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Agatha Awards
2018 (Best Contemporary Novel)
Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery (Cajun Country Mysteries)
Book Jacket   Ellen Byron
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781683317050 In Byron's superior fourth Cajun Country mystery (after 2017's A Cajun Christmas Killing), Pelican, La., is flooded due to unseasonable rains a few days before the town's annual Mardi Gras celebration. While clearing up debris, the body of an unidentified man surfaces under the bridge over a bayou at the far end of the property belonging to the Crozat family, also the site of the Crozat Plantation Bed and Breakfast. But Maggie Crozat, an artist by training and an innkeeper by inclination, has no time to worry about the body, as the pressure is on to help get the Mardi Gras festivities back on track. "Yes, we Peli-CAN" is the town's rallying cry. When her beloved Grand-mère comes down with walking pneumonia, Maggie takes her place as a judge in the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen competition. The murder of a fellow judge puts her knee-deep in plausible suspects and a variety of murky motives. Well-rounded characters, a fair-play plot, entertaining repartee, as well as dashes of Cajun lore and Louisiana history make this cozy a winner. Agent: Doug Grad, Doug Grad Literary Agency. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Wish you were in Louisiana for Mardi Gras? Wish again.Major flooding has dumped piles of trash and an unidentified body in St. Pierre Parish. Maggie Crozat's boyfriend, Bo Durand, is a detective for the Pelican Police Department, but although Maggie's nose for murder (Body on the Bayou, 2016, etc.) makes her curious about the anonymous corpse, she's so busy that she pushes it to the back of her mind until Bo tells her the death was no accident. Replacing her Gran, who feels poorly, Maggie is roped into judging the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen Pageant, a chore that quickly entangles her in another murder. The other judges are Constance Damboise and her husband, Gerard, the stuffy, snobbish president of the historical society; convenience store owner Robbie Metz; and star beauty products sales rep Maureen "Mo" Heedles, a vivacious woman with an outsize personality. Constance and Gerard are already squabbling over an exhibit featuring the orphan trains that carried children from the North in search of a better life in Louisiana. While the pageant mothers do their best to influence the judges, Gerard is certain that Belle Tremblay will win because she's an attractive girl from one of the area's finest families. Maggie is literally nudged into the case when Gerard runs into the back of her car and mutters, "Lies. Secrets," before he keels over dead. Then she's asked to restore a picture at the plantation where she works part time, and beneath the peeling painting she finds another one that references a possible treasure site. On top of everything else, Maggie must prepare for Mardi Gras, deal with her father's obsession with the perfect gumbo, and figure out why Bo's been so distant lately.Byron embeds her tricky mystery in an amusing and informative tale of Cajun life and the logistical travails of Mardi Gras. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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2018 (Best Historical Novel)
The Widows of Malabar Hill
Book Jacket   Sujata Massey
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781616957780 This new series set in 1920s India introduces Perveen Mistry, the first woman to practice law in that country. The story alternates between 1916, when Perveen is a starry-eyed bride living in her husband's family home in Calcutta, and 1921, when she is working alongside her father in the family law firm in Bombay. Tasked with executing the will of Omar Farid, Perveen notices that Faisal Mukri, the guardian appointed by the husband, has persuaded Farid's three widows to donate their inheritance to charity. Since the women live in purdah, total seclusion from the world, Perveen wants to ensure that they understand the full ramifications of giving away their inheritance. An infuriated Mukri fires Perveen for her interference, but then a short time later, Perveen discovers his dead body. Did a family member kill Mukri to protect their inheritance? Massey, who wrote about contemporary Japan in her "Rei Shimura" mysteries, does a wonderful job of taking life in India at the beginning of the 20th century. She gives enough cultural details without overwhelming readers with facts. The two plotlines wonderfully depict the development of the main character and the mystery as it unfolds. VERDICT Massey's fans and historical fiction lovers will enjoy this fresh and original outing. [See Prepub Alert, 7/3/17; "Editors' Fall Picks," p. 35.]-Julie Ciccarelli, Tacoma P.L., WA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781616957780 Set in India in 1921, this outstanding series launch from Agatha-winner Massey (The Kizuna Coast and 10 other Rei Shimura mysteries) introduces Perveen Mistry, Bombay's first female solicitor, who works for her father's law firm, handling contracts and estate work. Faisal Mukri, the trustee of the estate of recently deceased textile-mill owner Omar Farid, writes to the Mistry firm to request changes in the estate settlement, claiming that Farid's three widows want to donate all their assets to a charitable foundation that would benefit the needy while paying them an annuity. The paperwork documenting the widows' intentions appears suspect, and Perveen's visit to their home and her conversation with Mukri only strengthen her conviction that something irregular is at work. Her due diligence in insuring that the widows' interests are protected eventually enmeshes her in a murder investigation. The period detail and thoughtful characterizations, especially of the capable, fiercely independent lead, bode well for future installments. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781501980152 Versatile, charming, culturally well-matched Soneela Nankani auspiciously voices Massey's ("Rei Shimura" mysteries) promising new series set in early 20th-century colonial India. Here the author introduces feisty Perveen Mistry, India's first female solicitor in 1921. Perveen's debut dovetails her challenging career journey-from Oxford University to aggressive sexism in Bombay's Government Law School to an impetuous marriage-with her first active client case beyond paperwork assisting her esteemed solicitor father. Entering the home of a recently deceased, wealthy Muslim merchant, Perveen meets his three widows-her gender granting her face-to-face access-who live in seclusion, separated but ruled over by their late husband's appointed guardian Faisal Mukri. Something is amiss in the grieving home: soon enough, Mukri lies dead and Perveen is the first to find him. Solving his murder will require careful negotiation through rigid gender roles, confronting local and imperial British police, assistance from a former Oxford classmate who happens to be a titled English diplomat's daughter, even surviving a violent kidnapping. VERDICT Meticulously researched-Perveen is inspired by two real-life pioneering Indian female lawyers-Massey's newest endeavor, vibrantly enhanced by Nankani's narration, should prove broadly popular with cosmopolitan audiences. ["Massey's fans and historical fiction lovers will enjoy this fresh and original outing": LJ 9/1/17 starred review of the Soho Crime hc.]-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781616957780 *Starred Review* Massey, author of the Rei Shimura mysteries and the stand-alone The Sleeping Dictionary (2013), debuts a new series featuring a female lawyer in India. In partnership with her father, Perveen Mistry mainly processes paperwork, since in 1920s Bombay, women are disallowed from presenting in court. Her chance to meet actual clients finally arrives when she questions the disposition of an inheritance to three Muslim widows living in full purdah (seclusion), which prohibits their talking to men. Each widow has signed over her only ongoing source of income to charity. Perveen is determined to ask them why, and inadvertently sets off a chain of violence and recrimination. In addition to getting an unusual perspective on women's rights and relationships, readers are treated to a full view of historical downtown Bombay the shops and offices, the docks and old fort, and the huge variety of conveyances, characters, and religions in an unforgettable olio that provides the perfect backdrop to the plot and subplots. Each of the many characters is uniquely described, flaws and all, which is the key to understanding their surprising roles in the well-constructed puzzle. Readers might also enjoy Shona Patel's Flame Tree Road (2015) and Shauna Singh Baldwin's What the Body Remembers (1999) for additional fictional perspectives on women's experience in India.--Baker, Jen Copyright 2017 Booklist
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2018 (Best First Novel)
A Ladys Guide to Etiquette and Murder
 Dianne Freeman
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781496716873 Frances Wynn, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, has several problems. With the mourning period over not that she really mourned the British noble who married her for her American money she is moving to London from the Surrey estate that now belongs to her brother-in-law. Before she can settle in, her solicitor tells her that her accounts are frozen by a suit filed by that same brother-in-law. Then Inspector Delaney calls to tell her an anonymous letter suggests that her husband's death might not have been an accident. Her sister, Lily, is due to arrive, accompanied by their Aunt Hetty, for her London season. To top it off, Frances' neighbor George Hazelton is one of two other people who know the full story of the late count's death, and the gossip in the social set is about the thefts occurring after the various balls and dinners. When Frances, George, Aunt Hetty, and the inspector put the pieces together, they find them pointing to one of Lily's three suitors. But which one? Set in late-Victorian London, this debut novel is engaging to the end as Frances and friends struggle to get behind the social facades to the truth.--Muller, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A Victorian lady's sense of self-worth is much improved when she takes control of her life.Frances Price, Countess of Harleigh, is making a bold attempt to gain some independence. Frances, the daughter of a wealthy American family, did not marry for love, but her husband, Reggie, loved and freely spent her money while she cared for their daughter, Rose. A year ago, Alicia Stoke-Whitney came to Frances' room to announce that Reggie had died in her bed. To avoid scandal, Frances asked George Hazelton, her best friend Fiona's brother, to help move his body. Since then, despite opposition from Reggie's brother, Graham, and his wife, Delia, who badly need Frances' money, she's rented a house in London. Frances is startled to discover that her neighbor is George Hazelton and further shaken by a visit from Inspector Delaney of the Metropolitan Police, who's investigating a rumor that her husband did not die of a heart attack. Her next surprise is the arrival of her sister Lily with her Aunt Hetty, who's taking the place of her mothera welcome reliefwhile Frances launches Lily in society. She also gets a check for a hefty sum she badly needs because Graham has gone to court to get her money and her account has been frozen until the case is decided. Frances' social circle is already buzzing over a series of robberies at fashionable parties and balls. When someone dumps a valuable bracelet in her reticule at the Stoke-Whitney ball, she enlists the help of Hazelton, who has reasons of his own to find the thief. As she worries about the investigation of Reggie's death and vets her sister's suitors, all of whom had opportunities to steal the valuables, she learns more and more about Hazelton while fighting her strong feelings of attraction toward him. A murder in her garden just adds to her problems, and now she must find the strength to overcome them.Despite its heroine's many problems, this lighthearted debut tale of mystery, love, and a delightful sleuth will leave you wanting morewhich is presumably just what Freeman has in mind. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781684412808 To save her family's reputation, American-born heiress Frances Wynn, the Countess of Harleigh, takes immediate action to hide the details regarding the death of her unfaithful husband, Reggie. Frances also gets assistance from George Hazelton, her best friend's brother, to make sure no one ever knows where and with whom Reggie died. A year later, Frances is coming out of mourning and preparing to make a life on her own with her young daughter. Though the current Earl of Harleigh and his wife are eager to get as much of Frances's money as they can to maintain the estate and keep up appearances to the ton, Frances finds a home she can afford in London and moves out. Frances's younger sister, Lily, comes to stay with her in London for her first season. Frances has her hands full with her daughter and sister, but when she learns of her brother-in-law's plans to claim her fortune by any means possible, her situation becomes even more precarious. Luckily for her, her next-door neighbor just happens to be the man who was there for her in her time of need a year ago: George Hazelton. In this smart and charming first novel, we see a delightful, independent heroine who, as an American in England, has a perspective that is fresh and can be explored more thoroughly in future installments. Narrator Sarah Zimmerman does a wonderful job with the accents throughout the book. Her voice as Frances is most agreeable and distinct against the other genders and ages of the English personae. VERDICT Fans of -Tasha Alexander, Ashley Gardner, and Rhys Bowen would enjoy. ["This delightful debut historical mystery introduces an appealing and smart female lead who relishes her newfound independence. The supporting cast of equally captivating characters further complement this atmospheric historical, set in the ballrooms and breakfast rooms of Victorian London": LJ 7/18 starred review of the Kensington pb.]