At the start of WWI, Capt. Gareth Owen is busy interning German citizens living in Egypt in Michael Pearce's The Face in the Cemetery: A Mamur Zapt Mystery, the latest entry in this engaging historical series. When the discovery of a corpse wrapped in bandages hidden among animal mummies interrupts Owen's distasteful assignment, the politically astute sleuth once again finds himself navigating between nationalist tensions and colonial bureaucracy. (Poisoned Pen, $24.95 224p ISBN 1-59058-070-2)
In Isis Crawford's A Catered Wedding: A Mystery with Recipes, the lively sequel to her debut, A Catered Murder (2003), kindhearted caterer Libby Simmons and her savvy sister, Bernie, investigate the murder of 27-year-old Leeza Sharp, shot through the heart with an arrow, shortly before Leeza's wedding to the boring 53-year-old scion of an Estonian caviar dynasty. The sisters' playful rivalry, clever dialogue and an eccentric supporting cast make for plenty of cozy fun. Agent, Evan Marshall.(Kensington, $22 288p ISBN 0-7582-0685-2)
Marla Shore has more than a bad hair day when she discovers the body of her archenemy in the meter room that controls the power to her salon, in Nancy J. Cohen's Died Blonde: A Bad Hair Day Mystery, the sixth outing for the salon owner and amateur sleuth (after 2003's Highlights to Heaven). Fans will be delighted that Marla finally gets engaged, after much angst, to her cop boyfriend, Dalton Vail, but weak characterization and uninspired dialogue disappoint. Agent, Evan Marshall.(Kensington, $22 256p ISBN 0-7582-0656-9)
First published as a mass-market paperback under the title The Juvies, Harlan Ellison's 1961 story collection, Children of the Street, gives an unflinching view of New York City gang life. Ellison provides a new general introduction, as well as intros to each selection. Agent, Theron W. Raines.(Severn House, $27.95 192p ISBN 0-7278-6105-0)
The hanging death of a respectable businessman and the hit-and-run "accident" that kills a Belgian marching-band veteran are just the preludes to the mayhem that threatens the impending visit from Pope John XXV to his native Edinburgh in Quintin Jardine's Stay of Execution, the Scottish author's latest searing crime thriller to feature DCC Bob Skinner. (Headline [Trafalgar Sq., dist.], $24.95 371p ISBN 0-7472-7450-9)
Correction: Samuel Pinkus at McIntosh & Otis is the literary agent for The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark (Forecasts, Oct. 25).