There are eighteen books in my closet with April release dates. If they're any indication, we're in for a treat that month. So, mark your selections so you can order them now from your favorite public library or bookstore.
It was hard for me to miss the cover of Jane K. Cleland's Deadly Threads, with that cat on the cover who looks like my Nikki. Josie Prescott's latest class at her antiques and appraisals shop doesn't come out quite as she intended. The guest lecturer who was to talk about building a great vintage clothing collection is dead under the table instead of speaking in front of it. Since one of Josie's employees might have been involved, she turns to investigation. I'm looking forward to hosting Jane K. Cleland and Rosemary Harris for Authors @ The Teague on May 7th.
The movie The Lincoln Lawyer will be released in March, and Michael Connelly follows that in April with the new Mickey Haller legal thriller, The Fifth Witness. When Mickey fell on hard times, he took on foreclosure defense, only to have one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Despite threats and injury, Haller presents the best defense of his life.
Anna Dean follows up Bellfield Hall with A Gentleman of Fortune. It's an English country-house whodunit with a Regency setting. While vacationing at her cousin's, a neighbor passes away, and Dido Kent feels she can observe the reactions of the community. Her suitor feels otherwise, but Dido continues on, learning more than she wants about the dirty dealings among the upper classes.
In P.C. Doherty's latest medieval mystery, Nightshade, Hugh Corbett is sent to investigate when an unscrupulous manor lord reneges on his promise to hand over a stolen cross, and then massacres members of a religious order.
Potsdam Station is the fourth novel from David Downing to feature American John Russell, living inside Nazi-occupied Berlin. The latest book is set in April 1945, four years after Russell escaped from Germany, but he hasn't heard from his son or girlfriend. As the Red Army advances, and Allied bombs hit Berlin, Russell tries to get back in.
Hallie Ephron forces Diana Banks to take action in Come and Find Me. Diana hasn't left her house in two years, following her husband's death. She spends her life online as owner of an Internet security company. But, when her sister goes missing, she must face the outside world to find her sister, uncovering threats not only to her sister's life, but also her own.
Slugfest is Rosemary Harris' fourth Dirty Business mystery featuring Paula Holliday. When she agreed to act as exhibit manager for a reclusive artist, she didn't expect to be knee-deep in horticultural sabotage, beheaded gnomes, homicide, and even a curse. Paula needs help from a colorful cast of characters to root out a killer.
I love the cover of Sarah Jio's debut novel, The Violets of March. In her twenties, Emily Wilson had everything, a bestselling novel, a handsome husband, and a one-way ticket to happiness. But, ten years later, the heartbroken woman finds refuge on Bainbridge Island, where violets bloom out of season. While researching her next book, she stumbles across a diary dated 1943, with contents that reveal startling connections to her own life.
In Kat Martin's new book, A Song for My Mother, Marly Hanson returns to Dreyerville. She fled years earlier, but now her daughter asked her to go home. Katie had recently been treated for brain cancer, and she'd never met her grandmother Winnie. Now, Marly have to try to resolve the estrangement from her mother. Complicating matters is the handsome sheriff and widower who lives next door. Marly doesn't really want to give up the life she's created to make a life again in Dreyerville.
Nancy Martin's first Roxy Abruzzo mystery was funny. Now, she brings her back with Sticky Fingers. Roxy's been doing a few jobs for her uncle Carmine, even though the mob boss is in prison. She doesn't mind scaring a gambler behind in his debts, but she draws the line at kidnapping someone and holding her for ransom. Even so, Roxy's suspect number one when the woman is killed.
South African author Jassy Mackenzie returns with another Jade de Jong investigation, Stolen Lives. Hired as a bodyguard, Jade unravels a human trafficking ring that stretches from Johannesburg to London.
Murder at the Villa Byzantine is the sixth novel by R. T. Raichev to feature Antonia Darcy. Antonia is a detective novelist and amateur sleuth, married to Major Hugh Payne. After attending a cocktail party for an aging actress, the couple wind up investigating the murder of a fellow guest weeks later.
Sara Rosett's Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder is another book with a great cover. When Ellie Avery and her husband Mitch take the two kids to Alabama to visit her in-laws, she wasn't prepared to look for a killer among the extended families, but a number of them stand to benefit from his death. When another death occurs, Ellie doesn't know who to trust.
Clea Simon launches a new series with Dogs Don't Lie. Pru Marlowe, an animal psychic, is actually running from her own gift. But, a return to her Berkshires hometown only finds her mixed up with Lily, a rescue dog who is a pitbull and a fighting-ring dropout. When Lily's person is found dead, she is the logical suspect. But Pru knows the dog is traumatized, and she's determined to clear Lily so she herself doesn't become the next victim.
Mystery author Jessica Speart turns to nonfiction with Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler. Butterflies are a cutthroat $200 million business on the black market, and Yoshi Kojima was the kingpin of butterfly smugglers. This is a tale of greed, obsession, and sexual temptation, the story of the world's most wanted butterfly smuggler, the rookie U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent who finally brings him down, and the writer who found herself in the middle of the story.
Is there any April mystery release that has been awaited longer than Julia Spencer-Fleming's One Was a Soldier? Fans of the series have been waiting to see what happens with police chief Russ Van Alstyne and Episcopalian priest Clare Fergusson. Now, Clare has returned from her tour of duty in Iraq, and has joined a support group with other vets, each with issues. She returned with problems that Russ doesn't know about, and he's impatient to marry. When one veteran dies, Russ rules it suicide, but Clare sides with the other vets against him.
Leann Sweeney's new mystery is The Cat, The Lady, and The Liar. Cat quilter Jillian Hart meets a high-society grande dame whose sanity is being questioned by local gossips. When a body turns up, and the wealthy woman is found nearby, Jillian and her three wise cats determine to solve a mystery with roots that are decades old.
Acclaimed writer Michael Lee West turns to mystery with Gone with a Handsomer Man. After Teeny Templeton catches her fiancé playing naked badminton with two other women, she finds herself in quite a bit of trouble. When he's found dead a few days later, all fingers point to her, and Teeny's only hope is an old boyfriend turned lawyer.
The April mysteries in my closet indicate it will be a terrific month for crime fiction fans. I mentioned a few other titles as well, and tomorrow, I'll talk about some of the other hot titles.