-Laura Brosie, Wentzville, MO © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781496716873 DEBUT After a year of mourning philandering husband Reggie, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, rents a house in London, sponsors her sister, Lily, who's coming from New York for her first social season, and is accused of murdering her late spouse in an anonymous letter sent to the Metropolitan police. She also suspects that one of her sister's three suitors may be a thief who has been targeting the parties of the city's elite. Frances teams up with her new neighbor and best friend's brother, George Hazelton, who has his own reasons for catching the culprit. This delightful debut historical mystery introduces an appealing and smart female lead who relishes her new found independence. The supporting cast of equally captivating characters further complement this atmospheric historical, set in the ballrooms and breakfast rooms of Victorian London. VERDICT Fans of Georgette Heyer will appreciate the hints of romance, while aficionados of Deanna Raybourn or D.M. Quincy will delight in the banter-filled dialog and period details.- Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781496716873 In April 1899, American-born Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh, the narrator of Freeman's dazzling debut and series launch, completes her yearlong mourning for her late husband, Reggie, a man she freely admits she didn't marry for love. Frances leaves the family estate in the English countryside, now controlled by her in-laws, Graham and Delia Wynn (who aren't happy at her departure, since they depend on her money to support the crumbling manor), for London, where she has bought a house. There her younger sister, Lily Price, and their Aunt Hetty join her for Lily's first social season. When Inspector Delaney approaches Frances with questions regarding Reggie's demise, it opens a Pandora's Box leading to more questions, suspicions, and dead bodies-not to mention a potential suitor for Lily and a string of thefts. Fortunately, Frances has her best friend, Lady Fiona Nash, and neighbor George Hazelton to help her discover the truth. Fans of witty, lighthearted Victorian mysteries will be enthralled. Agent: Melissa Edwards, Stonesong Literary Agency. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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  Book Jacket
2018 (Best Nonfiction)
Mastering Plot Twists:
 Jane K. Cleland
  Book Jacket
 
2018 (Best Childrens)
Potion Problems (Just Add Magic)
Book Jacket   Cindy Callaghan
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781534417403 This sequel picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of Just Add Magic. Now, seventh graders Kelly, Darbie, and Hannah must save their cooking class from shutting down, prevent their frenemy from exposing their Secret Recipe Book, and help their potions advisor keep her store open. Callaghan combines magic and mystery with humor and high jinks in this quick, plot-driven read. Recipes appended. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2017 (Best Contemporary Novel)
Glass Houses
Book Jacket   Louise Penny
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250066190 In the 13th book in Penny's popular "Chief Inspector Gamache" series (after A Great Reckoning), Armand Gamache is now the head of the Sûreté du Québec, which seems to be a sinking ship heading for an iceberg. Switching back and forth from an October murder scene in the village of Three Pines to a trial in a steamy summer courtroom in Montréal, the tale of a region devastated by drugs unfolds. Gamache and his team have a plan to save their beloved province, which may not succeed and will almost certainly result in the destruction of their careers. In Three Pines, the residents go about their lives, but no one is safe from the threat as both the tension and the action build. Fans of the series will be glad to encounter Ruth and her duck Rosa, Clara the artist, and Gamache's loved ones, Reine-Marie, Jean-Guy, and Annie. VERDICT The award-winning Penny does not rest on her laurels with this challenging and timely book. Though touched by the evils of the outside world, Three Pines remains a singular place away from time. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/17.]-Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781427287397 Penny's (The Brutal Telling) latest begins in an unusual way-after the crime and with Armand Gamache on a Montreal witness stand. Gamache, while not on trial, is at cross-purposes with the prosecution. The rest of the intricately and beautifully written novel continues with flashbacks to Three Pines and forward to the present in -Montreal. Penny uses a hilarious -Halloween costume party and an ancient legend to set the scene for murder. She succinctly examines age-old social and philosophical issues-this time the question of "conscience" takes the forefront-in every aspect, from white lies to mass murder. Robert Bathurst beautifully expresses the mood and tenor of all of Penny's characters and themes. Listeners have a treat in store through a discussion between Penny and Bathurst at the end of the last disc-don't miss it! VERDICT For devotees of the series and for those new to the magic, this 13th visit to Three Pines represents those elements most of us crave-safety, belonging, security, and friendship-despite a bit of murder and mayhem. ["Penny does not rest on her laurels with this challenging and timely book": LJ 7/17 starred review of the Minotaur: St. Martin's hc.]-Sandra C. Clariday, Cleveland, TN © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781250066190 *Starred Review* The heroes of crime-fiction series have a real problem with retirement even Armand Gamache, who ought to have it nailed. He gets to retire in Three Pines, the off-the-grid Quebec village where the horrors of modernity are held mostly in abeyance (the occasional murder aside). And, yet, Gamache just can't stay off the grid permanently. Now he's agreed to become chief superintendent of the Sûreté du Quebec, the province's top cop. It's just like Gamache to jump on a sinking ship, and that's what the Sûreté looks like, with the all-powerful drug cartels seemingly in full control of the province. But Gamache has an audacious plan to change that: a rope-a-dope scheme that will either cut off the cartel monster's head or leave the chief in a jail cell. And let's not forget Three Pines, where a hooded black figure has taken up residence in the village green, just standing there, staring. The gang at the bistro is nonplussed at first, then downright panicked after the figure (or someone wearing its outfit) is found murdered in the basement of the church on the green. It's at this point that Penny's devotees must make a leap of faith: accept that weird stuff keeps happening in Canada's Brigadoon in the face of all probability, or close the damn book and call this whole Three Pines thing off. But if we did that, if we failed to see that Three Pines is a sublime metaphor for the precariousness of harmony wherever we find it, we would be forced to walk away from one of the most entrancing fictional worlds in popular literature, not to mention parting company with a lead character whom we all young or old, male or female long to be like when we grow up. No, thank you. Let's call the calling off off right now. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Penny has a permanent spot on that enviable short list of writers who combine unwavering quality with mega-sales.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2017 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250066190 Penny's 13th entry in her award-winning "Chief Inspector Gamache" series will take readers back to the village of Three Pines, where Armand Gamache knows something is seriously wrong when a mysterious figure appears and a body is later discovered. An arrest and subsequent murder trial leaves Gamache struggling with his own conscience. [See Prepub Alert, 3/23/17.] © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781250066190 Bestseller Penny's taut 13th novel featuring Chief Supt. Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec (after 2016's A Great Reckoning) opens at a murder trial in a Montreal courtroom. Judge Maureen Corriveau, who's trying her first homicide case, suspects that something is wrong with Gamache's testimony and the conduct of the Chief Crown Prosecutor. As for Gamache, who was the arresting officer in the case, he "knew perfectly well who the murderer was. He was just a little afraid that something would go wrong. And a particularly cunning killer would go free." Flash back to the recent past, when an ominous costumed figure starts to appear regularly on the green of Gamache's home town of Three Pines. The subsequent discovery by Gamache's wife of the murder victim in the local church leads to the unearthing of some disturbing, long-buried secrets that affect the entire community. The familiar, sometimes eccentric, denizens of Three Pines and Gamache's loyal investigative team help propel the plot to an exciting, high-stakes climax. Agent: Teresa Chris, Teresa Chris Literary Agency. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A dark, still figure, wearing long black robes and a hood, appears on the charming village green of Three Pines, a small Qubec town; though at first it seems scary but harmless, it turns out to be something much more sinister. The strange figure's appearance coincides with a Halloween party at the local bistro, attended by the usual villagers but also four out-of-town guests. They are friends from the Universit de Montral who meet for a yearly reunion at the BB in Three Pines. But this event actually happened months ago, and village resident Armand Gamache, now head of the Sret du Qubec, is recounting the story from the witness stand in a courtroom suffering from oppressive summer heat. Gamache's testimony becomes narrative, explaining how over the course of a few days the masked man grew into a fixture on the village green and morphed slowly into an omen. Gamache's son-in-law and second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, is asked to research the "dark thing's" back story after one of the BB guests, a journalist, mentions that the figure reminds him of story he did on an old Spanish tradition, that of the "debt collector." It becomes clear, as Gamache relays the events leading up to murder, that "someone in the village had done something so horrific that a Conscience had been called." But did the dark thing come for a villager or for one of their guests? Conscience is an overarching theme in Penny's latest, seeping into the courtroom narrative as Gamache grapples with an enemy much larger than the dark thing, a war he took on as the new Chief Superintendent. His victory depends on the outcome, and the path, of this murder trial. While certain installments in Penny's bestselling series take Gamache and his team to the far reaches of Qubec, others build their tension not with a chase but instead in the act of keeping stillthis is one such book. The tension has never been greater, and Gamache has sat for months waiting, and waiting, to act, with Conscience watching close by. A meticulously built mystery that follows a careful ascent toward a breaking point that will leave you breathless. It's Three Pines as you have never seen it before. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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2017 (Best Historical Novel)
In Farleigh Field
 Rhys Bowen
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781477818299 Downton Abbey meets WWII. An infantry regiment is billeted at Farleigh Place, the Earl of Westerham's ancestral home in Kent, while the family adjusts to rationing and reduced staff. The war affects each of the earl's five daughters in different ways. Lady Pamela, for example, has a job at Bletchley Park, working on coded German messages. In Paris, Lady Margot is arrested by the Gestapo because her lover is in the Resistance. And Lady Phoebe, the youngest daughter, comes across the body of a parachutist in one of Farleigh's fields. Was the parachutist a spy? If so, was he trying to connect with someone in the neighborhood? Ben Cresswell, the local vicar's son, has been tasked by his superiors in MI5 to find out. Meanwhile, Ben's oldest friend, Jeremy Prescott, whom Pamela loves (though Ben loves her), has returned home after escaping from a POW camp. The skills Bowen brings to her several mystery series, including Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness, inform the plotting in this character-rich tale, which will be welcomed by her fans as well as by readers who enjoy fiction about the British home front.--Quinn, Mary Ellen Copyright 2017 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781477818299 Set in England during the early years of WWII, this well-crafted, thoroughly entertaining thriller from Agatha Award-winner Bowen (Crowned and Dangerous and nine other Royal Spyness mysteries) follows the lives of three childhood friends: RAF flying ace Jeremy Prescott, a city financier's son; Lady Pamela Sutton, the Earl of Westerham's third daughter, who works for a mysterious government department; and Ben Cresswell, a vicar's son, who, due to an accident, is deemed unfit for military duty and is recruited into a British intelligence unit. Glimpses of their initially carefree youth contrast with how the war gradually shapes their characters. The gripping action shifts among Farleigh Place (the Sutton family's stately home in Kent), London, and various hush-hush locations. Soon it's a game of spy versus spy, and with every twist and turn, the reader is unsure whom to trust. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781477818299 Downton Abbey meets WWII. An infantry regiment is billeted at Farleigh Place, the Earl of Westerham's ancestral home in Kent, while the family adjusts to rationing and reduced staff. The war affects each of the earl's five daughters in different ways. Lady Pamela, for example, has a job at Bletchley Park, working on coded German messages. In Paris, Lady Margot is arrested by the Gestapo because her lover is in the Resistance. And Lady Phoebe, the youngest daughter, comes across the body of a parachutist in one of Farleigh's fields. Was the parachutist a spy? If so, was he trying to connect with someone in the neighborhood? Ben Cresswell, the local vicar's son, has been tasked by his superiors in MI5 to find out. Meanwhile, Ben's oldest friend, Jeremy Prescott, whom Pamela loves (though Ben loves her), has returned home after escaping from a POW camp. The skills Bowen brings to her several mystery series, including Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness, inform the plotting in this character-rich tale, which will be welcomed by her fans as well as by readers who enjoy fiction about the British home front.--Quinn, Mary Ellen Copyright 2017 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781477818299 Set in England during the early years of WWII, this well-crafted, thoroughly entertaining thriller from Agatha Award-winner Bowen (Crowned and Dangerous and nine other Royal Spyness mysteries) follows the lives of three childhood friends: RAF flying ace Jeremy Prescott, a city financier's son; Lady Pamela Sutton, the Earl of Westerham's third daughter, who works for a mysterious government department; and Ben Cresswell, a vicar's son, who, due to an accident, is deemed unfit for military duty and is recruited into a British intelligence unit. Glimpses of their initially carefree youth contrast with how the war gradually shapes their characters. The gripping action shifts among Farleigh Place (the Sutton family's stately home in Kent), London, and various hush-hush locations. Soon it's a game of spy versus spy, and with every twist and turn, the reader is unsure whom to trust. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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  Book Jacket
