This week’s recommendation is from Editorial Manager Thalia:
It’s not just me recommending this – Louise Penny has won so many crime-writing awards it’s hard to keep up, and this one scored the triple at Bouchercon this year. Many readers, like me, love Louise’s unusual take on a crime series: her edgy but delightful characters, her plots that seem ostensibly traditional but then veer into deeper waters and tug at your heart as the consequences unfurl.
The multi-layered Chief Inspector Gamache is at the heart of them all, and in this he is appropriately taken on as the head of the Sûreté Academy in Quebec, where a former colleague is murdered, and as usual things spiral back towards his hometown of Three Pines with the intervention of a mysterious map.
Do yourself a favour and check out the world of Armand Gamache and the Three Pines characters that swirl through it.
Ellie in Constable is on the Friday Read this week with some historical fiction for your weekend:
Double celebration for CWA favourite LC Tyler this week! Not only is he the recipient of the CWA Short Story Dagger (congratulations Len!), but his newest John Grey murder mystery is out now. And who can resist, set as it is during the Great Fire of London in 1666. But in amidst the high drama of flames fanning through the City, threatening the destruction of St Paul’s itself; we also have plot, counter-plot, espionage and swordfights aplenty! And of course, we have the will they, won’t they quandary of John and Aminta . . .
Written in his usual tongue-in-cheek style, this is a Restoration romp with a bit of murder thrown in. And as the winter draws closer, at least the flames will keep you warm!
This week’s Friday Read comes from Krystyna Green, Publishing Director of Constable:
The Well of Ice is Andrea’s third book set on the wild and isolated Inishowen peninsula in Ireland, and is just perfect reading for those long winter nights which will be upon us very soon. As with Andrea’s previous two books, Death at Whitewater Church and Treacherous Strand, The Well of Ice features solicitor Benedicta ‘Ben’ O’Keeffe. This time her relationship with police sergeant Tom Molloy is very much on as they plan to spend Christmas together but the discovery of a body up on Sliabh Sneacht puts paid to that when a murder investigation is launched.
As always with Andrea’s books, the other ever-present star is the Inishowen peninsula itself, with its wild beauty, rugged terrain and endless beaches. Andrea herself used to live there – and if you want to find out more, either about the author or her books, catch her at the inaugural Noireland crime fiction festival which is launched in Belfast this weekend. Andrea’s panel, ‘The Dark Side of Country Life’ is with Graeme Macrae Burnet, Ruth Ware, Stella Duffy and Anthony J Quinn and it’s on Saturday at 3.30 pm. I’ve seen the programme for the whole festival (and it sounds fantastic!).
This week’s recommended read comes from Krystyna Green, Publishing Director at Constable:
Last year we introduced you to newcomer on the block Ruud Pujasumarta, a detective on the mean and steaming streets of Jakarta. He’s back in The Burnings, where once again, location is everything. In this taut and suspenseful thriller, we are introduced to a vengeful killer who is targeting Christian women, but is religious motive just a smokescreen . . . As the investigation proceeds Ruud becomes convinced the killer is far closer to home, putting Ruud and the people he loves squarely in the killer’s sights. But once again, it is Jakarta that springs to life with its sights and smells, the heat, dirt and dust rising from the streets, the local fast food available at every corner, and the noise . . . it’s just the overwhelming multicultural, multiracial feel of the place that thrills, and long after you have finished the book it’s the city that stays in your mind. So be prepared to multitask – you can be an armchair detective and armchair traveller, all in one seating!
This week we’re recommending Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen, the follow up to his highly acclaimed debut, Darktown.
Atlanta, 1950. In a divided city, crime comes home.
White officer Denny Rakestraw joins Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith from Atlanta’s Negro Officer precinct to face the Klan, gangs and family warfare in their rapidly changing city.
Black families – including Smith’s sister and brother-in-law – are moving into Rake’s formerly all-white neighbourhood, leading Rake’s brother-in-law, a proud Klansman, to launch a scheme to ‘save’ their streets. When those efforts leave a man dead, Rake is forced to choose between loyalty to family or the law.
Meanwhile, Boggs has outraged his preacher father by courting a domestic, whose dangerous ex-boyfriend is then released from prison. As Boggs, Smith, and their all-black precinct contend with violent drug dealers fighting for turf in new territory, their personal dramas draw them closer to the fires that threaten to consume Atlanta once again.
Fast-paced, relevant and shocking, Lightning Men reads like a blockbuster – this is one book you’ll be thinking about long after you’ve turned the final page!
