May Publications

In Peter Tremayne's The Haunted Abbot: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland, the 12th in this British historian's reliably entertaining Sister Fidelma series, foul play is afoot at Aldred's Abbey during the Yule season. Fidelma of Cashel and Brother Eadulf must solve the murder of a childhood friend of Eadulf's—and lay to rest the ghost of a young woman that haunts the abbey. (St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95 320p ISBN 0-312-28769-0)

Murder Is No Mitzvah: Short Mysteries About Jewish Occasions, edited by Abigail Browning, collects a dozen Jewish-themed crime stories, 11 of which first appeared in either Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine or Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The one classic tale, "The Jew's Breastplate," is by Arthur Conan Doyle. (St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 288p ISBN 0-312-32506-1)

Just in time for the Kentucky Derby comes Derby Rotten Scoundrels, compiled by Jeffrey Marks (Who Was That Lady?, a biography of Craig Rice) and conceived by members of the Ohio River Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Contributors include Kit Ehrman and Beverle Graves Myers. (Silver Dagger, $23.95 160p ISBN 1-57072-278-1; $9.95 paper -279-X)

Fans of B.J. Montford's Sea-born Women (2002) will welcome the return of National Park Service volunteer Roberta "Bert" Lenehan in Bloodlines of Shackleford Banks. On an isolated island on North Carolina's Outer Banks, Bert is supposed to help check the island's wild horses for diseases, but the death in the dunes of a fellow volunteer diverts her onto the sleuthing trail. (John F. Blair, $22.95 320p ISBN 0-89587-292-7)

In Pulitzer Prize—winning reporter Dick Cady's first novel, The Executioner's Mask: A Sonny Ritter Mystery, Indianapolis lawyer Ritter takes on the appeal of a convicted cop killer due to be executed in a week. Given his arrest for cocaine possession, Ritter is highly motivated to prove himself in this hard-boiled romp in the Raymond Chandler tradition. (M. Evans, $19.95 272p ISBN 1-59077-037-4)