2017 (Best First Novel)
Hollywood Homicide
 Kellye Garrett
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780738752617 Actress Dayna Anderson's 15 minutes of fame as the spokesperson for Chubby's Chicken, and her notable catchphrase "Don't think so, boo" are gone-as is her money. Job hunting is painfully unsuccessful and frequently compounded by her inability to cash in on her almost recognition factor. In dire need, Dayna latches onto the idea that she can claim the $15,000 reward for helping to solve a deadly hit-and-run accident that she witnessed. She starts digging around with the help of her friend (self-proclaimed future reality star) Sienna. Dayna is quickly hooked on the investigation, which seems to be connected to an infamous Hollywood crime spree, taking her from Hollywood hot spots to movie premieres. Then someone tries to kill her. TV writer Garrett (Cold Case) makes a smart, sassy debut, introducing an appealing protagonist with amusing friends who deliver one-liners and toss back drinks while solving the case. VERDICT Sure to be a hit with readers looking for a fresh new sleuth who isn't afraid to go to Tinsel Town. [See Jessica Moyer's Mystery Spotlight "Novel Crime Scenes," LJ 4/15/17.]-ACT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A stone-broke actress struggles to land the reward for solving a cold case.Since her stint as spokeswoman for Chubby's Chicken, a time when she was identified by the catchphrase "Don't think so, boo," Dayna Anderson has been the perpetual "Don't I know you?" girl, getting asked that same question by everyone from strangers on the LA streets to bros turning her down for barista gigs. Now if only that almost-recognition could somehow be turned into income for Dayna, who can't fill her car with gas, let alone help her folks back home avoid foreclosure on her childhood home. As her hopes of finding a job diminish by the day, Dayna hatches a half-baked scheme to earn the $15,000 reward offered for help solving a murder case, which she sees advertised on her daily constitutionalthat is, her walk to get a can of gas to rescue her car. It's not like Dayna's a stranger to the crime. She actually saw it take place, or at least parts of it. She remembers it all too well, because it happened the last night she talked with Omari Grant, a guy she's known since high school and who she's pretty sure was trying to move her out of the friend zone. The deceased is Haley Joseph, a college student whose life doesn't seem too far from Dayna's own until she starts digging around and begins to uncover multiple motives for Haley's murder. With her friend and self-proclaimed future reality star Sienna Hayes at her side, Dayna relies on turning her smarts and resourcefulness into answers and collecting the cash before her parents' house is gone for good. Veteran TV writer Garrett uses her Cold Case experience to inform her debut, which sets up more than one charming character and isn't afraid to go cynical on all things LA. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780738752617 Hard-up, semiretired actress Dayna "Day" Anderson, the appealing narrator of Garrett's winning first novel and series launch, runs out of gas one day at a stoplight on an L.A. street. While pondering what to do next, she notices a billboard offering a $15,000 reward for information on the hit-and-run murder of aspiring actress Haley Joseph. Day, who realizes she passed by the scene of Haley's death some weeks earlier, decides it's time to turn private eye in an effort to work her way out of debt and save her parents' house from foreclosure. She wrangles assistance from her two best friends-flashy Sienna, a reality star in training, and no-nonsense Emme, the identical twin sister of Hollywood's biggest star. In the course of her investigation, Day comes to care more about catching the killer than earning the reward. A former magazine editor who's contributed to TV's Cold Case, Garrett writes with humor and insight about the Hollywood scene. Readers will look forward to Day's further adventures. Agent: Michelle Richter, Fuse Literary. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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2017 (Best Nonfiction)
From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon
Book Jacket   Mattias Bostrom
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A spirited account of how Sherlock became a household name.Arthur Conan Doyle's literary creation was, of course, a hit from the moment he first bowed in 1887, with eager readers awaiting his every move in the pages of The Strand and books for the next couple of decades. But Holmes, writes Swedish Sherlock-ian Bostrm, might have remained a musty artifact from the Victorian past had not a small army of fans and creators taken pains to keep him updated. If it's true that every generation needs a fresh translation of Homer, then it seems that every generation has also gotten its own Sherlock. As a creator of the beloved Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman vehicle observed, "to prove Holmes immortalit's essential he's not preserved in Victorian aspicbut allowed to live again!" Bostrm takes the story from Conan Doyle's pen all the way up to the most recent emanations, not just the Cumberbatch-ian Sherlock, but also Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock on the CBS drama Elementary. By the end of the second season, Miller had "beat the record for the actor who had portrayed Sherlock Holmes the most times in films or on television." Take that, Basil Rathbone! Of course, old Basil played his generational role, as did the dutiful screenwriters and film executives who marshalled Holmes into the Allied ranks during World War II, an ideological struggle "woven into a number of film series that were already underwayregardless of whether they were about Tarzan or starred the comedy duo of Abbott and Costello." Indeed, Bostrm's weaving of the Holmes story into the larger one of popular culture and the mass-entertainment industry is the best part of this very good book. For fans of literature, film history, and Conan Doyle alike, a fine complement to the best works of Sherlock-iana. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780802126603 *Starred Review* Boström begins with one more run-through of the origins of Sherlock Holmes, perhaps the mightiest fictional creation ever, and he comes up with some intriguing and fresh details. Sidney Paget, one of the first artists to draw Holmes, is said by some to have based the detective's angular appearance on his brother Walter. Paget gave Holmes a deerstalker because that's what Paget wore himself. Boström claims Doyle saw Holmes merely as a way to get attention for his more serious work, thus becoming the first of many to learn that one doesn't use Holmes. Just the opposite. Boström also tries, this time unsuccessfully, to make Doyle's heirs' battles interesting, though these are best seen as quarries for future research, like the squabbles among production companies. The attraction here is watching the publishing world catch on to what readers have always known: these are not detective stories but stories about a detective. Boström credits the Robert Downey Jr., films for hastening this enlightenment, claiming that those movies understood that Doyle's tales formed a template for modern buddy films. The canon of critical and biographical material on Holmes and Doyle is massive, of course, but even so, this latest entry makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how a bloodhound called Sherlock took over the world.--Crinklaw, Don Copyright 2017 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780802126603 Publisher and author Boström (Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle in the Newspapers) has woven the twists, turns, and copyright convolutions of the original "Sherlock Holmes" stories and later pastiches, films, radio, theatre, and television adaptations into a comprehensive and comprehensible narrative that tracks how devotees have endeavored to breathe new life into their favorite sleuth. What is it about Sherlock Holmes-the consulting detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887-that captivates us? We all think we know him. Readers may be familiar with the original four novels and 56 short stories that fascinated Victorian England and continue to appeal, or watched film adaptations with Basil Rathbone, Robert Downey Jr., or Ian McKellen. Many have been introduced to the character through the BBC series Sherlock, a dazzling reinterpretation set in modern London starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Some even believe Holmes to be a real person, with societies worldwide celebrating his genius. How did this fictional creation become a revered iconic figure? In brief, novelistic chapters, Boström supplies a well-researched, chronological approach to the history. VERDICT To be enjoyed by Sherlockians everywhere, this title makes it clear that Holmes's story is far from over.-Penelope J.M. Klein, Fayetteville, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780802126603 This exhaustive study of the 130-year Sherlock Holmes phenomenon spans Arthur Conan Doyle's earliest inspirations up to today's two successful Holmes-inspired TV shows. Boström begins with Conan Doyle's pre-Sherlock life, explaining how the fledgling author struggled to place his early fiction in the popular magazines of the day. He goes on to show how Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr. John Watson have been represented in every imaginable medium: plays, radio, film, TV, and even podcasts. The keepers of the flame have been the "Sherlockians," the individuals who analyze Conan Doyle's works and collect memorabilia. Boström narrates Holmes's pervasive and global influence after Conan Doyle's death in 1930; screen adaptations were even produced behind the Iron Curtain. He also lays out the bungling efforts of Conan Doyle's children to control the portrayal of his creations and ensure they got a share of the profits. The book occasionally bogs down in their legal skirmishing, but always gets back on track as it explores the world's continuing fascination with fiction's leading detective hero. The informal, accessible style of Gallagher's translation makes for an easy, if lengthy, read. Elin Hellström, Brandt New Agency (Spain). (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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2017 (Best Childrens)
Sydney Mackenzie Knocks Em Dead
Book Jacket   Cindy Callaghan
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A haunted house helps Sydney make friends in a new community.Eighth grader Sydney Mackenzie, a white girl, arrives home from school one day to the horrifying news that her parents have decided to move across the country to Delaware. She is forced to leave her life in LA so that her parents can run a recently inherited family-owned cemetery business. After a cross-country drive, her family finally arrives in the small town of Buttermilk River Cove, population 800. Their home is something out of a scary movie: an old, weathered Victorian, with cemetery plots serving as the front lawn. Sydney decides she must do her best to communicate her California cool to the kids at her new school. She quickly learns that the local kids couldn't care less about her being from California and are more intrigued about her living at the town cemetery. After admitting to some new friends that she believes her house is haunted, Sydney has a sance to investigate. What comes next is an unveiling of a deeper story about the Underground Railroad. Callaghan creates two stories; what at first seems to be a "new city-girl in a small town" story slowly slips from Sydney's desperation to make friends into the haunting tale of the ghost of an enslaved girl that seems to communicate with Sydney. The story's ending feels more than a bit contrived, stumbling badly with a tragic attempt at humor that makes a mockery of slavery and undermines what is mostly a solid book. A deeply flawed story of hidden history literally buried within a small white town. (author's note, recipes) (Mystery. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781481465694 Southern California snob Sydney is horrified when her family inherits a cemetery business in Delaware and moves into a house on the grounds. Her new local friends are fascinated by the rumored-to-be-haunted home, so Sydney reluctantly holds a siance and discovers a mystery involving a slave girl and the Underground Railroad. The middle-school mystery's forced tween humor melds awkwardly with its more serious issues. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2016 (Best Contemporary)
A Great Reckoning
 Louise Penny
