Armstrong, Beaton, Knott, Todd, & More | Mystery Previews, Feb. 2018

Anderson, Kent. Green Sun. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Feb. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780316466806. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316466820. lib. ebk. 9780316510134. Downloadable: S. & S. Audio. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL
Anderson has kept us waiting a long time after Sympathy for the Devil (1987) and the New York Times Notable Book Night Dogs (1996), take-no-prisoner works that received good attention. New protagonist Hanson, a Vietnam vet like Anderson, has been working as a police officer in Portland, OR, and has jumped to the sorely stretched Oakland, CA, force, as the author himself did. Unlike most of his fellow officers, Hanson prefers to live in the precinct he patrols, and this novel unfolds his relationships with those around him and his struggle to be a good cop in a bad situation. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

Armstrong, Kelley. This Fallen Prey. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9781250159892. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250159908. MYSTERY
In this follow-up to the No. 1 New York Times best-selling A Darkness Absolute, second in her new “Casey Duncan” series, Casey remains in off-the-grid Rockton, where people hide from their pasts. That includes a creepy criminal named Oliver Brady, placed in Rockton by the authorities without plans for imprisoning him, and when people start dying Casey has to ferret out who Brady is, what crimes he’s committed, and which townie he’s working with to wreak mayhem. Fans are already clamoring.

Beaton, M.C. Death of an Honest Man. Grand Central. Feb. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781455558315. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455558339. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781538745021. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. MYSTERY
Cnothan newcomer Paul English speaks his mind. He tells the minister his sermons are tedious, Mrs. Wellington that she’s too fat, Angela Brody that her detective stories are pablum, and Jessie Currie that she should see a psychiatrist. So when the man is murdered, police sergeant Hamish Macbeth has no end of likely suspects. Beaton was the most-borrowed author in the UK library system in 2015, and the publisher is considering cross-promotion with this series and Beaton’s “Agatha Raisin” series, published by Minotaur. So expect attention.

Brody, Frances. Death in the Stars: A Kate Shackleton Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781250154798. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250154804. MYSTERY
Ninth in the “Kate Shackleton” cozy mysteries, which always get warm, cozy reviews, this work sends Kate to a viewing party at Giggleswick School Chapel at the behest of theatrical star Selina Fellini. There, Selina’s friend and costar Billy Moffatt is found dead, and Kate discovers that other members of the troupe have died recently under suspicious circumstances. Plus Selina’s war-troubled husband has reappeared. What’s going on?

Finch, Charles. The Woman in the Water. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781250139467. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250139481. MYSTERY
Finch’s Charles Lenox has won a considerable following with mysteries that include Agatha Award nominee A Beautiful Blue Death, one of LJ‘s Best Mysteries of 2007. This work takes him back to his very first case in 1850. He’s not getting anywhere as a detective—both Scotland Yard and his erstwhile friends scoff at him—until someone sends an anonymous letter to the newspaper claiming to have committed the perfect crime. A trunk containing the body of a young woman has been found floating in the Thames, and Charles takes the case, intending to catch the killer—and prove himself—before another victim surfaces. Big promotion.

James, Miranda. Claws for Concern. Berkley. Feb. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9780425277782. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780698182004. MYSTERY
James’s “Cat in the Stacks” series produced three New York Times best sellers in mass market before going hardcover, with this book the third outing in that format. Widowed librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, continue to encounter adventure in the fictional college town of Athena, MS, where Charlie is beginning to enjoy time with his grandson when an unsettling character with a connection to a cold-case murder starts visiting the library. James also writes the popular “Southern Ladies” series.

Khan, Ausma Zehanat. A Dangerous Crossing. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781250096760. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250096784. MYSTERY
A British-born Canadian now living in Colorado, trained in international human rights law and formerly editor in chief of Muslim Girl magazine, Khan confronts the Syrian refugee crisis directly in the next in her well-received series starring Muslim detective Esa Khattak. Old friend Audrey Clare has gone missing while working in Greece to speed the immigration of Syrian refugees to Canada, and when Esa and partner Sgt. Rachel Getty investigate, they discover that Audrey has been blamed for the murder of a French Interpol agent and a refugee from Aleppo.

Knott, Robert. Robert B. Parker’s Buckskin. Putnam. Feb. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780735218277. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780735218284. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL/WESTERN
In this tenth in the New York Times best-selling series starring travel-where-they-may lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, gold is discovered in the hills near Appaloosa as the town prepares to appoint a new sheriff. But even with the winter snows coming thicker and faster and two big mining companies competing to stake a claim, our daring duo has a bigger problem: anonymous letters that lead them to a serial killer. Having cowritten the screenplay for Appaloosa, Knott has successfully taken over the Robert B. Parker series.

Saylor, Steven. The Throne of Caesar: A Mystery of Ancient Rome. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9781250087126. MYSTERY
It’s March 10 in the year 44 AD, and Gordianus the Finder has been called in to meet with Cicero and then Julius Caesar, who has been appointed dictator for life by the Roman Senate. Never mind that Gordianus, a longtime investigator of crimes among Rome’s elite, has retired. Caesar wants him to scout about for any conspiracies that might be bubbling. Conspiracies? If you know your history, you know the Ides of March will arrive soon.

Sigurdardottir, Yrsa. The Legacy. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2018. 464p. ISBN 9781250136268. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250136275. MYSTERY
Author of the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir mysteries, which includes The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for best Scandinavian Crime Novel, Yrsa (and she is properly referenced) here launches a new series featuring psychologist Freyja and police officer Huldar. Newbie detective Huldar turns to Freyja for help when the only person able to shed light on the murder of a young woman is her seven-year-old daughter, who was hiding in the room at the time. The terrified child won’t talk, but the killer is teasing them with nasty little clues.

Tallis F.R. Mephisto Waltz: A Max Lieberman Mystery. Pegasus. Feb. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781681776439. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781681777054. MYSTERY
It’s 1904 Vienna, so no surprise that Sigmund Freud comes to mind, and no surprise that Freud’s disciple Max Lieberman comes to Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt’s mind when the detective confronts a particularly puzzling case. In an abandoned piano factory, a man with an acid-wrecked face has been found dead, sitting before a row of chairs arranged judgment style. As they investigate, the two find themselves dipping into a Bohemian underworld even as they brush up against the terrifying imperial intelligence bureau. Next in a successful series; Tallis is routinely nominated for major mystery awards and has won key writers’ awards in Great Britain.

Todd, Charles. The Gatekeeper: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery. Morrow. Feb. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780062678713. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062678737. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY
Big USA Today best sellers that also make the New York Times best sellers list, the Inspector Ian Rutledge series has been growing in popularity. Here, Ian is driving around broodily after his sister’s wedding when he encounters a woman next to her car, covered in blood, whose companion has been shot to death by a man who stepped quickly in front of the car and just as quickly vanished. The victim seems popular among his friends but is hated by his family, who call him a murderer. Ian grabs the case, but maybe it’s just to get away from his worries back in London.


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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