Friday, October 01, 2010

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

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of October 2010 hardcover mysteries as well shelved new October 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 October.

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Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden
More information about the book

Title: Murder at the PTA
Author: Laura Alden
Series Character: Beth Kennedy
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Beth Kennedy is a bookstore owner and the secretary for the local PTA in this series set in Wisconsin.

Her first case: After Tarver Elementary School's unpopular principal is murdered, Beth puts aside bake sales and class trip fund-raisers to catch a killer. And when members of the PTA become suspects, she realizes solving this murder will not be as easy as ABC ...

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In Search of Mercy by Michael Ayoob
More information about the book

Title: In Search of Mercy
Author: Michael Ayoob
Series Character: Dexter Bolzjak
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Dexter Bolzjak is an ex–hockey goalie.

His first case: Dexter was abducted and tortured by perverted sports fans eight years ago. Now he’s muddling along in a Pittsburgh warehouse when he meets an old, terminally ill drunk named Lou Kashon. Lou wants to see his lost love, the actress Mercy Carnahan, and offers Dexter a fortune to find her. Dexter embarks on the search, retracing Mercy’s past online and on foot, following Mercy’s trail to New York, where he finds a voyeuristic film of the actress recorded shortly before her disappearance. Once Dexter connects that film to its source, he finds himself trapped in the ultimate nightmare.

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Fundraising the Dead by Sheila Connolly
More information about the book

Title: Fundraising the Dead
Author: Sheila Connolly
Series Character: Eleanor "Nell" Pratt
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Eleanor "Nell" Pratt is a fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society.

Her first case: As the Society's fundraiser, Nell solicits donations -- and sometimes solves crimes. When a collection of George Washington's letters is lost on the same day that an archivist is found dead, it seems strange that the Society president isn't pushing for an investigation. Nell goes digging herself, and soon uncovers a long, rich history of crime.

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The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby
More information about the book

Title: The Pericles Commission
Author: Gary Corby
Series Character: Nicolaos
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Nicolaos is an agent for the politician Pericles and older brother to a young Socrates.

His first case: Nicolaos walks the mean streets of Athens, on a mission to find the assassin of the statesman Ephialtes, the man who brought democracy to the city and whose murder has thrown it into uproar. It’s a job not made any easier by the depressingly increasing number of dead witnesses.

But murder and mayhem don’t bother Nico; what’s really on his mind is how to get closer (much closer) to Diotima, the intelligent and annoyingly virgin priestess of Artemis, and how to shake off his irritating twelve year-old brother Socrates.

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Swift Justice by Laura A. H. DiSilverio
More information about the book

Title: Swift Justice
Author: Laura A. H. DiSilverio
Series Character: Charlotte "Charlie" Swift
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Former US Air Force investigator Charlotte "Charlie" Swift is a private investigator in Colorado Springs (Colorado).

Her first case: Charlie's silent partner in Swift Investigations flees the country, leaving his wife, Gigi, with nothing but the house, the Hummer, and a half interest in the company. Charlie ends up with a heap of debt and Gigi, who has decided to be a not-so-silent partner. This change comes about while Charlie is trying to find the mother of a baby abandoned on a client’s doorstep. While following leads, she sends Gigi out on crazy assignments, hoping that the pampered socialite will be driven to quit. However, when the baby’s mother turns up dead, there’s a murderer on the loose, and Charlie will need all the help she can get.

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Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst
More information about the book

Title: Old World Murder
Author: Kathleen Ernst
Series Character: Chloe Ellefson
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Chloe Ellefson is a collections curator at Old World Wisconsin.

Her first case: Chloe's first day on the job at the outdoor ethnic museum only brings misfortune when an elderly woman pleads with her to find the priceless eighteenth-century Norwegian ale bowl that she donated to the museum years ago. Minutes later, the disappointed woman dies in a mysterious car crash.

Throwing herself into a dangerous investigation, Chloe discovers that someone is desperately trying to erase all traces of the bowl's existence by any means necessary ... including murder. With the unnervingly attractive part-time cop Roelke McKenna at her side, Chloe must solve a decades-old puzzle, catch a covetous killer, and stay alive in this deadly heirloom hunt.

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Three Bedrooms, Two Baths, One Very Dead Corpse by David James
More information about the book

Title: Three Bedrooms, Two Baths, One Very Dead Corpse
Author: David James
Series Character: Amanda Thorne
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Amanda Thorne is a realtor in Palm Springs (California).

Her first case: Amanda knows the golden rule of selling homes. Unless, of course, the prime property includes one very dead corpse ...

Amanda is pretty resilient, but she's taken a few hard knocks since she moved to plush Palm Springs. After a divorce from her husband and business partner, Alex, she's determined to make it on her own in real estate -- despite scorpions, 100-degree heat, and an encounter with a cactus en route to her first big listing. And when she finally arrives at the Mid-century modern manse, a lifeless body in the living room really ruins the ambiance. Starting her own investigation to clear her name, what's clear is that someone wants Amanda's inquiring mind off the market -- permanently. But she's tracking down this killer ... even if it leads her to death's handcrafted, Mission style door.

