On All Saints’ Eve, 1211, Lord Benedict de Vitre of Medley Hall, an obese nobleman suspected of lining his pockets with his sovereign’s money, dies suddenly in the midst of a gluttonous feast. Given his poor health and the absence of obvious signs of death, foul play isn’t suspected, despite the number of people wishing him ill, including his wife, Lady Richenza, who has employed healer Sabin de Gifford to thwart her husband’s desire for an heir. Sabin fears that the medications she secretly supplied to make procreation less likely may have contributed to de Vitre’s death. Evidence of murder soon emerges, and de Vitre isn’t the last to die, giving Sabin and her fellow healer, Meggie d’Acquin, several crimes to solve.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYou know who killed me: an Amos Walker novel / Loren D. Estleman.
“The hard-bitten Detroit PI is in rehab, after overdosing on alcohol and Vicodin. The doctor treating Walker gives him a break by not reporting his possession of the pain medication without a prescription. Meanwhile, an old friend asks his help with a murder case in nearby Iroquois Heights: Donald Gates, who maintained the computer that operated the city’s traffic lights, was gunned down in his basement. Lt. Ray Henty, who’s in charge of the corrupt Iroquois Heights PD, has a tough job made harder by the placement of huge billboards featuring Gates’s photo and the legend, “You Know Who Killed Me.” The responses to the ads flood the sheriff’s department tip line with dozens of anonymous calls, which Walker is deputized to look into.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe lion’s mouth / Anne Holt and Berit Reiss-Andersen ; translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce.
“Less than six months after taking office, the Norwegian Prime Minister is found dead. She has been shot in the head. But was it a politically motivated assassination or personal revenge? The death shakes the country to its core. The hunt for her killer is complicated, intense and grueling. Hanne Wilhelmsen must contain the scandal before a private tragedy becomes a public outrage, in what will become the most sensitive case of her career.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSins of the father / Graham Hurley.
“A rich old man, Rupert Moncrieff, is beaten to death in the silence of his West Country waterside mansion, his head hooded and his throat cut. His extended family is still living beneath his roof, each with their own room, their own story, their own ghosts, and their own motives for murder. And in this world of darkness and dysfunction are the artefacts and memories of colonial atrocities that are returning to haunt them all. At the heart of the murder investigation is DS Jimmy Suttle who, along with his estranged journalist wife Lizzie, is fighting his own demons after the abduction and death of their young daughter, Grace. But who killed Rupert Moncrieff? And what secrets is the house holding onto that could unravel this whole investigation?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCut out / Fergus McNeill.
“Nigel never meant for it to happen. At first, he just wanted to be Matt’s friend. But when he discovers he can hear what is going on in the flat below him, his fascination with his new neighbour drifts into obsession. Rearranging his furniture to recreate the layout of the rooms downstairs, buying the same clothes, going through his post, his things he starts becoming Matt without him ever knowing. And it would have been all right, if Matt hadn’t brought the girl home. When things spiral out of control, Detective Inspector Harland has to unravel the disturbing truth. But there’s far more to the case than meets the eye.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSoul of the fire / Eliot Pattison.
“Shan Tao Yun the former Beijing government investigator goes to Zhongje, a Tibetan community that the Chinese regard as a “showcase for the motherland.” To Shan’s astonishment, he’s been tapped to serve on the People’s International Commission for Peace and Order, “dedicated to eliminating the criminal acts of self-aggression that undermine harmonious coexistence in ethnic geographies.” Shan, who has served time in labor camps, is to fill the designated slot reserved for a reformed criminal, but on his first day on the commission, he witnesses a self-immolation. His police training causes him to doubt that the death was a suicide, and his refusal to ignore the facts puts him at odds with his superiors, who don’t want the truth derailing their political agenda.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlague land / S.D. Sykes.
” After ten years at the monastery 17-year-old Oswald de Lacy is back home and in no way prepared to be Lord of Somershill. The plague responsible for decimating the countryside has also killed Oswald’s father and two older brothers, leaving him with a neglected estate, an overbearing mother, an unmarried sister, and fearful peasants. Then further tragedy strikes in the form of the shocking death of Alison Starvecrow, which the village priest blames on a demonic dog-headed man. Oswald attempts to take charge and discover the truth behind Alison’s death, but all around him lie secrets. Then another body is found.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA fine summer’s day : an Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery / Charles Todd.
“It was a fine summer’s day in 1914 when life changed for so many people: Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge proposed to his longtime companion, Jean Gordon, Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, and the death of a mother sparked a trail of murders, leading Rutledge across the English countryside in search of the killer. As Rutledge closes in on the solution to the case, rumors of war become a reality, and the inspector must not only deal with the aftermath of his investigation but also face the increasing needs of his betrothed, family, Scotland Yard, and Britain itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurder at the Brightwell / Ashley Weaver.
“Set in 1930s England, at a popular upper-crust seaside resort, the story’s heroine and reluctant sleuth, Amory Ames, is at best ambivalent about her marriage to flighty playboy Milo. That is part of the reason she agrees so readily to spend a week at the resort with her former fiance, Gil Trent. Gil’s reason for asking Amory is to enlist her help in untangling his sister from an unsuitable engagement, to Rupert, a man who appears to be very much like Amory’s wayward husband! To the surprise of both Amory and Gil, Milo decides to show up at the resort as well, adding to Amory’s problems for Rupert is dead, and Gil is the main suspect. A second murder adds to the mystery, and Amory finds herself battling for time to solve the murder and decide whether she wants to continue in her marriage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mystery novels for December

