Friday, July 01, 2011

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

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of July 2011 hardcover mysteries as well as shelved new July 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 during July. (Purchase options are indicated by icons under the cover image.)

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Chihuahua of the Baskervilles by Esri Allbritten
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Chihuahua of the Baskervilles
Author: Esri Allbritten
Series Characters: "Tripping Magazine"
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the charactera: The eccentric staff of Tripping Magazine are featured in this series of paranormal mysteries.

Her first case: The magazine staff go to Manitou Springs, Colorado, to investigate a ghostly Chihuahua spotted by the rich founder of a clothing catalog for small dogs. Is the glowing apparition really the deceased namesake of Petey’s Closet, "Where Dapper Dogs Shop"? Or is someone trying to teach a dead dog new tricks?

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A Question of Despair by Maureen Carter
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: A Question of Despair
Author: Maureen Carter
Series Character: Sarah Quinn
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Sarah Quinn is a Detective Inspector in Birmingham (England).

Her first case: When a baby is snatched from outside a Birmingham newsagent, Quinn and feisty TV reporter Caroline King clash head-on in the desperate search to find her. Quinn’s cool investigative methods contrast with those of the fiery King, who’ll stop at nothing in pursuit of a good story. But as the investigation stonewalls, it soon becomes clear that the two enemies will have to work together if the police are to have any chance of success ...

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Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Killed at the Whim of a Hat
Author: Colin Cotterill
Series Character: Jimm Juree
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Jimm Juree is a crime reporter in rural Thailand.

Her first case: Jimm was a crime reporter for the Chiang Mai Daily Mail with a somewhat eccentric family — a mother who might be drifting mentally; a grandfather — a retired cop — who rarely talks; a younger brother obsessed with body-building, and a transgendered, former beauty pageant queen, former older brother. When Jimm is forced to follow her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she's convinced her career — maybe her life — is over. So when a van containing the skeletal remains of two hippies, one of them wearing a hat, is inexplicably unearthed in a local farmer's field, Jimm is thrilled. Shortly thereafter an abbot at a local Buddhist temple is viciously murdered, with the temple's monk and nun the only suspects.

Suddenly Jimm's new life becomes somewhat more promising — and a lot more deadly. And if Jimm is to make the most of this opportunity, and unravel the mysteries that underlie these inexplicable events, it will take luck, perseverance, and the help of her entire family.

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Misterioso by Arne Dahl
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Misterioso
Author: Arne Dahl
Series Character: Paul Hjelm
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Paul Hjelm is a police officer in suburban Stockholm (Sweden).

His first case: After successfully — but bloodily — dismantling a complicated hostage situation at a bank in the suburbs of Stockholm, Hjelm is faced with the requisite investigation by Internal Affairs. It is a potentially career-ending inquiry, but he is plucked out of it by the National Criminal Police commissioner, who drops him into an elite task force of officers assembled from across the country to find an elusive killer with a sophisticated modus operandi and even more sophisticated tastes.

Targeting Sweden’s high-profile business leaders, the killer breaks into their homes at night, waits for his victims, places two bullets in their heads with deadly precision, and removes the bullets from the walls — a ritual enacted to a rare bootleg recording of Thelonious Monk’s jazz classic "Misterioso."

As Hjelm, his young, doggedly energetic partner, Jorge Chavez, and the rest of the team follow one lead after another in their pursuit—navigating the murky underworlds of the Russian Mafia and the secretive members-only society of Sweden’s wealthiest denizens — they must also delve into one of the country’s most persistent ills: a deep-rooted xenophobia that affects both the police and the perpetrator in a small nation that is becoming rapidly internationalized.

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Pacific Heights by Paul Harper
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Pacific Heights
Author: Paul Harper
Series Character: Marten Fane
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Marten Fane is a former intelligence officer living in San Francisco (California).

His first case: A couple meets in a seedy hotel room for an illicit affair, the rules of which are simple: no names, no personal details, the specifics of their lives off-limits. It's all very exciting to Lore Cha — the wife of a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur — who thinks their forbidden meetings and taboo sexual encounters are exactly the escape she's been looking for: every single detail is as she imagined. But that's the problem. Phillip Krey anticipates every thought before she has it. He plays out her untold fantasies down to the last detail. His insights are beyond intuitive; they're invasive, even frightening. It's as if he has access into her mind. Across town, Elise Currin, wife to one of San Francisco's most powerful businessmen, is also seeing Krey, and is slowly being driven insane by his ability to tap in to her most private desires. When it's revealed that these women are also seeing the same therapist, a chilling scenario unfolds, and the quiet, plotting detective Marten Fane is called in.

