Worldwide Mystery | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2018

Camilleri, Andrea. The Pyramid of Mud. Penguin. Jan. 2018. 272p. tr. from Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. ISBN 9780143128083. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780698195882. MYSTERY
When storms flood a construction site, a man shot in the back is found in one of the huge pipes, effectively a tunnel, that forms part of the site’s water supply system. Inspector Montalbano is convinced that the man ran there intentionally, trying to communicate something important about the reason for his death. Next in the New York Times best-selling series that’s won Camilleri the Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger Award.

Fellowes, Jessica. The Mitford Murders. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781250170781. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781250170804. MYSTERY
Having staked her claim to New York Times best-sellerdom with a bunch of Downton Abbey companion titles, Fellowes draws on an unsolved crime from the 1920s in a mystery starring Louisa Cannon, up from London poverty and working as a maid for the Mitford sisters (yes, those Mitfords). She and 16-year-old Nancy Mitford are caught up in the investigation when a nurse, named Florence Nightingale Shore after her famous godmother, is bloodily dispatched on a train.

Hart, Ellen. A Whisper of Bones. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781250088659. $25.99. MYSTERY
In this latest PI Jane Lawless mystery from the 2017 Mystery Writers of America grandmaster, Britt Ickles visits her mother’s childhood home after years of family estrangement and is surprised when her aunts insist that she doesn’t have a cousin named Timmy; she swears she remembers playing with him during her family’s one ill-starred visit. So she asks Jane Lawless to find out what happened to poor Timmy, who may just be that pile of bones discovered when the family garage catches fire.

Housewright, David. Darkness, Sing Me a Song. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781250094476. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250094483. MYSTERY
Burdened by the long-ago death of his wife and daughter and the collapse of a promising new relationship, PI Holland Taylor only wants straightforward cases like background checks, so he’s content when gilt-edged Eleanor Barrington hires him to investigate her son’s out-of-nowhere fiancée, Emily Denys. Just as he discovers that Emily has made up her name and story, her head is blown to smithereens, and Eleanor is accused of murder. Series starter Penance won an Edgar for Best First Novel.

Massey, Sujata. The Widows of Malabar Hill. Soho Crime. Jan. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9781616957780. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616957797. MYSTERY
First in a new series from the Agatha and Macavity Award–winning Massey, this 1920s Bombay–set work has a distinctive heroine: one of India’s first female lawyers. Perveen Mistry, who followed up her Oxford degree by joining her father’s law firm, suspects that the three widows of a rich Muslim mill owner were acting under duress when they signed over their inheritance to charity. A subsequent murder proves that she was right to be concerned.

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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