May Mystery Roundup: Convicts, Spies, and Deadly Personal Ads

Jack of Spies

Gather round, mystery lovers! It’s no secret that we at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog relish tales of suspense that set our hearts racing and our eyes darting for the door. But look over your shoulder no more! Here, in no particular order, are 7 heart-pounding must-reads released this month.

Robert B. Parker will forever be missed, but fortunately for his many fans, Ace Atkins is doing a bang-up job of continuing the adventures of Parker’s beloved Boston PI Spenser in his third novel for the series, Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot. It’s going to take everything Spenser’s got to find the kidnapped 9-year-old son of a hard-hitting linebacker for the New England Patriots—who’s already neck-deep in trouble of his own. The clock ticks down as Spenser, Hawk, and his protégé Zebulon Sixkill track down the child in a tangled, perilous escapade that winds through the seedy underbelly of Boston. (Available in hardcover and NOOK on May 6)

An absorbing mystery that offers a penetrating look at the insular Hasidic Jewish community in New York, Julia Dahl’s compelling debut novel, Invisible City, is already making waves. Years ago, Rebekah Roberts’ mother abandoned her infant daughter and Christian boyfriend to return to the Hasidic community she left behind in Brooklyn. Raised in Florida, Rebekah returns to New York City after college to become a reporter, hoping in part to track down her mother. There she finds herself tangled up in the investigation of a murdered Hasidic woman. Despite her outsider status, Rebekah’s parentage gives her unique access to both the suspects and the case, and law enforcement’s strange reluctance to pursue it further spurs her to become ever more deeply involvedat her peril. (Available in hardcover and NOOK on May 6)

Victoria Thompson’s evocative Gaslight Mystery Series, in which midwife Sarah Brandt partners with police detective Frank Malloy to investigate crimes in 19th-century New York City, is back with a shivery new installment, Murder in Murray Hill. A twisted villain is using deceptive “lonely hearts” personal ads to snare unlucky-in-love victims, and as the pair dig deeper, they discover that the crimes committed may be on a larger scale (and of a more diabolical nature) than anyone could have imagined. (Available in hardcover and NOOK on May 6)

Walt Longmire is expecting his first grandchild in the tenth novel in Craig Johnson‘s bestselling Walt Longmire series, Any Other Namebut he’s also had a favor called in from a former boss to investigate the suicide of Gerald Holman, a police detective in a nearby county. Walt begins to suspect that three of the last cases on Holman’s desk, each of which involved a woman’s disappearance, may be related—and the danger he soon finds himself in indicates someone wants that connection to remain a mystery. Will he make it out of this one alive—and, more importantly, in time for the birth of the baby?! (TV fans, take note: season 3 of the popular A&E show show inspired by the books, Longmire, premieres this summer!) (Available in hardcover and NOOK on May 13)

A love story, an espionage thriller, and a nuanced look at a world on the brink of war all rolled into one, David Downing‘s tale of Jack McColl, a Scottish car salesman and occasional British spy, is rich with historical detail and international intrigue. When McColl falls in love with an Irish American journalist and discovers that her family may be at cross-purposes with his professional obligations, he is forced to make a difficult decision—either his country or his lover, one of them must be betrayed. Jack of Spies is the first in a new series you’ll want to follow right from the beginning—particularly if you’re a fan of Downing’s John Russell espionage series, set in Berlin during WWII. (Available in hardcover and NOOK on May 13)

A riveting stand-alone novel by the author of the acclaimed Harry Hole series, Jo Nesbø‘s latest, The Son, peers into the labyrinthine world of Oslo’s maximum security prison, where the mysteriously gifted heroin addict Sonny is serving time for murders he didn’t commit. But how does Sonny keep getting the highly illegal drugs he needs, even while in prison? And how did he become the center of a ring of corruption that extends from prison staff to lawyers to police? When Sonny learns a devastating secret about his father, he plans a daring escape—but he might be safest in prison. Fans of Scandinavian crime novels and mystery buffs alike will find this intricate page-turner impossible to put down. (Available in hardcover and NOOK on May 13)

Erica Falck, a crime writer with an infant child, discovers a piece of Nazi memorabilia hidden among her late mother’s belongings—and it takes her down a dark path as she recalls her own unhappy childhood in Camilla Läckberg‘s disquieting new mystery The Hidden Child. Erica becomes determined to find out more about the dark secrets her family’s past contains. But someone out there is determined to keep those secrets concealed—so much so that they’re willing to kill to protect them. Before long, Erica’s husband and young child are pulled into the path of danger. (Available in hardcover and NOOK on May 15)

What mysteries are you excited about this month?

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