March Publications

In Michael Craft's well-crafted Desert Spring: A Claire Gray Mystery, the third in this lighthearted series after 2003's Desert Winter, 54-year-old Broadway director Claire, now the head of the Desert Arts College theater department in Palm Springs, Calif., has some sleuthing to do when the corpse of a philandering Hollywood producer/playwright turns up in her swimming pool. As usual, the witty repartee will keep readers turning the pages to the surprising conclusion. Agent, Mitchell Waters.(St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 272p ISBN 0-312-32080-9)

A pirate raid on Ireland in 1631 provides the historical backdrop for Dicey Deere's contemporary cozy, The Irish Village Murder: A Torrey Tunet Mystery, the fourth (after 2000's The Irish Manor House Murder) to feature the spunky American translator. Can Torrey prove the innocence of housekeeper Megan O'Faolain, the obvious suspect in the stabbing death of her master, historian John Gwathney? (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 304p ISBN 0-312-27522-6)

In Camille Minichino's sixth Periodic Table mystery, The Carbon Murder, retired Revere, Mass., physicist Gloria Lamerino and her homicide cop boyfriend, Matt Genaro, fear for the life of Gloria's godchild, Mary "MC" Catherine Galigani, who's returned home after doing carbon-based research for a tech firm in Houston, Tex. The murder in a Revere park of a young woman MC knew in Houston raises the ante. Agent, Elaine Koster.(St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 256p ISBN 0-312-31958-4)

Superintendent Gil Mayo and his assistant Abigail Moon must unravel two seemingly unrelated murders—that of an unidentified woman found floating in flood waters with a bullet in her heart and that of a public school bursar—in British author Marjorie Eccles's intricate police procedural, Untimely Graves: A Mystery Featuring Superintendent Gil Mayo. (St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $22.95 240p ISBN 0-312-30753-5)

Margaret Maron's Suitable for Hanging: Selected Stories showcases 20 tales by the Edgar-winning creator of the Judge Deborah Knott and Lieutenant Sigrid Harald series. Along with two new short stories, the book includes a brief introduction by Maron, who also provides succinct prefaces to individual tales. (Crippen & Landru [], $42 208p ISBN 1-932009-10-8; $17 paper -11-6)