Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Firsts on the 1st: New Series Characters Being Introduced in February 2011 Mysteries

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of February 2011 hardcover mysteries as well shelved new February 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 February.

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Ghost Ship by P. J. Alderman
More information about the book

Title: Ghost Ship
Author: P. J. Alderman
Series Character: Jordan Marsh, Port Chatham
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Jordan Marsh is an amateur sleuth living with ghosts in Port Chatham, Washington.

Her first case: A recent transplant to Washington State's charming seaside town of Port Chatham, Jordan is still getting used to sharing her slightly run-down but historic lodging with ghosts. As if living with the long-deceased isn't enough of a challenge, she's just found a corpse: The town's notorious womanizer Holt Stillwell is lying on the beach with a bullet in his head.

Before Jordan can reel in a suspect, another victim surfaces. And this one isn't taking murder lying down. Holt's ancestor Michael Seavey, the Pacific Northwest's most infamous shanghaier, has materialized in Jordan's house, seeking to solve his own death in a suspicious shipwreck in 1893. With two murders to solve and a killer on the loose, Jordan faces yet another equally terrifying prospect: her growing attraction to the very alive and criminally attractive pub owner Jase Cunningham.

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A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett
More information about the book

Title: A Crafty Killing
Author: Lorraine Bartlett
Series Character: Katie Bonner, Victoria Square
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Katie Bonner manages Artisans Alley, the main attraction in the quaint Victoria Square shopping area.

Her first case: The last thing Katie wanted was to become the manager of Artisans Alley. But when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found bludgeoned to death, she has no other choice. Business under Ezra has been faltering — but was it enough to provoke someone to murder? Only Kate can find the answer.

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First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
More information about the book

Title: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series Character: Charlotte Davidson
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Charlotte "Charley" Davidson is a private investigator who helps the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross.

Her first case: Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.

Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life ... and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

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Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
More information about the book

Title: Curiosity Thrilled the Cat
Author: Sofie Kelly
Series Character: Kathleen Paulson
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Kathleen Paulson is a librarian in Mayville Heights, Minnesota. Her magical cats are Owen and Hercules.

Her first case: When Kathleen moved to Mayville Heights, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines.

When murder interrupts Mayville's Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical-and she's relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder.

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Devil-Devil by Graeme Kent
More information about the book

Title: Devil-Devil
Author: Graeme Kent
Series Character: Ben Kella
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Ben Kella is a sergeant in the Solomon Islands Police Force, and as an aofi, a hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people.

His first case: It's not easy being Ben Kella: he is viewed with distrust by both the indigenous islanders and the British colonial authorities. In the past few days he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising, and failed to find an American anthropologist who had been scouring the mountains for a priceless pornographic icon. Then, at a mission station, Kella discovers an independent and rebellious young American nun, Sister Conchita, secretly trying to bury a skeleton. The unlikely pair of Kella and Conchita are forced to team up to solve a series of murders that tie into all these other strange goings-on.

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Force of Habit by Alice Loweecey
More information about the book

Title: Force of Habit
Author: Alice Loweecey
Series Character: Guilia Falcone
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Giulia Falcone is a former nun, now an assistant to PI Frank Driscoll of Driscoll Investigations.

Her first case: Giulia is convinced she's going to Hell. First, because she left the convent. Second, her new job with a private investigator has her sneaking around and lying. Adjusting to life in the outside world isn't easy. Makeup, dating, and sex are all new to her. And despite a crush on her boss Frank Driscoll — a foul-mouthed, soft-hearted ex-cop — Giulia is sure he'd never fall for an ex-nun.

Her first case involves drop-dead handsome Blake Parker, a man with immense wealth and an ego to match. He and his fiancée are getting disturbing "gifts" with messages based on biblical verses. When Giulia is drawn into the stalker's twisted game, salacious photos of her appear, threatening her job and her friendship with Frank. No one imagines — least of all naïve Giulia — the danger ahead, when following the clues turns into a fight for her life.

