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PREMIUM

A Will To Kill

Reminiscent of Agatha Christie mysteries, this first in the “Harith Athreya” series is a sure hit for readers who love a taste of foreign intrigue and a solid whodunit. Fans of Ngaio Marsh’s A Man Lay Dead and Patricia Moyes’s Dead Men Don’t Ski will also enjoy.
PREMIUM

The Best American Mystery Stories 2020

Whether readers enjoy snacking on bite-sized twisty mysteries or are looking for a new author to follow, this anthology delivers.
PREMIUM

Still Life

In the sixth in her “Karen Pirie” series (after Broken Ground), McDermid rewards readers with a timely and cracking good mystery that keeps the pages flying. New readers are brought up to speed and will join longtime fans cheering on the well-drawn characters.
PREMIUM

Never Turn Back

Page-turning suspense and action with some surprise twists engages readers from start to finish. The characters of Ethan and Susannah, their sibling bond, resonate with authenticity, grounding the novel. Thriller readers will enjoy and look forward to more from Swann, especially fans of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay.
PREMIUM

The Devil and the Dark Water

Blended with elements of mystery and high seas adventure, Turton’s second book (after The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle) is an enjoyable throwback to the exaggeratedly intellectual plotting of Golden Age crime fiction, not terribly believable but great fun to read.
PREMIUM

The Diabolical Bones

Ellis does a great job re-creating the village of Haworth, England, and its peoples, hinting how the daily lives of the Brontës might have inspired their most well-known works. A diverting read for fans of literary detective fiction.

Murder on Cold Street

This magnificent locked-room case is a dazzling holiday gift for fans of the series.
PREMIUM

If I Disappear

Brazier, who writes YA novels as Eliza Wass, debuts a fast-paced, slightly scary adult thriller that oozes with obsession and maladjustment yet does not meet the standard set by the likes of Ruth Ware, Gillian Flynn, or S.J. Paris.

Dear Child

Hausmann’s English-language debut is absorbing and sinister, with a tightening web of psychological intrigue. Tiny clues are steadily inserted into this fast-paced, shivery tale with an unforeseen denouement. Inevitably likened to Emma Donoghue’s Room, also suggest Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes.
PREMIUM

Death at a Country Mansion

This enjoyable series debut, with its diverse cast of characters and clever amateur sleuth, will appeal to readers of Elizabeth J. Duncan’s “Penny Brannigan” mysteries.
PREMIUM

Bending the Paw

Kelly successfully combines police procedural with cozy in a mystery that has moments of humor. Readers of the previous title in the “Paw Enforcement” series, Paw of the Jungle, will be familiar with the author’s style of incorporating viewpoints from Megan, Brigit, and the primary criminal. Fans of Spencer Quinn’s “Chet and Bernie” books will enjoy Brigit’s comments and the dog-human partnership.

The Man in the Microwave Oven

The follow-up to Cox’s award-winning The Man on the Washing Machine includes a delightful amateur sleuth and eccentric characters with appeal for fans of traditional mysteries. The intricate plotting will keep readers guessing.

Bone Canyon

Goldberg follows Lost Hills with a riveting, intense story. Readers of Karin Slaughter or Michael Connelly will want to try this.
PREMIUM

Prodigal Son

Fans of Tom Clancy or Lee Child will love this latest installment of the “Orphan X” series by Hurwitz (“Tim Rackley” series), which offers twists and turns, danger and adrenaline, and gadgetry worthy of James Bond. There is an underlying examination of the meaning of family that lends extra depth to the book.
PREMIUM

Courting Can Be Killer

There is nothing cozier than the second “Amish Matchmaker Mystery” (after Matchmaking Can Be Murder); it’s filled with silly animals, including two Boer goats and a pig. However, the mystery itself is well plotted and will appeal to fans of Flower’s Amish “Candy Shop” mysteries, set in the same community with crossover characters.
PREMIUM

The Nightworkers

The shifting perspectives, from Shecky’s heartbreaking reminiscences to Kerasha’s painful memories of her mother and therapy sessions, provide the desired emotional depth but may leave readers a bit disoriented. Fans of gritty, dark, mysteries with dysfunctional characters will appreciate this one.
PREMIUM

Murder at Veronica’s Diner

It’s Janet Evanovich’s Grandma Mazur times four when the “direct, loud, demanding, impatient, and tactless” women get together for their fourth case (after Murder at Icicle Lodge). Fans of Stephanie Plum’s adventures might want to sample the escapades of four Italian American women in New Jersey.
PREMIUM

Murder Comes To Call

This English cozy is perfect for fans of female detectives and mysteries set in quaint English villages.

