Mysteries & Thrillers from Barr, Griffiths, Patterson, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 3

Armstrong, Kelley. City of the Lost. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. May 2016. 352p. ISBN 9780805096026. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250092151. THRILLER
In a series debut from the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, homicide detective Casey armstrongkelleyDuncan hides a little secret—she killed a mobster’s grandson while in college—and is happy to disappear to an off-the-grid town with a friend running from an abusive ex-husband. But it’s no safe haven.

Atherton, Nancy. Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure. Viking. May 2016. 240p. ISBN 9781101981290. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101981306. MYSTERY
Lori Shepherd discovers a garnet-set gold-and-silver bracelet in the attic, a gift from a long-ago suitor of Aunt Dimity that she asks to be returned, but it looks suspiciously like a hoard of buried treasure just unearthed in town. The last four titles of this enduring series (e.g., Aunt Dimity and the Summer King) have all debuted on the New York Times extended best sellers list.

Atkins, Ace. Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn. Putnam. May 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780399170850. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698161245. CD/download: Penguin Audio. MYSTERY
Boston PI Spenser is approached by firefighter Jack McGee, who’s convinced despite much resistance from his comrades that the apartment blaze that took the lives of five residents and two firefighters was arson. Edgar-nominated Atkins’s take on the late Parker’s iconic Spenser character has produced a string of New York Times best sellers, including this year’s Robert B. Parker’s Kickback.

Barr, Nevada. Boar Island. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. May 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781250064691. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466870932. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY
Taking over as acting chief ranger at Acadia National Park in Maine, Anna Pigeon brings along paraplegic friend Heath Jarrod and Heath’s adopted daughter Elizabeth, who’s been the victim of cyberbullying. Alas, Elizabeth’s stalker has followed her east. Then there’s a murder that leaves them all feeling trapped on the small, deserted island where they live. With a one-day laydown on May 17.

Cavanagh, Steve. The Defense. Flatiron: Macmillan. May 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781250082251. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250090713. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Once a con man, then a lawyer, Eddie Flynn renounced the courtroom after some particularly nasty proceedings. But a Russian mobster has kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, and Eddie has to take the mobster’s case. This debut from Irish lawyer-turned-author Cavanagh will be hugely pushed to the library market.

Grecian, Alex. Lost and Gone Forever. Putnam. May 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780399176104. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698407268. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. CRIME FICTION
We’re back with Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad, except not really. Having acted out of line and lost his job, Sgt. Nevil Hammersmith is now a private investigator whose main task is hunting for Inspector Walter Day, missing for a year and evidently in the hands of Jack the Ripper. Following The Harvest Man and The Devil’s Workshop, also featuring bloody Jack.

Griffiths, Elly. The Woman in Blue. Houghton Harcourt. May 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780544417854. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780544419322. MYSTERY
Because medieval-quaint Little Walsingham is famously the site of religious apparitions, Ruth griffithsGalloway’s druid friend Cathbad takes the blue-cloaked woman he sees standing in a windy cemetery one dark night as a vision of the Virgin Mary. Then a woman wrapped in blue cloth is discovered dead. Next in the burgeoning series whose latest, The Ghost Fields, was a Top Ten LibraryReads pick.

Gutcheon, Beth. Dead at Breakfast. Morrow. May 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780062431967. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062431981. MYSTERY
Retired New York City private school head Maggie Detweiler was hoping for a peaceful Maine vacation with socially prominent friend Hope Babbin, but plans are disrupted first by the arrival of rich, obnoxious Hollywood types Alexander and Lisa Antippas, then by a fire that leaves Lisa burned to a crisp. As much psychological puzzler and drama of manners as a mystery, this is first in a new series from the author of Gossip, also an Academy Award–nominated screenwriter. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Hamilton, Steve. The Second Life of Nick Mason. Putnam. May 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780399574320. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399574337. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
The two-time Edgar Award winner and author of the New York Times best-selling Alex McKnight series kicks off a new series starring Nick Mason, lucky to be out of prison after only five years of a 25-to-life term. Unfortunately, he’s beholden to a big-time criminal still behind bars who calls periodically with directives to commit increasingly risky crimes. Originally scheduled for September 2015 with Minotaur and now, after Hamilton’s headlines-worthy departure, being released by Putnam.

Hannah, Sophie. A Game for All the Family. Morrow. May 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780062388292. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062388315. THRILLER
In this shivery-sounding stand-alone psychological thriller, Justine has left behind big-city traumas for a quiet life on the English coast, where her daughter seems happy until new best buddy George is expelled from school. But the principal insists that there was no George, and a mysterious stranger keeps calling to insist that she and Justine share a terrible secret. With a 100,000-copy first printing and major publicity, including a ten-stop blog tour; look for Hannah’s next Hercule Poirot mystery, Closed Casket, in September 2016.

