Saturday, February 27, 2010

April Treasures in My Closet

March looked like a crime fiction month, with a number of interesting titles. The April pile in my closet is once again dominated by crime fiction. Hopefully, you'll find a book or two to entice you. Place your holds now at your public library, or preorder the books from your favorite bookstore.

Within the Hollow Crown is actually a rerelease of an older title by Margaret Campbell Barnes. It's the story of "a much-maligned king," Richard II. The back of the book says, "A reluctant king, a desperate nation, and the most misunderstood reign in history." I always loved Barnes' historical novels. I never read this one, so it should be a treat.

A couple books actually have March 30 release dates, and Glazed Murder is one of them. Close enough to April for me, since I hadn't mentioned the book before. Jessica Beck's debut Donut Shop mystery includes over a dozen donut recipes in the story of a woman whose dream of a cozy little donut shop becomes a nightmare when a body is dumped on her doorstep, and the shop becomes a crime scene. There's been a number of guesses on the Internet as to who Jessica Beck really is. (Tim Myers, anyone?)

Strange Images of Death is Barbara Cleverly's latest mystery, set in Provence in 1926. Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands is only there on leave, dropping his niece off at an ancient chateau. But, he agrees to stay and search for the guilty party. Despite his watchfulness, there are two more incidents, including a murder that recreated a 600-year-old crime of passion.

Paul Doiron debuts with The Poacher's Son. When game warden Mike Bowditch finds a message on his answering machine from the father he hasn't heard from in two years, he doesn't expect to receive a call from the police the next day. A local cop was killed, and Mike's father is the prime suspect. Mike has to find the real killer before he himself becomes a victim.

Larry Karp takes readers back to 1951 and Sedalia, Missouri, in The Ragtime Fool. It's a time of ragtime, a celebration of Scott Joplin, and racial hatred, which could explode during a ceremony to honor the musician. Larry Karp will appear for Authors @ The Teague on June 17, when he can discuss ragtime and this era.

Who wants Dr. Cathy Sewell dead? It's someone in her hometown. Local doctors resent her as a newcomer and a woman. The results of one of her prescriptions may mean the end of her practice. And, it might be Code Blue for her in Richard Mabry's book.

Jassy Mackenzie's debut crime novel is Random Violence, the first in the Jade de Jong Investigation series. Jade de Jong fled South Africa when her policeman father was killed. Now, she's back in Johannesburg, as a private investigator who offers to help her father's former assistant with a car-jacking case. The pattern that emerges could lead back to her father's murder.

When seven lifelong friends and racing fans strike it lucky, they use their winnings to buy a horse. But, seven years later, they're dying one by one. Jack Doyle, investigating criminals fixing races, starts poking around, trying to find answers to the races, and the deaths of The Significant Seven in John McEvoy's mystery by that title.

It's another numbered title, Eight for Eternity, a John the Chamberlain mystery by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer. In January 532, John, Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian must untangle a web of intrigue in Constantinople, a city ruled by mobs. The fate of the empire might be at stake.

Murder comes a little too close to home for military wife Ellie Avery in Sara Rosett's Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder. Her husband Mitch's family reunion is disrupted by news that his squadron commander is dead, and his wife is the prime suspect in his murder. A close call in a shooting incident leaves Ellie suspicious, and soon she's worried that her husband might be the next victim, if she doesn't find a killer.

Simon Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien's grandson) writes thrillers, and his latest one is The Inheritance, a story set in England in 1959. Blending history, courtroom drama, and psychological suspense, it's the story of a man on trial for the premeditated murder of his father. Even though Stephen Cade was charged, the policeman who investigated begins to suspect he might be innocent.

Did you find a title to grab your interest? I hope you'll add one of these treasures to your pile. If not, watch for tomorrow's coverage of April hot titles. I know I'll be able to tempt you with one book at least!


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

April is looking like a good month! You've made them all sound intriguing...I think I'll definitely check out Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Dru said...

All nice titles and I already have the two cozy mysteries, Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder and Glazed Murder on my TBR list.

Anonymous said...