This selection of the best new recently received Mysteries range in settings from historical Cuba, England and Australia to modern day Japan, Norway and Berlin. There is something to satisfy every fan of this genre.

Syndetics book coverThe dead pass / Bateman. “Hired to find the missing son of retired political activist Moira Doherty, Dan Starkey knows his new case is going to be challenging. Billy ‘the Bear’ Doherty isn’t an easy man to find – a criminal with a nasty drug habit, his mum is convinced he’s been murdered. But when Moira herself is killed, her body found floating in the waters under Londonderry’s Peace Bridge, Dan finds himself in the middle of a deadly game of cat and mouse.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverHavana sleeping / Martin Davies.
“Havana in the 1850s is a city as dangerous as it is exotic. The murder of a humble night watchman at the British Consulate seems to worry neither the Consul nor the police. But one person cared for the old man. The enigmatic courtesan Leonarda will not rest until she understands the mystery of his death. In wintry England, George Backhouse is plucked from obscurity in the Foreign Office and given an unexpected promotion. His task: to travel to Cuba and take a stand against the illegal slave trade still flourishing there. As the great powers of the region conspire against each other with increasing ruthlessness for control of the island, Backhouse comes to see that the most innocent of actions could spark a devastating war. To protect their interests, the powers-that-be in Whitehall are prepared to turn a blind eye to many things. Leonarda will not but what of George Backhouse?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYou / Zoran Drvenkar ; translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside.
“Ragnar Desche, is a ruthless career criminal, who is looking to recover drugs valued at about three million euros. He has already killed his brother, Oskar, who was holding the contraband for him in Berlin-his teenage niece, Taja, eventually implicated in the crime. With the help of her “blood sisters, Stink, Nessi, Schnappi, and Ruth, Taja tries to sell the drugs so she can find her mother in Norway. But what they find instead is Ragnar and his crew, on their tails in a violent and disturbing chase.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe murder of Harriet Krohn / Karin Fossum ; translated by James Anderson.The Murder of Harriet Krohn
“Charlo Torp doesn’t mean to kill anyone. A widower desperate to pay off gambling debts, he intends to enter Harriet Krohn’s house under the pretense of a flower delivery and steal the elderly woman’s valuables. But Harriet resists, Charlo panics, and she ends up bludgeoned to death in her kitchen. This novel focuses on the “why” of the crime, examining Charlo’s guilt and how he justifies his actions to himself, especially after the stolen money helps him repair his relationship with an estranged daughter. Still, he constantly looks over his shoulder, and with good reason-the policeman investigating Harriet’s death, Insp. Konrad Sejer, has never failed to solve a murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA murder unmentioned / Sulari Gentill.
“The black sheep of a wealthy 1930s grazier dynasty, gentleman artist Rowland Sinclair often takes matters into his own hands. When the matter is murder, there are consequences.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMalice / Keigo Higashino ; translated by Alexander O. Smith with Elye Alexander.Malice
“Renowned novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found murdered in his locked study, in his locked home. He is discovered by his wife, Rie, and his closest friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. When Tokyo Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga begins to investigate, he is surprised to see Nonoguchi; they had once been colleagues on the faculty of a middle school. Evidence leads Kaga to charge Nonoguchi with murder, and Nonoguchi freely admits to it. But Kaga’s superiors won’t bring the case to trial without knowing why Nonoguchi murdered his friend, and the accused refuses to explain. Kaga must deduce the motive as well as the killer’s identity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSomeone else’s skin / Sarah Hilary.Someone Else’s Skin
“Det. Insp. Marnie Rome and her partner, Det. Sgt. Noah Jake, visit a rundown women’s shelter in North London, where they plan to get testimony from Ayana Mirza, a domestic abuse survivor. Instead, they stumble on another domestic abuse survivor, Hope Proctor, standing over her bleeding husband, Leo, bloody knife in hand. Rome is no stranger to violence, her foster brother murdered her parents, and the case seems an open and shut example of another possessive, violent husband finally pushing his wife too far. Nagging questions remain, such as how Leo got into what was supposed to be a secure facility, the safety of which is further cast into doubt when Hope vanishes and Ayana’s abuser kidnaps her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe soul of discretion : a Simon Serrailler case / Susan Hill.
“A ring of pedophiles who snatch, abuse, film, and even kill young children is operating out of the English town of Lafferton. But evidence has led to the conviction of only one man, the Honorable Will Fernley, son of a lord, who refuses to implicate others. So Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler goes undercover, acting as pedophile Johnno Miles, to befriend Fernley and ferret out information at the therapeutic community prison to which he’s been transferred. At least psychologically, it’s a dangerous mission, undertaken at a time when Serrailler’s relationship with live-in lover Rachel is in question, his sister Cat is short of funds and facing a career change, and his father makes a dreadful mistake that puts his marriage at risk.” (Adapted from Syndetis summary)