Housewright, David. Stealing the Countess. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. May 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781250049667. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466850644. MYSTERY
Edgar Award winner Housewright again gives us Rushmore McKenzie, who, after unexpectedly becoming rich and leaving the St. Paul Police Department, does favors for needy folks as an unlicensed P.I. Here, he’s asked to find the Countess Borromeo, a Stradivarius priced at $4 kavamillion, but though the violinist currently playing it desperately wants it back, its insurer and the foundation that owns it refuse to pay the thieves.

Kava, Alex. Reckless Creed. Putnam. May 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780399170782. $27. THRILLER
What do a young man’s leap from a Chicago hotel room, a young’s woman apparent suicide-by-drowning in Alabama, and the deaths of numerous snow geese at a Missouri lake have in common? Find out with Ryder Creed, his fabulous K9 search-and-rescue dogs, and FBI agent Maggie O’Dell in the next in Kava’s New York Times best-selling series. Following Silent Creed, which pushed up sales.

Mackay Malcolm. The Night the Rich Men Burned. Mulholland: Little, Brown. May 2016. 480p. ISBN 9780316271769. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316271752. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316357579. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MYSTERY
Glasgow down-and-outs Oliver Peterkinney and Alex Glass try to improve their prospects by entering the dark-and-dirty debt collection trade, with one soon succeeding and the other succumbing to the trade’s indulgent lifestyle. Then those running the trade go to war. A study of social milieu as well as crime from the author of the famed “Glasgow Trilogy”; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

McFate, Sean & Bret Witter. Shadow War: A Tom Locke Novel. Morrow. May 2016. 352p. ISBN 9780062403704. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062403728. THRILLER
Tom Locke’s next assignment from his private contracting firm is a black op in Ukraine that’s as hush-hush as it is dangerous. And it’s made even more dangerous by his boss’s penchant for connecting with powerbrokers worldwide, then playing them off against one another. McFate, a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, once ran covert military missions, while Witter has cowritten several New York Times best sellers. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Mackintosh, Clare. I Let You Go. Berkley. May 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781101987490. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101987513. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
In this debut novel, whose author worked on criminal investigations for 12 years with the Thames macintoshValley Police Department, Jenna Gray has moved to the Welsh Coast to recover from the death of her child, even as two police investigators find this hit-and-run case increasingly complicated. A Richard and Judy summer book club pick and one of Buzzfeed’s “Ten Great Psychological Thrillers That Are As Good as Gone Girl,” this London Times best seller sold 300,000 copies in the UK.

Martini, Steve. Blood Flag: A Paul Madriani Novel. Morrow. May 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780062328960. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062328977. CD: HarperAudio. THRILLER
Is Emma Brauer guilty of her father’s mercy killing? Asked to defend her, Paul Madriani soon discovers that her father received a package shortly before his hospitalization hinting at a Nazi relic called the Blood Flag that disappeared at war’s end. What’s more, others in his unit have died recently under questionable circumstances. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

North, Claire. The Sudden Appearance of Hope. Redhook: Hachette. May 2016. 432p. ISBN 9780316335997. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316335973. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316335980. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Since age 16, Hope Arden has been fading into anonymity; her friends stop recognizing her, for instance, and her mother sets the table for three, not four. This spooky quality creates the perfect conditions for committing a crime. North’s The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is slated for the big screen; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Patterson, James & Maxine Paetro. 15th Affair. Little, Brown. May 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780316407076. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316290050. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316290135. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
A beautiful blonde with CIA connections slips away after a horrific murder at a luxury hotel, and pattersonsuddenly Lindsay Boxer’s husband is missing, too. Lindsay soon suspects that the two share a secret past and calls out the Women’s Murder Club. With a 750,000-copy first printing, as if you were surprised.

Preston, Douglas & Lincoln Child. Beyond the Ice Limit: A Gideon Crew Novel. Grand Central. May 2016. 368p. ISBN 9781455525867. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781455525881. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455579624. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Preston and Child take a break from their “Agent Pendergast” series to offer the fourth title featuring Gideon Crew. Some of the characters previously appearing in The Ice Limit, a stand-alone, are showing up here, and the publisher will redistribute that title with a teaser chapter from the current book. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

Thompson, Victoria. Murder in Morningside Heights: A Gaslight Mystery. Berkley. May 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781101987087. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101987100. MYSTERY
In this latest from the Edgar- and Agatha-nominated Thompson’s national best-selling “Gaslight Mysteries,” newly married Frank and Sarah Malloy investigate the murder of Abigail Northrup, a recent graduate of a prestigious women’s college in New York City’s Morningside Heights (could this be Barnard?) who had been appointed to the staff. Seems that the accomplished and independent-minded young woman had some dark secrets.

Viets, Elaine. The Art of Murder: A Dead-End Job Mystery. NAL. May 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780451476135. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780698198449. MYSTERY
While touring a mansion-turned-museum with friend Margery, Helen Hawthorne stumbles upon a painting class and spots a young artist she thinks will go far. When the young woman is killed before her eyes, Helen goes undercover to catch the culprit. Another in the nationally best-selling series from the Anthony and Agatha Award winner.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @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.