August’s Best New Mysteries

Summer is heating up, gumshoes! Time to shrug off your sticky trench coat, put down your magnifying glass (which is now a fire hazard), and lounge on the beach with one of the scorching reads below!

A Better Man (Chief Inspector Gamache Series #15), by Louise Penny
Things are in an awkward place for Chief Inspector Gamache in the 15th novel in Louise Penny’s unsurpassed series. Gamache is taking up the reins in his new position as head of homicide, after his recent demotion from head of the whole force. To make matters even touchier, he’s now working alongside his former subordinate, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Although he’s being viciously attacked on social media, Gamache focuses on the task at hand: Finding a woman, Vivienne Godin, who has gone missing. The further he goes in his search, the more he finds himself sympathizing with Vivienne’s agonized father. The father of a daughter himself, Gamache finds it difficult not to put himself in the man’s shoes, and ask himself what he would do. When a body turns up, the question becomes even more urgent, and the answer more unsettling.

The Bitterroots, by C. J. Box
Cassie Dewell is done being a sheriff’s investigator and is striking out on her own with a private practice. The last few years have been tough on her, and she relishes finally being her own boss. But things get complicated when an old pal asks Cassie to help prove the innocence of a man, part of a prominent Montana family, the Kleinsassers, who has been accused of assault. Although up on first glance this seems like an open and shut case, before long Cassie begins to realize that the accused is the black sheep of the family, and many of its members seem dead-set on his conviction. The deeper she digs into the past to find the truth, the darker and more malevolent this family’s roots grow.

The Last Widow, by Karin Slaughter
Will Trent and Sara Linton are back for the first time in three years in this pulse-pounding, set-aside-two-days-to-read-this-one-cover-to-cover thriller by Karin Slaughter. A month after a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is kidnapped, a bustling neighborhood in Atlanta is decimated by a series of bombs. Two hospitals, a university, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC are impacted by the destruction. Sara and Will rush to the scene, and find themselves entangled in a dangerous web that leads to Sara’s abduction. Will must go undercover to save her—and prevent the loss of many more lives. If you’ve read Karin Slaughter before, you know you won’t be able to put this one down before you reach the last page.

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, by Rhys Bowen
Georgiana is finally Mrs. Darcy O’Mara, and the two are honeymooning Kenya’s Happy Valley (which Darcy soon admits is in large part because he was sent there to track down a London jewel thief, and the place is a vacation spot for the aristocracy). There they meet the terrible Lord Cheriton, who makes a pass at Georgie, who is scandalized (it is her honeymoon, after all!). Though she’s not a fan of Lord Cheriton, she’s still nonplussed when his body is discovered by the side of the road, looking as though it’s been mauled by wildlife. Lions, everyone suspects…until it begins to look as though the most obvious answer isn’t actually the right one, and there’s a devious killer in their midst.

Terns of Endearment (Meg Langslow Series #25), by Donna Andrews
Assorted members of the Langslow family have been invited to join Meg’s grandfather aboard a cruise where he’s been booked to give lectures on birds and the environment. But what initially appears to be a lighthearted vacation turns grave when the passengers learn that the ship has broken down in the Bermuda Triangle. Worse still, it is announced that a passenger has jumped overboard, leaving behind her shoes, and a note. It turns out she is the nemesis of a group of writers, who booked the cruise as a retreat, and some members of the group are suspicious of her death, believing that suicide doesn’t seem like her style. The ship’s captain isn’t interested in investigating the murder, feeling that it can be sorted out once they reach their destination. But Meg’s father is convinced they should investigate while the suspect is still on board. As if all this weren’t enough, grandfather’s assistant, Trevor, is nowhere to be found. The hilarious Meg Langslow mystery series is as funny and charming as it is clever—this summer is the perfect time to get on board!

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