June Publications

In Victoria Thompson's Murder on Lenox Hill: A Gaslight Mystery, the well-crafted seventh entry in this late Victorian historical series (after 2004's Murder on Marble Row), midwife Sarah Brandt and her detective friend, Frank Malloy, look into the murder of a popular New York minister, the Rev. Oliver Upchurch, who may have impregnated a lovely but mentally deficient 15-year-old girl. Good plot twists and a highly satisfactory wrapup mark this as the work of a master of the period mystery. Agent, Nancy Yost . (Berkley Prime Crime, $23.95 304p ISBN 0-425-20260-7)

A science fiction convention serves as the setting for murder in Mark Richard Zubro's diverting Nerds Who Kill: A Paul Turner Mystery, the eighth outing for the gay Chicago police detective (after 2003's Dead Egotistical Morons). While the many suspects parade past rather too quickly for the reader to care about them, Zubro nicely skewers the convention scene, with its bizarre costumes and characters as well as ego and turf battles among authors, agents and fans. (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 272p ISBN 0-312-33301-3)

Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics, edited by Tim McLoughlin, is the perfect companion to McLoughlin's successful all-original anthology, Brooklyn Noir (2004). Contributors range from H.P. Lovecraft ("The Horror at Red Hook") and Thomas Wolfe ("Only the Dead Know Brooklyn") to Lawrence Block ("By the Dawn's Early Light") and Pete Hamill ("The Men in Black Raincoats"). (Akashic, $15.95 paper 300p ISBN 1-888451-76-9)

Otto Penzler and the Mystery Writers of America, as part of their Edgar-winner reissue series, offer William Bayer's Peregrine (1981), about a killer who terrorizes New York with a lethal peregrine falcon. PW commented, "Bayer's original, carefully built thriller almost defies readers to stop at any point, no matter how horrified they may be." (Forge, $14.95 paper 256p ISBN 0-765-31161-5)

More a tale of supernatural suspense than a mystery, William E. Chambers's nasty The Tormentress introduces Laura Havoc, a celebrity radio psychic who's able to enter others' minds and force them to act as her puppets. Turgid prose and a distasteful climactic scene, in which young children carry out a bloody massacre, limit the audience for this sadistic tale. (Hilliard & Harris [hilliardandharris.com], $16.95 paper 240p ISBN 1-59133-100-5)