Crime & Mystery Catalogue: May 2019
Toucan Keep a Secret (Meg Langslow 23)
Meg Langslow is at Trinity Episcopal locking up after an event and checking on the toucan that Rev Robyn Smith is fostering in her office. After hearing a hammering in the crypt, Meg finds an elderly parishioner lying dead on the floor. Several niches have been chiselled open, several urns knocked out, and amid the spilled ashes is a gold ring with a huge red stone. The curmudgeonly victim had become disgruntled with the church and ranted all over town about taking back his wife’s ashes. Did someone who had it in for him follow him? Or was the motive grave robbery? Or did he see someone breaking in and investigate? Why was the ruby left behind? Really fun cosy mystery series that’s long been a favourite with regulars!
Mystery | PBK | $21.95
Death in Captivity: A Second World War Mystery (British Library Crime Classics series)
Latest in the fabulous reissues from the British Library. Death in Captivity is a classic account of murder in an Italian prisoner of war camp during World War II. Michael Francis Gilbert (1912–2006) is recognised as one of the most versatile British mystery writers. He was a lawyer in London for many years and, at one point, had Raymond Chandler as his client. He wrote almost every sort of mystery and thriller. He wrote police procedurals, spy novels and short stories, courtroom dramas, classical mysteries, crime novels, and almost every possible combination of these; all with the same competence and dry, detached wit. Gilbert was a founding member of the British Crime Writers Association; was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America; and was named Number 24 on The Telegraph’s ‘50 crime writers to read before you die’ (!).
Classic mystery | TP | $28.95
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 is also a tour of a city in chaos: of its seedy sideshows and sex clubs, of the underground gangs that run its rackets, and its bewildered citizens – the lost, the homeless, the abandoned. It is Berlin as it edges toward the new world order, Hitler will soon usher in. And Bernie? He’s a quick study, and he’s learning a lot. Including, to his chagrin, that when push comes to shove, he isn’t much better than the gangsters… in doing whatever he must to get what he wants. 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
Brisbane 1999. It’s hot. Stormy. Dangerous. The waters of the Brisbane River are rising. The rains won’t stop. People’s nerves are on edge. And then… A body is found. And then another. And another. A string of seemingly ritualised but gruesome murders. All the victims are men. Affluent. Guys with nice houses, wives and kids at private schools. All have had their throats cut. Tabloid headlines shout, The Vampire Killer Strikes Again! Detective Sergeant Lara Ocean knows the look. The ‘my-life-will-never-be-the-same-again look’. She’s seen it too many times, on too many faces. Telling a wife her husband won’t be coming home. Ever again. Telling her the brutal way he was murdered. That’s a look you never get used to. Telling a mother, you need her daughter to come to the station for questioning. That’s another look she doesn’t want to see again. And looking into the eyes of a killer, yet doubting you’ve got it right. That’s the worst look of all – the one you see in the mirror. Get it right, you’re a hero, and the city is a safer place. Get it wrong, and you destroy a life. And a killer remains free. Twenty years down the track, Lara Ocean will know the truth. Certainly, some local colour here! Nice to see Brisbane can hold its own, when it comes to grisly – fictional! – murders. :)
Brisbane-based thriller | TP | $32.95
Murder in the Reading Room (Book Retreat mysteries 05)
Latest in the cosy series. Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management; but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds, looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful… that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap. When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall – convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim…
Mystery | PBK | $21.95
Buried in Books (Bibliophile mysteries 12)
Latest in a superior (ie, very amusing!) American cosy series – Brooklyn has done everything she can to prepare for her nuptials with Derek and simply can’t wait to start her new life with him. But things don’t go as planned, when Brooklyn’s college frenemies, Heather and Sara, surprise her with a last-minute bridal shower. However, Brooklyn is touched when the women gift her rare copies of The Three Musketeers and The Red Fairy Book. When one frenemy is found murdered and one of the rare books is deemed a forgery, Brooklyn can’t help but wonder if the victim played a part in this fraud… or if a murderer is still out there, scamming and killing. Wedding jitters, counterfeit books, and a killer on the loose could ruin Brooklyn and Derek’s big day. Can they make it down the aisle – before more bodies start stacking up?
