December 2020

 

Blanchard, Alice. The Wicked Hour (STM, 26.99) Dec. The discovery of the body of an unknown woman in a small New England the morning after a debauched Halloween celebration sends Detective Natalie Lockhart on the search for a killer who may have been responsible for a series of disappearances of women through the years.

 

Gilbert, Victoria. A Deadly Edition (CL, 26.99) Dec. Library Director Amy must take time out from wedding preparations to solve the murder of an art dealer and the disappearance of a rare illustrated book.

 

Lindsay, Jeff. Fool Me Twice (Dut, 27.00) Dec. In the second in the new series featuring master thief Riley Wolfe who is tasked with finding a stolen Faberge Egg in a suspenseful international romp.

 

MacRae, Molly. Heather and Homicide (Peg, 24.95) Dec. Highland bookshop manager Janet Marsh and her group of amateur sleuths have a new murder to solve when a true crime writer arrives in town to research a recent murder only to become a murder victim herself.

 

Ochse, Weston. Bone Chase (SS, 26.00) Dec. A supernatural thriller that combines history and suspense as a mathematician stumbles upon a global conspiracy with Biblical roots. For fans of James Rollins.

 

Perry, Thomas. Eddie's Boy (Mysterious Press, 26.00). The hired assassin from Perry's first, Edgar-winning novel returns when contract killers track him to England and make an attempt on his life years after he has retired, in a thriller that interweaves his past as an apprentice killer to his present as a man trying to save himself from a new generation of killers Perry writes literate and intelligent thrillers that are always suspensefully readable.

 

Tyce, Harriet. The Lies You Told (Hach, 28.00) Dec. In a new psychological thriller, an attorney recently moved to London after the breakup of her marriage is having difficulty adjusting because her daughter is unhappy in her new school , but when one of the mothers befriends her, it may be impacting the high-profile case she has been assigned. Tice does a wonderful job creating smart female characters who are seriously flawed.

 

Wingate, Marty. Murder is a Must (Brk, 26.00) Dec. In the second in this delightfully cozy series, Golden Age mystery library curator Hayley is planning an exhibition of the collection with the help of her former boss at the Jane Austen Society, but when they discover that a first edition copy of a Dorothy Sayers mystery has gone missing, the hunt for the precious book leads to murder.

 

New and Forthcoming in Paperback Reprint

Cameron, Marc. Stone Cross (Ken, 9.99) Dec.

Hurwitz, Gregg. Into the Fire (STM, 9.99) Dec.

James, Miranda. Careless Whiskers (Brk, 7.99) Dec.

 

 

New and Forthcoming in Paperback Original

Collins, Kate. A Big Fat Greek Murder (Ken, 8.99) Dec. In the second in this lively series, Athena and her family are involved in a wedding rehearsal that goes off the rails when the groom goes AWOL and then shows up with pair of scissors in his back.

Conte, Cate. Whisker of a Doubt (STM, 7.99) Dec. Cat café owner Maddie must keep Christmas from turning blue for her fellow volunteers at a cat rescue when one of the leading opponents of a feral cat colony in an upscale neighborhood is felled by a garden gnome.

Flower, Amanda. Courting Can Be Killer (Ken, 8.99) Dec. In the second in the Amish matchmaker series, amateur sleuth Millie Fischer investigates the tragic death of a young man whose desire to marry a young woman has everyone in the community up in arms.

Griffo, J.D. Murder at Veronica’s Diner (Ken, 8.99) Dec. When the waitress at their favorite diner in New Jersey is murdered right after handing them a package, the Ferrara Family realizes that they have a mystery to solve in the latest in this comic cozy series.

Innis, Louise R. Death at a Country Mansion (Ken, 8.99) Dec. In the first of a new series set in a small English village, a hairdresser investigates the death of a famous opera diva which might have appeared accidental except for the disappearance of a priceless painting.

Klein, Libby. Wine Tastings are Murder (Ken, 8.99) Dec. B&B owner Poppy must find a murderer with a lethal case of sour grapes when an unpleasant guest at a wine tasting she hosts is poisoned by a glass of a killer vintage.

Ross, Rosemarie. Finished off in Fondant (Ken, 8.99) Dec. Chef and cooking-show host Courtney is hosting a television season focusing on weddings at a swanky Poconos resort, but when her co-host is found next to the body of a woman fallen into a wedding cake, she knows that she must hunt for clues through layers of deception.

New and Forthcoming in Quality Paperback

 

Barber, Kathleen. Follow Me (SS, 16.00) Dec. A very creepy story that will make you rethink how much of your life you want to share online about a woman whose Instagram account inspires an obsessive fan who is determined to get to know her more deeply, and who finds a way to insert himself into her life.