Syndetics book coverThe forgers / Bradford Morrow.The Forgers
“In this novel we are introduced to the “visual art form” of high-end literary forgery: skilled con men who adopt the handwriting and artistic styling’s of famous authors, penning letters and book inscriptions that they sell for handsome profits. The mysterious narrator is a semi-reformed forger himself, and his girlfriend’s brother, a rare book collector named Adam Diehl, has just been murdered in a gruesome manner. The reader enters the murky world of book sellers and buyers and into the mind of a forger for whom falsifying the perfect signature is a thrill and eventually discovers why and who killed Adam Diehl.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLamentation / C.J. Sansom.
“Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councilors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government of Henry’s successor, eight-year-old Prince Edward. As heretics are hunted across London, and the radical Protestant Anne Askew is burned at the stake, the Catholic party focuses their attack on Henry’s sixth wife, Matthew Shardlake’s old mentor, Queen Catherine Parr. Shardlake, still haunted by events aboard the warship Mary Rose the year before, is working on the Cotterstoke Will case, a savage dispute between rival siblings. Then, unexpectedly, he is summoned to Whitehall Palace and asked for help by his old patron, the now beleaguered and desperate Queen. For Catherine Parr has a secret. She has written a confessional book, Lamentation of a Sinner, so radically Protestant that if it came to the King’s attention it could bring both her and her sympathizers crashing down. But, although the book was kept secret and hidden inside a locked chest in the Queen’s private chamber, it has, inexplicably, vanished. Only one page has been found, clutched in the hand of a murdered London printer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for November/December

Included in this selection of new Mysteries is the new novel from Jessica Stirling, better known for her historical family novels, but in Whatever happened to Molly Bloom? she is introducing readers to a new Detective Inspector, Jim Kinsella who will feature in other planned mysteries. The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier is highly recommended for nail biting, edge of seat reading.

