Summary: “Second in the highly-acclaimed Richard Nottingham historical mystery series 1732. Richard Nottingham, Constable of the City of Leeds, is grieving the death of his daughter, but he must rouse himself from his lethargy when the body of wealthy wool merchant Samuel Graves is discovered, his throat slit, the skin razed from his back. Why would the killer want Graves’ skin? When Nottingham receives a slim, bound volume entitled The Journal of a Wronged Man he discovers the shocking answer – and it hurls him into a desperate battle for survival against a ruthless killer with old scores to settle.” Amazon
Review: Set in 1732, Nickson's superb follow-up to 2010's The Broken Token finds Richard Nottingham, constable of the city of Leeds, fearful that he will lose more loved ones after his older daughter falls ill and dies. An especially hard winter is making things tough for the entire community. Then a savage murder-that of wool merchant Samuel Graves, whose throat was cut and the skin flayed from his back-tests Nottingham and his men to their utmost. While the motive for the mutilation murder of the respectable Graves isn't obvious, the constable soon learns the grisly reason for the trophy taking. Other victims will follow, he realizes, if he doesn't manage to stop the butcher first. Nickson, who does an excellent job depicting an honest, damaged policeman trying to seek justice at a time when influence trumps truth, may yet join the front rank of historical mystery writers. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary: Pulled by a murder case back into the heart of her late husband's eccentric family during a harrowing Hamptons winter, Jackie Swaitkowski finds her principles of right and wrong challenged by criminal intrigues, a romantic prospect, organized crime, and digital wizardry.
Review: At the start of Knopf's breezy third Southampton mystery featuring defense attorney Jackie Swaitkowski (after 2011's Bad Bird), client Franco Raffini summons Jackie during a winter storm to the house of Tad Buczek, a relative of hers by marriage, who's lying dead under a pergola. That Franco, previously convicted of manslaughter, admits he messed up the crime scene by moving the body only adds to Jackie's doubts about his innocence. When Franco is arrested and charged with second-degree murder, Jackie is determined to win the case against her client, despite threats from a couple of toughs for her to lose it. A familiar cast aids her, including boyfriend Harry Goodlander, Sam Acquillo (the star of Black Swan and four other mysteries), and computer geek Randall Dodge. A host of Polish relatives (by marriage) and Tad's imported wife, Katarzina, provide comedy and tragedy. Atrocious winter weather, Franco's aversion to telling all, and Tad's deep secrets keep the outcome in doubt. Whether Jackie or Sam takes the lead, Knopf's ensemble mysteries are good entertainment. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary: Max--Anglican priest, former MI5 agent, and village heartthrob--investigates two deaths at Chedrow Castle. But his growing attraction to Awena Owen complicates his case, as does the recent arrival at Chedrow Castle of a raucous group of long-lost, greedy relatives, any one of whom has a motive for murder.
Review: Agatha Christie fans will relish Malliet's delicious second Max Tudor novel (after 2011's Wicked Autumn), which, in classic golden age fashion, includes a closed-circle of suspects and a dramatic final reveal to a captive audience. Tudor, a former MI5 agent who's now the vicar of St. Edwold's in Nether Monkslip, looks into the deadly goings-on at Chedrow Castle. During the Christmas season, someone stabs wealthy Lord Footrustle to death in his bedroom shortly after he survives a bout of food poisoning. When his sister, Lady Baynard, hears the tragic news, she dies of apparent shock. Tudor questions the many family members in the castle at the time, all of whom could have had pecuniary motives for murder. Clever deduction and a logical fair-play solution are enhanced by the author's wry humor (e.g., one character "sound[s] remarkably like an Eliza Doolittle who has skipped a few lessons"). Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary: "A woman is found dead, apparently the victim of a tragic car crash. It's the first in a spate of seemingly inexplicable accidents in Tanumshede and marks the end of a quiet winterfor detective PatrikHedstrom. A reality TV show is being shot in the town and when a drunken party ends with a particularly unpopular contestant's murder, the cast and crew are obvious suspects. Could there be a killer in their midst? As the country tunes in, the bodies mount up, Patrik faces his toughest investigation yet"--WorldCat.
