June Publications

When her grandmother's grave is dug up, Connor Hawthorne hurries back to England with her friend Laura Nez, a Navajo guide, to find out who's responsible. In Witchfire: A Connor Hawthorne Mystery, Lauren Maddison's (Deceptions) series heroine tries to break the ruthless servants of dark supernatural forces of their grave-digging, murderous habits. (Alyson, $13.95 paper 420p ISBN 1-55583-595-3)

Patent lawyer Steven J. Frank's (The Uncertainty Principle) The Sell-Out, winner of Salvo Press's Second Annual Mystery Novel Award, features patrol cop Russ Hartman and ethnically polarized, urbanized Hudson County, N.J. When it seems that a murder victim had some unsavory secrets, Hartman tries to protect the deceased's niece from finding out, and from becoming the next victim. (Salvo [www.salvopress.com], $14.95 paper 192p ISBN 1-930486-18-9)

Grant Montgomery, a retired mentalist with a terrific girlfriend, a comfortable life and a sleuthing itch, tries to cheer up an old, ailing friend in Robert Aiello's (The Deceivers) Shadow in the Mirror: A Suspense Novel, second in the series. When the friend unexpectedly kills himself, his identical twin daughters (one of whom is Grant's ex) behave strangely, and an old enemy of Grant's gets in the way of investigating his friend's mysterious death when he tries to kill Grant. (Creative Arts, $14.95 paper 262p ISBN 0-88739-345-4)

Pierre Moinot (La Chasse Royale), elected an "Immortal" of the Academie Francaise, presents to American audiences As Night Follows Day, translated by Jody Gladding, a postwar period piece set in a small French village. Two village men are murdered, throwing the town into chaos and fear; Moinot renders the internal lives of several villagers as they head toward the discovery of the killer and other revelations. (Welcome Rain [225 W. 35th St., Ste. 1100, New York, N.Y. 10001], $24.95 224p ISBN 1-56649-154-1)

Struggling journalist Addy McNeil jumps at the chance to cover the murder of a renowned businessman, despite or maybe because the main suspect is Addy's ex-boyfriend. Set in the early-1990s biotech proliferation in Boston, Jan Brogan's Final Copy, his first mystery novel, lands its heroine in the thick of rekindled romance, cutthroat venture capitalism and abundant murder motives. (Larcom [www.larcompress.com], $25 320p ISBN 0-9678199-4-6)

Smalltown Maine holds some unsettling and dangerous surprises—like the unknown dead man Amy Creighton finds in a mulch pile. Sometime sweethearts Amy and constable Dort Adams find out they don't know all their neighbors as well as they'd thought in A. Carman Clark's debut mystery, The Maine Mulch Murder, the first in a projected series. (Larcom, $22 236p ISBN 0-9678199-3-8) It's summer 1494 in Florence, and the wife of a prominent man is found dead in her courtyard in Bella Donna: A Renaissance Mystery Novel by Barbara Cherne (Looking Glass). Bella, sister-in-law to the widowed man, is presumed guilty, but Giuditta, the family's cook and the accused's friend, follows a trail of intricate familial betrayals to prove Bella's innocence. (Fithian [P.O. Box 1525, Santa Barbara, Calif. 93102], $10.95 paper 160p ISBN 1-56474-362-4) Fans of hard-boiled detective novels will relish the return of three Mickey Spillane classics in The Mike Hammer Collection: I, the Jury, My Gun Is Quick, Vengeance Is Mine. Packed with heavy doses of testosterone, fast action, brutality and sensuality, these three tales depict the darker side of the post—WWII era, a time when tough-guy vigilantes like Hammer were admired, villains were unrepentantly sinister and women were sexy but dangerous. This volume is the first in a series of three-in-one Hammer collections and a fitting tribute to a writer who revolutionized a genre. (New American Library, $15 paper 528p ISBN 0-451-20352-6; June 8)