April Publications

Emily Charters and her detective pal, Jeremy Ransom, have their seniors' Great Lakes cruise aboard the Genessee rudely interrupted by murder in Fred Hunter's Ransom at Sea: A Ransom/Charters Mystery, the ninth entry in this reliable semi-cozy series (after 2002's The Mummy's Ransom). This book's a natural companion for a holiday cruise. (St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 272p ISBN 0-312-30066-2)

Shamus Award winner Harold Adams brings back his series character Kyle Champion, introduced in When Rich Men Die (1987), for more fun and murderous mischief in The Fourth of July Wake. When the young widow of family patriarch P.J. Krueger decides to hold a party in Krueger's honor over the long July 4th weekend, with disaffected children and a strange neighbor with a violent history in attendance, watch out for fireworks. (Five Star, $25.95 172p ISBN 0-7862-3000-2)

A follow-up to Felonious Felines (2000), Kittens, Cats, and Crime, edited by Ed Gorman, showcases 11 all-original stories by the likes of Kristine Kathryn Rush ("Cat Nap"), P.N. Elrod ("The Breath of Bast") and Edward D. Hoch ("Cat Among the Rabbits"). Crime fans will savor this literary equivalent of catnip. (Five Star, $25.95 222p ISBN 0-7862-5032-1)

March Publication

The Iron Angel and Other Tales of the Gypsy Sleuth, by MWA Grand Master Edward D. Hoch, collects 15 stories featuring Gypsy Michael Vlado. Published between 1985 and 2000, they reflect the dramatic political and social changes in Eastern Europe during that period, as the author explains in his introduction. (Crippen & Landru [www.crippenlandru.com], $42 232p ISBN 1-885941-90-0; $17 paper -91-9)