Prime Crime Editor's Notes - August 2012
Dear Mystery Lover,
We know August is going to be hot, so check out these
chilling new mysteries from Berkely Prime Crime to keep you
cool! (Note: Reading experience may be enhanced by a glass
of lemonade, if you fancy.)
Our first hardcover book this month is a new edition in
the Coffeehouse Mystery series: We know
you’ll just drink up National Bestselling Author
Cleo Coyle’s A BREW TO A KILL.
Greenwich Village coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi is
rolling with a popular new trend, until someone close to her
is driven to kill...
The Village Blend’s Muffin Muse coffee truck
is all the rage. Clare Cosi’s premium drinks served
with a sassy side of Esther’s Slam Poetry makes it a
treat to track through all five boroughs. But a fatal
hit-and-run, followed by a mysterious death at a food
truck-catered wedding, give Clare a clue that something
bitter is brewing.
Then she opens a bag of imported coffee beans and finds
ten pounds of rocks—the kind that will earn you a
twenty-year jail sentence. Is her ex-husband and business
partner smuggling Brazilian crack? Is her staff now in danger?
To clear up this murky brew, Clare must sweet talk two
Federal agents, dupe a drug kingpin, stake out a Dragon Boat
festival, and teach a cocky young undercover cop how to pull
the perfect espresso—all while keeping herself and her
baristas out of hot water.
Coffee. It can get a girl killed.
This book includes coffee cake and muffin recipes!
Plus, check out Cleo Coyle’s latest title in
the Coffeehouse Mystery series in mass market
paperback, MURDER BY MOCHA!
Clare Cosi, manager and head barista of the landmark
Village Blend coffeehouse, can brew a beverage to die for.
But can she stir up some evidence against a bitter killer
who’s gone loco for mocha?
Clare’s Village Blend beans are being used to create
a new java love potion: a “Mocha Magic Coffee”
billed as an aphrodisiac. Clare may even try some on her
boyfriend, NYPD detective Mike Quinn—when he’s
off duty, of course...
The product, expected to rake in millions, will be sold
exclusively on Aphrodite’s Village, one of the
Web’s most popular online communities for women. But
the launch party ends on a sour note when one of the
Website’s editors is found dead.
When more of the Website’s Sisters of Aphrodite
start to die, Clare is convinced someone wants the
coffee’s secret formula—and is willing to kill
to get it. Clare isn’t about to spill the beans, but
will she be next on the hit list?
This book also includes recipes and coffee-making tips!
Next up, for all you Jane Eyre lovers, Joanna Campbell
Slan’s DEATH OF A SCHOOLGIRL will take you
back to 19th century London, but with a murderous twist...
In her classic tale, Charlotte Brontë introduced
readers to the strong-willed and intelligent Jane Eyre.
Picking up where Brontë left off, Jane’s life has
settled into a comfortable pattern: She and her beloved
Edward Rochester are married and have an infant son. But
Jane soon finds herself in the midst of new challenges and
threats to those she loves...
Jane can’t help but fret when a letter arrives from
Adèle Varens—Rochester’s ward, currently at
boarding school—warning that the girl’s life is
in jeopardy. Although it means leaving her young son and
invalid husband, and despite never having been to a city of
any size, Jane feels strongly compelled to go to London to
ensure Adèle’s safety.
But almost from the beginning, Jane’s travels
don’t go as planned—she is knocked about and
robbed, and no one believes that the plain, unassuming Jane
could indeed be the wife of a gentleman; even the school
superintendent takes her for an errant new teacher. But most
shocking to Jane is the discovery that Adèle’s
schoolmate has recently passed away under very suspicious
circumstances, yet no one appears overly concerned. Taking
advantage of the situation, Jane decides to pose as the
missing instructor—and soon uncovers several unsavory
secrets, which may very well make her the killer’s
Kings and Queens have problems too. You are royally
invited to explore the mysteries and woes behind castle
doors in National Bestselling Author Rhys
Bowen’s NAUGHTY IN NICE, A Royal Spyness
Royalty has its privileges, even when you’re
thirty-fourth in line to the throne, as Lady Georgiana
Rannoch discovers on the glamorous—and
Why should my clueless brother, Binky, and his decidedly
disagreeable wife, Fig, be the only ones to enjoy the fun
and sun of the French Riviera? Thankfully, Her Majesty the
Queen has once again come to my rescue. She is sending me
off to Nice with a secret assignment—recover her
priceless, stolen snuff box from the disreputable Sir Toby
Her Majesty’s trust is an honor, but an even greater
honor is bestowed upon me in Nice—none other than Coco
Chanel herself asks me to model her latest fashion.
