Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ring Out 2013 with This New Batch of Mysteries

As we hurtle towards the end of 2013, pick up one of these new December releases to enjoy as you curl up by the fire with a lovely cup of tea or hot cocoa. We have Tom Clancy's last Jack Ryan thriller, posthumously published after Clancy's October passing. Michael Connelly's new Mickey Haller mystery is released this month. Perhaps you'll find a new author to enjoy as well as catch up on a favorite author's latest outing. Enjoy!

  •  The Purity of Vengeance [Department Q] by Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • The Midas Murders [Pieter Van In] by Pieter Aspe
  • Murder on the Orient Espresso [Maggy Thorsen] by Sandra Balzo
  • Once Upon a Lie by Maggie Barbieri
  • Chilled to the Bone [Gunnhilder] by Quentin Bates
  • Ten Lords A-Leaping [Father Christmas] by C.C. Benison
  • Reel Stuff [Skip Moore & James Lessor] by Don Bruns
  • Command Authority [Jack Ryan] by Tom Clancy & Mark Greaney
  • Leave Tomorrow Behind [Stella Crown] by Judy Clemens
  • The Gods of Guilt [Mickey Haller] by Michael Connelly
  • Billionaire Blend [Coffeehouse] by Cleo Coyle
  • Heirs of the Body [Daisy Dalrymple] by Carola Dunn
  • A Dangerous Deceit by Marjorie Eccles
  • The Invisible Code [Bryant & May] by Christopher Fowler
  • Electra [Delphic Women] by Kerry Greenwood
  • Hazardous Duty [Presidential Agent] by W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV
  • Going Dark [Thorn] by James W. Hall
  • The Red Pole of Macau [Ava Lee] by Ian Hamilton
  • Murder as a Second Language [Claire Malloy] by Joan Hess
  • The Death Trade [Sean Dillon] by Jack Higgins
  • Lying with Strangers by Jonnie Jacobs
  • Noose by Bill James
  • The Black Life [Alex Mavros] by Paul Johnston
  • The Funeral Owl [Philip Dryden] by Jim Kelly
  • The Death Box [Carson Ryder & Harry Nautilus] by Jack Kerley
  • Innocence by Dean Koontz
  • In Retrospect by Ellen Larson
  • Rosarito Beach [Kay Hamilton] by M.A. Lawson
  • The Murder Code by Steve Mosby
  • The Spook Lights Affair [Carpenter & Quincannon] by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
  • Rosemary and Crime [Piper Prescott] by Gail Oust
  • A Christmas Hope by Anne Perry
  • Scandal at Six [Lois Meade] by Ann Purser
  • The Prince of Risk by Christopher Reich
  • Hunted by Karen Robards
  • Innocent Blood [Order of the Sanguines] by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell
  • Dark Omens [Libertus] by Rosemary Rowe
  • Covenant with Hell [Medieval Mystery] by Priscilla Royal
  • Shoot the Woman First [Crissa Stone] by Wallace Stroby

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Murder for All Seasons

If you are a fan of Agatha Christie or Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, you must delve into the delightful English village of Nether Monkslip. Cleric Max Tudor, a former spy for MI5 (and village heartthrob), has to put aside his sermon-writing to solve some troubling murders in his idyllic little village.

G.M Malliet’s quirky characters, intricate puzzles, and wry humor make this an award-winning series. Max Tudor is first introduced in Wicked Autumn. The vicar has settled peacefully in the community populated by yoga practitioners, New Agers, artists and crafters, and other escapees from urban life. But when murder raises its ugly head, Max puts his former life skills to work.

The series continues with A Fatal Winter, where Max investigates two murders at Chedrow Castle following a house party. A group of greedy relatives present the sleuthing vicar a multitude of possible suspects.

Pagan Spring is the most recently released in this charming series. While Max's love interest, Awena Owen, is out of town Max takes time away from writing his Easter sermon to attend a dinner party for the famous actor Thaddeus Bottle, who has recently retired to Nether Monkslip. But what a shock when the unfortunate Bottle is found dead in his bed the next morning. And of course no one is sorry to see him permanently retired, thus leaving open a wide pool of suspects.

These are the perfect cozy reads for a chilly winter’s night. I've already got plans to enjoy the last two in the series over the Thanksgiving holidays!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Once More, the Game is Afoot!

Fans of the Masterpiece Mystery hit series, Sherlock, have been awaiting the return of everyone's favorite consulting detective. Well, mark your calendars! Sherlock returns to PBS on January 19, 2014. Of course, the dynamic duo have hardly been on vacation. Benedict Cumberbatch was seen recently in Star Trek Into Darkness, The Fifth Estate, The Hobbit, just  to name a few. Martin Freeman, aka Dr. John Watson, has been busy filming The Hobbit Trilogy. The upcoming episodes of the new season of Sherlock are The Empty Hearse, The Sign of Three, and The Last Vow.

Other Sherlock Holmes projects coming up include a new PBS documentary How Sherlock Changed the World: His Impact on Real-Life Criminal and Forensic Investigation; a third installment of the Robert Downey, Jr/Jude Law Sherlock Holmes franchise is said to be in the works; and Ian McKellen is set to portray the elderly Homes in the film adaptation of A Slight Trick of the Mind from Mitch Cullin's novel.

