On the radar — Welcome to our weekly report on new books. Waiting for your predilection are a new case for Stav Sherez’s detectives Carrigan and Miller, and the launch of a new mystery series from debut crime writer Jonelle Patrick. Starting things off, though, we have a debut novel from British crime fiction newbie Helen Smith.
Invitation to Die by Helen Smith
Emily Castles is 26 and unemployed, so when romance writer Morgana Blakely offers her a job helping out at a conference in London it’s an opportunity she can’t turn down. When Morgana offers American blogger, Winnie Kraster, an invitation to attend the conference as her guest, she too eagerly accepts the offer. What Winnie doesn’t realise is that her invitation entails a little more than just a visit to London. The guests gather and every one of them has a motive for murder, so when Winnie disappears and is then found dead, Emily knows that her killer is among the assembled gathering. The question is, which one of them did it? Emily teams up with the conference’s guest speaker, eccentric philosophy professor Dr Muriel, to uncover the truth. Invitation to Die is published by Thomas & Mercer and is out on 14 May.
Pre-order now on Amazon
Eleven Days by Stav Sherez
In February 2012, new author Stav Sherez introduced us to DI Jack Carrigan and DS Geneva Miller in A Dark Redemption, and a gritty new police procedural series set in London. Regular readers may remember that Mr Sherez acted as our man in Harrogate for last year’s Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. Having recovered from that experience, he’s written his second novel, which begins with a fire at a small convent hidden in a sleepy West London square. It’s 11 days until Christmas and Carrigan and Miller’s bosses want the case solved before the holidays begin, but this little fire is far from clear cut. To begin with, the convent only housed 10 nuns, but 11 casualties have been found. Who was the 11th victim and why did none of the nuns attempt to escape from the burning building? The one man who could have answered these questions – the parish priest – is missing. Threads of the case seem to travel back at least 40 years, to South America, where there was an upsurge in the radical Liberation Theology. A new threat is in the air bringing with it a future that our detectives are unprepared for. Eleven days is out now.
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Chasing Bad Guys by Wayne Epperson
Last summer, our reviewer David Prestidge took a look at Wayne Epperson’s debut novel Crime and Corruption in Texas, which introduced us to Atlanta bounty hunter Frank Knott. Now Frank’s back in another book with a refreshingly literal title. He has a new sidekick in tow, and he has some hardened killers to pursue. It’s a dangerous job and Frank has the feeling that someone is hell bent on getting rid of his shadow, but Frank’s guardian is determined that that isn’t going to happen. Chasing Bad Guys is out now.
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Fallen Angel by Jonelle Patrick
We round things off with an intriguing little mystery set in Tokyo. English translator Yumi Hata is become increasingly ill at ease with the traditional side of the city, but she’s not overly keen on the seedy world that lurks in the shadows either. Fear for her friend Coco draws her to Club Nova where she comes up against things she is unprepared for, including Detective Kenji of the Tokyo Metropolitan police. Kenji is in Kabuki-cho to investigate the death of a young hostess, when he comes face to face with someone he’d never expected to meet there – Yumi. Kenji has had a crush on Yumi for years but she’s engaged to a man from one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Japan. Kenji is determined to stay away from her, but there’s one problem, she can get him into the places he wouldn’t normally be able to gain access to. Following a second murder, Yumi agrees to help Kenji, and they soon find themselves caught in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a killer who is ready to strike again. Fallen Angel is out on 19 May.
Pre-order now on Amazon