Stephanie Wrobel’s debut is notable for its original take on mother-daughter conflict, but other authors this season, including Lauren Beukes, Jess Kidd, and Matt Ruff, deliver books with fresh, arresting premises.
Matt Ruff. Harper, Mar. 17 ($27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-285467-4)
Part cyber thriller and part romantic comedy, this imaginative epic from the author of Lovecraft Country takes the pseudonymous Mr. Jones (who could be North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un) on a comprehensive tour of the world of virtual-reality gaming.
Lauren Beukes. Mulholland, July 28 ($28, ISBN 978-0-316-26783-0)
Set in a future where a virus has decimated the male population, this blend of noir, SF, and psychological suspense could be Beukes’s breakout book.
The Boy from the Woods
Harlan Coben. Grand Central, Mar. 17 ($29, ISBN 978-1-5387-4814-5)
The mystery man known as Wilde must find a missing teenage girl and uncover secrets that could destroy the lives of millions. 750,000-copy announced first printing.
The Coldest Warrior
Paul Vidich. Pegasus Crime, Feb. 4 ($25.95, ISBN 978-1-64313-335-5)
Inspired by the real-life case of CIA scientist Frank Olson, who died after falling from a window in 1953, this Cold War spy novel earned a PW starred review and elevates Vidich to the front rank of espionage thriller writers.
Darling Rose Gold
Stephanie Wrobel. Berkley, Mar. 17 ($28, ISBN 978-0-593-10006-6)
Rose Gold Watts helps send her mother, Patty, to prison for poisoning her for the first 18 years of her life—then takes Patty in after she gets out and has no place to go. This shocking tale of mother-daughter conflict marks first-time novelist Wrobel as a writer to watch.
Hammer to Fall: A Joe Wilderness Novel
John Lawton. Atlantic Monthly, Mar. 10 ($26, ISBN 978-0-8021-4812-4)
In 1948, MI6 spy Joe Wilderness gets involved in smuggling coffee and cigarettes into East Berlin. Years later, when Joe is stationed in Finland, he smuggles vodka into the Soviet Union, leading him into some serious geopolitical trouble. Lawton is at the top of his game.
Hid from Our Eyes: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery
Julia Spencer-Fleming. Minotaur, Apr. 4 ($27.99, ISBN 978-0-312-60685-5)
Three similar murders over a span of decades seem to implicate Millers Kill, N.Y., police chief Russ Van Alstyne in Spencer-Fleming’s highly anticipated ninth series mystery.
The Only Child
Mi-Ae Seo, trans. by Yeown Jung. Ecco, Feb. 11 ($26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-290504-8)
Silence of the Lambs fans will relish this psychological thriller set in South Korea about a criminal psychologist and the condemned serial killer who grants her an exclusive interview.
Things in Jars
Jess Kidd. Atria, Feb. 4 ($27, ISBN 978-1-9821-2128-0)
Set in Victorian London, this highly original gothic mystery charts a female detective’s efforts to find a missing six-year-old girl with a propensity for eating snails with her toes.
Victim 2117: A Department Q Novel
Jussi Adler-Olsen, trans. by William Frost. Dutton, Mar. 3 ($28, ISBN 978-1-52474255-3)
In investigating the apparent drowning of a female refugee known only as Victim 2117, Assad, of Copenhagen’s Department Q, must confront painful memories from his years in Syria and Afghanistan in order to catch the woman’s killer in this timely thriller.
Mysteries & Thrillers Listings
Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Feb. 11, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-947993-92-1). In 1979, a young Mexican woman gets entangled in the lives of three wealthy American tourists who are spending the summer in Baja California. The death of one of the tourists leads to trouble.
Nairobi Noir, edited by Peter Kimani (Feb. 4, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-61775-754-9). In this entry in Akashic’s noir anthology series, 14 new stories from Kenyan writers examine racial, religious, and class divides in a modern city of five million people that’s still a place for herders and hunters.
Thunder Bay by Douglas Skelton (Feb. 11, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-950691-34-0). On a Scottish island, a reporter looks into the mystery surrounding a woman murdered 15 years earlier. Meanwhile, the return of the victim’s boyfriend troubles the island’s residents, who view him as guilty of the crime, though he was never convicted.
