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September 20, 2017: Mary Birk, Mermaids of Bodega Bay (Terrence Reid Mystery #1)
Suspecting that his estranged wife is having an affair with a famous artist from a renowned American art dynasty, Scottish Superintendent Terrence Reid, heir to a whiskey fortune and Scottish title, travels to the small California seaside town of Bodega Bay to try to win her back—only to discover that her lover’s six-year-old daughter has just been kidnapped. Anne, a talented historic garden designer, doesn’t know whether to bless or curse the luck that had her husband show up on her doorstep just as disaster strikes the Grainger Art Colony. Moving on after he left her was hard, but she’d done it with Andrew Grainger’s help. When Anne and her lover become the FBI’s chief suspects, Reid, compelled to exonerate the woman he still loves, steps in to investigate—and in the process, uncovers a shocking web of deceit and danger.
October 18, 2017: Barbara Nickless, Blood on the Tracks (Sydney Rose Parnell Mystery #1)
A young woman is found brutally murdered, and the main suspect is the victim’s fiancé, a hideously scarred Iraq War vet known as the Burned Man. But railroad police Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell, brought in by the Denver Major Crimes unit to help investigate, can’t shake the feeling that larger forces are behind this apparent crime of passion.
In the depths of an icy winter, Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde―both haunted by their time in Iraq―descend into the underground world of a savage gang of rail riders. There, they uncover a wide-reaching conspiracy and a series of shocking crimes. Crimes that threaten everything Parnell holds dear.
As the search for the truth puts her directly in the path of the killer, Parnell must struggle with a deadly question: Can she fight monsters without becoming one herself?
November 15, 2017: Shawn McGuire, Family Secrets: A Whispering Pines Mystery
Sixteen years after a family feud drove her from the cozy Northwoods village of Whispering Pines, Wisconsin, former detective Jayne O’Shea returns to prepare her grandparents’ lake house for sale. Once there, not only does she find that the house has been trashed, her dog discovers a dead body in the backyard.
Jayne intends to stay out of it, but when it becomes obvious the sheriff isn’t interested in investigating the death, Jayne can’t stop herself. Her list of suspects grows faster than the plants in the commons’ pentacle garden. Could it be the local Wiccan green witch with her stash of deadly plants? The shopkeeper who slips into trances and foretells death? The visitor determined to practice black magic?
What Jayne knows for sure is that the closer she gets to solving this crime, the more the sheriff wants her to back off. And when a local fortune teller provides a crucial clue, Jayne knows it’s up to her to solve this murder.
Fans of Denise Grover Swank, Charlaine Harris, and Janet Evanovich will love the quirky small town setting with its even quirkier residents.
January 17, 2018: Beatrice Bruno, The Baby Chronicles: Where You Were Before You Were
The Baby Chronicles is the story behind the scenes of creation of four “pre-born” baby girls who eventually meet in the US Army: Beverley, Emmaline, Joyce, and Margarette Ann. Although many of the pre-borns you meet are excited about the prospect of having an “Earth assignment,” at least three of the main four would rather stay in Heaven with Abba. They don’t want to carry out their mission on Earth, especially with the families they have been assigned to. If you have ever wondered where you were before you existed on Earth this book will give you pause to think of the possibilities you had before you were even born.
February 21, 2018: Cynthia Kuhn, The Semester of Our Discontent (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #1)
English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University, until she finds one of her colleagues dead. She soon learns that everyone, from the chancellor to the detective working the case, believes Lila—or someone she is protecting—may be responsible for the horrific event, so she assigns herself the task of identifying the killer.
More attacks on professors follow, the only connection a curious symbol at each of the crime scenes. Putting her scholarly skills to the test, Lila gathers evidence, but her search is complicated by an unexpected nemesis, a suspicious investigator, and an ominous secret society. Rather than earning an “A” for effort, she receives a threat featuring the mysterious emblem and must act quickly to avoid failing her assignment…and becoming the next victim.
March 21, 2018: Peg Brantley, Trafficked: A Mex Anderson Novel
Sex trafficking. Not Thailand. Or the Philippines. Or Russia. America. Rich or poor, black or white, girls disappear across this country every day, pulled into the nightmarish world of prostitution and drugs. Mex Anderson is back, tasked with finding three missing girls before it’s too late. Three girls. Three girls who could live in your town, your neighborhood, or in your own home. Jayla Imani Thomas is fifteen. A smart kid from a poor part of town who has to fend for herself. Jayla is headed for college and a better life than her mother had. Alexis Emily Halston is seventeen. Money provides everything she wants or needs except functional parents. Alexis has the world by the tail and she knows it. Olivia Emma Campbell is twelve. She’s a middle child who dreams of being a veterinarian when she grows up. But right now “Livvy” just wants someone to notice her, maybe even to love her. Caught up in a cruel system fueled by lust and money, all three young women must find the courage within themselves to survive. And Mex must come to terms with his own loss and face his demons head on—or he might not have the strength to save them.
April 18, 2018: Becky Clark, Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery #1)
Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thought the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books were only the products of her imagination. That is, until her agent is found dead exactly as described in her new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.
The police care more about Charlee’s feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who’s skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, her imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?