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Yü by Joy Shayne Laughter
More information about the book

Author: Joy Shayne Laughter
Series Character: Ross Lamos
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Ross Lamos is a dealer in fine art.

His first case: Lamos has built his career dealing in Asian art and antiquities by hiding his very useful psychic touch. When he holds the yü -- jade, the Stone of Heaven -- it reveals an extraordinary history, and his role in a love story that changed the course of a Dynasty ... the love between an extraordinary Concubine and a Prince, the son of her Emperor, and the Poet caught between them all ... a story hidden for two thousand years in three pieces of yü.

— ◊ —

You Are Next by Katia Lief
More information about the book

Title: You Are Next
Author: Katia Lief
Series Character: Karin Schaeffer
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Karin Schaeffer is a former police detective, now studying forensic psychology.

Her first case: Karin has nothing left to live for after serial killer Martin Price destroys all she holds dear. Known as "The Domino Killer" because he leaves dominoes as a clue to his next victim, Price doesn't stop until an entire family is destroyed. Even when he's locked away in prison, the shadow he casts over Karin's life keeps her in constant darkness.

Then a policeman brings news to her door: Price has escaped. Karin knows where he's headed because of the message he left behind last time, scrawled in blood, on her bathroom mirror—

You are next.

— ◊ —

Roman Games by Bruce Macbain
More information about the book

Title: Roman Games
Author: Bruce Macbain
Series Character: Plinius Secundus
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Plinius Secundus is a lawyer in late 1st century Rome.

His first case: When the body of Sextus Verpa, a notorious senatorial informer and libertine, is found stabbed to death in his bedroom, his slaves are suspected. Pliny is ordered by the emperor Domitian to investigate. However, the Ludi Romani, the Roman Games, have just begun and for the next fifteen days the law courts are in recess. If Pliny can't identify the murderer in that time, Verpa's entire slave household will be burned alive in the arena.

Teaming up with Martial, a starving author of bawdy verses and denizen of the Roman demimonde, they pool their respective talents, and unravel a plot that involves Jewish and Christian "atheists," exotic Egyptian cultists, and a missing horoscope that forecasts the emperor's death.

— ◊ —

Collusion by Stuart Neville
More information about the book

Title: Collusion
Author: Stuart Neville
Series Character: Jack Lennon
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Jack Lennon is a Detective Inspector in Belfast (Northern Ireland).

His first case: When Lennon tries to track down his former lover Marie McKenna and their daughter, his superiors tell him to back off. But now an assassin stalks Belfast, tying up loose ends for a vengeance-driven old man. As Lennon unravels a conspiracy that links his daughter to a killer named Fegan, the line between friend and enemy blurs.

(Note: Though we're characterizing this novel as the first in a series, many of the characters were introduced in Neville's previous book, The Ghosts of Belfast.)

— ◊ —

A Brisket, a Casket by Delia Rosen
More information about the book

Title: A Brisket, a Casket
Author: Delia Rosen
Series Character: Gwen Silver (Deadly Deli)
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Native New Yorker Gwen Silver runs a deli in Nashville (Tennessee).

Her first case: When Gwen inherits her uncle's deli, Murray the Pastrami Swami, the venture seems doomed from the start. Murray has taken his recipes and secret list of food suppliers to the grave with him, and ruthless real estate developer Royce Sinclair will stop at nothing to try and sandwich Murray’s into his already overstuffed portfolio. Then, on Kosher Karaoke Night, longtime customer Buster Sergeant bites into his brisket … and bites the dust. With the help of hunky police detective Beau McClintock, “Nashville Katz”—as Gwen is quickly nicknamed—finds herself adding “private investigator” to her resume—and a new love to her life.

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To the Manor Dead by Sebastian Stuart
More information about the book

Title: To the Manor Dead
Author: Sebastian Stuart
Series Character: Janet Petrocelli (Janet's Planet)
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Janet Petrocelli is a former therapist from New York City who relocates to the Catskills and opens a used-stuff shop.

Her first case: Janet has made a new, low-stress life for herself as a collectibles shop owner in the quiet Hudson Valley river town of Sawyersville. Unfortunately, Janet is a magnet for nut jobs. In this case, it's the Livingstons, an aristocratic family that has gone to seed in a disturbingly seedy way. When the elderly estate co-owner, Daphne Livingston, offers her prized heirlooms to Janet for a hasty sale, the seemingly simple deal morphs into a tangled web of insanity, greed, and murder. Despite her resolve to steer clear of the murky depths of degeneracy and deceit, Janet becomes obsessed with finding justice for the dead ... if the killer doesn't find her first.

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For a list of more mysteries scheduled for publication during October, 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 October 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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