Summary: Freddie Watson is a stilted young man who has not gotten over older brother George's disappearance on the Western Front during WWI. It is now 10 years since the Armistice, and Freddie, after a stay in a mental institution, has come to the French Pyrenees to find peace. While motoring through a snowstorm, he crashes his car and ends up in the small village of Nulle, where he meets a beautiful young woman named Fabrissa. In the course of an evening, Fabrissa tells Freddie a story of persecution, resistance, and death, hinting at a long-buried secret. By the next morning, she is gone, leaving Freddie alone to unlock a ghostly mystery hidden for 600 years. Review: In Mosse's wisp of a new novel (after Sepulchre), Freddie Watson is a stilted young man who has not gotten over older brother George's disappearance on the Western Front during WWI. It is now 10 years since the Armistice, and Freddie, after a stay in a mental institution, has come to the French Pyrenees to find peace. While motoring through a snowstorm, he crashes his car and ends up in the small village of Nulle, where he meets a beautiful young woman named Fabrissa. In the course of an evening, Fabrissa tells Freddie a story of persecution, resistance, and death, hinting at a long-buried secret. By the next morning, she is gone, leaving Freddie alone to unlock a ghostly mystery hidden for 600 years. This is a staunchly old-fashioned story, taking fully 100 pages to get moving, and by the time things pick up, the gist of the narrative will be obvious to anyone who has ever sat through a Twilight Zone episode. Freddie's obtuseness does little to help along a gruel-thin story. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary:The Loon Lake International Ice Fishing Festival proves to be nothing but headaches for Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris and her limited team of local police officers.
Review: In chapter two of Houston's lame 11th Loon Lake mystery (after 2009's Dead Renegade), an emergency call interrupts the romantic dinner Paul Osborne, a retired dentist turned forensic consultant, is sharing with Lewellyn "Lew" Ferris, the Loon Lake, Wis., police chief. Rob Beltner's wife, Kathy, has failed to come home after a late afternoon walk in the snow. Within hours, Lew finds Kathy's corpse under a bridge, her face almost destroyed by a gunshot. Chapter one, which describes the killing, doesn't reveal the gunman's identity, but readers will be able eliminate certain suspects such as the grieving husband right off the bat. The murder inquiry takes a backseat for much of the book to a less than gripping subplot, Lew and Paul's search for the mysterious intruder who's apparently stalking Patience Schumacher, the president of a small local college. Diehard series fans may enjoy the ride, but newcomers are advised to start with earlier, better entries. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary: In bleak midwinter, the people of Shipcott are shocked by the murder of an elderly woman in her bed. As snow cuts off the village, local policeman Jonas Holly is torn between catching a brutal killer and protecting his vulnerable wife, Lucy. When the inquiry is commandeered by an abrasive senior detective, Jonas finds himself derided by his colleagues and ashamed to admit to Lucy that he's been sidelined. Review: Bauer (Blacklands, which was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger) joins such contemporary masters of psychological suspense as Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters with her twisted and tricky second novel, set in the Somerset village of Shipcott. When someone uses a pillow to suffocate Margaret Priddy, who was paralyzed below the neck after a riding accident three years earlier, Det. Chief Insp. John Marvel, the cynical head of the local CID, chews out an inexperienced police constable, Jonas Holly, for contaminating the crime scene. Some suspect a mercy killing, possibly by her son, a corrections officer. Apart from Marvel's scorn, Holly must contend with beloved wife Lucy's multiple sclerosis as well as the taunts of the killer, who leaves insulting notes that call his professional abilities into question. More deaths follow, and tension among the police ratchets up. The shattering conclusion pulls no punches and will leave many readers stunned, even as they realize how everything fits together. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary: Heavy snow, and its still only November. DI McLusky has settled into his new job in Bristol but the severe weather shows an unfamiliar side to the city. After the conviction of a drug baron earlier in the year a new kingpin secures the hub of drug crime in Bristol. But how secure does he feel? A series of seemingly unconnected murders, accidents and dying drug users, investigated by McLusky and his team, slowly reveal the web of violence that spreads across the city. Narrow strips of a cut-up photograph arriving piecemeal at the Bristol Heralds office may hold vital clues, but will the completed puzzle reach McLusky in time to prevent more deaths? The private lives of both McLusky and his rival, DI Kat Fairfield, take unexpected turns too, making the atmosphere at Albany Road station, already considerably cooled by the failed heating, icier still. Review: The English city of Bristol, during a bitter cold winter, provides the backdrop for Helton's atmospheric second crime novel featuring Det. Insp. Liam McCluskey (after 2011's Falling More Slowly). Helton focuses on McCluskey's continuing difficulty in adjusting to his new posting, after having been in Southampton, but also spares time for the perspectives of his colleagues, notably fellow Det. Insp. Kat Fairfield, and a variety of witnesses and victims in a wave of violence apparently connected to drug kingpin Ray Fenton's recent jailing. In true procedural style, the brooding, disheveled detective's attempt to discover the common cause behind such disparate events as a criminal's fatal car crash, the discovery of severed body parts, and the sale of poisoned heroin reveals much about police work's unglamorous reality. Helton's strong feeling for character, place, and mordant humor should compensate most readers for a plot that never quite gathers momentum. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. Author Website: http://peterhelton.com/
Summary: "In Oslo, after the first snow of the season has fallen, a woman disappears, and a sinister snowman is left in her wake. As irascible detective Harry Hole realizes that this is only one of multiple disappearances, he begins to think a serial killer may be at work--and may be drawing in Hole personally and intentionally"-- Provided by publisher.
Review: In this chilling installment in Nesbo's Insp. Harry Hole crime series (The Devil's Star, etc.), a snowman left in the front yard of Birte Becker's Oslo house is the only clue to the woman's disappearance. When Sylvia Ottersen disappears from her farmhouse soon afterward, the snowman the killer leaves behind has a gruesome addition: Sylvia's severed head. Harry, aided by KatrineBratt, a brash new member of his team with secrets of her own, combs through past missing person cases, looking for other victims of the killer now dubbed the Snowman. Several months earlier, Harry received an anonymous letter referring to both snowmen and the Australian serial killer he'd pursued early in his career. What appeared random and bizarre then now takes on new meaning as Harry realizes the killer is taunting him. Nesbo breathes new life into the serial killer subgenre, giving it a Norwegian twist and never losing his laconic hero in the process. 150,000 first printing; 6-city author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary: When the snow thaws on London's Hampstead Heath after a harsh winter, a ghoulish discovery is made that marks the start of a very dangerous case for Detective Inspector Harry Vicary and his team. A body of a man is found on top of a shallow grave containing the battered remains of a young woman. He appears to have frozen to death, but what is his connection to the remains below? Vicary's investigation leads him deep into London's criminal underworld. Review: Turnbull's solid if low-key second Harry Vicary police procedural (after 2010's Improving the Silence) begins with a disturbing discovery: the frozen body of Michael Dalkeith, an unfortunate young man who's apparently been done in by the unusually frigid London winter. Even more chilling is that Dalkeith is lying on top of a shallow grave containing the savagely beaten remains of a young girl. Det. Insp. Harry Vicary and his enormously capable team, including an astute pathologist, visit Dalkeith's scruffy rooming house, where they find some extremely nervous boarders and, in Dalkeith's room, the emaciated, brutally strangled body of another young girl. The owner of the home, an ostensibly reputable and highly successful businessman, is shocked. The fully realized detective characters, who show intense loyalty to the job, keen and energetic minds, and an unusually strong moral code, make up for the minimal suspense. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. Authors Website: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/t/peter-turnbull/
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