May 16, 2018: Lisa Brown Roberts, The Replacement Crush
After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determine to protect her heart. But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission- and Vivian’s zing meter – into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where she works, Dallas wages a counter-mission. Operation Replacement Crush in is full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.
June 20, 2018: Sue Hinkin, Deadly Focus
When photojournalist Lucy Vega is dispatched to cover a Malibu canyon car wreck, she is horrified to discover the victim is her beloved uncle. The coroner on scene declares his death accidental, but when a leading homicide detective appears at the site along with the counter-terrorism chief, she suspects other chilling possibilities.
Lucy and reporter Bea Middleton begin to piece together the disturbing puzzle behind the murder. As the picture gains clarity, they find themselves confronting a dangerous Mexican drug cartel where Lucy’s psychopathic nemesis and former colleague is the puppet master intent on her destruction.
Reluctantly partnering with Michael Burleson, a handsome network war correspondent in the grip of his own erratic demons, Lucy follows the trail deep into the heroin-trafficking foothills of central Mexico. Surrounded by corruption, betrayal, and brutality, where everyone’s in the cartel’s deep pocket, Lucy, Bea, and Burleson risk all to find the truth.
July 18, 2018: Laura DiSilverio, That Last Weekend
A woman risking everything for answers.
Every year for a decade, five college friends spent a weekend together at the atmospheric Chateau du Cygne Noir. Then, tragedy struck.
Ten years later, Laurel Muir returns to the castle for the first time since the accident, hoping to reconnect with her friends and lay the past to rest. When a murderer attacks, it rips open old wounds and forces the women to admit there’s a killer in their midst. The remaining friends make a pact to unearth the truth, but suspicion, doubt, and old secrets threaten to tear them apart. Unsure who to trust, Laurel puts herself in harm’s way, risking it all for friendship and long-delayed justice.
August 15, 2018: Chris Goff, Dark Waters
Raisa “Rae” Jordan, an agent for the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, isn’t in Israel for more than a day before her predecessor is assassinated in a Tel Aviv square. Assigned to investigate, she must also protect Judge Ben Taylor and his teenage daughter, who may be the next targets. They are most certainly being threatened by a desperate cadre of terrorists with their sights set on the Secretary of State’s upcoming visit. But is an attack on the Secretary of State all that they have planned or is that just the beginning?
There are no protocols for this kind of a situation, and following the rules is exactly the kind of thing that could get the Taylors killed. To subvert an attack that could crush the fledgling peace in the Middle East, Jordan must trust her instincts and bring together a contentious team of agents from Israel, the U.S., and the Palestinian territories to uncover a conspiracy years in the making.
With millions of lives hanging in the balance, Dark Waters, Chris Goff’s explosive thriller, is a series debut that mirrors global headlines and will have readers frantically turning pages.
September 19, 2018: Margaret Mizushima, Hunting Hour (Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries #3)
Deputy Mattie Cobb is in a dark place and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to work on issues from her past. When she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student, they find the girl dead on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, and Mattie must head to the Walker home to break the bad news. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing―and this time it’s one of Cole’s daughters.
Knowing that each hour a child remains missing lessens the probability of finding her alive, Mattie and Robo lead the hunt while Cole and community volunteers join in to search everywhere. To no avail. It seems that someone has snatched all trace of the Walker girl from their midst, including her scent. Grasping at straws, Mattie and Robo follow a phoned-in tip into the dense forest, where they hope to find a trace of the girl’s scent and to rescue her alive. But when Robo does catch her scent, it leads them to information that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case.
Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down the kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.
October 17, 2018: Nora Page, Better Off Read
Septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins won’t be shushed when an upstart young mayor threatens to permanently shelve her tiny town’s storm-damaged library. She takes to her bookmobile, Words on Wheels, to collect allies and rally library support throughout Catalpa Springs, Georgia.
However, Cleo soon rolls into trouble. A major benefactor known for his eccentric DIY projects requests all available books on getting away with murder. He’s no Georgia peach, and Cleo wonders if she should worry about his plans. She knows she should when she discovers him bludgeoned and evidence points to her best friend, Mary-Rose Garland.
Sure of Mary-Rose’s innocence, Cleo applies her librarian’s sleuthing skills to the case, assisted by friends, family, and the dapper antiquarian bookseller everyone keeps calling her boyfriend. Evidence stacks up, but a killer is overdue to strike again. With lives and her library on the line, Cleo must shift into high gear to close the book on murder in Better Off Read, the charming Bookmobile series debut by Nora Page.
November 14, 2018: L.S. Hawker, End of the Road
When tech prodigy Jade Veverka creates a program to communicate with her autistic sister, she’s tapped by a startup to explore the potential applications of her technology. But Jade quickly begins to notice some strange things about the small Kansas town just beyond the company’s campus–why are there no children anywhere to be seen, and for that matter, anyone over the age of forty? Why do all of the people living here act uncomfortable and jumpy?
On the way home one night, Jade and her co-worker are run off the road, and their lab and living spaces are suddenly overrun with armed guards, purportedly for their safety. Confined to the compound and questioning what her employers might be hiding from her, Jade fears she’s losing control not only of her invention, but of her very life. It soon becomes clear that the threat reaches far beyond Jade and her family, and the real danger is much closer than she’d ever imagined.