Fowler, Lovesey, Tursten, & More | Mystery Previews, Dec. 2017

Fowler, Christopher. Bryant & May: Wild Chamber: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery. Bantam. Dec. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780553448139. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101887073. MYSTERY
When a man snapping photographs in In London’s Regent Park sees a girl walking a dog—and then sees her vanish into thin air—you know it’s time for grumpy old guy detectives Arthur Bryant and John May to cone and solve another seemingly impossible case. Fowler returns with the next Peculiar Crimes Unit series, ready to show why he won the 2015 Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library Award honoring an entire body of work.

Hammett, Dashiell. The Big Book of the Continental Op. Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. Nov. 2107. ed. by Richard Layman & Julie M. Rivett. 848p. ISBN 9780525432951. pap. $25. MYSTERY
Hard-edged, savvy, and one of the great characters devised by hard-boiled detective fiction’s key instigator, Hammett, the Continental Op first appeared in Black Mask magazine on October 1, 1923, and eventually cracked cases in 28 stories and two serialized novels. These works are now collected in one volume for the first time ever. In addition, an unfinished story from Hammett’s archives is finally seeing the light, with an introduction by the book’s editors, Hammett’s executor and granddaughter, respectively.

Lovesey, Peter. Beau Death. Soho Crime. Dec. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781616959050. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616959067. MYSTERY
After a two-year absence, Chief Inspector Peter Diamond is back, proof that Lovesey is not resting on laurels that include the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and Strand’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Here, the demolition of some townhouses in Bath yields a skeleton dressed in 1760s clothing, including the distinctive white tricorne hat of notorious rake Beau Nash. Could this be a very cold case that will rewrite history, or are the remains of more recent vintage?

Oust, Gail. Ginger Snapped: A Spice Shop Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Dec. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250081261. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466893139. MYSTERY
That’s not a fish floating in Brandywine Creek’s local fishing hole but the body of Realtor of the Year Shirley Randolph, and townsfolk think Police Chief Wyatt McBride may be responsible, given his romantic interest in Shirley. Piper Prescott, proprietor of Spice It Up!, immediately starts hunting for the killer. Next in Oust’s popular “Spice Shop Mystery” series, following Curried Away.

Page, Katherine Hall. The Body in the Casket: A Faith Fairchild Mystery. Morrow. Dec. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9780062439567. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062439581. MYSTERY
The winner of three Agatha Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, Page gives hard-working sleuth Faith Fairchild a new case. Faith has been hired to cater legendary Broadway producer/director Max Dane’s 70th birthday party, but her real task is to figure out why someone has sent him a coffin containing a 20-year-old Playbill from Max’s final production, his only flop. Max is convinced that someone wants him dead.

Schaffhausen, Joanna. The Vanishing Season. Minotaur: St.Martin’s. Dec. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781250126047. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250126054. MYSTERY
As the only person to have survived the evil intentions of a serial killer, Ellery Hathaway ought to feel relieved. But for three years now, people from her town have disappeared around her birthday, the date of her kidnapping years ago, and soon she’s in touch with the FBI agent who snatched her to safety. Winner of the 2016 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award.

Tursten, Helene. Protected by the Shadows. Soho Crime. Dec. 2017. 288p. tr. from Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. ISBN 9781616958459. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616958466. MYSTERY
In this tenth outing, Tursten wraps up the internationally proclaimed Inspector Irene Huss series with Irene consumed by the live burning of a biker gang member. Even as Irene’s unit joins with the Organized Crimes Unit to investigate the crime and make sure that no retaliatory murders occur, a bomb is found beneath the care of Irene’s husband, and Irene scurries her family to safety while putting herself on the line.

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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