To The Dogs is by Louise Welsh. Jim Brennan is flying high. Against all odds, he is a big man at the university, tipped for the head job and an office at the top of the ivory tower. He has a beautiful, accomplished wife and two healthy children. Jim drives an Audi, and his dog is a pedigree bichon frise. Not bad for the son of a hardman who grew up in a room and kitchen. But for every person who's watched his progress and wanted to hitch a lift, there's someone else desperate to drag him back down. When his son Elliot is arrested on drugs charges, Jim is approached by men he thought he had left safely in his past. Their demands threaten his family, students and reputation. As the pressure mounts, Jim discovers he is more like his father than he thought. The question is, how far will Professor Jim Brennan go to save the life he built?
Court jester Will Somers is drawn into another gripping and entertaining mystery when malevolent forces strike again at the court of Henry VIII – and Anne Boleyn is the target. Greenwich, Palace of Placentia, April 1536. Queen Anne is in peril. In the mid of night, court jester Will Somers is summoned to an urgent assignation when she discovers a body in her chamber. The queen wants Will to find out who the man is and how he ended up there. Is someone trying to frame her for his murder? Anne has many enemies at court, and to make matters worse, Henry VIII is lining up his next conquest and suspects her of treason. Has the formidable Oliver Cromwell been whispering vile lies in the king’s ears, and could Anne be the target of a Catholic conspiracy? As further attacks plague the court, Will is determined to uncover the truth behind the plotting and devilry, but he will need to keep hold of all his wits to do so! The Twilight Queen is by Jeri Westerton.
A Crust to Die For is by T.C.. LoTempio. The Bon-Appetempting Pizza Bake-Off has the small town of Branson, Georgia buzzing. Not least its organizer, Southern Style’s food critic and blogger Tiffany Austin. But right before the finals one of the celebrity judges falls ill, and to Tiffany’s horror the magazine replace him with none other than handsome TV star and restaurateur Bartholomew Driscoll. Tiffany once gave his restaurant a poor review, and she’s convinced he’s only accepted the job to get revenge. She fully expects Driscoll will find a way to ruin the contest . . . but she definitely doesn’t expect to trip over his dead body backstage! Soon, it’s clear Tiffany wasn’t the only person who had less than positive feelings towards the sharp-tongued Driscoll. She’s surrounded by suspects – but which of the motley crew of contestants, family members and scorned friends and colleagues had the guts to commit murder? With the help of her BFF Hilary and annoyingly handsome detective Bartell, and with cat Lily and puppy Cooper as emotional support, Tiffany investigates, only to discover that revenge is indeed a dish best served cold . . .
The Nubian's Curse is by Barbara Hambly. December 1840. Surgeon turned piano-player Benjamin January is looking forward to a peaceful holiday with his family. But the arrival of an old friend brings unexpected news – and unexpected danger. Persephone Jondrette has found Arithmus: a Sudanese man with extraordinary mental abilities who January last saw in France, nearly fifteen years ago, during a ghost-hunting expedition to a haunted chateau. January and his friends survived the experience . . . but Arithmus’ benefactor, the British explorer Deverel Wishart, did not. He was discovered dead one morning, his face twisted in horror, and shortly afterwards Arithmus vanished, never to be seen again. Did Deverel succumb to the chateau’s ghosts – or did Arithmus murder him and run away? January is determined to uncover the truth about the tragic incident from his past, and clear his old friend’s name – but even he isn’t prepared for what happens next . . .
June, 1982. Lydia Wienewski’s dream has finally come true: Lydia’s Lakeside Cafe and Bakery, selling delicious Polish-American fare on the shore of Lake Erie, is now open and her fortunes are looking up. Even her old nemesis and tutor, the irascible Madame Delphine, has made time to sample Lydia’s delectable pierogi, with some of her students in tow. But when Lydia finds Madame Delphine dead in the water, her lakeside dream turns into a nightmare. Was it a bizarre suicide, or brutal murder? As Lydia and Grandma Mary investigate, they discover that there was more to Madame Delphine than meets the eye, and quickly find themselves drawn into an increasingly perilous situation! Can they uncover the truth about Madame Delphine’s untimely death? The Piergoli Peril is by Geri Krotow.
The Son's Secret is by Daryl Wood Gerber. Maggie Lawson is the smart, capable dean of a boutique college, but even the most confident mother has a weakness – her child. When Maggie can’t reach her college senior son, Aiden, to tell him that his father has been shot, she starts to panic. She texts. She calls. Is Aiden ghosting her, or have the dangerous stories Aiden’s father, her investigative journalist ex-husband, pursues finally brought trouble to her door? Maggie is sure that something is very wrong, but no one believes her. As dark events unfold, she must rely on her own investigative instincts to find Aiden. But when Maggie uncovers a devastating secret, she faces a race against time to save him.
