August Publications

Lord Kitchener's appointment as consul-general for Egypt in 1912 portends major changes for Gareth Owen, the head of the Cairo secret police, in Michael Pearce's A Cold Touch of Ice: A Mamur Zapt Mystery, the latest standout in the long-running series. Once again, Pearce seamlessly blends a whodunit plot with a vivid portrayal of colonial Egypt. The political tensions that plague the British overseers will resonate with readers following current events in Iraq. (Poisoned Pen, $24.95 240p ISBN 1-59058-065-6)

In Mary Daheim's This Old Souse: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery, the 20th entry in this popular cozy series (Suture Yourself, etc.), B&B proprietor Judith Flynn joins cousin Renie in scouting an old Seattle house inhabited by the reclusive Bland family. When a corpse turns up in the trunk of Judith's car, it proves to be that of the Blands' milkman. A thin, improbable plot, vague characterization and a myriad of irrelevant detail won't deter Daheim's many fans. Agent, Maureen Moran.(Morrow, $23.95 320p ISBN 0-380-97869-5)

Show Business Is Murder, the latest theme anthology presented by the Mystery Writers of America and edited by Stuart M. Kaminsky, boasts some impressive talent, including Edward D. Hoch, Annette Meyers and Mat Coward, but lacks sparkle. The 20 original stories offer something for every taste, covering all forms of show business, from vaudeville and pop music to TV and scriptwriting. Agent, Howard Morhaim.(Berkley Prime Crime, $23.95 384p ISBN 0-425-19652-6)

July Publications

Murder spoils the annual cricket match between the Comedians and the Writers in British author Mat Coward's Over and Under: A Don Packham and Frank Mitchell Mystery, the third novel in the series from this Edgar and Dagger nominee. Detectives Packham and Mitchell have their hands full trying to determine who would dare kill a cricket player with a baseball bat. Agent, Tekno-Books.(Five Star, $25.95 242p ISBN 1-4104-0186-3)

The many who hunger for more tales of the Great Detective will delight in veteran British crime writer June Thomson's fifth Sherlock Holmes story collection, The Secret Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes. Thomson is able both to summon Watson's unique narrative voice and convincingly recreate the characters of Holmes and his Boswell. These six new adventures respectfully emulate Conan Doyle's originals with nary a false note—or historical guest celebrity. (Allison & Busby, $25.95 240p ISBN 0-7490-0698-6)