A list of the top ten mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending September 29, 2006 has been posted on the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books website.
Topping the lists this week is the latest horse racing thriller from Dick Francis, Under Orders. Not only does this mark the return of Francis, but also his ex-jockey/detective Sid Halley. Halley had been called upon by Lord Enstone to make discreet inquiries into why his horses appeared to be on a permanent losing streak. Are races being fixed? Are bookies taking a cut? And if so, are trainers and jockeys playing a dangerous game with stakes far higher than they are realistic? Halley's quest for answers draws him even deeper into the darker side of the race game, in a life-or-death power play that will push him to his very limits-both professionally and personally. Publishers Weekly states, "The writing and action are as crisp as ever, though longtime Francis fans may find the plot a little familiar."
Also new this week is the second Harper Connelly mystery, Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris. A college class gets more than it bargained for when Harper gives a demonstration of her uncanny talent. Instead of just finding one body in an old grave, she finds two: the original occupant and a recently deceased girl whom Harper had tried, and failed, to find two years previously. To dispel suspicions about her own innocence, Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver undertake their own hunt to find the killer-only to find yet another body in the same grave. Kirkus Reviews writes, "Believers and skeptics alike will enjoy Harper's search for the truth and her changing relationship with Tolliver."
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