Heartstone by Cj Sansom ($43.00)
Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis. Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of 'monstrous wrongs' committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King's great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour: the Mary Rose...
A Capital Crime by Laura Wilson ($45.00)
It is winter, 1949. London is cold and grey, and pock-marked everywhere with the scars of war. When John Davies confesses to killing his wife and baby daughter in their Notting Hill digs, it promises to be a depressingly straightforward case for DI Ted Stratton of West End Central. But then Davies recants and blames a fellow tenant, Norman Backhouse, for the crimes. Though some of the evidence appears to be ambiguous, Stratton sees no reason to believe him.
The case against Davies proceeds: he is convicted, still protesting his innocence to the end. A few months later discoveries are made at Davies's old home. Backhouse has vanished, but his flat and garden are full of the corpses of women who have been gassed, raped and strangled. Has Stratton caused an innocent man to hang? Worse still, he's afraid that someone he loves may be the next victim.
Bad Boy by Peter Robinson ($34.00)
Banks is on holiday, headed for Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. His daughter, Tracy, home in Leeds and angry with her father, is headed for some very deep trouble. Robinson's nineteenth Inspector Banks novel is a stunner.
Handguns are illegal in the U.K., and whenever one is reported, the police swing into high gear. But things go very wrong when the police swoop down on a home in Eastvale to seize a reported handgun. In the confusion, Patrick Doyle, a former neighbour of Banks, is shot. Doyle's daughter, Erin, is to blame for the gun being in the house, and while she's in police custody, her housemate in Leeds, Tracy Banks, decides to let Erin's boyfriend know that the police have been around their place. Bad decision. When Banks returns home from holiday, Tracy is missing. And that's not the worst of it.
Robinson's latest Inspector Banks novel is a powerful story of how the volatile emotions of love and resentment can turn deadly when fear comes creeping in.
The Long Glasgow Kiss by Craig Russell ($45.00)
Glasgow in the 1950s - not somewhere you'd choose to be unless you were born to it. Yet Lennox, a private investigator, finds it oddly congenial. Lennox is a man balanced between the law and those who break it - a dangerous place where only the toughest and most ruthless survive. Glasgow bookie and greyhound breeder, Jimmy 'Small Change' MacFarlane, runs one of the biggest operations at Glasgow's dog-racing track. When MacFarlane is bludgeoned to death with a bronze statue of Danny Boy, his best racer, Lennox has a solid gold alibi - he had spent the night with MacFarlane's daughter. Lennox is quickly drawn into hunting MacFarlane's killer, where he soon discovers that 'Small Change' was into a lot more than dog racing. Worse, crime boss Willie Sneddon, one of Glasgow's notorious Three Kings, is clearly involved and he's not a man Lennox wants to cross. But somewhere out there in the shadows lurks a really big player, an elusive villain who makes the Three Kings look like minnows. Lennox is the only man who can track him down.