Dorsey, Tim. Naked Came the Florida Man (Mor, 16.99) Dec. While on a tour of famous Florida cemeteries, Serge and Coleman come across the legend of a man haunting the sugar cane fields and decide to “investigate.” If you enjoy comic anarchy, you will love this series.

Fleischmann, Raymond. How Quickly She Disappears (Brk, 16.00) Dec. In a novel of obsession, a woman who lives in a remote area of Alaska is willing to risk her family and her life to discover what happened to her sister who disappeared when they were both children.

Harding, Robyn. The Arrangement (SS, 16.99) Dec. A struggling NYC art student is persuaded by a friend to become an escort, but she finds herself becoming obsessed with the successful older man she is seeing in a twisty tale of adultery, dark desires, and murder. I really liked this.

Hyde, Katherine Bolger. Death with Dostoevsky (SH, 17.95) Dec. Professor Emily Cavanaugh helps a young male student who becomes the chief suspect when a predatory female academic is found murdered, and unfortunately for him he has no alibi and no memory of the night of her death.

 

Kelly, Mary. The Spoilt Kill (PP, 14.99) Dec. In the second in this classic mystery series, Inspector Nicholson must investigate when a body is found in the clay tanks of a Staffordshire pottery factory in a case of industrial espionage and murder.

 

Kessler, Kate. Call of Vultures (LB, 16.99) Dec. PI Killian Delaney is hired to track down two missing sisters who have been indoctrinated into a high-profile cult and are living in a commune in upstate New York—and one of them refuses to leave.

 

Maldonado, Isabella. The Cipher (T&M, 15.95) Nov. In the first of a new series, an FBI special agent who escaped from a serial killer as a teenager is featured in a video years later that incites the killer to hunt for her again by committing a grisly murder to pull her into the investigation.

 

Melinek, Judy M.D. and T.J. Mitchell. First Cut (HC, 17.99) Dec. A San Francisco medical examiner investigates when a suspected overdose case suggests an underworld plot, even though her superiors encourage her to drop it, but soon more bodies show up.

 

Moore, Liz. Long Bright River (Png, 17.00) Dec. A policewoman in Philadelphia investigates when her drug-addicted sister goes missing at the same time as a series of murders rocks the city.

 

Myers, Tamar. Puddin’ on the Blitz (SH, 17.95). When a guest at the PennDutch Inn is poisoned by a chocolate torte from a newly-opened restaurant, Magdalena vows to find the killer, because her husband may have been the intended victim.

 

Nellums, Eliza. All That’s Bright and Gone (CL, 17.99) Dec. A debut mystery about a six-year-old girl who decides to find out who murdered her brother so that her mother will come home from the hospital—a charmingly unreliable narrator.

 

Perry, Thomas. A Small Town (Mys, 16.00) Dec. After a prison break that leads to 1000 prisoners rampaging through a small Colorado town, a police detective whose lover was killed in the violence learns that the twelve ringleaders are still at large and sets out to kill them with the secret backing of the town officials.

 

Rayne, Sarah. Music Macabre (SH, 17.95) Dec. London music researcher Phineas Fox goes to a newly-reopened restaurant that had been a music hall in the late nineteenth century as part of his research into the life of a notorious music-hall dancer who had been one of the loves of Franz Liszt, but his research puts him in danger.

 

Robinson, Peter. Many Rivers to Cross (HC, 16.99) Dec. Inspector Banks has to deal with two cases: the death of a heroin addict and the murder of an unidentified Muslim boy whose body was probably moved.

 

Tobey, Danny. The God Game (STM, 17.99) JNov A techno-thriller about five high-school boys who become involved with a video game that won’t let them quit. Tobey does an excellent job at creating a sense of horror and dread.

 

Walters, Damien Angelica. The Dead Girls Club (CL, 16.99) Dec. A supernatural thriller about two girls whose scary stories become all too real, leading to the death of one and a horror that follows the other into adulthood.

 

Wegert, Tessa. The Dead Season (Brk, 17.00) Dec. NYPD special investigator Shana Merchant finds that her move to a small town in upstate New York has not helped her escape her demons—or the serial killer who abducted her.

 

New and Forthcoming in International Mysteries

Aimaq, Jasmine. The Opium Prince (Soho, 27.95) Dec. A debut novel set in Afghanistan in the 1970s featuring a half-Afghan, half-American head of a US foreign aid agency dedicated to stopping the poppy trade, who accidentally kills a young nomad girl and who is later blackmailed by a drug lord.

Gilbers, Harald. Germania (STM, 28.99) Dec. A prizewinning mystery by a German writer set in Berlin in 944 and featuring a Jewish homicide detective who is forced by the Gestapo to help find a killer who is murdering women and laying their mutilated bodies on the bases of war memorials-a killer who has been described as a loyal Nazi.

