These mystery and thriller books will surely bring joy to avid crime fiction and mystery readers. (Note: For our coverage of best crime, mystery, and thriller books in previous months, please visit here).
America 1883: Cassie Gwynne feels like she’s finally found where she belongs, settling into her new life in Florida with her aunt and her mischievous kitten Esy. When a traveling theater group arrives in town Cassie can’t resist signing up for the chorus. But the production goes awry from the start and soon death takes center stage…
With costumes going missing and strange voices heard coming from the dressing room, the cast are convinced they are cursed. And when the lead actor, William Gage, has a fatal accident, Cassie is certain someone is deliberately targeting the play. Off-stage Mr. Gage was known as a notorious flirt, so could a jilted lover be out for revenge?
Determined that the show must go on, Cassie launches her own investigation into the peculiar events. She quickly discovers an expensive, embroidered handkerchief stashed away on the lighting platform. This part of the theater is supposed to be out of bounds, so could the cagey chorus girl or the uppity understudy have something to hide?
When she returns at night to look around, Cassie is almost flattened as the wooden scenery crashes to the stage. Is this just the latest in a long line of catastrophes or is somebody out to stop Cassie learning the truth?
Can Cassie solve the mystery and make it to opening night or will it be curtains for her too?
Richard doesn’t have a past. For him, there is only the present: a new marriage, a first chance at fatherhood, and a quiet life as an art teacher in Virginia. Then the body of a ritualistically murdered rabbit appears on his school’s playground, along with a birthday card for him. But Richard hasn’t celebrated his birthday since he was known as Sean.
In the 1980s, Sean was five years old when his mother unwittingly led him to tell a lie about his teacher. When school administrators, cops, and therapists questioned him, he told another. And another. And another. Each was more outlandish than the last—and fueled a moral panic that engulfed the nation and destroyed the lives of everyone around him.
Now, thirty years later, someone is here to tell Richard that they know what Sean did. But who would even know that these two are one and the same? Whisper Down the Lane is a tense and compulsively readable exploration of a world primed by paranoia to believe the unbelievable.
Dark Angel by Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson (April 5)
Former Navy SEAL Jedidiah Johnson returns to Nashville ready to begin his training with the elite warriors known as the Shepherds. He thinks he knows what to expect when he arrives on the sprawling, state-of-the-art facility but quickly realizes he’ll have to find his place as the rookie leader of a new team. Then he starts having visions of an imminent attack overseas, and with the clock ticking, Jed and his team are dispatched to neutralize the threat. All the while, Jed hears whispers of another threat . . . a name that raises unexplained fear and anger throughout the Shepherds organization.
Once a military man, Nicholas Woland betrayed the Shepherds and all they stood for when he joined their enemies. After years in prison, Woland is eager to get back in action spreading chaos and death. And he has been freed for a purpose: a sinister plot that will result in hundreds of casualties and incite worldwide religious warfare for years to come.
As Woland and the Shepherds race toward a collision, Jed must rely on his gifts, his training, and his untested team to make critical decisions on a global stage—never realizing that a secret servant of the enemy is growing closer and closer to him.
A blown mission and a dead team leave Adam Hayes the last loose thread in a tapestry of betrayal in this latest high stakes international thriller from the world of Robert Ludlum.
The most pressing issue on Adam Hayes’ mind is planning his son’s upcoming 5th birthday party. After years of operating in the world’s most dangerous spots for Treadstone, he’s ready to call it quits, but the feeling isn’t mutual.
Levi Shaw, Treadstone’s director, calls Hayes back for one more mission. “It’s a walk in the park. You don’t even have to go in with the strike team. I just need you to set up the safe house. You’ll be home in time to pick up the birthday cake.”
But nothing is ever easy where Treadstone is concerned. When the mission is blown only Hayes is left alive, and everyone, it seems, is determined to correct that oversight.
When eighteen-year-old aspiring scientist Elinor Dashwood discovers her beloved father slumped over the desk of his office study, she knows his death means dire straits for the Dashwood women. To make matters worse, an outdated will entails his estate—including Norland & Company, the private investigation firm where her younger sister Marianne worked as her father’s partner and protégé—to their half-brother and his haughty wife, who waste no time in forcing the Dashwoods out of their home and into a cramped apartment on London’s Barton Street.
