This summer, we received a lot of new titles and we mean a lot and as a result, we decided to create a series of featured selections as we go through our newly received books. As a result, here comes our picks in the sub-genre of Private Eye. The following titles, with the exception of Sue Grafton’s novel, are all fresh out of the oven and we hope you enjoy reading them.
Cuts Through Bone by Alaric Hunt: This book is the Winner of the PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Competition – At first, Rachel Vasquez found her new job working for private detective Clayton Guthrie promising. He got her a gun and a license and took her to target practice. But lately she’s just been doing surveillance, and it’s not her idea of an exciting time. She is contemplating quitting when Guthrie lands an intriguing case that will take all their wits and guts to solve.
Camille Bowman, a beautiful blond Columbia student and Manhattan heiress, is found dead, shot by a gun that belonged to her fiancé Greg Olsen, an Afghan war veteran. Guthrie is hired to prove Olsen’s innocence, and fortunately he thinks Olsen smells clean.
The detectives return to the scene of the crime where they see a vagrant who claims he heard the shots and picked the girl’s wallet. Tiring of their questions, the vagrant flees, and Vasquez and Guthrie must track a man who’s an expert at disappearing while also butting heads with the NYPD, cracking doors at Columbia University, and crawling through the city’s subterranean tunnels.
To complicate matters, the murder could be part of a spree of killings being called the Barbiedoll murders, in which women are killed for no apparent reason and with no suspect in sight. The NYPD would like to pin them all on Olsen, and his life will depend on Guthrie and Vasquez catching the real culprit.
In a race against time, the detectives gather clues that culminate in a bloody chase of one very determined and surprising killer.
The Sleeping and the Dead by Jeff Crook: A new mystery series starring a Memphis crime scene photographer with ghostly assistance Jackie Lyons is a former vice detective with the Memphis Police Department who is trying to put her life back together: her husband has sent divorce papers, she’s broke, and needs a place to live.
But a failed marriage, unemployment, and most recently a fire in her apartment aren’t her only problems: she also sees ghosts.
Since Jackie left the force, she’s been making ends meet by photographing crime scenes for her old friends on the force, and for the occasional collector. When she is called to the murder scene of the Playhouse Killer’s latest victim, she starts seeing crime scenes from a different perspective– her new camera captures images of ghosts.
As her new camera brings her occasional ghostly visitors into sharper relief, it also points her toward clues the ex-detective in her won’t let go: did the man she has just started dating kill his wife? Is the Playhouse Killer someone she knows?
As Jackie works to separate natural from supernatural, friend from foe, and light from dark, the spirit world and her own difficult past become the only things she can depend on to solve the case.
Follow Her Home by Steph Cha: This is a great and admirable debut – Juniper Song knows secrets–how to keep them and how to search them out. As a girl, noir fiction was her favorite escape, and Philip Marlowe has always been her literary idol. So when her friend Luke asks her to investigate a possible affair between his father and a young employee, Juniper (or “Song” as her friends call her) finds an opportunity to play detective.
Driving through L.A.’s side streets, following leads, tailing suspects-it all appeals to Song’s romantic ideal of the noir hero. But when she’s knocked out while investigating a mysterious car and finds a body in her own trunk, Song lurches back to the real L.A., becoming embroiled in a crime that goes far beyond role play.
What’s more, this isn’t the first time Song has stuck her nose in other people’s business. As she fights to discover the truth about her friend’s family, Song reveals one of her own deeply hidden secrets, something dark and damaging, urging her to see the current mystery through, to rectify the mistakes of her past life.
North of Nowhere by Steve Hamilton: In this new tale Now North of Nowhere we return to the beautiful and dangerous landscapes of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where former Detroit cop Alex McKnight’s attempts to leave civilization behind only lead to disaster.
Lying facedown on the floor with a gun to the back of his head is where Alex McKnight finds himself after a game of cards turns into a professional heist at the home of local developer Win Vargas. When the dust settles, McKnight is one of police chief Roy Maven’s lead suspects.
Worse, Vargas’ own sense of vigilante justice has targeted the former private eye as well, and the brash millionaire may be responsible for the sudden disappearance of Alex’s best friend, Jackie.
Now, with officials pointed in the wrong direction and his closest allies either missing or in jail, Alex knows he is the only one who can uncover the truth. But McKnight can’t possibly know how dark this conspiracy truly is-or how close to guilt he actually stands.
The Highway by C.J. Box: When two sisters set out across a remote stretch of Montana road to visit their friend, little do they know it will be the last time anyone might ever hear from them again. The girls—and their car—simply vanish.
Former police investigator Cody Hoyt has just lost his job and has fallen off the wagon after a long stretch of sobriety. Convinced by his son and his former rookie partner, Cassie Dewell, he begins the drive south to the girls’ last known location.
As Cody makes his way to the lonely stretch of Montana highway where they went missing, Cassie discovers that Gracie and Danielle Sullivan aren’t the first girls who have disappeared in this area.
This majestic landscape is the hunting ground for a killer whose viciousness is outmatched only by his intelligence. And he might not be working alone.
Time is running out for Gracie and Danielle…Can Cassie overcome her doubts and lack of experience and use her innate skill? Can Cody Hoyt battle his own demons and find this killer before another victim vanishes on the highway?
Sleight of Hand by Philip Margolin: Private investigator Dana Cutler must take down a cunning psychopath before he can pull off the perfect crime, in Sleight of Hand, a novel of suspense from Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author of Capitol Murder and Supreme Justice.
