If you missed this year's Bouchercon, the international crime convention, we've brought back two fistfuls of titles with something for everyone—and even enough to share!
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The Hard Bounce by Todd Robinson
Boo Malone lost everything when he was sent to St. Gabriel's Home for Boys. There, he picked up a few key survival skills; a wee bit of an anger management problem; and his best friend for life, Junior. Now adults, Boo and Junior provide security for The Cellar, a Boston nightclub. But when Boo and Junior are hired to find Cassandra, a well-to-do runaway slumming among the authority-shy street kids, Boo sees in the girl his own long-lost younger sister. And as the case deepens with evidence that Cassie is being sexually exploited, Cassie's life depends on Boo's determination to see the case through, but Boo's blind desire for justice might finally drive him and Junior apart. What's looking like an easy payday is turning into a hard bounce—for everyone.
Silken Prey by John Sandford
Very early one morning, a Minnesota political fixer answers his doorbell. The next thing he knows, he’s waking up on the floor of a moving car, lying on a plastic sheet, his body wet with blood. When the car stops, a voice says, “Hey, I think he’s breathing,” and another voice says, “Yeah? Give me the bat.” And that’s the last thing he knows. Lucas Davenport is investigating another case when the trail leads to the man’s disappearance, then—very troublingly—to the Minneapolis police department, then—most troublingly of all—to a woman who could give Machiavelli lessons. She has very definite ideas about the way the world should work, and the money, ruthlessness, and sheer will to make it happen. No matter who gets in the way.
Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye
Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, learns of the gruesome underworld ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes and masquerade them as slaves for plantation property. The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh, but in 1846, slave catching isn’t just legal—it’s law enforcement. When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son plunges Timothy into a lethal world where police are complicit and politics savage. Timothy will find himself and his feral brother, Valentine, caught between power and principles, desperate to unravel the puzzle before all he cares for is lost.
Sweet Tea and Secrets by Nancy Naigle
When beloved town matriarch Pearl Clemmons dies on a warm June afternoon, the folks of Adams Grove, Virginia, can hardly believe it. Sure, Pearl was eighty-five years old, but everyone—particularly her granddaughter Jill—just assumed she would live forever. Now Jill must return home to settle Pearl’s estate, comfort a town in mourning…and face Garrett Malloy, the man who broke her heart years ago. Making matters worse, a string of break-ins has Jill and the rest of the town on edge. But when Jill’s safety is threatened, she and Garrett must join forces to unearth what Pearl had worth stealing before someone else—someone dangerous—gets there first. Garrett may have been the last man Jill wanted to see, but now, she may not want to let him go.
In the Moors by Nina Milton
Shamanic counselor Sabbie Dare doesn’t believe her troubled client, Cliff Houghton, is capable of evil. But Cliff has become the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy after the police catch him lurking in the moors where the body was found. Continuing the therapy they’d begun together, Sabbie recovers disturbing childhood memories from Cliff’s subconscious, shedding light on a spate of crimes that terrorized the English countryside twenty years earlier. And when a second child goes missing, Sabbie must piece together fragments of the buried past before another innocent victim is robbed of his life.
The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature, with special expertise in Milton’s Paradise Lost, though he sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when a mysterious woman invites him to travel to Venice and witness a “phenomenon,” he turns her down, but she behind leaves plane tickets and an address. That evening, David’s wife announces she is leaving him. With his life suddenly in shambles, he whisks himself and his beloved twelve-year-old daughter, Tess, away to Venice, hoping to cheer her up and distract them both. There, David sees a man restrained in a chair, muttering, clearly insane…until then the man speaks in the voice of David’s dead father, repeating the last words he ever spoke to his son. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David will have to discover the name of a real demon, because it's captured his daughter.
The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson
Goldy Schulz knows her food is to die for, but she never expects one of her best friends to actually keel over when she's leaving a birthday party Goldy has catered. At first, everyone assumes that all the fun and excitement of the party, not to mention the rich fare, did her in. But what looks like a coronary turns out to be a generous serving of cold-blooded murder. And the clever culprit is just getting cooking. When a colleague—a woman who resembles Goldy—is stabbed, and Goldy is attacked outside her house, it becomes clear that the popular caterer is the main course on a killer menu. With time running out, Goldy must roll up her sleeves, sharpen her knives, and make a meal out of a devious murderer, before that killer can serve her up cold.
Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet
Patrick Cusimano’s life can’t get much worse. His father is in jail, he works the midnight shift at a grubby convenience store, and his brother’s girlfriend, Caro, has pushed their friendship to an uncomfortable new level. On top of all that, he can’t shake the attentions of Layla Elshere, a goth teenager who befriends Patrick for reasons he doesn’t understand, and doesn’t fully trust. The temptations these two women offer are pushing Patrick to his breaking point. Meanwhile, Layla’s little sister, Verna, is suffering through her first year of high school. She’s become a prime target for her cruel classmates, and not just because of her strange name and her fundamentalist parents. Layla’s bad-girl rep casts a shadow too heavy for Verna to bear alone, but the world of her tribe of outcasts is far darker than she ever imagined…
The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag
On a frigid New Year's Eve in Minneapolis, a young woman's brutalized body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Questions as to whether she was alive or dead when she hit the icy pavement result in her macabre nickname, Zombie Doe. Unidentified and unidentifiable, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year, and homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are charged with the task of not only finding out who Zombie Doe is, but who in her life hated her enough to destroy her. Was it personal, or could it just have been a crime of opportunity? Their greatest fear is that not only is she their ninth Jane Doe of the year, but that she may be the ninth victim of a vicious transient serial killer they have come to call Doc Holiday.
Genie for Hire by Neil S. Plakcy
Biff Andromeda is an ancient genie in a buff body, working as a private investigator in a twenty-first century Miami suburb. Photographer Sveta Pshkov has a problem. She took a series of boudoir photos of a young Russian woman, believing the woman wanted them for her husband. When her workroom is burglarized and the negatives stolen, Biff discovers, however, that the woman is dead, and her husband, a Russian mobster, is missing. Aided by a squirrel named Raki, a sylph who manifests as a white butterfly, and an alluring and dangerous woman he's loved and lost for centuries, Biff uses his keen sense of smell, his ability to turn into a wisp of vapor, and his sarcastic wit to struggle against ancient demons and modern monsters.