But before they go, the Dashwood sisters make a startling discovery: a suspicious substance in their father’s teacup—one that can only be described as poison. And poison, as Marianne’s father taught her, always points to murder.
It could be dangerous; it could ruin their reputations; and most importantly, it won’t bring back their father. But if the Dashwood sisters can combine their talents and bring their father’s murderer to justice, it may bring them all some comfort—and it might even lead to love.
On the laid-back island of Bonaire, every day is paradise until a seaweed-entangled human leg washes ashore. Combing the beach, retired cop Roscoe Conklin examines the scene and quickly determines that the leg belongs to the nephew of a close friend.
The island police launch an investigation, but with little evidence and no suspects, their progress comes to a frustrating halt. Then, thanks to a unique barter with the lead detective, Conklin finds himself in possession of the case file. He can now aggressively probe for his own answers.
Sifting through the scant clues, eager to bring the killer to justice, Conklin struggles to maintain forward momentum. He has all the pieces. He can feel it. But he’d better get them snapped together soon.
Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums; about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now.
Will Chen plans to steal them back.
A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son who has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a mysterious Chinese benefactor reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago.
His crew is every heist archetype one can imagine—or at least, the closest he can get. A con artist: Irene Chen, a public policy major at Duke who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering major who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down.
Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted attempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.
Equal parts beautiful, thoughtful, and thrilling, Portrait of a Thief is a cultural heist and an examination of Chinese American identity, as well as a necessary critique of the lingering effects of colonialism.
A young, mixed-race vampire must find a way to balance her deep-seated desire to live amongst humans with her incessant hunger in this stunning debut novel from a writer-to-watch.
Lydia is hungry. She’s always wanted to try Japanese food. Sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside – the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and iced-coffee, ice cream and cake, and foraged herbs and plants, and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But, Lydia can’t eat any of these things. Her body doesn’t work like those of other people. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs’ blood in London – where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time – is much more difficult than she’d anticipated.
Then there are the humans – the other artists at the studio space, the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men that follow her after dark, and Ben, a boyish, goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can’t bring herself to feed on them. In her windowless studio, where she paints and studies the work of other artists, binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and videos of people eating food on YouTube and Instagram, Lydia considers her place in the world. She has many of the things humans wish for – perpetual youth, near-invulnerability, immortality – but she is miserable; she is lonely; and she is hungry – always hungry.
As Lydia develops as a woman and an artist, she will learn that she must reconcile the conflicts within her – between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans – if she is to find a way to exist in the world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.
By age twenty-four, Letty Davenport has seen more action and uncovered more secrets than many law enforcement professionals. Now a recent Stanford grad with a master’s in economics, she’s restless and bored in a desk job for U.S. Senator Colles. Letty’s ready to quit, but her skills have impressed Colles, and he offers her a carrot: feet-on-the-ground investigative work, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security.
Several oil companies in Texas have reported thefts of crude, Colles tells her. He isn’t so much concerned with the oil as he is with the money: who is selling the oil, and what are they doing with the profits? Rumor has it that a fairly ugly militia group—led by a woman known only as Lorelai—might be involved. Colles wants to know if the money is going to them, and if so, what they’re planning.
Letty is partnered with a DHS investigator, John Kaiser, and they head to Texas. When the case quicky turns deadly, they know they’re on the track of something bigger. Lorelai and her group have set in motion an explosive plan . . . and the clock is ticking down.
Crime Hits Home: A Collection of Stories from Crime Fiction’s Top Authors by S.J. Rozan (April 19)
The newest anthology from Mystery Writers of America explores the theme of home and the crimes that endanger it, with stories by Ellen Hart, Naomi Hirahara, Walter Mosley, Sara Paretsky and more.
Everyone comes from someplace. Everyone has somewhere they feel safe. Some people have found their home and are content where they are. Others feel trapped and yearn to go somewhere else. Many are somewhere else and yearn to go back. But evenin these safest of places, sometimes…crime hits home. What happens then?
