A puzzle, enigma, conundrum, riddle, secret or problem – all words that can be used instead of mystery! In this case mystery is referring to a novel with a plot that may be unsettling or puzzling until the very end…. Enjoy the cooler temperatures and curl up with a good mystery!
by Susan Wittig Albert
It’s Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother’s husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise–turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She’s also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. But Leatha calls with bad news: Sam has had a heart attack. How will Leatha manage if Sam can’t carry his share? She does have a helper, Sue Ellen Krause. But China discovers that Sue Ellen is in some serious trouble. Before Sue Ellen can tell China the full story, her car veers off a deserted road and she is killed. Meanwhile, when a local veterinarian is shot in what appears to be a burglary at his clinic, Mack Chambers believes his murder could be related to fawns stolen from a nearby ranch. As Mack follows the trail, China begins to wonder if Sue Ellen’s death may not have been an accident, and if there’s a connection to the stolen animals. But their search for the truth may put their own lives in danger…
by Judith A. Jance
Revenge isn’t the only dish served cold… Ali Reynolds’s longtime friend and Taser-carrying nun, Sister Anselm, rushes to the bedside of a young pregnant woman hospitalized for severe injuries after she was hit by a car on a deserted Arizona highway. The girl had been running away from The Family, a polygamous cult with no patience for those who try to leave its ranks. Meanwhile, married life agrees with Ali. But any hopes that she and her husband, B. Simpson, will finally slow down and relax now that they’ve tied the knot are dashed when Ali’s new daughter-in-law approaches her, desperate for help. The girl’s grandmother, Betsy, is in danger: she’s been receiving anonymous threats, and someone even broke into her home and turned on the gas burners in the middle of the night.
Dark Side of the Road
by Simon R. Green
Ishmael Jones is someone who can’t afford to be noticed, someone who lives under the radar, who drives on the dark side of the road. He’s employed to search out secrets, investigate mysteries and shine a light in dark places. Sometimes he kills people. Invited by his employer, the enigmatic Colonel, to join him and his family for Christmas, Ishmael arrives at the grand but isolated Belcourt Manor in the midst of a blizzard to find that the Colonel has mysteriously disappeared. As he questions his fellow guests, Ishmael concludes that at least one of them – not least Ishmael himself – is harbouring a dangerous secret, and that beneath the veneer of festive cheer lurk passion, jealousy, resentment and betrayal. As a storm sets in, sealing off the Manor from the rest of the world, Ishmael must unmask a ruthless murderer before they strike again.
by Laura Childs
Carmela Bertrand knows that Halloween in New Orleans means a week of rabble-rousing, costumed craziness–and she can’t wait to get the party started. But when a local antiques dealer turns up dead, Carmela suddenly finds herself in a real-life danse macabre… An evening’s work deciding on the class schedule for her scrapbooking shop has put Carmela in the mood to kick up her heels. But after some strange noises draw her into Oddities, the neighboring antiques shop, Carmela’s night is abruptly put on hold when a bloody body falls out of a curio cabinet–and into her arms. While shop owner Marcus Joubert was known for being an eccentric with a penchant for eclectic merchandise, Carmela never thought he was the kind of man who could inspire the passion required to kill. But when Marcus’s assistant–and fiancée–Mavis reveals that a priceless death mask was also stolen, it becomes clear that murder wasn’t the culprit’s sole intention. Carmela can’t resist the urge to investigate the growing mystery, but as the list of suspects increases, she realizes it’ll take every trick in the book to unmask the killer thief before there’s another night of murderous mischief…
Kill Me, Darling
by Mickey Spillane
The course of true love never did run smooth for PI Mike Hammer. His secretary and partner Velda has walked out on him without explanation, and Mike is just surfacing from a four-month bender. But then an old cop turns up murdered, an old cop who once worked with Velda on the NYPD Vice Squad. What’s more, Mike’s pal Captain Pat Chambers has discovered that Velda is in Florida, the moll of gangster and drug runner Nolly Quinn. Hammer hits the road and drives to Miami, where he enlists the help of a horse-faced newspaperman and a local police detective. But can they find Velda in time? And what is the connection between the murdered vice cop in Manhattan, and Mike’s ex turning gun moll in Florida?
Ming Tea Murder
by Laura Childs
Normally Theodosia wouldn’t attend a black tie affair for all the tea in China. But she can hardly say no to her hunky, handsome boyfriend, Max, who directs public relations for the Gibbes Museum in Charleston. Max has organized an amazing gala opening for an exhibit of a genuine eighteenth century Chinese teahouse, and the creme de la creme of Charleston society is invited. In the exotic garden staged in the museum’s rotunda, a Chinese dragon dances to the beat of drums as it weaves through the crowd. The guests are serenaded by a Chinese violin as they sample an assortment of tempting bites. And to give them a memento of the occasion, there’s even a photo booth. But Theodosia makes a grim discovery behind the booth’s curtains: the body of museum donor Edgar Webster. While Theodosia prefers tea service over the service of justice, this case is difficult to ignore–especially after Max becomes a suspect. Now she must examine the life of the fallen philanthropist and find out who really wanted him to pay up.
Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins
by James Runcie
On a snowy Thursday morning in Lent 1964, a stranger seeks sanctuary in Grantchester’s church, convinced he has murdered his wife. Sidney and his wife Hildegard go for a shooting weekend in the country and find their hostess has a sinister burn on her neck. Sidney’s friend Amanda receives poison pen letters when at last she appears to be approaching matrimony. A firm of removal men ‘accidentally’ drop a Steinway piano on a musician’s head outside a Cambridge college. During a cricket match, a group of schoolboys blow up their school Science Block. On a family holiday in Florence, Sidney is accused of the theft of a priceless painting. Meanwhile, on the home front, Sidney’s new curate Malcolm seems set to become rather irritatingly popular with the parish; his baby girl Anna learns to walk and talk; Hildegard longs to get an au pair and Sidney is offered a promotion. Entertaining, suspenseful, thoughtful, moving and deeply humane, these six new stories are bound to delight the clerical detective’s many fans.
by Ann Cleeves
Ann Cleeves is back with the sixth book in her Shetland series featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez, whom readers will remember from Raven Black, White Nights, Red Bones, Blue Lightning, and Dead Water. A group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Shetland to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends. But, one of them, Eleanor, disappears–apparently into thin air. It’s mid-summer, a time of light nights and unexpected mists. And then Eleanor’s body is discovered lying in a small loch close to the cliff edge. Detectives Jimmy Perez and Willow Reeves are dispatched to investigate. Before she went missing, Eleanor claimed to have seen the ghost of a local child who drowned in the 1920s. Her interest in the ghost had seemed unhealthy–obsessive, even–to her friends: an indication of a troubled mind. But Jimmy and Willow are convinced that there is more to Eleanor’s death than they first thought. Is there a secret that lies behind the myth? One so shocking that someone would kill–many years later–to protect? Ann Cleeves’ striking new novel is a quintessential whodunit with surprises at every turn.
by Bill Pronzini
When Nameless is hired by Cory Beckett, a beautiful young woman who claims to be a model, to find her missing brother, Kenneth, it seems to be a routine matter. Kenneth has fled San Francisco in a drug-induced panic to avoid trial on a charge of stealing a valuable necklace from the alcoholic wife of the man for whom he works, wealthy yachtsman Andrew Vorhees. When agency operative Jake Runyon locates and questions the frightened young man, Cory Beckett’s motives come into question and the case takes on darkly sinister complexities. Cory lied to Nameless about her livelihood, her relationship with Vorhees, her brother’s alleged drug use, and the nature of his alleged crime. Not only is she Andrew Vorhees’ mistress, Cory has a secret second lover, factory owner Frank Chaleen, with whom she conspired to frame Kenneth. This bizarre sibling betrayal is part of a diabolical plan that reveals her to be a deadly, designing woman who will stop at nothing to achieve her warped desires. A series of twists and turns drive the story to a truly shocking climax. For not until then do the detectives realize how devilish Cory Beckett really is, a femme fatale who has brought something new to the species–new, and terrible.
Wolf and the Lamb
by Frederick Ramsay
It’s Passover. Gamaliel and his physician friend, Loukas, are crime-solving a third time–reluctantly. Pontius Pilate has been accused of murder. He denies the crime. If convicted, he might escape death but would be removed from Judea. Those rejoicing urge the Rabban to mind his own business. But Gamaliel is a just man which is, as Pilate says to him, “your weakness and also your strength.” Knowing that exonerating the Roman could cost him his position, possibly his life, Gamaliel, as would Sherlock Holmes centuries later, examines evidence and sorts through tangled threads, teasing out suspects who include assassins, Roman nobles, Pilate’s wife, rogue legionnaires, slaves, servants, thespians, and a race horse named Pegasus. Unusually, justice triumphs over enmity. Gamaliel is satis~ ed, High Priest Caiaphas is irate, Loukas accepts an apprentice from Tarsus, and few notice the events of what will later be known as Easter. Ramsay’s plausible narrative answers some questions which have puzzled Biblical scholars for centuries. Why did Pilate hear the case against Jesus? Why invent prisoner be released at Passover? Having done so, why offer the most terrifying criminal in the country, Barabbas, as the substitute for Jesus when two better, less dangerous prisoners were at hand? And we ask, why could Caiaphas not heed Gamaliel’s warnings not to martyr the man?