Keplar, Lars. Lazarus (Knopf, 28.95) Dec. Joona Linna finds that his latest case has become personal when a killer targeting Europe’s worst criminals—human traffickers, drug lords, and murderers—turns his attention to seemingly innocent people.

Quartey, Kwei. The Missing American (Soho, 16.95) Dec. In the first of a new series set in Ghana, a young private investigator is hired by an American to find his missing father who came to Ghana to visit his online girlfriend to whom he has sent thousands of dollars in a case of Internet scams and fetish priests.

Roslund & Hellström, Three Hours (Quer, 26.99) Dec. Piet Hoffmann has infiltrated a Nigerian trafficking ring, but he must get out as soon as possible or he may not survive in the third in this international crime trilogy.

Tsao, Tiffany. The Majesties (SS, 17.00) Dec. After one of the daughters of a fabulously wealthy Chinese-Indonesian family poisons everyone during a family celebration, her sole surviving sister thinks back on her sister and the family secrets that bind them together as she fights for her life.

Tursten, Helene. Snow Drift (Soho, 27.95) Dec. When a well-known gangster is found shot dead in a guest house in rural Sweden DI Embla Nystrom believes that the death may be tied to the disappearance of her best friend fourteen years ago.

New and Forthcoming in Historical Mysteries

Arlen, Tessa. Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers (Brk, 16.00) Dec. In autumn of 1942, Poppy is working as a scriptwriter for a film unit producing short films for British civilians when two of the female pilots working to transport goods from factories to military airfields die in suspicious accidents.

Bell, Richard. Stolen (SS, 17.00) Dec. The true story of five boys who were kidnapped from their homes in Philadelphia in 1825 and sold into slavery in the South and their ordeal to escape and their attempt to bring the slave traders to justice—a heartrending story of bravery in the face of a cruel and immoral system.

Griffiths, Elly. Now You See Them (HMH, 15.95) Dec. The swinging sixties have arrived in Brighton and with it comes the disappearance of members of a group of girls, and while DI Edgar Stephens and Max Mephisto investigate, Emma, now Edgar’s wife and a mother, starts an investigation of her own. This is an excellent series.

 

McAllister, Greer. The Arctic Fury (SB, 15.99) Dec. A dozen women join an Arctic expedition in the 1850s sponsored by an eccentric British woman who hires them to discover what happened to a missing expedition led by her husband, but when some of them fail to return, one of them is accused of murder in a thriller based on historical fact.

Moreira, Peter. Hitman on Haight (SS, 18.00) Dec. A SFPD detective must find who killed and dismembered the hippie daughter of an industrialist, leaving her body in Golden Gate Park in the second in the series set in the 1960s in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco.

Patrick, Renee. Script for Scandal (SH, 17.95) Jan. In the third in this series set in 1930s Hollywood, designer Edith Head works with a friend to clear the name of the friend’s boyfriend, a policeman who is implicated in a bank robbery ring according to the script of a new film.

 

Best Mysteries of 2020

Blake, James Carlos. The Bones of Wolfe (PGW, 26.00). The Wolfe brothers are ordered by the family matriarch to track down a performer in a porn film who has a resemblance to her long-lost sister, but the performer is the favorite of leader of the Sinaloa cartel who won’t give her up without a fight. I love this series.

Clark, Clare. In the Full Light of the Sun (HMH, 16.99). An art-history mystery set in Weimar-era Berlin and based on a real-life forgery scandal, this is the story of an art dealer with an impressive collection of van Gogh paintings, an aging art-expert with a knack for identifying forgeries, and a Jewish lawyer whose involvement in the scheme reflects the rising threats to his professional and personal life.

Dewitt, Jasper. The Patient (HMH, 23.00). In a debut novel of suspense with a tinge of the paranormal, a young psychiatrist at New England mental facility becomes fascinated by a patient who has the ability to cause those he encounters to go mad or to commit suicide.

Elon, Emuna. House on Endless Waters (SS, 17.00). An Israeli writer travels to Amsterdam where he is shocked to discover a pre-WWII photograph of his parents in the National Jewish Museum, leading him to research his mother’s resistance work during the war, saving Jewish children from the Nazis. I loved this.

 

Engberg, Katrine. The Tenant (SS, 16.99). A retired Copenhagen academic is shocked by the murder of her tenant in a flat two floors below her, especially because the details of the woman’s death were lifted from the manuscript of a murder mystery that the academic was writing.

 

Harris, Robert. The Second Sleep (Knopf, 16.95) Aug. In a small village in England, a young priest arrives to officiate at the funeral of the parish priest who died in a fall, but he discovers that the man’s interest in collecting all kinds of artefacts may have had sinister—and heretical—implications in a clever and dark dystopian mystery.

Hendricks, Greer and Sarah Pekkanen. You Are Not Alone (STM, 27.99) Mar. After a lonely woman witnesses a stranger throwing herself in front of a Manhattan subway train, she impulsively shows up at the woman’s memorial service, where she meets her friends, who in turn worry that the victim had talked to the witness about their vigilante justice system.

