cover image The Lavender Lane Lothario: A Berger and Mitry Mystery

The Lavender Lane Lothario: A Berger and Mitry Mystery

David Handler. Minotaur, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-07611-3

Two Dorset, Conn., families collide in Handler’s entertaining 11th mystery starring State Trooper Des Mitry and her film critic boyfriend, Mitch Berger (after 2014’s The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb). Every year, Sherm Gant, “a major player in the Dorset business community,” and his grown son, Leland, hit the graveyard to desecrate the tomb of silent film star Aurora Bing, against whom the Gants have a long-standing grudge. This year, things are even more acrimonious because Bing’s sole grandchild, nerdy building inspector Hubie Swope, has closed the Pit, the local dive Sherm owns, for safety violations. One fateful night, the Pit burns down, with Hubie’s charred body inside. Though Sherm is the prime suspect in what becomes a murder case, surprise contenders start popping up. It seems that widower Hubie, introverted cuckoo clock repairer though he was, was secretly cavorting with several local ladies. Mitch’s usual banter about food and films camouflages the ace crime-solving talents that will help point Des to the real killer. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Feb.)