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250022134 The latest entry in Penny's popular series (after Nature of the Beast) places Armand Gamache in a new role as commander of the Sûreté Academy du Québec. Prior to the start of the term he is given an old map of the village of Three Pines with some curious symbols. This map becomes the focus of an investigation after a copy is found in the apartment of a murdered professor. Suspicion shifts from student to professor and back again as the story takes unexpected twists. Rooting out the corruption in the academy remains an underlying theme as Gamache mentors students who seem to be on the wrong path. The transport of these students to Three Pines and the involvement of the villagers in the investigation adds depth and interest. While this book may stand alone, fans of the series will enjoy revisiting old friends. Gamache remains admirable yet human, as he seeks to return the Sûreté to the force he first knew. A look back at World War I and an explanation about one mystery surrounding the little village round out the story in a satisfying manner. VERDICT This riveting read, with characters of incredible depth who only add to the strength of the plot, will keep readers guessing until the last page. For series fans and those who enjoy the small-town mysteries of Julia Spencer--Fleming.-Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781427274403 Armand Gamache chooses to come out of retirement to take over as commander of the Sûreté academy, the corrupt institution training officers to protect Quebec. In this entry (after The Nature of the Beast), Penny combines a map connected to a mystery in Three Pines with murder at the academy to pen a complex psychological mystery, making for a riveting listen. The entire Three Pines cast of characters are once again present as social, historical, and philosophical issues are examined and resolved. Series devotees will be delighted to visit with Ruth, Clara, Myrna, and the rest of the gang, and those new to the series will find them fresh and fascinating. New characters are introduced, and one character in particular is highlighted; Amelia Choquet, a tattooed and studded enigma, is particularly well-drawn. This volume is the second splendidly interpreted by Robert Bathurst after the death of longtime series narrator Ralph Cosham. Bathurst beautifully expresses the mood and tenor of Penny's characters, themes, and plots. VERDICT A marvelous entry in an amazing series. ["This riveting read, with characters of incredible depth who only add to the strength of the plot, will keep readers guessing until the last page": LJ 7/16 starred review of the Minotaur: St. Martin's hc.]-Sandra C. -Clariday, Cleveland, TN © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781250022134 The lyrical 12th entry (after 2015's The Nature of the Beast) in bestseller Penny's remarkable series, which has won multiple Agatha awards, finds former Chief Insp. Armand Gamache coming out of retirement to clean up the corrupt Süreté Academy du Québec. When an old map is found hidden in the wall of a bistro in Three Pines, the remote village in which Gamache and his wife live, the locals treat it as only an interesting artifact. But Gamache uses the mystery of the map's origin to engage the interest of four cadets at the academy who are in particular danger of going astray. When someone fatally shoots Serge Leduc, a sadistic, manipulative professor, a copy of the map is found in Leduc's bedside table, and suspicion falls on the four cadets and Gamache himself. As the story unfolds, a web of connections, past and present, comes to light. This complex novel deals with universal themes of compassion, weakness in the face of temptation, forgiveness, and the danger of falling into despair and cynicism over apparently insurmountable evils. Author tour. Agent: Teresa Chris, Teresa Chris Literary Agency. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781250022134 *Starred Review* Chief Inspector Gamache has a new gig: he's been appointed head of the Sûreté Academy du Québec and is tasked with cleaning house. The police school has become a seedbed for corruption, devoted to turning out bent cops. The inspector, of course, has a multilayered plan for ridding the school of its multiple malignancies, but before he can begin surgery, the chief offender is murdered, and Gamache himself becomes the leading suspect. Naturally, Penny finds a way for her plot to curlicue back to Three Pines, the remote village where Gamache now lives and whose idiosyncratic denizens provide much of the series' appeal. This time the hook is a map found in the walls of the local bistro not just any map but a cartographic curiosity that may be the only map ever made of Three Pines. So how does a copy of that map find its way to the bedside table of the murder victim? And does its presence further implicate Gamache?Once again Penny displays her remarkable ability to serve equally well both series devotees and new readers (if there are any of those still to be found). Gamache fans will be thrilled by the way this installment unlocks some of the series' enduring questions: Why is Three Pines off the grid? Why do we know so little about Gamache's past? At the same time, the main plot offers a compelling mystery and a rich human drama in which no character is either entirely good or evil, and each is capable of inspiring empathy. Evil, as Gamache notes, quoting Auden, is unspectacular and always human. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A first printing of 500,000 copies will ensure that at least the first wave of Penny readers get their hands on her latest as quickly as possible.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2016 Booklist
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2016 (Best Historical)
The Reek of Red Herrings
 Catriona McPherson
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781250090980 Gothic touches enliven McPherson's ninth Dandy Gilver mystery set in Scotland (after 2014's A Deadly Measure of Brimstone). In 1930, a distressed H. Birchfield of Birchfield & Sons, a fish distributor, approaches PI Dandy and her fellow investigator, Alec Osborne. Body parts found in barrels of herring clearly indicate foul play, yet the livelihoods of Birchfield's far-from-wealthy employees will be threatened if word spreads and the authorities step in. Dandy and Alec trace the source to a village in Banffshire and masquerade as sibling folklorists to conduct discreet inquiries. They encounter townspeople with a permissive view of premarital sex, a minister and doctor who exchange dueling quotations, an eccentric pair of brothers with a museum of curiosities, an artistic English couple, and a less than gracious landlady. The Scots dialect and multiple names for villagers may pose some difficulties, but an exciting climax and the moral dilemmas confronting Dandy and Alec deliver rewards for readers. Agent: Lisa Moylett, Coombs Moylett Literary Agency. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Dandy Gilver and her gentleman sidekick, Alec Osborne, take to the wintry coast of Scotland in their fifth investigation (A Deadly Measure of Brimstone, 2014, etc.).A prosperous merchant summons Gilver and Osborne with an unpleasant mystery: the barrels of herring he wholesales have turned up containing human remains. Desperate to keep the news out of the public eye, he dispatches Dandy and Alec to his source: Gamrie, a tiny fishing village clinging precariously to the cliffs over the North Sea. Presenting themselves as philologists, Dandy and Alec have license to ask nosy questions about not only the folk traditions and Scottish vernacular peculiar to these insular fisherfolk, but also any mysterious deaths or strangers come to town. Their dogged investigation uncovers a host of colorful characters: an exceedingly sanctimonious parson, a couple of Bohemian painters, a most uncanny pair of taxidermists, and the hearty young girls who follow the boats to gut and pack the herring. Dandy and Alec close in on the murderer just as a vicious storm closes in on Christmas Eve. The ending, telegraphed a bit early in the story, is fully gothica grisly shocker but also a tidy piece of justice. The detectives are stalwart stock characters of interwar Britain, but the setting of this cozy thriller is vividly detailed and full of creeping menace. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250090980 Dandy Gilver (A Deadly Measure of Brim-stone) and fellow investigator Alec Osborne travel to northern Scotland to look into body parts found in barrels of fish. Quaint village ways clash with macabre villains. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781250090980 Most of the titles in this series have included the name of its upper-class Scottish detective (Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses, 2013), but this time, as Dandy's partner, Alec Osborne, steps up, the focus is more on the mystery's subject, in this case literal red herrings. Dandy and Alec are hired by a fish-industry magnate whose business is about to be ruined by the discovery of human remains in several of the herring barrels. The duo decamps to a small fishing village, posing as folklorists to win the town's trust. Part of their job is translating the villagers' almost undecipherable accent, which befuddles Dandy and Alex and will annoy readers as it stops the action. But, dialects aside, this is a grand mystery, full of fishy motives, events that don't pass the smell test, and, of course, plenty of metaphorical red herrings, all leading to a well-thought-out and clever ending. Mrs. Gilver's husband, who appears briefly, seems like a boring toff, so perhaps something romantic will develop between the detecting partners. Which would be fine and Dandy.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist
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2016 (Best First)
The Semester of Our Discontent
Book Jacket   Cynthia Kuhn
2016 (Best Nonfiction)
Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories that Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats
Book Jacket   Jane K. Cleland
 
2016 (Best Childrens)
The Secret of the Puzzle Box: The Code Busters Club
 Penny Warner
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781512403077 The diverse Code Busters kids are excited for their field trip to Angel Island, the Ellis Island of the west. Japanese American Mika hopes to find a secret message left by her ancestor, but the kids also uncover forged historical artifacts. New elements such as Japanese puzzle boxes keep this sixth interactive-mystery installment fresh. Key and puzzle solutions are appended. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781512403077 The five sixth-graders of the Code Busters Club research their diverse family histories before a middle-school field trip to Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. After Mika discovers that her great-great-grandfather hid a treasure in the historic immigration station there, her friends help her search for it, despite frightening attempts to thwart them. Readers who like to solve the mysteries in their books will have little trouble spotting the villain in this story. But fans of the Code Busters series will look forward to the many codes and other puzzles sprinkled throughout the text, with keys and solutions provided in the extensive back matter.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist
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2015 (Best Contemporary)
Long Upon the Land
 Margaret Maron
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781455545322 In the twentieth entry in her series featuring Deborah Knott (after Designated Daughters, 2014), Maron proves as adept as ever at melding a central mystery with an involving family story. When Deborah's father, Kezzie, stumbles on a dead body located on the furthest reaches of his North Carolina farm, Deborah's husband, Deputy Dwight Bryant, is tasked with finding out who beat the man to death. It turns out, however, that the victim has long had it out for Kezzie Knott, believing that Kezzie swindled his family out of their land, and the local newspaper implies that the Knotts might be behind the crime and receiving favorable treatment due to their connections with the sheriff's office. Interspersed with the investigation are chapters detailing the charming backstory of Kezzie's courtship of Deborah's mother, revealing how the college-educated daughter of a wealthy town family got involved with a grizzled old bootlegger from the country. Maron emphasizes the close relationships of Deborah's extended family and the way their rural lifestyle connects them to the land, which makes for an especially heartwarming read.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2015 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781455545322 Bestseller Maron's 20th Deborah Knott mystery (after 2014's Designated Daughters) combines strong plotting, a superb cast of recurring characters, and a rare sense of place that transports readers to rural North Carolina. District court judge Deborah and the huge Knott clan headed by Deborah's father, reformed bootlegger Kezzie Knott, become involved in a murder investigation when Kezzie finds Vick Earp bludgeoned to death on the family farm. Vick and his Earp relatives have had an ongoing feud with the Knotts. When Deborah's lawman husband, Dwight Bryant, is appointed lead investigator, the victim's uncle, Joby Earp, is quick to stir up charges of favoritism. Providing counterpoint to the murder case is the backstory of Deborah's mother, Sue Stephenson, and Sue's relationship with the mysterious Capt. Walter Raynesford McIntyre, of the U.S. Army Air Corps, whom she meets in 1943 at a USO club. It all adds up to another sparkling chapter of the Knott family saga. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781455545322 Maron's newest entry in her long-running "Judge Knott" series (Designated Daughters) begins with Deborah's father, Kezzie, finding a man beaten to death on his land. The judge's husband, who is second in command at the sheriff's department, investigates and discovers that Kezzie had a history with the victim, Vick Earp, that goes back to moonshining days. Deborah starts digging around to learn more about her parents. VERDICT Sprinkled with the low-country vernacular and the wonderful characters of Colleton County, NC, this title is a worthy addition to Maron's series. Readers of Southern mysteries will find much to adore. [See Prepub Alert, 2/23/15.]-Kristen Stewart, Pearland Lib., -Brazoria Cty. Lib. Syst., TX © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2015 (Best Historical)
Dreaming Spies:
Book Jacket   Laurie R. King
