The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of December 2010 hardcover mysteries as well shelved new December 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 December.
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Title: Death and the Running Patterer
Author: Robin Adair
Series Character: Nicodemus Dunne
Format: Trade Paperback
What we know about the character: Nicodemus Dunne is a former London policeman living in New South Wales in this series of "curious murders" set in the early 1800s.
His first case: Sydney in 1828 is a city built on the backs of exiled convicts. But in a colony of criminals, how do you narrow down the list of suspects when a murderer is on the rampage?
Nicodemus Dunne now lives in Sydney after being deported on trumped up charges of assault, making his living in New South Wales as a running patterer, spreading the news of the day by word of mouth. Confronted with a series of gruesome and horribly inventive murders, the governor seeks out Dunne for his investigative skills and his ability to infiltrate all levels of society.
With each mutilated body, the murderer has left clues for Dunne to decipher. Can he put the pieces of the puzzle together and catch his elusive quarry without becoming prey himself?
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Title: Circle of Lies
Author: Douglas Alan
Series Character: John Delaney
What we know about the character: John Delaney is an ex-NYPD detective turned lawyer, married to Katherine Adams, also a lawyer.
Their first case: Delaney is asked to defend Ted Jordan, a childhood friend who has been arrested for the torture and murder of his law partner. Jordan adamantly maintains his innocence but the police have traced his fingerprints to the dead man's house and a half-million dollars to his bank account. On his way to interview Jordan at the jail, Delaney is approached by a mysterious woman who identifies herself as Ted's friend. She offers to post his bond and warns Delaney to be careful if anyone from the Tissinger Corporation contacts him in connection with the case.
Ted insists he has been set up by Tissinger because he accidentally stumbled onto data showing they deliberately concealed information about suicides in a test group for their latest depression medication.
As Delaney and Adams start to dig, they are confronted by an NSA agent who tires to warn them off. When a second dead body is found in Jordan's condominium and Jordan disappears they are left with more questions than answers. But Delaney isn’t someone who takes no for an answer and he and Katherine will stop at nothing to find the truth.
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Title: If Walls Could Talk
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Series Character: Melanie Turner
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What we know about the character: Melanie Turner remodels haunted houses in San Francisco.
Her first case: Melanie has made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line.
At her newest project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, Mel is visited by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end with power tools. Mel hopes that by nailing the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man-and not end up a construction casualty herself ...
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Title: Red Station
Author: Adrian Magson
Series Character: Harry Tate
What we know about the character: Harry Tate is a former soldier, loyal Security Services (MI5) officer and a servant of the State. He does what he's told, fighting the war against terrorism, drugs and high-level criminal gangs.
His first case: When things go bad, and two civilians are shot dead during a drugs intercept, Harry agrees to take an immediate posting to a place called Red Station, to help the agency avoid embarrassing media questions.
All Harry knows is, it's in a remote place where he will be under strict orders to stay off the radar -- a No Contact Rule. That includes former colleagues, friends, family - everyone.
What his bosses haven't told him, however, is that Red Station is a punishment posting for washed-out spooks from MI5 and MI6 ... and that Harry won't be coming home.
Which is where they have seriously underestimated their man. Because the loyal servant has his limits, and when he finds that the set-up behind Red Station is not all that it seems, and his life is in imminent danger, not only from an invading Russian army but a government assassination team known as The Hit, he decides to fight back.
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For a list of more mysteries scheduled for publication during December, 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 December 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.