This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.
This week’s column features popular mystery and suspense writers from our collection of new adult fiction.
Alys Clare continues her historical mystery series with Dr. Gabriel Taverner continues with “Magic in the Weave”. In October 1604, a theatrical troupe brings mystery, magic and murder with them on their “plague tour”. Because the plague has struck London, the theaters are closed, but their loss is Plymouth’s gain. Country doctor Gabriel Taverner is both enthusiastic and disturbed by the company’s fast-paced production of Othello. Though the king’s deadly spies lurk around every corner, they have chosen to dub the story’s magic and witchcraft. During an intermission, Gabriel’s friend, Coroner Theophilus Davey, overheard a whispered conversation involving one of the cast members with a terrible secret. Gabriel is relieved that the theater group is leaving soon. When one of the actors collapses, Gabriel feels that death is haunting this group of actors and he’s not sure he can believe his own eyes when it comes to the evidence. What does a country doctor do?
The latest in Cleo Coyle’s coffeehouse series is called Honey Roasted. Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi tries to find a romantic and affordable destination for her upcoming honeymoon with her longtime partner Mike Quinn, NYPD detective. She’s also busy perfecting her honey cinnamon latte, which she plans to serve at her spring wedding. The honey, which Clare was fortunate to be able to source for her new drink, is all the rage in the culinary world. It is made by Madame’s old friend “Queen” Bea Hastings, who uses rooftop beehives and charges a premium price for the golden nectar. Top chefs compete to use it in their signature dishes. One night, a swarm of escaped bees cover the Village Blend’s chimney and Clare discovers Bea’s unconscious body, having seemingly fallen from her high-rise rooftop hive. Police believe Bea was either in a tragic accident or committed suicide, but Clare doesn’t believe either theory. Clare takes matters into her own hands, investigating a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary startups and competitive urban beekeepers.
Everyone’s favorite best-selling author James Patterson calls his latest suspense novel “Steal”. Everyone is surprised when Carter von Oehson, a sophomore in Dr. Dylan Reinhart’s abnormal psychology class, his intention to kill himself, posted on social media. Twenty-four hours later, no one has seen him and a full search is underway. The worst-case scenario seems to be confirmed when Carter’s sailboat rolls in with the tide with no one on board. Did he really kill himself? Carter’s father and founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Mathias von Oehson, is the only one who believes his son is still alive. But what Mathias knows, and how he knows it, could end up revealing a secret as devastating as committing suicide himself. There’s no way he can go to the police, so Mathias turns to Dylan for help. The professor now finds himself entangled in secrets and dangers worth millions. Only the smart and stubborn NYPD detective Elizabeth Needham can help him stay one step ahead of the bad guys and his employer.
The latest in Mark Greaney’s series starring the Gray Man is titled Sierra Six.” Years have passed since the Gray Man’s first mission, but before Court Gentry adopted this alias, he was known as the Sierra Six. He was the junior member of a CIA action team whose first mission, taking down a terrorist leader, was successful but came at a terrible cost. Now the Gray Man is on a simple mission when he sees a ghost: the long-dead terrorist – looking quite sprightly for a dead man. Even after a decade, the Gray Man is not one to leave a job unfinished or a blood debt unpaid.
Vicki Delany’s latest Sherlock Holmes bookstore mystery is titled The Three Book Problem. With the cold autumn descending on the city, business slows for Gemma Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and Mrs Hudson’s Tea Room next door. Wealthy philanthropist David Masterson has rented Suffolk Gardens House where he plans to entertain his friends over a traditional English country weekend. As featured caterers, Jayne Wilson and Gemma Doyle get to work, preparing lavish meals and setting up Sherlock books and props for the entertainment. Police detective Ryan Ashburton has decided to take time off from work to help out in the kitchen. Things develop quickly when it becomes clear that David’s guests don’t like him or each other. Before Gemma can sort out the guests’ relationships, a poisoned arrow sails through a window in the library, presenting Gemma with a three-book problem.
D. Robb’s bestselling series “…in Death” gets a new title with “Abandoned in Death”. Detective Eve Dallas must unravel a twisted family history while trying to save a hostage’s life. A woman’s body is found on a bench in a playground in New York City early this morning. She is clean, her hair is neatly styled and her makeup is carefully applied. However, other things are out of place – like the tattoo and piercings, which are clearly just done. The clothes are decades old and the fatal wound is hidden under a band around her neck. And then there’s the note. It reads “Bad Mommy” written in chalk like a child. The department’s top profiler agrees that they are dealing with a killer whose childhood was associated with some form of trauma. However, the clues point to a perpetrator in his 60s, and there is no record of a crime using a similar modus operandi. Eve discovers that other young women – who physically resemble the first victim – have disappeared, the clock ticking faster. To do this, she must explore both the distant past and the darkness of a shattered mind.