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780345531797 Snappy prose and a captivating plot distinguish King's 14th novel featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes (after 2012's Garment of Shadows). In April 1924, Russell hopes to enjoy an uneventful boat trip from India to Japan with Holmes, but the onboard presence of Lord Darley, whom Holmes believes to be a blackmailer's accomplice, suggests that theirs will be a busman's holiday. Sure enough, the couple soon learn of a missing passenger, possibly a victim of extortion, and reports of a poltergeist that made off with a tennis racquet. On arrival in Japan, they are asked to perform a delicate mission for the prince regent that is vital to the future of his country. While some may not like the idea of a married Holmes, many will find the character deepened by his partnership with the spirited and clever Russell. This book gives every indication that this series still has a long life ahead of it. Agent: Linda Allen, Linda Allen Literary Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. An ocean voyage to Japan lands Sherlock Holmes and his amanuensis and wife, Mary Russell (Garment of Shadows, 2012, etc.), in the middle of a tangled web of blackmail. Most of the passengers aboard the Thomas Carlyle are tedious English types, but there are some interesting exceptions: the Earl of Darley, whom Holmes has already spotted as an amateur blackmailer; his well-turned-out second wife, Lady Charlotte Bridgeford Darley; his gossipy son, Viscount Thomas Darley; Haruki Sato, an NYU-trained economist who comes from a family of acrobats; and a poltergeist intent on playing tricks with the guests' belongings. It's not long before Haruki-san and Russell have bonded over lessons in Japanese language and culture, and not long after that, the young Japanese woman persuades Holmes to follow a trail she lays in Japan. The trail, which involves a good deal of more intensive learning and a fair amount of testing for Holmes and Russell, leads to a most unusual request from the highest levels. Can they retrieve a precious volume the emperor of Japan gave King George V a year ago, a volume now offered for sale to the emperor by none other than the blackmailing Lord Darley? Holmes and Russell come close to completing their mission in Japan, but their treasure hunt won't end until they're back in Russell's beloved Oxford, along with the requisite members of the shipboard cast. Holmes is consistently upstaged by Russell, but King, whose strengths are historical evocation rather than tightly knit plotting (The Bones of Paris, 2013, etc.), manages more surprises than usual in this graceful exercise in cultural tourism-cum-intrigue. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780345531803 Mary Russell, the much younger but just as clever wife of Sherlock Holmes, once again narrates a story that keeps the reader enthralled, though not always with the mystery. That element, though boasting a world figure at its center Crown Prince Hirohito of Japan is not particularly enticing. Hirohito is being blackmailed about a book he has inadvertently gifted to the king of England, not knowing it contains a secret document. But the book is merely a Japanese MacGuffin, a useful item around which to bind meticulous accounts of the glamour and tedium of shipboard life in the 1920s, intricate descriptions of both the Japanese landscape and its social hierarchy, and homey details of the English countryside. Just as captivating as the landscape and the historical detail are King's characters, especially the mysterious female ninja, who is dedicated to protecting the Japanese royal family. As with previous books in the series, this one appears out of time sequence; it takes place before the pivotal volume, Locked Rooms (2005), in which readers learned secrets about Russell's past. This installment may well be one of Russell and Holmes' lesser adventures, but lesser is a relative term when speaking of one of the most consistently outstanding mystery series out there. Any time spent with the Russell-Holmes duo is a delight. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The Mary Russell series is a mystery-fan favorite and is especially popular in libraries.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780345531797 Mary Russell, the much younger but just as clever wife of Sherlock Holmes, once again narrates a story that keeps the reader enthralled, though not always with the mystery. That element, though boasting a world figure at its center Crown Prince Hirohito of Japan is not particularly enticing. Hirohito is being blackmailed about a book he has inadvertently gifted to the king of England, not knowing it contains a secret document. But the book is merely a Japanese MacGuffin, a useful item around which to bind meticulous accounts of the glamour and tedium of shipboard life in the 1920s, intricate descriptions of both the Japanese landscape and its social hierarchy, and homey details of the English countryside. Just as captivating as the landscape and the historical detail are King's characters, especially the mysterious female ninja, who is dedicated to protecting the Japanese royal family. As with previous books in the series, this one appears out of time sequence; it takes place before the pivotal volume, Locked Rooms (2005), in which readers learned secrets about Russell's past. This installment may well be one of Russell and Holmes' lesser adventures, but lesser is a relative term when speaking of one of the most consistently outstanding mystery series out there. Any time spent with the Russell-Holmes duo is a delight. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The Mary Russell series is a mystery-fan favorite and is especially popular in libraries.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780345531797 In the 13th adventure (after Garment of Shadows) featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, King explores the three weeks they spent in Japan in 1924 between cases in India (The Game) and San Francisco (Locked Rooms). On a steamer ship bound for Japan, Russell and Holmes meet Haruki Sato, a young Japanese woman who soon enlists them in helping the future emperor of Japan retrieve a valuable book. Holmes is interested in the case because he may be able to finally prove Lord Darley to be a blackmailer. Haruki tutors the detectives in the language and customs of Japan, and they're quickly put to the test as they travel across the country. The ransom exchange for the book, however, doesn't go as expected, and Russell and Holmes have to move on. The case comes back to haunt them a year later when Haruki appears in England asking for help again. VERDICT As in previous novels, King expertly explores other cultures, bringing 1920s Japan to life. The twists and turns of this mystery will keep readers satisfied with another compelling Russell and Holmes case. [See Prepub Alert, 8/11/14.] (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2015 (Best First)
On The Road with Del and Louise
Book Jacket   Art Taylor
 
2015 (Best Nonfiction)
The Golden Age of Murder
 Martin Edwards
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780008105969 Crime novelist Edwards (Frozen Shroud), the archivist for the legendary Detection Club of crime authors, reveals the hidden lives of its members in a comprehensive and well-written narrative that combines biography with literary criticism. He focuses on the Club's three leading lights-Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and the lesser-known Anthony Berkeley-and how their output between the world wars helped define the detective novel as we know it. Along the way, he dispels numerous myths about Golden Age detective fiction: for example, that it was "an essentially British form of escapism... an effete counterpart to the tough and realistic crime fiction produced in the United States." He documents his thesis that the Detection Club facilitated its members' creativity through mutual support and "challenging [them] to take the genre to a higher level." The trenchant analysis is coupled with revelations about the private lives of these very public authors, offering new information for casual fans and students of the genre alike, including details of Christie's mysterious disappearance and Sayers's secret child. Agent: James Willis, Watson Little. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780008105969 Crime novelist Edwards (the "Lake District" mysteries) here examines the "Detection Club," a group of famous writers who changed the way detective novels are conceived. The ranks of the club included such seminal authors as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, whose lives were as enigmatic and fascinating as their novels. In writing about the authors themselves, Edwards takes a distinct look at the genre and its various influences and well captures the turbulent culture and its effect on these genuinely riveting figures who helped to shape the crime genre. The book's playful charm makes it much more enjoyable than a straightforward biography or genre piece. VERDICT As popular as detective fiction is, most readers are unaware of the influence "golden age of murder" writers have had on the books, films, and television shows we love. This solid work will appeal primarily to fans of the genre but will also be of interest to literary historians and enthusiasts of literary biographies.-Matthew Gallagher, Victoria, BC © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Engrossing if occasionally glacial study of the Detection Club, a gathering of British mystery writers who defined the genre. Himself a writer of crime thrillers, Edwards (The Frozen Shroud, 2013, etc.) comes to the club naturallythough long past its golden age, which ended 65-odd years ago. The original circle, founder Anthony Berkeley projected, would have 13 membersa resonant number that eventually expanded threefold to include such luminaries as Dorothy Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, and Agatha Christie. At the heart of Edwards' study is the observation that the membership constituted a body of amateur detectives who were not only capable of musing out the facts behind such mysteries as "an ingenious murder committed by means of chocolates injected with nitrobenzene," but who also embraced true-crime scenarios and made them part of their work, sometimes to the point of courting libel lawsuits. As Edwards writes, with a suitably enticing hook, "Why was Christie haunted by the drowning of the man who adapted her work for the stage? What convinced Sayers of the innocence of a man convicted of battering his wife to death with a poker?" Having set up a fleet of questions, Edwards proceeds to answer them with murder-laced aplomb. He has a nicely naughty sense of humor about it, too, for the well-heeled Detection Club members often poked into business that was more than a little infra dig. As the author writes of one case, a lecherous perp "claimed he was merely offering Irene career advice, although what he knew of testing valves was not reported." Yet, when the tale turns tragicnot just because of awful crimes, but also because of sad developments in the lives of Sayers and other membersEdwards writes appropriately and well. Fans of Father Brown, Hercule Poirot, or Lord Peter Wimsey will find much of value in this bookwhich, though long and sometimes too slow, leaves readers wanting more. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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  Book Jacket
2015 (Best Childrens)
Andi Unstoppable
 Amanda Flower
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780310737667 In her third outing, Andi Boggs is dreading her bird identification science project. She has been paired with her class rival, Ava, and they will be joining Andi's best friend, Colin, and his great aunt, an extreme birder, on a weekend camping trip to spot some birds. The trip turns from a simple birding expedition to a mystery when the kids think they see Dominika Shalley's ghost. Could the local legend about Dominika be true? Fans of Andi and Colin's previous adventures will not be disappointed with the latest and its many twists and turns.--Petty, J. B. Copyright 2015 Booklist
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2014 (Best Contemporary)
Truth be told
Book Jacket   Hank Phillippi Ryan
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780765374936 Ryan's smart, well-paced third Jane Ryland novel (after 2013's The Wrong Girl) takes aim at the housing crisis of recent years. Boston Register reporter Jane Ryland is at work on two stories: an apparent murder in a recently foreclosed house and a supposed puff piece about banking customer service. Both assignments lead straight to revelations of institutional financial malfeasance and possibly more death. Meanwhile, Det. Jake Brogan of the Boston PD receives the solution to a 20-year-old cold case-or has he been handed an inexplicable false confession? Ryan, a Mary Higgins Clark Award winner, cleverly ties the plot together, offers surprising but believable plot twists, and skillfully characterizes the supporting case, which includes a widower attorney, a bleeding heart banker, and an expectant mother who might be married to a murderer. She also provides just the right amount of romance between Jane and Jake, with a delectable hint that Jake might have some competition. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780765374936 Starred Review. Boston's Register news reporter Jane Ryland is covering a human interest foreclosure story when she stumbles onto several murders committed in recently foreclosed homes. Investigating further, Jane becomes entangled in one dangerous situation after another. In the meantime, the reporter's clandestine love interest, Boston police detective Jake Brogan, is actively pursuing answers to a 20-year-old unsolved murder. The cold case turns personal as Jake consults case files written by his deceased grandfather, a former police commissioner, to determine if the individual confessing to the crime is truly the killer. As Jane and Jake each gets closer to the truth, they find their lives and their romantic connection precariously hanging in the balance. Danger and intrigue surround them both as they desperately seek closure. VERDICT The third entry in the "Jane Ryland & Jake Brogan" series (The Other Woman; The Wrong Girl) packs a powerful punch, and offers a clever mix of mystery, corruption, and romance. Mystery enthusiasts will want to drop everything and binge-read until the mind-boggling conclusion. [See Prepub Alert, 4/21/14.]-Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780765374936 *Starred Review* A prominent cold case is back in play. Women are being murdered in empty houses that have been foreclosed, and reporter Jane Ryland and Boston PD detective Jake Brogan are wondering if their relationship, right at the edge of ethical, in his view, can ever work. When a recent parolee confesses to a 20-year-old unsolved murder that bedevils Brogan as it haunted his late police-commissioner grandfather, Brogan's colleagues accept the confession as valid, but Brogan is dubious. Working both old and new cases, Brogan continually runs into Ryland, who's on assignment with Peter Hardesty, a widowed lawyer who's attracted to Ryland and arousing Brogan's jealousy. At the heart of it all are foreclosures, which are being manipulated by a cabal of bank employees for personal gain as well as by new customer-services bank officer Liz McDivitt, who's playing Robin Hood. In the third entry in this award-winning series, investigative reporter Ryan again takes on a social issue the harm to individuals caused by bank foreclosures and puts it at the center of a fast-moving procedural with a strong journalistic bent. In Ryan's adroit hands, with her brisk prose, appealing protagonists, and well-limned characters, even foreclosures can be sexy.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2014 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Foreclosure fraud entwines with a 20-year-old murder case in the latest knotty, engrossing mystery-thriller by an award-winning Boston journalist. These days, foreclosures have become a too-frequent fixture of what some label "Depression Redux" and others name "The New Normal." It's not so normal, however, to find a dead realtor in a foreclosed house. Even if that were all that engaged the attention of Boston PD detective Jake Brogan and investigative reporter Jane Ryland, they'd probably be too busy to spend much time on their covertly ardent, professionally awkward romance. But Brogan's also got his hands full dealing with an out-of-the-blue confession to a murder that happened two decades agoa confession that, much as he'd like to believe it, doesn't feel right. Meanwhile, the dead realtor pushes Ryland's inquiry into the foreclosure plague toward suspicious behavior at a local bank, especially by one of its well-intentioned employees who may be in over her head. In the third installment of her series about Ryland and Brogan, Ryan shows greater agility in weaving seemingly disparate plot strands into a crafty storyline, though at times it takes a while for the story to move aheadfor which a generous reader might blame the characters more than the author. ("Can you keep a secret?" comes up a little too frequently.) But those characters, including a hip defense attorney introduced to create some tension between Jake and Jane, are engaging enough to keep the reader flipping pages. Ryan seasons her mix with vivid Boston local color and caustic observations on new mediawhich one would expect from a journalist who's won even more awards for her TV reporting than she has for her mysteries. (Where on earth does she keep those thirty Emmys?) Ryland and Brogan are such a cute couple that you wonder how long it'll be before somebody makes a TV series out of them. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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2014 (Best Historical)
Queen of hearts
Book Jacket   Rhys Bowen
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780425260364 It's the Depression, but not for the titled nobility in England or for movie moguls in Hollywood. Despite being thirty-fifth in line for the throne, Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie Rannoch, called Georgie, depends on the hospitality of others while she waits for her true love, adventurer Darcy O'Mara, to make enough money so they can marry. She is delighted when her mother, actress Claire Daniels, sweeps in to take her on a transatlantic cruise to New York and on to Las Vegas, where Claire will seek a divorce. Making the acquaintance of shipmate and movie mogul Cy Goldman, Claire and Georgie add Hollywood to their itinerary. But there are shadows over their trip. Georgie thinks she saw a body thrown overboard, Darcy shows up in pursuit of a jewel thief, and, to cap it off, while hosting a weekend house party at his secluded castle, Goldman is found murdered. Bowen moves the classic country-house mystery to a glitzy California castle, portrays real and Hollywood-made celebrities, and adds romance in an engagingly madcap adventure.--Muller, Karen Copyright 2014 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Being 35th in line for the British throne is no guarantee of a peaceful life for an inveterate amateur sleuth. Lady Georgiana "Georgie" Rannoch has had much better luck solving mysteries than finding security. Poor as a church mouse, she continues to struggle while her glamorous actress mother, Claire Daniels, roams Europe shedding husbands and lovers. Claire drops into Georgie's life, pressing her to accompany her to Reno for a quickie divorce so she can marry her wealthy German lover. A fast shopping trip for some decent clothes, and Georgie and her remarkably inept maid, Queenie, are on the Berengaria headed for New York. Georgie is thrilled to discover that her mother's unofficial fiance, Darcy O'Mara, an Irish aristocrat with many secretive jobs, is on board trying to capture a jewel thief. Dining at the captain's table, Claire and Georgie, her marriage plans on hold until Darcy can make his fortune, meet fabulously wealthy filmmaker Cy Goldman, fresh from buying more treasures for his California mansion. Also at the table are his mistress, movie star Stella Brightwell; Promila, an Indian princess whose ruby is soon stolen; and the notorious Wallis Simpson, who may also be traveling in search of a divorce. All of them but Mrs. Simpson and Promila end up in Hollywood, where Cy talks Claire into starring in his new movie and even offers the handsome Darcy a job. Suspecting Stella of being the jewel thief, Darcy is especially pleased to accept an invitation that reunites most of the leading characters at Cy's hideous country castle. Georgie finds herself back in the familiar role of sleuth when Cy is murdered and the only suspects are the staff and the guests. Georgie's charming eighth (Heirs and Graces, 2013, etc.) subordinates its modest mystery to romance, local color and historical tidbits. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780425260364 Bowen's eighth Royal Spyness mystery (after 2013's Heirs and Graces) is a showcase for the series' many strengths. The year 1934 finds Lady Georgiana Rannoch, an impoverished cousin of George V, adrift, with nothing particular to do in the Kent countryside. The arrival of her scandalous actress mother, Claire Daniels, lifts her out of the doldrums. In need of a quickie divorce in Nevada, Claire invites her daughter to join her on a trip to America. Georgie and her anti-Jeeves of a maid, the hapless Queenie, set sail on the Berengaria, aboard which they become involved in the search for a legendary jewel thief. This quest involves a murder investigation once the ocean liner lands in the U.S. Fans of P.G. Wodehouse looking for laughs mingled with some amateur sleuthing will be quite pleased (e.g., when a passenger asks the Berengaria's captain, "Do ships like this sink very often?," he dryly responds, "Only once"). Agent: Meg Ruley, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780425260364 In her latest adventure (after Heirs and Graces), Lady Georgianna Rannoch, 35th in line for the British throne, agrees to accompany her many-times-married mother from Britain to Reno, so that her mother can sign a quick divorce in order to proceed directly to another upcoming nuptial. The tides turn as Georgie's mother meets movie producer Cy Goldman on the ship and is swept away by the promise of a lead part in his new film. The tale quickly turns to tragedy when Cy is murdered and Georgie must step into the role of sleuth once again to discover not only the killer but a suspected jewel thief as well. VERDICT Georgie's effervescent spirit and Bowen's prose are light as air, adding pizzazz to an already amusing and intriguing 1930s-era mystery. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2014 (Best First)
Well Read,Then Dead
 Rhys Bowen
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780425270288 Sassy Cabot and Bridget Mayfield are trying to keep their bookstore and cafe, called Read 'Em and Eat, going in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, with clever literary-themed foods and book clubs. Then one of a pair of cousins who attend the book clubs is murdered, and the grieving cousin Augusta asks Sassy to find the killer. Victim Delia was rumored to own an island off the Gulf Coast, and developers had been hounding her to sell. Wreckers diving for treasure also want that land. Sassy, Bridget, and many of their customers and neighbors all chip in on the effort to solve the case. Moran effectively mixes sunken treasure with the bookstore ambience in this thoroughly cozy series debut.--Alessio, Amy Copyright 2014 Booklist
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  Book Jacket
2014 (Best Nonfiction)
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writers Journey
 Hank Phillippi Ryan
  Book Jacket
 
2014 (Best Childrens)
The mummyandapos;s curse
Book Jacket   Penny Warner
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781606844595 Code Busters Cody, Luke, Quinn, and M.E. are innocently exploring the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum when they find that one of the priceless artifacts has been swapped out for a fake. To catch the forger, they'll have to use all their resources (including lots of toilet paper). This readable fourth installment includes the usual interactive puzzles (solutions appended) and facts about ancient Egypt. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2013 (Best Contempory)
The Wrong Girl
Book Jacket   Hank Phillippi Ryan
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780765332585 Ryan's stellar follow-up to The Other Woman throws Boston newspaper reporter Jane Ryland into a strange mystery. She hears the story of a former colleague, adopted as an infant, who used information provided by her adoption agency to find her birth mother, only to discover that the woman was not, in fact, her real mom. An investigation hints at a possible conspiracy with children reunited with the wrong parents. As this unfolds, a domestic violence case haunts Det. Jake Brogan. And though there is a crib at the crime scene, where is the baby? VERDICT Jane and Jake are engaging protagonists, and the will-they-or-won't-they tension will appeal to romance fans. The thrills are also abundant, and the plot takes a left turn when the reader is sure it's going right. Ryan has a gift for writing superb thrillers, and this one is sure to be a big hit with her growing fan base. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/13.]-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781427232038 In her follow-up to The Other Woman, Ryan returns to Boston as Jane chases a story about a murder and at the same time a former coworker asks for help verifying information about her birth mother. Bodies pile up on one side and questions on the other, but it's all about finding family connections as the two plotlines converge. DNA analysis can identify any valid relationship, a fact ignored but for a single offhand comment several hours into the book. A sense of urgency is created by frequent viewpoint changes but fails to compensate for the illogical core problem. Ilyana Kadushin's slow delivery emphasizes the singsong quality of short sentences. Verdict Will be of interest to some who enjoy fast-moving, plot-driven thrillers. ["The thrills are.abundant, and the plot takes a left turn when the reader is sure it's going right. Ryan has a gift for writing superb thrillers, and this one is sure to be a big hit with her growing fan base," read the more positive review of the Forge: Tor hc, LJ 8/13.-Ed.]-Janet Martin, Southern Pines P.L., NC (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780765332585 A strong theme compensates for a heavy reliance on coincidence in Ryan's sequel to 2012's The Other Woman, a Mary Higgins Clark Award winner. Tucker Cameron, a former colleague of reporter Jane Ryland's at the Register, a Boston newspaper, asks for Jane's help in determining how a private adoption agency, Brannigan Family and Children Services, managed to "reunite" her with the wrong birth mother. Meanwhile, an anonymous phone call leads Det. Jake Brogan and his partner, Det. Paul DeLuca, to a Roslindale apartment, where they find the body of a woman who's suffered a fatal blow to the head, but no murder weapon accompanying it. Jane's editor assigns her to cover the killing, setting the stage for a complex investigation. Ryan does a good job portraying the foster care and adoption systems, their shortcomings, abuses, and overpowering demands. Intriguing secondary characters, including an idealistic worker at Brannigan, support the well-matched Jane and Jake, whose romance continues to smolder. Author tour. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A young woman's murder, which orphans two children, gives a reporter a story she can't resist. Jane Ryland has finally settled into her role as reporter at the Register when her old co-worker Tuck approaches Jane about an off-the-clock investigation she'd like Jane to take on. Thanks to the people at Brannigan Family and Children Services, Tuck was recently reunited with her birth mother, but some details of the reunion have made Tuck suspicious that she may in fact be the wrong girl, matched with a mother who isn't her own. Jane's former and potentially future flame Detective Jake Brogan is saddled with another case that involves working with the child welfare system when he's called in to investigate a murder that leaves two children without a family. Getting wind of the case, Jane schemes to get information out of Jake, his partner, Detective DeLuca, and the staff at the Department of Family Services. Though most folks seem wise to Jane's tricks, she's sure she can find a weak link in the chain that will lead her to some clues to investigate. All this drama distracts Jane from Tuck's quest but doesn't stop some of the staff at the Brannigan from doing a bit of investigating of their own. Threads of the story are woven together in a net that threatens to ensnare Jane if she can't unravel them first. The complex storyline, which approaches child welfare from many different angles, provides Ryan (The Other Woman, 2012, etc.) with a plot that never allows the reader a moment of breathing room.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780765332585 *Starred Review* Reporter Jane Ryland is on the trail of something big enough to ensure her continued employment on the downsizing Boston Republic when an anonymous threatening phone call makes her editor pull her off the story. Sidelined, she takes time to help former colleague Tuck Cameron, an adoptee just paired with her birth mother, who is distressed that the private Brannigan adoption agency that placed her made a mistake and that she's the wrong girl. Jane still continues to ferret out angles of the story of an unidentified woman killed in a house with two young toddlers present and evidence of a missing baby, a case being worked by her not-quite-lover Detective Jake Brogan. As Jake tries to avoid Jane on the job, he also has to deal with a case involving two top Brannigan administrators found dead days apart under questionable conditions. Investigative television reporter Ryan fulfills the promise of her first Jane Ryland mystery, The Other Woman (2012), as she blends a social issue the cost to young children of an overworked and underfunded foster care system into a crisp, fast-moving police procedural featuring reverberating illegalities, increasing danger and suspense, and crackling sexual tension between Ryland and Brogan. Another winner from Ryan.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist
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2013 (Best Historical)
A question of honor
 Charles Todd
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780062237156 When Bess learns that an earlier crime committed in India involves her father, she must grapple with disturbing truths. Number five in this series (after the award-winning An Unmarked Grave) for the mother/son writing duo. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Ten years after an army officer apparently killed five people, deserted his regiment and died in Afghanistan, he's back to bedevil nursing sister Bess Crawford, and vice versa. Asked to accompany Lt. William Standish's wife, Mary, home from India after the death of her 6-year-old daughter, Alice, in 1908, Lt. Thomas Wade not only agrees but wins praise from all hands for his kindness, sensitivity and consideration. So it's all the more shocking to hear that during his brief stay in England, he allegedly killed an entire family in Hampshire and then murdered his parents in cold blood before returning to the regiment commanded by Bess's father, Col. Richard Crawford. What's even more astonishing is that as the Great War limps on long after Wade's body has been spotted deep in the Khyber Pass, Subedar Shanti Gupta tells Bess just before he dies of his wounds in France that he's spotted Wade alive and serving in His Majesty's troops. Bess' mission is clear. In order to clear her father's regiment of the stain of Wade's desertion, she needs to find Wade under whatever false name he's using. In order to expunge the stain of his murders, she needs to satisfy herself whether he really killed Henry and Isabella Caswell and their daughter Gwendoline. All this while Bess is still on active duty, dealing with the horrific wounds inflicted by the war. This time around, however, Todd (An Unmarked Grave, 2012, etc.) keeps the front at a greater distance than usual, passing lightly over much of Bess' service. The war's relation to the mystery is equally discontinuous, so that anecdotes of Bess' nursing provide the same sort of background as the heroine's domestic life or romantic entanglements in less-fraught whodunits. Despite some loose threads unsatisfyingly tied up, the mystery is as strong as any Bess has confronted.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780062237156 Bestseller Todd (the pseudonym of a mother-and-son writing team) once again demonstrates his talent at depicting the horrors of war in his excellent fifth mystery featuring English nurse Bess Crawford (after 2012's An Unmarked Grave). As the carnage of WWI finally nears its end, Bess finds herself investigating murders committed a decade earlier on two different continents. In 1908, Bess was living in India with her parents when a member of her father's regiment, Lt. Thomas Wade, came under suspicion of killing his parents. But before he could be apprehended, Wade vanished near the Khyber Pass. Although no body was recovered, he was presumed dead. While Bess is serving in France in 1918, the last words of a dying soldier persuade her that Wade might have survived. Her innate curiosity and knowledge of how traumatizing the scandal was to her father lead her to again play sleuth. In the process, she also examines the triple murder of an entire family that Wade may have committed in England before leaving for India. The extremely clever plot builds to a satisfying resolution. Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780062237156 A battlefield nurse familiar with the horrors of trench warfare, Sister Bess Crawford is tirelessly competent, stubborn, and endlessly in motion, though perpetually exhausted. Lieutenant Wade, previously with Bess' father's regiment, reputedly killed five civilians in India and two in England and was presumed killed while attempting to flee. Wade was therefore never brought to justice, casting a pall over regimental honor. Now, years later, Bess bumps into him on the battlefield before he disappears again, and in her moral indignation she sets off in search of an explanation. While on leave, Bess takes shameless advantage of her friend Simon, forcing him to drive her around as she vets shifty and suspicious characters connected to Wade's childhood and leaves a trail of deadly consequences in her wake. Despite this flitting about, suspense is lacking in this heavily interpretive fifth installment in the series, though series fans will enjoy another adventure of the intrepid and endlessly curious Bess a heroine whose intuition rivals tht of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs but whose spunk doesn't quite match that of Anne Perry's Hester Latterly.--Baker, Jen Copyright 2010 Booklist
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  Book Jacket
2013 (Best First)
Death al dente
 Leslie Budewitz
  Book Jacket
 
2013 (Best Nonfiction)
The hour of peril : the secret plot to murder Lincoln before the Civil War
Book Jacket   Daniel Stashower
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780312600228 *Starred Review* Some of President Lincoln's associates and some historians have questioned if the supposed conspiracy to assassinate him upon his arrival in Baltimore was serious. Stashower has no doubt that the plot was real, and he has written a convincing and well-researched chronicle of it and the successful effort to thwart it. His story has the necessary elements of a successful historical thriller, including a determined assassin; a wily, intrepid detective; a serpentine plot; and, in Lincoln, an important and sympathetic potential victim. Stashower seems determined to lay out the painstaking details of the plot; although it provides credibility, it sometimes acts as a drag on the narrative. Still, the stakes are high, so the story has a built-in urgency and excitement. The detective, the soon-to-be-famous Allan Pinkerton, is a relentless and clever sleuth, and the chief conspirator, a Baltimore barber named Ferrandini, is a formidable adversary. Despite some slow moments, the book generally succeeds as both a historical inquiry and a detective story.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780312600228 John Wilkes Booth succeeded in 1865, but the first major plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln unfolded in 1861 in anticipation of the then president-elect's railway trip to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration. Stashower (The Beautiful Cigar Girl) explains how Allan Pinkerton, a temperamental Scottish cooper turned "fierce and incorruptible lawman" and founder of the Pinkerton Agency, sought to infiltrate and obfuscate a murderous group led by Cypriano Ferrandini, an outspoken Italian barber in Baltimore. Interwoven with the tale of Pinkerton and company's efforts to foil what would become known as the Baltimore Plot, Stashower offers a rich portrait of a resolute but weary Lincoln as he makes his way, both politically and physically, to the White House. As everyone knows, he arrived without incident, but while he saved his skin, he lost some respect for stealing into the capital "like a thief in the night," as one newspaper put it. The book starts out slow, but once Stashower lets the Pinkerton operatives loose, their race against time as Lincoln's train speeds toward Maryland makes for an enthralling page-turner that is sure to please true crime, thriller, and history fans. Photos. (Feb.). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780312600228 The first known attempt to murder Abraham Lincoln occurred in February 1861 during his railway journey from Springfield, IL, to Washington, DC, for his inauguration. Stashower (The Beautiful Cigar Girl) details how Allan Pinkerton, head of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, managed to stop a band of rebels bent on killing the president-elect in Baltimore. Stashower describes a campaign-weary, nonchalant, and somewhat incautious Abraham Lincoln, traveling east toward the presidency. The author records him arriving safely in DC after stealing through Maryland's darkened countryside and Baltimore's precincts as "a thief in the night"-at Pinkerton's behest, but in the process forfeiting a measure of political stature to his detractors, who questioned his courage and fitness for office. The tale builds methodically before shifting into dramatic mode as Pinkerton, in fewer than two weeks, uncovers and quashes the would-be assassins' designs, assisted by agent Kate Warne, the leader of Pinkerton's female undercover unit. VERDICT Stashower's character-driven narrative and lively writing style reveal the finely honed skills of an accomplished mystery writer. Recommended.-John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Cleveland (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2013 (Best Childrens)
Escape from Mr. Lemoncelloandapos;s library
Book Jacket   Chris Grabenstein
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780375870897 *Starred Review* Here's an instantly engaging and wildly creative mystery that is sure to have readers looking at their humble local library in a new light. Mr. Lemoncello is an eccentric game designer who has just funded a very special new library in his hometown. In honor of the grand opening, Lemoncello has selected a dozen 12-year-olds to participate in an overnight lock-in event at the library. But when the kids wake up, they discover a new and unexpected game is afoot: whoever can find a way out of Mr. Lemoncello's library will win the grand prize. Avid readers will get a kick out of the references to classic and current children's literature as the kids solve clues to escape and win the game. Main character Kyle Keeley works hard to beat his nemesis, the conniving bully Charles Chilington, who constantly reminds everyone that he is always successful. As Lemoncello says, knowledge not shared remains unknown, and the group learns that working together just might be the key to solving the mystery. An ode to libraries and literature that is a worthy successor to the original madman riddle master himself, Willy Wonka.--Thompson, Sarah Bean Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780375870897 Gr 4-7-Bibliophiles unite! Melvil Dewey is alive and well and residing within Mr. Lemoncello's new library. Billionaire game-maker Luigi Lemoncello wants to pay homage to his childhood library by constructing a technological marvel in his hometown that went without a library for 12 years. He invites a dozen 12-year-olds to a lock-in at the new building, and when they arrive they find the eccentric game-maker has offered them a further challenge-if they can find their way out using only what's in the library-they will become the new spokesperson for Mr. Lemoncello's company. Kyle Keeley teams up with other students as unlikely alliances form, some children's true (not so nice) personalities emerge, and suspense builds while the kids enlist the aid of Mr. Lemoncello's childhood librarian, an Electronic Learning center, and book clues and references galore. The story feels like a cross between a reality show, an online game, and a tightly woven mystery. Dewey Decimal clues will hook librarians and teachers, while book lovers will delight at myriad references from Mr. Lemoncello, such as, "And now, I must return to my side of the mountain. I have great expectations for you all!" Book and game lovers alike will delve into this delicious tale and put on their thinking caps.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780375870897 Quirky game-maker Luigi Lemoncello has created the ultimate game for a lock-in at the town's new library. Kyle and his friends and classmates must solve literary and logic puzzles to escape the coolest library ever in this charming Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryesque tale. Clever and filled with humorous puns, the narrative subtly reveals the real winners and losers. (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780375870897 Librarians and English teachers will happily recommend this adventurous romp from Grabenstein (the Riley Mack books), which pays playful homage to books and libraries while engaging readers in a fast-paced competition involving research and reasoning skills. Twelve seventh-graders win a chance to spend an overnight lock-in previewing their town's new public library-it's a marvel of technological delights conceived by Luigi Lemoncello, the Willy Wonkalike founder of Mr. Lemoncello's Imagination Factory, which is a source for every kind of game imaginable. During the lock-in the winners, who include game-lover Kyle Keeley and a group of multicultural classmates with a mix of aptitudes and interests, are offered a further challenge: "Find your way out of the library using only what's in the library." The winner will become spokesperson for the Imag-ination Factory. Book lovers will relish the lavish sprinkling of book titles and references while puzzle fans will enjoy figuring out the clues. A lighthearted parody of reality survival shows, the book reinvigorates the debate over the Dewey Decimal system and traditional library skills while celebrating teamwork, perseverance, and clever wits. Ages 9-12. Agent: Eric Myers, the Spieler Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. When a lock-in becomes a reality game, 12-year-old Kyle Keeley and his friends use library resources to find their way out of Alexandriaville's new public library. The author of numerous mysteries for children and adults turns his hand to a puzzle adventure with great success. Starting with the premise that billionaire game-maker Luigi Lemoncello has donated a fortune to building a library in a town that went without for 12 years, Grabenstein cleverly uses the tools of board and video games--hints and tricks and escape hatches--to enhance this intricate and suspenseful story. Twelve 12-year-old winners of an essay contest get to be the first to see the new facility and, as a bonus, to play his new escape game. Lemoncello's gratitude to the library of his childhood extends to providing a helpful holographic image of his 1968 librarian, but his modern version also includes changing video screens, touch-screen computers in the reading desks and an Electronic Learning Center as well as floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stretching up three stories. Although the characters, from gamer Kyle to schemer Charles Chiltington, are lightly developed, the benefits of pooling strengths to work together are clear. Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at and references to children's book titles, this solid, tightly plotted read is a winner for readers and game-players alike. (Mystery. 9-13)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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2012 (Best Novel)
