The Best Crime, Mystery, And Thriller Books Of April 2019

The Best Crime, Mystery, And Thriller Books Of April 2019

The list of best crime, mystery, and thriller books of April 2019 includes fun cozy mysteries from authors such as Ellery Adams and Barbara Allan as well as hot thrillers from the likes of Christopher Golden. (see The Best Crime, Mystery, And Thriller Books Of March 2019 here).

A deadly past refuses to stay buried in Olivia Kiernan’s masterful new novel The Killer in Me. Death is no stranger to Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan, but she isn’t the only one from her small, coastal suburb to be intimately acquainted with it. Years ago, teenager Seán Hennessey shocked the tight-knit community when he was convicted of the brutal murder of his parents and attempted slaying of his sister, though he always maintained his innocence.

Now, Seán is finally being released from prison—but when his newfound freedom coincides with the discovery of two bodies, the alleged connection between the cases only serves to pull Frankie further from answers even as it draws her closer to her town’s hidden darkness.

With a television documentary revisiting Seán’s sentence pushing the public’s sympathies into conflict on a weekly basis, a rabid media pressuring the police like never before, and a rising body count, Frankie will need all of her resources if she is not only to catch a killer, but put to rest what really happened all those years ago.

In The Korean Woman by John Altman, North Korea’s deadliest weapon is sleeper agent Song Sun Young. Married with children and living the good life in New York City, she has waited seven years to activate the mission she was trained to do: infiltrate America’s financial infrastructure. She prays the call from her handlers will never come, because she loves her husband and kids and affluent New York lifestyle.

But the call does come. During volatile negotiations between the White House and Pyongyang, Song is hurled back into a reality she had hoped to leave behind forever.

Unbeknownst to her, the CIA has already broken her cover. Working with “retired” Israeli operative Dalia Artzi, they track the Korean agent as she relentlessly executes her mission. Langley is pulling strings behind the scenes, confident of its advantage in this high-stakes game—until an unforeseen wild card from within its very ranks hijacks the operation for an unthinkable purpose.

Dalia realizes that Song has been the unwitting catalyst for the disaster now unfolding, and that she alone can stop it from engulfing the world.

Philip Kerr’s last novel Metropolis is one of the most anticipated titles of the month. Kerr takes readers to Summer of 1928 in Berlin, a city where nothing is verboten.

In the night streets, political gangs wander, looking for fights. Daylight reveals a beleaguered populace barely recovering from the postwar inflation, often jobless, reeling from the reparations imposed by the victors. At central police HQ, the Murder Commission has its hands full. A killer is on the loose and though he scatters many clues, each is a dead end. It’s almost as if he is taunting the cops. Meanwhile, the press is having a field day.

This is what Bernie Gunther finds on his first day with the Murder Commisson. He’s been taken on beacuse the people at the top have noticed him–they think he has the makings of a first-rate detective. But not just yet. Right now, he has to listen and learn.

Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr’s untimely death, is the capstone of a fourteen-book journey through the life of Kerr’s signature character, Bernhard Genther, a sardonic and wisecracking homicide detective caught up in an increasingly Nazified Berlin police department. In many ways, it is Bernie’s origin story and, as Kerr’s last novel, it is also, alas, his end.

Metropolis is also a tour of a city in chaos: of its seedy sideshows and sex clubs, of the underground gangs that run its rackets, and its bewildered citizens–the lost, the homeless, the abandoned. It is Berlin as it edges toward the new world order that Hitler will soo usher in. And Bernie? He’s a quick study and he’s learning a lot. Including, to his chagrin, that when push comes to shove, he isn’t much better than the gangsters in doing whatever her must to get what he wants.

In Sleep by C.L. Taylor, all Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie. Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up.

Magickal Mystery Lore by Sharon Pape is a great cozy mystery pick: The New Camel Day Fair is a fun-filled event for residents of this upstate New York town. Kailyn Wilde, a modern-day witch of ancient lineage, leaves her potion shop, Abracadabra—and her feline familiar, Sashkatu—to attend with her fortune-telling Aunt Tilly.

Joining them is legendary wizard Merlin, who’s discovering new pleasures of time-traveling to the modern world, including curly fries and kettle corn—but the appeal of the Tilt-a-Wheel is beyond his mystical imagination.

The real wild ride begins later, when neighboring sweet shop owner Lolly rushes into Abracadabra with news about a dead body. The victim has one of Lolly’s fudge knives stuck in her back, but in spite of the sticky evidence, Lolly is only one of several suspects with ample motive and opportunity. Meanwhile, Merlin’s research into old family scrolls and electromagnetic ley lines is causing some unusual mix-ups. As the two investigations collide, Kailyn will have to do everything in her power to prevent disaster.

The Pandora Room is New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden’s chilling exploration of what happens when the original Pandora’s Box is discovered in an ancient subterranean city, stirring international conflict and exposing the archaeological team to curses, whispers, and the terror of a legendary plague.

In one ancient variation on the myth of Pandora’s Box, there were two jars, one for Pandora and one for her sister, Anesidora. One contained all the blessings of the gods, the other all the world’s curses. Now, in a subterranean city in Northern Iraq, archaeologist Sophie Durand has discovered a secret chamber covered in writing that confirms that version of the tale—a chamber which contains a single jar.

