Brett, Simon. The Shooting in the Shop ($39)
Christmas can be murder ...Carole Seddon hates Christmas - it all seems rather a waste of time. So when her neighbour and best friend, Jude, drags her along to go shopping at a local store called Gallimaufry, she can feel her inner-Scrooge knocking. But the sales are on and even Carole can't resist a bargain. Then, a few days later, Gallimaufry is burnt down and a body is discovered in the ashes. It seems like a tragic accident, but no-one can die of natural causes when a gun is involved. The victim was young, pretty and in a long-term relationship - who could possibly want her dead? With a host of suspicious characters - the infamous womanizer Ricky Le Bonnier with a string of ex-wives; Piers Duncton, a comedy writer who just isn't that funny; or Anna Carter, the lonely dog walker - the lady detectives know they have their work cut out for them. And as they dig deeper they discover a host of half-truths and lies. It seems that someone in Fethering has a deep, dark, deadly secret - and is prepared to kill to keep it.
Child, Laura. The Teaberry Stangler ($27)
The bestselling author of Oolong Dead serves up an Old-World treat, spiced with a Sherlock Holmes-style murder mystery. It was the Dickensian evening Theodosia Browning had been hoping for. Charleston shop-owners dressed in cloaks of yore threw open their back doors to visitors, who took advantage of bargains and Theodosia's delicious teas. But later, the alleys clear except for one body- which a horrified Theodosia discovers. It's Daria, the map store's owner. Locals have shown interest in buying her shop-but enough to kill? Plus there's been a customer hell-bent on acquiring a not-forsale map. Most alarming of all theories, however, is Detective Tidwell's: the killer mistook Daria for Theodosia. And if that theory holds, the killer's work isn't done.