The Stranger in the Asylum is by Alys Clare. London, April 1882. When cool-headed Phyllida visits the World’s End Investigation Bureau to offer a curious case concerning her fiancé, proprietor Lily Raynor is intrigued – and privately excited. For accepting the case means taking an unexpected trip abroad, to France. Phyllida’s fiancé, Wilberforce, is currently in an asylum in Brittany, after a tragic incident which resulted in the death of his father. Did he kill him on purpose – or was it an accident? Wilberforce’s innocence looks increasingly in doubt when another murder happens at the asylum – and the evidence points to Wilberforce being the culprit. Phyllida fears for Wilberforce’s wellbeing, but she can’t marry a murderer! With the engagement hanging in the balance, Phyllida wants to know the truth before it’s too late. Lily and her assistant, Felix Wilbraham, journey to rural France to uncover the truth, but the case takes an unexpected turn when they discover that the accused man has escaped the asylum and is nowhere to be found. Soon the intrepid investigators are in over their heads with much greater and unexpected powers at play . . .
Danni has seen more in her 8 years on this planet than most people see in a lifetime. The sole survivor of a motorway pile-up which took her mother’s life, she is now safe and thriving with her adoptive family. Until the day the bad people come knocking. Forcing Danni to face the memories she has done such a good job forgetting . . . Josie’s quiet life is dismantled with a knock at the door. When she and her daughter are violently kidnapped, Josie must act fast to survive. Danni has very little memory of the day her mother died, but these people are hell bent on finding the money her mother stole before her death, and they think Danni knows more than she’s letting on. Grace arrives at her big sister’s house to find her partner Pete beaten and tied up and her sister and niece taken. Josie has been her protector her entire life – but now she needs to be the strong one. Enlisting the help of a friend with the combat experience and skills she needs, Grace will stop at nothing to get her family back home . . . The Girl in the Smoke is by Matt Hilton.
The Holy Terrors is by Simon R Green. Welcome to Spooky Time, the hit TV ghost-hunting show where the horror is scripted . . . and the ratings are declining rapidly. What better way to up the stakes – and boost the viewership – than by locking a select group of Z-list celebrities up for the night in The Most Haunted Hall in England™ and live-streaming the ‘terrifying’ results? Soon Alistair, a newly appointed Bishop, actress Diana, medium Leslie, comedian Toby and celebrity chef Indira are trapped inside Stonehaven town hall, along with June, the host and producer of the show. The group tries to settle in and put on a good show, but then strange things start happening in their hall of horrors. What is it about this place – and why is the TV crew outside not responding? Are they even on air? Logical Alistair attempts to keep the group’s fears at bay and rationalise the odd events, but there are things that just can’t be explained within reason . . . Can he stop a cold-blooded would-be killer – even if it’s come from beyond the grave?
When death becomes entertainment, every life has a price. And Cassie West is about to find out how much hers is worth . . . Ready Player One meets Black Mirror in this stunning speculative thriller set in a future world in which virtual reality isn’t just a game, it’s daily life.Welcome to Earth+. The year is 2037, and nearly all human interactions have migrated to the virtual world. Now, true crime fans don’t just listen to podcasts or watch documentaries – they participate in hyper-realistic simulations and hunt for clues to solve the most famous and gruesome crimes in history. Criminal entertainment is a multibillion-dollar industry, and at the forefront is Past Crimes: known by its millions of fans as the Disneyland of Death. Cassie West licenses crimes for V.I.C.E, spending long hours convincing grieving families to allow her to sell their tragedies to the highest bidder. Life is hard, and the cost of living high, but she and her husband Harris have never been happier. After years of trying, Cassie is finally pregnant. But leaving work late one evening, Cassie starts to worry. Harris isn’t responding to texts or calls. Even worse, dozens of emergency drones seem to be heading in the same direction as she is: straight to their home. What she finds there changes everything. Soon, Cassie finds herself in a fight for survival, becoming a target in both the real and virtual worlds. But it’s not just her own life at stake. If Cassie can’t uncover the truth of what happened to her husband, thousands more may die . . . Past Crimes is by Jason Pinter.
