1917. The Lotus Hotel offers sanctuary for its exclusively female clientele, attracting the cream of London's society. But a dead body found in one of its rooms is hardly good for business, and when it is discovered that the woman was neither a guest nor a member of staff, the Lotus's reputation as a safe haven is cast in doubt. Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy are dispatched to look into the events at the hotel and soon suspect foul play. Tangling with a forgetful widower, a wily competitor and the haughty hotel owner, the pair will have to delve into the past to solve this crime in the present. The Unseen Hand is by Edward Marston.
1895. A senior executive at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is found in his office with a bullet hole between his eyes, a pistol discarded close by. The death has officially been ruled as suicide by local police, but with an apparent lack of motive for such action, the museum's administrator, Gladstone Marriott, suspects foul play. With his cast-iron reputation for shrewdness, formed during his time investigating the case of Jack the Ripper alongside Inspector Abberline, private inquiry agent Daniel Wilson is a natural choice to discreetly explore the situation, ably assisted by his partner, archaeologist-cum-detective Abigail Fenton. Yet their enquiries are hindered from the start by an interfering lone agent from Special Branch, ever secretive and intimidating in his methods. With rumours of political ructions from South Africa, mislaid artefacts and a lost Shakespeare play, Wilson and Fenton soon find themselves tangled in bureaucracy. Making unlikely alliances, the pair face players who live by a different set of rules and will need their intellect and ingenuity to reveal the secrets of the aristocracy. Murder at the Ashmolean is by Jim Eldridge
The Maltese Herring is by L C Tyler. Dr Hilary Joyner is neither well liked nor well respected among his academic peers. However, he believes his next project will bring him the recognition he deserves. He's working to uncover the truth behind the `buried treasure story', a local Sussex legend involving two invaluable golden statues, fabled to be hidden among the religious houses in the county. Although his latest book deadline is looming, Ethelred Tressider unwittingly finds himself hosting both the academic and his redoubtable literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle, for the weekend. The three soon find themselves part of a hunt for the missing figures, but it isn't long before Joyner's research project comes to an abrupt end with his death. Ethelred and Elsie must piece together the clues of the past to solve the mystery in the present - if they can avoid the distractions of chocolate and feminine wiles for long enough, that is.
Cornwall, 1845. Shilly has always felt a connection to happenings that are not of this world, a talent that has proved invaluable when investigating dark deeds with master of disguise, Anna Drake. The women opened a detective agency with help from their newest member and investor, Mathilda, but six long months have passed without a single case to solve and tensions are growing. It is almost a relief when a man is found dead along the Morwenstow coast and the agency is sought out to investigate. There are suspicions that wreckers plague the coast, luring ships to their ruin with false lights - though nothing has ever been proved. Yet with the local talk of sirens calling victims to the sea to meet their end, could something other-worldly be responsible for the man's death? The Mermaids Call is by Katherine Stansfield.
Secrets in the Cotswolds is by Rebecca Tope. Thea Slocombe is tired of having to entertain Drew's children through the long summer holiday while he works, so keenly accepts a commission to watch over a house in Barnsley. However, her return to house-sitting is far from relaxing as on her first night she finds a fugitive woman hiding among some bushes. The woman's story is thin and incoherent, but Thea agrees to offer her sanctuary for the night. When the woman is found dead the next morning Thea turns to the police for help, but their preoccupation with a major animal trafficking investigation means she is effectively on her own. As she digs deeper into the dead woman's background, she discovers a tangled web of lies, secrets and at least three very likely suspects ...
As they travel by ship to New York for her childhood friend Tabitha's wedding, Amory Ames gazes out at the city's iconic skyline, excited by the prospect of being a bridesmaid. Her husband Milo, however, is convinced their trip will be deadly dull, since Prohibition is in full swing. But when a member of the wedding party is found murdered on the front steps of the bride's home, the happy plans take a darker twist. Amory discovers that the dead groomsman has links to the notorious-and notoriously handsome-gangster Leon De Lora, and soon she and Milo find themselves drawn into another mystery. While the police seem to think that New York's criminal underworld is at play, Amory feels they can't ignore the wedding party either. Tabitha's fiance Tom Smith appears to be a good man, but he has secrets of his own, and the others in the group seem strangely unaffected by the death of their friend . . . In an unfamiliar city, not knowing who they can trust, Milo and Amory are drawn into the glamorous, dangerous world of nightclubs and bootleggers. But as they draw closer to unraveling the web of lies and half-truths the murdered man has left in his wake, the killer is weaving a web of his own. A Dangerous Engagement is by Ashley Weaver.
Dead on Dartmoor is by Stephanie Austin. On the day Juno Browne's van goes up in flames and nearly cooks a dog, Juno meets James Westershall, owner of Moorworthy Chase, a large family estate. She is invited, along with her friends from Old Nick's, to bring along their goods for sale to an upcoming garden fete. Included in the invitation is the newest and most irritating member of the Old Nick's team, Gavin. During the fete Gavin wanders off and is later discovered dead in nearby woods, apparently the victim of a bizarre accident. A police investigation ensues, but results are inconclusive and Juno has a theory of her own. As she begins to investigate, she discovers that Gavin's is not the only strange death to have occurred at Moorworthy Chase, including that of an expert, researching colonies of rare bats in caves on the Moorworthy Estate. It soon becomes clear to Juno that there is something very wrong at Moorworthy and the caves contain a dark and dangerous secret.