Syndetics book coverThe burning room : a novel / Michael Connelly.
“In the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet ten years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other clues are virtually nonexistent. Even a veteran cop would find this one tough going, but Bosch’s new partner, Detective Lucia Soto, has no homicide experience. A young star in the department, Soto has been assigned to Bosch so that he can pass on to her his hard-won expertise. Bosch and Soto are tasked with solving a murder that turns out to be highly charged and politically sensitive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bone orchard / Paul Doiron.
“In the aftermath of a family tragedy, Mike Bowditch has left the Maine Warden Service and is working as a fishing guide in the North Woods. But when his mentor Sgt. Kathy Frost is forced to kill a troubled war veteran in an apparent case of “suicide by cop,” he begins having second thoughts about his decision. Now Kathy finds herself the target of a government inquiry and outrage from the dead soldier’s platoon mates. Soon she finds herself in the sights of a sniper, as well. When the sergeant is shot outside her farmhouse, Mike joins the hunt to find the mysterious man responsible.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe butcher / Jennifer Hillier.
“A rash of grisly serial murders plagued Seattle until the infamous “Beacon Hill Butcher” was finally hunted down and killed by police chief Edward Shank in 1985. Now, some thirty years later, Shank, retired and widowed, is giving up his large rambling Victorian house to his grandson Matt, whom he helped raise. Settling back into his childhood home, Matt, a young up-and-coming chef and restaurateur, stumbles upon a locked crate he’s never seen before. Curious, he picks the padlock and makes a discovery so gruesome it will forever haunt him. Faced with this deep dark family secret, Matt must decide whether to keep what he knows buried in the past, go to the police, or take matters into his own hands.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe iron sickle / Martin Limón.
“Early one rainy morning, the head of the 8th United States Army Claims Office in Seoul, South Korea, is brutally murdered by a Korean man in a trench coat carrying a small iron sickle hidden in his sleeve. The attack was a complete surprise, carefully planned and clinically executed. How did this unidentified Korean civilian get into the tightly controlled US Army base? And why attack the Claims officer, is there an unsettled grudge, a claim of damages that was rejected by the US Army? Against orders, CID agents Sergeant George Sueno and Ernie Bascom start investigating. As George and Ernie continue their search, they begin to suspect that not everyone wants the case solved.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bone seeker / M. J. McGrath.
“Edie Kiglatuk works as a summer school teacher in the Canadian arctic. When one of her female students is found dead in nearby toxic Lake Turngaluk, Edie enlists the help of Sergeant Derek Palliser to pursue the case, promising the girl’s Inuit family that they will uncover the truth. Lawyer Sonia Gutierrez investigates the toxicity of the lake and suspects that there might be a larger conspiracy involved. As the three clamber over rocky terrain under twenty-four-hour daylight they start to unearth secrets long frozen over, risking their own lives in the process.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLast kiss / Louise Phillips.
“A dark tale of deception and desire. In a quiet suburb, a woman desperately clings to her sanity as a shadowy presence moves objects around her home. In a hotel room across the city, an art dealer with a dubious sexual past is found butchered, his body arranged to mimic the Hangman card from the Tarot deck. But what connects them? When criminal psychologist Dr. Kate Pearson is brought in to help investigate the murder, she finds herself plunged into a web of sexual power and evil which spreads from Dublin to Paris, and then to Rome.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe house on the hill / Kevin Sampson.
“DCI Billy McCartney has gone to ground, disillusioned with his job. When a runaway turns up on his doorstep, her story plunges Mac back to the summer of 1990, and one of his most traumatic cases. McCartney and his partner DS Millie Baker are in Ibiza. Their objective: to infiltrate the Liverpool-based drug gang responsible for a wave of ecstasy-related deaths. They’re close to their big bust when Millie is abducted by the gang, and killed. McCartney never quite recovers from it. The waif who knocks on Mac’s door twenty-four years later has escaped from those same captors. What she tells McCartney blasts his apathy away, and sends him on a mission that goes far beyond law and order. This is his chance for redemption.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhatever happened to Molly Bloom? / Jessica Stirling.
“Detective Inspector Jim Kinsella is called to the scene when the body of Molly Bloom is found, beaten to death with a teapot. Although her husband, Leopold Bloom, is immediately taken into custody without a convincing alibi, Kinsella begins to have his doubts and suspicion falls upon Molly’s fellow singer and alleged lover, Hugh ‘Blazes’ Boylan. Kinsella is determined to ensure the wrong man doesn’t end up behind bars and, in seeking the truth, stumbles upon more than he bargained for.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOnly the dead / Vidar Sundstøl ; translated by Tiina Nunnally.
“A Norwegian tourist has been found murdered on the shore of Lake Superior exactly where an Ojibwe man may have been killed more than one hundred years earlier. Four months later, the official investigation is supposedly over but still not resolved, and U.S. Forest Service officer Lance Hansen, drawn into the mystery by his grisly discovery of the body, is uncovering clues disturbingly close to home. Hansen finds himself equally haunted by the complex mysteries that continue to unravel around him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesert rage : a Lena Jones Mystery / Betty Webb.
“Ferociously ambitious U.S. Senatorial candidate Juliana Thorsson has a secret. The horrific slaughter of a prominent doctor, his wife, and their ten-year-old son brings Thorsson to Private Investigator Lena Jones. The slain family’s 14-year-old, Alison, and her boyfriend, Kyle, have confessed to the murders. Thorsson wants to hire Lena to discover if Alison is telling the truth, but Lena demands to know why a rising political star wants to involve herself with the fate of a girl she’s never met. Desperate for Lena’s help, Thorsson reveals her explosive secret, that Alison is the candidate’s biological daughter, a fact she’s kept hidden for years. But that’s not all. Thorsson then confides something even more unusual, something that could ruin her political plans forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for October

