Devlin’s comic caper has a goofy charm and action aplenty.

ROLLING THUNDER

A pro wrestler–turned-sleuth finds a whole new world of crazy when he tries to track down a missing roller derby coach.

After solving the mystery of the missing python in Cobra Clutch (2018), former pro wrestler “Hammerhead” Jed Ounstead is feeling his detective oats and anxious to log enough hours for a private investigator’s license. So it’s the perfect time for him to hear from his old wrestling pal Stormy Daze, reborn as roller derby team captain Amazombie. She and teammate Jabba the Slut are concerned that, as they head into the league playoffs, their coach, Lawrence Kunstlinger, rumored to be burdened by heavy gambling debts, has gone missing. When Jed visits Lawrence’s apartment, his neighbor Troy Whitlock confirms that the man liked to bet on sports but not excessively. There are signs of a break-in, and Lawrence’s valuable Siamese fighting fish, Carlos, is missing. Jed enlists the help of his ex–IRA cousin, Declan St. James, who proves an overeager sidekick. His probe takes him to Hastings Racecourse and the Graf Zeppelin, a kinky club where Declan gets a little too frisky. When Sykes, a shady character who’s training dachshunds to race, slips Jed the number of Lawrence's burner phone, Jed wants to proceed cautiously, but Declan jumps the gun and calls it. It takes almost a week for Jed to straighten this out and arrange a rendezvous with Lawrence at a local bar called the Lamplighter Public House. The meeting goes horribly awry, complicating the case for Jed and involving the police. What would Sam Spade do?

Devlin’s comic caper has a goofy charm and action aplenty.

Pub Date: May 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-988732-86-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: NeWest Press

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE

In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play?

When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family’s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha’s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering—and burning—a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies’ staff, and even his daughter’s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie’s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha’s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain?

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8272-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

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LATER

Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7890-9649-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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