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Amateur sleuths come from a variety of backgrounds—librarians, college professors, vampires—but as a Human Resources executive, Chuck Restic, Adam Walker Phillips’s protagonist in his two published crime fiction novels, The Silent Second and The Perpetual Summer, is unique. And wryly brilliant, too

 

 

 

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In False Witness, Andrew Grant’s third installment of his Cooper Devereaux series, the bodies of young women wrapped up like birthday presents are being delivered across the city of Birmingham, Alabama, and Devereaux is in a race against the clock to prevent more murders

 

 

Photo of Andrew Grant ©Carrie Schechter

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Before you settle in to watch the annual Rose Parade on January 1, 2018, start reading Colorado Boulevard, Phoef Sutton’s new Crush mystery. I guarantee you’ll come away with an entirely new appreciation for Pasadena—the parade’s host city—as well as the city’s varied denizens

 

And on January 14, 2018,  be sure to catch Phoef’s adaptation of Past Malice, an Emma Fielding mystery, on the Hallmark Movies and Mystery Channel.

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In H.B. Lyle’s novel The Irregular, fictional Wiggins—Irregular-in-Chief to Sherlock Holmes in the late 1880s—is recruited in 1909 as a spy by Vernon Kell, the real life founder of England’s domestic secret service, MI-5, to get to the root of German skullduggery and other evil goings on in and around London

 

 

 

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In Clea Simon‘s new novel World Enough, it’s 2007 and former music journalist Tara Winton revisits her mid-1980s beat—Boston’s punk rock club scene—in the wake of the apparently accidental death of one of the scene’s prominent musicians. The clash of recollections of her fellow clubsters, though, reveals secrets that many would rather stay buried rather than appear in the article Tara would like to be an elegy to the music and its community

 

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Righteous, Joe Ide’s second crime fiction novel, continues the story of Isiah Quintabe that Joe began in IQ, which just won the Macavity Award for best debut novel at this year’s Bouchercon. This time Isiah is pursuing two investigations: one into the death of his beloved older brother Marcus and the second into saving his brother’s former fiancee’s half-sister—who happens to be an inveterate gambler—from the gangs who are bent on collecting from her

 

 

Photo of Joe Ide ©Craig Takahashi

 

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A private island in Long Island Sound, attached to the Connecticut mainland by a bridge, is the setting for Diane B. Saxton’s Peregrine Island, a novel of psychological suspense about the three generations of women who live there—Winter Peregrine, the owner; Elsie, Winter’s prodigal daughter; and Peda, Elsie’s child—and the painting that holds secrets that can change everything

 

 

 

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In Magicians Impossible, Brad Abraham’s debut crime fiction novel, even a spy with magical powers feels compelled to protect his son from a life he thinks is too perilous. Jason Bishop, the son, is drawn into the magical world regardless

 

 

 

Photo of Brad Abraham © Kirsty Reeves

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As much as Nora Watts, the protagonist in The Lost Ones, Sheena Kamal’s debut crime fiction novel, might want the past to stay in the past, it doesn’t. And PI Nora Watts’ search for the daughter she put up for adoption will take her into some very dark corners of her memory as her hunt takes her from rainy Vancouver and the snowy mountains to the coastal islands of British Columbia

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