Gutcheon, Leon, Patterson, Winspear, & More | Mystery Previews, Mar. 2018

Dovalpage, Teresa. Death Comes in Through the Kitchen. Soho Crime. Mar. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781616958848. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616958855. MYSTERY
Winner of Spain’s Rincón de la Victoria Award and the author of both fiction and plays, Cuban-born, New Mexico–based Dovalpage offers a literary mystery set in 2003 Havana. It opens with San Diego journalist Matt arriving in town to marry Yarmila, whom he got to know through her food blog, and instead finding her dead in the bathtub. Swift amateur sleuthing (obviously, Matt is the main suspect), psychological suspense (who was Yarmila, really?), and a portrait of modern Cuba; a big pitch at ALA Midwinter.

Downie, Ruth. Memento Mori: A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire. Bloomsbury USA. Mar. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781620409619. $27. MYSTERY
Opening with the New York Times best-selling Medicus, Downie’s entertaining series featuring legionary medic Gaius Petreius Ruso’s misadventures in Roman-occupied Britain has reached its eighth outing. Ruso and his British wife, Tilla, must deal with the murder of close friend Valens’s wife, found stabbed to death in the sacred hot springs in Aquae Sulis, known today as Bath. Big trouble: the goddess could lose her temper, the tourists could stay away, and Valens could get executed.

Gutcheon, Beth. The Affliction. Morrow. Mar. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780062431998. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062432018. MYSTERY
New York Times best-selling author Gutcheon offers the second in a new series starring Maggie Detweiler, retired head of a prestigious New York City private school, and her effervescent friend Hope. Here, Maggie heads up a team evaluating the academic fitness of stumbling all-girls’ school Rye Manor. When a teacher is found floating in the new pool, her neck snapped, Maggie calls in Hope for an investigation that plumbs an unhappy marriage, the school’s troubled environment, and the town itself. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Hall, Parnell. The Purloined Puzzle. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781250155207. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250155214. MYSTERY
Asked to solve a crossword puzzle by nasty little teen Peggy Dawson, puzzle impresario Cora Felton is happy to learn that someone has filched the puzzle but deeply shocked to find a bloody knife in its place. Then there’s the body in the street and the knowledge that the guy she likes least of all her ex-husbands might have bought the murder weapon. Tough days for Peggy; with crossword and Sudoku puzzles.

Leon, Donna. The Temptation of Forgiveness: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery.  Atlantic Monthly. Mar. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9780802127754. $25. MYSTERY
Commissario Guido Brunetti has his hands full when a friend of his wife asks him to help her son, whom she suspects of drug use. When the boy’s father is found unconscious and badly injured at the foot of a gracefully arched Venetian bridge, Brunetti initially suspects the drug connection. But a long-running scam suggested by coupons, found at the victim’s office but bearing the name of his elderly aunt, point the investigation in another direction. Twenty-seventh in the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger–winning, internationally best-selling series.

Margolin, Phillip. The Third Victim. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781250117502. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250117519. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY
Escaping from a kidnapping that has left two other women dead, the burned and battered “third victim” identifies hotshot local attorney Alex Mason as the culprit. With physical evidence and a damning statement from Mason’s wife, the case appears virtually solved. What complicates things: Mason’s brilliant defense attorney, Regina Barrister, is carrying around a deep, dark secret, and second-in-command Robin Lockwood is bothered by her boss’s erratic behavior and aspects of the case that don’t make sense. With a 100,000-copy announced marketing distribution, which tells you how many copies will be available in all formats upon publication.

Patterson, James & Marshall Karp. Red Alert: An NYPD Red Mystery. Little, Brown. Mar. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780316395441. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316395588; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316395571. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. MYSTERY
When New York’s very rich gather at Pierre’s Cotillion Room to raise money for those less favored by life, a terrible explosion brings back memories of 9/11. Then a prominent woman filmmaker dies on a lonely street corner, and Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald of the elite NYPD Red task force are out all night as the crimes escalate. With a 500,000-copy first printing.

Pronzini, Bill. The Bags of Tricks Affair: A Carpenter and Quincannon Novel.  Forge. Mar. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9780765394354. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765394361. MYSTERY
Some time back, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Pronzini dreamed up former Secret Service agent John Quincannon, who appeared in two novels and a string of short stories Pronzini wrote, sometimes with Grand Master wife Marcia Mueller, who’s responsible for former Pinkerton detective Sabina Carpenter. Founders of Professional Detective Services in 1890s San Francisco, Carpenter and Quincannon emerged in 2013 in a refreshed series written by the couple. Here, with Pronzini writing solo, Carpenter witnesses a murder and Quincannon must protect her from family members of the culprit.

Rosenfelt, David. Fade to Black. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781250133120. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250133137. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY
Perhaps best known for his dog-friendly Andy Carpenter mysteries, the Edgar-nominated and Shamus Award–winning Rosenfelt returns with a follow-up to Blackout, which featured a New Jersey state police officer struggling with amnesia after being shot in the line of duty. Doug Brock is still attending an amnesia support group, where he meets a man desperate for his help. Sean Conner has no idea why he has the scrapbook of a murder victim in his attic, and when Doug persuades his captain to let him reopen the case, he discovers an unsettling personal connection that makes him reexamine everything about Sean, the case, and himself.

Wilson, Andrew. A Different Kind of Evil. Atria. Mar. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781501145094. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501145117. MYSTERY
In his just published (and nicely reviewed) A Talent for Murder, award-winning journalist Wilson imagines what happened during Agatha Christie’s famous disappearance in December 1926, conjuring up a murderous scheme that Christie must escape. That story is putatively told by British Special Agent John Davison, who recruits her to a secret branch of the British civil service and, in this quick follow-up mystery, wants her to investigate the death of an agent in the Canary Islands.

Winspear, Jacqueline To Die but Once: A Maisie Dobbs Novel. Harper. Mar. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780062436634. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062436658. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY
A World War I nurse who became a “psychologist and investigator” in postwar London, Maisie Dobbs has gone through numerous New York Times best-selling cases to arrive at World War II. Here, it’s spring 1940, and Maisie is investigating the disappearance of a young apprentice craftsman who had been working on a secret government contract. Is the London underworld involved? Everyone loves Maisie, which explains the 100,000-copy first printing and nine-city tour to Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

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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