Sunday, April 01, 2012

Firsts on the 1st: New Series Characters Being Introduced in April 2012 Mysteries

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of April 2012 hardcover mysteries as well as shelved new April 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 American debut in print during April.

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The Corpse with the Silver Tongue by Cathy Ace
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: The Corpse with the Silver Tongue
Author: Cathy Ace
Series Character: Cait Morgan
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Cait Morgan is a criminalogist, who specializes in profiling.

Her first case: In the south of France where hatred simmers in the heat, a man seemingly admired, and certainly feared, drops dead at a dinner party. All of the guests fall under suspicion, including Welsh-Canadian professor Cait Morgan, who sets out to solve the murder — and clear her name. Add to this the disappearance of an ancient Celtic gold collar said to be cursed and there you have the ingredients for a Nicoise salad of death, secrets, and lies. Will Cait find the killer before she too falls victim to a murderer driven by a surprising and disturbing motive?

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50% Off Murder by Josie Belle
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: 50% Off Murder
Author: Josie Belle
Series Character: Maggie Gerber, Good Buy Girls
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Maggie Gerber is a founding member of the Good Buy Girls in St. Stanley, Virginia.

Her first case: Maggie Gerber loves her quiet life. But all that changes when Sam Collins, her old flame, moves back to town as the new sheriff. On top of that, Claire Freemont, a librarian and the newest member of the Good Buy Girls, starts acting utterly strange.

When Maggie goes to visit her the next day at the library, she finds the body of a very dead man. Turns out the man is someone from Claire's past. As the handsome new sheriff zeroes in on Claire, it's up to Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls to use their bargain-hunting skills to hunt a killer-while making sure they don't pay too much in the process …

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A Killer Read by Erika Chase
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: A Killer Read
Author: Erika Chase
Series Character: Ashton Corners Book Club
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the characters: The mysteries in this series feature members of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society.

Their first case: For the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society, six friends gather in Molly Matthews's old Southern mansion — including Lizzie Turner, a reading specialist with a penchant for mysteries. But the mystery book club meeting becomes the scene of an actual murder when a stranger is shot-and nobody knows who the victim is, or how Molly' antique gun came to be used as the murder weapon.

Then Lizzie begins finding mysterious manuscript chapters in her mailbox. As she and the book club members try to read between the lines, Molly surfaces as the next name on the killer's list …

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Viral by Jim Lilliefors
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Viral
Author: Jim Lilliefors
Series Character: Charles Mallory
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Former CIA operative Charles Mallory is a private intelligence contractor.

His first case: In remote pockets of the Third World, a deadly virus is quietly sweeping through impoverished farming villages and shanty towns with frightening speed and potency. Meanwhile, in Washington, a three-word message left in a safe-deposit box may be the key to stopping the crisis — if, that is, Mallory can decipher the puzzle before time runs out.

What Mallory begins to discover are the traces of a secret war, with a bold objective — to create a new, technologically advanced society. With the help of his brother Jon, an investigative reporter, can he break the story to the world before it is too late — before a planned “humane depopulation” takes place?

As the stakes and strategies of this secret war become more evident, the Mallory brothers find themselves in a complex game of wits with an enemy they can’t see: a new sort of superpower led by a brilliant, elusive tactician who believes that ends justify means.

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Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Mr. Churchill's Secretary
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Series Character: Maggie Hope
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Young American Maggie Hope is a secretary to the newly appointed Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill.

Her first case: London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined — and opportunities she will not let pass. In troubled, deadly times, with air-raid sirens sending multitudes underground, access to the War Rooms also exposes Maggie to the machinations of a menacing faction determined to do whatever it takes to change the course of history.

Ensnared in a web of spies, murder, and intrigue, Maggie must work quickly to balance her duty to King and Country with her chances for survival. And when she unravels a mystery that points toward her own family’s hidden secrets, she’ll discover that her quick wits are all that stand between an assassin’s murderous plan and Churchill himself.

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Shore Excursion by Marie Moore
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Shore Excursion
Author: Marie Moore
Series Character: Sidney Marsh
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Sidney Marsh is a travel agent who conducts tour groups around the world.

