Wednesday, February 01, 2012

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

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of February 2012 hardcover mysteries as well as 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 American debut in print during February. (Purchase options include, Barnes&Noble, and the iTunes iBookstore, which are indicated by icons under the cover image.)

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Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Buried in a Book
Author: Lucy Arlington
Series Character: Lila Wilkins
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Lila Wilkins is a literary agent in North Carolina.

Her first case: After losing her job as a journalist at the age of forty-five, Lila accepts an internship at A Novel Idea, a thriving literary agency. Being paid to read seems perfect to Lila, although it's difficult with the cast of quirky co-workers and piles of query letters. But when a penniless aspiring author drops dead in the agency's waiting room — and Lila discovers a series of threatening letters — she's determined to find out who wrote him off.

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Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Dying in the Wool
Author: Frances Brody
Series Character: Kate Shackleton
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Kate Shackleton is a professional sleuth in this historical series set in England.

Her first case: Bridgestead is a peaceful spot: a babbling brook, rolling hills and a working mill at its heart. Pretty and remote, nothing exceptional happens … until the day that Master of the Mill Joshua Braithwaite goes missing in dramatic circumstances, never to be heard of again. Now Joshua's daughter is getting married and wants one last attempt at finding her father. Has he run off with his mistress, or was he murdered for his mounting coffers?

Kate has always loved solving puzzles. So who better to get to the bottom of Joshua's mysterious disappearance? But as Kate taps into the lives of the Bridgestead dwellers, she opens cracks that some would kill to keep closed …

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Scrapbook of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Scrapbook of Secrets
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Series: Cumberland Creek
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the series: The Cumberland Creek (Virginia) mysteries feature former investigative journalist, now stay-at-home mom Annie.

Her first case: Having traded in her career as a successful investigative journalist for the life of a stay-at-home mum in picturesque Cumberland Creek, Virginia, Annie can't help but feel that something's missing. But she finds solace in a local "crop circle" of scrapbookers united by chore-shy husbands, demanding children, and occasional fantasies of their former single lives. And when the quiet idyll of their small town is shattered by a young mother's suicide, they band together to find out what went wrong, Annie resurrects her reporting skills and discovers that Maggie Rae was a closet scrapbooker who left behind more than a few secrets … and perhaps a few enemies. As they sift through Maggie Rae's mysteriously discarded scrapbooks, Annie and her "crop" sisters begin to suspect that her suicide may have been murder. It seems that something sinister is lurking beneath the town's beguilingly calm facade— like a killer with unfinished business …

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Dead and Not So Buried by James L. Conway
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Dead and Not So Buried
Author: James L. Conway
Series Character: Gideon Kincaid
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Gideon Kincaid is a private investigator in Hollywood.

His first case: Hollywood is rocked after the remains of one of the most idolized movie stars of the '60s are stolen. The thief chooses Gideon to deliver the ransom, forcing the PI and ex-cop to unravel a master plan that will include extortion, blackmail and murder. While trying to stay one step ahead of his nemesis, Gideon is led on a harrowing roller coaster ride through sun and sin-drenched Hollywood.

The dead beauty is not Gideon's only concern; he must also contend with a few live ones. First there's the tough-as-nails cop assigned to the case Gideon's bitter ex-wife. Then there's the gorgeous starlet he must protect. Unfortunately they have a history that puts her in jeopardy. Finally there's Gideon's assistant, the adorable and adoring Hillary, whose involvement in the case endangers them both.

As the body count mounts and the madman's crimes grow ever more audacious, Gideon finds himself in a desperate race against time. Can he put a stop to this crime spree before Gideon himself ends up dead and very buried?

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Death Drops by Chrystle Fiedler
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Death Drops
Author: Chrystle Fiedler
Series Character: Willow McQuade
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Willow McQuade is a naturopathic doctor and new owner of Nature's Way Market & Café. She lives in the picturesque seaside village of Greenport on Long Island in New York.

Her first case: Nature's Way Market and Café sells healthy foods and natural cures for what ails you. But there is no cure for murder …

Even naturopathic doctors need a little stress relief—that's why Willow takes a break to visit her Aunt Claire, owner of the café. But Willow's serenity is shattered when she finds her aunt's lifeless body on the market floor, a bottle of Mimulus lying nearby. Taken to calm one's fear of misfortune, the flower essence clearly failed Aunt Claire … for her death was no accident.

But who would want to kill her? The police soon zero in on Willow herself, who stands to inherit Claire's business and the rights to a breakthrough anti-aging cream. Desperate to prove her innocence, Willow turns to former police officer Jackson Spade for help. Together they unearth a slew of suspects, each with something to gain by Claire's unnatural demise. But as Willow gets closer to the truth, a killer waits to administer one final dose of death.

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Dead Harvest by Chris F. Holm
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Dead Harvest
Author: Chris F. Holm
Series Character: Sam Thornton
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Sam Thorton is a collector of souls.

His first case: Sam's job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure their souls are dispatched to the appropriate destination.

But when he's dispatched to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that's doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before: "No."

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Silent Partner by Jonathan Kellerman, Ande Parks, and Michael Gaydos
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Silent Partner
Author: Jonathan Kellerman; adapted by Ande Parks and illustrated by Michael Gaydos
Series Character: Alex Delaware
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Alex Delaware is a forensic psychologist … and this isn't his first appearance in print. However, it is his first appearance in a graphic novel, adapted from the fourth book in the series (originally published in 1989).

His first case: Alex is struggling to keep his relationship with girlfriend Robin Castagna alive when a beautiful face from the past suddenly steps back into his life. Sharon Ransom was Alex's lover back in the day — until her mind games and increasingly erratic behavior drove them apart. Now Sharon tries to rekindle old feelings and seek his help with some new troubles. Alex turns her away — a decision he bitterly regrets when Sharon ends up dead the next day.

The official ruling is suicide, but for Alex the case won't be closed until he finds out what happened. Driven by guilt and grief, he plunges deep into the territory he knows best — where dark secrets, dangerous fears, and twisted needs prey on hearts and minds. With the aid of his trusted friend, homicide cop Milo Sturgis, Alex traces Sharon's fatal path through a world of Hollywood high life riddled with scandal, corruption, and blood — where innocence and lives are easily lost.

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Lake on the Mountain by Jeffrey Round
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Lake on the Mountain
Author: Jeffrey Round
Series Character: Dan Sharp
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Dan Sharp is a missing persons investigator.

His first case: Dan, a gay father and missing persons investigator, accepts an invitation to a wedding on a yacht in Ontario's Prince Edward County. It seems just the thing to bring Dan closer to his noncommittal partner, Bill, a respected medical professional with a penchant for sleazy after-hours clubs, cheap drugs, and rough sex. But the event doesn't go exactly as planned.

When a member of the wedding party is swept overboard, a case of mistaken identity leads to confusion as the wrong person is reported missing. The hunt for a possible killer leads Dan deeper into the troubled waters and private lives of a family of rich WASPs and their secret world of privilege.

No sooner is that case resolved when a second one ends up on Dan's desk. Dan is hired by an anonymous source to investigate the disappearance 20 years earlier of the groom's father. The only clues are a missing bicycle and six horses mysteriously poisoned.

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

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.


  1. I'm new to your site and don't know the protocols. May I send you news or will that just get me banned?

    mike jahn, Edgar Award-winning author of the Bill Donovan Mysteries and random other stuff.

    1. We welcome any mystery-related news! Simply e-mail us at info(@) and we'll get back to you.

    2. I shall do so right after I put I laundry in the dryer and feed the one who needs to be fed. (Authors have a multitude of chores these days.)

  2. Thanks kindly for the mention!


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