Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Firsts on the 1st: New Series Characters Being Introduced in September 2010 Mysteries

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of September 2010 hardcover mysteries as well shelved new September paperbacks on The Mystery Bookshelf.

In this series of monthly posts, which we call Firsts on the 1st, we're introducing readers to new series characters who will make their mysterious debut during September.

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Disappeared by Gary Alexander
More information about the book

Title: Disappeared
Author: Gary Alexander
Series Character: Buster Hightower
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Buster Hightower is a stand-up comic.

His first case: Former minor league basketball player Ted Snowe lives next door to Buster and his love, Carla Chance, owner of the aptly-named Last Chance Insurance Agency. Unbeknownst to Buster and Carla, Ted is a hit man who isn't. He immobilizes his subjects and gives them the choice of doing it the conventional way or accepting a new identity he's prepared. Naturally, all accept the second option -- for a price.

Ted, who's bluffing, double-dips and everybody's happy.

That is, until his "disappeareds" begin reappearing.

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In the Belly of Jonah by Sandra Brannan
More information about the book

Title: In the Belly of Jonah
Author: Sandra Brannan
Series Character: Liv Bergen
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Liv Berger manages a limestone quarry in Colorado.

Her first case: Liv becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of Jill Brannigan, a summer intern at the limestone mine she manages near Fort Collins, Colorado. In doing so, she inadvertently puts her friends, her family, and herself at risk of being swallowed in the belly of a madman bloated with perverse appetites for women, surrealistic art, and renown.

Perhaps a bit too daring (and at times irreverent) for her own good, ''Boots,'' as Liv's eight siblings call her, soon realizes she has a knack for outsmarting and tracking down the Venus de Milo murderer--and she enjoys it!

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A Nose for Justice by Rita Mae Brown
More information about the book

Title: A Nose for Justice
Author: Rita Mae Brown
Series Character: Mags Rogers
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Magdalena "Mags" Rogers works on a ranch in Nevada.

Her first case: With the ruins of her high-powered Wall Street job now far in the rearview mirror of her rented silver Camaro, thirty-two-year-old Mags arrives at her great-aunt Jeep’s sprawling Wings Ranch to reassemble her life. In the passenger seat, with his suspicious nose to a cracked window, is Mags’s beloved wirehaired dachshund, the urbane Baxter.

Mags was named for her great-aunt, Magdalena—though everyone calls the spry octogenarian rancher Jeep. From piloting planes in World War II to discovering one of America’s largest gold deposits, Jeep has enjoyed a lifetime jam-packed with love and adventure, and she’s not done yet. At her side—to Baxter’s low-down distress—is Jeep’s loyal German Shepherd mix, King. The growlings are mutual: King sniffs that Baxter is a “fuzzy sausage.”

Meanwhile, someone pipe-bombs Red Rock Valley’s pumping station, endangering the water supply near and far. Deputy Pete Meadows links the sabotage to a string of local murders, but he doesn’t yet know if it’s a corporate plot or twisted eco-terrorism. He’s also called out to Wings Ranch when human bones are dug up in Jeep’s barn; the dead man’s ring identifies him as an elite Russian military officer from the late 1800s, apparently knifed to death. In her search to find out whodunit, Mags uncovers fascinating history about Jeep’s ranch, including an intriguing connection to Buffalo Bill.

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Skating Around the Law by Joelle Charbonneau
More information about the book

Title: Skating Around the Law
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series Character: Rebecca Robbins
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Rebecca Robbins is an amateur sleuth in a small Illinois town.

Her first case: Rebecca is a woman on a mission---to sell the roller rink she inherited from her mother and get back to Chicago. Fast. However, when she discovers the dead body of the town’s handyman headfirst in a rink toilet, potential buyers are scared off. Now Rebecca is stuck in a small town where her former neighbors think she doesn’t belong, living with her scarily frisky grandfather, Pop, and relying on a police department that’s better at gardening than solving crimes.

Eager to move forward with her life, Rebecca begins investigating the murder herself, reluctantly accepting help from Pop and his extensive social network, which includes a handsome veterinarian and a former circus camel named Elwood. Nevertheless, someone isn’t happy she’s looking into the case, and their threats will have her questioning whether playing sleuth was such a good idea after all.

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Act of Evil by Ron Chudley
More information about the book

Title: Act of Evil
Author: Ron Chudley
Series Character: Hal Bannatyne
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Hal Bannatyne is a successful actor.