The latest novels from some very popular writers appear in this month’s new mysteries, including Tana French, Kathy Reichs and J. D. Robb. Highly recommend is the mystery from Norwegian writer Jorn Lier Horst titled Closed for Winter.

Syndetics book coverThe secret place / Tana French.
“The photo shows a boy who was murdered a year ago. The caption says, ‘I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM’. Detective Stephen Moran hasn’t seen Holly Mackey since she was a nine-year-old witness to the events of Faithful Place. Now she’s sixteen and she’s shown up outside his squad room, with a photograph and a story. Even in her exclusive boarding school, bad things happen and people have secrets. The previous year, Christopher Harper, from the neighboring boys’ school, was found murdered on the grounds. And today, Holly found the card. Solving this case could take Stephen onto the Murder squad. But to get it solved, he will have to find a way into the strange, charged, mysterious world that Holly and her three closest friends inhabit and disentangle the truth from their knot of secrets…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe monogram murders / Sophie Hannah.
“For the first time ever, the guardians of Agatha Christie’s legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring her most beloved creation. Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at the fashionable Bloxham Hotel have been murdered; a cufflink placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverClosed for winter / Jorn Lier Horst ; translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce.
“Ove Bakkerud, newly separated and extremely disillusioned, is looking forward to a final quiet weekend at his summer home before closing for winter but, when the tourists leave, less welcome visitors arrive. Bakkerud’s cottage is ransacked by burglars. Next door he discovers the body of a man who has been beaten to death. Police Inspector William Wisting has witnessed grotesque murders before, but the desperation he sees in this latest murder is something new. Wisting’s unease does not diminish when they discover several more corpses on the deserted archipelago.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Sandman / Lars Kepler ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“During a cold winter night in Stockholm a young man is found walking alongside a railway bridge. The hospital declares that he is suffering from hypothermia and legionella. They also discover a death certificate stating that the man has been dead for over seven years. The man was a victim of the serial killer Jurek Walter, who was arrested by Detective Inspector Joona Linna. Jurek Walter was convicted to forensic psychiatric care, a sentence served in total isolation. But where has this man been during all these years?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrucifixion Creek / Barry Maitland.
“Homicide detective Harry Belltree wouldn’t usually be looking too hard at an elderly couple’s suicide pact. Especially since his brother-in-law Greg has just been stabbed to death. But it seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a bent moneylender with friends in high places and low. Harry can’t get officially involved in Greg’s murder, but he suspects a link with two other mysterious deaths: his parents’. And when he goes off-grid to investigate, that’s when things start to get dangerous.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn event in autumn / Henning Mankell ; translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson.
“Some cases aren’t as cold as you’d think. Kurt Wallander’s life looks like it has taken a turn for the better when his offer on a new house is accepted, only for him to uncover something unexpected in the garden, the skeleton of a middle-aged woman. As police officers comb the property, Wallander attempts to get his new life back on course by finding the woman’s killer with the aid of his daughter, Linda. But when another discovery is made in the garden, Wallander is forced to delve further back into the area’s past.” (Adapted from Syndetic summary)

