Black Sun Rising

Matthew Carr. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-64313-424-6

Set in 1909, this superior mystery from Carr (The Devils of Cardona) opens with a literal bang when a bomb planted in a Barcelona, Spain, café blows up a foreigner. The victim may be Randolph Foulkes, an English explorer, who’s been missing since the blast. Mrs. Randolph Foulkes, who suspects that her husband is the dead man, wants to hire a fellow countryman to confirm it—and also to figure out why he left a bequest to an unknown woman. Henry Lawton, an English private investigator, accepts Mrs. Foulkes’s lucrative offer to travel to Barcelona to investigate. Once there, he’s able to confirm Foulkes’s death through a comparison of fingerprints. Identifying the relationship of the beneficiary to the dead man proves trickier. The reported presence in Barcelona of a blood-drinking murderer known as the Raval Monster complicates his search. Carr excels at incorporating early 20th-century Spanish political developments into a suspenseful and clever plot line. Philip Kerr fans will be pleased. [em]Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (June) [/em]