From Nancy Atherton to Charles Todd: Mystery Previews, Jul. 2021, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Lots of cozies for beach reading, but don’t miss Icelandic star Arnaldur Indridason’s The Darkness Knows and debuter Greg Buchanan’s Sixteen Horses.

Atherton, Nancy. Aunt Dimity and the Enchanted Cottage. Viking. Jul. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780593295779. $26. MYSTERY/COZY

In her 25th outing, Aunt Dimity and her neighbors in the English village of Finch fail in cover of Castillo's Fallentheir attempt to befriend standoffish newcomer Crispin Windle until they discover the ruins of a Victorian woolen mill—and the graves of children who worked there, whom they seek to identify. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

Brown, Rita Mae & Sneaky Pie Brown. Claws for Alarm: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery. Bantam. Jul. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780593130094. $28. MYSTERY/COZY

No plot details yet, but Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen returns for her 30th outing with cats in tow and the Blue Ridge Mountains looming. From the New York Times best-selling author.

Buchanan, Greg. Sixteen Horses. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jul. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9781250246660. $27.99. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

A graduate of the University of East Anglia’s prestigious master’s program in creative writing and named one of the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 as designer of his political indie game Paper Brexit, Buchanan offers a debut literary chiller that opens with the discovery of 16 horse heads buried on a farm near a coastal village. Pathogens in the soil soon make everyone who has examined the heads deathly ill, and more local trouble, e.g., arson and mutilations, starts coming to light. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Castillo, Linda. Fallen: A Novel of Suspense. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781250142924. CD. $27.99. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

In Amish country, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder faces an unsettling case: Rachael Schwartz, the only Amish girl Kate knew as rebellious as herself and one who has since left the community to live life on the edge, has been found murdered in a local motel. Why did she return to town, and who killed her? With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Clare, Alys. The Lammas Wild. Severn House. Jul. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780727890092. $28.99. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

After seven arduous years in Spain, Lassair is set to return home to England in summer 1100, but first she must collect a chest she inherited from her old love, king’s spy Rollo Guiscard. Alas, that Pandora’s Box offers up not just gold but serious trouble. Tenth in the “Aelf Fen Mystery” series from medieval mystery maven Clare.

Davis, Lindsey. A Comedy of Terrors: A Flavia Albia Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781250241542. $27.99. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

In 89 CE Rome, private informer Flavia Albia has little to do during the raucous festival of Saturnalia but watch husband Tiberius and the Fourth Cohort challenge organized crime over the sale of nuts at the festival. Then gang war breaks out and her husband’s life is threatened, which gets Flavia Albia on her feet. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

Hart, Carolyn. Blows a Kiss. Severn House. Jul. 2021. 192p. ISBN 9780727890481. $28.99. MYSTERY/COZY

On a mission from Heaven's Department of Good Intentions—and with the good intention of sticking for once to her task on Earth—Bailey Ruth Raeburn returns to her hometown, Adelaide, OK, and ends up rescuing a widow drowning in a pond. Soon she realizes that this drubbing was no accident and leaps in to untangle a knotted mess of family secrets and lies. From New York Times best-selling Grand Master of Mystery Hart.

Hawke, Ethan (text) & Greg Ruth (illus.). Meadowlark: A Coming of Age Crime Story. Grand Central. Jul. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781538714577. $26. MYSTERY/GRAPHIC NOVEL

Four-time Academy Award nominee and New York Times best-selling author Hawke returns after his debut graphic novel, 2016’s Indeh, again joining forces with illustrator Ruth. This Texas-set crime noir follows Jack "Meadowlark" Johnson and teenage son Cooper on a single day as they steer their way through the escalating troubles Meadowlark has brought home to his estranged family. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Indridason, Arnaldur. The Darkness Knows. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781250765468. $27.99. MYSTERY/INTERNATIONAL

Retired detective Konrad returns to a cold case that has haunted him for three decades: the disappearance of a businessman whose body has just been found deep in the Langjokull glacier. For Konrad, facing the case means facing some dark secrets of his own. First in a series from CWA Gold Dagger Award and two-time Glass Key winner Indridason; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Jones, Darynda. A Good Day for Chardonnay. St. Martin’s. Jul. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781250233110. $27.99. CD. MYSTERY/WOMEN SLEUTHS

Jones moves on from her popular “Charley Davidson” series in this second outing for Sunshine Vicram, a small-town New Mexico chief of police and humor-provoking character deeply into coffee, donuts, and wine (see the title). Here, she wrestles with a nasty bar fight, her teenage daughter’s pursuit of a serial killer, and her own queasy attraction to bad-boy distiller Levi Ravinder, who might have been responsible for her long-ago abduction. Following A Bad Day for Sunshine; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Leonard, Niall. M, King's Bodyguard. Pantheon. Jul. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781524749057. $26.95. Downloadable. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

In January 1901, as Europe’s royalty crowd Great Britain to attend Queen Victoria’s funeral, William Melville—head of Britain’s Special Branch and personal bodyguard to the queen and her family—learns of a plot to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany at the event. From British screenwriter Leonard, drawing on a true story.

Perkins, S.C. Fatal Family Ties. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781250789648. $26.99. MYSTERY/COZY

Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster would rather be hanging out with her new paramour, special agent Ben Turner, but she’s got a case. Having been asked by cranky former coworker Camilla Braithwaite to prove that a Civil War ancestor was not the scoundrel newspapers made him out to be, Lucy must investigate when a Braithwaite relative is murdered in his bed. With a 30,000-copy first printing; third in the “Ancestry Detective” series.

Redmond, Lissa Marie. The Parting Glass. Severn House. Jul. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780727891310. $28.99. MYSTERY/INTERNATIONAL

Placed on Injured on Duty status, Buffalo-based cold case detective Lauren Riley renews her private investigator license and is soon hired by a woman seeking to recover a Picasso painting stolen two decades ago when she and her wealthy, possibly mob-connected husband divorced. The case takes Lauren to rural Ireland and the recently deceased main suspect’s ransacked home. Fifth in the “Cold Case Investigation” series; following the LJ -starred A Full Cold Moon.

Rosenfelt, David. Dog Eat Dog. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781250257123. $27.99. CD. MYSTERY/TRADITIONAL

Lawyer Andy Carpenter is out on a walk with wife Laurie and dogs Tara and Sebastian when they intervene to stop a man abusing a dog and are helped by a passerby who thrashes the miscreant so badly that both men are arrested by the police. The passerby turns out to be wanted for murder, and Andy decides to investigate further—why would someone on the run stop to help a dog? Twenty-third in the award-winning series; with a 60,000-copy first printing.

Todd, Charles. An Irish Hostage. Morrow. Jul. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780062859853. $27.99. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

World War I has ended, but after the 1916 Easter Rising tensions are still high in Ireland, where nurse Bess Crawford has traveled to be part of a friend’s wedding party. She arrives to find that the groom is missing, and when the sea surrenders a dead body, partisan tensions boil over. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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