2020, a year that some people would like to forget – but despite Covid 19 there are reasons to be cheerful, especially in the form of books by our authors that have arrived this year or are in the pipeline.
MARCH saw the publication of The Memory, by Judith Barrow (Honno Press)
Today has been a long time coming. Irene sits at her mother’s side waiting for the right moment, for the point at which she will know she is doing the right thing by Rose.
Rose was Irene’s little sister, an unwanted embarrassment to their mother Lilian but a treasure to Irene. Rose died thirty years ago, when she was eight, and nobody has talked about the circumstances of her death since. But Irene knows what she saw. Over the course of 24 hours their moving and tragic story is revealed – a story of love and duty, betrayal and loss – as Irene rediscovers the past and finds hope for the future.
March also saw the publication of Mr Nice by John Nicholl.
When Megan discovers that her young daughter is missing, she thinks that her ex-husband is to blame.
But was it someone else entirely?
Someone out for revenge? Someone with a grudge?
As DI Laura Kesey begins her investigation, she discovers that the case is infinitely more wicked than she could ever have imagined.
The clock is ticking.
The search is on.
But will Kesey find Lottie before it’s too late?
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. The greater the evil, the deadlier the game.
Buy it from Amazon
The end of March saw the publication of Alis Hawkin’s Mediaeval mystery, The Black and the White.
Far from home, in the middle of a frozen and snowy night, a stranger saves Martin Collyer’s life. But is he a good man or a callous opportunist?
A difficult question to answer at the best of times but this isn’t the best of times. It’s the winter of 1349 and England is in the grip of a plague which may herald the end of the world.
Martin has left his home in the Forest of Dean to travel the breadth of England, to Salster, to save his father’s soul. But he is not travelling quite alone. Though no mortal walks with him, Martin has a troublingly lifelike statue of his father’s patron saint under a blanket in his cart.
Does his rescuer, Hob Cleve, know about the saint’s miraculous image? Has he been watching, waiting for his chance? Or is he what he seems, a runaway determined to make a better life for himself?
As Martin and Hob travel through a plague-blighted landscape, sudden death is never far away. Will Martin and Hob find Saint Cynryth’s shrine at Salster or will her cult prove to be nothing more than a tale told by a peddler? Will they enter the city as heroes and saint-bearers or as discredited charlatans?
Will both of them arrive at all?
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APRIL brought us the fourth Nathan Sutherland thriller set in Venice: Venetian Gothic, by Philip Gwynne Jones
It is 2nd November — All Souls Day. On the Day of the Dead, the citizens of Venice make their way to the cemetery island of San Michele to pay their respects to the departed. When an empty coffin is unearthed in the English section of the graveyard, a day of quiet reflection for Nathan Sutherland becomes a journey into the dark past of a noble Venetian family.A British journalist, investigating the events of forty years previously, disappears. A young tourist – with an unhealthy interest in Venice’s abandoned islands- is found drowned in the icy lagoon.
A terrible secret is about to be brought to light, and a deadly reckoning awaits on Venice’s Isle of the Dead.
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Katherine Stansfield’s third Cornish mystery, The Mermaid’s Call was also published in paperback by Allison and Busby in April.
Cornwall, 1845. Shilly has always felt a connection to happenings that are not of this world, a talent that has proved invaluable when investigating dark deeds with master of disguise, Anna Drake. The women opened a detective agency with help from their newest member and investor, Mathilda, but six long months have passed without a single case to solve and tensions are growing. It is almost a relief when a man is found dead along the Morwenstow coast and the agency is sought out to investigate. There are suspicions that wreckers plague the coast, luring ships to their ruin with false lights – though nothing has ever been proved. Yet with the local talk of sirens calling victims to the sea to meet their end, could something other-worldly be responsible for the man’s death?’
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Besides writing in her own name, Katherine is also one half of D K Fields, whose fantasy crime novel, Widow’s Welcome appeared in paperback form, published by Head of Zeus in March. (e-book already available).