Slowly Fane uncovers a plot that goes beyond Krey to reveal a powerful private sector, secret government involvement, and one of the most elaborate and monstrous psychological experiments imaginable: a traceless form of murder.

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Deed to Death by D. B. Henson
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Deed to Death
Author: D. B. Henson
Series Character: Toni Matthews
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Toni Matthews is a real estate agent in Nashville (Tennessee).

Her first case: At 29, Toni is on the cusp of having it all — a successful career as one of the top real estate agents in Nashville, great friends, and the partner and family she’d always longed for in her fiancé, architect Scott Chadwick.

But just days before their planned nuptials, Scott plummets to his death at one of his construction sites and Toni is forced to bury her fiancé on their wedding day. Now living all alone in their new, custom-made dream house, dealing with her loss becomes even harder when the police rule his death a suicide. Yet Toni refuses to believe that it could be anything other than a tragic accident.

When she learns that Scott’s estranged brother, Brian, is contesting the will, threatening to take away her home, Toni starts to suspect that it may not have been a mere accident but something more sinister. Without the cooperation of the police, and in spite of her friends’ growing concern that she’s in denial and not dealing with her grief, Toni begins investigating on her own. As she crisscrosses Nashville on a mission to prove to herself and the world that Scott wouldn’t try to escape this life, Toni can’t shake the sinking feeling that something is off, that she’s being followed — and that her search for truth may have deadly consequences.

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The Square Root of Murder by Ada Madison
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: The Square Root of Murder
Author: Ada Madison
Series Character: Sophie Knowles
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Dr. Sophie Knowles teaches math at Henley College in Massachusetts.

Her first case: When a colleague turns up dead, it's up to her to find the killer before someone else gets subtracted.

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Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Books Can Be Deceiving
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Series Character: Lindsey Norris, Library Lover's
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Lindsey Norris is the director of the Public Library in Briar Creek, a quaint coastal town in Connecticut.

Her first case: Lindsey is getting into her groove when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey's friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children's book, but Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he's found murdered — and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person.

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Original Sin by Beth McMullen
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: Original Sin
Author: Beth McMullen
Series Character: Sally Sin
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Lucy Hamilton is a stay-at-home San Francisco mom … and she is also a spy code-named "Sally Sin".

Her first case: After falling in love and making a quick exit from her nine-year career in the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction), Sally does her best to become Lucy Hamilton. No one, not even her adoring husband Will, knows about her secret agent escapades — chasing no-good masterminds through perilous jungles, escaping evil assassins, and playing dangerous games of cat and mouse with her old nemesis, Ian Blackford, a notorious and dashing illegal arms dealer.

In her new life as Lucy Hamilton, she squeezes inside forts crafted from couch cushions by her three-year-old son Theo, makes organic applesauce, and frequents the zoo. But sometimes her well-honed spy reflexes refuse to lay low. She can't help breaking into her own house to check on the babysitter or stop herself from tossing the yoga instructor who gets on her nerves. And when Ian Blackford, who is supposed to be dead, once again starts causing trouble for the USAWMD, the agency becomes desperate to get Sally back on the job.

How can Sally or Lucy or whatever her name is save the planet while at the same time keeping her own family's world from spinning out of control?

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A Killing in Antiques by Mary Moody
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: A Killing in Antiques
Author: Mary Moody
Series Character: Lucy St. Elmo, Antiques
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Lucy St. Elmo is an antiques dealer in central Massachusetts.

Her first case: Treasure hunting is not for the faint of heart. Luckily, Lucy has more than enough heart. What she needs to improve are her tracking skills — or else the wrong man could be convince of a one-of-a-kind murder.

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Wahoo Rhapsody by Shaun Morey
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Wahoo Rhapsody
Author: Shaun Morey
Series Character: Atticus Fish
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Atticus Fish is an ex-pat American lawyer in Baja California.

His first case: Take one sea-loving captain, a drug-smuggling first mate, and a novice deckhand with a secret, and you have the motley crew of the Wahoo Rhapsody, a ramshackle fishing charter plying the Pacific’s waters off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. Captain Winston Weber makes an honest, if lean, living running fishing charters between Mexico and California, with no inkling of the fact that his first mate, Weevil Ott, is smuggling marijuana inside the yellowfin tuna stacked in the boat’s hold. But when Weevil decides to skim a small fortune for himself, goons under orders from the mysterious drug lord known only as "La Cucaracha" descend upon the Wahoo Rhapsody.

