October Publications

Fans of Lilian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... series won't want to miss Short and Tall Tales: Moose County Legends Collected by James Mackintosh Qwilleran. In the voice of Qwill, her beloved fictional journalist, Braun presents 27 amusing yarns, from "The True(?) History of Squunk Water" to "Those Pushy Moose County Blueberries." (Putnam, $21.95 144p ISBN 0-399-14956-2)

Roger the Chapman looks into the stabbing death of Jasper Fairbrother, a Bristol baker, as Lammastide ("Loaf-mass") approaches in Kate Sedley's 11th medieval mystery, The Lammas Feast, after The Saint John's Fern (Forecasts, July 15). As usual, Sedley offers an absorbing view of 15th-century English society and politics, along with an intricate plot to keep readers guessing who really did in Fairbrother. (Severn, $25.99 224p ISBN 0-7278-5867-X)

Following their debut in Angel Fire (Forecasts, Aug. 6, 2001), acting DCI Thomas Rydell and his assistant, Sgt. Denni Caldicote, return in Christine Green's police procedural, Vain Hope. When someone bumps off Saul Ravenscroft, the leading cosmetic surgeon at the Harmony Clinic, the two investigators soon get enmeshed in a host of complications, not least the victim's having carried on an affair with the clinic's steely chief, Carla Robins. (Severn, $25.99 256p ISBN 0-7278-5848-3)

In Spin and Die, Stella Whitelaw's third mystery to feature PI Jordan Lacey, the hard up sleuth takes on a couple of surveillance jobs at a local department store during the Christmas season. After a man spins to death in a funfair ride, Lacey realizes her own life is in danger and turns to elusive heartthrob DI James for help. Will the suave detective come to the rescue in time? (Severn, $25.99 256p ISBN 0-7278-5831-9)

September Publications

Meet one of the most unlikely new detectives in crime fiction, wise-cracking former investigative reporter and aspiring screenwriter Aaron Tucker, who agrees to help wealthy New Jersey businessman Gary Beckwirth find his missing wife, Madlyn, in screenwriter Jeffrey Cohen's antic first novel, For Whom the Minivan Rolls: An Aaron Tucker Mystery. A mysterious minivan, a mayoral election and murder keep our hero hopping when he'd prefer to be stay-at-home dad. Given the author's Hollywood connections—prominent among the book's many blurbs is one from Larry Gelbart—the chances for a film option appear excellent. (Bancroft [www.bancroftpress.com], $19.95 261p ISBN 1-890862-18-5)

Shamus winner Brendan DuBois, the author of Killer Waves (Forecasts, May 20) and other novels in his Lewis Cole series, collects the Edgar-nominated title story and 10 other top-notch crime tales in The Dark Snow and Other Mysteries. An author foreword and checklist add further value. (Crippen & Landru [www.crippenlandru.com], $42 207p ISBN 1-885941-81-1; $17 paper -82-X)