Several new Sherlockian title are due out in the next few months. Watch for Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes, edited by Loren D. Estleman; The Strand Magazine & Sherlock Homes by Robert Veld; and The Sherlock Files: The Official Companion to the Hit Television Series by Guy Adams.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

If you are a fan of Dan Brown or Steve Barry, may I recommend the new thriller by bestselling German author Oliver Pötzsch, admirably translated by Anthea Bell. The Ludwig Conspiracy blends modern day adventure and intrigue with a compelling historical thriller. You may be unfamiliar with the tale of King Ludwig II, the Fairy Tale King of Bavaria, but you will instantly recognize Neuschwanstein, one of his famous castles that was the inspiration for Disney’s iconic castle.

The story of Ludwig, who is sometimes referred to as “Mad King Ludwig,” is a mystery in itself. Remembered today for the string of tourist attraction castles in Bavaria, Ludwig was deposed in 1886 after being declared insane by a psychiatrist who had never even examined him. Soon after, he drowned in waist-deep water. Certainly a suspicious circumstance.

From the moment an encoded diary and artifacts fall into the hands of rare-book dealer Steven Lukas, he knows that it will bring him more misery than money. Danger dogs his footsteps as he tries to decipher the diary with the help of an art detective, Sara Lengfeld. They investigate three of Ludwig’s castles searching for clues to help crack the diary’s code, always trying to outrun a mysterious gang of thugs and a group of Ludwig’s fanatical followers.

As Steven slowly deciphers the diary, he’s caught up in the exciting story unfolding in 19th century Bavaria. The diary’s author, a young confidante of King Ludwig, uncovers a nefarious political plot to remove the king from power. Trusting no one, he barely escapes with his life as he makes his way back to the castle to warn the king.

Pötzsch spent many years as a radio personality and a screenwriter for Bavarian public television. His Hangman’s Daughter books have sold over half a million copies in English. He lives in Munich with his family.

Monday, November 4, 2013

November's New Releases

I was not happy to read that the TNT series of King and Maxwll was cancelled after only one season. I rather enjoyed it! Too bad. At least the characters still live in David Baldacci's books.Also interesting in this month's crop of new releases is Dashiell Hammett's collection, The Hunter and Other Stories. The book is edited by Richard Layman and Hammett's granddaughter, Julie Rivett. Happy Reading!

  • King and Maxwell [Sean King & Michelle Maxwell] by David Baldacci
  • The Price of Innocence [Theresa MacLean] by Lisa Black
  • Mrs. Jeffries and the Merry Gentlemen [Mrs. Jeffries] by Emily Brightwell
  • Purgatory [Jack Taylor] by Ken Bruen
  • The Missing Dough [Pizza Lovers] by Chris Cavender
  • Gone in a Flash [E.J. Pugh] by Susan Rogers Cooper
  • Dust [Kay Scarpetta] by Patricia Cornwell
  • Mirage [Oregon Files] by Clive Cussler & Jack Du Brul
  • Takedown Twenty [Stephanie Plum] by Janet Evanovich
  • Rituals [Faye Longchamp] by Mary Anna Evans
  • An Old Betrayal [Charles Lenox] by Charles Finch
  • Nowhere Nice [Nick Reid & Desmond] by Rick Gavin
  • Murder by Sunlight: The Charity Quilt [Quilted] by Barbara Graham
  • Cassandra [Delphic Women] by Kerry Greenwood 
  • Found [Matt Royal] by H. Terrell Griffin
  • The Hunter and Other Stories by Dashiell Hammett, edited by Richard Layman & Julie M. Rivett
  • For Better or Worsted [Crochet] by Betty Hechtman
  • Hidden Heritage [Lottie Albright] by Charlotte Hinger
  • Hostage [Bishop/SCU] by Kay Hooper
  • Hardcastle’s Traitors [Ernest Hardcastle] by Graham Ison
  • Missing [Casey Jansen] by C.T. Jorgensen
  • Our Picnics in the Sun by Morag Joss
  • Death of a Nightingale [Nina Borg] by Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis
  • Cries of the Lost [Arthur Cathcart] by Chris Knopf
  • Burnt Black [Cliff St. James] by Ed Kovacs
  • A Nasty Piece of Work by Robert Littell
  • Broken (YA) by CJ Lyons
  • Raven's Eye [Brock & Kolla] by Barry Maitland
  • The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon [No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency] by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Sins of the Flesh [Carmine Delmonico] by Colleen McCullough
  • The King’s Corrodian [Gil Cunningham] by Pat McIntosh
  • Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses [Dandy Gilver] by Catriona McPherson 
  • Rosemary and Crime [Piper Prescott] by Gail Oust
  • Marbeck and the King-in-Waiting [Martin Marbeck] by John Pilkington
  • White Fire [Aloysius Pendergast] by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
  • No Man’s Nightingale [Reginald Wexford] by Ruth Rendell
  • Beyond Redress [Harry Brock] by Kinley Roby
  • Die-Off [John Marquez] by Kirk Russell
  • The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel
  • Louise’s Dilemma [Louise Pearlie] by Sarah R. Shaber
  • The Big Fiddle [Michael Angel] by Roger Silverwood
  • Tatiana [Arkady Renko] by Martin Cruz Smith
  • Through the Evil Days [Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne] by Julia Spencer-Fleming
  • Ghost Medicine [Ella Clah] by Aimée & David Thurlo
  • Crimson Rose [Kit Marlowe] by M.J. Trow
  • Solid Citizens [Marcus Corvinus] by David Wishart
  • Deadly Pleasures edited by Martin Edwards
  • USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series edited by Johnny Temple