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Mystery Standouts

Summer Reading 2013 - Mystery Standouts

Inferno by Dan BrownInferno  
Brown, Dan
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.
A Perfect Square: A Shipshewana Amish mystery by Vannetta ChapmanA Perfect Square: A Shipshewana Amish mystery  
Chapman, Vannetta
A dead girl has been found floating in the pond, and Reuben Fisher has been arrested for the crime. Deborah is sure that Reuben is innocent, but he refuses to say anything to help his case. Together, Deborah and her friend Callie set out to find the real culprit. The missing daughter of an elderly man adds a twist to the tale. VERDICT This second book in the series is a sequel to Falling to Pieces, which introduces readers to Deborah and Callie. It is character-driven, though the plot also moves along. Best suited to those who enjoy the fiction of Suzanne Fisher Woods. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Six years by Harlan CobenSix years  
Coben, Harlan
In the prologue to this Kafkaesque stand-alone from bestseller Coben (Stay Close), Jake Fisher, a political science professor at Lanford College in Massachusetts, promises the love of his life, Natalie Avery, to leave her and the man she's about to wed, Todd Sanderson, alone. For six years Jake keeps his promise, until he sees Todd's obituary, flies to the deceased's Palmetto Bluff, S.C., funeral, and finds that the widow is not Natalie. This is merely the first of many shocks. He later gets the brush-off from Natalie's sister, and when he tries to revisit the retreat in Kraftboro, Vt., that Natalie was attending when they fell in love, he's told there is (and was) no such place. Surprising secrets among Jake's friends and colleagues propel him on a trail of violence and labyrinthine deception. Coben has achieved greater suspense in other thrillers, but this ranks among his strangest and most ingenious plots. 5-city author tour. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The wrong man by David EllisThe wrong man  
Ellis, David
A wicked sense of humor and an appealing lead lift Ellis's third legal thriller featuring Midwestern prosecutor-turned-defense lawyer Jason Kolarich (after 2011's Breach of Trust), though Kolarich tends to act more like Jack Ryan than Perry Mason. When paralegal Kathy Rubinkowski is gunned down near her apartment, the case against Iraqi war veteran Tom Stoller is clear-cut. Stoller was apprehended with the murder weapon and the victim's purse near the scene of the killing. Since his mental state is questionable, Stoller's aunt prevails on Kolarich to represent him. The attorney comes to believe that Stoller's apparent confession was actually referring to a horrific incident that happened during wartime, but as Kolarich is the second defense lawyer on the case, the judge allows him little time or leeway to gather supporting evidence. Toward the end, the plot veers into Tom Clancy territory with some sacrifice of plausibility. Given the heavy-handed telegraphing, few will be surprised by the revelation of the final secret. Agent: Susanna Einstein, LJK Literary Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Starvation Lake by Bryan GruleyStarvation Lake  
Gruley, Bryan
Gruley's outstanding debut effortlessly incorporates his inside knowledge of both the newspaper business and his hockey avocation into a tale of violence and betrayal that will remind many of Dennis Lehane. After crossing an ethical line while writing an investigative series for the Detroit Times, reporter Gus Carpenter has returned to his hometown of Starvation Lake, Mich., to work for the local paper, whose stories mostly reflect the pedestrian and placid nature of smalltown life. That changes when evidence surfaces that the town's legendary hockey coach, Jack Blackburn, who disappeared after an apparent snowmobile accident a decade earlier, was actually murdered. Carpenter's reopening of the case, which has personal resonance for him (he'd been the goalie for the amateur boys' team Blackburn coached), shakes all sorts of skeletons loose. Gruley, the Wall Street Journal's Chicago bureau chief, has a gift for making all his characters, from the leads to the bit players, realistic. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Red Jacket: a Lute Bapcat mystery by Joseph HeywoodRed Jacket: a Lute Bapcat mystery  
Heywood, Joseph
In 1913, Theodore Roosevelt recruits former Rough Rider Lute Bapcat to become a game warden on Michigan's Upper Peninsula in Heywood's absorbing first in a new series. Outsized characters, both real (athlete George Gipp before his Notre Dame fame, union organizer Mother Jones) and fictional (randy businesswoman Jaquelle Frei; Lute's Russian companion, Pinkhus Sergeyevich Zakov), pepper the narrative. Lute's extensive duties inevitably bring him into the conflict between powerful copper mining companies and their immigrant work force in Houghton and Keweenaw counties. As a strike looms, someone is orchestrating a campaign to slaughter deer, poison streams, flood animal dens, and cut fruit trees-to deprive strikers of food sources. Violence is inevitable, and Lute and Pinkhus watch as tragedy unfolds despite their valiant efforts to prove who's behind the vicious destruction. Fans of Heywood's Woods Cop novels set on the Upper Peninsula (Force of Blood, etc.) should welcome this peek at the conservation movement's foundations. Agent: Phyllis Westberg, Harold Ober Associates. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Defending Jacob by William LandayDefending Jacob  
Landay, William
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life, his wife, Laurie, and teenage son, Jacob.Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family.It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.How far would you go?
The redeemer by Jo NesbøThe redeemer  
Nesbø, Jo
The first chapter of Nesbo's highly suspenseful sixth Harry Hole thriller introduces 17-year-old Robert Karlsen and his year older brother, Jon, who in 1991 are cadets at a Salvation Army retreat in the Norwegian countryside, where a 14-year-old girl is sexually assaulted. In the next chapter, 22 years later, detective Hole is winding up the investigation of a drug-related murder in Oslo. The main action begins when a Serbian hit man, Cristo Stankic, shoots Robert on a crowded city street, though his intended target was Jon-and that's when the pace really picks up. As the title suggests, the search for redemption is on-redemption through violence. The deeply flawed Hole is his familiar self: difficult and disrespectful, brilliant and intuitive. At times the book feels padded with lengthy asides and banter, but the primary narrative, told in powerful prose, never fails to grip. Series fans should note that later entries have already appeared in the U.S., most recently Phantom (2012). Announced first printing of 150,000. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Stone's fall by Iain PearsStone's fall  
Pears, Iain
British author Pears matches the brilliance of his bestselling An Instance of the Fingerpost (1998) with this intricate historical novel, which centers on the death of a wealthy financier. In part one, after John Stone falls to his death from a window in his London mansion in 1909, Stone's seductive, much younger widow, Elizabeth, hires Matthew Braddock, who works as a journalist, to trace a child of her late husband's she never knew existed until the child is named in his will. Braddock, a novice in the world of finance, uncovers evidence that Stone's actual net worth was far less than commonly believed, even as he finds himself falling for his client. In part two, set in 1890 Paris, Henry Cort, a shadowy spy, provides another perspective on the bewitching Elizabeth. Stone's own reminiscences from his time in Venice in 1867 cast further light on the circumstances of his demise. The pages will fly by for most readers, who will lose themselves in the clear prose and compelling plot. 10-city author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
The beautiful mystery by Louise PennyThe beautiful mystery  
Penny, Louise
No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery’s massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of  prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.