Highlights this season include major books from such established authors as James Ellroy, Michael Connelly, and Louise Penny, as well as some firsts: Chelsea Cain’s first in a new crime series; Bradford Morrow’s first foray into crime fiction; and Sophie Hannah’s Agatha Christie pastiche, the first authorized by the Christie estate.
Perfidia is the first book in what will be James Ellroy’s Second L.A. Quartet. Set over 23 days in December 1941, it exposes a deep, unsettling web of crime and violence that threatens to engulf Los Angeles in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Sonny Mehta, Knopf’s chairman and editor-in-chief, hails it as “quite simply, a great American novel.”
L.A. remains a dangerous place today, as shown in Michael Connelly’s The Burning Room, in which Harry Bosch of the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit and his new partner, rookie detective Lucia Soto, must solve what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case. The author reports that nine more episodes of Bosch, the screen adaptation of the Harry Bosch series, “are well underway” following the pilot episode.
Farther up the West Coast, in Portland, Ore., Kick Lannigan, the heroine of Chelsea Cain’s One Kick, seeks to rescue kidnap victims in the first of what the author herself calls her “PG-13” series. Marysue Rucci, v-p and editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster, says it is “one of the freshest, most original, and most chilling thrillers I have read in years.” Sarah Colleton, formerly the executive producer/creator of the TV series Dexter, is developing One Kick into a series.
In Draper, Utah, a wife and mother of a young daughter disappears in The Bishop’s Wife, YA author Mette Ivie Harrison’s first adult novel. A practicing Mormon, Harrison shows how the Mormon Church’s patriarchal system can make it hard to bring some criminals to justice. Soho is backing this insider’s look at one of America’s most secretive religious groups with a 15-city author tour and a $100,000 marketing and ad budget.
Up in Three Pines, Quebec, a husband fails to show up as promised for dinner with his wife on the first anniversary of their separation. Armand Gamache, former head of the homicide division of the Sûreté du Québec, investigates in Canadian author Louise Penny’s The Long Way Home, the 10th entry in her best-selling series that has won Agatha, Anthony, and Arthur Ellis awards. The major marketing campaign includes a national author tour and 400,000 first printing.
The murder of a reclusive book collector at his house in Montauk, Long Island, kicks off The Forgers, Bradford Morrow’s first venture into crime fiction. “Brilliantly written,” says Joyce Carol Oates, an opinion seconded by Peter Straub.
The British Isles provide the setting for three notable crime novels: Sophie Hannah’s The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery, a pitch-perfect pastiche of Agatha Christie set in 1929 London; Peter May’s sequel to The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man, set on the Isle of Lewis; and Edgar winner Tana French’s The Secret Place, set in contemporary Dublin and the fifth in her Dublin Murder squad series.
Michael Connelly calls South African author Deon Meyer “one of the unsung masters.” Cobra, Meyer’s fourth crime novel featuring Cape Town police detective Benny Griessel, should get more readers singing his praises. Meyer’s books have been translated into 20 languages.
PW’s Top 10: Mysteries & Thrillers
The Bishop’s Wife. Mette Ivie Harrison. Soho Crime, Dec. 30
The Burning Room. Michael Connelly. Little, Brown, Nov. 3
Cobra. Deon Meyer. Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 7
The Forgers. Bradford Morrow. Mysterious, Nov. 4
The Lewis Man. Peter May. Quercus, Sept. 2
The Long Way Home. Louise Penny. Minotaur, Aug. 27
The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery. Sophie Hannah. Morrow, Sept. 9
One Kick. Chelsea Cain. Simon & Schuster, Aug. 10
Perfidia. James Ellroy. Knopf, Sept. 9
The Secret Place. Tana French. Viking, Sept. 2
Mysteries & Thrillers Listings
Prison Noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Sept. 2, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61775-239-1). This crime fiction anthology features 15 stories written by prisoners incarcerated in correctional facilities across the U.S.
Amazon/Thomas & Mercer
My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni (Oct. 10, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-4778-2557-0). In this blend of legal thriller and police procedural, Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite looks for answers after the remains of her dead sister, Sarah, are found 20 years after Sarah’s disappearance.
Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger (Aug. 19, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-4923-5). When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation wonder if it was the work of a mythical beast, the Windigo.
The Wolf in Winter: A Charlie Parker Thriller by John Connolly (Oct. 28, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4767-0318-3). The death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw haunted antihero PI Charlie Parker to Prosperous, Maine.
The Wolf by Lorenzo Carcaterra (Aug., hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-345-48394-2). Vincent Marelli (aka the Wolf), the head of a worldwide crime empire, seeks revenge after his wife and young daughters perish in a terrorist attack aboard an airplane.
Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler (Dec. 2, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-345-54765-1). A teenager sees a dead man rise from the grave—and is moments later killed in a hit-and-run accident. Seven ravens disappear from the Tower of London, a bad omen. Bryant and May must find out how these two inexplicable events are related.
Berkley Prime Crime
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen (Aug. 5, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-425-26036-4). In 1934, Lady Georgianna Rannoch, 35th in line for the British throne, agrees to accompany her actress mother across the Atlantic to Hollywood, where they become involved in investigating the murder of the movie mogul who was going to cast mother in his next picture.
(dist. by PGW)
Gangsterland by Tod Goldberg (Sept. 9, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-61902-344-4). Sal Cupertino, a legendary hit man for the Chicago Mafia, has to change his identity after his first-ever mistake forces him to kill three undercover FBI agents.
Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh (Jan. 13, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-385-34902-4). Spademan, the kill-for-hire antihero in Shovel Ready, from the New York Times Magazine’s culture editor Sternbergh, faces dangerous new enemies in a bombed-out New York City.
The Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd (Oct. 21, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-345-54543-5). Victorian detective Charles Maddox travels to the remote castle of Baron Von Reisenberg, a pioneering scientist with a terrible secret, while a mysterious killer known only as “The Vampire” stalks London.
The Distance by Helen Giltrow (Sept. 9, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-385-53699-8). In this debut, a London society woman tries to put her secret criminal past behind her, but she can’t refuse the hit man who comes to her with an impossible job.
Rose Gold: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley (Sept. 23, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-385-53699-8). The daughter of a weapons manufacturer is kidnapped by a black revolutionary, and Easy Rawlins is called in to resolve the standoff.
The Marco Effect: A Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Sept. 9, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-525-952402-6). A 15-year-old gypsy boy, Marco Jameson, wants to become a Danish citizen and go to school like a normal teenager, but his discovery of a dead body—proving the extent of his feared uncle’s criminal activities—means he has to go on the run.
Deadout by John McGoran (Aug. 5, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-3471-8). Philadelphia detective Doyle Carrick and his girlfriend, Nola Watkins, take a vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, where a giant biotech company is introducing genetically modified super bees. The company has an even more ambitious plan that Doyle races to stop.
The Escape by David Baldacci (Nov. 18, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-4555-2720-5). When Robert Puller, the older brother of military investigator John Puller, escapes from the military’s most secure prison, where he’s being held for national security crimes, John finds himself part of an investigation to hunt down his brother.
Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Nov. 11, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-4555-2589-8). When one of FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast’s most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a corpse, only a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased provides a clue to his murder.
The White Van by Patrick Hoffman (Sept. 2, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-8021-2304-6). In this debut thriller set in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, drug-hustler Emily Rosario finds herself wanted for robbery and on the run after an encounter with a Russian businessman. Hoping to find the money first, crooked cop Leo Elias takes matters into his own hands.
Cobra by Deon Meyer (Oct. 7, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2324-4). At a guest house in South Africa’s beautiful Franschhoek wine valley, a famous English mathematician is kidnapped and his two bodyguards killed. The spent shell cases offer a clue: each is engraved with the flared head of a spitting cobra.
The Empire of Night:A Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller by Robert Olen Butler (Oct. 7, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2323-7). In 1915, war correspondent and spy Christopher Marlowe Cobb goes undercover at a castle on the Kentish coast, where he encounters a female spy—his celebrated stage actress mother.
The Forgers by Bradford Morrow (Nov. 4, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-8021-2321-3). When a reclusive rare book dealer, Adam Diehl, is found dead in his Montauk home, surrounded by books and original manuscripts vandalized beyond repair, Adam’s sister and her lover, a convicted if unrepentant literary forger, find themselves in peril.
Hard Case Crime
Brainquake by Samuel Fuller (Sept. 9, paper, $30, ISBN 978-1-78116-819-6). First published in France in 1993, this crime novel from cult film director Fuller centers on Paul Page, who suffers from “brainquakes”—seizures during which he responds violently to horrifying visions.
Angel Killer: A Jessica Blackwood Novel by Andrew Mayne (Sept. 23, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-06-234887-6). FBI agent Jessica Blackwood, a former magician, tracks a killer who seems to have supernatural powers. In the fiend’s first miracle, a dead girl appears to crawl out of her grave in a Michigan cemetery.
The Scent of Death by Andrew Taylor (Oct. 14, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-00721351-1). In 1778, London clerk Edward Savill sails to British-occupied Manhattan, where he investigates the claims of dispossessed loyalists caught on the wrong side of the American War of Independence—and gets caught up in a murder inquiry.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Murder of Harriet Krohn by Karin Fossum (Nov. 18, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-544-27339-9). In the seventh Inspector Sejer mystery, the Norwegian detective looks into the murder of a wealthy old woman and the theft of his antique silver, but the only clue in the woman’s apartment is an abandoned bouquet.
