It’s the gift-giving season, and time to put some new mysteries in readers’ hands, in the hope of making more fans for the authors. Take a look at these recent releases and leave a comment with your top three choices (to increase the chance that you’ll win a book you want). Then send an e-mail with your mailing address to email@example.com. I’ll notify the winners tomorrow. Happy reading!
To start, here are three Christmas-themed mysteries:
In A Holiday Yarn by Sally Goldenbaum, the Seaside Knitters are turning richly hued yarns into gifts. But when a guest is found murdered on the local B and B's snowy porch, the knitters set aside their needles to pursue justice and restore joy to the season.
Mistletoe and Mayhem by Kate Kingsbury takes readers back to the Pennyfoot Hotel (a place as dangerous as Cabot Cove!), where Cecily is decorating for Christmas festivities. Soon, however, someone is found dead and another person goes missing, and the hotel sleuths must find the killer and restore holiday cheer.
The Fat Man by Ken Harmon is something completely different. In this North Pole noir tale, the disillusioned 1,300-year-old elf Gumdrop Coal decides to give a wake-up call to parents who can’t keep their kids off Santa’s naughty list. When somebody murders a parent, Gumdrop is framed and has to solve the crime to clear his name.
If you’d rather forget about the holidays for a few hours, there are plenty of read-anytime mysteries to provide distraction. Try one of these:
A Marked Man by Barbara Hamilton brings back Abigail Adams (wife of John) as a thoughtful sleuth in this unusual and beautifully written series set in Colonial America. John takes the case when young Henry Knox is accused of murdering a royal representative to the colonies. Was the killing prompted by rivalry for a woman’s affections, or was it politically motivated? While John works to clear his client, Abigail pursues the killer – and soon the killer is pursuing her.
In Threats at Three by Ann Purser, cleaning woman Lois Meade once again moonlights as a sleuth in the English village of Long Farnden. After a fundraiser event for the highly contentious restoration of the Village Hall, a dead body turns up in the canal. Is the murder connected to the restoration dispute? Can the police solve the crime without Lois’s help?
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden is a debut novel and first in a series featuring Beth Kennedy, owner of a children’s bookshop. Soon after Beth reluctantly joins the board of the elementary school PTA, the unpopular principle is murdered. When the local gossip blog fans the flames of speculation, Beth races to find the murderer before he – or she – kills again.
Shroud of Dishonor by Maureen Ash continues the historical Templar Knight mysteries featuring Bascot de Marins. The shocking discovery of a strangled prostitute in the Templar chapel throws the order into disarray. Alongside the corpse is a purse containing 30 silver coins – the same amount Judas received for betraying Jesus. Is the murder revenge for a Templar brother’s betrayal? Has one of their own broken his vow of chastity? The order’s preceptor enlists Bascot to determine whether an outsider is seeking to dishonor the Templars or a murderer walks among them. One thing soon becomes clear: the killer’s work is not yet over.
To be entered in a drawing for a free book, leave a comment naming your top three choices, then send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Your address will not be used for any other purpose.) And when you go shopping, remember that books make great gifts!