Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
Kill ’em with Cayenne

Gail Oust. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-01105-3

In Oust’s tasty sequel to 2013’s Rosemary and Crime, the annual Brandywine Creek, Ga., barbecue festival is a boom time for Spice It Up!, the shop of fresh and exotic spices of divorced mom Piper Prescott. The return of Brandywine native Barbara Bunker Quinlan, who hosts a new show on the Cooking Network, adds an unexpected jolt to the festival. With a chip on her shoulder and scores to settle, Quinlan immediately clashes with attractive Becca Dapkins, who has already clashed with Maybelle Humphries, manager of the town’s chamber of commerce, whose boyfriend Becca stole. When Piper finds Becca under an azalea bush, bludgeoned to death with a frozen brisket, police chief Wyatt McBride views Maybelle as his prime suspect. Sleuthing takes a backseat to such relationship difficulties as Piper’s attraction to dangerously handsome Wyatt and her 16-year-old daughter Lindsey’s infatuation with an older boy. Plenty of spice lore adds flavor to this amiable mystery. Agent: Jessica Faust, BooksEnds. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Gods of Gold: An Inspector Tom Harper Novel

Chris Nickson. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8428-2

A gas workers’ strike cripples Leeds in Nickson’s strong first in a new Victorian series. As the police prepare to cope with the controversial arrival of nonunion replacement workers, Insp. Tom Harper learns that eight-year-old Martha Parkinson is missing. When the girl’s father, Col, claims that she’s visiting an aunt, Harper soon discovers that no such woman exists. Meanwhile, Col is found hanging from a ceiling beam in his cottage, an apparent suicide. The entire police force is needed to help contain the chaos created by the strike, limiting Harper’s time on the Parkinson case. But when a replacement worker is murdered by a pair of sinister strangers also seen with Col, Harper realizes that the mysteries may be connected. Nickson, whose Richard Nottingham series (Fair and Tender Ladies, etc.) depicts Leeds in the early 18th century, evokes the 1890 city with accuracy and color. Solidly characterized protagonists with interesting vulnerabilities are a plus. Agent: Tina Betts, Andrew Mann (U.K.). (Dec.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
You Know Who Killed Me: An Amos Walker Novel

Loren D. Estleman. Forge, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3735-1

Edgar-finalist Estleman’s compelling 24th Amos Walker novel (after 2014’s Don’t Look for Me) finds the hard-bitten Detroit PI in rehab, after overdosing on alcohol and Vicodin. The doctor treating Walker gives him a break by not reporting his possession of the pain medication without a prescription. Meanwhile, an old friend asks his help with a murder case in nearby Iroquois Heights: Donald Gates, who maintained the computer that operated the city’s traffic lights, was gunned down in his basement. Lt. Ray Henty, who’s in charge of the corrupt Iroquois Heights PD, has a tough job made harder by the placement of huge billboards featuring Gates’s photo and the legend, “You Know Who Killed Me.” The responses to the ads flood the sheriff’s department tip line with dozens of anonymous calls, which Walker is deputized to look into. The solution is among the author’s craftiest and bleakest. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Rain on the Dead

Jack Higgins. Putnam, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-17194-9

In bestseller Higgins’s lackluster 21st Sean Dillon thriller (after 2013’s The Death Trade), the legendary ex-IRA gunman plays a largely supporting role. The shadowy Master, who controls a network of international terrorist groups, plots to assassinate Jake Cazalet, a former American president who lives on Nantucket. Two Chechen brothers travel to the resort island to do the job, but fortunately Gen. Charles Ferguson, who commands a secret British antiterrorist unit, and his two chief agents, Dillon and Capt. Sara Gideon, have just arrived for a visit, and are armed and ready when the hapless pair launch their doomed assault. More attempts to kill Cazalet follow. A few of the good guys die in the line of duty, but new recruits quickly fill their places. Higgins appears to be going through the motions in this tired entry. Series fans will hope he returns to form in the next installment. Agent: Ed Victor, Ed Victor Literary Agency (U.K.). (Dec.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Devil in Montmartre: A Mystery in Fin de Siècle Paris

Gary Inbinder. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (264p) ISBN 978-1-60598-647-0

Has Jack the Ripper crossed the Channel? Insp. Achille Lefebvre, “a fervent advocate for scientific methods of detection,” tries to find out in this uneven mystery from Inbinder (Confessions of the Creature). Early in the morning of October 15, 1889, two Paris night soil collectors fish a female torso out of a Montmartre cesspool. The victim is later identified as a can-can dancer at the Moulin Rouge who disappeared a few days earlier. The savagery of the killing raises fears that the Ripper has resumed his slaughter of women and increases the pressure on Lefebvre. The autopsy reveals the dancer had undergone a recent procedure that casts suspicion on an eminent surgeon, while a small shoe print at the scene of the body’s discovery may be that of artist Toulouse-Lautrec, who lives in Montmartre. Plenty of precise period detail helps drive the plot toward a resolution that will disappoint even readers who have been engaged until then. Agent: Lukas Ortiz, Philip Spitzer Agency. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Skeleton Road

Val McDermid. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (416p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2309-1