Le Carré, John. Agent Running in the Field (Vik, 17.00). A veteran of British Intelligence is asked to take on one last assignment, to take over a ragtag group of spies whose value has increased with the rise of Putin’s Russia, and soon advocates for a covert op aimed at a Ukrainian oligarch who has links to the pro-Putin group in that country in a timely spy thriller.

March, Nev. Murder in Old Bombay (STM, 26.99) Nov. A prizewinning debut set in Bombay in 1892 where an Anglo-Indian officer who worships Sherlock Holmes investigates the deaths of two women from a rich and powerful family.

McGarrity, Michael. Head Wounds (Norton, 26.95) Nov. In the last of the Kevin Kerney series, Kevin’s son Clayton Istee investigates the murder of a couple in a Las Cruces motel in a case that is tied to the Mexican drug cartels. McGarrity never writes the same book twice and they’re all good.

Mullin, Caitlin. Please See Us (SS, 16.99) Oct. A moving novel of suspense set in Atlantic City featuring a boardwalk medium and a woman escaping from personal/professional setback who join forces to investigate the disappearance of marginal women, drug users, runaways, escorts, and prostitutes who are the victims of a serial killer and are calling to be found. I loved this for its paranormal tinge, for its moving look at the lives of women who are so often dismissed, and for its look at a place that was destroyed by wealth and glitz and false glamor.

Osman, Richard. The Thursday Murder Club (Png, 26.00) Sept. Four septuagenarian friends at a retirement community in England meet weekly to discuss unsolved crimes, so when a local developer is found murdered, they decide to investigate for real in a debut comic cozy. Highly recommended.

Petty, Karen Reed. True Story (Vik, 26.00) Aug. A woman who works as a ghostwriter must come to terms with a sexual assault from fifteen years ago when she was in high school—a sexual assault that she can’t remember in a very twisty novel of psychological suspense told from multiple points of view. I loved this.

Prescott, Lara. The Secrets We Kept (Vin, 16.95) June. At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries from the CIA are tasked with smuggling the manuscript of Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, so that it might be published worldwide in a literary nail-biter based on fact. Excellent.

Scott, E.G. In Case of Emergency (Dut, 27.00) Aug. A woman who doesn’t know quite how to respond when her mysterious new boyfriend disappears is surprised when the police ask her to identify a body that turns out to be that of a woman she’s never met. I really loved this for a wonderful twist at the end.

Trinchieri, Camilla. Murder in Chianti (Soho, 27.95) July. When a former NYPD detective moves to the Tuscan wine country after the death of his wife, he finds himself pulled into a murder investigation when he stumbles across the body in the woods in the first of a new series that is a feast of wine, good food, and murder.

Tuti, Ilaria. The Sleeping Nymph (Soho, 27.95) Sept. In the second in this Italian police procedural series, featuring a sixty-something forensic profiler, she investigates when a painting from the end of WWII contains matter from a human heart.

Wasserman, Robin. Mother Daughter Widow Wife (SS, 27.00) July. A powerfully compelling novel told from the point of view of various characters about a woman with no memory, the scientists who study her, and the daughter who needs to understand her. I really liked this.

Of Special Interest

This Tucson mystery bookstore began in 1986 as Footprints of a Gigantic Hound and was renamed Clues Unlimited in 1996. The bookstore has been selling the best mysteries and has presented some of the great writers of the genre for signings and events, including Tony Hillerman, Lee Child, Anne Perry, Laurie R. King, Michael McGarrity, Craig Johnson, and C.J. Box.

I am sorry to tell you that, as of December 31, 2020, this era is over. Clues Unlimited will be closing its doors, the victim of the global pandemic and advancing age. I want to thank you all for your support over the years. You have become more than customers — you have become friends and allies. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed my time selling the best in mysteries and thrillers to you.

I plan to continue the newsletter in a much-abbreviated fashion online. If you are interested, please go to the Clues Unlimited website for directions to sign up. You can continue to reach me at info@cluesunlimited.com.

As part of our shutdown of the store, there will be specials throughout the store in both new and used books. All new releases will be 20% off and all used mass market paperbacks will be $2.00, with used trade paperbacks and hardcovers selling for $5.00. If you have unused gift certificates, please convert them into books before the end of the year.

If you would like to schedule a time to come and browse, please give me a call and we can arrange an appointment time. The schedule for Clues Unlimited until we close is:

·        Monday-Thursday, December 14-17, 10-3

·        Saturday, December 19, 10-2

·        Monday-Wednesday December 21-23, 10-3

·        Saturday, December 26th 10-4:00.

Thank you for your support through the years.

Chris and Cappy, the cute but grumpy terrier