Friday, January 2, 2015

Series-ously Good New Mysteries - January 2015

Now that Christmas is finished, you should have a bit of time to get caught up on your series reading. Here is this month's listings:

Parnell Hall is publishing the sixteenth addition to his Puzzle Lady mystery series, Puzzled Indemnity. It follows NYPD Puzzle. It’s been a cold, lonely winter for Cora Felton. Long distance has cooled the Puzzle Lady’s on-again-off-again affair with Sergeant Crowley, and the only case Chief Harper has for her to investigate is a routine liquor store robbery. So when attorney friend Becky Baldwin ask her to check out whether Brittney Wells' philandering husband is planning to kill her to collect on a million dollar, double indemnity insurance policy, Cora jumps at the chance. Cora has no problem tracking hubby to his love nest, but when Brittany refuses to believe he's cheating on her, Cora has to blackmail him to prove the affair. Before she can, a car bomb rocks the quiet streets of Bakerhaven, and the stakes escalate to murder. To save Becky's clueless client from the clutches of the law, Cora will manipulate a TV reporter, cast suspicion on an innocent man, crack crossword and Sudoku clues, solve the liquor store robbery, and enlist the aid of both Sergeant Crowley and his girlfriend.

Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James the sixth title in the Cats in the Stacks mystery series, following The Silence of the Library. In Athena, Mississippi, librarian Charlie Harris is known for his good nature and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel that he walks on a leash. When Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, donates a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College, she wants Charlie to preserve and to substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate. Beck’s biggest rival is Jasper Singletary. His Southern roots are as deep as Beck’s, and their families have been bitter enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long clan has a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletarys. He’d like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor at the college is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly… Now Charlie is left with diaries that seem worth killing for and Charlie will need to be careful.

A Teeny Taste of Scandal by Michael Lee West is the third installment of the Teeny Templeton mystery series following A Teeny bit of Trouble. The night before Teeny's wedding, her mother, Ruby, shows up in Charleston, South Carolina with a body in the trunk of her car—a hooker named Sugar. Teeny hasn't seen her mother in decades, and she refuses when her mother asks her to help her dispose of the body. Ruby, not taking no for an answer, decides to kidnap Teeny and force her to bury Sugar . . . only Sugar isn't quite dead. And it's no wonder Ruby wants her gone: she knows a lot of dirt. Ruby was mixed up in the death of a South Carolina Senator and is accused of stealing an antique diamond necklace. Now the Senator's son wants vengeance--and the family jewels. Sugar's the only one who knows the truth.

Following Playing with Fire is the third title in the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mystery series, In Hot Water. Stella Griffin should be bubbling over with joy now that she’s the full-time fire chief of Sweet Pepper, except trouble is brewing on her doorstep. An angry resident has purchased her cabin, and—with a bulldozer in tow—is ready to tear it down. But as Stella worries over the fate of her home and Eric, her ghostly roommate, there’s soon an even greater cause for alarm. A suspicious house fire in the pricey Sunset Beach community at Sweet Pepper Lake claims the life of ex-state representative Barney Falk. The nature of the death has Stella feeling out of her depth, so she teams up with the state’s arson investigator.

A Seamless Murder by Melissa Bourbon is the sixth title in the Magical Dressmaking mystery series, following A Killing Notion. Any garment Harlow stitches together has the power to grant the deepest desire of whomever wears it. So when she's asked to sew aprons for a local women's group, Harlow must get to know each member. First up is Delta Lee Mobley, who doesn't care much for Harlow's family—or anyone else in Bliss, Texas for that matter. The day after Harlow delivers her apron, Delta's body is discovered in the cemetery. It seems one of the townsfolk harbored ill will toward one of their own.

Lie of the Needle by Cate Price is the third title in the Deadly Notions mystery series. It follows A Dollhouse to Die For. As the owner of Sometimes a Great Notion, a shop specializing in vintage sewing notions and antique treasures, Daisy Buchanan is a strong advocate of preserving the past. As a fund-raiser to save a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse and stop an ambitious developer, the ladies of the Historical Society of Millbury, Pennsylvania, are producing a Hunky Men of Millbury calendar. Daisy is delighted to lend her support, and the female population of the village is abuzz with anticipation. But after Daisy’s close friend Cyril doesn’t show up for his photo shoot and the calendar photographer is found dead, it’s beginning to look like the days may be numbered for the men of Millbury. Daisy is out to find a killer armed with only a cryptic verse on an antique sample. 

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