Unfortunately, things go disastrously wrong on the catwalk
and before I can snatch the snuff box, someone’s life
is snuffed out in a very dastardly way. With a murderer on
the loose—and my dearest Darcy seen in the company of
another woman—how’s a girl to find any time to
go to the casino?
Next, we know you’ll be hostage once you start
reading THE WORST THING by Edgar®
Award-Winning Author Aaron Elkins.
For Bryan Bennett, designing hostage negotiation programs
is the perfect job—as long as he doesn’t deal
directly with kidnappers or their victims. Intense
nightmares of his own abduction and imprisonment as a small
boy still plague him thirty-some years later, and
claustrophobia prevents him from attempting to travel.
So when Bryan’s boss asks him to fly to Reykjavik to
teach his corporate-level kidnapping and extortion seminar,
he initially refuses. But a CEO has specifically requested
Bryan—or no one else. Finally Bryan relents...
For decades he’s treaded gingerly around his deepest
terrors. Now, on this trip, Bryan’s taken hostage
again and must face his fears full-on. Will he realize that
in this battle of will and nerve, he is his own greatest
enemy? Or has this fight already been lost years ago?
Take a healthy-sized bite into ALLERGIC TO DEATH,
the first in Peg Cochran’s Gourmet De-Lite
Preparing calorie-conscious meals for the dieters of
Woodstone, Connecticut, Gigi Fitzgerald knows a cheater when
she sees one. And when murder is on the menu, she’s
ready to get the skinny on whodunit...
Business is looking up for Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite,
thanks to her newest client, restaurant reviewer Martha
Bernhardt. Martha has the clout to put Gigi’s personal
meal plans on everyone’s lips. But instead of dropping
a few pounds, Martha drops dead from a severe peanut
allergy...right after eating one of Gigi’s signature
When the distractingly debonair Detective Mertz identifies
traces of peanut oil in Martha’s last meal, Gigi
suddenly finds her diet catering business on the chopping
block. Now she’ll have to track down who tampered with
her recipe before her own goose is cooked.
Get your organic health-fix on with some delicious (and
nutritious!) recipes included in the book. And learn more
about author Peg Cochran in this month’s Author
Next up is a slurptastic first novel in a brand new
series—the Soup Lover’s Mysteries! Take
a sip of A SPOONFUL OF MURDER by Connie Archer.
Winter is big business in small-town Snowflake, Vermont.
Tourists arrive to hit the ski slopes—and what could
be more satisfying after a chilly day of carving powder than
a steaming bowl of soup?
When Lucky Jamieson inherits her parents’ soup shop,
By the Spoonful, she realizes it’s time to take stock
of her life. Should she sell her parents’ house or
move in herself? Does she really want to run a restaurant
business? And what about her grandfather Jack, who seems to
be showing signs of Alzheimer’s?
But her life decisions are moved to the back burner after
an icy blonde tourist is found frozen to death behind the
soup shop. And Lucky is bowled over when her soup chef, Sage
DuBois, is led out of the kitchen by the police. As
suspicion and speculations snowball, Lucky decides that the
only way to save her employee and her business is to find
out herself who iced the tourist—and landed her chef
in the soup...
Don’t forget the scrumptious soup recipes included
in the book!
This latest Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery may taste
more bitter than sweet... Follow the trail of clues to a
crumbly murder in National Bestselling Author Virginia
Lowell’s WHEN THE COOKIE CRUMBLES.
