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On the Radar — Our new books column starts off this week with Peter Bartram’s latest Brighton-based mystery, which is set in the 1960s and features crime-busting journalist Colin Crampton. We also bring you classic Japanese crime fiction, psychological thrillers and some seasonal cheer in the form of a Christmas murder…

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Front Page Murder by Peter Bartram
It’s the swinging 60s and Archie Flowerdew is due to hang for the murder of rival artist Percy Despart. Not the kind of swinging he wants. Colin Crampton is the Evening Chronicle reporter down on the south coast in Brighton who starts sticking in his beak and investigating. Soon his own life is very much at stake. This is now the third book in the Crampton of the Chronicle mystery series. Like the others it promises a traditional mystery with a cast of colourful characters. We reviewed Stop Press Murder last year. Our review is coming soon and it is released 24 November.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Master Key by Masako Togawa
More than 50 years since it was first published, this Japanese thriller is available once more in an English translation by Simon Grove. A Tokyo apartment block exclusively for women conceals a sinister secret behind each door – and a master key which opens the locks to all 150 rooms links the myriad stories. Now the key has been stolen – and that theft is destined to lead to murder… A great introduction to the work of an author who has been described as the Japanese PD James, out now.
Buy now on Amazon

The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin
You may never look at a girls’ weekend away in the same light after reading this book. It’s Joanne’s 40th, and although she and her three best friends Carys, Andrea and Zoe have had their ups and downs recently, the foursome agree to go on a mysterious weekend break together to celebrate. Forget prosecco and party games, think more perilous pursuits as the friendship is pushed to its absolute limits – with fatal consequences. Out 14 November for Kindle, 30 November as a paperback.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Girl in the Fog by Donato Carrisi
A young girl, Anna Lou, is missing and in the small Italian Alpine town of Avechot a man is arrested. He is covered in blood but it’s not his own. Detective Vogel is hellbent on solving the mystery, but he has a tainted past and is not above some unscrupulous doctoring of evidence to get the man he wants. Meanwhile the media feeding frenzy intensifies as Vogel manipulates them and the case. Antihero Vogel takes centre stage in a psychological thriller that twists and turns and is already topping the bestseller lists. Now out.
Buy now on Amazon

Murder in the Snow by Gladys Mitchell
Just reprinted, this seasonal classic unfolds in the Cotswolds. The psychiatrist and sleuth Mrs Bradley is at her nephew’s house for Christmas when locals begin to receive threatening letters, and there are strange goings-on in the nearby woods. Then, just like in Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman, when the snow begins to fall a body is discovered. Originally published in 1950 as Groaning Spinney, the book is one of over 60 novels by Gladys Mitchell who wrote at least one a year from the 1920s until her death in 1983.
Buy now on Amazon

Fire by LC Tyler
LC Tyler continues the John Grey historical crime fiction series with its fourth instalment. It is 1666 and a large swathe of London is in cinders thanks to the great fire. The Catholic monarchy is keen to snuff out a wave of xenophobia with the populace keen to blame foreigners, but a Frenchman has confessed to starting the blaze. Grey and is sidekick Lady Pole set out to investigate – perhaps the Frenchman is mad, or perhaps he knows a great deal about what actually happened… Out now.
Buy now on Amazon

Read about last week’s new releases here.

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