At Any Cost is by Jeffery Siger. Chief Inspector Kaldis is initially dismayed to be asked to investigate a series of suspicious forest fires that took place last summer. In Greece, forest fires are an inevitability, and he fears he and his team are being set up to take the political blame for this year’s blazes. He quickly becomes suspicious, though, that the forests were torched for profit – and for a project on a far grander scale than the usual low-level business corruption. There are whispers on the wind that shadowy foreign powers intend to establish a surreptitious mega-internet presence on the island of Syros, with the intent to weaponize the digital world to their own dark ends. Can Kaldis and his team stop the hostile foreign takeover of the idyllic island – or will the rise of the metaverse set not just Greece, but the whole world, on fire?
Two rival queens. History’s greatest playwright. And a deadly plot for the crown. London, 1600. With no legitimate heir to Queen Elizabeth’s throne, and no clear successor, England finds itself in a supremely perilous moment. When spymaster Anthony Bacon commands esteemed playwright William Shakespeare to write a play on the poisonous history of Queen Elizabeth and the rival monarch she executed, Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, Will knows that Elizabeth’s one-time favorite, the powerful Earl of Essex, will use the play to try to seize her throne. Must Will be ensnared in a ruthless plot fated to tumble his country into civil war? Or can he navigate a treacherous path through the dark warrens of London and the tortuous world of Elizabethan politics to save his family, his country, and his Queen? The Sister Queen's is by Justin Scott.
Crime-fiction librarian – and reluctant amateur sleuth – Ray Ambler gets mixed up in murder once again when he’s called to appraise a mystery-novel collection at an exclusive New York college. An invitation from a prestigious liberal arts college to buy their mystery-novel collection comes as a welcome surprise for Raymond Ambler, crime-fiction curator at New York City’s prestigious 42nd Street Library. But his pleasure quickly turns sour when the collection’s curator – Ambler’s friend Sam Abernathy – tells him he plans to fight the acquisition tooth and nail. The collection would make a fine addition to his holdings, but Ambler’s not looking for drama. It’s a shame, then, that drama’s looking for him. Just a couple of weeks later, one of Abernathy’s colleagues is shot dead from the library’s roof, and all signs point to the crime-loving professor as the perpetrator of the violent act. Why would Abernathy kill – and was it for his collection, for college politics, or for some dark secret yet to be revealed? Ambler’s not sure his old friend’s a killer, but he is sure he wants justice – for both the living and the dead. Working with his son John, he launches into an investigation at the college library, and it’s not long before he discovers missing manuscripts, explosive secrets and scandals amongst the faculty staff . . . and a cunning killer who’ll stop at nothing to cover up their crimes. Murder at the College Library is by Con Lehane.
Circles of Death is by Marcia Talley. Hannah Ives is staying at her idyllic vacation cottage in Elizabethtown with her husband, Paul, and is thrilled when she bumps into the young woman who used to babysit her grandchildren, Noel Sinclair, at a local supermarket. But when Noel pays a visit to the cottage, she unwittingly draws Hannah’s attention to some seriously ill eagles in her neighbour’s cornfield. Could these magnificent birds have been poisoned? As Hannah investigates, Noel uncovers some shocking news of her own when she and her sister receive the results of their DNA tests. As Hannah tries to work out who is tormenting the birds while delving into Noel’s family tree, the last thing she expects is a deadly connection between the two . . .
Leeds, October 1824. Thief-taker Simon Westow’s job seems straightforward. Captain Holcomb’s maid, Sophie, has stolen important papers that could ruin the family’s reputation, and he’s desperate for their return. But the case very quickly takes a murderous turn, and it becomes clear the papers are hiding a host of sins . . . During the search, Simon’s assistant, Jane, hears a horrific tale: men are snatching young girls from small towns for use by the rich. Those who are unwanted are tossed on to the streets of Leeds to survive among the homeless. With the help of an unlikely, deadly new companion, Jane will do everything to discover who’s responsible and make them pay. Can Simon and Jane recover Holcomb’s letters and get justice for the stolen girls? It becomes a battle that might result in them losing everything . . . including their lives. The Scream of Sins is by Chris Nickson
A serial killer, dormant for years, reawakens after viewing a Netflix docuseries depicting his string of homicides. The killer is not happy with his portrayal and no one in the cast and crew is safe! Siblings Cory and Crystal Pratt are still trying to get their lives together after a tragic accident which killed their parents years ago. The only thing that distracts them now is their jobs. With Crystal working as a newly minted detective at the Chicago Police Department and Cory owning a dog training academy with two human remains detection dogs of his own, their professional paths cross every now and then. Crime, and especially murder, in Chicago is nothing new, but when a string of killings happen that seem to be connected to a Netflix docuseries and its cast and crew, Cory and Crystal are called in to stop the number of bodies from piling any higher. But when the siblings start poking around the killer’s business, the killer sets their sights on the pair . . . and particularly on Cory and his dogs! Will they be able to escape the fury of the serial killer or become the newest victims? The Dead Years is by Jeffrey B Burton.
