Puns galore: New mystery titles


We love a good pun at the library and it appears that many cosy crime writers do too, especially when it comes to the titles of their books. This pun-tastic obsession comes into play even more so when it comes to seasonal releases.

This month’s selection of slightly out of season titles sees several books that fit this bill including, Let it crow! Let it crow! Let it crow! by Donna Andrews, Up on the woof top by Spencer Quinn, and our favourite this month ‘Twas the bite before Christmas by David Rosenfelt; a “seasonally themed canine detective tale.”

Incidentally our all-time favourite title in this field of wordplay is Dachshund through the snow.

There were several other titles that caught our attention, such as the new book by the multi-award-winning Aotearoa crime writer Paul Cleave called His favourite graves. We also have The new detective by Peter Steiner, a novel set in Germany before, during and after World War One.

Let it crow! Let it crow! Let it crow / Andrews, Donna
” Meg has been roped into participating in a blacksmithing competition, a kind of Forged in Fire wannabe organized by a blacksmith friend. Meg originally turned down his invitation to participate, but when Faulk, her blacksmithing mentor, breaks his wrist the night before filming begins, Meg agrees to step in as his replacement to keep the project from failing. She’s not thrilled that the filming will take place during December–Christmas is already a crazy time for her. At least she doesn’t have to abandon Michael and their twin sons during the filming, since that’s taking place on Ragnarsholm, the picturesque estate that her friend Ragnar, the retired heavy metal drummer, is turning into a Goth castle…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Up on the woof top / Quinn, Spencer
“Chet the dog,  and his human partner Bernie Little find themselves high in the mountains this holiday season to help Dame Ariadne Carlisle, a renowned author of bestselling Christmas mysteries, find Rudy, her lead reindeer and good luck charm, who has gone missing. At Kringle Ranch, Dame Ariadne’s expansive mountain spread, Chet discovers that he is not fond of reindeer. But the case turns out to be about much more than reindeer after Dame Ariadne’s personal assistant takes a long fall into Devil’s Purse, a deep mountain gorge…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

‘Twas the bite before Christmas / Rosenfelt, David
“Reluctant lawyer Andy Carpenter is at the Tara Foundation’s annual Christmas party. The dog rescue organization has always been his true calling, and this is one holiday tradition he can get behind because every dog that’s come through the rescue–and their families–are invited to celebrate. This year’s party is no exception. But before the stockings can be hung by the chimney with care, homicide detectives ruin the evening. Derek Moore, one of the foundation’s best foster volunteers, is arrested for murder.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

His favourite graves / Cleave, Paul
“Acacia Pines, USA. Sheriff Cohen’s life is falling apart – his father accidentally burned down the retirement home, his wife has moved out, and his son is bullying other kids at school. When high-school student Lucas Connor is abducted, Cohen sees a chance to get his life back on track – to win back his wife and scoop the reward money on offer. But as the body count rises, it becomes clear that Cohen is going to have to make the kind of decision from which there’s no coming back… a decision with deadly consequences…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The new detective / Steiner, Peter
“Willi Geismeier thought he’d faced the worst of humanity on the battlefield in World War I, but when he returns to Munich he is drawn into an investigation that proves to be just as chilling.Munich, 1913. Twenty-year-old Willi Geismeier is showing great promise as a rookie detective in the Munich police department when he is sent to fight in World War I. After narrowly surviving the horrors of the conflict, Willi returns home, where the challenges he faces are just as grave. The Spanish flu rips through Munich with devastating consequences. Willi, now back in the police force, finds himself investigating an insurance scam, missing drugs and the mysterious death of a prisoner. Chilling links emerge between all three, and Willi finds himself facing a `scientific’ killer and the rising fascists determined to stop him in his tracks . . .” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Last stop on the Murder Express / Farrington, Conor
“Literary fame beckons for Olga Pushkin, Railway Engineer (Second Class), when her self-help manual for hard-working women is published at last. In the meantime, however, Olga still has a household to support, a hedgehog to feed, and railway tracks to maintain from her tiny Siberian village of Roslazny, which has just become the target for Russian Railways budget cuts. Worse still, her beloved sergeant of police, Vassily Marushkin, has reunited with his long-lost wife Rozalina. And soon Rozalina is forcing Vassily to consider moving away… ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The cage / Jardine, Quintin
“On a sunny seaside August morning, a woman on maternity leave spots a body wedged in rocks on a Scottish beach. Gavin Ayre’s riding gear sparks the assumption that he had been thrown by a panicked horse, until an autopsy reveals this was no accident. Soon it becomes clear that Ayre’s life was as big a mystery as his death. Detective Superintendent Harold ‘Sauce’ Haddock heads an investigation that is running into the sand, until a link is revealed between the victim and another man in Spain, with a surprisingly similar name. Faced with the twin puzzle Sauce turns to his mentor, Bob Skinner, moved on from the police service to head an international media group. Soon the two friends are at the heart of a multi-layered conspiracy, as they search for the answer to the prime question, who killed Gavin Ayre?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The curse of Penryth Hall / Armstrong, Jess
“After the Great War, American heiress Ruby Vaughn made a life for herself running a rare bookstore alongside her octogenarian employer and house mate in Exeter. She’s always avoided dwelling on the past, even before the war, but it always has a way of finding her. When Ruby is forced to deliver a box of books to a folk healer living deep in the Cornish countryside, she is brought back to the one place she swore she’d never return. A more sensible soul would have delivered the package and left without rehashing old wounds. But no one has ever accused Ruby of being sensible. Thus begins her visit to Penryth Hall…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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