14 Award-Worthy Mysteries | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2017

Bolton, Sharon. Dead Woman Walking. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781250103444. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250103451. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY
Winner of a Mary Higgins Clark Award, Bolton here dreams up an unusual premise. A woman manages to survive the crash of a hot-air balloon but still faces trouble. During that awful descent near the Scottish border, she saw a man murder a young woman. Now she’s alone in cleevesunfamiliar territory, and she’s on the run from a crazed killer.

Cleeves, Ann. The Seagull: A Vera Stanhope Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9781250124869. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250124876. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY
While visiting former detective superintendent John Brace, now in prison for corruption, Inspector DI Vera Stanhope learns where long-missing hustler Robbie Marshall is buried. That takes Vera to the seedy seaside town of Whitley Bay and a bar called The Seagull, where everyone shadily connected to Marshall once gathered. In August, the publisher will release Telling Tales, an early entry in the series, and in October Cleeves will receive the Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain.

Grafton, Sue. Y Is for…. Marian Wood: Putnam. Sept. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9780399163852. $29; ebk. ISBN 9781101614358. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MYSTERY
Y Is for…yes, we are nearing the end of Grafton’s alphabet series starring Kinsey Millhone. In 1979, four teenage boys from a posh private school film their sexual assault of a 14-year-old classmate, and both the tape and the ringleader go missing, though two boys are convicted when another turns state’s evidence. A decade later, one of the culprits is released from prison, and he and his parents are promptly hit with a copy of the tape and a ransom demand. That’s when Kinsey becomes involved.

Gray, Juliana. A Strange Scottish Shore. Berkley. Sept. 2017. 464p. ISBN 9780425277089. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780698176492. MYSTERY
In this follow-up to A Most Extraordinary Pursuit, Gray—New York Times best-selling author Beatriz Williams in disguise—brings back Maximilian Haywood, the new Duke of Olympia. With fellow researcher Emmeline Truelove, he’s at an archaeological dig at a faraway Orkney Islands castle when they stumble upon a suit of clothes that family lore declares belonged to griffithsthe selkie who swam in and married the castle’s first laird. Alas, someone else is dangerously interested in the clothing, too.

Griffiths, Elly. The Blood Card. Houghton Harcourt. Sept. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780544750302. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780544750494. CD: Blackstone Audio. MYSTERY
The blood card: it’s the ace of hearts, and it’s found in the possession of Colonel Cartwright, the wartime commander of “Magic Men” regulars DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. Cartwright has been murdered, and with Max deep in rehearsals for a special variety show—it’s for Elizabeth II’s Coronation Day—Edgar gets to travel to New York to track down clues. Griffiths is winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the 2016 CWA Dagger in the Library Award.

Harris, Charlaine. Sleep Like a Baby: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781250090065. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250090089. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY
Best known for the Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series, which inspired the HBO show True Blood, Harris returns with another entry in her mystery series starring small-town Southern librarian Aurora Teagarden. Roe, as she’s known, is tending to her newborn with the help of a nurse named Virginia, who suddenly vanishes. And for better or for worse, that dead body on the lawn isn’t hers. Big promotion.

Johnson, Craig. The Western Star. Viking. Sept. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780525426950. $28. ebk. ISBN 9780698157545. MYSTERY
In this latest addition to the New York Times best-selling series behind the smartly done Netflix longmirehit Longmire, Sheriff Walt Longmire is shown a photograph taken long ago when he was a young deputy traveling with his mentor to the annual Wyoming Sheriff’s Association junket, held on an excursion train called the Western Star. Along with the parole hearing of a particularly ruthless criminal, the photograph brings a confrontation with the past and the threat of revenge.

Keyse-Walker, John. Beach, Breeze, Bloodshed. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781250148476. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250148483. MYSTERY
Keyse-Walker follows up Sun, Sand, Murder, winner of the 2015 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award, with another jaunt to the sun-splashed British Virgin Islands. A woman’s death in a shark attack looks mightily like foul play to Constable Teddy Creque—the sharks in the surrounding waters are usually peaceable—but he’s meeting resistance from some islanders. And his only witness is a child who doesn’t speak. A chatty parrot does, however, flit through the pages.

Mayor, Archer. Trace. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781250113269. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250113276. MYSTERY
Vermont Bureau of Investigation head Joe Gunther may be on leave to care for his ailing mother, but three cases are swamping his office. Sammie Martens handles the murder of a young woman who was the roommate of Medical Examiner Beverly Hillstrom’s daughter, Lester Spinney deals with a cold-case double murder involving a state trooper and a motorist, and Willy Kunkel’s case starts with the discovery of three teeth on a railroad track and leads to possible sabotage. Busy times in this next in the New York Times best-selling series.

Penny, Louise. Glass Houses. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9781250066190. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466873681. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY
In last year’s A Great Reckoning, a LibraryReads pick that was No. 1 on the New York Times hardcover fiction, ebook fiction, and combined-format best sellers lists, Armand Gamache ended up as head of the Sûreté academy, and a mystery about his village, Three Pines, was solved. No hint on how this carries out in this next title from the multi-award-winning author, but rademacherthis late August title should be really, really good. With a national tour.

Rademacher, Cay. Murderous Mistral: A Provence Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781250110701. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250110718. MYSTERY
Short-listed for the CWA International Dagger 2016 for his debut, the post–World War II set Murderer in Ruins, Rademacher now switches characters and setting to tell the story of Capitaine Roger Blanc, an investigator with the anti-corruption unit of the French Gendarmerie. Too successful by half, he’s shipped off to Provence (not all bad), where he grapples with the end of his marriage, the vagaries of a 200-year-old house, and the murder of a man despised by all.

Thomas, Sherry. A Conspiracy in Belgravia. (Lady Sherlock). Berkley. Sept. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780425281413. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780698196360. MYSTERY
In two-time RITA Award winner Thomas’s A Study in Scarlet Women (“A must-read for fans of historical mysteries,” LJ), Charlotte Holmes is thrown out of her upper-class Victorian home for being too uppity and ends up doing some amateur sleuthing under the assumed name toddcharlesSherlock Holmes. Her new case opens with Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s friend and benefactor, seeking to find her first love, a no-show at their annual rendezvous. Complicating matters: the missing man is Charlotte’s illegitimate half-brother.

Todd, Charles. Casualty of War: A Bess Crawford Mystery. Morrow. Sept. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780062678782. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062678805. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY
As World War I nears its end, Nurse Bess Crawford encounters Capt. Alan Travis of Barbados while awaiting transport back to her post. They keep meeting, as he’s twice brought to her forward aid station with head wounds, claiming that his distant English cousin, Lt. James Travis, shot him. It seems impossible, but with the captain deeply disoriented and finally confined to a clinic owing to the severity of his wounds, Bess and Sgt. Maj. Simon Brandon head to James Travis’s home in Suffolk to discover the truth about the cousins. From the New York Times best-selling mother-and-son team; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Weaver, Ashley. The Essence of Malice: A Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781250060464. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466865693. MYSTERY
Don’t be surprised by the Eiffel Tower on the cover; sparkling British amateur sleuth Amory weaverAmes has traveled with husband Milo to Paris in response to a disturbing letter from his childhood nanny. She works for celebrated parfumier Helios Belanger, whose new perfume is about to be released. And our sleuthing couple is quite sure it’s not the heady scent of the perfume that makes Belanger suddenly drop dead. Fourth installment in the Edgar-nominated, 1930s-set mystery series by librarian Weaver.

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.

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