The discovery of a man’s skeleton atop an Edinburgh building slated for demolition kick-starts Diamond Dagger Award–winner McDermid’s hit-or-miss follow-up to 2008’s A Darker Domain. Det. Chief Insp. Karen Pirie identifies the remains as those of Gen. Dimitar “Mitja” Petrovic, an intelligence expert with ties to the Croatian army, NATO, and the U.N. Karen learns that he had lived for years with Oxford University professor Maggie Blake, who met the general during her time as an academic in Dubrovnik during the Balkan conflict. Maggie, who hasn’t seen or heard from Mitja in eight years, always assumed that he returned to Croatia. The answers lie in the past, particularly the bloody Serb-Croat conflict in the 1990s, so it’s inevitable that Karen and Maggie end up traveling to Croatia. McDermid does a fine job recreating the brutal Balkan years, but the characters lack depth, leaving readers yearning for the richness of her long-running Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Company. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
No Fortunate Son: A Pike Logan Thriller

Brad Taylor. Dutton, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-95399-9

In Taylor’s edge-of-your-seat seventh Pike Logan thriller (after Days of Rage), the head of the top-secret counterterrorism unit known as the Taskforce, Col. Kurt Hale, orders Pike and fellow operative Jennifer Cahill to locate his niece, Kylie, a University of Virginia student on exchange to Cambridge University. Terrorists have kidnapped Kylie along with several other family members of key U.S. government officials and are holding them for ransom somewhere in Europe. Essentially fired from Taskforce for disobeying orders in Days of Rage, Logan must find Kylie with no support other than Cahill’s and very little to go on. The stakes rise when they discover that one of the kidnap victims is the American vice president’s son—who was working at a NATO intelligence center in England—and that the terrorists may be planning something much more nefarious than a simple hostage exchange. The nonstop action, intricate story line, and jaw-dropping plot twists all but make up for the lack of character development. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Sweetness of Life

Paulus Hochgatterer, trans. from the German by Jamie Bulloch. Quercus/MacLehose, $26.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-62365-853-3

Austrian author Hochgatterer makes his U.S. debut with this remarkable thriller. Monsters appear to lurk in the forest-ringed fairy tale Austrian town of Furth am See, including whoever left the faceless corpse of Sebastian Wilfert in the snow for his little granddaughter, Katharina, to discover. Investigating the inexplicable Christmas-time crime officially falls to Det. Ludwig Kovacs and his vacation-depleted team, but potentially crucial evidence could come from quite a different quarter: child psychiatrist Raffael Horn, who is treating the traumatized (and now mute) Katharina. Skillfully mixing the observations of these two middle-aged kindred spirits—experienced enough to have lost their illusions, but not their humanity—with those of some of the more damaged townsfolk, Hochgatterer, himself a Vienna child psychiatrist, tells a suspenseful and shattering story with an elegance of expression that matches his exceptional insight into hearts and minds. Agency: Paul Zsolnay Verlag/Deuticke (Austria). (Dec.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe

Timothy Williams. Soho Crime, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-61695-385-0

At the start of Williams’s absorbing second Anne Marie Laveaud mystery set in Guadeloupe, in the French West Indies (after 2013’s Another Sun), the investigating judge looks into the alleged suicide of environmentalist Rodolphe Dugain. Anne Marie’s persistence makes some powerful people uneasy. When a French nurse is found murdered on a beach, Anne Marie is diverted to help solve the case before European tourists panic and cancel vacations crucial to the local economy. Anne Marie’s clerk/factotum, Alphonse Trousseau, provides quirky commentary laden with insights about the legacies of colonialism, such as nuanced racism, official corruption, and troubled interactions between men and women. She herself is a less sympathetic character, often exhausted and bewildered by the demands of her job and single motherhood. Short chapters and a sometimes elliptical style make the narrative disjointed in places, but armchair travelers who enjoy mysteries with a strong sense of place should welcome this foray into the French Caribbean. Agent: Massimiliano Zantedeschi, Trentin e Zantedeschi Literary Agency (Italy). (Jan.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
You Must Remember This: Poems

Michael Bazzett. Milkweed (PGW, dist.), $16 trade paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-57131-474-1

Bazzett, a Minneapolis high school teacher, delivers a debut collection whose mercurial sensibility and loose-woven free verse place him somewhere between Robert Hass and Patricia Lockwood. His pages stand out, amid so many other mildly quirky or eccentric first books, because their verse comes closer than most to presenting real people in his imagined world. Strange events—part charm, part menace—take place throughout: postapocalyptic humans believe that “the point of existence/ was to gather things in concentric rings”; a couple decide to “settle their divorce in mime court”; clouds “made of human/ limbs and torsos” rain blood; a very old blind man predicts that “you will one day befriend an orangutan,” though when the orangutan shows up (in another poem) he turns out to be a robot who fathers an interspecies child. Fears of death and delightful velleities, intermittent distractions and persistent adulthood follow the poet around his sometimes cartoony world, where the mere sight of a “prison for the insane” prompts dreams of destructive rampages and ghostly escapes. Like Hass, he can veer into a confessional mode and then pull knowingly out. Yet his collection is never slowed down by self-consciousness: instead, it’s entertaining in its sadness, off-kilter, and defiantly hard to explain. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 10/17/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.