Some new mystery novels for March include the rebirth of the iconic character Phillip Marlowe from Benjamin Black; the final fiction adaptation of the popular Danish TV series The Killing; the latest Hamish MacBeth novel; & new French and Icelandic mysteries…
Death of a policeman / M.C. Beaton.
“Local police stations all over the Scottish Highlands are being threatened with closure. This presents the perfect opportunity for Detective Chief Inspector Blair, who would love nothing more than to get rid of Sergeant Hamish Macbeth. Blair suggests that Cyril Sessions, a keen young police officer, visit the town of Lochdubh to monitor exactly what Macbeth does every day. Macbeth hears about Blair’s plan and is prepared to insure that Cyril returns back to headquarters with a full report. But Cyril is soon found dead and Hamish quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder.” (Publisher description)
The chosen seed / Sarah Pinborough.
“The tables have turned, and now Detective Inspector Cass Jones is a wanted man on the streets of London. Framed for murder and hunted by his former colleagues, Cass needs every ally he can get–including a very unexpected figure from his past. While detectives Hask and Ramsey search for the killer behind the lethal Strain II virus, Mr. Bright continues to pull strings from the shadows, and there are dire warnings of a final battle that could tear everything apart. As he searches for his kidnapped nephew while eluding his own pursuers, Cass is determined to find the answers–even if he has to confront the darkest secrets of the history of humanity to do it.” (Publisher Description)
The dark angel / Dominique Sylvain ; translated from the French by Nick Caistor.“On the one hand, there’s Lola. A grumpy retired policewoman who cannot get by without her two best friends: red wine and jigsaw puzzles. On the other, there’s Ingrid, an American in love with Paris. By day she gives the best massages in the city, and her long nights are wilder still… Their paths might not have crossed were it not for the murder of a young neighbour. Vanessa Ringer’s body is found in the flat she shared with two schoolfriends, mutilated in the most cruel and unusual manner. Suspicion falls on Maxime Duchamp, a charming restaurateur whose suave exterior hides a tragic past. Convinced of his innocence, Lola and Ingrid hit the streets to unmask the real killer. Meanwhile, lying low, the victim’s spurned lover, a high-stakes thief with one last heist to go, is plotting his revenge. His inner demon, the Dark Angel, has foreshadowed all.” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
Die-off : a John Marquez novel / Kirk Russell.
“In Russell’s solid fifth mystery featuring Lt. John Marquez (after 2011’s Redback), the former DEA agent turned Northern California game warden doggedly follows the trail of shadowy figures who are systematically violating environmental laws. At the same time, Marquez investigates a new lead in the brutal murder of a pair of campers that occurred two years earlier, in the process arousing suspicion himself. Connections gradually emerge between the cold case and the planned ecological crime… Marquez is a sympathetic, meticulous, and resolute investigator… the setting is portrayed with care, and the chance to root for an animal-saving, nature-loving detective is a pleasant respite from the weary cynicism of typical police procedurals.” (Abridged from Publisher Weekly)
Jazz and die / Stella Whitelaw.
“Jordan Lacey, former policewoman-turned-private-investigator, needs work, so when dishy DCI James offers the job of guarding Maddy, unruly daughter of a famous jazz trumpeter, from a stalker, she accepts immediately and heads off to the festival in Dorset in her new sports car, the Wasp. But discovering DCI James’s cold case involves a victim the same age as Maddy, and from the same school, Jordan is sure there is a link. Events escalate and Jordan must rely on her wits and training to keep Maddy safe. Once again she’s on the heels of a cold-blooded murderer and is unstoppable in her determination to chase the killer down.” (Library Catalogue)
The black-eyed blonde : a Philip Marlowe novel / Benjamin Black.
“Despite Robert B. Parker’s lengthy experience in the PI genre, his sequel to The Big Sleep, Perchance to Dream, pales in comparison with Black’s pitch-perfect recreation of the character and his time and place. As for the language, Black nails Chandler’s creative and memorable similes and metaphors. When Marlowe shakes hands with someone, “It was like being given a sleek, cool-skinned animal to hold for a moment or two.” The title character, Clare Cavendish, wanders into Marlowe’s office to ask him to trace her lover, Nico Peterson, who disappeared two months earlier. The case appears to wrap up quickly after Marlowe learns that Peterson was the victim of a hit-and-run, but Cavendish has some major revelations in store. While the mystery is well plotted, Black elevates it beyond mere thoughtful homage with a plausible injection of emotion in his wounded lead.” (Abridged from Publisher Weekly)
Steeped in evil / Laura Childs.
“In Childs’s charming 15th cozy featuring Theodosia Browning (after 2013’s Sweet Tea Revenge), the owner of a tea shop in Charleston, S.C., the heroine encounters a new mystery while accompanying friend and business partner Drayton Conneley to a wine-tasting party. Drew Knight, the son of Knighthall Winery’s owner, Jordan, is found murdered on the premises, and Jordan’s friend Drayton persuades Theo to help the incompetent local sheriff with the investigation… As Theo considers a wide range of possibilities, the list of suspects grows. It includes Drew’s beautiful model girlfriend, Tanya Woodson; his social-climbing mother, Pandora; rival winery owner Georgette Kroft; and Drew’s as-yet-unidentified drug dealer. With humor, plenty of action, and a tantalizing array of teas and recipes, Theodosia is sure to win more followers with this enjoyable whodunit.” (Abridged from Publisher Weekly)
Chilled to the bone / Quentin Bates.
“In her third outing, Iceland police sergeant Gunnhildur (Gunna) Gisladottir investigates the murder of a businessman found tied to a bed in an upscale Reykjavik hotel. He’s not the first man to be similarly abandoned midway through a paid-for tryst. To make matters worse, a laptop containing sensitive government data was stolen from one of the rooms. All this would be pressure enough for Gunna, but there’s someone else looking for the disappearing dominatrix Baddo, a thug just returned to Iceland after an eight-year prison stint in Lithuania… A solid police procedural with some genuinely rewarding surprises at the end. When it comes to frosty crime novels, Iceland may just be the new Sweden.” (Abridged from Booklist)
The price of innocence / Lisa Black.
“Romance comes to Theresa MacLean for the first time since her fiance’s death, in Black’s satisfying sixth mystery featuring the Cleveland forensic scientist (after Blunt Impact). From the moment Theresa meets David Madison she’s captivated. That the feeling appears to be mutual, though, only serves to make the savvy crime fighter suspicious. Questions plague her. How does he know the murder victim at whose funeral they meet? Is David connected to a 25-year-old fire in Cleveland State University student housing-a fire that’s somehow connected to a series of explosions she’s currently investigating? With only her gut to go on, she-and the reader-scud through a series of devilishly clever blind alleys and red herrings.” (Abridged from Publisher Weekly)
The killing. III / David Hewson.
“Detective Inspector for homicide, Sarah Lund, is contacted by old flame Mathias Borch from National Intelligence. Borch fears that what first appeared to be a random killing at the docks is the beginning of an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Troels Hartmann. The murder draws attention towards the shipping and oil giant, Zeeland, run by billionaire Robert Zeuthen. When Zeuthen’s 9-year-old daughter, Emilie, is kidnapped the investigation takes on a different dimension as it soon becomes clear that her disappearance is linked to the murder of a young girl in Jutland some years earlier. Hartmann is in the middle of an election campaign, made all the more turbulent because of the mounting financial crisis. He needs Zeeland’s backing. Lund needs to make sense of the clues left by Emilie’s perpetrator before it’s too late. And can she finally face the demons that have long haunted her?” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)