From a Raven's Shelf: September 2023

From a Raven's Shelf

September 2023 Edition

By Sarah Young


Hello, Friends,

Here we are in September already, and there are trees beginning to flush up with a little red here and there. It’s hard to believe that another summer has drawn to a close. I’ve enjoyed quite a variety of books this summer and have written about several of them. This last month I could not resist picking up the second in the Marlow Murder Club series that I wrote about last month. Death Comes to Marlow is a delightful sequel by Robert Thorogood that continues the adventures of Judith Potts and her band of merry murder solvers, so if you were enchanted by the first book, I can heartily recommend the second in the series.

Now, I’m not a particularly good cook, but I have always enjoyed the various mysteries that involve a cooking/catering theme, often with yummy-looking recipes included. However, Colleen Cambridge has taken on the ultimate cooking theme with Mastering the Art of French Murder, in which the one and only Julia Child along with her American friend and confidant Tabitha Knight attempt to solve the murder of a young woman found in the cellar of Julia’s building. I love good historical mysteries, and Cambridge has skillfully evoked the era of post-WWII Paris and given a mystery novel voice to the wonderful Julia Child.

I guess I was in a historical mystery mode this month because I also thoroughly enjoyed A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons by Kate Khavari. This book has been around about a year, but I have not had a chance to get to it until now, and I’m sorry I waited so long. Set in London in 1923, it features Saffron Everleigh who is the first woman to hold a research position at University College of London. When one of the professors’ wives falls victim to an unknown poison at a university party, Saffron investigates the mysterious poisoning. As a botanist, she is uniquely positioned to investigate the source of the deadly poison, even to use herself as a test subject. I am thrilled with this new series and ready to start the next book.

I also returned to my favorite series by Elizabeth Peters this month by jumping into The Last Camel Died at Noon. You will remember that I am a devoted fan of Peters and her series about female archaeologist Amelia Peabody and her extraordinary family first chronicled in Crocodile on the Sandbank. I used to read all the books each summer to prepare for the inevitable fall new release. Alas, Barbara Mertz (AKA Elizabeth Peters) has left us, so there are no new novels to look forward to. The Last Camel Died at Noon is about the sixth in the series and marks a pivotal shift in the story of these characters. If you took my advice and read Crocodile, you can easily pick up this one. It is dense but funny and in the inimitable voice of Amelia Peabody we discover new and fascinating ancient worlds.

Last month, I promised to report on the new William Kent Krueger novel The River We Remember. I am pleased to report that Krueger once again does not disappoint. He is a master storyteller whose novels can tear at the heart but renew the soul. The River We Remember is a novel you will not soon forget. Set in the small town of Jewel, Minnesota, the novel begins on Decoration Day, about a decade after the end of WWII. When the body of a wealthy landowner is discovered in the river, events are set in motion that expose the rifts and tensions caused by racial prejudice and the wounds of war both physical and emotional. It is an unflinching and honest look at mid-century American society that feels uncomfortably familiar. This is my staff pick this month in the store as well.

I thought I’d spend a little time here wrapping up the winners announced at Bouchercon 2023 this year. You might recall that the major awards presented at Bouchercon are the Anthonys and the Barry Awards.

The Anthony Award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), who was a writer and critic at the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. The winners are voted on by attendees of the convention in the months before the convention is held.

The Anthony Award for Best Critical/Non-Fiction Novel: The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators by Martin Edwards
The Anthony Award for Best Short Story: “Beauty and the Beyotch” by Barb Goffman (Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Feb. 2022, Issue 29)
The Anthony Award for Best Short Story Anthology: Crime Hits Home: A Collection of Stories from Crime Fiction’s Top Authors ed. by S.J. Rozan
The Anthony Award for Best YA/Children’s: Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade by Nancy Springer
The Anthony Award for Best Debut (First Novel): The Maid by Nita Prose
The Anthony Award for Best Humorous Novel: Scot in a Trap by Catriona McPherson
The Anthony Award for Best Paperback, E-book, Audiobook Original: The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey
The Anthony Award for Best Hardcover Novel: Like A Sister by Kellye Garrett

The other major mystery award presented at Bouchercon is the Barry Award. The Barry Awards are voted on by the readers of Deadly Pleasures. The awards began in 1997 and are named in honor of Barry Gardner.

The Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel: Desert Star by Michael Connelly
The Barry Award for Best First Mystery: The Maid by Nita Prose
The Barry Award for Best Thriller: Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

As we run out the year toward the holidays, publishers are releasing their “big guns,” the books expected to be hits. They are also releasing many wonderful “sleepers” that may not be getting the kind of pre-publicity that some books are but among whom we might find some of the nominees for the 2024 awards. Come in and browse the shelves; you might find your next favorite writer this fall.

Happy Reading to you all!