“Weird shit” expert Ben Walker joins Sophie’s team just as the mystery deepens and grows ugly. Those who believe the myth want to know which jar has been found in the Pandora Room, the one containing blessings, or the one full of curses.

Governments rush to lay claim, but jihadi forces aren’t waiting for the dust to settle. Whatever the jar contains, they want it, no matter who they have to kill…or what will emerge when they open it. For Sophie, Walker, and the others, the Pandora Room may soon become their tomb.

In Antiques Ravin’ by Barbara Allan, the votes are in! Eccentric seventy-something Vivian Borne—elected county sheriff, to everyone’s amazement but her own—springs into action. In her new role, the community playhouse diva appoints daughter Brandy reluctant deputy and makes their spunky shih tzu Sushi a K-9 unit of one.

Soon the amateur-sleuths-turned-pro have a challenging case to solve as a series of creepy crimes plague an ill-fated Edgar Allan Poe festival, where a fiend is misguidedly dispensing Poe-etic justice. Small-town Antiqua, known for its quaint main street of antique shops, has set out to celebrate the gothic poet with food, fun, and rare memorabilia, only to have the Master of the Macabre’s twisted tales come to deadly life.

A purloined tome, a black cat, a musty mausoleum, and mysterious disappearances—these tell the tale of a heartless murderer. But Vivian and Brandy Borne are determined to decipher the cryptic clues to make sure a ravin’-mad killer strikes “nevermore”!

In Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams, Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.

When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim.

Lucas Davenport tracks a prolific serial killer in the newest nail-biter by #1 New York Times-bestselling author John Sandford titled Neon Prey.

Clayton Deese looks like a small-time criminal, muscle for hire when his loan shark boss needs to teach someone a lesson. Now, seven months after a job that went south and landed him in jail, Deese has skipped out on bail, and the U.S. Marshals come looking for him. They don’t much care about a low-level guy–it’s his boss they want–but Deese might be their best chance to bring down the whole operation.

Then, they step onto a dirt trail behind Deese’s rural Louisiana cabin and find a jungle full of graves.

Now Lucas Davenport is on the trail of a serial killer who has been operating for years without notice. His quarry is ruthless, and–as Davenport will come to find–full of surprises.

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith is one of Mystery Tribune’s favorites:

In the Swedish criminal justice system, certain cases are considered especially strange and difficult, in Malmö, the dedicated detectives who investigate these crimes are members of an elite squad known as the Sensitive Crimes Division.

These are their stories.

The first case: the small matter of a man stabbed in the back of the knee. Who would perpetrate such a crime and why? Next: a young woman’s imaginary boyfriend goes missing. But how on earth do you search for someone who doesn’t exist? And in the final investigation: eerie secrets that are revealed under a full moon may not seem so supernatural in the light of day. No case is too unusual, too complicated, or too, well insignificant for this squad to solve.

The team: Ulf “the Wolf” Varg, the top dog, thoughtful and diligent; Anna Bengsdotter, who’s in love with Varg’s car (and possibly Varg too); Carl Holgersson, who likes nothing more than filling out paperwork; and Erik Nykvist, who is deeply committed to fly fishing.

With the help of a rather verbose local police officer, this crack team gets to the bottom of cases other detectives can’t or won’t bother to handle. Equal parts hilarious and heartening, The Department of Sensitive Crimes is a tour de farce from a true master.

Like Lions by Brian Panowich is a powerful follow up to multiple award-winning debut Bull Mountain.

Brian Panowich burst onto the crime fiction scene in 2015, winning awards and accolades from readers and critics alike for his smoldering debut, Bull Mountain. Now with Like Lions, he cements his place as one of the outstanding new voices in crime fiction.

Clayton Burroughs is a small-town Georgia sheriff, a new father, and, improbably, the heir apparent of Bull Mountain’s most notorious criminal family.

As he tries to juggle fatherhood, his job and his recovery from being shot in the confrontation that killed his two criminally-inclined brothers last year, he’s doing all he can just to survive. Yet after years of carefully toeing the line between his life in law enforcement and his family, he finally has to make a choice.

When a rival organization makes a first foray into Burroughs territory, leaving a trail of bodies and a whiff of fear in its wake, Clayton is pulled back into the life he so desperately wants to leave behind. Revenge is a powerful force, and the vacuum left by his brothers’ deaths has left them all vulnerable. With his wife and child in danger, and the way of life in Bull Mountain under siege for everyone, Clayton will need to find a way to bury the bloody legacy of his past once and for all.

And lastly, a great pick for fans of historical mysteries: Murder on Trinity Place by Victoria Thompson.

The year of 1899 is drawing to a close. Frank and Sarah Malloy are getting ready to celebrate the New Year at Trinity Church when they notice Mr. Pritchard, a relative of their neighbor’s behaving oddly and annoying the other revelers. Frank tries to convince Pritchard to return home with them, but the man refuses and Frank loses him in the crowd.

The next morning Sarah and Frank are horrified to learn Pritchard was murdered sometime in the night, his body left on Trinity Place, the side street near the church.

The police aren’t too interested in the murder, and the family are concerned that the circumstances of the death will reflect badly on Pritchard’s reputation. To protect the family from scandal, Nelson asks Frank to investigate. Frank and Sarah delve into Pritchard’s past and realize there may have been a deadly side to the dawning of the new century.

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