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Upending Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Little Girl,” Samantha Brinkman, the protagonist in Marcia Clark’s series that concludes—for now, at least—with Final Judgement, “When she was good/She was very good indeed/But when she was bad, she was even better.” As a defense attorney, Sam is relentless; but when she’s defending her boyfriend, you can add ruthless, fierce and ferocious. Sam will stop at nothing—just don’t lie to her

 

 

 

Photo of Marcia Clark ©Coral von Zumwalt

 

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Occupied Paris, 1940 and Kate Rees—an Oregonian sharpshooter by way of England—has been given a rifle and an assassination assignment in Three Hours in Paris, Cara Black’s first stand-alone thriller. The stakes—and the odds against her—couldn’t be higher, but Kate, raised on an Oregon ranch during the depths of the Depression, is descended from pioneers who only know how to get up after being knocked down

 

 

 

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It is in the best interest of Rachel Marin, the protagonist in Hide Away, Jason Pinter’s new crime fiction novel, to keep a low profile. But when a woman falls to her death in what initially looks like a suicide, the potential that the authorities might shortchange justice for expediency is more than Rachel can tolerate, even though speaking up might bring unwanted attention to her and her children

 

 

Photo of Jason Pinter ©Jason Rhee

 

 

 

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NYPD Homicide Detectives Sheryn Sterling and Rafael Mendoza return in Don’t Look Down, Hilary Davidson’s second installment in her Shadows of New York Series. The case the partners are called to seems like a slam-dunk: Cosmetics entrepreneur Jo Greaver is seen fleeing from an apartment where a man has been shot to death. And yet…well, Sheryn doesn’t believe it’s that straightforward. Told from four points of view, the story is a bit like a kaleidoscopic image that clicks satisfactorily together at the end

 

 

 

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Like England in 1943, Maggie Hope—the protagonist of Susan Elia MacNeal’s The King’s Justice, the ninth in her series—while keeping that famous stiff upper lift, isn’t doing quite so well on the inside. Having left the world of espionage, Maggie is simultaneously doing her best to get the serial killer she helped convict give up the location of the bodies of his other victims, diffuse unexploded bombs dropped by the Germans, locate missing conscientious objectors, some of whom were helping her with the bombs, and find a missing Stradivarius violin. That is, if she doesn’t kill herself first by driving through the streets of London at great speed and abandon on her motorcycle

 

 

 

Photo of Susan Elia MacNeal ©Noel MacNeal

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When veterinarian Cassie Larkin happens on a man brutally attacking a young women in No Bad Deed, Heather Chavez’s debut mystery, Cassie wonders how she would have acted if her children had been in the car. We’ll never know, because they weren’t and Cassie’s actions set her—and her family—on a collision course with a relentless foe whose purpose is nothing less than the complete and utter destruction of Cassie and everything she loves

 

 

 

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Matthew Rose—the protagonist in The Blaze, Chad Dundas’s new mystery—sustained a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan, so when he returns to his hometown to settle his father’s affairs, it’s as if he’s someplace he’s never been that is also strangely familiar. He meets up with Georgie Porter, an old friend who was actually more than a friend. He just doesn’t remember. Until Matthew happens on a fire his first night back and the pieces start coming together

 

 

 

Photo of Chad Dundas ©Amy Donovan

 

 

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The year is 1926 and Sheriff Lily Ross, the protagonist of Jess Montgomery’s historical procedural series, is exhausted. Lily—who assumed the office of Sheriff when her husband died in the line of duty—may be mourning her husband, trying to mother her children, and officially running for the office of Sheriff, but there is work to be done. An elderly woman has died under suspicious circumstances and the more Lily learns about the woman, the more twisted the road to the mystery’s solution becomes

 

 

 

Photo of Jess Montgomery ©JP Ball Photography

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In Lost Hills, the debut novel in a new series by Lee Goldberg, Eve Ronin, the youngest woman ever promoted to homicide detective in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s history, didn’t get there by dint of her hard work: It was a video of her physically schooling an action-hero actor who assaulted his girlfriend that went viral. That doesn’t mean Eve isn’t talented, she is. But her first case—investigating the gruesome murder of a family—would test even the most experienced homicide detective. And time is not on her side, Southern California wildfires are bearing down threatening to erase the crime scene and any clues it may hold

 

 

Photo of Lee Goldberg ©Ron Scarpa

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In Under Occupation, Alan Furst’s new historical espionage novel, Paul Ricard lives in a garret apartment, writes espionage thrillers and does his best to survive the German Occupation of Paris. And then a man is shot—probably by the Gestapo—and dies at his feet, but not before stuffing a piece of paper with a schematic drawn on it into Paul’s pocket

 

 

 

Photo of Alan Furst ©Rainer Hosch

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