Atkins, Griffiths, Indridason, & More | Mystery Previews, May 2018

Atkins, Ace. Robert B. Parker’s Old Black Magic. Putnam. May 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780399177019. $27; ebk. 9780698413078. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio & Books on Tape. MYSTERY
Twenty years after a stash of paintings was lifted from a Boston museum, paint chips from the most valuable piece land on a journalist’s desk, and Boston PI Spenser is tapped to track down the missing lot. Not surprisingly, he encounters black market art dealers, but Mafia bigwigs and a long-ago murder? After Robert B. Parker’s passing, the numerous new coauthored titles across three series keep selling big.

Barron, Laird. Blood Standard. Putnam. May 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780735212879. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735212886. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. MYSTERY
Winner of three Shirley Jackson awards and a Bram Stoker award to boot, Barron goes for straightforward crime fiction with a story starring Isaiah Coleridge, whose career as a mob enforcer in Alaska ended when he scotched the moneymaking scheme of a made man. Now he’s leading a quiet life in upstate New York, but the disappearance of a teenage girl turns him into a private investigator. With a national tour.

Brown, Rita Mae. Probable Claws: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery. Bantam. May 2018. 208p. $27. ISBN 9780425287156. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780425287163. MYSTERY
Postmistress Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and friends, both two-legged and four-legged, follow up on a mystery, hinted at in A Hiss Before Dying, that originated in Virginia’s post-Revolutionary past. In a parallel story line, Virginians of that era struggle to launch a new nation. Twenty-seventh in a series from Brown and feline coauthor Sneaky Pie.

Cleverly, Barbara. Fall of Angels. Soho Crime. May 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781616958763. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616958770. MYSTERY
A Cambridge upper-cruster in the city’s police department in the 1920s, Detective Inspector John Redfyre is on hand at the annual St. Barnabas College Christmas concert when a trumpeter falls nearly to her death. An accident? Or was Juno Proudfoot being punished because young women aren’t supposed to push their way into stuffy academic circles? The popular Cleverly (Diana’s Altar) launches a new series.

Flanders, Judith. A Howl of Wolves. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. May 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781250087836. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250087850. MYSTERY
How kind of Sam Clair to attend the West End play in which her upstairs neighbors have small parts, bringing along game-for-anything boyfriend Jake Field, a Scotland Yard detective. And how shocking that when the second act opens, the director is found dangling from the rafters. This series has been going strong since launching with A Murder of Magpies, a LibraryReads Top Ten pick.

Griffiths, Elly. The Dark Angel. Houghton Harcourt. May 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780544750326. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780544750531. MYSTERY
Helping archaeologist Angelo Morelli identify bones found in the Italian mountain village of Fontana Liri takes forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway far from her cottage in the Saltmarsh of Norfolk, England. Her task is complicated by secrets involving resistance during World War II, but at least DCI Nelson drops in to help. A change of pace from the winner of Mary Higgins Clark and CWA Dagger in the Library honors; with a 25,000-copy first printing.

Haines, Carolyn. Charmed Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. May 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781250154132. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250154149. MYSTERY
What’s private detective Sarah Booth Delaney doing at a Board of Education meeting? Listening to three Wiccan sisters argue that they want to open a Wiccan school in Zinnia, MS, having been rented a manor house for that purpose by local artist Trevor Musgrove. Then Trevor dies under suspicious circumstances, the sisters are suspects, and Sarah really gets involved. Haines has won the Harper Lee Distinguished Writing Award and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence.

Indridason, Arnaldur. The Shadow Killer. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. May 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781250124043. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250124050. MYSTERY
Following The Shadow District, this second book in a new series from Icelandic author Indridason opens in summer 1941 with a man found shot dead in a small apartment in Reykjavík. As they investigate, officers Flóvent and Thorson start with the foreign soldiers swarming the city but end up going down some very dark paths indeed. From an internationally best-selling crime writer with a Gold Dagger and two Glass Keys to his name.

Thompson, Victoria. Murder on Union Square. Berkley. May 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780399586606. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399586620. MYSTERY
In this latest in the nationally best-selling “Gaslight Mystery” series, set in 1800s New York, newlyweds Frank and Sarah Malloy hope to adopt the child Sarah has rescued and been raising as her daughter. Little Catherine’s nasty father demands money to surrender his parental rights, which is illegal. But the Malloys desperately agree, only to find Frank blamed for the subsequent murder of the father.

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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