crime/suspense fiction

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The Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey

Emily, Lady Polbrook is dead, strangled in her bed and her husband, Lord Randal Polbrook left the house in a tearing hurry in the small hours of the morning.  No one in the household believes the Marquis to be guilty but with the Bow Street Runners looking for him they need proof of his innocence. Mrs.

A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley

Detective David "Kubu" Bengu is called on to untangle the puzzle of a badly mangled corpse.  Hyenas have partially destroyed the body but there is no doubt it is murder, the victim's teeth have been knocked out, finger tips removed and most telling there is no vehicle near by in a spot where no one would venture on foot.  This is the first in a new series featuring an interesting cast of chartacters, a tricky puzzle to solve and wonderful setting.  I also enjoyed the second in the series, The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu.

The Secret in Their Eyes by Eduardo Sacheri

Recently retired Benjamin Chaparro, a longtime deputy clerk in Argentina's judicial system, decides to write about an old case that began with the brutal murder of a young woman in 1968. Against the backdrop of Argentina's "Dirty War"of the 1970s, his story explores the nature of justice, friendship and love.  This is a page-turner that was made into an Oscar-winning foreign film with the same title.  The movie is good; the book is better.

A Double Death on the Black Isle by A.D. Scott

Set in the Scottish Highlands in the mid-1950s, this mystery features Joanne Ross, a typist at the Highland Gazette newspaper struggling to create a new life for herself and her two young daughters after leaving an abusive husband. Her personal connections to two men who turn up dead on the same day give her a chance to try her hand at reporting that challenges her loyalties. Great local color for those who love Scotland, plus a real sense of what it was like to be a woman in the post-war years before feminism had made much headway.

An Uncertain Place by Fred Vargas

Another strange case for Paris police chief Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg involving vampires, political skullduggery and a troubled adult son he didn't know he had. The story begins in a meandering, vague sort of way with Adamsberg relying on his famous intuition as seemingly unrelated events come together and the suspense quickens. If you're already a fan of this intriguing and unorthodox French cop, you won't want to miss this latest title in the series.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Chester's Mill, Maine finds itself suddenly and inexplicably cut off from the outside world when a 20,000 foot high transparent dome descends from out of nowhere. Who created this situation and why are only two of the questions the increasingly desperate denizens of this beleaguered town have to address as King spins a yarn full of unlikely heroes, monstrous pretenders to power and nefarious doings beyond the known universe. Mayhem rules. But so does redemption. A fast paced tale populated with a great cast of characters both good and evil.

The Cut by George Pelecanos

From his 1992 debut novel (A Firing Offense) to his latest effort (The Cut

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

This debut novel is a little bit gritty, a little bit gothic.  Set in mid-century, rural Ohio and West Virginia, Pollock's landscapes are as bleak as his characters' lives.  Pollock introduces us to a cast of orphans, preachers and murderers whose lives all seem to intersect.  This is a page turner of the darker sort.  Check Our Catalog

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John LeCarre

This first novel in LeCarre’s Karla Trilogy is definitely worth a read, especially as it is being remade into a movie later this year.  Set at the height of the Cold War, LeCarre’s hero, the British Secret Service Agent George Smiley, is forced out of retirement and placed in charge of finding the Soviet mole within the British ranks.  The excellent pacing and intrigue will keep you turning the pages until the mole is uncovered. 

One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Another stellar title in this well-above-average mystery series featuring the Reverend Clare Fergusson and Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne. The books are set in the small town of Millers Kill, New York and feature consistently interesting plots and the evolving relationship between the priest and the police chief.  This latest (and seventh) novel explores the aftermath of war when five local veterans return home and struggle to adjust to everyday life after disturbing tours of duty in Iraq.

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