It's been another great year for debut mysteries, so if you're searching out a new mystery author to read, try one of these. Running the gamut of mystery sub-genres, time periods, and locations, the listed titles are some of the most popular among our WPPL mystery readers. (Quoted descriptions are from Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, and Library Journal.)
Aspe, Peter - The Square of Revenge - "Belgian crime-fiction veteran Aspe's English-language debut thriller, originally published in Europe in 1995, introduces readers to chain-smoking, perpetually out-of-sorts DI Pieter Van In", fighting crime in the city of Bruges. #2 in the series, The Midas Murders, is due out in the U.S. December 7.
Cha, Steph - Follow Her Home - "A stunning, edgy debut with a modern amateur sleuth, Juniper Song, taking on the darkness below L.A.'s surface with razor-sharp wit." Song's love of detective novels takes her on what ends up to be a treacherous search for information as a favor for a friend. A second title is planned for an August, 2014 release.
Cox, Christopher - A Good Death - introduces Sebastian Damon, "a sharp-witted though struggling Boston PI" who is hired by an insurance company to investigate a client's death in Bangkok.
Crompton, Richard - Hour of the Red God - former BBC journalist Crompton, currently living in Nairobi, presents Detective Mollel, a former Maasai warrior, who investigates a murder during the chaotic Kenyan elections of 2007.
Daly, Paula - Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - set in England's Lake District, Daly's mystery centers around two mothers, a missing daughter and Detective Constable Joanne Aspinall, who is investigating the disappearance.
Grant, Ellie - Plum Deadly - NY banker Maggie Grady returns to her hometown of Durham, NC to work in her aunt's pie shop after being accused of stealing from a client. When her former boss is murdered, Maggie attempts to find the killer and clear her name. (Grant is the pen name of Joyce and Jim Lavene.) Recipes are included.
Link, Charlotte - The Other Child - One of Germany's most successful female crime authors makes her American debut with a mystery set in England. DI Valerie Almond investigates several murders that eventually link back to the disappearance of children during WWII.
Memming, Charles - Aloha, Lady Blue - in the tradition of John D. MacDonald come Stryker McBride, a former newspaper crime reporter living on a houseboat (the Travis McGee, of course) in Hawaii. While not looking for a story or trouble he finds both as he is drawn into the murder of a friend's grandfather.
Miley, Mary - The Impersonator introduces vaudeville actress Leah Randall, who is hired to impersonate a missing heiress and claim her fortune. Leah finds her own life threatened as she becomes determined to learn what really happened to the heiress, discovering a lot about herself, as well.
Neuhaus, Nele - Snow White Must Die - another popular German author storms on the U.S. mystery scene with this police procedural. Two inspectors head to a small German town to investigate a murder with connections to past crimes, while the villagers hide a multitude of secrets.
After the success of their debuts earlier this year, these authors are set to publish the second titles in their series.
Calkins, Susanna - Murder at Rosamund's Gate - features Lucy Campion, a young orphan working as a chambermaid in 1665 London. Coming in April is From the Charred Ruins.
Thomas, Samuel - Shaker Heights resident Thomas had a huge hit with his debut mystery The Midwife's Tale, set in 1644 during the English Civil War. The next installment, The Harlot's Tale, is due out January 7, 2014.
Coming up- a year-end wrap-up and a look at some great titles being published in 2014. For now, the Holiday mysteries are on display - check them out and take your mind off the Christmas hustle and bustle. Season's Readings!!