June is almost over and summer vacation is calling. Here are eight great mysteries you might have missed this month--perfect for reading on the deck, at the beach, or in front of the air-conditioner. If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, you'll enjoy these just as much in a rocking chair by the fire.
Cozy on Up
In The Diva Digs up the Dirt (Berkley Prime Crime) by Krista Davis--the sixth in a series starring Sophie Winston, an event planner in Alexandria, Virginia--mystery hits close to home when Sophie uncovers a unpleasant surprise in her boyfriend's backyard. The book includes recipes and entertaining tips. Hot Button (Berkley Prime Crime) is Kylie Logan's second Button Box mystery, featuring Josie Giancola, a famous button expert from Chicago. In this outing, Josie is organizing the international convention for button collectors, trying to avoid her ex-husband, and catering to the demands of the keynote speaker. When a rare button goes missing and a body is found in a storage room, Josie is asked to help solve the case. Quilt or Innocence (Obsidian Mystery) by Elizabeth Craig is the first in a series set in North Carolina. Beatrice Coleman, recently retired folk art curator, is new in town and is looking forward to joining the local quilt guild. When one of the members is found dead, Beatrice discovers she has amateur detective skills.
Down Right Gritty
In the fourth Ellie Hatcher novel, Never Tell (Harper) by Alafair Burke, the death of teenage girl appears to be suicide, but is it? NYPD detective Hatcher's investigation points to prescription drugs, computer bullying, and ADHD and takes her into the living rooms of the rich and famous and the streets of Greenwich Village. The Lost Ones (Putnam) by Ace Atkins is the second novel, starring ex-army ranger Quinn Colson. This tough police procedural is set in rural Mississippi and involves gun running, child abuse, and a Mexican drug cartel. The Third Gate (Doubleday) is a standalone title by Lincoln Child. This novel introduces Porter Stone, an archaeological treasure hunter working in Egypt. When Stone uncovers an untouched ancient tomb, he not only stirs up professional controversy and but seems to have set off an evil curse.
Two for the Thrills
Zoe Ferraris's Kingdom of Strangers (Little, Brown) is the third Katya Hijazi (a forensics expert) and Nayir Sharqi (Bedouin guide) novel. After the bodies of nineteen women are found in a desert grave and then another woman is reported missing, Hijazi is called in on the case. This psychological thriller involves secrets, social taboos and the dark world of Saudi crime. The tenth Tom Thorne novel, The Demands (Mulholland Books) by Mark Billingham, takes place over three desperate days. London detective Thorne is faced with a hostage situation in which one of his officers is being held. People will die unless Thorne re-opens a year-old suicide case and proves that the death was murder. This exciting novel switches between the frantic police investigation and the terror of the hostage victims.
Summer's just beginning and not all vacation reading need be light. I hope I've tempted you to take a walk on the dark side and read a mystery.