Back to school, already! Where did the summer go? Just make sure you allot some time for all these great new series reads.
M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin is back this month in her twenty-sixth adventure, Dishing the Dirt. This title follows Blood of an Englishman. When therapist Jill Davent moved to the village of Carsely, Agatha Raisin was not a fan. Not only was this therapist romancing Agatha’s ex-husband but she dug up details of Agatha’s not-too-glamorous origins. Jill also counsels a woman, Gwen Simple, that Agatha firmly believes assisted her son in some grisly murders, although there is no proof. Not one to keep her feelings to herself, Agatha tells anyone that would listen that Jill is a charlatan and better off dead. Agatha could only sigh with relief when the therapist took an office in Mircester. When Agatha learns that Jill had hired a private detective to investigate her background, she barges into Jill’s office and gives her a piece of her mind, yelling “I could kill you!” So when Jill is found strangled to death in her office two days later, Agatha becomes the prime suspect. But Agatha, along with her team of private detectives, is determined to prove her innocence and find the real culprit. This time Agatha must use her skills to save her own skin.
A Curious Beginning is the start of an intriguing new mystery series by Deanna Raybourn. London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime. But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
Revenge in the Cotswolds is Rebecca Tope’s thirteenth title in the Cotswolds mystery series, following Trouble in the Cotswolds. Thea Osborne, Cotswold house-sitter with an infamous reputation for getting mixed up in crime, is determined to avoid trouble this time. Her latest commission in the village of Daglingworth seems straightforward, with most of her time spent looking after an old corgi and a hibernating tortoise. Thea is ready for a relaxing if rather boring two weeks, with phone calls to new boyfriend Drew Slocombe the highlight of her days. Until, that is, a dead body is discovered in a nearby quarry.
Erika Chase is publishing Law and Author, the fourth title in the Ashton Corner Book Club mystery series this month. It follows Book Fair and Foul. Bob Miller, retired police chief and member of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society, is stunned by the arrival of his twenty-one-year-old granddaughter, Darla, whom he has never seen. Bob has been estranged from his own daughter for decades and hopes to make up for his absence in Darla’s life. But some of the ladies of the book club find their Southern hospitality strained as they question the motives behind this sudden reunion. After a dead man is found in Molly Mathews’s backyard, their concerns grow more serious. Lizzie Turner saw Darla arguing with the stranger the day before, but when the police question her, Darla proves to be an unreliable narrator. It’s up to the book club to uncover the real story.
Dead with the Wind by Miranda James follows Bless her Dead Little Heart as the second title in the Southern Ladies mystery series. Lucy Richardson has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse in the Outer Banks. She loves walking on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one, but TWO eligible men. But then her socialite mother, Suzanne, unexpectedly drops in, determined to move Lucy back to Boston—and reunite her with her ex-fiancé. To make matters worse, Suzanne picks a very public fight at the local hotel with her former classmate Karen Kivas. So, when Karen turns up dead outside the library the next morning, Suzanne is immediately at the top of the suspect list. Now Lucy must hunt down a dangerous killer—before the authorities throw the book at her poor mother.
A Ghostly Murder by Tonya Kappes is the fourth title in the Ghostly Southern mystery series, following A Ghostly Demise. The prodigal father returns-but this ghost is no holy spirit. When she runs into her friend’s deadbeat dad at the local deli, undertaker Emma Lee Raines can’t wait to tell Mary Anna Hardy that he’s back in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, after five long years. Cephus Hardy may have been the town drunk, but he didn’t disappear on an epic bender like everyone thought: He was murdered. And he’s heard that Emma Lee’s been helping lost souls move on to that great big party in the sky. Why do ghosts always bother Emma Lee at the worst times? Her granny’s mayoral campaign is in high gear, a carnival is taking over the town square, and her hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, is stuck wrestling runaway goats. Besides, Cephus has no clue whodunit…unless it was one of Mrs. Hardy’s not-so-secret admirers. All roads lead Emma Lee to that carnival-and a killer who isn’t clowning around.
Eva Gates is publishing the second title in the Lighthouse Library mystery series this month, Booked for Trouble. It follows By Book or By Crook. Lucy Richardson has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse in the Outer Banks. She loves walking on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one, but TWO eligible men. But then her socialite mother, Suzanne, unexpectedly drops in, determined to move Lucy back to Boston—and reunite her with her ex-fiancé. To make matters worse, Suzanne picks a very public fight at the local hotel with her former classmate Karen Kivas. So, when Karen turns up dead outside the library the next morning, Suzanne is immediately at the top of the suspect list. Now Lucy must hunt down a dangerous killer—before the authorities throw the book at her poor mother.