May’s Best New Mysteries

Prep your reading hammock and press your comfiest lounge pants, because you’re going to need some serious down time to get caught up on all the top-notch mysteries that are coming your way this month. There’s a new meta-detective novel from Anthony Horowitz, Jessica Fletcher is back in a shivery Murder She Wrote installment, and Icelandic crime fiction virtuoso Ragnar Jónasson has brought us the second book in a brand new series.

The Sentence is Death (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Anthony Horowitz
The second novel in the already addictive Daniel Hawthorne series features Hawthorne’s investigation into the murder of a famous divorce lawyer—found bludgeoned to death with a very expensive bottle of wine. But the victim wasn’t a drinker. And what’s to be made of his enigmatic last recorded words: “You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late…”? Horowitz’s famously recalcitrant detective is accompanied once again by novelist Anthony, whose inexperience in the arena of crime solving is made up for by his enthusiasm. This elegantly written series full of twists and turns is very much worth getting into in its early days.

Murder, She Wrote: Murder in Red, by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land
Clifton Care Partners is a brand new private hospital in town that seems promising, but when Jessica’s close friend and favorite gin rummy partner, Mimi Van Dorn, checks in there for a minor, routine procedure, she never checks out. Alarmed, Jessica is convinced that Mimi’s unexpected death is due to foul play, and begins investigating the hospital in earnest. When her erstwhile beau, George Sutherland, ends up at the same hospital, her worries intensify. Can Jessica unearth the truth before someone else falls play to deadly medical malpractice?


The Scent of Murder: A Mystery, by Kylie Logan
Jazz Ramsay is enjoying a pretty comfortable existence in the artsy part of Cleveland. She owns her own home, has a nice job as an administrative assistant at a St. Catherine’s, a Catholic high school, and has, shall we say, a “quirky” volunteer hobby: training dogs to detect human remains. Then one day her current dog, a German Shepherd named Luther, discovers not the tooth she has hidden in an abandoned building, but the body of a young woman, dressed in Goth clothes, whom it turns out Jazz recognizes. She’s a former student of St. Catherine’s, and Jazz becomes obsessed with discovering how she met her end, unearthing much more than she bargained for in the process.

The Island, by Ragnar Jónasson
The Island is the followup novel to 2018’s bleakly brilliant novel The Darkness, also featuring the inimitable Insp. Hulda Hermannsdóttir, a memorable female detective of a certain age who is a bright spot in a genre rife with male detectives.  In 1987 a couple took a romantic  trip to an obscure island—with an unexpectedly tragic ending. A decade later, four friends visit the same place for a reunion of sorts, and one ends up dead at the bottom of a cliff. Jónasson’s astonishing Dark Iceland series took the US by storm in recent years, and his new series is no less breathtaking.

The Satapur Moonstone, by Sujata Massey
In the exciting followup to the highly impressive series debut The Widows of Malabar Hill, Bombay lawyer Purveen Mistry, a rare female attorney in British-ruled India in 1922, is enlisted to settle a dispute in the tiny state of Satpur over the education of the current maharajah, who is ten years old. Mistry soon discovers that the Satapur palace is a spider’s nest of power grabs and vengeance, and vows to protect the young maharajah from the tragic fates that suspiciously befell his predecessors.

What mysteries are you excited to dig into this May?
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