One Fatal Flaw: A Daniel Pitt Novel by Anne Perry (Apr. 7, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-12952-4). Lawyer Daniel Pitt and his scientist friend, Miriam Croft, succeed in proving the innocence of Rob Adwell, who was accused of setting a fire to conceal a murder. Then Adwell dies in the same fiery fashion.
Riviera Gold: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King (June 9, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-62083-9). In 1925, Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, travel to the Riviera, where they must crack a case that involves new friendships and old loyalties, as well as childlike pleasures and very grown-up sins.
The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda, trans. by Alison Watts (Feb. 9, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-912242-24-5). At a party hosted by the Aosawa family at their villa on the Sea of Japan, 17 people die after someone places cyanide in their drinks. The prime suspect commits suicide. Only decades later does the truth come out.
The Old Religion by Martyn Waites (Feb. 11, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-982548-75-9). Tom Killgannon, a former undercover cop who’s in the witness protection program, thinks he’s safe from some very violent people, until Lila, a 17-year-old runaway, breaks into Tom’s house and takes his wallet with information about his new identity.
The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger (May 12, $14 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4482-1740-3). Lady Virginia Courtauld, nicknamed the Dragon Lady for the exotic tattoo on her leg, and her second husband leave post-WWII Britain for Rhodesia, where they find that being progressive liberals in a segregated society can be dangerous.
The King’s Beast: A Mystery of the American Revolution by Eliot Pattison (Apr. 7, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64009-318-8). At the behest of Benjamin Franklin, Duncan McCallum sets out to retrieve a cache of fossils from the Kentucky wilderness. Duncan’s excitement as a naturalist blinds him to the political intrigue driving his mission.
Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth (Mar. 10, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-64385-392-5). Violet Young, successful journalist and mother, has a million YouTube subscribers. Then Violet suddenly vanishes from the online world, her entire social media presence gone. Did she decide to stop revealing her life online—or is something more sinister going on?
The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian (Mar. 17, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54480-1). When Austin, an American whose father and uncle fought in the Vietnam War, vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, his ER doctor girlfriend, Alexis, follows a path that leads her to the hospital where they met—and Alexis sutured a bullet wound in Austin’s arm.
St. Luke Road: Border City Blues by Michael Januska (June 16, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4597-4342-7). During Prohibition, a Canadian border town is fast becoming the main junction in the trafficking of illegal liquor. When Jack McCloskey tries to regain his lost bootlegging territory, he and his gang are met with resistance from some powerful local organizations.
Mission Road: A Frank Yakabuski Mystery by Ron Corbett (June 9, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77041-396-2). Set in northern Ontario, the third Det. Frank Yakabuski mystery centers on the search for millions of dollars’ worth of missing diamonds, rumored to be buried on an old logging trail. Among those who swarm to the area is a known murderer.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Like Flies from Afar by K. Ferrari, trans. by Adrian Nathan West (Mar. 24, $25, ISBN 978-0-374-23994-7). Argentinian oligarch Luis Machi has made his fortune collaborating with the worst elements of society. Then he finds a body in the trunk of his car. He has no idea who the victim could be, but suspects one of his many enemies is trying to frame him for murder.
His & Hers by Alice Feeney (July 28, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-26607-1). Anna Andrews, a BBC TV host, is reluctant to cover a murder in the sleepy countryside village where she grew up. But when the victim turns out to be one of her childhood friends, Anna can’t help investigating. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
Of Mutts and Men by Spencer Quinn (July 7, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-29769-3). Chet the dog and his partner, PI Bernie Little, arrive for a meeting with hydrologist Wendell Nero only to find Nero murdered. What did the dead man want to see them about, and was he the victim of a random robbery or something worse?
Credible Threat by J.A. Jance (Mar. 10, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-982131-07-4). Former L.A. newscaster Ali Reynolds, now the owner of a cybersecurity company in Arizona, and her team must race against the clock to save an archbishop who receives mysterious death threats.