The Darkest Evening

Superbly drawn characters, an absorbing plot, and a compelling narrative combine in a classic mystery that will delight both Cleeves’s fans and newcomers alike.

The Sleeping Nymph

This engrossing mystery blends psychological tension with exceptional detective work and features flawed yet appealing characters whose dogged pursuit of the murderer keeps them from focusing too closely on their personal struggles. All this, combined with Oklap’s fluid translation, make this a solid mystery pick for fans of Jussi Adler-Olsen and Elizabeth George.

Invisible Girl

Suspense fans will devour this twisted tale of intricately interwoven characters. The many turns will surprise and keep readers thinking long after they’ve finished.
PREMIUM

Finished Off in Fondant

There are few surprises in this second book in the series, following Cobblered to Death. Even the killer is obvious, with no sparks to the standard romantic triangle. The mystery’s appeal is solely for foodies who enjoy televised competitions.
PREMIUM

Fortune Favors the Dead

This is a fun whodunit for high schoolers up through adults. It’s easy to pick up and put down again, perfect for a cozy weekend read.
PREMIUM

The Lakehouse

Clifford’s (“Jay Porter” series) sixth stand-alone (after Occam’s Razor) captivates with pell-mell action, striking characters, and a tantalizingly complex plot, yet at times is also melodramatic with shifting perspectives, cliff-hanging chapter endings, and ultimately an enigmatic finish.
PREMIUM

A Big Fat Greek Murder

It’s a little much to have two out-of-control women, one a stalker, in the same book that is already stuffed with characters and some unnecessary side stories. Readers of the first in the series, Statue of Limitations, or fans of Collins’s “Flower Shop” mysteries, might find this of interest.

The Ninja’s Blade

Lily and the secondary characters are rich and complicated, and details about martial arts and Chinese culture add depth to the story. While it isn’t necessary to have read the previous book in the series to enjoy this one, readers won’t understand the extent of Lily’s emotional conflict without that context. This series continues to impress and should find a wide, appreciative audience.

Goodnight Beautiful

Along with a rip-roaring suspense plot, Molloy adds depth with critiques of gender conventions that causes readers to investigate the assumptions they bring to the text. She breathes new life into the unreliable narrator thriller genre in a book everyone will be talking about.

The Solace of Bay Leaves

The character-driven mystery by the award-winning author of Death al Dente is darker than many cozies. Readers attracted to unusual settings and mature, introspective amateur sleuths will appreciate this intricately plotted story depicting the impact of murder on the family and community.
PREMIUM

Interference

Parks, better known for character-driven mysteries, ventures into Michael Crichton and Blake Crouch territory with a procedural thriller with an sf edge and a ton of heart that leads to an explosive (and emotional) finale. Even though Parks’s staccato writing style, where every sentence is a potential paragraph, takes some getting used to, this should satisfy a wide swath of readers.
PREMIUM

Hanging Falls

Crime fiction fans or readers who appreciate K-9 mysteries will easily catch on to the latest series entry (after Tracking Game). Readers who follow Mattie and Robo will be eager for the updated story line.
PREMIUM

The Silent Conspiracy

Shaw delivers a second action-packed installment in the “Jack Logan” series (after The Network). The characters are well drawn and the story amps up to a cliff-hanger ending that will satisfy most thriller lovers. This book will appeal to fans of puzzle-solving thrillers and catastrophe stories from authors such as Steve Berry, David Baldacci, and Robin Cook.
PREMIUM

Killer Kung Pao

Chien infuses the latest deftly crafted entry in her delectable “Noodle Shop” series (after Egg Drop Dead) with plenty of wry charm and dry wit, making this another tempting, too-good-to-miss treat for culinary cozy fans.
PREMIUM

Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of the Stapletons

The latest pastiche by the author of Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Dust is a clever follow-up to The Hound of the Baskervilles. The language, characters, and pacing is accurate enough to satisfy even hard-core Holmes fans.
PREMIUM

A Pretty Deceit

Verity Kent plays a dangerous game of espionage in a story set just several weeks after Penny for Your Secrets. The ongoing story line involving Ardmore will intrigue series readers. Fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd will appreciate the psychological and social issues affecting the British after World War I

The Searcher

French’s second stand-alone novel (after The Witch Elm) is a slow-burn stunner that will keep readers turning the pages late into the night. Recommend to the author’s legions of fans, as well as those who enjoy crime fiction set in small towns like Julia Keller’s or Jane Harper’s novels.
PREMIUM

Scavenger

Dickie’s transformation from addict to totally logical “operative” is one of several implausible plot points. While the use of street vernacular in dialog is reasonable, its use in narrative, as well as overzealous use of italicized Spanish, makes the story difficult to understand. The characters are not fleshed out and the action, at times, is comical.
PREMIUM

Back Bay Blues

The second installment of Colt’s 1980s-set series (after The Off-Islander) will lure fans of Robert Parker’s Spenser into the atmospheric Boston setting. A tight plot, great characterization, and sensitive topics make this a good addition to library collections.

All the Devils Are Here

The strengths of this latest procedural from the inimitable Penny will attract her longtime fans and also draw in new admirers. A deft touch with plotting, sensitive characterization, and the author’s warmth and humanity make this a must-have mystery, especially for collections owning the rest of series. [See Prepub Alert, 2/24/20.]
PREMIUM

The Kingdom

Nesbø ‘s slow-burn thriller is guaranteed to be in high demand. As the story unfolds, it builds in dread and depravity. The small-town atmosphere resembles a Peyton Place as envisioned in an unlikely collaboration between Raymond Chandler and Henrik Ibsen. The complex characters and twisting plot will keep readers turning the pages and eager to discuss. [See Prepub Alert, 3/4/20.]
PREMIUM

A Death Long Overdue

This follow-up to Read and Buried features a huge cast of librarians, and sometimes it’s difficult to keep everybody straight. Series fans will be excited to catch up with Lucy, her romantic partner, the mayor, and Lucy’s friends.
PREMIUM

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

Hannah follows The Mystery of Three Quarters with a drawn-out story. Only Poirot’s fans and the author’s readers will appreciate this intricate, slow-moving book.
PREMIUM

The Invitation

The Big Chill meets the board game Clue in this British whodunit. Lies, secrets, and the wonderfully twisted murder game will have readers furiously turning the pages.

When No One Is Watching

This sizzling summer thriller starts on low and heats up fast. Smart, sexy, and surprising, this suspenseful novel revealing the underbelly of urban gentrification will keep readers reading late into the night. [See “Turn the Page: Editors’ Fall Picks,” LJ 8/20.]

Halloween Humor and B&B Murders | Mystery & Suspense Review Spotlight

PREMIUM

Without a Brew

The ongoing mystery of Sloan’s past is just one element in the follow-up to Beyond a Reasonable Stout. Readers who appreciate the community life in a tourist destination town or the appeal of a story with a craft beer background will enjoy this latest cozy with a strong supporting cast of characters.

Dead-End Detective

The lead characters, with their realistic flaws, kick off a well-developed mystery that isn’t quite as cozy as Flower’s “Amish Candy Shop” mysteries. The cast and two interesting cats will appeal to readers of Miranda James.
PREMIUM

Lucky Bones

This darkly humorous PI novel offers nonstop, violent action, and is perfect for readers who enjoy Donald Westlake’s quirky “Dortmunder” characters.