Knife Skills is by Wendy Church. Sagarine Pfister is a great cook but has been blacklisted by almost every restaurant in Chicago. She gets her chance at Louie’s, a below-average restaurant, the only place that will give her a job. Things change when she finds head chef Louie Ferrar dead in the walk-in freezer of his restaurant. But instead of closing the place down, the owner, Russian gang boss Anatoly Morzov, not only offers her Louie’s job, but also the position as his personal chef. Sagarine agrees, and while she knows she’s playing with fire, the chance to turn out extraordinary food at both the restaurant and for Morzov’s extravagant private parties is just too tempting. While the Chicago P.D. searches for Louie’s killer, the FBI pressures Sagarine to inform on the gang. She has no choice, but things take another dangerous turn when she falls for one of Morzov’s lieutenants. As Sagarine becomes more deeply involved with the gang and with her lover, the FBI’s demands put her at increased risk of discovery. She has to make a decision about where her loyalties lie as she finds herself running for her life.
Murder and the Missing Dog is by Susan C Shea. Ariel Shepard has spent the last year renovating her beautiful French château, while also ingratiating herself into the lives and hearts of the quirky locals of Noyers-sur-Serein. The shocking business of the murder of the local historian is behind her and she is finally feeling at home. However, it’s not long before murder and mystery once again seek Ariel out, when she and her friend Katherine find the body of the elderly Madame Toussaint in the doorway of Katherine’s flea market shop. Who would want to harm this lonely soul? Where is the bag the woman never leaves home without? And more importantly, where is her loyal, loving dog who never leaves her side? Could Raoul, Ariel’s stoic gardener, really have something to do with it? And could Madame Toussaint have been mixed up with the robberies increasing around the idyllic villages of France? Despite warnings from the rather handsome Brigadier Allard, Ariel, with help from Katherine and Pippa, once again dons her sleuthing hat . . .
The morning after his eighty-seventh birthday bash, former Posadas County sheriff Bill Gastner drives past a couple of vehicles stopped on the highway shoulder. It’s not an unusual sight: a sheriff’s patrol unit, emergency lights ablaze, pulled in behind a pickup truck. The female deputy hasn’t radioed for backup. But there’s something about the scene that makes him feel uneasy. The next day, Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman is called to a rather more dramatic and disturbing roadside scene, with the same truck the star of the show. But this time, its occupant is in no fit state to talk – his dead body stabbed through the chest with a Ka-Bar, a second corpse in the ditch beside the car. What happened to the two men? And what were the dead man and the deputy discussing in the quiet of pre-dawn the previous day? The truth is more twisty and complex than even Estelle and her long-standing friend and former colleague Bill are ready for, and it will take all their combined years of experience to untangle the sorry tale and ensure justice is served. Perfect opportunity is by Steven F Havill.
I know my husband is dead. But I don’t know whether I killed him . . . I‘ll never forget meeting Charles. We were law students at Santa Clara University when I fell head-over-heels. He was brilliant, charming, and handsome. Oh, and he loved me. We got married after a whirlwind romance and moved into a gorgeous new home while I continued with law school – until I became pregnant with Emma. My happiness was complete. But happiness can be deceiving . . . Now Charles is gone. I found his body in our living room, but I can’t remember what happened just before he died. I’ve tried, but I’ve been having blackouts for months. The police think I killed him, but I didn’t . . . did I? I keep reliving our relationship, desperate to unlock the truth. But if I do, will I be able to face it? Hanging with Hugo is by Katherine Boger Hyde.
Ancient Crete, 1450 BC. When young bull leaper Martis finds Duzi, the newest member of the bull leaping team, dead in the bull pen early one morning. Made to look like he met his end on the horns of the bull, it’s clear to Martis that this was no accident . . . Martis once again finds herself thrown into a dangerous game of hunting down a murderer as the deaths start to mount. An old friend of Martis’ sister, and possible lover to Duzi, is the next person to be found dead, and Martis’ investigations lead her to believe love and jealousy are at the heart of these crimes against the Goddess. Is someone targeting the bull leaping community? Or is there something else at play? With only the Shade of her sister Arge to confide in, Martis struggles to untangle the growing web of secrets which stretch around her. On The Horns of Death is by Eleanor Kuhns.