His first case: Bannatyne is in town to shoot a big-budget film. Spotting an old flame, Mattie, he immediately becomes involved with her family. When Mattie s father-in-law tries to protect his land from the hands of a fervent land developer, Bannatyne soon finds he is mixed up in the conflict. Thus the intrigue begins, with a crooked land-development scheme, where someone is willing to stop at nothing to get what is wanted. Things take a turn for the worse with an attempted murder. Soon, the lives of all are in danger.

Bannatyne unravels seemingly innocuous events that all become intertwined and more than anyone bargained for. A death isn t what it seems, no one is who they say they are, and life does not seem real at times.

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A Nose for Hanky Panky by Sharon Love Cook
More information about the book

Title: A Nose for Hanky Panky
Author: Sharon Love Cook
Series Character: Rose McNichols
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Rose McNichols is a newspaper reporter in Granite Cove, New Hampshire.

Her first case: Murder has changed the sleepy fishing village of Granite Cove -- and it's no ordinary killing. Beautiful, brainy Vivian Klinger, Ph.D., was the woman who had everything but a sense of humor. Now she's dead, and Rose is determined to discover the who, what, when, where and why of her demise. Was the killer a prominent Granite Cove attorney or his social-climbing wife? Or a former golden boy who climbed from the wharves on a football scholarship, only to wind up a burned-out drunk? Or was it another suspect unknown, bent upon destroying the small town Rose knows and loves?

Not even gorgeous cop and former high school sweetheart Cal Devine can offer much help, preoccupied as he is with domestic problems. Rose goes it alone in her search for the truth about Dr. Vivian Klinger's true identity ... and who killed her because of it.

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Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
More information about the book

Title: Wicked Appetite
Author: Janet Evanovich
Series Character: Diesel
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Diesel (just Diesel) solves problems among a group of people who possess supernatural powers. He originally appeared in the "between-the-numbers" books of the Stephanie Plum series.

His first case: Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

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Murder in Vein by Sue Ann Jaffarian
More information about the book

Title: Murder in Vein
Author: Sue Ann Jaffarian
Series Character: Madison Rose
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Madison Rose is a waitress in Los Angeles.

Her first case: Vampires. Real live—er, dead (undead?)—bloodsucking vampires, living in the City of Angels. Madison would never have believed it—until a vampire thwarts a vicious attack against her by appearing in the nick of time and finishing off her assailant in one tasty bite.

Madison has been saved by the vampires—or has she? She learns that women have been going missing; their lifeless bodies turning up drained of blood. Now the murderer is after her. As the violence escalates, Madison, LAPD Detective Notchey, and a cadre of alluring and dangerous vampires search for the true killer—while Madison keeps a wary eye on the skittish and thirsty vampires. Will she survive to see the light of day?

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Liar, Liar by K. J. Larsen
More information about the book

Title: Liar, Liar
Author: K. J. Larsen
Series Character: Cat DeLuca
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Cat DeLuca is the owner of the Pants on Fire Detective Agency in Chicago.

Her first case: Cat has a reputation for catching cheaters. It’s a skill Cat mastered when married to her run-around ex, Johnnie Ricco. Armed with a camera, Cat scales balconies, dangles from hotel windows, and splashes the bare facts on 8X10 glossies. They tend to sweeten her clients’ divorce settlements.

Life takes a strange turn when a reporter for the Chicago Tribune (Rita Polansky) masquerades as a client with a liar-liar husband. Rita retains Cat to follow Chance Savino, a steamy guy with a pocketful of smuggled diamonds. The detective is hot on his heels when an exploding building hurls her out of her sling-backs and into the hospital. The FBI claims Savino was killed in the fireworks but Cat isn’t buying it. She escapes the hospital determined to find out.

When her client fails to show for a scheduled meeting, Cat finds her at home with a knife in her chest. She learns the reporter was researching a ball-buster story involving a gangster, gun smuggling, and a pocketful of diamonds. Cat discovers two clues in Rita’s apartment; Starburst candy wrappers and Chance Savino rummaging through her drawers.

Meanwhile, no one believes Chance is alive, everyone thinks Cat’s crazy, and Cat makes a murderer’s “must kill” list. A botched attempt puts ex husband, Johnnie Ricco on the short list of suspects. Can Cat solve this case before it is too late?

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Immortal Quest by Alexandra MacKenzie
More information about the book

Title: Immortal Quest
Author: Alexandra MacKenzie
Series Character: Nick Wilson
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Nick Wilson is a detective in London who works with a mage.

His first case: 500-year-old Mage Marlen will do anything possible to get mortal Detective Nicholas Watson to remember their past lives together.

Confronted by an arrested thief who claims to be his best friend of many lifetimes, the young detective sargeant struggles to come to grips with Marlen’s story. Nick’s skepticism begins to wane, however, when the mage tells him details — intimate secrets about himself no one could know!

