Saturday, November 5, 2011

6 Debut Mystery Novels with Buzz

Are you a crime fiction fan interested in a new reading experience? Checkout some of these fresh new voices from the world of mysteries.

Listed below are a half dozen debut mystery novels that have received positive feedback from reviewers:

by Rick Gavin

"Nick Reid leads a low-key life, doing odd jobs at a rental store in the backwater Mississippi Delta, until his boss sends him out to repossess a television from no-account Percy Dwayne Dubois. Unable to imagine life without his TV, Percy Dwayne hits Nick upside the head with a fireplace shovel and, with TV, wife, and son in tow, makes a hasty escape in Nick's borrowed classic calypso coral 1969 Ford Ranchero. Thus begins a four-day trek across the Delta in search of Percy Dwayne and the stolen Ranchero, gathering along the way as unlikely a gaggle of backwoods hangers-on as ever peopled a story of redneck derring-do. Along the way, the group encounters corrupt law enforcement officers, drug addicts, meth lords, and other unsavory characters who detain and distract but never permanently interrupt the quest. VERDICT Gavin's first novel is a sure winner. Reminiscent of Tim Dorsey's "Serge Storms" series but with a more likable protagonist, it will appeal to down-home good old boys and their armchair counterparts. Recommended." - Library Journal

The Surrogate
by Tania Carver

"A serial killer is on the loose in Colchester, England, where pregnant women are being brutally slain, their babies ripped from their wombs. Veteran officer Phil Brennan is desperate to solve the mystery. After the third such murder occurs, this time with the baby almost certainly taken alive, Phil and his team call upon their colleague, psychologist Marina Esposito, to assist in profiling and capturing the killer. Pregnant, Marina is drawn deeper and deeper into the hunt for a monster. As the web of violence grows, Marina finds herself the target of unspeakable evil. Will she and Phil stop this killer before yet another woman loses her life? VERDICT This well-written debut novel grips the reader from the start, with plenty of violence, gore, and psychological suspense. Fans of psychological thrillers on the gritty side will find this title appealing." - Library Journal

Murder on Music Row
by Stuart Dill

"Dill, who has served as the personal manager for Minnie Pearl, Billy Ray Cyrus, and other notables in the Nashville country music world, brings his insider's expertise to his solid debut, a mystery thriller. Judd Nix, a 23-year-old unpaid intern at Elite Management, welcomes the chance to become the paid assistant of Simon Stills, one of country's biggest managers, but he soon finds himself a witness to an assassination attempt. When a gunman takes aim at megastar Ripley Graham, Stills's most important client and the last hope for the troubled recording industry, on stage at the Grand Ole Opry, the shooter misses and seriously wounds Stills instead. Nix and his co-worker, Megan Olsen, decide to investigate on their own, but with music executives plotting a major merger, they can't be sure whom to trust. While the pace drags at points, the conclusion is stunning. " - Publisher's Weekly

Or the Bull Kills You
by Jason Webster

"Webster's remarkable first novel, a baffling mystery centered on the world of Spanish bullfighting, introduces Chief Insp. Max Camara of the Valencia police. Despite attacks from animal rights activists and politicians hoping to ride public opposition to bullfighting into office, the sport has had a resurrection, thanks to a charismatic young matador, Jorge Blanco. When Blanco's naked body turns up one night in an empty bullring, with two banderilla darts hanging from his back, a matador's sword in his rib cage, and a Spanish flag tied around his neck, Camara isn't pleased to be assigned what is bound to be a high-profile murder case. Webster makes the bullfighting integral to the plot rather than a mere backdrop, effortlessly conveying the role of the sport in Spanish society. The well-rounded lead-cynical, willing to bend the rules, emotionally wounded-should be more than capable of sustaining a long series." - Publisher's Weekly

Murder in Lascaux
by Betsey Draine and Michael Hinden

"Draine and Hinden put their knowledge of France to good use in their first novel. The special tour of the Lascaux cave's Cro-Magnon paintings that art historian Nora Barnes and her antique dealer husband, Toby Sandler, take to kick off their Dordogne vacation is abruptly cut short by the garroting of another visitor, government investigator Michel Malbert. In an effort to recover their bearings, the couple sign up for a cooking class from Marianne de Cazelle, one of the aristocratic owners of the nearby chateau where they're staying, while Nora also conducts research on Marianne's ancestor Jenny Marie, an obscure painter. She goes on to uncover the Cazelles' troubled history and a possible link to Malbert's death over the course of a whodunit that nicely balances a breezily light travelogue with urgency and suspense. Readers will hope this is the first of a series. " - Publisher's Weekly

All Cry Chaos
Leonard Rosen

"Textbook author Rosen's promising first novel deftly mixes mathematical puzzles, international intrigue, social upheaval, and religious zealotry. When 30-year-old math genius James Fenster is blown up in his Amsterdam hotel room, via the precise detonation of military-grade rocket fuel, shortly before he was due to address a World Trade Organization conference, Henri Poincare, aging Interpol agent and great-grandson of a legendary mathematician, investigates. Suspicion at first falls on Fenster's former fiancee, a demure antiques dealer, but the trail soon leads Poincare to a militant Christian millennial group, a Peruvian economics professor on a terrorist watch list, a malevolent mutual-fund executive, a Balkan genocide case decidedly not buried in the past, and a brilliant graduate student of the deceased. A surprising series of personal relationships and connections prove to have all the logic of chaos theory. While the plot has its glitches and dead spots, readers, especially the mathematically inclined, will relish this intellectually provocative whodunit." - Publisher's Weekly

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