Tyler, LC. The Herring in the Library (Macmillan $39 Signed)
When literary agent Elsie Thirkettle is invited to accompany tall but obscure crime-writer Ethelred Tressider to dinner at Muntham Court, she is looking forward to sneering at his posh friends. What she is not expecting is that, half way through the evening, her host will be found strangled in his locked study. Since there is no way that a murderer could have escaped, the police conclude that Sir Robert Muntham has killed himself. A distraught Lady Muntham, however, asks Ethelred to conduct his own investigation. Ethelred (ably hindered by Elsie) sets out to resolve a classic ‘locked room’ mystery; but is any one of the assorted guests and witnesses actually telling the truth? And can Ethelred’s account be trusted?
In the process, we meet one of Ethelred’s own creations, the fourteenth-century detective Master Thomas, who is helped in his investigations of a mediaeval crime at Muntham Court by a small and rather pushy Abbess with a taste for honey cakes ...Is it possible that Master Thomas can shed some light on the twenty-first century case, and on Ethelred’s own motives for investigating Sir Robert’s death?” The Herring in the Library” is another ingenious outing for crime fiction’s most mismatched double-act. ‘Tyler juggles characters, story, wit and clever one-liners with perfect balance.” –The Times. The Herring Seller’s Apprentice ($15), up for a 2010 Edgar and a 2008 FMC Pick. Ten Little Herrings ($15 Aug.).
Forbes, Elena. Evil in Return (Quercus $43 Signed).
Bestselling novelist Joe Logan walks out into a hot summer’s evening in central London. The next day his body is found dumped in adisused Victorian crypt at the Brompton Cemetery. It was no ordinary murder: he’d been tied up, shot and castrated. Detective Inspector Mark Tartaglia is convinced that Logan’s personal life holds the key to his violent death, but unraveling his past proves difficult. Following the overnight success of his debut novel, Logan had become a recluse. Was Logan just publicity shy or did he have something to hide? Then the body of a second man is found in an old boathouse on the Thames - killed in an identical fashion. Can Tartaglia find the link between the two dead men before the killer strikes again? As he soon discovers, nothing in life or death is straightforward... Die with Me ($14).