On the Radar: Looking for clues with an eagle eye

3 Mins read

Is solving a crime similar to bird watching? You’ve got to do your research, use your intuition, know what you’re looking for, recognise it when you see it, exercise patience and arrive at just the right time to avoid disappointment. So maybe spotting a rare species of bird is closer to catching a criminal than you’d first think, which brings us to our enigmatic lead book this week – Bird Spotting in a Small Town by Sophie Morton-Thomas is a debut that looks strange and creepy. And there’s more searching and solving to be had from crime authors Nicci French, Kevin G Chapman, Tara Moss and CL Miller.

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Bird Spotting in a Small Town by Sophie Morton-Thomas

Bird Spotting in a Small Town by Sophie Morton-Thomas front cover

In a little town on the North Norfolk coast, Fran is trying to keep things together. Her days are filled with work at the caravan park she owns, while nights are spent worrying about her son and her husband’s many absences. The only calm she gets comes from birdwatching early in the morning. Tensions begin to ramp up in this literary thriller when a group of travellers set up camp next to the caravan park – further still when the new schoolteacher and Fran’s brother-in-law go missing on the same day. Her world begins to unravel and she has nowhere to turn for help. Bird Spotting in a Small Town by Sophie Morton-Thomas is out on 29 February in paperback and is already available for Kindle.
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Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter? by Nicci French

Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter by Nicci French front cover

Back in 1990, Charlotte Salter disappeared on the night of her husband’s 50th birthday party. A day or so later, local man Duncan Ackerley is found dead in the nearby river and the East Anglian police put two and two together and the case disappears from the news headlines. Now the Salter children are gathering in the village where they were brought up, emptying the family home before their father, who has dementia, is moved to a care home. And the Ackerley boys are there too, convinced that making a series of podcasts about the two cases may solve the mystery forever. But is anyone prepared for what might finally come to light? Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter? by Nicci French arrives on 29 February.
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The Other Murder by Kevin G Chapman

The Other Murder by Kevin G Chapman front cover

Kevin G Chapman sets aside his series featuring NYPD cop Mike Stoneman for a standalone with journalism at its heart, also set in New York. When a pretty NYU sophomore is shot dead in Washington Park Square, disgraced cable news producer Hannah Hawthorne sees the story as her chance at redemption, and as the media circus comes to town her reporting wins her acclaim. But another person died there that night, and Paulo, a reporter for a small online neighborhood newspaper is the only person interested in the story of the Hispanic teen who died – until he finds an unexpected connection between the two victims. As Hannah and Paulo team up, they uncover an explosive story that could get them both killed… The Other Murder is out on 29 February.
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The War Widow by Tara Moss

The War Widow by Tara Moss front cover

It’s 1946, and war correspondent Billie Walker is back home in Sydney, Australia. But the postwar days are marred by the loss of her father and the disappearance in Europe of her husband, Jack – and who needs a war correspondent in peace time? Feeling at something of a loose end, Billie decides to reopen her late father’s private investigation agency and, slowly, the work comes in. It’s mostly wives wanting to learn the truth about their errant husbands, but then a young man, the son of European immigrants, goes missing and Billie’s investigations lead her to the upper echelons of Sydney society – and into danger. The War Widow by Tara Moss is published on 1 March.
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The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder by CL Miller

The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder by CL Miller front cover

Cosy fans can step back into the Golden Age of crime when The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder by CL Miller makes an appearance on 29 February. Freya Lockwood vowed never to return to the quaint English village where she grew up, but is dragged back there by the death of her estranged friend and mentor, antiques dealer Arthur Crockleford. It’s all a bit suspicious – just days before he died, Arthur sent an enigmatic letter to Freya, and when she finds his hidden journals she is sucked back into her previous life. Freya joins forces with her eccentric Aunt Carole, one of Arthur’s oldest friends, and the pair follow the clues to an antiques enthusiasts weekend where all is not as it might appear.
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Click here to read about last week’s new books.

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