On the Radar: Nothing like a good old cosy caper

3 Mins read

Crime fiction is often used as a medium to consider the human condition or provide social commentary through storytelling. Serious stuff. But a little humour goes a long way in a crime novel, giving it charm and casting a little light in some otherwise dark places. So if you’re ready for a comic thriller with a touch of romance, Jesse Sutanto leads our report with the third novel in her Aunties series – crime but not so serious.

However, if crime by the book – so to speak – is to your taste, there are four more releases in this week’s report, including a new Scottish police procedural, murder in London with a former cabinet minister telling the tale, a serial killer chiller and a book of eclectic short stories from the US of A. Devour and enjoy.

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The Good, the Bad and the Aunties by Jesse Sutanto

The Good, The Bad and The Aunties by Jesse Setanto

This is the third book in the Aunties series by Jesse Sutanto, author of Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers which won a five-star review on our site last year. The Good, the Bad and the Aunties is out on 26 March, and Meddy Chan and her new husband Nathan are rounding off their honeymoon with a trip to Jakarta to celebrate Chinese New Year with her extended family. But when a former boyfriend of Second Auntie turns up unannounced and loaded with gifts, things began to get a little less festive. One of the gifts isn’t for them at all, but when an attempt is made to deliver it to the real recipient, they find themselves slap-bang in the middle of all-out war between Jakarta’s most powerful business factions with danger, thrills and laughs a-plenty.
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The Devil You Know by Neil Lancaster

The Devil You Know by Neil Lancaster front cover

Set aside that Kylie Minogue earworm and instead settle down to a slice of Scottish police procedural from the pen of Neil Lancaster. It was six years ago that Beata Dabrowski vanished. She had been on her way to meet her lover in Glasgow but was never seen again, and with no clues the police got nowhere with the investigation. Now a gang boss is looking for a cut in his jail time by trading information about where Beata is buried. Can he be trusted? It would appear not when the mission to find her body is hijacked. Time for DS Max Craigie to step in, expose police corruption and find Beata’s killer… The Devil You Know arrives on 28 March.
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Death on the Thames by Alan Johnson

Death on the Thames by Alan Johnson front cover

Former Labour home secretary Alan Johnson delivers his third crime novel on 28 March with the arrival of Death on the Thames. It’s 1999 and a serial rapist is spreading fear across London, until young DC Louise Mangan manages to catch the culprit almost single-handedly. The feat earns her a job undercover, aiming to find out everything she can about a deadly criminal operation working out of the leafy suburb of Hampton Court. Louise seems to be getting closer and closer to the truth – but in a world dominated by men, is there anyone watching her back if things go wrong?
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Negative Tilt by Bobby Mathews

Negative Tilt by Bobby Mathews front cover

Short story lovers are in for a treat when Negative Tilt by indie author Bobby Mathews makes an appearance on 27 March. The award-winning writer shares 28 tales in this anthology, curated by the author from works published by a range of magazines plus eight brand-new stories. The eclectic mix includes Negative Tilt, which won the 2023 Derringer Award. Settle back and meet, among others, an unemployed journalist who turns to ‘stealing cars’ and a student who finds out the hard way that getting away with crime isn’t easy; and enjoy a twisted tale of murder and mayhem in the Big Easy.
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The Mind of a Murderer by Michael Wood

The Mind of a Murderer by Michael Wood front cover

It’s time to meet forensic psychologist Dr Olivia Winter, a woman who has devoted her career to getting inside the heads of serial killers. All but one, that is – Olivia has never been able to work out the motivations of her serial killer father, who was caught and imprisoned when she was nine. Olivia was nearly his last victim, but she survived. When the police turn to Olivia for her help in profiling a killer who is stalking the streets of London, it becomes clear that to do the job properly, she must confront her own demons. The first of a new psychological thriller series by Michael Wood, The Mind of a Murderer is out on 28 March.
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Read about last week’s new novels here.

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