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A Spark of Death by Bernadette Pajer
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: A Spark of Death
Author: Bernadette Pajer
Series Character: Benjamin Bradshaw
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Benjamin Bradshaw is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington at the beginning of the twentieth century.

His first case: Seattle in 1901 is a bustling blend of frontier attitude and cosmopolitan swagger. The Snoqualmie Falls Power Plant lights the city, but to most Seattleites, electricity is new-fangled and dangerous. The public wants a culprit — they want Bradshaw behind bars.

The killer wants Bradshaw dead.

His life and liberty threatened, Bradshaw discovers the thrill of investigation as he's thrust deeper into the hunt.Questions abound. How had the Electric Machine's Tesla Coil delivered a fatal shock? Was the murder personal — or connected to President McKinley's planned visit? Were students involved, or in danger? And why had Bradshaw's best friend, Henry, fled to Alaska the day of the murder?

When Henry's niece Missouri appears on Bradshaw's porch in need of a home, her unorthodox views and femininity confuse and intrigue him as he struggles to protect his own haunting secret. Danger and death lurk everywhere — disguised as accidents. Has Bradshaw come alive again only to lose all he holds dear? Before it's too late, will he discover the circuit path that led to a spark of death?

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The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: The Return of Captain John Emmett
Author: Elizabeth Speller
Series Character: Laurence Bartram
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Laurence Bartram is a former infantry officer in post-World War I England.

His first case: London, 1920. In the aftermath of the Great War and a devastating family tragedy, Laurence has turned his back on the world. But with a well-timed letter, an old flame manages to draw him back in. Mary Emmett’s brother John — like Laurence, an officer during the war — has apparently killed himself while in the care of a remote veterans’ hospital, and Mary needs to know why.

Aided by his friend Charles — a dauntless gentleman with detective skills cadged from mystery novels — Laurence begins asking difficult questions. What connects a group of war poets, a bitter feud within Emmett’s regiment, and a hidden love affair? Was Emmett’s death really a suicide, or the missing piece in a puzzling series of murders? As veterans tied to Emmett continue to turn up dead, and Laurence is forced to face the darkest corners of his own war experiences, his own survival may depend on uncovering the truth.

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Good to the Last Kiss by Ronald Tierney
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook Edition

Title: Good to the Last Kiss
Author: Ronald Tierney
Series Character: Vincent Gratelli
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Vincent Gratelli is a San Francisco police inspector.

His first case: Gratelli is charged with finding the killer of young women – all murdered in the same way, all left with an intimate mark. The most recent victim was beaten and raped in her weekend cabin. There appears to be only one difference — she is still alive. Which leaves Gratelli with two questions: how can these murders be stopped ... and how does the killer feel about unfinished business?

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A Taste of the Nightlife by Sarah Zettel
Print and/or Kindle EditionPrint and/or NookBook EditionApple iBook

Title: A Taste of the Nightlife
Author: Sarah Zettel
Series Character: Charlotte Caine
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Charlotte Caine is a "Vampire Chef" … but not because she is a vampire, she just cooks for them in New York City.

Her first case: Charlotte's restaurant, Nightlife, is poised to take the top slot in the world of "haute noir" cuisine. But when a drunk customer causes a scene, a glowing review from the city's top food critic doesn't seem likely — especially when that customer winds up dead on Nightlife's doorstep. Now, with her brother under suspicion for the murder, Charlotte has to re-open her restaurant and clear her brother's name — before they both become dinner.

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For a list of more hardcover mysteries scheduled for publication during July, 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 July 2011 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.

Shortlist for the 2011 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award Announced

Mystery Book Awards

We're not entirely sure how long ago this was published, but the shortlist for the 2011 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award has been posted online. The winner is chosen by readers and will be announced during the Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival to be held later this month.

The shortlisted crime novels are ...

◊ From the Dead by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
◊ Blood Harvest by S. J. Bolton (Bantam Press)
◊ 61 Hours by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
◊ Dark Blood by Stuart MacBride (HarperCollins)
◊ The Holy Thief by William Ryan (Mantle)
◊ The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor (Michael Joseph)

(Source: Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival website)

Harlequin Mira Mystery and Suspense Titles for July 2011 Save 20% On Your Order has released the list of July 2011 titles for their Mira imprint, the brightest stars in women's fiction. From all titles available, we've only listed those that are mystery, thriller, or suspense on this page.

