Two-time Shamus winner Max Allan Collins (The Hindenberg Murders) blends fact and fantasy in the new title novella and six previously published short stories assembled in Kisses of Death: A Nathan Heller Casebook. In the novella, wry, slang-slinging PI Heller stumbles upon clues to the Bodenheim murders as he bodyguards a demure Marilyn Monroe. (Crippen & Landru [www.crippenlandru.com], $42 206p ISBN 1-885941-55-2)
Public do-gooder Dr. Ansel Heywood secretly does reconstructive surgery for the Federal Witness Protection Program—including removing people's memories to create government assassins—in Steve Vance's (The Hyde Effect) Identity. Searching for his vanished sister upon being released from wrongful incarceration, Bobby Preston visits Dr. Heywood's practice only to become embroiled in a massive, covert project that's not turning out as the government planned. (Five Star, $23.95 302p ISBN 0-7862-3008-8)
Edgar winner Doug Allyn (Icewater Mansions) presents Welcome to Wolf Country, in which ex-cop, law student and private eye Bobby Cruz investigates a father-and-son disappearance for a Mafia-connected law firm. After another disappearance and several attempts on his life (it's hunting season in rural Michigan), Bobby has the distinct impression that someone is trying to stop him from discovering the truth. (Five Star, $23.95 208p ISBN 0-7862-3421-0)
Also from Five Star come five new short-story collections: The Family Jewels and Other Stories, the funny, energetic first collection by Agatha-winner Dorothy Cannell (The Trouble with Harriet), introduced by mystery author Joan Hess ($24.95 224p ISBN 0-7862-3144-0); two-time Edgar-recipient Francis M. Nevins's (Into the Same River Twice) Night of Silken Snow and Other Stories, culled from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and elsewhere ($23.95 208p ISBN -3419-9); Crime Time: Mystery and Suspense Stories by John Jakes (On Secret Service), prolific bestselling historical novelist, who has selected stories from his early days as a mystery writer ($24.95 226p ISBN -3157-2); the pseudonymous Monica Quill's (Not a Blessed Thing) Death Takes the Veil and Other Stories, with an introduction by the author behind the mask, Ralph McInerny (The Book of Kills) ($23.95 236p ISBN -3143-2); and The Nudger Dilemmas: A Short Story Collection, featuring series hero Alo Nudger, by Edgar and Shamus winner John Lutz (Nightlines) ($24.95 302p ISBN -3147-5).
Food, Drink, and the Female Sleuth, compiled by the Sisters Wells (aka Patricia Wells Lunneborg and Roberta Wells Ryan), offers a feast of food scenes culled from the work of women mystery writers. Chapters include "Coffee and Donuts," "Crime Scenes Mingled with Meals" and "The Last Bite: Food As Motive and Weapon." (Authors Choice Press [iUniverse.com], $20.95 paper 424p ISBN 0-595-17976-2)