Keeping up with the Jones: new mysteries in our collection

Tesla Teslasdeathray GIF by Discovery Europe

Image via giphy

Welcome to this month’s selection of newly acquired detective and thriller titles. There is a host of goodies on offer this month but the title that caught our eye was The Wharton Plot by Mariah Fredericks, in which the acclaimed author and socialite Edith Wharton solves a tricky mystery.

Author Edith Wharton is perhaps better known as the chronicler of America’s gilded age, approximately the mid-1870s to the late 1890s, through which Edith Wharton lived.  This time in America’s history is known for its rapid economic expansion, materialistic excess and associated political corruption – in short, a perfect period and location in which to set a detective story.

Edith Wharton was born in 1862 into New York aristocracy. Her family name was Jones and their  wealth was such that it led to the phrase, still in use today, “keeping up with the Jones” being coined about them. She became a hugely gifted writer, realistically portraying the morals and lives of her time. Her novel The Age of Innocence won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and she was the first ever female recipient of the prize. She went on to write numerous other well-known novels such as The House of Mirth and her ghost stories are highly recommended. She passed in 1937 and was posthumously inducted  into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1996.

Our other top tips in this month’s selection can be viewed below.

The Wharton plot : a novel / Fredericks, Mariah
“New York City, 1911. Edith Wharton, almost equally famed for her novels and her sharp tongue, is bone-tired of Manhattan. Finding herself at a crossroads with both her marriage and her writing, she makes the decision to leave America, her publisher, and her loveless marriage. And then, dashing novelist David Graham Phillips–a writer with often notorious ideas about society and women’s place in it–is shot to death outside the Princeton Club. Edith herself met the man only once, when the two formed a mutual distaste over tea in the Palm Court of the Belmont hotel. When Phillips is killed, Edith’s life takes another turn, as she becomes obsessed with solving a crime.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Bittlemores : a novel / Arden, Jann
“On mean Harp Bittlemore’s blighted farm, hidden away in the Backhills, nothing has gone right for a very long time. Crops don’t grow, the pigs and chickens stay skinny and the three aged dairy cows, Berle, Crilla and Dally, are so desperate they are plotting an escape.  Just as things are really coming to a head, a bright young police officer starts investigating a cold case involving a baby stolen from a little rural hospital 28 years earlier, and Willa and the cows find out exactly how far the Bittlemores will go to protect a festering secret. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What wild women do : a novel / Brown, Karma
“Rowan is stuck. Her dreams of becoming a screenwriter are stalled, along with her bank account, as she and her fiancé, Seth, try to make sense of what’s next for them after leaving LA. But when the couple takes a trip to a cabin in the Adirondacks, hoping the change will provide inspiration for Seth’s novel-in-progress, Rowan finds herself drawn into a story greater than her own–that of socialite-turned-feminist-crusader Eddie Calloway, who vanished one day in 1975 and was never found or heard from again. In a handbook left behind in the abandoned ruins of a once-great camp, Rowan learns more about the enigmatic Eddie, and clues as to what happened to her. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The stranger in the asylum / Clare, Alys
“Private investigators Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham have to hunt down an escapee from a French asylum, in this new, gripping World’s End Bureau Victorian mystery from critically-acclaimed author Alys Clare. London, April 1882. When cool-headed Phyllida visits the World’s End Investigation Bureau to offer a curious case concerning her fiance, proprietor Lily Raynor is intrigued – and privately excited. For accepting the case means taking an unexpected trip abroad, to France. Phyllida’s fiance, Wilberforce, is currently in an asylum in Brittany, after a tragic incident which resulted in the death of his father. Did he kill him on purpose – or was it an accident? ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The enchanters : a novel / Ellroy, James
“Los Angeles. August 4, 1962. The city broils through a mid-summer heat wave. Marilyn Monroe ODs. A B-movie starlet is kidnapped. The overhyped LAPD overreacts. Chief Bill Parker’s looking for some getback. The Monroe deal looks like a moneymaker. He calls in Freddy Otash. The freewheeling Freddy O. Tainted ex-cop, defrocked private eye, dope fiend, and freelance extortionist. A man who lives by the maxim “Opportunity is Love.” Freddy gets to work. He dimly perceives Marilyn Monroe’s death and the kidnapped starlet to be a poisonous riddle that only he has the guts and the brains to untangle. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Viviana Valentine and the ticking clock / Edwards, Emily J
“New York City, 1950. Viviana Valentine and Tommy Fortuna have a lot of resolutions for the new year, whether it’s continuing to build up their detective agency or planning their wedding, the two are looking forward to the future. On their way to Times Square to celebrate, the two witness a brutal stabbing. When Tommy tries to chase down the culprit, Viviana tries her best to save the man. She’s unsuccessful, but Viviana hears his final words: a whispered apology to an unknown friend. Clues are hard to come by, with the only leads being the fraught last words and a few nondescript matchbooks in the victim’s overcoat…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The busy body / Donovan, Kemper
“It’s a dream assignment. Former Senator Dorothy Gibson, aka that woman, is the most talked-about person in the country right now, though largely for the wrong reasons. As an independent candidate for President of the United States, Dorothy split the vote and is being blamed for the shocking result. After her very public defeat, she’s retreated to her home in rural Maine, inviting her ghostwriter to join her. Her collaborator is impressed by Dorothy’s work ethic and steel-trap mind, not to mention the stunning surroundings (and one particularly gorgeous bodyguard). But when a neighbor dies under suspicious circumstances, Dorothy is determined to find the killer in their midst…” (Adaptede from Catalogue)

The frozen river : a novel / Lawhon, Ariel
“A gripping historical mystery based on the real-life diary entries of Martha Ballard, an 18th-century midwife who defied the legal system and wrote herself into American history. Maine, 1789: When the Kennebec River freezes, entombing a man in the ice, Martha Ballard is summoned to examine the body and determine cause of death. As a midwife and healer, she is privy to much of what goes on behind closed doors in Hallowell. Her diary is a record of every birth and death, crime and debacle that unfolds in the close-knit community…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *