HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 to all of Auntie M’s readers.
She is working hard on her next Nora Tierney Mystery, which is a departure from her usual, and takes Nora to Bath. This time Nora isn’t able to investigate as she likes to, but must sit on the sidelines in fear while a maniac affects her life in ways she could never imagine.

Thanks to all who read the blog, and even if you don’t leave comments, she’s hoping you will find some treasures to read in the New Year. In fact, here’s some to start off your January just right!

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Ausma Zehant Khan’s second Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery, The Language of Secrets, was one of Auntie M’s favorites last year. Following on the heels of her superb debut, The Unquiet Dead, it follows the duo on their minority-sensitive case that runs the risk of estranging him from his family. The book is due out in paperback on January 10th, so if you haven’t read it, now’s the time to find your copy. Khan’s next installment, Among the Ruins, will be out in February, and all Auntie M can hint at this time, is that the action is not centered in Canada, and will show off Khan’s continued strength in weaving a multi- cultural and dimensional book.

When you receive books from publicists to review, those you need to buy goes way down. Yet there are some authors Auntie M will seek out, as they are continued favorites, or that another authors have recommended. For the rest of your New Year’s treat, Auntie M is going to throw thumbnails at you of some of the ones she bought herself and thoroughly enjoyed.

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Laura Lippman involves PI Tess Monaghan in a case that’s close to the young mother’s heart in Hush, Hush
, when Tess is asked to provide security for a mother who committed an unthinkable act years ago. Melisandre Harris Dawes left her infant daughter locked in a car to die while she sat on the banks of a river. Found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, she left the country for treatment to start over, leaving behind her husband and two surviving children. When she returns to Baltimore to film her reunion with her daughters for a documentary, Tess is a reluctant part of her security detail. And then Melisandre becomes a suspect in a murder just as Tess realizes she has a stalker. Wonderful to have Tess back again and in such a complicated case.

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A close friend gave Auntie M a signed copy of Lippman’s Wilde Lake as a gift, and this is very good friend, indeed, to know how much Lippman’s writing is admired. This stand-alone is thoroughly absorbing, as Lu Brnat, Howard County, MD’s newest state’s attorney, tries the case of a homeless man accused of beating a woman to death in her home. The national attention-getting case brings up memories of the night her Lu’s brother, AJ, killed a man in self-defense to save his best friend’s life. But is that really how things happened? With Lippman’s signature ability to bring the reader inside her character’s head, Lu will wonder if she’d been better off not to start asking questions in the first place.

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Val McDermid’s Out of Bounds
brings DCI Karen Pirie her most challenging case yet when a crashed car and the resulting DNA test starts the thread of closing a twenty-year old murder. It’s a legal and familial nightmare for Pirie, and despite this cold case on her plate, a second case has Pirie investigating out of her purview. Through it all, she’s desperately trying to work through the death of her partner, fellow detective Phil Parhatka. The workaholic trumps up even her own rapid pace, as grief-induced insomnia steals her rest.

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Alan Bradley’s eighth Flavia de Luce novel brings the young chemist protagonist back from school in Canada, home to her beloved Buckshaw in Bishop’s Lacey. But the warm welcome she’d hoped for is dashed with the news her father lies in hospital, the victim of a severe case of pneumonia. With her relationship with her older sisters even more strained than usual, what’s a girl to do but hop on her bike, Gladys, and immediately find herself smack dab in the middle of a murder when she discovers the body. Bradley doesn’t let Flavia or her readers become complacent as she unravels the case and faces her biggest challenge yet.

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DI Helen Grace faces her a tough case that hits close and personal in M J Arlidge’s Little Boy Blue. The strong female detective keeps her private life separate from her work, littered as it is with secrets, until she must investigate the shocking murder of a close friend found cocooned in plastic. What looks like a tragic accident–a sex game gone wrong–soon threatens to expose Helen’s private life. She will have to make tough personal choices as she hunts for a twisted and elusive killer who is swiftly racking up more murders. As Helen closes in on her prey, a shocking truth is revealed–the murders are part of a calculated and deliberate attempt to bring Helen down. A fine addition to the series.

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Isabelle Grey’s DI Grace Fisher brings readers another strong female protagonist. This second installment, Shot Through the Heart, after Good Girls Don’t Die, starts off with the horrendous shooting on Christmas Day of five Essex residents. Worse still is that although the gunman then killed himself, one of his victims was a police officer. It’s a landmine of complications Grace must tiptoe through as she faces her growing suspicion of corruption within the department. She finds walls put up in her investigation and will also find herself turning to crime journalist Ivo Sweatman when a young witness disappears.

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Ian Rankin’s Rather Be the Devil
has the whole gang on board: Siobhan Clarke, Malcom Fox, and John Rebus, who just can’t stay away from detecting and finally has something of a personal life. The trio become involved when an up-and-coming crime boss, Darryl Christie, is attacked. It’s tied into a money laundering scheme under investigation, so the team must tread lightly. And is it possible that Rebus’ old nemesis, Big Ger Cafferty, is really retired? This is vintage Rankin, as Rebus tries to tie up an old unsolved murder case that still haunts him.

Auntie M sends you good wishes for a happy, healthy 2017, filled with great reading!

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