Baker, Deb, Murder Talks Turkey(Midnight Ink, $14) May, pbo. denizons of Michigan's Upper Peninsula expect turkey hunting season in April, not a credit union robbery at gunpoint. The culprit, wearing orange sneakers, is shot dead in plain sight. If he couldn't have taken the money, who did? Hard for Gertie Johnson and her fellow Trouble Busters to investigate while her son the sheriff, on leave to recover from meningitis, and an invalid mother-in-law need day care. After one partner is shot, Gertie and her son are fugitives long enough to prove a prominent citizen is the perp. Turkey lore, local color and recipes are bonuses in this third of the Yooper series. Murder Passes the Buck, Murder Grins and Bears It ($14?).
Brophy, Grace. A Deadly Paradise (Soho, $24) May. The death of a retired, infamous German woman whose scandals have entertained the locals in the Umbrian town Paradiso for decades offers Inspector Alessandro Cenni the chance for a promotion and return to Perugia. To the dismay of his family, Alex took up nuts and bolts police work 20 years earlier to search for his kidnapped lover Chiara. His talented assistants, husband and wife Piero and Elena, conduct interviews and search scenes in spite of the constant friction between carabinieri and state investigators. A lead that ties the victim to the German scheme to counterfeit Britsh pound notes during WWII takes Alex to his twin brother the bishop of Urbino's palace, to the Vatican Library which still wants the Leonardo drawings back from the Germans, and to a funeral in Venice. His supervisor, the questore, demands that he arrest someone, but not one to give the politicians heartburn. Regional flavor and tradtion permeate this five course meal of a mystery. The Last Enemy ($ ).
Kimberly, Alice, The Ghost and the Femme Fatale (Berkley, $7) May, pbo. Independent bookstore owner Penelope Thornton-McClure provides book sales for the film noir festival in her small Rhode Island town. A film historian dies prior to her talk before her room at the lighthouse b & b is tossed, her laptop and notes stolen. Guest of honor Hedda Geist, once a star of noir films, links the plot to New York City in 1948 in the middle of P.I. Jack Shephard's case of the womanizing DA whose wife wants Jack to give her grounds for divorce. Jack's spirit, attached to the bookstore, takes Pen back to the 1940's to find reasons for terrorizing Hedda now. The author's immersion in film lore with lines from noir novels at the head of chapters adds authenticity to the fourth Haunted Bookshop mystery. The Ghost and Mrs. McClure, The Ghost and the Dead Deb, The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library ($7). Author writes coffee and crime series with her husband as Cleo Coyle.
Meade, Amy Patricia. Shadow Waltz (Midnight Ink, $14) March, pbo. Marjorie McClelland, mystery writer by choice, finder of lost persons by circumstance in Hartford, CT, and her fiance Creighton Ashcroft are hired to trace a missing husband whose pocket yields a key that unlocks a cellar containing a corpse. Because Marjorie just broke her engagement to the detective who gets the case, a wager between him and Creighton ensues. Her wedding plans snag on the minister's inention to enact his original crime plot in the ceremony and a menu starring deviled ham, gelatin salad and pimento cheese. But Marjorie will accept the offerings from her neighbors who have little except their pride left in 1935. Crisp, upbeat, saturated with period detail, this scenario has dialog worthy of Myrna Loy and William Powell. Million Dollar Baby, Ghost of a Chance ($14?).
Wright, Nina. Whiskey and Water (Midnight Ink, $15) May, pbo. Realtor in a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan, Whiskey Mattimoe must sort out a tenant offering day care and all-night entertaining, meet the demands of a Texan wealthy from self-help books and seminars, keep at arm's length her roadtrip ex-husband ready to settle down, support her stepdaughter just moved back home with infant twins and modify the behavior of a law-breaking Afghan hound. Add the mayor who died in a previous book who seems to be alive. As potent as distilled spirits. Whiskey on the Rocks, Whiskey Striaght Up, Whiskey and Tonic ($15).