It’s spring, and a whole new crop of terrific mysteries is popping up. Want to try a book by an author you haven’t read before? Take a look at these story summaries and post a comment to enter a drawing for a free copy of a new novel. List your top three preferences to increase your chance of getting one you’ll like. Please don’t ask for a book that you intended to purchase. Ask for something by a new-to-you author. The whole point of this giveaway is to make new fans for the writers.
Flowerbed of State by Dorothy St. James, a White House Gardener Mystery
Cassandra “Casey” Calhoun has a dream job for an organic gardener – creating a new garden for the First Lady on the White House grounds. But just as she’s readying her creation for inspection, she gets a nasty blow on the head. When she comes to, she and the Secret Service follow a trail of damaged foliage to a dead woman in a trash can. Now both Casey’s livelihood and her life are in danger. First in a new series.
Spider Web by Earlene Fowler, a Benni Harper Mystery
If you read this outstanding entry in Fowler’s series, you won’t be able to resist going back to find all the previous Benni Harper novels. Benni, a folk art museum director, rancher, and occasional sleuth, is in charge of a Memory Festival where a mysterious sniper decides to launch a vendetta against police officers. The festival shooting triggers post-traumatic stress in Benni’s husband Gabe, the local police chief. When yet another threat to Gabe’s well-being surfaces, Benni is determined to make her husband and her hometown safe again.
Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames, a Cheese Shop Mystery
Written by an Agatha Award nominee, this is one of the most charming new cozy series to come along in quite a while. Charlotte Bessette, owner of a cheese shop, is catering a fundraiser at an old winery when a dead body is discovered in the cellar. Her best friend’s niece is the prime suspect and Charlotte sets out to prove her innocence. Charlotte is a delightful protagonist – and the recipes in the book will send you off to the nearest cheese merchant in search of ingredients.
Infamous by Ace Atkins
This noir thriller by a Pulitzer Prize nominee is based on the true story of gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly’s kidnapping-for-ransom of oil tycoon Charles Erschel. Kelly’s unfortunate choice of partners in crime turned what could have been a routine kidnapping into a dangerous affair for everyone involved. Set during the earliest days of the FBI and filled with period detail. (Trade paperback edition of a 2010 hardcover.)
Classified as Murder by Miranda James, a Cat in the Stacks Mystery
Librarian Charlie Harris and his rescued Maine coon cat Diesel are back in a mystery that revolves around the murder of a rare book collector and the disappearance of a valuable copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane. The Mississippi setting adds Southern charm to this series.
Death Along the Spirit Road by C.M. Wendelboe
First in a new series featuring Native American FBI agent Manny Tanno. After many years away from home, Tanno returns to the Pine Ridge Reservation to investigate the murder of developer Jason Red Cloud on the site of his latest commercial project. The case brings Tanno into conflict with a way of life, and personal enemies, he thought he had left behind forever. The author is a deputy sheriff in Wyoming. First in a new series.
List the books that appeal to you most and you may win a free copy of one of them. If you don’t win a book, I hope you’ll look for some of these new books in your local bookstore.