Juliet Blackwell: The Paris Showroom

This is not a mystery, but an historical novel by the talented Juliet Blackwell, who has two cozy series to her credit as well as several novels.  This novel is set in a now very familiar time period: WWII.  Blackwell’s story takes place in occupied France, and she has a slightly different and original twist to her story.  The main characters are Capucine, a fan maker, and her estranged daughter, Mathilde.  The two live lives that haven’t intersected much, but this is not only the story of Mathilde’s growth from a callow, privileged young woman into something much more, but the story of Capucine, a true flapper in every way, who is now being held prisoner by the Nazis on the top floor of a Paris department store. read more

Deanna Raybourn: An Impossible Imposter

I’m a huge fan of Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series, but in every series, there are always one or two books that have a bit more sparkle than the rest.  For me, it’s this book, which combines all of Raybourn’s many gifts into one completely delicious package.  In book seven of this series, lepidopterist Veronica has settled in with her beloved Stoker, in an extremely unconventional arrangement for the time (Victorian Britain): they live in sin, and Veronica is very much a working woman. read more

David Bell: Kill All Your Darlings

Nobody does a great set-up for a thriller like David Bell, which is not to say he’s shabby at the execution either. His latest, Kill All Your Darlings, is no exception, starting with an irresistible premise — English professor Connor Nye is on the wrong side of publish or perish when a great novel lands in his lap. It was written by one of his students who turned it in as her thesis and then promptly disappeared. He polishes it up and publishes it under his own name. Unfortunately, it contains details about an unsolved murder that only the murderer would know. And then the student shows up in disguise at one of his readings. read more

Cover Reveal: Jennifer Hawkins, Murder Always Barks Twice

I’m delighted to reveal the cover of Jennifer Hawkins’ Murder Always Barks Twice, the second installment in her chatty corgi series, coming out August 3rd.  Jennifer lives and writes in Michigan, and as Delia James, writes the Magical Cat mysteries.  Find her on twitter @JenHawkinsAuth1.   She has a newsletter for events, updates, releases and all kind of book recommendations from very cool people here.

Jennifer says:  Thanks to Aunt Agatha’s for helping me share my new cover!  I love this one so much – it’s got everything.  The house in the background is exactly how I pictured Truscott Grange where the mystery takes place, and we’ve got an adorable rendition of Oliver the Chatty Corgi himself.  Plus, all the cake! read more

Rhys Bowen: The Last Mrs. Summers

Every year, for many years now, I’ve set aside a day.  If I’m lucky, and there are no distractions, it’s a whole delicious day devoted to Rhys Bowen.  This year that day came August 4, when I cracked open the new Lady Georgie mystery, The Last Mrs. Summers, Rhys Bowen’s take on the classic Rebecca.

Georgie is a newlywed with her own house to run – Queenie making scones in the kitchen and starting (hardly any) fires – and life with Darcy to enjoy.  Unfortunately, in the first chapter Darcy is off on assignment and when the lonely Georgie goes up to town her friends and even her grandfather are all busy.  Dejected, she heads back home, only to run into her buddy Belinda, who has just inherited a place in Cornwall.  She and Georgie decide to head to Cornwall to check it out together in quick order. read more

Simone St. James: The Sun Down Motel

Simone St. James is one of the best of all modern gothic novelists, and importantly, the ghosts in her books are real, they’re not actually mysterious human strangers hanging around in vacant buildings for nefarious reasons.  She combines her ghost stories with cracking good mysteries, an irresistible combination, and unlike practically any other mystery novelist, the characters are pretty much exclusively female.  There are a few male characters for sure, but they are more on the window dressing side of things.  It’s the ladies that carry the narrative. read more

Rhys Bowen: Love and Death Among the Cheetahs

Every time I finish a Lady Georgie book by Rhys Bowen I think to myself, well, there’s no way she can write another book that’s so insanely enjoyable. But every time…she does write one that’s just as positively crazily enjoyable as the one before. She has the gift of narrative in spades, but she also has a light hand with it. Each time, she puts her characters in a fresh situation, and this is book 13 in a series. In the last book (Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding) Georgie and Darcy were married at last. So what comes next? A honeymoon, naturally. read more