September Publications

Nina Halligan takes on the recording industry and black music in Norman Kelly's third outrageous caper (after 2000's The Big Mango) to feature the bad girl PI, A Phat Death: A Nina Halligan Mystery. Once again outspoken social criticism fires the nonstop action. The format, which resembles a CD jewel box (chapters are "tracks"), is particularly distinctive. (Akashic, $14.95 paper 260p ISBN 1-888451-48-3)

In Quintin Jardine's Poisoned Cherries, the Scottish author's sixth hard-hitting Oz Blackstone mystery, the rugged Glaswegian thinks he's sitting pretty after landing a big role in a cop movie being filmed in Edinburgh. But a rocky marriage, an ex-lover with a special favor and murder ensure that Oz hits a few bumps on the road to stardom. (Headline [Trafalgar Sq. dist.], $28 247p ISBN 0-7472-7177-1)

Five Star rolls out two novels: Elizabeth Fackler's sequel to 2000's Patricide, When Kindness Fails, in which El Paso detective Devon Gray's well-meaning efforts to help his fiancée's ex-husband find his missing girlfriend lead to big trouble (Five Star, $25.95 215p ISBN 0-7862-5443-2); and Sam McCarver's latest John Darnell mystery, To Die, or Not to Die..., in which paranormal investigator Prof. John Darnell looks into an alleged haunting that could spoil Stratford-upon-Avon's annual Shakespeare festival in 1919 ($25.95 215p ISBN -5444-0).

The same publisher also offers John Lutz's Endless Road and Other Stories, which features the short novel The Truth of the Matter and four tales by this Edgar and Shamus winner. ($25.95 310p ISBN -5442-4)