Next to Last Stand

After Depth of Winter and Land of Wolves, Johnson lightens the atmosphere in this complex, thought-provoking mystery that highlights art and Western history, emphasizing the contrast between Native accounts and white history. The author’s poetic turns of phrase, witty dialog, and one of the funniest, most memorable chase scenes in a novel combine to make this a winner.
PREMIUM

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

Halloween, humor, and Louisiana legends are the key to the award-winning author’s follow-up to Fatal Cajun Festival. Byron’s readers and fans of Jenn McKinlay’s humorous mysteries will appreciate this latest story that incorporates family and food.
PREMIUM

Her Final Words

Labuskes (Girls of Glass) offers an intense mystery with an excellent character in Lucy, who methodically uncovers layers of deceit while trusting no one. Some plot developments are too convenient, and a few questions are left unanswered, but there’s a great concluding twist.
PREMIUM

The Book of Lamps and Banners

Hand’s desolate descriptions and Cass’s larger-than-life persona help to carry a story that is not as intricately plotted as her 2019 stand-alone, Curious Toys, with a few characters not fully f leshed out. Still, followers of the series will be happy to see Cass return

The Thursday Murder Club

The delightful, spirited characters from this witty, sometimes bittersweet story deserve a return engagement.

PREMIUM

Outsider

Castillo’s 12th “Kate Burkholder” novel (after Shamed) is a suspenseful, culture-melding nail-biter mixing nonstop action, a timely plot, and street-tough dialog, delivering a gritty crime drama with a realistic look at the Amish lifestyle. Fans of the series and crime dramas à la Marta Perry and Lisa Gardner will find this hard to put down. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/20.]
PREMIUM

One for the Books

For readers who follow the series, this is another character-driven and atmospheric tale, only with less emotional intensity as the previous book.
PREMIUM

Murder in Chianti

Trinchieri (Seeking Alice) has incorporated all the elements mystery fans could want in this Italy-set whodunit: eccentric villagers who quote Dante, delectable descriptions of Italian cuisine, endless glasses of wine, and a thoroughly gripping mystery. Recommended for libraries where mysteries set in Italy are popular. [See Prepub Alert, 1/22/20.]
PREMIUM

Forging Fire

Preston follows Dead Blow by isolating her amateur sleuth on a ranch with an entire group of potential killers. However, the herding dog scenes are more exciting than the immature, impulsive young woman’s bumbling attempt to investigate. Only fans of the series will care.

Top Summer Reads: 56 New and Favorite Titles Across the Fiction Genres

PREMIUM

Mesa Verde Victim

Suggest for readers who appreciate history mixed with natural wonders in a fast-paced book. Fans of Mary Anna Evans’s archaeological mysteries will enjoy this series.

Fire in the Blood

Fans of Michael Connelly’s “Harry Bosch” series will appreciate Coop’s brusque, principled personality. [See Prepub Alert, 1/29/20.]
PREMIUM

Ghost Ups Her Game

The amusing sequel to the first book in the series, Ghost on the Case, is a warmhearted traditional mystery that will appeal to fans of Nancy Atherton’s “Aunt Dimity” books. [See Prepub Alert, 1/22/20.]
PREMIUM

The Silent Wife

The emotionally sophisticated characters work through the brutality of their jobs in this dynamic psychological thriller and police procedural that will please readers of Slaughter’s “Grant County” series. For fans of Meg Gardiner, David Baldacci, and Carrie Smith.

Marah Chase and the Fountain of Youth

While this second book in the series has as much fast-paced action as its predecessor, Marah Chase and the Conqueror’s Tomb, there’s more depth to the story. The action-packed narrative touches on issues of cultural appropriation, identity, history, and environmental change, which featuring a variety of LGBTQ characters. Fans of Indiana Jones or the Marvel action series will appreciate this cinematic adventure.
PREMIUM

Under Pressure

For lovers of puzzle-solving detective fiction in the style of Kathy Reichs.

