Bestsellers, Crime & Mystery: June 2019
The Body in the Castle Well (Bruno, Chief of Police 12)
A missing art student. An international investigation. A secret that will shatter the village of St Denis. Bruno, chief of police, faces a dark reckoning with France’s past in this gripping mystery. A rich American art student is found dead at the bottom of a well in an ancient hilltop castle. The young woman, Claudia, had been working in the archives of an eminent French art historian, a crippled Resistance war hero, at his art-filled chateau. As Claudia’s White House connections get the US embassy and the FBI involved, Bruno traces the people and events that led to her fatal accident – or was it murder? Dollars to doughnuts, it’s murder. And you just know our hero will solve the case. Amidst the most beautiful scenery, and the best food and wine, imaginable! So, simply lie back and let rural France overwhelm you – you know you want to!
Mystery | TP | $32.99
The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs 15)
‘Beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs, ‘one of the great fictional heroines’ (Parade), investigates the mysterious murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz in a page-turning tale of love and war, terror and survival…’ – publisher’s blurb (somewhat hyperbolic!) Sometimes, blurbs just sound turgid and soapy. So, in a nutshell: A well-connected American war correspondent is found murdered – and through various twists and turns – our favourite servant-girl-turned-sleuth is brought in to investigate. Think Phryne Fisher – only not as frock-and-party oriented. And, whereas Phryne is doomed to forever dwell in the light-hearted late twenties, Maisie has moved on a couple of decades… So many regulars love this series – it’s always a big deal when the new one arrives!
Mystery/suspense | TP | $29.99
Smallbone Deceased: A London Mystery (British Library Crime Classics)
Another fantastic British Library reissue – from a classic British author who deserves to be better known, now! – first published in 1950. A respectable firm of London solicitors becomes the scene of suspicion and intrigue. A hermetically-sealed deed-box was never meant to be used for storing a body and its discovery leads to the business and social life of the firm being investigated.
Classic mystery | TP | $28.95
Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks mysteries 09)
Charlie Harris is busy enjoying his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to Charlie’s family starts visiting the library, bringing with him troubling questions about an unsolved murder… And that’s as far as we need to go really. As previously stated – publishers’ blurbs often sound turgid and soapy and make you NOT want to read a book. Clearly, this is of no benefit to us. So… let us just say – another delightful; cosy – set in the American South – and there is a library – and a cat. And the author is a former bookseller – so, it ticks all the boxes. :-)
Mystery | PBK | $21.95
Metropolis (Bernie Gunther 14)
Summer, 1928. Berlin, a city where nothing is verboten… In the night streets, political gangs wander, looking for fights. Daylight reveals a beleaguered populace barely recovering from the post-war inflation, often jobless, reeling from the reparations imposed by the victors. At central police HQ, the Murder Commission has its hands full. A killer is on the loose, and though he scatters many clues, each is a dead end. It’s almost as if he is taunting the cops. Meanwhile, the press is having a field day. This is what Bernie Gunther finds, on his first day with the Murder Commission. He’s been taken on because the people at the top have noticed him – they think he has the makings of a first-rate detective. But not just yet. Right now, he must listen and learn… Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr’s untimely death, is the capstone of a 14-book journey through the life of Kerr’s signature character, Bernhard Gunther, a sardonic and wisecracking homicide detective, caught up in an increasingly Nazified Berlin police department. In many ways, it is Bernie’s origin story; and, as Kerr’s last novel, it is also, alas, his end. Sob. Bye, Bernie. Thanks, Philip. We will miss you – both.
Noir | TP | $32.99
A Deceptive Devotion (Lane Winslow 06)
This series started in 1946 (with A Killer in King’s Cove) – when a war-weary young ex-intelligence officer leaves London and seeks a new and restful life in the wilds of British Columbia, only to find that death has followed her there, and threatens to pull her into a vortex of even greater losses than the ones she has endured. But, now, we move ahead a few volumes – and a few years – and the Cold War is in full swing… A wedding is on the horizon for Lane Winslow and Inspector Darling. As one of the few Russian speakers in her community, Lane is obliged to act as translator and hostess for Countess Orlova, an elderly Russian woman who has tracked her missing brother to the Nelson area. Nelson PD investigates, but then the murder of a lone hunter in the hills above King’s Cove takes top priority. Fans of Maisie Dobbs and the Kopp Sisters will delight in this rousing adventure of intrigue and espionage.
Mystery/suspense | TP | $29.95
The Tell Tail Heart (Cat Café mysteries 03)
Welcome back to the charming New England coast, where Maddie James’s cat cafe is at risk of becoming a crime scene for the purrfect murder… Déjà vu? Another cosy – another cat! What is it about cats and crime? We’re assured by regulars that these are a lot of fun – so, maybe, this can be your gateway into the subgenre…
Mystery | PBK | $21.95
A Capitol Death (Flavia Albia 07)
A tragic accident… or was it? Emperor Domitian has been awarded (or rather, has demanded) yet another Triumph to celebrate two so-called victories. Preparations are going smoothly, until one of the men overseeing arrangements for the celebration accidentally falls to his death from a cliff on the symbolic Capitoline Hill. But Flavia Albia suspects there’s more to the incident than meets the eye, as there are plenty of people who would have been delighted to be rid of the overseer. He was an abusive swine who couldn’t organise a booze-up in a winery and was caught up in a number of scams, including one surrounding the supply of imperial purple dye and a family of shellfish-boilers. As Flavia finds herself drawn into a theatrical world of carnival floats, musicians, incense and sacrificial beasts, can she see to the heart of the matter and catch those responsible for the unpopular man’s untimely death? More Roman hijinks – lotsa fun! Start with Flavia in The Ides of April (or go all the way back to the start, with her Uncle Didius Falco – in Silver Pigs!). Recommended!
Historical mystery | TP | $32.99
Zoo Station (John Russell 01)
What can we say? Love this series and are always telling customers about it – and, so, it’s back on our bestseller list – again! Englishman John Russell is a member of the foreign press corps in Berlin and a first-hand witness to the brutal machinations of Hitler and the Nazi party in the build-up to war during the early months of 1939. Unlike many of his colleagues, Russell wishes to remain in Berlin for as long as possible – to be close to his eleven-year-old son, who lives with his estranged German wife. When an old acquaintance turns up at his lodging house, Russell’s life begins to change. Gradually, he is persuaded by a combination of threats, financial need and appeals to his conscience to become a spy – first for the Soviet Union; and then, simultaneously, for the British… Great stuff! Recommended!
Suspense | PBK | $22.95
Joe Country (Slough House 06)
‘We’re spies,’ said Lamb. ‘All kinds of outlandish sh*t goes on.’ Like the ringing of a dead man’s phone, or an unwelcome guest at a funeral… In Slough House memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process. And with winter taking its grip Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can’t ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So, when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score. This time, they’re heading into joe country. And they’re not all coming home. We really love this series – evocative of the best British espionage/spy thrillers of times gone by. Recommended!
Suspense | TP | $32.99