A lively combination of mystery, romance, and gemology that will appeal to fans of Jane K. Cleland and Paige Shelton.

RUBY RED HERRING

A fabulous gemstone is a magnet for murder.

In a rousing series debut, Gardner introduces 25-year-old Avery Ayers and her sister, Tilly, a high school senior, who are still recovering from the deaths of their parents in a car accident almost a year ago. While their Aunt Midge is sharing their suburban New York home, they also use her apartment in Manhattan, where Avery has taken her parents’ place at their art and antiques appraisal business. When a note in their father’s handwriting is slipped through their mail slot, they’re all deeply disturbed. The note says, "You must decline the contract. Your life is at stake." The note may refer to a job Avery is planning to start that day, authenticating a stone for the Museum of Antiquities. The stone, owned by a reclusive man who claims to have found it at a flea market in Munich, may be a priceless ruby or a much less expensive spinel—and it might even be a famously missing ruby from the museum's most important piece, the Emperor's Twins medallion. Avery discovers that her parents had worked on authenticating the remaining ruby eye in the Emperor’s Twins medallion just before their deaths and notices odd things such as the fact that the case of her parents’ deaths has not been closed by the police. Avery receives another mysterious note telling her to find someone named Art at the museum. Art Smith turns out to be a remarkably closemouthed police detective masquerading as one of the guards protecting the gem. After searching through the papers her parents stored at home, Avery is attacked and her aunt’s dog injured by a violent intruder. Now she can only trust her family and the attractive detective as they work to solve the puzzle of the ruby and discover who is willing to kill for it.

A lively combination of mystery, romance, and gemology that will appeal to fans of Jane K. Cleland and Paige Shelton.

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64385-659-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crooked Lane

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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