The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton (July 7, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5258-3174-4). Marie Langham discovers that her late childhood friend, Nina, had some long-buried secrets—in particular, about a holiday in Ibiza the two women took 10 years earlier during which Marie’s then-boyfriend went missing and was later found dead.
Hard Case Crime
Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman (Mar. 17, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-78909-120-5). Philandering U.S. senator Lee Rogers can’t resist 18-year-old Fanny Cours, the attractive videographer who has joined his re-election campaign. When trouble ensues, Rogers instructs his fixer to get rid of her. But will Fanny have her revenge?
Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Mar. 31, $26, ISBN 978-1-4967-2585-1). In 1926, American Jane Wunderly is caught standing over a beautiful socialite’s dead body at Mena House, a fashionable Cairo hotel. With her innocence at stake in a foreign country, Jane must determine who can be trusted among the hotel’s other guests and who had motive to kill.
Tokyo Redux by David Peace (June 2, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-307-26376-6). In 1949 Tokyo, during the U.S. occupation, the president of the National Railways of Japan goes missing a day after announcing massive layoffs. American detective Harry Sweeney leads the subsequent investigation. More mysteries follow in 1964 and 1988 Tokyo.
The Carrier by Mattias Berg (May 12, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-85705-790-7). Erasmus Levine, who always travels with the U.S. president, carries the nuclear briefcase as a member of a crack team of top-secret operatives, whose ultimate authority, known as Alpha, has a plan to eliminate the world’s nuclear arsenals. But can Alpha be trusted?
Ghosts of the Missing by Kathleen Donohoe (Feb. 11, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-544-55717-8). Aspiring artist Adair McCrohan remains haunted by the disappearance of her childhood best friend, Rowan Kinnane, then 12, during a parade in Culleton, N.Y., in 1995. Now Adair is back in her hometown at a writer’s retreat, where she meets someone who hopes to find out what happened to Rowan.
Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall (June 16, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-27258-6). As the investigation into the death of gorgeous, wealthy Nancy Hennessy founders, and her friends Eleanor and Mary wrestle with their grief, dark details emerge that reveal how little they knew Nancy.
The Third to Die by Allison Brennan (Feb. 4, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-0944-4). Kate Quinn, an edgy female police detective on leave from the LAPD, and Mathias Costa, an ambitious FBI special agent in Washington, D.C., join forces to catch a serial killer who strikes every three years.
Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah (Feb. 4, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-297820-2). Beth hasn’t seen her former best friend, Flora, for 12 years. One day she drives by Flora’s house and spots Flora, who looks older, and her two children, who look exactly as they did 12 years ago at ages five and three.
The Bones of Wolfe by James Carlos Blake (July 7, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-5688-4). Rudy and Frank Wolfe, members of a family of honorable criminals, stumble on a vintage stash of high-quality pornographic films. The stakes rise when their 115-year-old aunt, Catalina, recognizes one of the performers as her long-lost sister.
The Bramble and the Rose: A Henry Farrell Novel by Tom Bouman (Mar. 10, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24966-8). When a headless body turns up in the woods of Wild Thyme, Pa., the death appears to be the work of a killer bear. Officer Henry Farrell begins to think otherwise when the victim is identified as a retired investigator.
Rigged by D.P. Lyle (May 19, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-60809-338-0). Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers works for an investigative agency that’s looking into the finances involved in the divorce of Pancake’s grammar school crush, Emily. When Emily is found murdered, execution-style, suspicion falls on her soon-to-be ex, but he has an ironclad alibi.
Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen, trans. by David Hackston (Apr. 1, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-912374-51-9). When a meteorite falls near a northern Finnish town, the highly valuable rock is temporarily placed in the town’s museum, under the care of a priest named Joel. He must protect the meteorite from thieves, but he also has his own agenda.
The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica (Feb. 18, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-6911-0). The murder of a neighbor, Morgan Baines, unsettles Sadie and Will Foust, who have just moved from Chicago to small-town Maine. Sadie is also troubled by their eerie old house, which they inherited from Will’s sister after her sudden death.
The Safety Net by Andrea Camilleri (Mar. 17, $16, trade paper, ISBN 978-0-14-313496-1). After a group of armed men threatens a middle school in Vigàta, Sicily, Inspector Montalbano investigates. His inquiries lead him to look closely at some of the school’s students and finally to delve into the world of social media.