Olivia Greyson is the proud owner of The Gingerbread
House—a quaint shop that specializes in all things
cookie—and her best friend, Maddie, is her sidekick,
baking up scrumptious treats for their parties. But the
real-life version of their magnificent gingerbread house is
about to crumble to pieces...
Tensions are running high as Chatterley Heights’
250th birthday celebration approaches, and Olivia and Maddie
are working feverishly to finish a gingerbread house modeled
after the famous Chatterley Mansion. When Paine Chatterley,
presumed to be dead, shows up to claim his father’s
house, the town gossips are driven into a tizzy. And when he
refuses to allow visitors to tour the mansion during the
celebration, all the preparations seem for naught.
Then Paine is found drowned in the bathtub, his wife
hysterical and their precious heirlooms destroyed. The
hidden lives of the prestigious Chatterley family members
begin to surface, and Olivia must unravel their dark past.
As it turns out, the town’s history isn’t all
What’s new at Meg Corey’s apple orchard? Take
a deadly-juicy slice in the newest Orchard Mystery,
SOUR APPLES, by National Best Selling Author
Apple orchard owner Meg Corey is finally feeling settled
into her new life in Granford—she’s made
friends, and her relationship with Seth Chapin is heating
up—when her old Boston coworker Lauren Converse comes
barreling into town, running the Congressional campaign for
a former hometown football hero. But Meg doesn’t have
time to worry about why Seth seems reluctant to back
Lauren’s campaign when her neighbor, local dairy
farmer Joyce Truesdell, is found dead from an apparent kick
to the head from one of her cows.
When an autopsy shows that the fatal blow actually came
from a weapon, Meg is even more troubled. Popular opinion
points to Joyce’s husband as the culprit, but Meg
can’t help wondering if someone wanted the outspoken
dairy farmer out of the way...but why? She’ll have to
find out who had a beef with the victim, before she’s
the next one to get creamed...
Plus, make your own yummy treats with apple recipes
included in the book!
We know you’ll be spellbound to Rochelle
Staab’s BRUJA BROUUHAHA, A Mind For
Practical psychologist Liz Cooper and occult professor
Nick Garfield may make something of an odd couple, but
things get even more odd when they attempt to solve a
mystery while sidetracking a hex from a Santeria witch...
Liz and Nick are enjoying the sixtieth wedding anniversary
celebration for their charming hosts Paco and Lucia Rojas,
devout Santeria practitioners who own the historic Botanica
Rojas near MacArthur Park. But the small group of friends is
left horrified and confused when the evening ends in tragedy.
Devastated by loss, Lucia, a Santeria priestess, blames
the locals for the escalating crime in her beloved
community. She casts a vengeful hex on the neighborhood,
leading strangers and friends alike to dub her
bruja—Spanish for witch—and turn on the elderly
woman. Lucia may be in harm’s way, and it’s up
to Liz and Nick to unravel a mysterious disappearance and
solve a murder before more lives are lost...
This August from Obsidian we have some fabulous mysteries
that are perfect to take with you on your summer vacations!
First up, in hardcover, after a brief hiatus, we have a
new Nancy Martin title! She’s back with the
eighth installment in her Blackbird Sisters Mystery
series, NO WAY TO KILL A LADY.
The financially distressed Blackbird sisters inherit a
fabulous Bucks County estate when their aunt, the
irrepressible Madeleine Blackbird, dies in a volcano
eruption on a Far East island. But the house is in a state
of advanced decay and all of Madeleine’s priceless
treasures have disappeared. Worse, the mansion has been
hiding a grisly secret: the body of a woman who died there
many years ago. Even so, a number of Blackbird relatives
claim they’re owed a share of the property, and Nora
along with her pregnant sister Emma and ever-flighty Libby
decide to fight for their inheritance. Then the most
shocking discovery is revealed—Madeleine didn’t
die recently in a volcano, but twenty years ago. It is her
remains that the sisters have discovered. Who killed her?
And who has been sending postcards from Indonesia,
pretending to be her? Could it be her shady stepson, the
yachtsman? Her unscrupulous lawyer? The devoted
housekeeper? Nora’s special bond with Madeleine,
established when she was a young girl, compells her to seek
out the truth. But her efforts are thwarted by her
sisters’ shananigans and by her lover, Michael
Abruzzo, who is filling her life with complications both
dark and delightful.
