Summer 2019 Beach (or Garden) Reads

1. Murder in Midsummer - Ed by Cecily Gayford
Profile Books £8.99

"Various crime stories from a number of big authors who are all known simply by their surnames: Rendell, Doyle, Sayers, Allingham, Chesterton and others. All mysteries set in a holiday scene and perfect for those jetting off to sunnier climes! "

2. Rocco and the Price of Lies - Adrian Magson
Dome Press £8.99

"This is a cracking series based in 1960's France. Magson perfectly transports you to a time when legwork was the order of the day during an investigation. Here Rocco deals with theft, fraud and deception, plus an attempt on his life. Perfect for anyone motoring off to the French countryside. "

3. Life Ruins - Danuta Kot
Simon and Schuster £8.99

"Becca has a reputation with the police... and not a good one at that! So when a badly beaten woman cannot be identified, Becca is the one who knows who the woman is... but the police do not believe her. So Becca investigates this tragic death herself... putting herself in the direct sites of a ruthless killer. Kot gets down and dirty in this gritty, gripping novel and doesn't shy away from showing the grimier side of murder. Definitely a winner with us at Crimesquad. Check out our review online.

Click on the link to read our review of Life Ruins."

4. Murder in the Caribbean - Robert Thorogood
HQ £8.99

"I loved this mystery which comes from the creator of the 'Death in Paradise' TV series. Here Richard Poole (the original Inspector of St. Marie) is on the case when a yacht explodes in the local harbour. Soon bodies are piling up and Poole and his team have to look in to the past to find out who is killing people in the present. This is a great little book that swept me away to those sunnier shores and one to enjoy whilst dipping your toes in the crystal blue sea.

Click on the link to read our review of Murder in the Caribbean"

5. Sleep - C.L. Taylor
Avon £12.99

"I read 'Sleep' in a single afternoon - so this is perfect for anyone sunning themselves as this book will keep you highly entertained. There isn't much in the way of sunshine in 'Sleep' as Anna, after a huge tragedy, takes a job in a remote hotel on the Scottish island of Rum. As the hotel gets cut off from the rest of the island due to torrential rain, hotel guests start dying one by one. Reminiscent of Christie's greatest novel, 'Sleep' is one of those which will do anything but send you to sleep! A massively gripping read.

Click on the link to read our review of Sleep"

6. The Puppet Show - M.W. Craven
Constable £8.99

"Craven has burst on to the crime scene with this first in a series introducing Washington Poe and his reluctant partner, Tilly Bradshaw.

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District's prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless. When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of. Soon bodies start to pile up...

What more could you ask for? Despite the usual price, this is selling at a very natty price on a famous website about a big river!! Enjoy!

Click on the link to read our review of The Puppet Show"

7. Death in the Lakes - Graham Smith
Bookouture £8.99

"This first in a new series from Smith introduces Detective Beth Young. A body is found in the derelict Arthuret Hall, strung up and with wings attached, Beth finds herself involved in a huge case where the clock is ticking before the next victim will be found...

This was our Author of the Month in January and is an exceptional thriller. Beth is a well-rounded character and Smith is excellent at driving his story with detail and suspense. I thought the Lake District was a pleasant place to visit, but with more authors setting their crimes there it seems as though it may not be as safe as once thought!

Click on the link to read our review of Death in the Lakes."

8. Money in the Morgue - Ngaio Marsh and Stella Duffy
Collins Crime Club £8.99

"Ngaio Marsh was one of the very first crime novelists I tried as a teenager. My nan loved her books and I was immediately enthralled by Marsh's plots, her characterisation and the sheer theatricality of her books. Even now, all those years later I still read Marsh's books which feel like the literary version of a comfort blanket.

With several novels, Marsh took her detective, Inspector Roderick Alleyn (pronounced Allen) to her own hometown of New Zealand, namely in books such as 'Colour Scheme' and 'Died in the Wool'. Duffy has taken the beginnings of a novel sketched out by Marsh and then abandoned, and produced 'Money in the Morgue'. Taking place in N.Z., Alleyn, money goes missing and then the bodies start mounting up. This is one I will be reading myself (unfortunately not whilst in N.Z. - but one can dream...) as I love Marsh's books and feel Duffy will deliver a book that honours this Golden Age Queen of Crime and her craftily multi-layered plots."

9. A Stranger In My Grave - Margaret Millar
Pushkin Vertigo £8.99

"I have been banging on about the amazing books of Millar for decades when she was nigh on forgotten and none of her books were in print. All the ones I own came from second hand bookshops, falling on them as if I had found buried treasure! Now all her books are back in circulation and Millar is a writer not to be missed. Millar's name was up there with Highsmith and Dorothy B. Hughes back in her heyday of the 40's/50's. She produced some of the most breathtaking psychological novels of her time, never shying away from some of the taboo issues of the day that many wouldn't dare write about including homosexuality, paedophiles and race. If Millar was writing today, she would be a front runner for the new Domestic Noir movement.

Here in 'A Stranger In My Grave' (published 1960) Daisy Harker is out walking when she discovers a grave with her name on it. According to the headstone she died four years ago. It is this discovery that leads Daisy to the truth and about herself that threatens to destroy her present. This is another tour-de-force from a writer at the top of her game. Sublime."

10. Lady in the Lake - Laura Lippman
Faber £12.99

"Above I have sung the praises of Margaret Millar - and carrying on that tradition of a writer transcending what is expected of a 'crime novel' - Lippman brings us an astonishingly magnificent novel that echoes the work of Millar and Patricia Highsmith.

Using multiple voices of a wide and varied cast, Lippman tells the story of Cleo Sherman (the lady in the lake) and Maddie Schwartz, a white woman who has left her privileged way of life to 'find herself'. She finds herself wondering why no one is interested in finding out who killed this Negro woman. Lippman pulls no punches here showing how casual and rife racism and mysoginy were back in Baltimore 1966. This is really a breath-taking novel and one I would recommend for anyone who wants their book to transport and enthralled them in equal measure. My book of 2019.

Click on the link to read our review of Lady in the Lake."