Syndetics book coverHead of State : a political entertainment / Andrew Marr.
“It’s September 2017, and the United Kingdom is on the verge of a crucial referendum that will determine, once and for all, if the country remains a member of the European Union, or goes its own way. The stakes could not possibly be higher, and the outcome is delicately balanced. But, unsuspected by the electorate, and unknown to all but a handful of members of the Prime Minister’s innermost circle, there is a shocking secret at the very heart of government that, were it to become known, would change everything in an instant.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPoisoned ground : a Hakim and Arnold mystery / Barbara Nadel.
“Ex-soldier Lee Arnold and his Muslim assistant Mumtaz Hakim run a detective agency in London’s ethnically diverse, crime-ridden East End. Mumtaz is approached by an Egyptian woman, Salwa, whose husband is in Belmarsh on terrorism charges. Salwa convinces Mumtaz of her husband’s innocence and persuades her to go undercover to prove it. But Salwa is not what she seems.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBones never lie : a novel / Kathy Reichs.
“Unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common, the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. Now, as if summoned from their nightmares, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue unless Brennan can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFestive in death / J. D. Robb.
“Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition, if you ignore the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest. Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list, plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash. Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer” (Adapted fron Syndetics summary)

New Mysteries for September

This month’s selection from the most recently received new mystery novels has a very international flavour, with mysteries set in South Africa, Holland, New Guinea, America and Australia. Also included is the new mystery from the popular writer Peter Robinson titled Abattoir blues.

Syndetics book coverColdsleep lullaby : a mystery / Andrew Brown.
“Cape Town police detective Eberard Februarie has been reinstated in his job after an emotional meltdown, but he’s reassigned to the picturesque university town of Stellenbosch in the heart of South Africa’s wine region. A doctor will make the final decision about his fitness, but in the meantime, Februarie draws a particularly brutal case: the murder of a young woman about to enter the university. In alternating chapters, Brown offers a second story line: the Dutch East India Company’s often-inhumane, seventeenth-century colonization of South Africa and its development of vineyards in the region that ultimately links to Februarie’s case.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary

Syndetics book coverThe root of all evil / Roberto Costantini ; translated from the Italian by N.S. Thompson.
“Rome, 1982. In the wake of a ruinous blunder, a ground-down Commissario Balistreri escapes his regrets through sex, alcohol and gambling. His sole responsibilities are now a stilted investigation into the death of a South American student, and a tiresome obligation, as a gratitude to the man who saved his career,to a rising television starlet needing protection from the pitfalls of fame.As the risks to this girl, Claudia Teodori, begin to rise along with her reputation, the sorrows of Balistreri’s past also start to push back into his present. Both of their fates are inextricably linked and this driven, obsessive young woman must help this damaged detective fight a foe that follows her and refuses to forget him.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverGap / Rebecca Jessen.
“When you’re at the end of the line with nowhere to turn – how far would you go to protect the one you love? A man is found dead in an inner-city suburb, a police officer walks the blurry line between duty and loyalty, and a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks is on the run. Ana soon becomes a suspect in the murder investigation, and as sole carer for her younger sister is desperately trying to stay ahead of the law. In a surprising twist, the detective in charge of the case is no stranger and Ana is forced to face her past and the things she has left behind. Unsure of who she can trust and isolated by her crime, Ana is drawn into a passionate affair that breaks all the rules” ( Adapted from