Next, in mass market paperback, we have New York
Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle’s
PERIL IN PAPERBACK, the sixth book in the
Bibliophile Mystery series.
Brooklyn Wainwright, who has restored many books for her
neighbor Suzie’s wealthy, eccentric, book-loving Aunt
Grace, is thrilled to be invited to Grace’s 50th
birthday celebration at her mansion overlooking Lake Tahoe.
Brooklyn is counting on the festivities to distract her
from missing her hunky beau, Derek Stone, who’s on
assignment in Europe. And as distractions go, Grace’s
mansion is perfect. A retired founder of a major gaming
corporation, Grace has filled every room with zany pinball
machines, secret shoots and passages, stage sets and even a
huge mousetrap. And there are books galore, stuffed into
every nook and cranny. Brooklyn makes it her personal
mission to catalog them and set up a book repair station,
taking special notice of Grace’s extensive collection
of rare paperback noir fiction from the 1930s and 40’s.
When all the guests have assembled, Grace makes an
announcement that she’ll provide amusements every
evening, including fortune tellers, Tarot card readings, and
a séance as an homage to English house mysteries of
yesteryear. But on the night of the séance, lights flicker
on and off and confusion ensues as Grace’s former
co-worker, Bella, is found slumped in her
chair—poisoned after drinking a cocktail intended for
Grace. Renowned for her sleuthing expertise, Brooklyn is
charged with finding the devious culprit who wants Grace
dead. She interviews the guests and searches the
mansion’s spooky rooms—but the greatest clue may
be the novel Grace has written about her life, which
describes a secret love affair and a thief who stole a
multi-million dollar game idea. Whether Grace’s book
is fact or fiction, Brooklyn must piece together the mystery
of Grace’s shady past before she can save her from the
peril of a conniving killer!
Also, in mass market paperback, we have National
Bestselling Heather Blake’s A WITCH BEFORE
DYING, the second book in the Wishcraft Mystery
When Darcy is hired by Elodie Keaton to clean up her
missing mother’s disorderly home, the Wishcrafter is
certainly up for the task. After all, the motto of her aunt
Ve’s personal concierge service, As You Wish, is
“No job impossible.” But beneath the piles of
old newspapers and knickknacks, Darcy discovers something
much more disturbing—Patrice Keaton’s body.
Darcy’s determined to give Elodie peace of mind by
investigating her mother’s disappearance and death.
Patrice was last seen over a year ago after a fight with her
Charmcrafter boyfriend. Was her murder a crime of passion?
Or were Patrice’s troubles caused by the Anicula, a
wish-granting amulet? Now Darcy not only has to find a
killer, she has to find the Anicula—before the power
of ultimate wish fulfillment falls into the wrong hands....
Read more from Heather Blake in this month’s
Dear Reader letter!
Finally, in mass market paperback, we have the exciting
debut of Michelle Rowen’s Immortality Bites
Mystery series, BLOOD BATH & BEYOND.
Sarah Dearly is adjusting to life as a fledgling vampire,
satisfying her cravings at vampire-friendly blood banks. But
when her fiance Thierry takes a job with the Ring—the
secret council in charge of keeping vampires in
line—Sarah’s about to get more than a taste of
Being engaged to a centuries-old master vampire can be
challenging—especially when he takes a job with the
Ring. Thierry’s in for fifty years of nonstop travel
and deadly risk. It’s enough to make any woman
reconsider the wedding...any woman except Sarah, that is.
Traveling with him to Las Vegas for his first assignment,
they encounter a child beauty pageant contestant from hell,
as well as a vampire serial killer leaving victims drained
of blood, potentially exposing the existence of vampires to
the whole world. But when Thierry’s truly ancient
history comes back to haunt him, and he’s accused of a
crime he didn’t commit, it’s up to Sarah to
clear his name before their immortal lives come to an end.
Now enjoy these final lazy, hazy summer days and Happy