That darling old lady next door tenderly spraying her roses…has she just sponged blood from the badly beaten bullet-blasted body of her boarder?
Title: 45 Murderers
Author: Craig Rice
Publisher: Graphic Publishing Company, Inc, 1954
Prolific writer Craig Rice takes a break from writing mystery fiction to report on true crimes in America (up to 1952).
“Where do we go from here, sir?”
“That you may well ask, Crosby.” Sloan was irritable and preoccupied as they walked away from Boundary Cottage. “All we’ve got so far is a girl who isn’t who she thinks she is, the body of a woman who probably wasn’t what she said she was and two photographs.”
Title: Henrietta Who?
Author: Catherine Aird
Publisher: Open Road Media, May 5, 2015 (Reissue)
Format/Source: eBook, Scribd
ISBN: B07B6DLY54 Series: Inspector Sloan
At first glance, the death of Grace Jenkins seems like a tragic hit-and-run accident. Larking is a quiet English village…what more could it have been? But something is off about the case, and Inspector Sloan from the Berebury Police Station is called to the village to investigate. Soon, the woman’s daughter, Henrietta, arrives to identify the body and the medical examiner reveals that Grace Jenkins could not possibly be her mother—the autopsy has revealed Grace Jenkins never gave birth to a child. Baffled by this turn of events, Sloan searches for the answer to two questions: Why did Grace Jenkins lie about Henrietta’s lineage? And who killed her to keep the truth buried?
I stood at the door, locking up at the end of the day, and in the window’s reflection I caught a glimpse of something—a sight across the road that froze my blood. There, just beside the red post box at the corner—was it someone in a wide-brimmed field hat? I whipped around, but saw no one.
Title: The Rhyme of the Magpie
Author: Marty Wingate
Publisher: Alibi, June 2, 2015
Format/Source: ebook, iBooks
ISBN: 9781101883389 Series: Birds of a Feather
Mystery lovers with an interest in ornithology will be especially entertained with The Rhyme of the Magpie, the first book in Marty Wingate’s Birds of a Feather series. Readers looking for a well-plotted mystery with taut twists and a charming setting will not be disappointed, either. As a protagonist, Julia Lanchester is a believable character who is sometimes rash in her decisions but relatable. Her reluctance to accept her father’s marriage to her deceased mother’s best friend is understandable, as is her sister’s stance to just live and let live. The story moves along at a pleasant pace as Julia searches for both her missing father and his connection to the murdered man, and the ending is very unexpected. Readers looking for a new series to lose themselves in should give this one a try. The fourth book in this series is out next month.
Miss Brandon, in both voice and appearance, gave the impression of being a successful woman of the world, both critical and self-assured; not at all the sort of person whom one would expect to choose for her home an inconvenient, ill-equipped attic in someone else’s house. Louise felt suddenly ill at ease.
Title: The Hours Before Dawn
Author: Celia Fremlin
Publisher: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1958
An exhausted mother, trying to manage her two boisterous young girls and new baby while keeping her irritable husband placated and her home running somewhat smoothly, finds her already unstable world spinning out of control when she rents a room to a mysterious woman with a deadly agenda.
She could see the cemetery of books that had flapped to the floor as Joey had climbed the shelves, and the others he’d shoved aside to create footholds as he threaded the strap through the ceiling, and still others that had dropped as he’d tried to kick his feet back to stop himself from dying.
Title: Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore
Author: Matthew J. Sullivan
Publisher: Scribner, June 13, 2017
Format/Source: eBook, library
Lydia Smith, book lover and clerk extraordinaire at the Bright Ideas bookstore, is horrified when she finds the body of one of her favorite patrons, Joey, hanging from a ceiling beam on the store’s top floor. Horror turns to terror when she finds a photo of her in his pocket—a photo taken two decades earlier at her 10th birthday party, just weeks before little Lydia escaped the clutches of a manic killer and fled with her father to a new town. A photo Joey shouldn’t have. When Joey’s landlady shows up at the store and informs Lydia that he has left all of his worldly possessions to her, Lydia has no idea what to expect. Among the few things in his tiny apartment are several books containing hidden messages, written specifically for her. What is Joey trying to tell her that he couldn’t when he was alive? And how does it connect with the events of that deadly night so long ago?
“Oh relax,” Freddie groaned. “I need a minute. Besides, I don’t think you killed anyone. The police would have nabbed you by now. It doesn’t look like we made a run for it. Plus…I think you’d be bloodier.”
Title: Ring In the Year with Murder
Author: Auralee Wallace
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, October 31, 2017
Format/Source: Paperback, Bookstore
ISBN: 9781250151452 Series: Otter Lake
It’s New Year’s Eve, and Erica Bloom has decided it’s going to be a lovely evening, no matter what. She and her business partner/”BFF forever” Freddie are running security for a fabulous Great Gatsby themed gala at the positively posh Hemlock estate. So what if her ex, Grady, and his perky, perfect girlfriend will be attending? But when Freddie’s dog, Stanley, falls ill after lapping up the remnants of a dropped wine glass containing poison and Grady becomes the prime suspect, Erica and Freddie get sleuthing around the glitzy gathering to find the culprit, save Grady from going to jail, and get #justiceforstanley.
“It may not be that simple.” Iris spoke from the top of the ladder, where she’d been taking advantage of Maude Daneson’s inattention to redistribute the tinsel as she saw fit. “He may be perfectly normal most of the time, unless something triggers him off. If no one ever triggered him off, they’d never know. To them, he’d just be that kindly man down the street whose always so good to his wife, adores his kiddies, climbs trees to rescue cats, and helps little old ladies across the street.”
“This time, he’s killed a little old lady,” Ann said. “And with her own scissors.”
Title: The Twelve Deaths of Christmas
Author: Marian Babson
Publisher: Dell, 1985
It’s Christmastime in London, and someone is counting down the days until the 25th—with corpses. The brutal crimes appear to be random, but each unusual murder brings the killer nearer to a quiet boarding house and its unsuspecting lodgers.