Shadows in Time

The fifth “Kendra Donovan” novel is an atmospheric and character-driven mystery. The time travel, intrigue, romance, and returning characters will appeal to Diana Gabaldon’s fans

One by One

Ware’s fans will devour this in a sitting, as will readers who love Lucy Foley’s The Hunting Party or locked-room mysteries in general. [See Prepub Alert, 2/24/20.]
PREMIUM

Murder at Kingscote

In this delightful addition to the series, which would serve as a good introduction to newcomers, Maxwell’s focus on class and gender division is sharp and accomplished. Come for the late 19th-century historical detail; stay for the intrigue.
PREMIUM

The Less Dead

Mina’s (Conviction; The Long Drop) concern with the effects of class on individual lives is evident, as Margo learns about sex workers, coming to admire Susan as she ferrets out the reason for her death. As the plot gains speed to a startling and abrupt end, readers will be left agasp and wanting more. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/19.]
PREMIUM

All the Broken People

The main protagonist is an unreliable narrator, but then all the characters are unreliable, making this a fast-paced, unputdownable roller-coaster of a read sure to appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn or Paula Hawkins.
PREMIUM

Once You Go This Far

This latest P.I. novel is an intricately plotted tale by the Shamus Award–winning author of What You Want To See. The mystery with a flawed protagonist who delves into a case involving controversial subjects such as spousal abuse and a cultish church will appeal to readers of Sara Paretsky and Tracy Clark. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/20.]
PREMIUM

A Twist in the Tail

The author of the “Mystic Notch Cat” cozies introduces another group of feline detectives who guide the investigation for humans. Readers crazy for cat cozies in the style of Clea Simon’s “Witch Cats of Cambridge” series might appreciate this quirky mystery.
PREMIUM

Find Me

For thriller fans who appreciate intricate and unconventional plots, with shocking twists.
PREMIUM

The Eighth Detective

Although the stories in this first collection have twists and turns, and the book itself has a surprise ending, neither the tales, nor the writing are compelling, the latter containing more similes than imagination. [See Prepub Alert, 1/22/20.]
PREMIUM

Exit Strategy

As Sara Driscoll, Danna is the coauthor of the “FBI K-9” mysteries and the “Abbott and Lowell” forensic mysteries. She kicks off her first solo effort, the “NYPD Negotiators” series, with a compelling, dramatic story while using the protagonist’s family background as motivation. Readers who love the TV show Blue Bloods, with its family of cops, will relish this launch.
PREMIUM

Afterland

Fans of chase novels and postapocalyptic stories will enjoy.

Skin Deep

With just the right mix of clever twists, endearing charm, looming threats, and contemporary issues (identity, privilege, cultural appropriation, the ugliest parts of the beauty trade), literary novelist Woo (Love Love) debuts quite the absorbing new mystery series, hopefully with multiple volumes to come.
PREMIUM

The Wicked Sister

Despite the story’s few flaws, Dionne knocks out a psychological thriller with a low-grade yet ever-present sense of danger. Fans of Paul Doiron and environmental thrillers may like this book. [See Prepub Alert, 1/29/20.]
PREMIUM

The Request

Bell nails the suburban niche in this absorbing work that fans of Harlan Coben will thoroughly enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/19.]

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne

This glimpse into the intimate circles that will eventually spawn the great museums is highly recommended for historical fiction readers looking for a peek into a fascinating closed society. It is an equally solid choice for historical mystery readers who want to see women with intelligence and agency navigate a time and place not meant for them, but where they thrive nonetheless while solving a delightfully twisty murder. [See Prepub Alert, 11/18/19.]
PREMIUM

Clean Hands

High-tech surveillance and cloak-and-dagger activity do not offset the anticlimactic ending or the mundane plot of the Brooklyn-based private investigator and author’s third outing (after Every Man a Menace). [See Prepub Alert, 11/25.19.]
PREMIUM

Love & Other Crimes

Fans of witty characters, complicated plots, stories with somber endings, and, of course, V.I Warshawski will enjoy this book.
PREMIUM

Of Mutts and Men

Fans of this character-driven series return because of Chet’s narration and his adoration of Bernie. Despite the murders, this is a leisurely paced, feel-good book about a dog and his beloved owner, portrayed with all their flaws and insecurities. Chet’s narration adds humor to a long-running series with a strong sense of place. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/20.]
PREMIUM

Winter Counts

Weiden’s series launch sheds much-needed light on the legal and societal barriers facing Native Americans while also delivering a suspenseful thriller that builds to a bloody climax. A worthy addition to the burgeoning canon of indigenous literature. [See Prepub Alert, 1/29/20.]
PREMIUM

The Shadows

The conclusion wraps it up too tidily, but overall, this is a successful, creepy thriller. If you like Stephen King, you’ll probably like North’s new thriller, too.
PREMIUM

The Blues Don’t Care

Rich in plot if sometimes lacking in characterization, this latest from Marks (Broken Windows) will keep even seasoned mystery readers guessing.