Before Marlen can reveal more though, he needs Nick’s help!

In a bid to secure a spell to help the detective remember the truth, Marlen accidentally releases Vere, one of the world’s most powerful immortals, from her multi-century imprisonment.

Cast into a quest across Wales and Scotland, Nick and Marlen must rapidly retrieve three Objects of Power before Vere can find them and use the hidden objects in her most potent spell — one that could destroy the world!

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Needle in a Haystack by Ernesto Mallo
More information about the book

Title: Needle in a Haystack
Author: Ernesto Mallo
Series Character: Superintendent Lascano
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Superintendent Lascano is a police detective in Buenos Aires during the 1970s.

His first case: Working under the shadow of military rule, Lascano is sent to investigate a double murder. He arrives at the crime scene to find three bodies. Two are clearly the work of the Junta's death squads, murders he is forced to ignore; the other one seems different.

The trail leads Lascano through a decadent Argentina, a country poisoned to its core by the tyranny of the regime. The third corpse turns out to be that of Biterman, moneylender and Auschwitz survivor. When Lascano digs too deep, he must confront Giribaldi, an army major, quick to help old friends but ruthless in dealing with dissenters such as Eva, the young militant with whom Lascano is falling in love.

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A Deadly Row by Casey Mayes
More information about the book

Title: A Deadly Row
Author: Casey Mayes
Series Character: Savannah Shore
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Savannah Shore is a puzzle-maker married to a retired police chief.

Her first case: Math whiz Savannah makes a living creating puzzles in rural North Carolina. But when the mayor starts receiving death threats, Savannah needs to solve this puzzle -- before the next box to be filled is the mayor's coffin.

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Buzz Off by Hannah Reed
More information about the book

Title: Buzz Off
Author: Hannah Reed
Series Character: Story Fischer
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Story Fischer is a beekeeper in Wisconsin.

Her first case: It's September -- National Honey Month -- in Moraine, Wisconsin, and things are looking up for Story. Her messy divorce is final; the honey from her beekeeping business has been harvested; and the Wild Clover, the market she owns, is thriving. Life seems pretty sweet until her mentor in the honey business is found stung to death in his apiary.

Story is still trying to explain to the panicked locals that Manny was killed by wasps, not honeybees, when another body is found floating in the Oconomowoc River. This time the evidence points to Story's ex. Sure, Clay's a womanizer and a buzz kill -- but a murderer?

With the townsfolk stirred up against her honeybees, and a handsome cop -- who also happens to be Story's former high school sweetheart -- putting Clay in cuffs, it's up to Story to get them both out of a very sticky situation.

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A Clause for Murder by Jill Shure
More information about the book

Title: A Clause for Murder
Author: Jill Shure
Series Character: Betsy Ross
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Betsy Ross sells insurance in southern California.

Her first case: Courtney Farrow is a woman other women despise. She will steal your lover or husband, leave you crying, and wash her hands in your tears. Her special victim is Betsy Ross. Ever since Courtney bought life insurance from Betsy and insinuated herself into Betsy's circle of friends, Courtney has used all her charms to seduce every guy in Betsy's life. So when Courtney turns up deader than a cooked Brussels sprout in a neighbor's garage, after an ugly confrontation with Betsy at a party, more than a few fingers point to Betsy as the murderess. In order to save herself from being the prime suspect, Betsy must discover who killed Courtney Farrow, a woman too many men loved and too many women despised a woman who made men and women pay for her favors.

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Dead Politician Society by Robin Spano
More information about the book

Title: Dead Politician Society
Author: Robin Spano
Series Character: Clare Vengel
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Clare Vengel is an undercover cop.

Her first case: When the mayor keels over dead in the middle of a speech, a clandestine student society immediately takes credit for his demise. Their mission is to create a perfect political system by any means at their disposal. Clare, a rookie officer fresh from the police academy and beyond bored with her routine as a beat cop, volunteers to go undercover as a student to infiltrate the secretive organization. A streetwise amateur mechanic, Clare takes a dim view of book smarts—she is of the opinion that higher education is for people who can't handle the real world. In short order, she alienates a popular professor and begins to lose the respect of her police superiors. Soon, another politician is killed, and Clare steps up her clandestine involvement with the suspect students. When two more politicians die, the race begins to apprehend the culprits before her own duplicity can be revealed.

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For a list of more mysteries scheduled for publication during September, please visit our New Mysteries home page. If you're interested in new paperbacks, visit The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, also updated with September 2010 releases.

Please also visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books where we are committed to providing readers and collectors of mystery books with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.


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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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