In Keith McCarthy’s The Taste of Wormwood (Severn House. Oct. 2012. 224p. ISBN 9780727881908. $27.95), Chief Inspector Beverley Wharton investigates the mysterious death of an Asian couple without the help of her favorite pathologist, who’s got his own mysterious death to handle: that of Arthur Meadows, who had just returned from southern Europe with some evidently tricky merchandise. In Priscilla Masters’s Smoke Alarm (Severn House. Nov. 2012. 224p. ISBN 9780727881991. $28.95), Detective Inspector Alex Randall asks coroner Martha Gunn for help after a series of suspicious fires. Fourth in a series.
In Sally Spencer’s Lambs to the Slaughter (Severn House. Oct. 2012. 208p. ISBN 9780727881922. $28.95), the latest Detective Inspector Monika Paniatowski mystery, strikes and then murder upend the mining village of Bellingsworth. Pauline Rowson’s Death Lies Beneath (Severn House. Nov. 2012. 224p. ISBN 9780727882028. $28.95) is set on Britain’s south coast, as Detective Inspector Andy Horton confronts first the murder of an ex-con found in the marshes and then another dead body lodged in a sodden boat being salvaged in Portsmouth Harbour.
In Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’s next Bill Slider mystery, Blood Never Dies (Severn House. Dec. 2012. 256p. ISBN 9780727882110. $28.95), our detective inspector deals with a handsome young man found dead in a bath (is he a suicide?) without a scrap of identification. Detective Constable Iona Khan of Manchester’s Counter Terrorism Unit learns that the city is slated for attack in Chris Simms’s Scratch Deeper (Crème de la Crime: Severn House. Oct. 2012. 256p. ISBN 9781780290355. $27.97). First in a new series.
Detective Inspector Fellowes and Detective Superintendent Bright hunt a knife wielder who threatened veterinarian Jane Highsmith in her Scottish surgery. The poor guy got microchipped for his troubles by the fast-thinking vet (Gerald Hammond’s The Unkindest Cut. Severn House. Oct. 2012. 192p. ISBN 9780727881779. $27.95).
Superintendent John Lambert and Sergeant Bert Hook encounter trouble in the idyllic Westbourne Gardens in J.M. Gregson’s More Than Meets the Eye (Severn House. Nov. 2012. 208p. ISBN 9780727881984. $27.95). Nick Oldham’s Fighting for the Dead (Severn House. Dec. 2012. 224p. ISBN 9780727882134 . $28.95) stars Detective Superintendent Henry Christie, who’s waylaid by a masked man with a gun when he starts investigating the drowning death of a local businessman’s wife.
Detective Constable Sukey Reynolds investigates the knifing death of a woman found in a skip in Betty Rowlands’s Unnatural Wastage (Severn House. Dec. 2012. 208p. ISBN 9780727882141. $28.95), while Detective Constable Gary Goodhew tries to ferret out how a nasty parking-lot murder, an old’s woman’s final illness, and several suicides in Cambridge are linked (Alison Bruce’s The Silence. Soho Constable. Oct. 2012. NAp. ISBN 9781616951658. $25).
T. Frank Muir’s Hand for a Hand (Soho Crime. Nov. 2012. NAp. ISBN 9781616951818. $25) opens a new series set in chilly, hilly Scotland, as Detective Inspector Andie Gilchrist wrestles with crises both domestic and professional while realizing that he is being targeted by a killer. (The dismembered hand clutching a note starts things off nicely.) In Elizabeth Darrell’s Spanish Inquisition (Severn House. Oct. 2012. 208p. ISBN 9780727881861. $28.95), Max Rydal is back, struggling to clear Sergeant Phil Piercey’s name after a woman tells the Royal Military Police that he has assaulted her.