September Publications

Who Killed Tiffany Jones? by Mavis Kaye (the pseudonym of literary agent Bill Adler and New York Times Book Review editor Mel Watkins), leaves it to the reader to solve the murder of the title character, a singer slain backstage at Harlem's Apollo Theater, in a contest with a $10,000 prize. You also have to figure out how and why a dozen other victims are bumped off in this celebrity-laden thriller involving diamond smuggling. With a national broadcast and print campaign, the well-connected authors are sure to generate a lot of publicity for this "interactive" read in the tradition of the bestselling Who Killed the Robins Family? (Morrow, 1984). (Amistad, $22.95 208p ISBN 0-06-621333-9)

Although they lack the complex and suspenseful plotting of Harry Kemelman's rabbinical mysteries, Agatha-nominee Sharon Kahn's "kosher kozies" have a charm all their own, as shown in this fourth installment, Hold the Cream Cheese, Kill the Lox: A Ruby the Rabbi's Wife Mystery. Investigating the stabbing death of Herman Guenther, a quiet old lox cutter, takes Ruby and friends from her home in Eternal, Tex., to Alaska and New Jersey before she deduces a murder motive that goes back to Nazi-occupied Denmark. The antics of self-centered Essie Sue Margolis, who's fussing over the impending bar mitzvah of her obnoxious twin cousins, provide plenty of comic relief. (Scribner, $24 304p ISBN 0-684-87156-4)

Lindy Haggerty, rehearsal director for the Jeremy Ash Dance Company, returns home from a long European business trip to find all is not well with the forthcoming Mischief Night Marathon in her perky fourth outing, Halloween Murder: A Lindy Haggerty Mystery, by Shelley Freydont. What start out as pranks based on the Seven Deadly Sins soon turn into murder, with the killer targeting Lindy with her own special eighth deadly sin. The skull-and-crossbones jack-o'-lantern dust-jacket art makes this a natural for any Halloween tie-in display. Agent, Evan Marshall.(Kensington, $22 320p ISBN 0-7582-0124-9)

When someone shoots down a blimp advertising the 50th anniversary of Foster's Chocolates, Kansas City (Mo.), chef-cum-sleuth Heaven Lee gets on the case in Lou Jane Temple's Death Is Semisweet: A Heaven Lee Mystery, the seventh entry in this enticing food cozy series (Red Beans and Vice, etc.). A range of recipes, from Miracle Whip Chocolate Cake to Chocolate Marshmallow Gingerbread, sweetens the plot, making this a feast for mystery-loving chocoholics. (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 288p ISBN 0-312-30122-7)

In Our Lady of Darkness: A Celtic Mystery, by British author Peter Tremayne (the pseudonym of Celtic historian Peter Berresford Ellis), Roman Penitential law and traditional Irish law come into conflict as Sister Fidelma finds herself defending her good friend, Saxon monk Brother Eadulf, from a rape and murder charge. This is another solid installment in this well-established medieval series. Agent, Michael Thomas.(St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 288p ISBN 0-312-27295-2)