This week Ellie in editorial is recommending Sleep Like a Baby by Charlaine Harris:
New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris returns with another fabulously fun Aurora Teagarden mystery. Although there are nine previous novels in this charming series about the sleuthing librarian, Sleep Like a Baby is a great introduction to the series and works perfectly as a standalone. So settle down on the sofa, grab a hot drink and enjoy Charlaine’s expertly written cosy crime.
Aurora and Robin’s newborn Sophie is proving to be quite a handful. So when Roe is struck with a bad case of flu and Robin has to leave town for work, they hire a partially trained nurse, Virginia Mitchell, to come and help out.
One particularly stormy night, Roe wakes to hear her daughter crying and Virginia nowhere to be found. Searching for her reveals a body outside… but it isn’t Virginia’s. Who is this mystery woman dead in their backyard, and what happened to Virginia?
This week we’re recommending the second Detective Lotte Meerman novel by Anja de Jager, A Cold Case in Amsterdam Central:
Having been shot in the shoulder in the line of duty, Dutch police detective Lotte Meerman returns to work after four months of painful recovery – yet not all her colleagues are happy to see her.
But department politics take a backseat when Lotte is called to investigate a worker’s fall from the roof on a building site in the centre of Amsterdam. Frank Stapel’s tragic accident becomes suspicious when Tessa, his widow, discovers human bones in her husband’s left-luggage locker at Amsterdam Central. To Lotte, this changes the course of her investigation from fatal accident to potential murder.
When forensics discover the skeleton dates back to the Second World War, the rest of the team are convinced that Lotte is wasting everybody’s time by insisting this somehow ties in with the Frank’s death, but then it is discovered that some of the bones are less than a decade old . . . and although vindicated for pursuing the cold case, Lotte finds that the investigation takes a dark and sinister turn, linking an old war crime to events in the much more recent past.
A smart and engaging police procedural featuring a dark and damaged detective, this is the perfect autumnal read before the dark evenings draw in.
This week’s recommended read Dark Asylum by E S Thomson comes from Krystyna Green, publishing director of Constable.
‘If you were gripped by Taboo on TV a few months back and find there is a Gothic/crime/erotic hole in your life, then pick up a copy of this, which will help you cope with that loss.
Brilliantly evocative, beautifully written, this is the follow-up to Elaine’s debut, Beloved Poison, which was shortlisted for the William McIlvanney Scottish Crime Book of the Year last year. Picking up where we left off in Beloved Poison, Dark Asylum continues with the fortunes of Jem Flockhart, a cross-dressing apothecary, and Will Quartermain, her best friend and only person who knows her secret.
In this book the setting is Angel Meadow, in 1851 an asylum in the dark heart of London where the principal physician, Dr Rutherford, is found dead – his head smashed in, his ears cut off and his lips and eyes stitched shut. The police assume the killer must be one of the insane inmates but to Jem and Will, the crime seems more like an act of calculated retribution rather than madness…
And if you want to find out more, or indeed listen to the author talk about how locations inspire her writing, then catch Elaine at Bloody Scotland this Sunday at 12:45 in the Albert Halls in Stirling.
Thalia recommends the latest J.D. Robb for this week’s Friday Read:
The latest paperback in the wondrous Eve Dallas series. All of these are such crazily enjoyable reads, and it’s great to catch up with Eve and the gang every time.
In this one, Dallas and her husband Roarke are returning from a party when a dazed, naked and bloody woman stumbles into the path of their car. And Eve is again in the forefront of a dramatic case of a rapist/murderer who preys on wealthy couples – and it’s sure to be someone in their glittering social circle. But no amount of prestige stops our NYPSD Lieutenant asking the hard questions – Roarke is a billionaire, after all – so we can rely on her catching the killer.
Grab this paperback for a great read or start at the beginning with the first one, Naked in Death.
This week’s recommended read comes from Krystyna Green, publishing director at Constable:
Following hard and fast in the footsteps of Roberta Kray – who LOVED this book, incidentally! – comes Taking Liberties, the first in a new series from Helen Black, whose previous series featuring hard put-upon single mum lawyer Lilly Valentine, was also published by Constable. Liberty Chapman is our new protagonist, who is also a lawyer but with a very different set of problems to Lilly’s . . .
Liberty Chapman had a difficult childhood. The oldest of four kids, she tried to protect them from their violent father until one day he went too far and got sent down and the kids went into care. But that was all in the past. Now Liberty has a new name, a new career and a new city to call home. Leeds is in Liberty’s past – but her new job takes her there, and once she’s back, the past comes and slaps her hard in the face, pulling her back into everything she tried so hard to leave behind.
Author Helen Black is well qualified to write about lawyers as she’s one herself. She now lives in Luton, working with kids who are going through the care system, and has picked up a loyal following of teenagers needing advice and the bus fare home.