On The Shelf: Mystery and suspense in store

Published 8:00 am Sunday, October 22, 2023

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week we are featuring the latest titles from mystery and suspense series in our New Adult Fiction collection.

The sixth entry in Jeffrey Archer’s William Warwick series is called “Traitors Gate.” William Warwick has 24 hours to stop the crime of the century. A master criminal has set his sights on pulling off the most spectacular heist in history, stealing the crown jewels from the Tower of London. The Tower is well protected with some of the most state-of-the-art security in the world, not to mention the watchful eye of an elite group from Scotland Yard. Yet this master thief has an ace up his sleeve: a man on the inside.

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M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series continues with “Dead on Target.” Agatha Raisin thinks she’s in for a good time at the local village festival, but the dead body she finds in the woods kills the mood. The man found on the property of a local landowner has an arrow in his chest and his trousers around his ankles. Detective Chief Inspector Wilkes declares the death a tragic accident, but Agatha is convinced it’s foul play and is shocked when Wilkes agrees; only he thinks Agatha is the prime suspect. Of course, she begins her own investigation to clear her name but quickly becomes involved with a family at each other’s throats, a ruthless gangster and a killer determined to make Agatha his next victim.

“An Evil Heart,” is the 15th entry in Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder series. Chief of Police Kate Burkholder responds to a call one crisp autumn day only to find an Amish man who has been violently killed with a crossbow. The body of 20-year-old Aden Karn is found on a dirt road. By all accounts, Aden is funny, hard-working and well-liked by both the English and Amish community. By all accounts, he was a happy young man excited for his upcoming wedding to his fiancé, Emily. As Kate’s own wedding day approaches, she uncovers rumors of Aden having a dark past. But are these rumors just to discredit the victim? When a young Amish woman comes forward with a horrific story, it pits Kate against a dangerous and surprising opponent. As the awful truth comes to light, Kate must face the consequences of a life lived in dark places.

“The Running Grave,” is the seventh entry in Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series. Cormoran and Robin find themselves rescuing a man caught in the clutches of a dangerous cult. The man’s worried father contacts the detectives after his son absconds to Norfolk to join a religious cult. On the surface, the Universal Humanitarian Church is a peaceful organization campaigning for a better world, but Cormoran discovers sinister undertones and more than one unexplained death related to the organization. It’s decided that in order to rescue the young man, Cormoran’s business partner Robin will infiltrate the cult, however, in doing so, she puts herself in unforeseen danger and the toll that it will take on her could be deadly.

Don Bentley pens the 17th entry in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Jr. series with “Weapons Grade.” Jack Ryan Jr. is enjoying a quiet Texas night when his peace is shattered by screeching brakes, crumpling metal and the sound of rapid gunfire. This seemingly horrible auto accident is actually a professional hit, and Jack takes it personally. He may be too late to save the victim, but he’ll be damned if he’s going to let the perpetrators escape justice. Jack shows up at the meeting the victim was driving to and gets drawn into the seedy side of a small Texas town. He is left with the mystery of a cold case of a college student who vanished from the streets and more questions than answers. His quest for justice will take him from a quiet Texas road to the middle of an international conspiracy that may cost him his life.

The fourth entry in Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series is called, “The Last Devil to Die.” The Thursday Murder Club rarely has a dull day and when the shocking news that an old friend has been killed and a dangerous package he was protecting has gone missing, they don’t hesitate. Their search leads them into the antiques business which is used to cover all manner of illegal activity — drugs, forgery and online fraud. Even though they’re nursing heartache, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim keep digging because they aren’t sure who they can trust. As the body count rises, the clock is ticking, and trouble on their trail, will the group’s luck finally run out?

The 33rd entry in John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport/Prey series is titled, “Judgement Prey.” Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers team up to solve the case of a father and his two young sons who were shot in cold blood. Alex Sand — a wealthy federal judge — and his sons were home playing basketball when they were killed. Sand was about to donate a large sum of money to a local housing charity, Heart/Twin Cities, and with the money in limbo, suspicions fall on his grieving widow, Margaret Cooper. Margaret is having trouble moving forward because of her grief, but she can’t fathom why anyone would want her husband dead. Lucas and Virgil are called in because both the local PD and the FBI are stumped, and they need fresh eyes. But when they are stonewalled at every turn, Lucas and Virgil wonder if each misdirection could get them closer to the truth.