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Series-ously Good Mysteries – August 2015

The first of August will find me firmly ensconced at the family cottage near Annapolis Royal. Of course, I will have a pile of the newest titles in my favorite mystery series close at hand.

How about you?

Donna Andrews is publishing Lord of the Wings this month. It is number nineteen in the Meg Langslow mystery series and follows The Good, the Bad, and the Emus. The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that we have come to love. It’s another holiday and Mayor Randall Shiffley has turned Caerphilly, Virginia into Spooky City, USA. The residents are covering every window with cobwebs and roaming the streets in costume to entertain the tourists, and Meg’s grandfather is opening a new “Creatures of the Night” exhibit in the zoo. When a real body at the zoo and a suspicious fire at the Haunted House threaten to mar the town’s creepy fun, it’s up to Meg Langslow to save Halloween.

Threads of Evidence by Lea Wait is the second title in the Mainely Needlepoint mystery series. It follows Twisted Threads. Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepointers are all too familiar with the Gardener estate in Haven Harbor, Maine. The crumbling Victorian mansion, known as “Aurora,” has been sitting vacant for nearly twenty-five years–and some say it’s haunted by the ghost of Jasmine Gardener, the teenage girl who died there in 1970 under mysterious circumstances. Harbor Haven is abuzz with excitement when Hollywood actress Skye West decides to buy Aurora and sell off its furnishings. And Angie is intrigued when Skye asks her to appraise the estate’s sizable collection of needlepoint pictures. But the more she examines the pieces, the more they seem to point toward Jasmine’s murder–and the murderer–and it’s up to her to stitch the clues together.

Number nine in the Royal Spyness mystery series by Rhys Bowen is
Malice at the Palace. It follows Queen of Hearts. Lady Georgiana Rannoch won’t deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn’t one of them. While her beau Darcy is off on a mysterious mission, Georgie is once again caught between her high birth and empty purse. She is, therefore, relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen—especially one that includes lodging. The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and Georgie shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace. Her duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London and, above all, dispel any rumors about George’s libertine history. Perhaps that last bit isn’t so simple. George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men—including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when she searches the Palace for a supposed ghost only to encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George’s mistresses. Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds—and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places—the investigation brings Georgie and Darcy precariously close to the prince himself.

Loom and Doom by Carol Ann Martin the fourth title in the Weaving mystery series following Weave of Absence. Della Wright , a weaving studio owner in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and her friend Jenny are remodeling Dream Weaver. They are turning their shared business space into two separate shops. But after the work is completed, building inspector Howard Swanson refuses to grant Jenny the permit to reopen her coffee shop. Determined to get to the bottom of the hold-up, Della heads to Howard’s office to defend Jenny’s livelihood, only to find the inspector dead—and the police spinning a yarn about Della being responsible. Although Della’s boyfriend, Matthew, an ex-FBI criminologist, claims there’s no need to worry, Della is convinced that the cops have it in for her. Now she must nab the real killer before she’s shuttled off to jail.

Fudging the Books by Daryl Wood Gerber is the fourth title in the Cookbook Nook series, following Stirring the Plot. Pirate Week is sweeping through Crystal Cove, California and keeping Jenna Hart and her bookstore, the Cookbook Nook, plenty busy. But she’s not too swamped to also host the local Chocolate Cookbook Club’s meeting—especially because the guest of honor is her friend, candy maker and cookbook author Coco Chastain. Jenna whips up a delicious event amidst the rowdy festivities, but the mood is soon broken by robberies, simmering tempers, and a dead body—Coco’s editor, Alison. The suspects turn out to be more plentiful than a pot full of gold doubloons, so to prove Coco isn’t responsible for the dastardly deed, Jenna will have to stir up some clues and figure out who’s the real sticky-fingered killer.

The second title in the Book Retreat mystery series by Ellery Adams is Murder in the Paperback Parlor. It follows Murder in the Mystery Suite With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Jane Steward is organizing a week of activities for fans of love stories at her book-themed resort. But her Regency readers barely have time to brush up on their Jane Austen before tragedy strikes Storyton Hall. Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed. Rosamund had as many enemies as she did admirers, including envious fellow novelists, a jealous former lover, and dozens of angry fans. It’s up to Jane, with the help of her book club, the Cover Girls, to catalogue the list of suspects and find a heartless killer quickly.

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