Rainbow crime

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On the Radar — This week we bring you two novels with main characters from the LGBT community, along with a spectrum of other interesting concepts and crimes. Another old Gore Vidal pulp novel has been unearthed, we’ve a mystery involving a ghost, an art burglar and the latest Mari Hannah and Graham Hurley books too. Read on and pick your favourites…

The Silent RoomThe Silent Room by Mari Hannah
In our Gazetteer of British Crime Fiction, we included the author in our selection of writers who set their works in the North East of England. In this standalone novel, the action starts in Durham where a former Special Branch officer – now a convicted criminal – is sprung from a prison van in a carefully planned and daring raid. DS Matthew Ryan is suspected of being complicit in the liberation of his former boss and is suspended. As he battles to clear his own name, he uncovers a conspiracy which has spread much further than County Durham. Published on 19 November.
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A Bullet for the Ghost WhispererA Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer by Stan Schatt
Detective Frankie Ryan returns in another adventure which mixes police procedural, feminism, and a touch of the paranormal. The abrasive Ryan is called in to investigate the death of the boss of a technology company, and she finds the digital version of the classic locked-room mystery. In this case, the locks are provided by a company called Zynx and have an apparently unbreachable log-in system. Only a ghost could have got through. Enter online journalist Josh Harrell, who just happens to have an invisible friend from the spirit world. Out on 15 November.
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Three Lives DownThree Lives Down by Rachel Amphlett  
Here’s a crime thriller with an international flavour, and it’s topical too. Agent Dan Taylor has to tackle the fallout from Britain’s deteriorating relationship with the European Union. Two of Taylor’s own crack team are killed when a deadly radioactive isotope is stolen from a not-so-secure nuclear installation. Is the isotope in the hands of terrorists who will use it to make a dirty bomb? The UK-born author, who now lives in Australia, also brings in the the controversial matter of fracking – an opportunity or a threat? Published on 16 November.
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Every Unworthy ThingEvery Unworthy Thing by Jon Wilson
Declan Colette is resolutely homosexual. So what? Well, the setting for this novel is Los Angeles in the 1950s, when being gay was a much bigger deal than it is today. Colette is a veteran of the war in the Pacific, and he finds himself in the no man’s land between Japanese gangsters who survived the war, and black mobsters for whom the conflict was just another commercial opportunity. Available from 16 November. Perhaps most interesting of all, Jon Wilson is the pen name of none other than Gore Vidal.
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Illicit ArtifactsIllicit Artifacts by Stevie Mikayne 
Here’s another book with LGBT themes. Publisher Bold Strokes is pitching Illicit Artifacts as a lesbian mystery. It is the sequel to UnCatholic Conduct (2014), which introduced private investigator Jil Kidd. Here, she has to deal with the sudden death of her beloved foster mother, Elise. Beyond the personal grief, Jil finds huge inconsistencies in Elise’s financial affairs, and then begins to doubt whether her death was simply a natural occurrence. Available on 16 November.
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Too Soon DeadToo Soon Dead by Michael Kurland
Too Soon Dead was first released in 1997 and is out in a new paperback and Kindle edition on 17 November. It features the gossip columnist Alexander Brass, and when he is gifted a scoop involving celebrities in some compromising photographs he is quick to send one of his minions off in pursuit of the evidence. The unfortunate hack is murdered, and Brass finds himself face to face with Nazis, nymphomaniacs and corrupt senators. They all want to keep him quiet. We reviewed one of the Michael Kurland’s Moriarty novels, Who Thinks Evil, in 2014.
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The Scream of the ButterflyThe Scream of the Butterfly by Jakob Melander 
Jacob Melander used to play guitar in a Copenhagen punk band and began his writing career with The House that Jack Built, which was released earlier this year and featured Copenhagen cop Lars Winkler. He returns here and this time he has a celebrity corpse – none other than the city’s mayor. The late politician’s many connections, both legal and otherwise, make for a very sensitive investigation for Winkler, particularly as transgender prostitute Serafine is found in the mayor’s apartment. Published on 17 November.
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A Painted SmileA Painted Smile by Frances Fyfield 
Diana Porteous is a widow and a former burglar, but she remains attracted to the kind of fine living – and fine art – only found in the houses of the extremely rich. Di has inherited a collection of paintings that have collectors the world over drooling, but an ill-advised venture suggested by her step-grandson leads to confusion and the mysterious demise of an artist at a life drawing class. We’ve reviewed the earlier Frances Fyfield novel Casting The First Stone. Her latest will be available from 19 November.
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The Order of ThingsThe Order of Things by Graham Hurley 
Devon policeman Jimmy Suttle has come a long way since he was a bit player in the Joe Faraday novels. Poor Joe is long dead, buried along with his anxieties, but Jimmy has had his problems, too. His daughter is dead and his relationship with his estranged wife is hit and miss, at best. The star-crossed lovers  are forced together in this brutal tale of a country GP who is horribly murdered, but with a considerable cloud hanging overhead. That cloud is that she may have been offering assisted suicide services. We reviewed the previous novel in the series, Sins of the Father. The Order of Things is out on 19 November.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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