It’s Book One of the Tales of Fenest
There’s power in stories.
This is a story of power.
Dead bodies aren’t unusual in the alleyways of Fenest, capital of the Union of Realms. Especially not in an election year, when the streets swell with crowds from near and far. Muggings, brawls gone bad, debts collected Detective Cora Gorderheim has seen it all. Until she finds a Wayward man with his mouth sewn shut.
His body has been arranged precisely by the killer and left conspicuously, waiting to be found. Cora fears this is not only a murder, but a message.
As she digs into the dead man’s past, she finds herself drawn into the most dangerous event in the Union: the election. In a world where stories win votes, someone has gone to a lot of trouble to silence this man. Who has stopped his story being told?
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The second book in the series, The Stitcher and the Mute is due out, hopefully, in November
And the wicked thriller Wilderness by B.E Jones also saw its publication in paperback (already available as e-book and audio).
Two weeks, 1500 miles and three opportunities for her husband to save his own life. It isn’t about his survival – it’s about hers.
Shattered by the discovery of her husband’s affair, Liv knows they need to leave the chaos of New York to try and save their marriage. Maybe the road trip they’d always planned, exploring America’s national parks – just the two of them – would help heal the wounds.
But what Liv hasn’t told her husband is that she has set him three challenges on their trip – three opportunities to prove he’s really sorry and worthy of her forgiveness.
If he fails? Well, it’s dangerous out there. There are so many ways to die in the wilderness; accidents happen all the time.
And if it’s easy to die, then it’s also easy to kill.
Buy from Amazon
Sally Spedding added Office For The Dead to her DC Martin Webb series in April. It’s a sequel to ‘Come and be Killed‘ with the final DC Martin Webb ‘White Meat‘ to follow.
Mid-September 2004 in Worcestershire’s normally peaceful town of Malvern, and newly-promoted DC Martin Webb is helping his widowed father move on from prison to a new life, when he learns of an apparently motiveless shooting of a local crane driver at Portsmouth Docks.
He and his boss, DI Alan Manson soon realise there’s far more to this case than their unhelpful counterparts realise. Why was that man shot, and why did one of the crates destined for France, contain the mutilated body of a naked young man with a Pater Noster rosary bead in his rectum?
Despite his newly-pregnant girlfriend, Dora’s fears, French-speaking Martin is sent to investigate and soon becomes embroiled in an ever-darkening web of secrecy and terror. Could that butchered victim be connected to a secretive Seminary tucked away amongst vineyards and sunflowers in a remote part of the Aude? Its outwardly saintly, but shadowy, controlling Director an American with a new name. Monsignor Joseph Alarize, skilled in Remote Viewing, with only evil in mind. His real mission disguised by prayer and study. Save for a few chosen ones.
Martin must discover who really was the victim in that crate? And why? Who might be next? And with yet more horrors to come, can his and Dora’s love prove strong enough to survive?
Buy from Amazon.
MAY. Not content with one book, Alis Hawkins saw the e-book publication of Those Who Know, the third in her Teifi Valley Coroner series. The paperback will follow on 24th September.
On the campaign trail to secure his hold on the coronership Harry Probert-Lloyd finds himself uneasily embroiled in politics. His election agent wants him out campaigning so when the death of a pioneering local teacher is reported, Harry is torn – should his focus be election or inquest?
A compromise proves equally damaging to both causes and Harry finds himself going into Schoolteacher Rowland’s inquest disastrously badly prepared. New information comes to light during the hearing and the outcome threatens to see an innocent hanged.
As Harry struggles to put Rowland’s death aside and win the election, his assistant, John Davies travels to London to follow up a new lead. Will the startling evidence he finds there save the accused, or has Harry left it too late?
buy it from Amazon
JUNE. Cathy Ace gave us The Corpse with the Crystal Skull, the 9th, yes 9th, Cait Morgan Mystery.
Welsh Canadian globetrotting sleuth, and professor of criminal psychology, Cait Morgan, is supposed to be “celebrating” her fiftieth birthday in Jamaica with her ex-cop husband Bud Anderson. But when the body of the luxury estate’s owner is discovered locked inside an inaccessible tower, Cait and her fellow guests must work out who might have killed him – even if his murder seems impossible. Could the death of the man who hosted parties in the 1960s attended by Ian Fleming and Noël Coward be somehow linked to treasure the legendary Captain Henry Morgan might have buried at the estate? Or to the mission Bud and his secret service colleagues have been sent to the island to undertake?
JULY. The Silent Quarry by Cheryl Rees-Price has been republished by The Book Folks. (Her second novel, Frozen Minds will be republished in September.)
A woman’s memory about a fatal attack starts to return. But what she knows could endanger her life.
One morning Gwen Thomas takes a short walk with her Siberian husky in the outskirts of the Welsh town she calls home.
She is drawn to a desolate area where, some twenty years ago as a teenager, she was brutally attacked and her friend killed.
Disorientated by a sudden rush of memories, she has a fall. Later, recovering in hospital, she begins to recollect the events that led up to her friend’s death.
DI Winter Meadows is encouraged to reopen what has for some time been a cold case. If Gwen can remember who attacked her, it could lead to a prosecution.
But not everyone wants Gwen to recover her memory. Having got over her fall, she now faces a greater danger – from whoever else knows what actually happened.
Can DI Meadows find the identity of the attacker before Gwen once more becomes a victim?
And now the books yet to come. AUGUST is definitely harvest time.
On August 18th, Dylan Jones brings us Shadow Soul, book 3 in the DI Tudor Manx series. Cover reveal yet to come, so I can say no more just yet, but why not check out the trailer here?
On August 20th, The Covenant, by Thorne Moore, a prequel to A Time For Silence, will be published by Honno.
Leah is tied to home and hearth by debts of love and duty – duty to her father, turned religious zealot after the tragic death of his eldest son, Tom; love for her wastrel younger brother Frank’s two motherless children. One of them will escape, the other will be doomed to follow in their grandfather’s footsteps.
At the close of the 19th century, Cwmderwen’s twenty-four acres, one rood and eight perches are hard won, and barely enough to keep body and soul together. But they are all the Owens have and their rent is always paid on time. With Tom’s death a crack is opened up and into this chink in the fabric of the family step Jacob John and his wayward son Eli, always on the lookout for an opportunity.
Saving her family, good and bad, saving Cwmderwen, will change Leah forever and steal her dreams, perhaps even her life…
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And on the same day, 20th August, Louise Mullins, our newest member, publishes I Know You.
A mother’s world falls apart the day the police come knocking to tell her that her son is dead. Murdered, apparently without motive, outside a fast food restaurant. But when a witness comes forward, Honour realises her beloved son had a secret life beyond anything she imagined…
When a hit and run incident nearly kills Sinead and her children, she is forced to face the truth. Someone wants her dead. She knows exactly what he looks like. But he seems to know her too. All her secrets. All her lies. Everything she tried to leave behind.
Something connects these two cases. And as the stakes rise, DI Locke must untangle the web of deceit – before someone else dies.
I Know You is the first in a gripping new crime thriller series featuring DI Emma Locke, perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Carol Wyer.
Order it from Amazon
SEPTEMBER. Chris Lloyd moves his action from Catalonia to wartime Paris, with The Unwanted Dead, published by Orion on 17th September
Paris, Friday 14th June 1940.
The day the Nazis march into Paris. It made headlines around the globe.
Paris police detective Eddie Giral – a survivor of the last World War – watches helplessly on as his world changes forever.
But there is something he still has control over. Finding whoever is responsible for the murder of four refugees. The unwanted dead, who no one wants to claim.
To do so, he must tread carefully between the Occupation and the Resistance, between truth and lies, between the man he is and the man he was.
All the while becoming whoever he must be to survive in this new and terrible order descending on his home.
And there may be more yet to come, so watch this space.