Death of a Dog Whisperer: A Melanie Travis Mystery by Laurien Berenson (Aug. 26, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-7582-8455-6). The well-heeled dog owners of Fairfield County, Conn., lap up the alleged talents of self-proclaimed “dog whisperer” Nick Walden, until Nick is discovered dead at his home. Melanie Travis must make time in her busy summer schedule to investigate.
Perfidia by James Ellroy (Sept. 9, hardcover, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-307-95699-6). In December 1941, the murder of a Japanese family has a big impact on four people: an ambitious LAPD captain; the LAPD sergeant the captain’s at odds with; a police chemist who’s the only Japanese on the L.A. cop payroll; and a 21-year-old female dilettante looking for adventure.
The Burning Room by Michael Connelly (Nov. 3, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-22593-9). Harry Bosch and his new partner in the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, Det. Lucia Soto, investigate what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case involving a victim who succumbs to complications from being shot nine years earlier.
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (Sept. 16, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-316-21682-1). Det. Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies, but this one is unique even by Detroit standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. Stranger and more disturbing bodies only add to Detroit’s reputation as the most violent city in America.
The Convert’s Song by Sebastian Rotella (Dec. 9, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-316-32469-4). A former U.S. federal agent, Valentine Pescatore, starts a new career as a PI in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he runs into a troubled, long-lost friend who has converted to Islam. When a terrorist attack kills hundreds, suspicion falls on the friend—and Pescatore.
Locked Room International
The Derek Smith Omnibus by Derek Howe Smith (Aug., hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4992-4389-5) collects three impossible murder novels: Whistle Up the Devil (1953) and two others never before published in the U.S., Come to Paddington Fair and Model for Murder.
Melville International Crime
The Minotaur’s Head by Marek Krajewski (Aug. 26, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-61219-342-7). In 1939 Breslau, Germany, Capt. Eberhard Mock looks into the case of a female spy, just arrived from France by train, who’s been found dead in her hotel room—the flesh torn from her cheek by her assailant’s teeth.
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (Aug. 27, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-312-65547-1). In his 10th outing, Chief Insp. Armand Gamache of the Quebec Sûreté investigates the disappearance of Three Pines resident Peter Morrow, who failed as promised to show up for a dinner with his wife, Clara, exactly one year after they separated.
Broadchurch by Erin Kelly and Chris Chibnall (Sept. 2, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-05550-7). In this novelization of the TV show Broadchurch, detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller search for a young boy’s killer in a quiet British seaside town.
The Blood of an Englishman by M.C. Beaton (Sept. 16, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-312-61626-7). In her 25th outing, amateur sleuth Agatha Raisin investigates when a local baker is murdered in a pantomime show.
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver (Oct. 14, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-004636-9). A seaside resort, an eccentric group of British aristocrats on holiday, and 1930s detail lay the setting for this debut mystery of manners by a young librarian.
The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah (Sept. 9, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-2297-21-1). Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective goes to the aid of a young woman who fears she’s soon to be murdered, in a new adventure set in London in 1929.
Sometimes the Wolf by Urban Waite (Oct. 21, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-221691-5). Sheriff Patrick Drake, beset by financial troubles, fell into bad company and was convicted of a serious crime. Now Patrick is on parole under the watchful eye of his son, Bobby, who just happens to be a deputy sheriff in his father’s old department.
(dist. by Midpoint)
Stalked: The Boy Who Said No by Patti Sheehy (Sept. 2, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-60809-125-3). Frank Maderos defects from Cuba’s Special Forces and leaves his homeland for the U.S., where he rejects an offer to join the CIA and takes his chances on achieving the American dream.
The Madness of July by James Naughtie (Oct. 2, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-4683-0961-4). Set in the late 1970s, this first novel from the author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency focuses on Will Flemyng, trained as a spy for a life behind enemy lines but now in politics and rising to the top.
Life Deluxe by Jens Lapidus (Sept. 16, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-307-37750-0). In the final entry in the Stockholm Noir trilogy, drug dealer Jorge, newly released from prison and bored with his new existence selling lattes and cappucinos at a cafe, plans an audacious last heist.
(dist. by Norton)
Darkness, Darkness by John Harvey (Sept. 15, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-60598-616-6). In the final Charlie Resnick novel, the discovery of the body of a young woman who disappeared during the British miner’s strike of 30 years before brings the retired detective back into the front line to assist in the investigation into the woman’s murder.
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, edited by Laurie King and Leslie Klinger (Nov. 15, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-60598-658-6). Distinguished contemporary authors have created new stories inspired by the Sherlock Holmes canon.