Her first case: Travel agents are a vanishing breed, but Sidney Marsh, a New York transplant from Mississippi, is holding her ground — at least on land. She is the tour leader on a cruise through Scandinavia for a group of eccentric senior citizens who call themselves the High Steppers. Sidney expects her days to be filled with long meals, shopping expeditions and visits to museums, churches and fjords.

But this cruise is anything but routine. There is a killer on board, targeting the High Steppers and quite possibly herself. After the first suspicious death, the captain and his crew are grimly determined to carry on as usual. Disgusted with their inaction, Sidney decides to take matters into her own hands and launch her own investigation. She enlists the halfhearted help of her friend and business partner, the flamboyant and fun-loving Jay Wilson. Suspects abound. What about those two handsome young men who stay mysteriously aloof? One of them has his eye on Sidney. So does another passenger, far too charming and again too young to fit the "High Stepper" mold. Then there's Captain Vargos, the arrogant ladies' man whose plans to thwart Sidney's investigation might include seduction. Who is that crew member shadowing Sidney? Is the theater really haunted? Even the High Steppers themselves are not as predictable or harmless as they seem. The closer Sydney gets to the truth, the less she understands.

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The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: The Inquisitor
Author: Mark Allen Smith
Series Character: Geiger
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Geiger is a professional torturer in the business of "information retrieval".

His first case: Geiger has a gift: he knows a lie the instant he hears it. And in his business — called "information retrieval" by its practitioners — that gift is invaluable, because truth is the hottest thing on the market.

Geiger's clients count on him to extract the truth from even the most reluctant subjects. Unlike most of his competitors, Geiger rarely sheds blood, but he does use a variety of techniques — some physical, many psychological — to push his subjects to a point where pain takes a backseat to fear. Because only then will they finally stop lying.

One of Geiger's rules is that he never works with children. So when his partner, former journalist Harry Boddicker, unwittingly brings in a client who demands that Geiger interrogate a twelve-year-old boy, Geiger responds instinctively. He rescues the boy from his captor, removes him to the safety of his New York City loft, and promises to protect him from further harm. But if Geiger and Harry cannot quickly discover why the client is so desperate to learn the boy's secret, they themselves will become the victims of an utterly ruthless adversary.

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The Thirteenth Sacrifice by Debbie Viguié
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: The Thirteenth Sacrifice
Author: Debbie Viguié
Series Character: Samantha Ryan, Witch Hunt
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Samantha Ryan is a Boston cop.

Her first case: When young women start dying, Samantha Ryan is the perfect person to investigate, for only she knows what the archais symbol carved into their flesh means. The last in a long line of ruthless witches, she grew up in a coven seduced by power and greed. And now she's sure that bad witches have returned to Salem.

Reluctantly, Samantha goes undercover — into a town obsessed with black magic, into her terrifying past, and into thedark, newly awakened heart of evil.

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Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Blackbirds
Author: Chuck Wendig
Series Character: Miriam Black
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Miriam Black is psychic: she knows when you will die.

Her first case: Still in her early twenties, Miriam has foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.

Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can't save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she'll have to try.

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Walking into the Ocean by David Whellams
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Walking into the Ocean
Author: David Whellams
Series Character: Peter Cammon
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Peter Cammon is a semi-retired Scotland Yard Chief Inspector.

His first case: Cammon journeys to the Jurassic Coast to solve a seemingly ordinary domestic crime. At first glance, the perpetrator appears to have murdered his wife before drowning in the English Channel, but Cammon soon learns that his case is merely a sideshow.

A broader series of murders has been unfolding along the cliffs, baffling the local police. Realizing that his assignment cannot be completed without figuring out the serial killings that threaten the region, the detective travels from London, Dorset, and Devon to the island of Malta, relentlessly following the overlapping threads of the two cases to their shocking climax.

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For a list of more hardcover mysteries scheduled for publication during April, 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 April 2012 releases. See also our regularly updated eBook site for new mysteries, suspense novels and thrillers, MysterEbooks.com.

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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