For more information about the book from, click on the title or cover; other purchase options are also provided.

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Guilty as Sin by Joseph Teller (print and/or Kindle editions)Barnes & Noble (print and/or NookBook editions)Kobo eBooks
Indie Bound (Independent Booksellers)Apple iBookstore

Guilty as Sin by Joseph Teller
A Jaywalker Mystery (5th in series)

Did career criminal Alonzo Barnett, in and out of prison since age fifteen, commit the latest drug deal he's accused of? Yup, he's guilty as charged. But is he guilty as sin? That's the question criminal defense attorney Harrison J. Walker, the maverick known as Jaywalker, has to answer as he takes the court-appointed case. As Jaywalker is well aware, one wrong move, even for the right reason, can derail your life—and land an otherwise redeemed ex-con back in the slammer for years.

Up against a team of prosecutors—one a talented, ethical newcomer, the other a sleazy, tightfisted veteran—Jaywalker has almost nothing on his side. Except his unshakable belief in his client … and the very real possibility of redemption for them both.

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The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn (print and/or Kindle editions)Barnes & Noble (print and/or NookBook editions)Kobo eBooks
Indie Bound (Independent Booksellers)Apple iBookstore

The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn
A Lady Julia Grey Mystery (5th in series)

Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane's private enquiry business.

Among the more unlikely clients: Julia's very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation.

It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances … and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.

Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont's sake and more they'll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets, the kind men kill to keep …

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The Whisper by Carla Neggers (print and/or Kindle editions)Barnes & Noble (print and/or NookBook editions)Kobo eBooks
Indie Bound (Independent Booksellers)Apple iBookstoreGoogle eBookstore

The Whisper by Carla Neggers
An FBI Series Thriller (4th in series)

Archaeologist Sophie Malone is still haunted a year after she was left for dead inside a remote Irish cave. Now she's convinced that her night of terror is linked to recent violence in Boston. Did the killer under arrest steal the ancient Celtic treasure from the cave that night? Or is another killer out there, ready to strike again?

Boston detective "Scoop" Wisdom has recovered from his injuries and is after the bomber who nearly killed him. Tough and stubborn, he's the best at detecting lies … except maybe those of Sophie Malone. When an ex-cop becomes the victim of ritual sacrifice, it's clear nobody's safe, and everyone's a suspect.

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Inside by Brenda Novak (print and/or Kindle editions)Barnes & Noble (print and/or NookBook editions)Kobo eBooks
Indie Bound (Independent Booksellers)Apple iBookstore

Inside by Brenda Novak
The Bulletproof Trilogy (1st in series)

Virgil Skinner served fourteen years for a murder he didn't commit. He's finally been exonerated, but he can't escape the gang he joined in order to survive. They'll do anything to keep him from telling what he knows. And if they can't get to Virgil they'll go after his sister and her kids.

The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate another gang, one that's taking control of the state's most notorious supermax. Virgil agrees to do it under an alias—in exchange for his sister's protection.

Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams is opposed to having Virgil in her prison. How will she protect him if things go bad? Besides, she's far too attracted to him; she might even be falling in love with him. That makes her all the more desperate to keep him safe—and it gives him someone else to lose.

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Mystery Bestsellers for the Week Ending July 1st, 2011

Bestselling Hardcover Mystery Books

A list of the top 15 mystery hardcover bestsellers for the week ending July 1st, 2011 has been posted by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books.

By a slim margin, Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris moved back into the top spot this week with last week's number one, The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, slipping one spot. One new title enters the top 15 this week.

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Now You See Her by James Patterson

Now You See Her, the latest stand-alone thriller by James Patterson (and co-written by Michael Ledwidge), enters the list in 10th position.

A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she's built in New York -- including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past. But when an innocent man is framed for murder, she knows that she can't let him pay for the real killer's crimes.

Nina's secret life began 18 years ago. She had looks to die for, a handsome police-officer husband, and a carefree life in Key West. When she learned she was pregnant with their first child, her happiness was almost overwhelming. But Nina's world is shattered when she unearths a terrible secret that causes her to run for her life and change her identity.

Now, years later, Nina risks everything she's earned to return to Florida and confront the murderous evil she fled.

Purchase Options: Print/Kindle EditionBarnes&Noble Print/Nookbook EditionApple iBookstore eBookGoogle eBookKobo eBookIndie Bound

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For more mystery books news, please 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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