New Releases For The Week OF September 5th, 2021–Part 1

Hemlock by [Susan Wittig Albert]

From Susan Wittig Albert, the New York Times bestselling author of A Plain Vanilla Murder, comes a tightly crafted novel that juxtaposes the disappearance of a rare, remarkably illustrated 18th-century herbal with the true and all-too-human story of its gifted creator, Elizabeth Blackwell.

Herbalist China Bayles’ latest adventure takes her to the mountains of North Carolina, where her friend Dorothea Harper serves as the director and curator of the Hemlock House Library, a priceless collection of rare gardening books housed in a haunted mountainside mansion that once belonged to Sunny Carswell, a reclusive heiress. But the most valuable book—A Curious Herbal, created by Elizabeth Blackwell in the 1730s—is missing and Dorothea is under suspicion.

China’s search for the thief takes on a new urgency when she discovers Miss Carswell’s bookseller, the victim of an attempted murder. Is his shooting connected with the theft? And there are other urgent questions: What is the Hemlock Guild? Who owns Socrates.com? Did Sunny Carswell really kill herself, or does her ghost have a different story to tell? And what is the real truth behind the many tantalizing mysteries of A Curious Herbal?

Hemlock is a compelling mix of mystery and herb lore, past secrets and present sins, and characters who are as real as your friends and neighbors—in an absorbing novel that only Susan Wittig Albert could create. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

Murder by the Bookend (An Antique Bookshop Mystery Book 2) by [Laura Gail Black]

Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn sleuths again when a pair of glass bookends puts an end to a librarian’s life, in this second installment of Laura Gail Black’s cozy series.

The quaint warehouse district of Hokes Folly, NC, is hopping despite the drizzly November chill. The occasion? The mountain town’s beloved antiquarian bookstore, Twice Upon a Time, is throwing a bash for its grand reopening. But bookseller Jenna Quinn’s peace of mind is shattered when the local library’s Director of Antique Books turns up dead in the parking lot–his head bashed in by a glittering pair of vintage glass bookends.

As they examine the murder scene, Jenna and her police detective boyfriend happen upon the only witness–the victim’s dog, who flees the scene leaving a trail of bloody footprints behind. If only dogs could speak, Jenna might be able to make quick work of the murder case and get back to stocking her bookcases.

Alas, finding the killer won’t be so easy, even though this is not Jenna’s first murder investigation–indeed, she inherited Twice Upon a Time from her slain uncle. The suspect list is voluminous–the late librarian had not-so-friendly run-ins with numerous guests–but suspicion eventually centers on three unsavory individuals who left the party shortly before the victim did.

Now, Jenna must edit her inventory of suspects from three names to one, before the bloodthirsty bookend-wielder becomes the author of Jenna’s demise. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

The Heron's Cry: A Detective Matthew Venn Novel (The Two Rivers Series Book 2) by [Ann Cleeves]

New York Times bestseller Ann Cleeves returns with The Heron’s Cry, the extraordinary follow-up to The Long Call, soon to be a major TV series, alongside her two hit TV shows Shetland and Vera.

“In Matthew Venn, Ann has created a complex, daring, subtle character.” —Louise Penny

“A complex mystery full of surprises . . . this character-driven exploration of people’s darkest flaws is a sterling example of Cleeves’ formidable talents.” Kirkus Reviews

North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder–Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter’s broken vases.

Dr. Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He’s a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.

Then another body is found–killed in a similar way. Matthew soon finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home.

DI Matthew Venn returns in The Heron’s Cry, in Ann Cleeves powerful next novel, proving once again that she is a master of her craft. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook

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Robert B. Parker's Stone's Throw (A Jesse Stone Novel Book 20) by [Mike Lupica]

Paradise is rocked by the mayor’s untimely death in the latest novel starring police chief Jesse Stone.

The town of Paradise receives a tragic shock when the mayor is discovered dead, his body lying in a shallow grave on a property on the lake. It’s ostensibly suicide, but Jesse’s has his doubts . . . especially because the piece of land where the man was found is the subject of a contentious and dodgy land deal.

