Under starter’s orders

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On the Radar — A horse racing metaphor is too good to miss, and so we begin with a Felix Francis murder mystery set in the secretive world of The Sport of Kings. Our selection this week gallops across the crime sub-genres from cosy to noir, with plenty in between. Which books will make your TBR pile?

Front RunnerFront Runner by Felix Francis
Felix Francis has taken on the literary heritage of his father Dick, and made it truly his own. He might even be the form guide’s current favourite when it comes to mysteries set in the horse racing world. In Front Runner, Jeff Hinckley is investigating race fixing. When a suspect jockey meets his death in a fire, he realises he’s up against people who’ll happily trample the law and leave dead bodies here and there. You can read Felix Francis’ piece My Favourite Dick Francis novel here on Crime Fiction Lover. Front Runner is out 10 October.
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Pretending To DancePretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain
This psychological thriller tells the story of a woman desperate to adopt a child. Molly Arnette and her husband have jumped through all the hoops set by the authorities, but Molly has a secret that may wreck their chances and ruin her marriage. A traumatic event way back in Molly’s childhood threatens to burst from the North Carolina past into the California present. Family secrets, self-discovery and the corrosive power of guilt all mix together in a powerful cocktail of emotion, love and bitterness. Published on 8 October.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Sileny CitySilent City by Carrie Smith
The Manhattan-based author is an experienced writer, but this is her first crime novel. Set on her home turf, this police procedural features NYPD cop Claire Codella, who returns to work after a battle with cancer. She will not be easing herself into it, though. A controversial school leader is found brutally murdered, and Codella has to battle a dangerous criminal, new colleagues who are resentful of her drive and ability, as well as the media outcry that is whipping up New Yorkers and demanding answers. Silent City is available from 13 October.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The StagesThe Stages by Thom Satterlee
Set amongst the winter snows of Copenhagen, we meet Daniel Peters. He has Asperger’s syndrome, but his condition has enabled him to become an acknowledged world authority on, and translator of, the existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. A tragic death forces Daniel to come out of his bubble and take his chances in a world that, because of his disability, seems a fearsome place to him. The Stages is published on 13 October.
Pre-order now on Amazon

24 Hours24 Hours by Claire Seeber
This adrenaline-fueled thriller operates partly in real time, interspersed with flashbacks. Laurie is a woman being targeted by a killer. She has survived one attempt on her life but the arson attack killed her best friend by mistake. Now she is the prey, and so is her missing daughter, Polly. While the perpetrator believes she died in the fire, she has a few precious hours to turn the tables on them. If she can keep one step ahead of the person who wants her dead she might just save her daughter’s life – and her own. Published on 9 October.
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Murder Most WildCherringham – Murder Most Wild by Matthew Costello
Is your idea of crime fiction heaven curling up with a mystery set in rural England? Preferably in a village with thatched cottages, an eccentric vicar, and someone who has a secure income enabling them to investigate murders which have baffled the local police? Then the latest in a series of monthly novellas featuring English web designer Sarah and American ex-cop Jack is for you. This time they investigate the murder of anti-corporate activist. Available from 19 October.
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Sans Pareil LargeThe Sans Pareil Mystery by Karen Charlton
A touch of historical crime fiction now as we’re taken back to the bawdy streets of London’s theatreland in Georgian times. We are in the good hands of Detective Stephen Lavender and Constable Woods, whom we met in The Missing Heiress. On that occasion they were in darkest Northumberland, but they are on more familiar ground here as they investigate the death of a beautiful actress whose most recent part was in a play at the eponymous Sans Pareil Theatre. Published on 6 October.
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Alone With The DeadAlone With The Dead by James Nally
Police Constable Donal Lynch walks his beat on the streets of London. Nothing remarkable there, you might think, except Lynch has a past. His backstory includes his escape from a troubled life in his native Ireland, and the small matter of his ex-girlfriend being a convicted murderer. A crime novel from the perspective of a lowly PC makes a welcome break from the huge number of fictional detective inspectors out there! When Lynch discovers a savage murder, subsequent events bring back bitter memories and promise an uncertain future. Out on 8 October.
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Nobody Dies In HollywoodNobody Dies in Hollywood by John Wilder
John Wilder turns from an award-winning career as a TV writer and producer, and has become a crime author. His debut novel introduces former LAPD cop Detective Michael Drayton. He, in turn, used to be a Tinseltown stuntman, which gives him a very useful perspective on crime connected with the movie industry. In Nobody Dies in Hollywood he’s faced with two murders that prove the title wrong. One is of a young man struggling to claw his way up the ladder of fame, but the other is an all-time celebrity. Drayton is hired to seek justice for the ‘unknown’ actor, but his investigations upset some very important people. Published on 8 October.
Pre-order now on Amazon

You’ll find last week’s new releases here.

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