In this volume, MWA brings together some of today’s biggest crime writers—and some of our most exciting new talents—to consider this question. Each writer has defined home as they see fit: a place, a group, a feeling. The crime can come from without or within. What happens when crime hits home?
Featuring stories from: Naomi Hirahara, David Bart, Sara Paretsky, Susan Breen, Gary Phillips, Neil S. Plakcy, Renee James, Connie Johnson Hambley, Gabino Iglesias, A.P. Jamison, Walter Mosley, Tori Eldridge, Ellen Hart, G. Miki Hayden, Jonathan Santlofer, Jonathan Stone, Ovidia Yu, Bonnie Hearn Hill, Steve Liskow, S.J. Rozan.
In this thrilling new series from Edgar®-nominated author Ron Corbett, the most dangerous predator in the Maine wilderness walks on two feet—and it is Danny Barrett’s job to bring him down.
Something is not right in the North Maine Woods. A small family-run lumber company should not have more than two hundred million unaccountable dollars on their books. Money like that comes from moving something other than wood across the border.
The first agent the FBI sent undercover was their best man—sure to get the answers that were needed. He was dead within a month.
Now, Danny Barrett is taking his place. Before he was a cop, Danny grew up in the woods of Northern Michigan. He is the only chance the feds have of getting answers, but how many more will have to die first?
Two criminal empires together control all of New England.
Until a beautiful modern-day Helen of Troy comes between the Irish and the Italians, launching a war that will see them kill each other, destroy an alliance, and set a city on fire.
Danny Ryan yearns for a more “legit” life and a place in the sun. But as the bloody conflict stacks body on body and brother turns against brother, Danny has to rise above himself. To save the friends he loves like family and the family he has sworn to protect, he becomes a leader, a ruthless strategist, and a master of a treacherous game in which the winners live and the losers die.
From the gritty streets of Providence to the glittering screens of Hollywood to the golden casinos of Las Vegas, Danny Ryan will forge a dynasty.
Exploring the classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, and honor, City on Fire is a contemporary Iliad, a saga that spans generations—a towering achievement of storytelling genius from Don Winslow, “America’s greatest living crime writer” (Jon Land, Providence Journal).
The forest of Broceliande, with its picturesque lakes and castles, is the last remnant of the fairy kingdom, if Breton lore is to be believed. Innumerable legends spanning thousands of years are set here, inclding the tale of King Arthur and the Round Table.
It seems to be an appropriate destination for Commissaire Dupin and his team to take a late summer field trip. But when the body of a historian turns up, Dupin is called upon to investigate in the brutal murder case. Before too long, there are more victims. What knowledge do the assembled scientists have about the most recent archaeological digs in the area? Where do they stand on the controversial decision to turn parts of the forest into an amusement park? And why is no one willing to talk? Even Nolwenn, Dupin’s unshakeable assistant, is concerned. And that means trouble.
Mysterious, ingenious, and suspenseful: Dupin’s seventh case takes him and his team into the very heart of Brittany.
A dead man in a cemetery isn’t news—unless he’s found on top of a grave, with a bullet through his head. The body belongs to Jude Henley, who was supposed to be buried below. Instead, the grave contains the remains of Staci Gale, thought to have run away nearly three decades ago. Then an old VCR tape arrives at the sheriff station, showing Staci before her death—bound and terrified—with a note, claiming to be from the killer’s apprentice . . .
Rachel Fisher’s job in cold case files has brought her back to Pike, Wisconsin—where she’ll be working alongside her ex-husband, Zac Evans. As Pike’s interim sheriff, Zac expected a low-key assignment. Instead, he and Rachel are racing to solve serial murders from decades past while a new monster goads them with a chilling promise. Every week there’ll be another old tape—and a fresh victim…
In this small town a killer walks—twisted, ruthless, determined to continue his master’s work. And unless Rachel and Zac can find a way to get ahead of him, the nightmare will never end.
Meet the women of Buckhead—a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships.
Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge …
Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against …
Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book …
Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell?
Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead—and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly.