Mystery Reviews

MURDER AT THE PTA by Laura Alden

Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden is a promising first in a new series. Its gossipy characters, small-town setting and reluctant sleuth add just the right mix of charm and complication.
Murder at the PTA Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451231093
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Published: Berkley Books - October 5th, 2010

A brand-new series in which murder is anything but elementary

After Tarver Elementary School's unpopular principal is murdered, PTA secretary and mother of two Beth Kennedy puts aside bake sales and class trip fund-raisers to catch a killer. And when members of the PTA become suspects, she realizes solving this murder will not be as easy as ABC...


Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell have returned to England and a mystery that cuts deep into Holmes’ past and heart. In THE LANGUAGE OF BEES, thrilling adventure and more logical deduction ensues! Pick up this one now in paperback to prepare for its immediate sequel -- GOD OF THE HIVE -- just released this spring.
The Language of Bees: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (Mary Russell Novels) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553588347
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Published: Bantam - April 27th, 2010

For Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, returning to the Sussex coast after seven months abroad was especially sweet. There was even a mystery to solve--the unexplained disappearance of an entire colony of bees from one of Holmes's beloved hives.

THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH by Jacqueline Winspear

Another fine entry in the Maisie Dobbs series. This novel is a thoughtful exploration of the hopes and dreams of the WWI generation, whose lives and futures were forever changed. THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH is a good mystery story with such fabulous characters! Winspear is particularly adept at evoking the time and place of late 1920s and early 1930s England.
The Mapping of Love and Death: A Maisie Dobbs Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061727689
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Published: Harper Perennial - February 22nd, 2011

From New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Winspear, now available in paperback—the newest installment in the New York Times bestselling series, Maisie Dobbs is hired to unravel a case of wartime love and death, an investigation that leads her to a doomed affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse.

THIS BODY OF DEATH by Elizabeth George

THIS BODY OF DEATH by Elizabeth George finds Thomas Lynley (still grieving after his wife’s murder) back at Scotland Yard, investigating the murder of a young woman. His old team is having a hard time dealing with the new department chief, a woman, who may or may not get Lynley’s old job. A seemingly unrelated crime runs through the narrative, which adds to the mystery.
This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel (A Lynley Novel) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061160912
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Published: Harper - January 25th, 2011

"George explores her characters' dreams and fears with a penetrating grace that makes reading her books a joy."
Washington Post Book World

"Elizabeth George reigns as queen of the mystery genre. The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published."
Entertainment Weekly

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING by Nancy Pickard will be published in May, and what a wonderful novel/mystery to look forward to. The writing is first rate, and the mystery involving. Set in a small farming community in Kansas, the story follows the Linder family, the major ranching family in the community.
The Scent of Rain and Lightning Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345471024
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Published: Ballantine Books - February 1st, 2011

One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder receives shocking news: The man convicted of murdering her father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-three years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead.

THE BLACK CAT by Martha Grimes

Having the privilege of reading books before their publication date is one of the joys of working at the Raven Bookstore.
The Black Cat (Richard Jury Mysteries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451232946
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Published: Berkley Books - February 1st, 2011

Richard Jury is still dealing with the guilt of the accident that sent Lu Aquilar into a coma. But then he gets assigned the case of a beautiful woman who was murdered on the grounds of a pub called the Black Cat. And the only witness is a black cat. The woman is unidentifiable-but Jury is going to see that the person responsible is known to all...


For those of you familiar with the mystery, “Who in the Hell is Wanda Fuca?" By G.M. Ford, you are aware of this writer’s sense of humor.
Nameless Night Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780060874438
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper - February 1st, 2009

The critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the Frank Corso and Leo Waterman series returns with a spellbinding novel of vanished lives and heinous betrayals that races, twists, and turns like a roller coaster running wild.


Though usually more comfortable with non-fiction books, I’ve read my share of cozy mysteries and have recently found a series I really enjoy. Blaize Clement’s Dixie Hemingway series about a cat/dog sitter features fast-moving plots, fully rounded characters, accurate animal information and a Florida Keys setting that offers vicarious sunsets and breezes for these cold, gray months.
Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780312369576
Availability: Backordered
Published: Minotaur Books - December 29th, 2009

"Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter" introduced a winning sleuth in Florida pet sitter Dixie Hemingway, and the next books in the series, "Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund" and "Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues," firmly established author Blaize Clement as a new star amongst mystery fans. Now Dixie Hemingway, no relation to you-know-who, is back in this fourth riveting installment.

THE DEAD OF WINTER by Rennie Airth

The award-winning Rennie Airth has a new British mystery, featuring World War I veteran Inspector John Madden and is set in London in 1944. THE DEAD OF WINTER finds the inspector investigating the death of his housekeeper, and clues lead to a Parisian furrier, stolen diamonds and a Resistance member. Lots of atmosphere and twists and turns--a fascinating mystery. (Harcover, $25.95).
The Dead of Winter: A John Madden Mystery (John Madden Mysteries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117247
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Published: Penguin Books - June 29th, 2010

" Rennie Airth's] meticulously detailed procedural mysteries are beautifully written . . . well worth reading, and rereading."--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

Rennie Airth's The Death of Kings is now available from Viking.