This week, Midnight Ink intern Jessica Nelson recaps six books in-depth from our 2014 catalog:
Trusting Viktor by Lee Mims (February)Betting her life savings on a risky offshore natural gas enterprise, brilliant geologist Cleo Cooper has high hopes for a big payday. But a violent attack onboard the drillship darkens Cleo’s optimism.
Days later, a man washes up on the coast near the drill sight, but is it the man who assaulted Cleo? When Viktor, a promising young Russian geologist is hired as the dead man’s replacement, Cleo isn't sure if he’s friend or foe. The truth seems to be lurking beneath the surface, and as she gets closer to it, Cleo begins to wonder if she's standing between a murderer and a treasure worth killing for.
". . . a breezily entertaining whodunit."—Publishers Weekly
"[A] fun read."—Mystery Scene
Montecito Heights by Colin Campbell (April)
Saving a senator’s daughter from LA’s porn industry is one gig that needs serious discretion . . . but discretion is not Jim Grant’s specialty. Before long, Grant finds himself busting a robbery on live television, spreading his arms wide to show he’s unarmed—the same pose that earned him the nickname Resurrection Man in Boston.
The spotlight may be good for Grant’s ego, but it’s bad for his health. The Dominguez drug cartel is looking for him, and his work for the senator has uncovered a ring of dirty cops who want him out of the way. Helped by an ex-cop working on CSI: NY and hindered by a film crew that wants to make him a reality television star, Grant must tread carefully. In the city of angels, corruption runs deep, loyalty is fragile, and justice is hard to find.
". . .wry maverick Grant never fails to entertain." —Kirkus Reviews
"This gritty thriller . . . maintains a breakneck pace . . . [and] its smart structure and unrelenting suspense will please Lee Child fans."—Library Journal
The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson (May)That was the day I met Gus, the day I grew a family as if from magic beans, the day she died. That's the point, see? It was the very same day…
Jessie Constable has learned the hard way to always keep herself safe. But meeting Gus King changes everything. Before she knows it, Jessie is sleeping at Gus's house, babysitting his kids, becoming a part of his family. And yet, she can't ignore the unsettling questions. Who does she keep seeing from the corner of her eye? Why are strange men threatening her? Most importantly, what really happened to Gus's wife?
Creating a brilliant, foreboding mystery where nothing is as it seems, master storyteller Catriona McPherson weaves an ominous tale that will keep you guessing until the very end.
"McPherson's second stand-alone is a tour de force, a creepy psychological thriller that will leave you breathless."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Keep the lights on and batten down the hatches, for McPherson’s psychologically terrifying stand-alone demands to be read all night."—Library Journal
With help from a hunky cop and her mother's live-in teenage apprentice, Alanis begins faking her way through tarot readings in order to win the confidence of her mother's clients. But the more she uses the tarot deck, the more Alanis begins to find real meaning in the cards ... and the secrets surrounding her mother's demise.
"Cozy readers with a taste for humor will welcome this hilarious series debut . . . [and] will eagerly await the next installment."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Hockensmith...and coauthor Falco deliver a charming comic mystery, which one hopes is the beginning of a series."—Booklist
"[A] clever and compelling tale filled with colorful and engaging characters and a whodunit plot."—ForeWord Reviews
"From the unique title to the cool cover, this book has it all . . . A+ across the board!"—Suspense Magazine
"Fun and light."—Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
The Question of the Missing Head by E.J. Copperman (October)Samuel Hoenig answers questions for a living. And as a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, his unique personality helps him ferret out almost any answer there is. But his latest question is a rather odd one—who stole a preserved head from the Garden State Cryonics Institute?
Arriving at the scene of the crime accompanied by his new colleague, Ms. Washburn, Samuel finds that what started out as a theft has escalated to murder. With suspects and motives emerging at a rapid rate, one final question remains—can Samuel’s powers of deduction uncover a killer in the face of overwhelming odds?
"[A] delightful and clever mystery."—Publishers Weekly
"In this well-crafted story, the Asperger's element . . . provides a unique point of view on crime-solving, as well as offering a sensitive look at a too-often-misunderstood condition."—Booklist
"Copperman/Cohen succeeds in providing a glimpse not only of the challenges experienced by those with Asperger's, but also of their unique gifts."—Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
"Cleverly written and humorous."—CrimeSpree Magazine
Tradition of Deceit by Kathleen Ernst (November)
Book 5 in the award-winning historical Chloe Ellefson Mystery series
Curator and occasional sleuth Chloe Ellefson is off to Minneapolis to help her friend Ariel with a monumental task. Ariel must write a proposal for a controversial and expensive restoration project: convert an abandoned flour mill, currently used as shelter by homeless people, into a museum. When a dead body is found stuffed into a grain chute, Chloe's attention turns from milling to murder.
Back in Milwaukee, Chloe's love interest Roelke has been slammed with the news that a fellow officer was shot and killed while on duty. Sifting through clues from both past and present, Chloe and Roelke discover dangerous secrets that put their lives—and their trust in each other—at risk.
"Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series."—Library Journal
"Everybody has secrets in this action-filled cozy."—Publishers Weekly