Murder on the Île Sordou: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provençal Mystery by M.L. Longworth (Sept. 30, paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-312554-9). Judge Antoine Verlaque and his girlfriend, law professor Marine Bonnet, are hoping to enjoy a relaxing holiday at a recently reopened opulent hotel, but someone has other plans.
Unnatural Murder by Connie Dial (Sept. 26, hardcover, $29, ISBN 978-1-57962-369-2). Capt. Josie Corsino of the LAPD looks into the murder of a wealthy transvestite on a Hollywood street in front of dozens of witnesses, none of whom will tell the police anything.
Phantom Limb: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery by Dennis Palumbo (Sept. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4642-0254-4). Psychologist Daniel Rinaldi, a Pittsburgh PD consultant, has a new patient, Lisa Harland, who’s kidnapped shortly after she tells Danny she plans to commit suicide that evening. Danny winds up the bag man on the ransom delivery.
Prometheus Books/Seventh Street
Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek: A Samuel Craddock Mystery by Terry Shames (Oct. 7, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61614-996-3). Samuel Craddock comes out of retirement to become the police chief of bankrupt Jarrett Creek, Tex., where the heir to the town’s main bank has turned up dead, apparently murdered.
Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot: A Jesse Stone Novel by Reed Farrel Coleman (Sept. 9, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-399-16473-6). The Shamus Award–winning author of the Moe Prager PI series provides a new adventure for the late Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone, who heads to New York for a reunion of his old Triple-A baseball team.
The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman (Sept. 16, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-399-16236-7). At a house in the Hollywood Hills, Det. Jacob Lev finds no body, only an unidentified head lying on the floor. Burnt into a nearby kitchen counter is the Hebrew word for “justice.”
Paris Match by Stuart Woods (Oct. 7, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-399-16912-0). New York attorney Stone Barrington travels to Paris, where he is pursued by an old enemy allied with a powerful man with his own ax to grind against Stone.
The Promise: An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel by Robert Crais (Nov. 4, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-399-16149-0). L.A. PI Elvis Cole sets out to locate a woman who may have disappeared with a mysterious stranger she “met” online. It seems like an ordinary case until Elvis learns the missing woman worked for a defense department contractor.
The Lewis Man by Peter May (Sept. 2, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-62365-819-9). A mummified body found on the Isle of Lewis appears to be more than 2,000 years old, until the police spot an Elvis tattoo on the right arm.
Betrayed: A Rosato & Associates Novel by Lisa Scottoline (Nov. 25, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-02770-2). Lawyer Judy Carrier investigates the suspicious death of Emelia Juarez, an undocumented farm worker. Judy also has to unearth the secrets in her own family.
The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell (Nov. 4, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4767-8432-8). In this novel of psychological suspense, the discovery of bones in a tin box sends shockwaves across a group of longtime friends.
Those Who Feel Nothing: The Fifth Brighton Mystery by Peter Guttridge (Sept. 1, hardcover, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-7278-8360-5). Hoping to ease gently into his new role as Brighton’s first police commissioner, Bob Watts, a former chief constable, finds himself engulfed in a shocking scandal involving the director of the Royal Pavilion.
Simon & Schuster
One Kick by Chelsea Cain (Aug. 10, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4787-4978-5). Kick Lannigan, who was kidnapped at age six and rescued five years later, finds herself at 21 unexpectedly entangled in a missing-child case that will force her from the secure world she has built over the past decade.
The Missing Place by Sophie Littlefield (Oct. 14, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-5782-7). Set against the backdrop of North Dakota’s oil boom, this dark take on women’s fiction follows two very different mothers as they form an uneasy alliance to find their missing sons, who have vanished from an oil rig.
Ghost Month by Ed Lin (Aug., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-61695-326-3). Jing-nan, who runs a food stand in a Taipei night market, doesn’t consider himself superstitious, but this particular August, known as ghost month in Taiwan, is going to haunt him when he learns that his ex-girlfriend from high school has been murdered while selling betel nuts on a highway to passing truckers.
The Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison (Dec. 30, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-61695-476-5). Linda Walheim, the wife of a Mormon bishop, looks into the disappearance of a young wife and mother, whose husband claims he had nothing to do with her suddenly leaving home.
The Secret Place by Tana French (Sept. 2, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-670-02632-6). Det. Frank Mackey of the Dublin Murder Squad investigates the murder of a popular teenage boy, Chris Harper, at St. Kilda’s, a private all girls’ school in a Dublin suburb attended by his teenage daughter, Holly.
Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories by Craig Johnson (Oct. 21, hardcover, $22, ISBN 978-0-525-42791-9) includes 11 previously published stories about Sheriff Walt Longmire, star of the A&E series now in its third season, and one new tale, “Petunia, Bandit Queen of the Bighorns.”