The Best New Mysteries of September 2019

Greetings, gumshoes! Fall is upon us, and great sleuthing weather (or at least what seems like great sleuthing weather) is here at last! Bleak skies, shorter days, and chillier nights make for great mystery reading. Curl up with one of our terrific new picks below and test your armchair detective skills.

Vendetta in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel (In Death #49), by J. D. Robb
A vigilante serial killer with the moniker Lady Justice has punished a string of high profile men for bad behavior by murdering them and leaving a grisly calling card in the taut, edge-of-your-seat forty-ninth book in Robb’s epic series. As Eve Dallas and her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, race against the clock to get to the next victim before the killer does, their frantic investigations uncover a wide range of possible suspects, oncluding a suspicious support group, and an ever-expanding web of wronged women. Fans of Robb’s In Death series, which is only getting faster, scarier, and more fun as it continues, will be delighted by this installment.

This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger
A beautifully crafted story of four orphaned children—the irrepressible Odie O’Banion and his brother Albert, their friend Mose, and the mysterious Emmy, who escape from a terrible Minnesota institution called the Lincoln School and embark on a journey across the US during the Great Depression. This one manages to feel at once fresh and timeless, and will appeal to fans of Where the Crawdads Sing. B&N’s Exclusive Edition features a bonus essay by the author, along with archival photographs that help bring some of the history behind the novel to life.

Land of Wolves (Walt Longmire Series #15), by Craig Johnson
Walt Longmire has hardly recovered from the injuries he sustained during a showdown in Mexico in the previous novel in this winning series (which, as you may be aware, has inspired a popular Netflix show!), when he finds himself entangled in the case of a shepherd’s death by hanging. It might be a suicide—but it also might be a homicide. The situation becomes more complicated when an oversized wolf appears in the Big Horn Mountains, causing trouble and going after sheep. Longmire finds himself becoming more and more sympathetic toward the wolf, hoping to protect it as his case grows stranger and more hazardous.

Sins of the Fathers (J. P. Beaumont Series #24), by J. A. Jance
Retirement is actually suiting former Seattle homicide cop J. P. Beaumont, who is enjoying frisbee in the park with his new dog, quiet lunches with his wife, and the occasional crossword puzzle. That is, until an old friend shows up on his doorstep with a missing adult daughter, and a newborn baby in his arms. Nature abhors a vacuum, eh Beaumont? Suddenly, he’s swept up into an investigation that lays bare some of the skeletons he was hoping would stay in his own closet. Will his checkered past derail his calm, enjoyable present?

Robert B. Parker’s The Bitterest Pill, by Reed Farrel Coleman
In the masterful 18th novel in the Jesse Stone series, the opioid war has come to Paradise, and it’s already begun claiming young, innocent lives, including that of a popular 17 year old cheerleader, who has died of a suspected heroin overdose. It’s up to intrepid detective Stone, who is still reeling from the event’s of last year’s Colorblind, to track down the deadly supply chain and root out the ruthless dealers and pushers who are enabling the deadly drug to spread. Unfortunately it looks like fighting to protect Paradise High School means going toe-to-toe with some formidable foes: from teachers, to students, to parents to get to the epicenter of this evil—yet lucrative—business.

What Rose Forgot, by Nevada Barr
In this riveting standalone mystery from the author of the acclaimed Anna Pigeon series, 68 year old Rose Dennis wakes up in the hospital—and in the middle of her worst nightmare. She’s been committed to a nursing home, in the Alzheimer’s Unit, and she has no memory of how she got there: but she suspects foul play. As Rose tries to piece together what has happened to her, she comes to the chilling conclusion that her only chance for survival means escaping the nursing home by any means possible. Together with the help of her 13 year old granddaughter and her recluse sister, Rose fights to take back her life and ensure her survival—even after an assassination attempt in her own home, which proves beyond a doubt that someone is after her.

The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves
Detective Inspector Matthew Venn is standing outside the church where his estranged father’s funeral is taking place when the call comes. A man’s body has been found, stabbed to death, on a nearby beach. The man has a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, and his death’s sudden arrival in the middle of Matthew’s tidy present life connects Matthew to a messy slew of people and places he’d thought he’d left behind forever. This thoughtful, nuanced series starter by the author of the Vera and Shetland series introduces readers to an iconic detective lead, a gorgeous, atmospheric setting, and a masterfully layered mystery. This is a series you’ll want to be on board for from the beginning.

The Vanished Bride, by Bella Ellis
The Brontë sisters are reimagined as sleuths in the kickoff to a delightful new historical mystery series, and do you really need to know any more than that? Fine: Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, not yet published novelists, investigate the frightful disappearance of a young wife and mother, who left behind a pool of blood and two small children. Along they way they confront danger, buried secrets, and society’s stifling disapproval of women doing anything the least bit risky and adventurous. With a fine gothic flair, jarring twists and turns, and well-researched and pitch-perfect historical details, Brontë fans (and everyone else) will devour this one.

Mrs. Jeffries and the Alms of the Angel, by Emily Brightwell
When wealthy socialite Margaret Starling is found murdered, everyone is shocked! After all, she was an active churchgoer, devoted to helping others, and even served on the board of the London Angel Alms society. Of course, her nextdoor neighbor considered her an incurable gossip, the Reverend of her church despised her, and half the advisory board felt the same way. So, maybe her murder wasn’t a complete surprise to everyone? Regardless, Inspector Gerald Witherspoon is called in to investigate, and of course he relies on the subtle assistance of his housekeeper Mrs. Jeffries to help him crack the case. The cozy 38th installment in the Victorian Mystery series is sure to delight fans.

Heaven, My Home, by Attica Locke
Texas Ranger Darren Matthews is not in the greatest place in life. His marriage is on the rocks, and his career is stagnating (he’s currently serving as a desk jockey, analyzing surveillance data on the local Aryan Brotherhood). When the nine year old son of a prominent white supremacist goes missing, the disappearance has links to his previous case, and Darren must race to find him, all the while navigating dangerous racial prejudices, along with ominous threats related to the incoming Trump administration. Edgar Award-winning author Locke has written another sensitive, moving, and mesmerizing novel about a divided country.

Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
The third novel in this cunning series that imagines the contentious and fascinating sibling relationship between a young Sherlock Holmes and his older brother just might be its best. A serial killer is terrorizing Great Britain; leaving victims, chosen seemingly at random, unmarked save for an eerie calling card left on the bodies. Sherlock’s interest in the killer quickly blooms into an obsession that leads him on a chase across the country. Meanwhile, Mycroft must contend with the reappearance of an old flame whose fiance is in trouble. This fast-paced installment is filled with rich and intriguing character backstories and period details that Sherlocks fans will love.

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