July Publications

In Judgment of the Grave, Sarah Stewart Taylor's engaging third Sweeney St. George novel (after 2004's Mansions of the Dead), the art history professor is researching 18th-century gravestones in Concord, Mass., when the body of an unidentified man turns up in the woods. Aided by Det. Tim Quinn, now a widower with a baby, the warm and loving Sweeney has to solve more than one mystery in this richly textured tale involving complicated family histories stretching back to the days of the Minute Men. Agent, Lynn Whittaker. (St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95 352p ISBN 0-312-33739-6)

Based on a real-life murder case, British author Hilary Bonner's latest crime thriller, When the Dead Cry Out, starts promisingly with a gruesome discovery—female skeletal remains in wreckage off the coast of Torquay—which revives a long-dormant police inquiry into the disappearance of Clara Marshall and her two daughters 27 years earlier. Many suspect Clara's estranged husband of triple homicide, but the twists that mark Det. Insp. Karen Meadows's investigation are too predictable to satisfy. Agent, Anna Stein at Donadio & Olson. (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 304p ISBN 0-312-33946-1)

Set in the past, Robert J. Randisi and Christine Matthews's Same Time, Same Murder: A Gil and Claire Hunt Mystery, the third in this cozy series after The Masks of Auntie Laveau (2002), tells how the husband-and-wife detective duo met and fell in love while attending a mystery writers convention in Omaha, where they stumble on a murder in the best tradition of amateur sleuths everywhere. Throwaway references to real-life authors like Lawrence Block amuse, though there's little detecting and not much of a puzzle. Agent, Dominick Abel. (St. Martin's Minotaur/ Dunne, $23.95 256p ISBN 0-312-31728-X)

In Pat McIntosh's slow-moving The Nicholas Feast, her second historical after 2004's The Harper's Quine, former student Gil Cunningham returns to Glasgow University in May 1492 for the annual rites celebrating the yuletide saint. The pace begins to quicken when actor William Irvine is found strangled in a coalhouse two hours after the feast, but readers may wish at times they had a glossary ("Even William never had a leman at the yett," a porter mutters). (Carroll & Graf, $25 304p ISBN 0-7867-1570-7)

When the Eviscerator, a serial killer who likes to remove his victims' internal organs postmortem, apparently strikes again despite his having died in jail, forensic pathologist John Eisenmenger gets on the case. Some overwrought prose ("The relationship had begun to bleed, exsanguinating as relentlessly as a slit wrist in a warm bath"), plus the absence of any truly vivid characters, will make it hard for Keith McCarthy's The Final Analysis, the third entry in this British series (A Feast of Carrion, etc.), to be noticed among the many other forensic slasher stories already out there. (Carroll & Graf, $25 320p ISBN 0-7867-1573-1)