The Siamese Twin Mystery by Ellery Queen (Feb. 4, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-61316-155-5). At an isolated house in Upstate New York threatened by a forest fire, detective Ellery Queen must figure out whodunit in this entry in the American Mystery Classics series.
The Missing Memsahib by Arjun Raj Gaind (June 2, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-4642-1154-6). In 1912, Maharaja Sikander Singh of Rajpore learns on arriving in Bombay for the wedding of his childhood tutor, Peter Rowan, that his friend’s intended bride, Mary Hartley, has vanished. A distraught Peter pleads with Sikander, a keen mystery solver, to find Mary.
The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo, trans. by Louise Heal Kawai (June 2, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78227-500-8). The village of Okamura is abuzz over the forthcoming wedding of a son of the grand Ichiyanagi family. But a sinister masked man has been asking questions around the village, and on the night of the wedding, death comes to the Ichiyanagi household.
The Goodbye Man by Jeffery Deaver (May 12, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-53597-3). Colter Shaw travels to Washington State to investigate a mysterious organization. Does it console the bereaved—or is it a dangerous cult? Shaw soon finds that some people will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge (Feb. 25, $27, ISBN 978-1-984818-07-2). One night, Aidan Poole logs on to his laptop to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. To his horror, he hears a violent struggle in the bathroom—and then nothing. But why does he hesitate to call the police?
A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs (Mar. 17, $27, ISBN 978-1-982138-88-2). Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan must figure out the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and why the victim had her cell phone number.
A Circle of Dead Girls by Eleanor Kuhns (Mar. 3, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-7278-9008-5). In the late 18th-century, the circus arrives in Durham, Maine, and the whole town is excited, until the body of a Shaker girl turns up in a farmer’s field. Bored with his household chores, weaver Will Rees investigates.
Death on Tuckernuck by Francine Mathews (May 5, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-61695-993-7). On a yacht run aground on shoals off the island of Nantucket, the Coast Guard finds two people shot, one of whom dies before reaching the hospital. Police detective Meredith Folger is called in to investigate—just three days before her wedding.
The Second Mother by Jenny Milchman (July 7, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4926-9444-1). Elementary school teacher Julie Weathers jumps at the chance to teach at a one-room schoolhouse on a remote Maine island, but she soon realizes that her new situation is less than idyllic. Is the greater danger the sea or the island’s people?
Golden in Death by J.D. Robb (Feb. 4, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-20720-3). In the 50th novel featuring New York homicide detective Eve Dallas, people are dying after receiving anonymous packages filled with toxic gas, starting with pediatrician Kent Abner. But who would want to kill a decent man like Dr. Abner? 750,000-copy announced first printing.
The Burglar in Short Order by Lawrence Block (Feb. 29, $30, ISBN 978-1-59606-957-2). This volume collects all the short stories from MWA Grand Master Block featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, bookseller-by-day and burglar-by-night, starting with the tale in which a prototype of Bernie first appeared, “A Bad Night for Burglars.”
Thomas & Mercer
Hide Away: A Rachel Marin Thriller by Jason Pinter (Mar. 1, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5420-0590-6). After a personal tragedy, Rachel Marin, a single mother of two, begins a new life in a small Illinois town. When the town’s former mayor winds up dead, Rachel can’t help getting involved in the ensuing investigation, which threatens to reveal her own secrets.
I Know You by Sharon Doering (July 14, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78909-419-0). A five-year-old girl has been missing for months, and the only suspect is quiet, middle-aged Leland Ernest. Grace Wright, a recently divorced mother of two who has just bought the house next door to Leland, starts to worry he is a kidnapper and a murderer.
Puppies by Maurizio Giovanni, trans. by Antony Shugaar (July 21, $18 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60945-604-7). In Naples, a baby is left abandoned beside a dumpster, and small animals begin to disappear from the streets, among other mysteries. It’s the task of the policemen known as the Bastards of Pizzofalcone to solve them.
This article has been updated to remove a title that was erroneously included and does not publish in spring 2020.