Caroline Hart, Darynda Jones, & More | Mystery Previews, Oct. 2017

Alexander, Tasha. Death in St. Petersburg: A Lady Emily Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250058287. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250146168. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY
In glorious St. Petersburg, where Lady Emily’s husband is carrying out work for the Crown, a alexandertashaballerina lies blood-spattered in the snow. Lady Emily is on the case, even as a ghostly dancer in white slips through the city, trailing red scarves and confounding everyone. From the New York Times best-selling writer; following A Terrible Beauty.

Andrews, Donna. How the Finch Stole Christmas!: A Meg Langslow Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. ISBN 9781250115454. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250115461. MYSTERY
Andrews’s laugh-inducing, multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling mysteries feature a passel of Christmas treats, e.g., Six Geese a-Slaying, and here’s another. Meg’s husband is turning his one-man show of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol into a big, splashy production, with a famed if fading actor brought in to play Scrooge. Alas, the man has enemies.

Beaton, M.C. The Witches’ Tree: An Agatha Raisin Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250057464. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781466861206. MYSTERY
One foggy night, an elderly spinster from the little town of Sumpton Harcourt is found hanging from a bent and twisted tree, and even as intrepid Agatha Raisin starts to investigate, more beatonmurders occur. What do you expect in a town that has its own witches’ coven? A New York Times best-selling series celebrating its 25th anniversary, and there’s now a series that airs on Britain’s Sky 1 channel.

Benn, James R. The Devouring. Soho Crime. Oct. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781616957735. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616957742. MYSTERY
In the next in this World War II–set series, Irish American cop Billy Benn is sent to Switzerland with buddy Kaz to investigate the murder of a Swiss banking official linked to the Office of Strategic Services. Their work is complicated by evidence that Swiss bankers are laundering gold stolen by the Germans from Holocaust victims and that they clearly want to protect their wealth and their secrets. From a Barry and Dilys award nominee and IMPAC Dublin long-listed author.

Brown, Rita Mae. Crazy Like a Fox. Ballantine. Oct. 2017. 208p. ISBN 9780399178344. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399178351. MYSTERY
Feathers are flying in a Virginia henhouse, and Master of the Hunt “Sister” Jane Arnold, her gentleman friend Gray Lorillard, the members of the Jefferson Hunt Club, and their eager hartcarhounds gather for the chase. But does the culprit have a furry, red tail? From the New York Times best-selling author of three animal-crazy series.

Hart, Carolyn. Ghost on the Case. Berkley. Oct. 2017. ISBN 9780451488565. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780451488572. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. MYSTERY
The New York Times best-selling author of more than 50 novels of mystery and suspense, Hart brings back do-gooding ghost Bailey Ruth, who’s tasked with helping Susan Gilbert handle a ransom demand to secure the release of her sister. When ransom turns to murder, Bailey Ruth has her heavenly hands full.

Herron, Mick & others. The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers. Soho Crime. Oct. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781616957759. $19.95. MYSTERY
What’s fun bout this collection of 16 holiday stories? They’re all from popular Soho Crime authors like Herron, Cara Black, Stephanie Barron, and Peter Lovesey. And they’re not the expected deck-the-halls stuff. The settings range from a Korean War POW camp to a Copenhagen refugee squat and feature a Thai street child hunting down the perfect gift and Niccolo Machiavelli trying to save a city. Plus, there are nine mall Santas trying to figure out who’s the impostor among them. Not the usual Santas!

Jones, Darynda. The Trouble with Twelfth Grave. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781250147554. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250147578. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERYjonesdar
It’s bad enough that Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is busy protecting a newbie PI venture, handling the Vatican’s inquiries about her daughter, and covering up a murder. But now her beloved but now unrecognizable Reyes, the Son of Satan, is determined to destroy the world, and when someone starts attacking humans attuned to the supernatural world, Charley can’t help but suspect him. And you thought you were having a hard day. Twelfth (obviously) in the New York Times and USA Today best-selling series.

Limon, Martin. The Nine-Tailed Fox. Soho Crime. Oct. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781616958237. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616958244. MYSTERY
The disappearance of three American GIs in different South Korean cities during the 1970s could be the work of a gumiho, a legendary 1,000-year-old nine-tailed fox disguised as a woman. But Sergeants George Sueño and Ernie Bascom, agents for the Army CID charged with discovering what happened, are more inclined to blame a rich and powerful kidnapper. The previous series title, Ping Pong Heart, received uniformly strong reviews.


Smith, Lachlan. Wolf’s Revenge. Mysterious Pr: Grove/Atlantic. Oct. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780802127075. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802189295. MYSTERY
Smith’s debut mystery, Bear Is Broken, won the 2014 Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel, and the series has been doing nicely seen then. Here, attorney-detective Leo Maxwell defends a young woman who was cornered into murdering a member of the Aryan Brotherhood even as he works to distance himself and his family from a prison-based gang that will stop at nothing to stanleymichaelhave things their way since they have nothing to lose. Promotion at ALA.


Stanley, Michael. Dying To Live: A Detective Kubu Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781250070906. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466881563. MYSTERY
Entertainment Weekly calls Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu the African Columbo, so this series from the South African writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip is great fun for anyone wanting to read police procedurals with an international setting. Here, a Bushman—one of the San people of southern Africa—is discovered dead near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and Detective Kubu is asked to investigate. Then the man’s body disappears from the morgue.


Thomas, Will. Old Scores: A Barker & Llewelyn Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781250077967. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466890299. CD: Highbridge Audio. thomaswillMYSTERY
In 1890 London, when Japan’s first ambassador to Great Britain is assassinated upon arrival, private enquiry agent and series stalwart Cyrus Barker is found watching the very office where Ambassador Toda perished. Accused of the crime, he must join forces with assistant Thomas Llewelyn to find the real killer. Following up Hell Bay; the series has had routinely good reviews since debuting with publication of the Shamus and Barry award–nominated Some Danger Involved.


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.

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