Mystery Booklists

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Booklist's Best Crime Novel Debuts

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Bad Things Happen
by Harry Dolan Details
In the aftermath of a magazine publisher's untimely murder, detective Elizabeth Waishkey wonders if David Loogan, a man with a violent past who was having an affair with the victim's wife, is responsible for the crime or a helpful ally. A twisty whodunit with a thrillers pace.
Bait
by Nick Brownlee Details
Former Scotland Yard copper Jake Moore, co-owner of a marginal sport fishing outfit in Mombasa, owes an Arab oil dealer $17,000 for diesel fuel because the country's civil unrest has scared off tourists who came to Kenya in search of big fish. Jake; his fellow Brit partner, Harry Philliskirk; and Det. Insp. Daniel Jouma, possibly the only Kenyan cop not on the take, tangle with a variety of nasties, whose crisis-management skills are limited to personal disposal of their opponents.
Gutshot Straight
by Lou Berney Details
When ex-con Charles "Shake" Bouchon frees Gina Clement, a housewife he is supposed to deliver to a sleazy strip-club owner, he and Gina soon have the Armenian mob on their tail and they must flee to Panama while toting rare and valuable religious artifacts. Shake is a quick-thinking fellow with dreams of owning a restaurant, but if fate is kind, he'll return for the same kinds of adventures as those Berney recounts in this engaging debut.
Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
by Katherine Howe Details
Forced to set aside her Ph.D. research in order to help the settling of her late grandmother's abandoned home, Connie Goodwin discovers a hidden key among her grandmother's possessions that is linked to a darker chapter in Salem witch trial history.
Poacher's Son
by Paul Doiron Details
Desperate and alone, game warden Mike Bowditch strikes up an uneasy alliance with a retired warden pilot, and together the two men journey deep into the Maine wilderness in search of a runaway fugitive -- Mike's father. But the only way for Mike to save his father is to find the real killer -- which could mean putting everyone he loves in the line of fire.
Red to Black
by Alex Dryden Details
In a resurgent Russia fueled by oil money and run by a corrupt oligarchy, a beautiful KGB colonel, Anna, and her British counterpart in the MI6, Finn, are caught in a secret mission to uncover the threat a possible new Russian empire poses to the world. An exceptional novel by any standard; readers who enjoy a love story mixed with their espionage (à la le Carré's "The Little Drummer Girl" ) will appreciate.
Snow Angels
by James Thompson Details
Lapland: the name conjures up cheery stereotypes of reindeer and Santa Claus, but in reality December in northern Finland means kaamos, a time of extreme cold and unrelenting darkness that takes its toll on the residents of Levi. Called to investigate the mutilation murder of a beautiful Somali actress, Vaara finds his probe turning personal when clues point to the rich man for whom his ex-wife left him years ago as the prime suspect.
Series -
Inspector Vaara
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
by Alan Bradley Details
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself. Winner of the Debut Dagger Award, this is a fresh, engaging first novel with appeal for cozy lovers and well beyond.
Series -
Flavia De Luce
The Case of the Missing Servant
by Tarquin Hall Details
Introduces mustachioed Vish Puri, a respectable family man who styles himself as India's forefront private investigator and who runs background checks for prospective brides and grooms until more sensational cases take him into India's increasingly divergent communities. An excellent, delightfully humorous mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters.
Updated 11/17/2011
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