Noir fans will welcome Günter Ohnemus's The Russian Passenger, a literate thriller cum love story translated from the German by John Brownjohn. Munich taxi driver Harry Willemer and one of his passengers, a former KGB agent and wife of a Russian mafioso, flee hit men keen to recover $4 million in ill-gotten loot in the pair's possession. (Bitter Lemon [www.bitterlemonpress.com], $14.95 paper 260p ISBN 1-904738-02-8)
Marian Babson's latest cozy, Please Do Feed the Cat, immerses the reader in English village life, after a witty swipe at the kind of graphic crime fiction typical of Patricia Cornwell. A cast of delightful characters, including cats, plus long, loving descriptions of food compensate for a less than compelling mystery involving a fatal hit-and-run "accident." Agent, Dominick Abel.(St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $22.95 224p ISBN 0-312-28498-5)
Like a bull in a china shop, Jane Stuart charges after clues to two murders—that of her lazy, bossy, interfering houseguest and that of a beautiful high school student—in Evan Marshall's sixth cozy to feature the New Jersey literary agent, Crushing Crystal: A Jane Stuart and Winky Mystery. Loyal fans will be charmed, but others may be put off by Jane's rude and reckless behavior. Agent, Maureen Walters at Curtis Brown.(Kensington, $22 256p ISBN 0-7582-0228-8)
Puzzle addicts will be pleased with a couple of crossword-themed mysteries: Nero Blanc's Wrapped Up in Crosswords, the proceeds of which go to the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Berkley Prime Crime, $9.95 144p ISBN 0-425-19974-6) and And a Puzzle to Die On: A Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall, who's been nominated for Edgar, Shamus and Lefty awards (Bantam, $24 320p ISBN 0-553-80244-5).