From AJ Bennett to J.D. Robb: Mystery, Sept. 2023, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

Mysteries to remember. 

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Bennett, SJ. Murder Most Royal. Morrow. (Her Majesty the Queen Investigates, Bk. 3). Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780063051201. $30. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY

In this third, touchingly timely work in a popular series featuring Queen Elizabeth II, Christmas festivities at Sandringham are horribly overturned when a severed hand is discovered. The eagle-eyed queen immediately recognizes the hand’s signet ring as belonging to a member of the St Cyr family, long-established friends, and she works behind the scenes with her assistant private secretary, Rozie Oshodi, to solve the murder.

Chua, Amy. The Golden Gate. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781250903600. $28. Downloadable. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

Tiger mom/Yale law professor Chua enters the mystery arena with a tale set in 1944 Berkeley, CA, as Homicide Detective Al Sullivan puzzles over the assassination of a former presidential candidate at the Claremont Hotel. The case is quickly linked to the death 10 years earlier of seven-year-old Iris Stafford, who belonged to the uber-wealthy Bainbridge clan, and Sullivan finds himself waltzing uncomfortably with the remaining Bainbridge heiresses—and Madame Chiang Kai-shek—to find the murderer. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Cleeves, Ann. The Raging Storm. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Two Rivers, Bk. 3). Sept. 2023. ISBN 9781250836779. $29. CD/downloadable. MYSTERY

Star-spangled celebrity adventurer Jem Rosco upends the residents of Greystone, Devon, by swirling into town amid a ferocious gale and just as quickly swirling away, later to be found dead in a dinghy anchored in Scully Cove. DI Matthew Venn is on the case, but Greystone holds bad memories for him, and he’s further troubled by another death and the sense that he and his team are in danger. With a 150,000-copy first printing; from CWA Diamond Dagger–sheathed Cleeves

.Johnson, Craig. The Longmire Defense. Viking. (Longmire Mystery, Bk. 19). Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593297315. $28. MYSTERY

Walt Longmire, the long-standing sheriff of Absaroka County, WY, faces an unusual crime scene that evokes issues back to the days of Walt’s grandfather—and reminds Walt of unsettling truths he has recently learned about the man. Next in the New York Times best-selling series, basis for the popular NetFlix original.

Jonasson, Ragnar & Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Reykjavík: A Crime Story. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250907332. $28. Downloadable . MYSTERY/INTERNATIONAL

In 1956, 14-year-old Lara disappears from the island off Reykjavík where she has been working for the summer, never to be seen again. Three decades later, tabloid reporter Valur Robertsson decides to reinvestigate the case in a world undergoing rapid change. International best seller Jonasson is joined by Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s prime minister, who wrote her masters’ thesis on Icelandic crime fiction author Arnaldur Indridason. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Krueger, William Kent. The River We Remember. Atria. Sept. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781982179212. $28.99. CD. MYSTERY

On a bright Memorial Day in 1958 Jewell, MN, powerful landowner Jimmy Quinn’s shotgun-shattered body is found floating in the river, and who else to blame but Noah Bluestone, an Indigenous World War II veteran recently back in town with a Japanese wife? Sheriff Brody Dern, himself a veteran, must contain local rage while seeking the real killer even as an array of buried secrets will out. Crime solving with social engagement from New York Times best-selling author Krueger; note that this work is BISACed as literary.

March, Nev. The Spanish Diplomat’s Secret. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Captain Jim and Lady Diana Mysteries, Bk. 3). Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250855060. $29. CD. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

In summer 1894, Anglo Indian Jim Agnihotri, a former British army captain now with Boston’s Dupree Detective Agency, and wife Diana, a Parsi Zoroastrian woman originally from Bombay (now Mumbai), are heading to England for a holiday aboard the ocean liner Cunard. Alas, a passenger winds up murdered, and guess who the captain asks to solve the crime before the ship docks? Third in a series launched with Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Hammett, Macavity, and Audie finalist Murder in Old Bombay; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Perry, Anne. The Traitor Among Us. Ballantine. (Elena Standish Novel, Bk. 5). Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593359150. $28. MYSTERY

When an MI6 agent is found shot through the heart near an estate belonging to the Wyndhams, whom he was surveilling owing to their alleged fascist sympathies, photographer-turned-spy Elena Standish is asked to investigate. She has an easy in with the family, as her older sister is being courted by Lady Wyndam’s brother. More interwar mystery from Perry.

Robb, J.D. Payback in Death. St. Martin’s. (Eve Dallas Novel, Bk. 57). Sept. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781250284099. $30. CD/downloadable. MYSTERY

Just back from vacation, Lt. Eve Dallas is hustled to a crime scene: Martin Greenleaf, a retired Internal Affairs captain, has apparently committed suicide. But Eve has her doubts; the captain nailed a lot of dirty cops in his day, and this could be revenge. With a 750,000-copy first printing.


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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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