Syndetics book coverThe sun is God / Adrian McKinty.
“Based on an actual 1906 incident on New Guinea’s isolated Kabakon Island. The small German cult known as the Cocovores live naked on Kabakon, where they worship the sun and eat mostly coconuts, a regimen they believe confers immortality. When a member dies and an autopsy is performed on the mainland, murder is indicated. The region’s German government sends former British military police officer Will Prior, still healing from the traumatic carnage he witnessed in the Boer War, to the island. Insect bites, the group’s bizarre drug-laced diet, and their insistence that the death was natural, slow his inquiry” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe killer next door / Alex Marwood.
“At the start Det. Insp. Merri Cheyne from Scotland Yard questions a young woman, Cheryl Farrell, about the grisly find of human fingers in a freezer inside a rundown boarding house located in a London suburb. As Cheryl confirms, the prints from those fingers belong to a fellow lodger, Lisa Dunne, who witnessed a murder and whom the FBI was seeking to interview. Dunne is not the only victim. Body parts from multiple corpses have surfaced in and around the boarding house, which turns out to be a destination for people with dark and embarrassing pasts that they wish to conceal.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCobra / Deon Meyer ; translated from Afrikaans by K. L. Seegers.
“Bennie Greissel the Cape Town homicide detective is called to the South African wine country, where the British citizen Paul Morris has been kidnapped. At the guesthouse where Morris was staying, his two bodyguards lie dead, each of them shot in the head. Near the bodies are shell casings, each etched with the head of a cobra. Back in Cape Town, the amiable cutpurse Tyrone Kleinbooi, who is devoted to putting his sister through medical school, becomes a target of the same cobra killers after picking the wrong pocket.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFear and loathing / Hilary Norman.
“Gary Burton and his Chinese-American wife are entertaining another couple on their Miami Beach patio facing the Intracoastal Waterway when four armed men step off a boat and interrupt the party. The intruders tie up the Burtons and their guests, place them in the garage, and stand by as the victims slowly die of carbon monoxide poisoning. A note left at the scene addressed specifically to Becket, an African-American detective married to a white woman, promises more slayings. Becket and partner Al Martinez dive into the bizarre case with few leads. As the body count increases, so does the threat against Becket-including a separate danger for adopted daughter Cathy, blissfully pursuing her dream job in France. Becket finds himself struggling to keep perspective and protect his loved ones from harm” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverAbattoir blues / Peter Robinson.
“When two boys vanish under mysterious circumstances, the local community is filled with unease. Then a bloodstain is discovered in a disused World War Two hangar nearby, and a caravan belonging to one of the youths is burned to the ground. Things quickly become much more sinister. Assigned to the case, DCI Banks and his team are baffled by the mystery laid out before them. But when a motor accident throws up a gruesome discovery, the investigation spins into a higher gear, in another direction. As Banks and his team struggle desperately to find the missing boy who holds the key to the puzzle, they find themselves in a race against time where it’s their turn to become the prey.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverAn unwilling accomplice/ Charles Todd.
“Bess Crawford, a British battlefield nurse in WWI,is honored to be asked to accompany a wounded soldier to Buckingham Palace, where the soldier is supposed to receive an award. But the soldier vanishes, and Bess is accused of dereliction of duty, an accusation that Bess takes very seriously. When the missing man turns up, apparently having murdered someone, it isn’t just her professional reputation Bess must save; it’s her own life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAfter the silence / Jake Woodhouse.
“A body is found hanging on a hook above the canals of Amsterdam’s old town, a mobile phone forced into the victim’s mouth.In a remote coastal village, a doll lies in the ashes of a burnt-down house. But the couple who died in the fire had no children of their own. Did a little girl escape the blaze? And, if so, who is she and where is she now? Inspector Jaap Rykel knows that he’s hunting a clever and brutal murderer. Still grieving from the violent death of his last partner, Rykel must work alongside a junior out-of-town detective with her own demons to face, if he has any hope of stopping the killer from striking again. Their investigation reveals two dark truths: everybody in this city harbours secrets and hearing those secrets comes at a terrible price.” (Adapted from

New Mysteries for August

From Texas to New York, London’s West End to the Dark Ages in Ireland and of course Sweden, murder is everywhere. This month’s selection of new Mystery novels includes some old favorites, such as Arne Dahl, Hakan Nesser and Peter Tremayne, plus some a few new ones for your reading enjoyment.

