August Publications

Anthologist and author Herbert Van Thal (The Tops of the Mulberry Trees) has assembled four previous anthologies in one volume, with stories by 35 eminent mystery authors, including all-time luminaries Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Wilkie Collins, Raymond Chandler and Georges Simenon. The Mammoth Book of Great Detective Stories ranges from mid-20th-century English villains in drag (E.C. Bentley's "The Inoffensive Captain") to a hypochondriac crime-writer and reluctant sleuth in Devon (Edmund Cripin's "We Know You're Writing...") to a mysterious, hysterical woman who hires Jemima Shore to determine if she is mother to the Parr children, wards in a notorious divorce case (Antonia Fraser's "The Case of the Parr Children"). (Carroll & Graf, $12.95 paper 800p ISBN 0-7867-0886-7)

In The Trevelyn Trap, Heather Johnson's first book, the truculent but loving Trevelyn children contend with the death of their mother, their father's new and difficult wife and a strange game the newlyweds received as a wedding gift. When activated, the game emits a voice that makes threats against the family, and when disasters start to happen, no one knows if the violence is coming from an outsider or a family member. (Cedar Fort/Bonneville [], $12.95 paper 188p ISBN 1-55517-541-4)

Murder is not a common event in Burnsville, Va., so when an anonymous caller reports a dead body 10 miles outside of town one night, everyone, especially Deputy Frank Stark, is more than a little uneasy. As Stark finds evidence of illegal whiskey stills, and more people are killed, he also learns that there's a price on his head, in Jack Crosswell's first book, Murder of a Brother. (Pentland [], $18.95 256p ISBN 1-57197-265-X)

In another debut novel, Todd Borg's Tahoe Deathfall, first in the Owen McKenna series, a six-year-old girl falls to her death during a hike. Eight years later, her heiress twin sister hires P.I. McKenna to investigate the death. He discovers some skeletons in the family's closet, the likes of which he's never encountered, not to mention some pending murder plots. (Thriller [], $16.95 paper 256p ISBN 1-931296-11-1)

Fourth in Ann Livesay's (The Madman of Mount Everest) eco-thriller series, The Chala Project: Murder in the Grand Canyon features dynamic series hero Barry Ross as he protects UN Environmental Program Officer Hounto Chala from assassins on a raft trip through the Grand Canyon. Chala has made a revolutionary proposal for an international ban on killing wild animals, angering certain gun-toting militants who chase him down the Colorado River. (Silver River [], $12.95 paper 256p ISBN 0-9662817-3-X)