Two powerful moguls are fighting over the right to buy and develop the prime piece of real estate, and one of them has brought in a hired gun, an old adversary of Jesse’s: Wilson Cromartie, aka Crow.  Meanwhile, the town council is debating if they want to sacrifice Paradise’s stately character for the economic boost of a glitzy new development. Tempers are running hot, and as the deaths begin to mount, it’s increasingly clear that the mayor may have standing in the wrong person’s way.  (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

a In the latest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, homicide detective Eve Dallas sifts through the

Forgotten in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel by [J. D. Robb]
In the latest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, homicide detective Eve Dallas sifts through the wreckage of the past to find a killer.

The body was left in a dumpster like so much trash, the victim a woman of no fixed address, known for offering paper flowers in return for spare change—and for keeping the cops informed of any infractions she witnessed on the street. But the notebook where she scribbled her intel on litterers and other such offenders is nowhere to be found.

Then Eve is summoned away to a nearby building site to view more remains—in this case decades old, adorned with gold jewelry and fine clothing—unearthed by recent construction work. She isn’t happy when she realizes that the scene of the crime belongs to her husband, Roarke—not that it should surprise her, since the Irish billionaire owns a good chunk of New York. Now Eve must enter a complex world of real estate development, family history, shady deals, and shocking secrets to find justice for two women whose lives were thrown away… (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook

Reading Between the Crimes (A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery 2) by [Kate Young]

Perfect for fans of Ellery Adams and Kate Carlisle, the members of the Jane Doe Book Club are on the case as Kate Young’s peachy-keen Georgia-set mystery series comes back for seconds.

What better time than Halloween to dig into a bracing discussion of a diabolical murder mystery? And what better choice for the Jane Doe Book Club than Agatha Christie’s Crooked House? Lyla Moody and her friends are soon embroiled in debate over whether the heroine’s actions are particularly believable. But not long after the meeting, sleepy Sweet Mountain, Georgia, is rocked by a murder that uncannily echoes the novel in question.

When Lyla and her grandmother arrive at the charity event that Lyla’s mother is hosting, they barely have time to hang up their fall jackets before they stumble upon a body in the library. Leonard Richardson, it seems, was robbed and then hit over the head with a brass candlestick–which throws suspicion on Harper Richardson, his young widow and a friend of the Jane Does.

Lyla and the rest of the Jane Does pool their prodigious intellects to clear Harper’s name. Peculiarly, all of the clues seem to have been lifted directly from the plot of Crooked House. But as Lyla probes the pages of Christie’s classic whodunnit for hints on catching the killer, she uncovers secrets from her mother’s past–secrets that suggest that Lyla’s own house may be crooked as well. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

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Essentials of Murder (Aromatherapy Apothecary Cozy Mysteries Book 1) by [Kim Davis, Kindred Ink Press]

Following a scandal that chased her from San Francisco, Carissa Carmichael struggles to find acceptance in her small Southern California hometown as she opens her aromatherapy and reflexology shop.

When she finds a man murdered in her distilling room, Carissa becomes the main suspect, especially when her fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Despite her father’s position as Oak Creek Valley’s chief of police, most townspeople assume she’s guilty—including the new leading detective.

Refusing to run again, Carissa knows she must prove her innocence to save her shop and her family’s reputation. With suspects acting as slippery as the essential oils she distills, it’s up to Carissa to apply pressure and sniff out the truth before it’s too late.

If you like your cozies with quirky hometown characters, small-town California charm, recipes, and essential oil and reflexology tips, Book 1 in the Aromatherapy Apothecary cozy mystery series is for you. Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

The Ghostly Groundskeeper: A Cozy Mystery (A Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery Book 12) by [Kathi Daley]

If you love small towns, endearing relationships, food, animals, and a touch of murder, you will love this mystery series set in the small town of White Eagle Montana.

In book 12 in the series, Tony offers to pay for a televised ad promoting the annual haunted house, and Tess agrees to act as spokesperson. She shows up to film the piece and quickly discovers that the ‘haunted’ in haunted house was proving to be more real than imaginary. Join Tess and the gang as she decides to uncover the truth about former resident Doctor Franktown once and for all. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback