Prime Crime Editor's Notes - May 2012
Dear Mystery Lover,
Spring is underway with fresh flowers, lovely weather, and
exciting new mysteries you’re sure to enjoy this May
from Berkley Prime Crime! And don’t forget to follow
us on our twitter @penguincozies for more mystery fun!
Our first release in hardcover this month is MURDER ON
FIFTH AVENUE, A Gaslight Mystery by National
Bestselling Author Victoria Thompson.
From the tenements to the town houses of nineteenth-century
New York, midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank
Malloy never waiver in their mission to aid the innocent and
apprehend the guilty. Now, the latest novel in the
Edgar®-nominated series finds Sarah and
Malloy investigating the murder of a Knickerbocker club
member who was made to pay his dues...
Sarah Brandt’s family is one of the oldest in New York
City, and her father, Felix Decker, takes his position in
society very seriously. He still refuses to resign himself
to his daughter being involved with an Irish Catholic police
detective. But when a member of his private club—the
very exclusive Knickerbocker—is murdered, Decker forms
an uneasy alliance with Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to
solve the crime as discreetly as possible.
Malloy soon discovers that despite his social standing, the
deceased—Chilton Devries—was no gentleman. In
fact, he’s left behind his own unofficial club of
sorts, populated by everyone who despised him. As he and
Sarah sort through the suspects, it becomes clear to her
that her father is evaluating more than the
detective’s investigative abilities, and that, on a
personal level, there is much more at stake for Malloy than
discovering who revoked Devries’
Catch up with the gaslight mysteries in the mass market
edition of Victoria Thompson’s MURDER ON
Summoned to an elegant house to deliver a baby, Sarah finds
her patient is actually in a brothel. The young woman in
labor reveals she is being held against her will and forced
to prostitute herself—and that the madam intends to
get rid of the baby.
To rescue the new mother and her infant, Sarah secures the
assistance of Mrs. Vivian Van Orner, a woman of means known
for her charitable work. But their success comes at a high
price when Mrs.Van Orner is found murdered.
With Malloy’s help, Sarah’s investigation
uncovers some unpleasant truths about the victim and her
charity—as well as the woman and child Sarah risked
her own life to save...
Keep an eye out for the mass market edition of SPIDER
WEB, A Benni Harper Mystery by National
Bestselling Author Earlene Fowler.
Folk art museum curator, rancher and sometime sleuth Benni
Harper is back in an unforgettable new mystery, organizing a
Memory Festival. But a sniper threatens to make it a day to
remember in the worst way...
Benni and the ladies of her Coffin Star Quilt Guild are
excited to display their Graveyard Quilt at the first ever
San Celina, California, Memory Festival. The fair promises
to be a moving event celebrating memories through quilts,
crafts, scrapbooks, photographs, written word, oral
histories, and tributes to loved ones.
But when a local cop is wounded by a mysterious sharp
shooter with a vendetta against the police, Benni fears for
her loved ones—especially her police chief husband,
Gabe. Soon Benni is drawn into the search for the sniper,
determined to make her hometown safe again...before their
peaceful street fair becomes a shooter’s deadly target
A first in a new series this month is A DEADLY GRIND,
A Vintage Kitchen Mystery by Victoria Hamilton.
When vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton
spies an original 1920s Hoosier brand kitchen cabinet at an
estate auction, it’s love at first sight. Despite the
protests of her sister, Rebecca, that the 19th-century
yellow-brick house they share in Michigan is already too
cluttered with Jaymie’s “junk,’ she
successfully outbids the other buyers and triumphantly takes
home her Hoosier.
But that night on the summer porch where they’ve left
the Hoosier to be cleaned up, a man is murdered, struck on
the head with the steel meat grinder that is part of the
cabinet. Who is this stranger—and what was he doing on
their porch? Does his death have anything to do with the
As the police struggle to determine the man’s
identity, Jaymie can’t help doing a little digging on
her own, accompanied by her three-legged Yorkie Poo,
Hopalong. But in her bid to uncover the truth about the
hidden secrets of the Hoosier, Jaymie may be the one who
ends up going, going...gone.
This edition includes great recipes! And read more about
this new series in this month’s Dear Reader letter!
Another first in a new series this month is THE BIG
KITTY, A Sunny & Shadow Mystery by Claire
Sunny Coolidge left her New York City newspaper job to go
back to Maine and take care of her ailing father. But
there’s not much excitement—or interesting
work—in Kittery Harbor. So when Ada Spruance, the
town’s elderly cat lady, asks for help finding her
supposedly-winning lottery ticket, Sunny agrees. But when
she arrives at Ada’s, with a stray tomcat named Shadow
tagging along, they discover the poor woman dead at the
bottom of her stairs. Was it an accident—or did
Ada’s death have to do with that missing lottery
ticket, which turns out to be worth six million dollars?
Town Constable Will Price suspects the worst. And
Sunny’s reporter instincts soon drive her to do some
investigating of her own. Even Shadow seems to have a nose
for detective work. Following the trail of the purrloined
ticket, Sunny and Shadow try to shed some light on a
killer’s dark motives—before their own numbers
Don’t miss ALL SALES FATAL, A Mall Cop
Mystery by Laura DiSilverio.
For mall cop E.J. Ferris, catching customers who
“forgot to pay’ is quite a change of pace from
her former life in the military. But when a real crisis
heats up her climate-controlled domain, her old instincts
come back quicker than last year’s skinny jeans.
On good days, Fernglen Galleria is a tranquil haven of
capitalist splendor—but today is not one of those
days. Arriving for her morning shift, E.J. spots a sleeping
homeless person outside the east entrance. But the teenage
boy turns out to be neither homeless nor asleep. He is,
With half the security cameras sabotaged, no one can be sure
what happened. E.J. is determined to help solve the
case—whether Homicide Detective Helland likes it or
not. Uncovering a deadly conspiracy right in her own mall,
E.J is about to catch a killer, or get put on lay-away for
You’ll love THE WILD WOOD ENQUIRY, An Ivy
Beasley Mystery by National Bestselling Author Ann
In a brand-new mystery from the author of The Measby
Murder Enquiry, the cantankerous golden years gumshoe
Ivy Beasley keeps her mental faculties sharp with a strict
regimen of crime detection.
Apart from the unwelcome noise made by the morning cleaning
crew, life has been quiet at Springfields Home for the
Elderly. Too quiet, in fact. Ivy and her team of sleuths,
Enquire Within, have resorted to finding lost cats, and Gus
is even threatening to return to his memoirs. But no sooner
does he attempt to put a winning phrase together than he
receives a call from his ex-wife, Katherine, who is in
desperate needs of a place to hide.
Though Gus has a difficult time getting a straight answer
from Kath—just as it was in their many years of
marriage—something is most certainly afoot, and soon
Enquire Within is back in business. This time they have
their hands full, not only with missing pets, but missing
jewels, and evidence of foul play uncomfortably close to
their too quiet home...
Check out MRS. JEFFRIES DEFENDS HER OWN, A
Victorian Mystery by Emily Brightwell.
She keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon...and keeps him on
his toes. Everyone’s awed by his Scotland Yard
successes—but they don’t know about his secret
weapon. No matter how messy the murder or how dirty the
deed, Mrs. Jeffries’ polished detection skills are up
to the task...proving that behind every great man
there’s a woman—and that a crimesolver’s
work is never done.
When the general office manager of Sutcliffe Manufacturing
is murdered, no one is really surprised. Ronald Dearman was
anything but a dear man. The tyrannical bully had more than
enough enemies to go around. But who hated him enough to
walk into his office and put a bullet between his eyes?
For once, Inspector Gerald Witherspoon doesn’t get the
case, it’s given to another inspector. Then someone
from Mrs. Jeffries’ past—someone she’d
hoped to never see again—shows up and begs for her
help. Now Mrs. Jeffries must step into the fray and stop a
terrible miscarriage of justice...
This May from Obsidian enjoy the beautiful spring weather
outdoors while reading some truly fabulous mysteries!
First up, in hardcover, we have Sally
Goldenbaum’s A FATAL FLEECE, the sixth book
in the Seaside Knitters Mystery series.