Charles Benedict – charismatic criminal defense lawyer, amateur illusionist, and professional hit man – has performed his greatest sleight of hand yet: framing a millionaire for the murder of his much younger wife.
When Horace Blair married Carrie, the prosecutor in his DUI trial, he made her sign a prenuptial agreement guaranteeing her twenty million dollars if she remained faithful for the first ten years of marriage. Just one week before their tenth anniversary, Carrie disappears, and Horace is charged with her murder. Desperate to clear his name, the millionaire hires D.C.’s most ruthless defense lawyer – Charles Benedict.
P.I. Dana Cutler is in the Pacific Northwest on the trail of a stolen relic dating from the Ottoman Empire. Hitting a dead end sends her back to Virginia perplexed and disappointed – and straight into the case of Horace and Carrie Blair.
Now Dana must conjure a few tricks of her own to expose Benedict’s plot, before he can work his deadly magic on her.
Unleashed by David Rosenfelt: Andy Carpenter’s accountant, Sam Willis, is stunned to receive a phone call out of the blue from Barry Price, a high school friend he hasn’t spoken to in years, pleading for help with something too frightening to discuss on the phone. Barry needs Sam’s financial acumen and lawyer Andy Carpenter’s legal expertise—and he needs them immediately.
But when Sam almost runs over an injured dog lying in the road on the way to Barry’s house, he can’t drive off without waiting for help to arrive. By the time Sam makes it, Barry’s already taken off on a private airplane headed who-knows-where.
Assuming their help is no longer needed, Sam and Andy turn their full attention to helping the dog Sam found recover from his injuries. Then they learn that Barry’s plane has crashed, and they come to the terrifying realization that Sam was also supposed to have been killed on that plane. Barry was in far more serious trouble than either of them knew, and for Sam and Andy, the trouble is only beginning.
“I” is for Innocent by Sue Grafton: Not a new title but the list would not be complete without it – Five years ago David Barney was acquitted of the murder of his rich wife, Isabelle. Now, Isabelle’s ex-husband, Ken Voigt—who is suing Barney for her estate—is claiming the jury made a fatal mistake…
Enter P.I. Kinsey Millhone, who takes the Barney case over from a former colleague…and comes up with more questions than answers. Why are Mr. Barney’s witnesses denying ever having spoken to him? Why did Isabelle have so many enemies—including but not limited to her best friend, Voight’s second wife, and her own twin sister?
But the most troubling question of all is: Why is it that everything David Barney has to say about his beloved Isabelle still checks out? Now it’s up to Kinsey to figure out who’s getting away with murder….before she courts her own.
Dick Francis’s Refusal by Felix Francis: Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he gave up that life of danger and uncertainty, and he thought nothing would ever lure him back into the game.
He thought wrong. Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the racing authority, begs Sid to investigate a series of dodgy races. Sid adamantly refuses, but the following day, Sir Richard is found dead under suspicious circumstances. And then a man with an Irish accent contacts Sid, telling him to deliver a whitewashed report about the suspected race-fixing . . . or else.
At first Sid ignores these warnings, knowing that once he submits to this criminal bully, he will forever be under his control. But as the intimidation tactics escalate—and Sid’s own family comes under threat—Sid realizes he must meet his enemy head-on . . . or he might pay the ultimate price for his refusal.
Detroit Shuffle by D.E. Johnson: Will Anderson and Elizabeth Hume get caught up in the political turmoil over women’s suffrage in Detroit Shuffle, the fourth book in D. E. Johnson’s critically acclaimed 1910s Detroit series Will Anderson inadvertently breaks up a key suffrage rally when he thwarts a gunman set on killing his lover, Elizabeth Hume.
No one else saw the man, and Elizabeth believes he hallucinated the entire incident, a side effect of the radium “treatment” he received at Eloise Hospital. She asks him to sit on the sidelines while she and her companions try to get the women’s suffrage amendment passed by Michigan voters.
Instead, Will sets out to protect Elizabeth and prove his sanity. Will’s nemesis, Sapphira Xanakis, contacts him with news of a conspiracy to defeat the amendment, led by Andrew Murphy, head of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association.
Against his better judgment, Will believes she is trying to help. The man she directs him to dies under suspicious circumstances. An old acquaintance of Will’s, who is working for the MLBA, is shot and killed in front of him. Still, no one believes Will, including his former ally, Detective Riordan, who not only is unwilling to help, but seems to have secrets of his own.
With new death threats against Elizabeth and the next rally only a few days away, Will has to unravel a complicated tapestry of blackmail, double-dealing, conspiracy, and murder—before the killer has his next chance to strike. Johnson’s immaculate plotting and high-tension writing make for a spellbinding read set in early twentieth-century Detroit.
Bitter River by Julia Keller: The new novel from Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Julia Keller – Phone calls before dawn are never good news. And when you’re the county’s prosecuting attorney, calls from the sheriff are rarely good news, either. So when Bell Elkins picks up the phone she already knows she won’t like what she’s about to hear, but she’s still not prepared for this: 16-year-old Lucinda Trimble’s body has been found at the bottom of Bitter River. And Lucinda didn’t drown—she was dead before her body ever hit the water.
With a case like that, Bell knows the coming weeks are going to be tough. But that’s not all Bell is coping with these days. Her daughter is now living with Bell’s ex-husband, hours away. Sheriff Nick Fogelsong, one of Bell’s closest friends, is behaving oddly. Furthermore, a face from her past has resurfaced for reasons Bell can’t quite figure. Searching for the truth, both behind Lucinda’s murder and behind her own complicated relationships, will lead Bell down a path that might put her very life at risk.