The Beautiful Mystery:
 Louise Penny
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A prior's murder takes Quebec's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his sidekick, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, inside the walls of the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loupes. The Gilbertine order, long extinct except for the two dozen brothers who live on an island apart from the rest of the world, enforces silence on its members. In the absence of speech, a raised eyebrow or averted gaze can speak intense hostility. Now someone has found a new way to communicate such hostility: by bashing Frre Mathieu, the monastery's choirmaster and prior, over the head. Gamache and Beauvoir soon find that the order is devoted heart and soul to Gregorian chant; that its abbot, Dom Philippe, has recruited its members from among the ranks of other orders for their piety, their musical abilities and a necessary range of domestic and maintenance skills; and that an otherworldly recording the brothers had recently made of Gregorian chants has sharply polarized the community between the prior's men, who want to exploit their unexpected success by making another recording and speaking more widely of their vocation, and the abbot's men, who greet the prospect of a more open and worldly community with horror. Nor are conflicts limited to the holy suspects. Gamache, Beauvoir and Sret Chief Superintendent Sylvain Franoeur, arriving unexpectedly and unwelcome, tangle over the proper way to conduct the investigation, the responsibility for the collateral damage in Gamache's last case (A Trick of the Light, 2011, etc.) and Beauvoir's loyalty to his two chiefs and himself in ways quite as violent as any their hosts can provide. Elliptical and often oracular, but also remarkably penetrating and humane. The most illuminating analogies are not to other contemporary detective fiction but to The Name of the Rose and Murder in the Cathedral.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780312655464 Religious music serves as the backdrop for bestseller Penny's excellent eighth novel featuring Chief Insp. Armand Gamache of the Quebec Surete (after 2011's A Trick of the Light). Gamache and his loyal number two, Insp. Jean-Guy Beauvoir, travel to the isolated monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, which produced a CD of Gregorian chants that became a surprise smash hit, to investigate the murder of its choirmaster, Frere Mathieu, found within an enclosed garden in a fetal position with his head bashed in. Gamache soon finds serious divisions among the outwardly unified and placid monks, and begins to encourage confidences among them as a first step to catching the killer. Traditional mystery fans can look forward to a captivating whodunit plot, a clever fair-play clue concealed in plain view, and the deft use of humor to lighten the story's dark patches. On a deeper level, the crime provides a means for Penny's unusually empathic, all-too-fallible lead to unearth truths about human passions and weaknesses while avoiding simple answers. 150,000 first printing; author tour. Agent: Patty Moosbrugger, Teresa Chris Literary Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780312655464 *Starred Review* An entire mystery novel centering on Gregorian chants (whose curiously hypnotic allure is called the beautiful mystery )? Yes, indeed, and in the hands of the masterful Penny, the topic proves every bit as able to transfix readers as the chants do their listeners. It begins when the choir director of a monastery in a remote corner of Quebec is murdered, his skull bashed in with a rock. Outsiders are not allowed inside the monastery's walls, where 24 cloistered monks pray, make chocolate, and sing though a few years earlier, a homemade recording of their chants was released and created a sensation, helped along by the inaccessibility of the artists. Now, with the murder, the doors of the monastery are opened to Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, charged with finding a killer among a group of largely silent monks, who, it quickly becomes apparent, are engaged in a civil war over their music, but one fought with glances and small gestures until now, when rocks have been added to the arsenal. P. D. James, of course, has made a career out of taking her sleuth, Adam Dalgliesh, into closed worlds to investigate murders, and while Penny follows that formula, she layers her plots more intricately than does James, this time adding an entire contrapuntal plot concerning Gamache, Beauvoir, their relationship, the secrets each conceals, and the demons each continues to fight. The deepest passions could appear dispassionate, the face a smooth plain while something mammoth roiled away underneath, Gamache thinks, expressing not only his frustration with the case but, inadvertently, the coming crisis in his relationship with Beauvoir. Of course, there is always something mammoth roiling away beneath the surface of Penny's novels but this time the roiling is set against the serenity of the chanting, producing a melody of uncommon complexity and beauty. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A major marketing campaign and a 150,000-copy first printing will launch Penny's latest in style.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780312655464 Penny's (A Trick of the Light) eighth elegant entry in her Agatha Award-winning series is a locked-room mystery set in a remote monastery deep in the wilderness of northern Quebec. There are 24 cloistered monks. One is dead. There are only 23 suspects. The monks have taken a vow of silence, except that they made the most beautiful recording of Gregorian chant ever heard. And it caused a schism. And then a murder. Chief Inspector Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Surete du Quebec come to investigate the murder and the difficulties in this formerly peaceful order that caused it. It also brings the viper within the Surete to this remote place and exposes the rot inside Gamache's own house. VERDICT This heart-rending tale is a marvelous addition to Penny's acclaimed series. Fans won't be disappointed. [See Prepub Alert, 7/5/12.]-Marlene Harris, Reading Reality LLC, Atlanta (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2012 (Best First)
Lowcountry boil : a Liz Talbot mystery
 Susan M. Boyer
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781938383045 When PI Liz Talbot learns that her grandmother has been murdered at her South Carolina island home, she returns to Stella Maris, where she will stay until she can help solve the shocking homicide. Two other factors sway this decision: the ghost of her late best friend from high school is talking to her, and she inherited Gram's house. Her big brother, Blake, who is also chief of police, doesn't want her meddling-as if his hardheaded sister is giving him a choice. Plenty of secrets, long--simmering feuds, and greedy ventures make for a captivating read. VERDICT Boyer's chick lit PI debut charmingly showcases South Carolina island culture. Her light paranormal garnered nominations for the 2012 RITA Golden Heart Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A nice pairing with Sue Ann Jaffarian's "Ghost of Granny Apples" series. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781938383045 When PI Liz Talbot learns that her grandmother has been murdered at her South Carolina island home, she returns to Stella Maris, where she will stay until she can help solve the shocking homicide. Two other factors sway this decision: the ghost of her late best friend from high school is talking to her, and she inherited Gram's house. Her big brother, Blake, who is also chief of police, doesn't want her meddling-as if his hardheaded sister is giving him a choice. Plenty of secrets, long--simmering feuds, and greedy ventures make for a captivating read. VERDICT Boyer's chick lit PI debut charmingly showcases South Carolina island culture. Her light paranormal garnered nominations for the 2012 RITA Golden Heart Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A nice pairing with Sue Ann Jaffarian's "Ghost of Granny Apples" series. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2012 (Best Nonfiction)
Books to Die For: The Worlds Greatest Mystery Writers on the Worlds Greatest Mystery Novels
Book Jacket   John Connolly
2012 (Best Childrens)
The Code Busters Club, Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton Key
Book Jacket   Penny Warner
 
2012 (Best Historical)
Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder
 Catriona McPherson
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781250007377 McPherson's sixth cozy set in 1920s Scotland markedly improves on its predecessor, 2011's Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains. When Mirren Aitken, a department store heiress, goes missing, Mirren's mother asks well-to-do sleuth Dandy to track her down. Aitkens' Emporium ("Tailors, Mantle Makers, Silk Merchants, Domestic Bazaar") is in bitter competition with another store in the town of Dunfermline, House of Hepburn ("Hosiers, Glovers, Clothiers and Milliners"). The Aitkens fear that Mirren has eloped with Dugald Hepburn, a scion of the rival family. Before long, Dandy must tackle a related homicide, only to become a suspect herself. Dorothy Sayers's fans will find many aspects of Harriet Vane in Dandy, who really comes into her own in this installment. The strong plot offers a truly baffling traditional murder mystery, which bodes well for future books in the series. Agent: Lisa Moylett, Coombs Moylett Literary Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. An upper-class sleuth finds herself entangled in a family feud. Dandy Gilver is asked to come to Dunfermline, Scotland, to find a missing young woman. Mirren, the youngest Aitken, has gone missing, and the family fears that she's run off with Dougie, scion of their bitter rivals the Hepburns. Each family owns a department store, and several generations ago the former friends had a falling-out when an Aitken pinched a Hepburn girl. Today the stores are wildly different, reflecting the personalities of each family: the Aitkens stodgy and old-fashioned, the Hepburns a paean to 1920s fashion. Dandy arrives on the day of Aitken's 50th year anniversary. While she's attending the celebrations at the store, she finds Mirren shot dead. Her mother Abigail confesses to the crime but is soon discounted as a suspect. The police suspect Dandy herself of involvement when she discovers Dougie's body on top of the Aitken store elevator. Both families and the police call the deaths suicides and blame each other. Their certainty threatens to put Dandy out of a job. But her instincts tell her that there's much more to the mystery, and she and her partner Alec continue to dig up family secrets, revealing some horrifying information worthy of murder. McPherson (Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains, 2011, etc.) continues her impressively precise imitation of Golden Age models--right down to the appended family tree, which is quite necessary to help sort everything out. ]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781250007377 The deaths of two star-crossed lovers from rival retail families leave unanswered questions for sleuth Dandy Gilver and her partner, Alec Osborne. Summoned by the Aitkens family matriarch to find her missing granddaughter, Dandy discovers 20-year-old Mirren Aitkens shot in the attic of Aitkens' Emporium during the store's golden jubilee. On the day of Mirren's funeral, Dandy spots the body of Dugald Hepburn, grandson of the founder of the modish House of Hepburn, on top of the Aitkens' elevator. The questions of how each died, and why family opposition to their match was stronger than business rivalry would seem to warrant, keep Dandy and Alec on the case, as they uncover decades-old secrets involving twists in the two families' bloodlines. Letters between the lovers that bracket the story underscore the toll taken by this secrecy. Despite some lighthearted moments about merchandising in 1927 Scotland and Dandy's musings on the relative status of female and male detectives this sixth in the series (after Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains, 2011) seems a more somber but no less proficient period mystery.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250007377 Following last year's stellar entry (Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains), amateur sleuth Dandyis learning more about department stores than she had planned. Scotland comes alive in this witty 1920s historical series. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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