It’s vacation time in Sea Harbor—summer people
are moving into the postcard-perfect cottages dotting the
shore, bistro doors are held open by stone lobsters to catch
ocean breezes, and newly-wed Izzy Chambers, with the help of
the other seaside knitters, is readying her yarn studio for
the influx of summer tourists. Unfortunately, not
everything in Sea Harbor is postcard-perfect. Fellow
seaside knitter, Birdie, is stunned by the news that she has
a 12-year-old granddaughter, Gabriella, whom she never knew
existed. And when Gabby makes plans to stay with her
grandmother for the summer, Birdie struggles to entertain
the precocious girl in the quiet seaside town, relying on
the ever active knitting gang to keep Gabbie entertained.
But Gabbie has her own ideas for creating fun and in an
unlikely pairing she befriends Finnegan, a reclusive, old
fisherman with a dock perfect for catching carp. Luckily
it’s another of the seaside knitters, Cass, not
Gabbie, who comes bearing a gift but instead of delivering
it stumbles over Finnegan’s still body, dressed in the
fleece vest she made him. Many seaside residents had a lot
to gain by the local curmudgeon’s death, but when
Finnegan’s will is found and names Cass the heir to
his fortune, Cass becomes the prime suspect in the murder
investigation. Now the seaside knitters—with
Gabriella in tow—must clear Cass’s name before
the fun, frivolous days of summer turn fatal for one of
Izzy’s dearest friends...
And if you can’t get enough of Sea Harbor and the
charming seaside knitters, the trade paperback edition of
the fifth Seaside Knitters Mystery, THE WEDDING
SHAWL, is also available this month.
With the glow of the golden sun softened and refreshed by
salty breezes, summer days in Sea Harbor, Massachusetts are
perfection—but even this idyllic town has its share of
buried secrets. For on one of these perfect summer days,
fifteen years ago, the body of a young girl was found in a
deep water quarry. Although many suspected that the girl
was murdered, the killer’s identity was never
revealed. The tragedy was declared a cold case and no one
thought the case would be reopened until now....
But Izzy Chambers, owner of the local knitting shop, has
little time to ponder such mysteries—she’s
getting married to her handsome beau, Sam. The other three
seaside knitters are bustling with
excitement—they’re even knitting a beautiful
wedding shawl for Izzy to wear on her special day. Izzy
arranges for a hair stylist, Tiffany Smith, to come up with
stunning hairdos for the wedding party, but just when Izzy
thought all her problems were untangled, Tiffany is
murdered. Rumors circulate about possible motives for
Tiffany’s death, but when Izzy and the knitters learn
that Tiffany was close friends with the young girl who died
in the quarry all those years ago, the knitters discover
that cold cases can actually be hotbeds of simmering
secrets. And the answers to both perplexing deaths must be
stitched together before Izzy can don her lacy wedding shawl...
Also, in hardcover, we have the eleventh installment in
Elaine Viets’ Dead-End Job Mystery
series, FINAL SAIL.
Helen’s donning her sunglasses and piling on the
suntan lotion because her next case takes place on a
luxurious yacht headed for the tropical Bahamas! Josiah
Swingle, captain of the yacht, The Belted Earl, discovers
that a box of precious emeralds has been stolen from a
secret locker aboard the ship. Josiah needs to catch the
jewel smuggler before the ship is impounded, and hires Helen
to be the ship’s new stewardess so she can secretly
investigate the other crew members for the devious crime.
In the meantime, Helen and her sweet hubby, Phil, are also
busy solving another case at Coronado Investigations,
involving an elderly man who may have been poisoned by his
young, sex-kitten wife for his million dollar fortune.
Helen might be cruising for trouble with two perplexing
mysteries to solve, but this sleuth extraordinaire will
never let these culprits sail away without a fight!
And if you want to sail away into another Dead-End Job
Mystery, the mass market paperback edition of PUMPED
FOR MURDER, the tenth installment in the series is also
available this month.
Helen has just returned from her relaxing honeymoon with
hubby, Phil, and the two are ready to turn to a new page in
their life. They’re going to open their own PI
agency—specializing in family secrets. But that
doesn’t mean Helen is going to leave behind the
dead-end jobs. Their very first client, Shelby, asks Helen
and Phil to spy on her husband. He’s working out,
buffing up, losing weight—and Shelby wants to know
why! Suddenly, Helen finds herself at yet another dead-end
job working as a receptionist at a local gym in order to
keep an eye on Shelby’s husband. The only is catch is
that Helen must stay fit and pump some iron herself to keep
her job. To make matters worse, when their small agency
takes on a second case involving a dark family secret that
has been around for decades, Helen has to start moving her
workouts to the wee hours of the morning. And then of
course, Helen has her own family secret to contend
with.....Will Helen drop from exhaustion with all this on
her plate, or will she catch a killer and develop a body to
Next up, in mass market paperback, we have Sofie
Kelly’s COPYCAT KILLING, the third
installment in the Magical Cats Mystery series.
Spring has sprung in Mayville Heights, and librarian
Kathleen Paulson, along with her two magical cats—Owen
and Herc—is enjoying the flowers...and experiencing
the showers. There’s been so much rain that the local
artist’s collective is on the verge of flooding.
Kathleen and her friend Roma stay up late sandbagging the
building and saving the local’s creations.
But the next morning, at a thank-you breakfast at
Eric’s café...one of the artists is found dead. Turns
out he was going under an assumed name—and Kath
realizes that she can’t actually assume anything about
him. With the help of a handsome detective, and two cats
with extraordinary powers of detection—and affection,
she’ll get to the bottom of this case.
Learn more about Sofie Kelly in this month’s
Also, in mass market paperback, we have the exciting debut
of Bailey Cates’ Bewitched Bakery
Mystery series BROWNIES AND BROOMSTICKS.
Katie Lightfoot has been working as assistant manager at a
bakery in Akron, Ohio for the last three years, until her
Aunt Lucy calls with a proposition. Lucy’s husband Ben
has just retired from being Savannah’s fire chief, and
they want to open a bakery in Savannah’s quaint
downtown district. Katie enthusiastically agrees, and soon
she’s in her chef’s whites at The Honeybee
Bakery (named after Aunt Lucy’s favorite tabby cat).
But as they’re a recipe testing, Katie realizes that
Lucy is making some surprising herbal additions to the menu,
like lavender to biscotti and fried sage leaves to savory
cheese scones. These herbs are more than just tasty. Turns
out her aunt is a witch—and her recipes are spells
that bring happiness to her customers.
Honeybee opens, and is a big success until trouble strikes.
Mrs. Templeton, the town curmudgeon, who had made a big fuss
about the bill for a breakfast Honeybee catered, is found
dead in her car... parked outside the shop. With news of the
argument fresh in people’s minds, Uncle Ben finds
himself a suspect. Katie and Lucy are determined to
exonerate Ben. And with the help of the handsome local
journalist Steve Dawes, and the equally charming Declan
McCarthy, a firefighter who considers Ben his mentor, plus a
few spells, they likely will.
Finally, in mass market paperback, we have Lee
Goldberg’s MR. MONK ON PATROL, the
thirteenth book in the tie-in series to the incredibly
popular USA Network comedy MONK.
Randy Disher has been living with Monk’s old assistant
Sharona in Summit, NJ, working as the new Chief of Police.
But when the Mayor, the city manager, and the majority of
city council in Summit are arrested for fraud, Disher
suddenly finds himself acting as mayor. Disher has to
manage the police department and shoulder the day-to-day
responsibility of running a town...which, unfortunately, is
in the midst of a wave of residential robberies. And, in
light of the scandal, Disher is now questioning whether the
former police chief was really killed in an accident.
In desperation, Disher reaches out to the one person he
knows he can trust — his mentor Captain Leland
Stottlemeyer. Naturally, Stottlemeyer sends in Adrian Monk
to help clean up the mess. When Monk and Natalie arrive in
New Jersey, they are both given the job of temporary police
officer. Monk soon discovers that the burglaries plaguing
Summit are all tied to the murder of the previous Chief of
Police, and that Disher could be the next victim.