Syndetics book coverThe reckoning / Rennie Airth.
“In 1947, someone shoots Oswald Gibson, a retired bank manager, in the head while he’s fishing in a stream near Lewes, Sussex. Before his death, a visit from a stranger prompted Gibson to compose a letter to Scotland Yard asking about Madden’s whereabouts. Long retired from Scotland Yard, Madden is sure he never met the man. A month earlier, someone shot Dr. Wallace Drummond in his surgery in Ballater, Scotland, “in exactly the same manner.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe corpse bridge / Stephen Booth.
“The old Corpse Bridge is the route taken for centuries by mourners to a burial aground across the River Dove in Derbyshire. But Earl Manby, the landowner, announces plans to deconsecrate the burial ground and turn it into a carpark for his holiday cottages. Once again bodies appear on the road to the Corpse Bridge. Is there a connection with the development? Or is there a serial killer at work?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo the top of the mountain / Arne Dahl ; translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies.
“After the disastrous end to their last case, the Intercrime team, a specialist unit created to investigate violent, international crime has been disbanded, their leader forced into early retirement. The six officers have been scattered throughout the country. But when a man is blown up in a high-security prison, a major drugs baron comes under attack and a massacre takes place in a dark suburb, the Intercrime team are urgently reconvened. There is something dangerous approaching Sweden, and they are the only people who can do anything to stop it.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverLong way home / Eva Dolan.
“A man is burnt alive in a shed. No witnesses, no fingerprints, only a positive ID of the victim as an immigrant with a long list of enemies. Detectives Zigic and Ferreira are called in from the Hate Crimes Unit to track the killer, and are met with silence in a Fenland community ruled by slum racketeers, people-trafficking gangs and fear. The tension rises as the clock is ticking, but nobody wants to talk.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverNight kills / John Lutz.
“Frank Quinn is sure he is hunting for a madman: someone is shooting young women in the heart, defiling their bodies, leaving only torsos to be found. Quinn, a former NYPD detective, is called into the case by an ambitious chief of police and mobilizes his team of brilliant law-enforcement misfits. But in the concrete canyons of New York, this shocking serial murder case is turning into something very different.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe G file : a Van Veeteren mystery / Håkan Nesser ; translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson.
“1987. Verlangan, a former cop turned private detective is hired by a woman to follow her husband Jaan ‘G’ Hennan. A few days later, his client is found dead at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. Maardam police, led by Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, investigate the case. Van Veeteren has encountered Jaan ‘G’ Hennan before and knows only too well the man’s dark capabilities. As more information emerges about G’s shadowy past, the Chief Inspector becomes more desperate than ever to convict him. But G has a solid alibi- and no one else can be found in relation to the crime. 2002. Fifteen years have passed and the G File remains the one case former Chief Inspector Van Veeteren has never been able to solve. But when Verlangan’s daughter reports the private detective missing, Van Veeteren returns to Maardam CID once more. For all Verlangan left behind was a cryptic note; and a telephone message in which he claimed to have finally discovered the proof of G’s murderous past.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe murder bag / Tony Parsons.
“There’s a serial killer on the loose. The social network sites all love him because he cuts the throats of rich and powerful men and he’s good at it. Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Enter Detective Max Wolfe, single parent, devoted husband of a brutally departed wife.. Newly arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row, Max follows the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the Internet and all the way to the corridors of power.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSupping with the devil : a DCI Paniatowski mystery / Sally Spencer.
“DCI Monika Paniatowski recognises her latest assignment as advisor to the Earl of Ridley’s rock festival for what it really is, an attempt by the chief constable to destroy her career. Yet it soon becomes apparent that matters are not as simple as they appear. Why, for instance, did the Earl choose to employ the notorious Devil’s Disciples motorcycle gang to provide the security for the festival? And to what lengths will his mother, the dowager countess, go to destroy it? But it is when the half-naked body of a tabloid journalist is discovered in the middle of Whitebridge that things really start to hot up.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverThe devil’s seal / Peter Tremayne.
“An Anglo-Saxon deputation arrives in Cashel to debate the new religious rules from Rome with an Irish delegation. The Abbot of Imleach leads the Irish delegation who are hostile to the new rules, and among the Anglo-Saxon delegation is Brother Eadulf’s own younger brother, Egric. There is also an observer appointed from Rome, the Venerable Favorinus. The debate is bad tempered and acrimonious and local Abbess Dar Óma has to step in as a mediator between the two sides. But that evening her body is discovered, she has been bludgeoned to death.The animosity between the two sides is heightened as the Chief Brehon Aillín accuses young Egric of murder. The Venerable Favorinus counter claims that the murderer is Brother Madagan, who is steward to Abbot of Imleach. Suspicions and tempers run high. With the war of words threatening to spill over into bloodshed, Fidelma is compelled to resolve the mystery as she is sure there is something more sinister behind the murder than religious differences.” (Adpated from

Syndetics book coverBlackbird / Tom Wright.
“Blackbird is a detective thriller about a serial killer on the loose in contemporary Texas. Leading the investigations is one Detective Jim Beaudry, formerly known as Biscuit, no stranger to the dark side of life. Wrapping up the case will force Jim into the deepest recesses of his own history, even the parts he’d rather forget.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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