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Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
More information about the book

Title: Gideon's Sword
Author: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Series Character: Gideon Crew
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Gideon Crew is a trickster, prodigy, and master thief.

His first case: At twelve, Gideon Crew witnessed his father, a world-class mathematician, accused of treason and gunned down.

At twenty-four, summoned to his dying mother's bedside, Gideon learned the truth: His father was framed and deliberately slaughtered. With her last breath, she begged her son to avenge him.

Now, with a new purpose in his life, Gideon crafts a one-time mission of vengeance, aimed at the perpetrator of his father's destruction. His plan is meticulous, spectacular, and successful.

But from the shadows, someone is watching. A very powerful someone, who is impressed by Gideon's special skills. Someone who has need of just such a renegade.

For Gideon, this operation may be only the beginning ...

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Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson
More information about the book

Title: Instruments of Darkness
Author: Imogen Robertson
Series Character: Harriet Westerman
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Harriet Westerman is an English gentlewoman in this series set in the 18th century.

Her first case: In the year 1780, Harriet finds a dead man on the grounds of her country manor in Sussex, with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer, and historical suspense's newest investigative duo is born.

For years, Harriet has sensed the menace of neighboring Thornleigh Hall, seat of the Earl of Sussex. It is the home of a once-great family that has been reduced to an ailing invalid, his whorish wife, and his alcoholic second son, a man haunted by his years spent as a redcoat in the Revolutionary War. The same day, Alexander Adams is slain by an unknown killer in his London music shop, leaving his children orphaned. His death will lead back to Sussex, and to an explosive secret that has already destroyed one family and threatens many others.

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One Rough Man by Brad Taylor
More information about the book

Title: One Rough Man
Author: Brad Taylor
Series Character: Pike Logan
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Pike Logan is a US special forces operative.

His first case: They call it the Taskforce. Their existence is as essential as it is illegal. Commissioned at the highest level of the U.S. government. Protected from the prying eyes of Congress and the media. Built around the top operators from across the clandestine, intelligence, and special forces landscape. Designed to operate outside the bounds of U.S. law. Trained to exist on the ragged edge of human capability.

Pike Logan was the most successful operator on the Taskforce, his instincts and talents unrivaled-until personal tragedy permanently altered his outlook on the world. Pike knows what the rest of the country might not want to admit: The real threat isn't from any nation, any government, any terrorist group. The real threat is one or two men, controlled by ideology, operating independently, in possession of a powerful weapon.

Buried in a stack of intercepted chatter is evidence of two such men. The transcripts are scheduled for analysis in three months. The attack is mere days away. It is their bad luck that they're about to cross paths with Pike Logan. And Pike Logan has nothing left to lose.

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Season of Evil, Season of Dreams by J. C. Weeks
More information about the book

Title: Season of Evil, Season of Dreams
Author: J. C. Weeks
Series Character: Ben Logan
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Ben Logan is the police chief of a small town in the Black Hills, South Dakota.

His first case: Nine skulls litter a remote clearing in the Black Hills outside Gold Hill, South Dakota, presenting Ben with the crime of his life. The skulls form an incomplete circle, leaving the chief with one conclusion: more deaths must occur to complete the pattern.

Ben chases rumors and reports, fending off the mayor's animosity and the barely suppressed enmity of a fellow officer, but his efforts can't prevent his suspension on a trumped-up charge. Unfettered by a badge, he follows his instincts, even when they flaunt the law.

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The Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle
More information about the book

Title: The Dangerous Edge of Things
Author: Tina Whittle
Series Character: Tai Randolph
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Tai Randolph owns a gun shop in Atlanta.

Her first case: Tai thinks inheriting a Confederate-themed gun shop is her biggest headache — until she finds a murdered corpse in her brother's driveway. Even worse, her supposedly respectable brother begins behaving in decidedly non-innocent ways, like fleeing to the Bahamas and leaving her with both a homicide in her lap and the pointed suspicions of the Atlanta PD directed her way. Suddenly, she has to worry about clearing her own name, not just that of her wayward sibling.

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For a list of more mysteries scheduled for publication during February, 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 February 2011 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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