A quintessential cozy that breaks no new ground and doesn’t need to.

MURDER, SHE WROTE: KILLING IN A KOI POND

A visit to an old college pal takes a dark (but not too dark) turn when a renowned mystery author discovers a death that screams murder, at least to her.

Delighted to be reunited with her old friend from Harrison College, Jessica Fletcher’s curious about Willis, the man Dolores Nickens has just wed. After two failed marriages, Dolores may finally have found the soul mate she’ll settle down with forever, and Jessica’s cautiously pleased to make his acquaintance on a trip to Manning Hall, his impressive South Carolina home. But Willis raises Jessica’s hackles: Though he’s obviously warm to Dolores, he’s the kind of guy who can turn his charm on and off. When he tries to fire members of his staff before a dinner party, Dolores must talk sense into him by pointing out that fired people can’t serve guests. The one person Willis can never be upset with is his 9-year-old granddaughter, Abby, the apple of his eye, and of his bride’s too, though she’s grandmother by marriage rather than blood. His doting on Abby seems inversely proportional to his loathing of his son-in-law, Clancy, whose irresponsible lifestyle irks Willis to no end. But none of these domestic tensions mar Jessica’s visit until Willis is found dead near the estate’s koi pond. Jessica is instantly convinced that Willis has been murdered and equally convinced that her job as famed mystery author J.B. Fletcher will give her the insight to solve the case—if only she can convince the reluctant local sheriff of the same.

A quintessential cozy that breaks no new ground and doesn’t need to.

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-33359-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE

In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play?

When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family’s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha’s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering—and burning—a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies’ staff, and even his daughter’s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie’s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha’s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain?

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8272-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

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LATER

Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7890-9649-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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