Blacktop Wasteland

Bug’s got a conscience not typical of the thriller genre, but other than that, this novel recalls almost perfectly the classic heist thriller in the vein of Richard Stark’s “Parker” books. It’ll go like hot cakes.

PREMIUM

The Girl from Widow Hills

This is a great whodunit, done well. Olivia/Arden narrates but Miranda (The Last House Guest) creatively uses media transcripts, newspaper reports, book excerpts, and voicemails to piece together her fragmented story that ends with a chilling twist. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/19.]
PREMIUM

Nothing Can Hurt You

This unconventional psychological thriller is recommended only for readers looking for a more literary approach to murder depicting little emotion or passion.

The Last Flight

Clark (The Ones We Choose) is an exceptional writer who has crafted a tale about disappearing in an age when technology makes it almost impossible. Highly recommended for fans of thrillers, mysteries, and crime fiction.

Q&A: Novelist Cooney on Switching Between YA and Adult and Writing Real Characters

PREMIUM

Catherine House

Readers looking for a strong atmospheric setting in the gothic style will be drawn in by this psychological thriller. Less satisfying are the interesting if underdeveloped characters. [See Prepub Alert, 10/26/19.]
PREMIUM

The Dilemma

Paris’s latest is not her usual thriller fare. Fans excited to read the next edge-of-your-seat suspense, such as Paris’s The Breakdown will be disappointed with this sad family drama that combines frivolity and tragedy. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/19.]

Riviera Gold

Followers of the series will enjoy King’s delightful new series entry, while first-time readers will love the setting and the twists of the mystery.
PREMIUM

Street Music

This slow-paced, noir-style mystery can be read as a stand-alone, but newcomers will have a richer experience having read the previous books. Raw and atmospheric, this is a solid finale to the series.

Hard Cash Valley

Good rural mysteries excel at showing how both the land and the law that governs it are deeply personal, and Panowich knows the residents of the Georgia foothills down to his bones. Perfect for fans of Attica Locke or Laura McHugh. [See Prepub Alert, 10/28/19.]
PREMIUM

The Doom List

Fans of 1920s glamour and scandal will enjoy this follow-up to The Long Silence. This fun mystery is a strong entry in the series.
PREMIUM

The Wife Stalker

The Constantine sisters (The Last Mrs. Parrish) have done it again: crafted a psychological thriller that keeps readers squirming until the last harrowing page, as it alternates between the two voices. Readers will enjoy the twists, turns, and surprises as the story unfolds. [See Prepub Alert, 10/18/19.]

The Finders

This action-packed series debut will entice fans of Margaret Mizushima and Paula Munier’s K-9 mysteries. The latest from the author of the Drew Cady FBI mysteries is an intense, graphic serial killer novel with a likable, aw-shucks hero and a remarkable dog. [See Prepub Alert, 11/18/19.]
PREMIUM

Booked for Death

Gilbert (“Blue Ridge Library” mysteries) introduces an intelligent, mature amateur sleuth, and a shrewd elderly sidekick in the first in a character-driven cozy series. The leisurely paced mystery offers complex characters with well-developed backgrounds and motives. Readers of Ellery Adams’s “Book Retreat” mysteries will appreciate this new series.
PREMIUM

The Goodbye Man

While not as dynamic as the first in the series (The Never Game), this will still find fans with those who enjoyed the first book and for Deaver fans in general. [See Prepub Alert, 10/28/19.]
PREMIUM

The Clutter Corpse

Brett, author of the “Fethering” and “Charles Paris” mysteries, launches a new series with a story that dwells too much on the protagonist’s past and family history to make for a tedious, stuffy account. Readers may want to skip this cold introduction, which has more framework than mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 11/18/19.]
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