There are some good ones here. Of course, Sara Rosett's books are very nice. I need to get caught up on them so I can read Mint Juleps, Mayhem and Murder. Random Violence looks promising. And, who'd be able to resist a book about donuts. So, is Jessica Beck really Tim Myers? I'd say that could definitely be possible. :-)

Thanks for highlighting each month, Lesa!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for mentioning my debut novel of medical suspense, Code Blue. Hope you have a chance to dip into it and enjoy it.
Still thinking of you in this difficult time.

Ann Elle Altman said...

Strange Images of Death by Barbara Cleverly's sounds like a great book... I want to know what you think of it. Perhaps I'll buy it.


Mason Canyon said...

As always you showcase such interesting books I can't help but put half on my TBR list and the other half on my wish list. Maybe because it's still early morning, but "Glazed Murder" really looks like an interesting book and the recipes is a nice added bonus. Looking forward to see what you share tomorrow.

bermudaonion said...

I'd love to get a peek into that closet sometime! Glazed Murder catches my eye and makes me want to run to Krispy Kreme.

Meen said...

Another very interesting list, Lesa, which will come in very handy when I'll be recommending books to order for our library.
Not that we have a whole lot of budget for non standing-order titles, but, I can always point them in charge in the direction of interesting titles to buy with what little money we do have.

Lesa said...

Is Jessica Beck really Tim Myers? I can't prove it, but I know he was writing a cooking mystery for St. Martin's, and he lives in North Carolina. I'd be willing to bet a dollar on it.

I enjoy highlighting the month, but, Kathy? You don't really want to see into the closet.

Jen Forbus said...

Wow! Another great month. I had THE INHERITANCE already on my to-read lead list, but I think I'm going to also look into RANDOM VIOLENCE. There's been some great work set in Africa lately! I'm also excited about Andrew Gross's RECKLESS!

I need a sabaticle...Work is just getting in the way of important stuff! ;)

Anonymous said...

April is National Poetry Month. The 3rd Annual “Paws for Poetry” Contest Challenges Kids to Write Sonnets to Spaniels, Prose for Persian Cats

April marks the 14th anniversary of National Poetry Month.
To help celebrate, budding Emily Dickinsons and Edgar Allan Poes are encouraged to participate in the 3rd annual “Paws for Poetry” Contest ( To enter, children ages 5-12 are to write a poem to, and provide a photo of, their favorite animal friend. The contest is co-sponsored by kids’ virtual field trip Web site Meet Me at the Corner ( and Flash Light Press ( ).

Original poems of any length may be submitted in one of two categories: Group One (ages 5-9) and Group Two (ages 10-12). One grand prize winner in each category will receive a prize package worth $50.00. Two runners-up in each category will receive a $25.00 gift package. Children’s author, poet, and Iraqi war veteran Thad Krasnesky, writer of the upcoming “That Cat Can’t Stay” (Flashlight Press, 2010) is the contest judge.

In addition to the prize packages, winning poems and pet photos will be highlighted in an upcoming Meet Me at the Corner video pod cast. The pod cast will be videotaped at New York’s Angellicle Cat Rescue Center. Local students will present the winning poems.

All submissions should be mailed to “Paws for Poetry” Contest, c/o Meet Me at the Corner, 20 West Del Norte, Colorado Springs, CO, 80908. The contest deadline is April 15, 2010.

For more information, rules and submission guidelines, visit

Lesa said...

Jen, I totally agree with you. And, then, when I did have time off, I couldn't get anything read. I know people understand, though, but it's still frustrating that I just couldn't get into a book.

Anonymous said...

Loved your list of new books. I found 3 that sound like my cup of tea: Strange Images of Death by Barbara Cleverly; Reckless by Andrew Gross; Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder by Sara Rosett.
Happy reading to all!
Pat Browning

Lesa said...

I'm with you in wishing everyone Happy reading! It's always, interesting, Pat, to see which books other people want to read.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lesa,

Thanks for mentioning MINT JULEPS. I'll have to look for STRANGE IMAGES OF DEATH. I've read Cleverly's other series, but haven't tried this one.

Sara Rosett

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Sara. And, I'm going to be reading Mint Juleps shortly!