Death Comes to Marlow: A Novel (The Marlow Murder Club) By Robert Thorogood Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781728250540
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Poisoned Pen Press - May 30th, 2023

"Fiendishly clever." —Kirkus Reviews

"Judith and Co have to bring all their bonkers interview techniques and leaps of logic into play to uncover the truth."Crime Fiction Lover 


Mastering the Art of French Murder: A Charming New Parisian Historical Mystery (An American In Paris Mystery #1) By Colleen Cambridge Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781496739599
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Kensington - April 25th, 2023

Fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Marie Benedict, Nita Prose, and of course, Julia Child, will adore this magnifique new mystery set in Paris and starring Julia Child’s (fictional) best friend, confidante, and fellow American.


A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons (A Saffron Everleigh Mystery #1) By Kate Khavari Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781639102709
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Crooked Lane Books - April 4th, 2023

The Lost Apothecary meets Dead Dead Girls in this fast-paced, STEMinist adventure.

Debut author Kate Khavari deftly entwines a pulse-pounding mystery with the struggles of a woman in a male-dominated field in 1923 London.


The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody #6) By Elizabeth Peters Cover Image
$10.00
ISBN: 9781455572373
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 28th, 2013

It's true: the last camel is gone, leaving Amelia, Emerson and Ramses to bake under the desert sun in the winter of 1897. Armed with a mysterious note and map, they have been commissioned to locate a lost English aristocrat and his wife, who disappeared over a decade ago. In this tribute to H.


Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1) By Elizabeth Peters Cover Image
$10.00
ISBN: 9781455572359
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 28th, 2013

Meet Egyptologist Amelia Peabody in the first mystery in the Victorian-era set, New York Times bestselling "sparkling series" (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review).

"If Indiana Jones were female, a wife, and a mother who lived in Victorian times, he would be Amelia Peabody Emerson."--Publishers Weekly


The River We Remember: A Novel By William Kent Krueger Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781982179212
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Atria Books - September 5th, 2023

AN EDGAR AWARD NOMINEE

In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by a shocking murder, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling novel, an instant New York Times bestseller and “a work of art” (The Denver Post).


The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators By Martin Edwards Cover Image
$32.99
ISBN: 9780008192426
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Collins Crime Club - August 30th, 2022

Winner of four major prizes for the best critical/biographical book related to crime fiction: the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and H.R.F. Keating Awards; and shortlisted for both the Agatha and Gold Dagger Awards.

'Martin Edwards is the closest thing there has been to a philosopher of crime writing.' The Times


Crime Hits Home: A Collection of Stories from Crime Fiction's Top Authors By S. J. Rozan Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781335449474
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Hanover Square Press - April 11th, 2023

*An Anthony Award 2023 Finalist*

Everyone has somewhere they feel safe. But even in these safest of places, sometimes...crime hits home. What happens then? In this volume, MWA brings together some of today's biggest crime writers--and some of our most exciting new talents--to consider this question, including:


Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade By Nancy Springer Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781250906229
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Wednesday Books - September 5th, 2023

Enola Holmes, Sherlock's much younger, and feistier, sister, returns in an adventure of a confused young Baronet's daughter who is on the run from her father's devious schemes in Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade.


The Maid: A Novel (Molly the Maid #1) By Nita Prose Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593356173
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Ballantine Books - January 3rd, 2023

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • “A heartwarming mystery with a lovable oddball at its center” (Real Simple), this cozy whodunit introduces a one-of-a-kind heroine who will steal your heart.
 


Scot in a Trap (Last Ditch Mystery #6) By Catriona McPherson Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781448307685
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
This book cannot be returned. Make sure what you're ordering is exactly what you want.
Published: Severn House - December 6th, 2022

WINNER OF THE 2023 ANTHONY AWARD FOR BEST HUMOROUS NOVEL

In this darkly funny mystery Lexy Campbell's first love turns up dead at the Last Ditch Motel on Thanksgiving . . . and she becomes the prime suspect


The Quarry Girls: A Thriller By Jess Lourey Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781542034296
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Thomas & Mercer - November 1st, 2022

Killers hiding in plain sight. Small-town secrets. A girl who knows too much. From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things and Bloodline comes a nerve-twisting novel inspired by a shocking true crime.


Like a Sister By Kellye Garrett Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316256773
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Mulholland Books - February 7th, 2023

In this "crackling domestic suspense" filled with "wry humor and deft pacing" (Alyssa Cole), no one bats an eye when a Black reality TV star is found dead—except her estranged half-sister, whose refusal to believe the official story leads her on a dangerous search for the truth.

Edgar Award Finalist for Best Novel
 • Anthony Awa


Desert Star (A Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch Novel) By Michael Connelly Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781538725016
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 6th, 2023

LAPD detective Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch team up to hunt the brutal killer who is Bosch’s “white whale”—a man responsible for the murder of an entire family.  Discover more thrilling Bosch mysteries in the original Freevee series Bosch: Legacy.

A year has passed since LAPD detective Renée Ballard quit the force in the face of


Killers of a Certain Age By Deanna Raybourn Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593200704
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Berkley - August 15th, 2023

Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon.