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Mystery Monday

Pity the poor first time author!  After years of painstaking writing and re-writing, possibly years of rejections, somehow a book is published.  It will be reviewed, publicized, and ordered by bookstores and libraries.  Now what?  Does it remain hopefully on the shelf, while its better known brethren (yes, you Janet Evanovich and Mary Higgins Clark) are eagerly snatched up?  Is the author's creation doomed to languish on the shelf, unread, ignored, and eventually discarded?  As the librarian who orders the mysteries, I struggle between satisfying enormous popular demand for bestsellers, and purchasing the quiet, well-reviewed gems which the public may not even notice.  To rectify this situation, I want to take this opportunity to introduce some authors who have just published their first mysteries and deserve a wide readership. Try one today!

Double Black by Wendy Clinch introduces former grad student and humiliated ex-fiancee Stacey who flees to the slopes of Vermont to become a ski bum and ends up becoming a sleuth.  The gorgeous ski setting will make even the laziest coach potato want to take up skiing, and Stacey is a delight.

Faces of the Gone by Brad Parks takes us to the grimy streets of Newark with investigative newspaper reporter Carter Ross.  Sent to cover the story of four dead bodies murdered execution style, Ross doesn't buy the official police version of events.  Along with some colorful cohorts, he digs into Newark's seamy underbelly to discover the truth.

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer will appeal to fans of psychological suspense.  When young Billy Peters disappeared, his death was attributed to serial killer Arnold Avery, although the body was never found.  18 years later, Billy's teenage nephew Steven desperately wants to find the body in order to bring closure to his grieving grandmother.  Unsure where to turn, Stephen enlists the aid of the only one who might know, convicted killer Arnold Avery.

Snow Angels by James Thompson.  One way to feel fortunate living in Rockland County in January, is to read about Finland in December.  Is it the endless nights, the searing isolation and the unrelenting cold that can drive one to murder, or could xenophobia be the reason for the brutal slaying of a beautiful Somali immigrant?  This complex mystery is tightly plotted, features a fascinating and little-known setting and strong characters.

Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths features a refreshingly overweight and middle-aged heroine.  Called in by the police to identify the age of some bones, forensic anthropologist Ruth Galloway becomes very involved in the police's search for missing children.  Fans of Kathy Reichs will relish quirky Ruth and her passion for bones.

 

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