Mystery | PBK | $21.95
The Mad Hatter Mystery (American Mystery Classics series)
John Dickson Carr
Latest in the Otto Penzler American Mystery Classic reissues… A murdered man in a top hat leads Dr Gideon Fell to a killer with a sick sense of humour. At the hand of an outrageous prankster, top hats are going missing all over London, snatched from the heads of some of the city’s most powerful people—but is the hat thief the same as the person responsible for stealing a lost story by Edgar Allan Poe, the manuscript of which has just disappeared from the collection of Sir William Bitton? Unlike the manuscript, the hats don’t stay stolen for long, each one reappearing in unexpected and conspicuous places shortly after being taken: on the top of a Trafalgar Square statue, hanging from a Scotland Yard lamppost, and now, in the foggy depths of the Tower of London, on the head of a corpse with a crossbow bolt through the heart. Amateur detective and lexicographer Dr Gideon Fell is on the case, and when the dead man is identified as the nephew of the collector, he discovers that the connections underlying the bizarre and puzzling crimes may be more intimate than initially expected. Reprinted for the first time in thirty years, the second novel in the Dr Gideon Fell series – which need not be read in any order – finds the iconic character investigating one of the most extraordinary murders of his career. A baffling whodunnit with menace at every turn, The Mad Hatter Mystery proves that Carr is the ‘unexcelled master of creepy erudition, swift-moving excitement and suspense through atmosphere’ (New York Times). ‘Every sentence gives a thrill of positive pleasure. [The Mad Hatter Mystery] is the most attractive mystery I have read for a long time.’ – Dorothy Sayers. ‘Very few detective stories baffle me nowadays, but Mr Carr’s always do.’ – Agatha Christie.
Classic mystery | TP | $31.95
The Sign of Nine (Warlock Holmes 04)
G S Denning
Warlock Holmes may have demons in his head, but now Dr John Watson has a mummy in his bloodstream. Specifically, that of the sorcerer Xantharaxes, who when shredded and dissolved in an eight per cent solution, results in some extremely odd but useful prophetic dreams. There’s also the small matter of Watson falling for yet another damsel-du-jour, and Warlock deciding that his companion needs some domestic bliss… (A Study in Brimstone is first in the series.) ‘If you ever wondered how much better Sherlock would be if people could hurl hellfire at each other… well, this one is for you.’ – Starburst Magazine on A Study in Brimstone.
Sherlockiana | TP | $29.95
Why Kill the Innocent (Sebastian St Cyr 13)
C S Harris
London, 1814. As a cruel winter holds the city in its icy grip, the bloody body of a beautiful young musician is found, half-buried in a snowdrift. Jane Ambrose’s ties to Princess Charlotte, the only child of the Prince Regent and heir presumptive to the throne, panic the palace; which moves quickly to shut down any investigation into the death of the talented pianist. But Sebastian St Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife Hero refuse to allow Jane’s murderer to escape justice. Untangling the secrets of Jane’s world leads Sebastian into a maze of dangerous treachery: where each player has his or her own unsavoury agenda, and no one can be trusted. As the Thames freezes over and the people of London pour onto the ice for a Frost Fair, Sebastian and Hero find their investigation circling back to the palace and building to a chilling crescendo of deceit and death… Latest in the long-running historical series.
Historical mystery | TP | $26.99
My Sister, the Serial Killer
A short, darkly-funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends… ‘Femi makes three, you know. Three, and they label you a serial killer.’ Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favourite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And, now, Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body; and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her ‘missing’ boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit. Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realise that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become… and how far she’s willing to go to protect her. ‘Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening’ – publisher’s blurb. Ron LOVES this – Recommended!
Noir | TP | $27.99