A Dickens of a murder

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On the Radar — We’ve seen Conan Doyle turned into a sleuth in the past – in The Revenant of Thraxton Hall, for instance, and this week we’ve uncovered a release which features none other than Charles Dickens in the role of crime solver. There’s more historical crime fiction too, a new release by Faye Kellerman, some Colorado noir, and more. Read on and replenish your reading pile…

The Murder of Patience BrookeThe Murder of Patience Brooke by JC Briggs
There is always a market for crime set in Victorian London. Readers love the gas-lit streets, the mysterious alleyways, and the dramatic contrast between the depravity of the slums and the calm of the opulent suburbs. Throw in one of the best-known English novelists in history, a member of the fledgling Metropolitan Police, and a murder, and you have a compelling mixture. With Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and The Old Curiosity Shop already behind him as best sellers, Charles Dickens joins Superintendent Jones to try and discover who cut the throat of Patience Brooke, assistant matron at Urania Cottage, a home for fallen women set up by Dickens himself. Out now.
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The Firebirds FeatherThe Firebird’s Feather by Marjorie Eccles
The Yorksire-born Marjorie Eccles, whose earlier books featuring Gil Mayo were adapted for BBC television, starts this story on the eve of the coronation of King George V in 1911. Lydia Challoner is shot dead by a mystery assailant while riding her horse in Hyde Park. With the police battling against trade union unrest and the streets full of protestors, Lydia’s daughter Kitty attempts to find out who killed her, and why. What she discovers turns her secure and sheltered world on its head. Out today.
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Murder 101Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman
The author is one third of the remarkable Kellerman crime writing family, along with husband Jonathan and son Jesse. Her Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series began in 1986, and this is their 22nd outing. Decker and Lazarus, who are husband and wife, have left their LAPD stamping grounds for upstate New York. Their sleepy new home is rocked to its core when a bizarre break-in at a local cemetery precedes the savage murder of a young student. The veteran detectives have to dig deep into their years of experience in order to find the killer and unravel a deeply unpleasant conspiracy. It’s on sale from 2 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Stranger-at-SunsetStranger at Sunset by Eden Baylee
Eden Baylee worked in banking for 20 years before becoming a full time author. Her output was mainly short stories and erotica, but this is her first venture into crime and mystery. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy stormed along from Florida to Maine, also affecting Jamaica. However, it’s not the hurricane that has undone Sunset Villa, on the island. Instead it’s a a caustic review by respected travel writer Matthew Kane. Eminent psychiatrist Dr Kate Hampton is a long-time fan of the hotel, but when she tries to investigate what provoked Kane’s bile, she unwittingly mines into a seam of deceit and secrets that threatens to destabilise her own life, and that of others. Out now.
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The Silent BoyThe Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor
Revolution is raging in 1792 Paris, and the streets and squares are awash with aristocratic blood. Edward Savill, working across the channel in London, learns that his estranged wife has fallen victim to the republican bloodlust, but she leaves behind 10-year-old Charles, the product of a more recent relationship. The child is brought back to England and looked after in a commune of escaped French émigrés in a country mansion. The boy is unable – or unwilling – to speak, and Savill tries to learn what horrific events have silenced the him. In doing so, Savill discovers that the fugitives living in Charnwood House have more than their fair share of secrets. The Silent Boy is released today.
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The Good LifeThe Good Life by Frank Wheeler Jr
Earl Haack was brought up by his no-nonsense father to see life as brutally simple. First comes order, followed by peace. With those two building blocks in place, the third essential element – prosperity – can emerge in its own good time. As Earl treads in the footsteps of his old man, he realises that it’s hard to establish order by kindness alone. He is faced with the very modern problem of rampant drug trafficking and has to be, as the author says, “…as vicious as a prairie rattlesnake.” We don’t normally associate noir with wholesome Colorado, but maybe this book will prove to be the exception. The Good Life is out now.
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Nothing But LiesNothing But Lies by Lyndon Stacey
Lyndon Stacey is based in Dorset and is proud of her affinity with four-legged friends, be they dogs or horses. Nothing But Lies is the third in her series of novels featuring Daniel Whelan, the former policeman and dog handler. Whelan is asked by a former colleague to keep an eye out for his fiancée, who is being stalked by a mysterious hooded figure. His investigation uncovers some previously hidden secrets, and when a hit-and-run incident brings death to the table, it becomes clear that he is being lied to by all and sundry. To be published today, 28 August.
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Blue AvenueBlue Avenue by Michael Wiley
Wiley has left Chicago and his award-winning Joe Kozmarski novels behind to focus on the Florida city of Jacksonville. This time the detective hero is not a PI, but homicide cop Daniel Turner. The body of a woman is found, naked and tied up like a parcel. When she is identified, local businessman William ‘BB’ Byrd realises that the dead woman – Belinda Mabry – is a ghost from his personal life. A quarter of a century earlier they had a tempestuous summer affair. He tries to make sense of what’s happened and turns to Turner for help. As they make the journey into the past, they encounter trouble and danger every step of the way. Blue Avenue is out today.
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I Can't Begin To Tell YouI Can’t Begin to Tell You by Elizabeth Buchan
This wartime romantic thriller is set in Denmark, shortly after the Nazi invasion. Kay Eberstern is an English woman who has married into the landed gentry. When her husband makes the decision to keep his estate and heritage together by collaborating with the Germans, Kay is forced to make a terrible choice. She opts for fight rather than flight, and becomes involved with British intelligence. We see the story from the viewpoint of the Danish resistance, but also through the eyes of the wireless operators and decoders back in Britain. The author is related by marriage to the descendants of the pioneering espionage author, John Buchan. Released today.
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Return next week for more new releases.

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