On The Shelf: Dive into some serial fiction selections

Published 9:51 am Friday, May 3, 2024

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

This week’s column features new serial fiction titles in the Adult Fiction collection.

The thirty-sixth entry in M.C. Beaton’s Hamish MacBeth series is titled, “Death of a Spy.” Sergeant Hamish Macbeth has some major problems to deal with – crimes and criminals, even law
enforcement agents, that he doesn’t want anywhere near his beloved Highland village in Lochdubh. Hamish is worried about how the locals and those in the wider area of his territory in Sutherland will react to his new assistant officer. The officer is none other than the enigmatic American James Bland who is on an exchange scheme from his home city of Chicago in the United States, supposedly to study policing methods in Scotland. Hamish knows that this is far from the truth. Having recently become involved in identifying a Russian spy ring to solve a murder, he is aware that Bland’s mission is to track down the members of the spy network still at large. Bland trusts Hamish to help him find all of those who may have been, or may still be, in league with the Russians. In the meantime, he and Bland must contend with the everyday chores of rural policing. The tourist season brings with it the usual crop of traffic incidents, lost wallets, lost dogs, and people who are simply lost, but a spate of burglaries and robberies committed by a man described as having a gold tooth and a spider’s web tattoo on his neck give Hamish cause for concern. Each of the robberies becomes more violent, and the man is dubbed “Spiderman” by the local press. Hamish must use all his contacts and every ounce of his Highland guile to find the robber.

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“Weapons of Opportunity,” is the third entry in Dale Brown’s Nick Flynn series. When Nick Flynn left the US Air Force to join the Quartet Directorate, he did so knowing full well that no one
could ever know. This covert private force–called Four by its members–promised him the chance to lead his missions and make his own decisions, though the risks are high. When a former senior CIA executive goes dark, Flynn and his team–including Laura Van Horn–are ready to step in. What begins as a quiet check on his home turns into a firefight against a familiar enemy who is more dangerous than ever. Russian oligarch Pavel Voronin and his shadowy Raven Syndicate are back in action, supported by Russia’s aging and autocratic president. Voronin intends to unleash a new force of advanced stealth aircraft against the US to make Moscow supreme and cement his rise to power. With millions of lives at stake, Flynn and his team must track Voronin’s operatives and mount a risky counterattack deep into hostile territory. If they fail, the consequences will be horrific. But failure is not an option.

Lisa Gardener’s third foray into her Frankie Elkin’s series is called, “Still See You Everywhere.” Frankie Elkin is an expert at finding the missing persons that the rest of the world has forgotten, but even she couldn’t have anticipated this latest request—to locate the long-lost sister of a female serial killer facing execution in three weeks. Kaylee Pierson freely admitted to luring eighteen men to her home and brutally slitting their throats. She waived all appeals and is about to be put to death. But with only twenty-one days left to live, Pierson receives word concerning her kidnapped sister. Pierson tells Frankie that twelve years earlier her five-year-old sister, Leilani, had been kidnapped and she believes her rich, tech mogul ex-boyfriend had something to do with it. She taunts Frankie into taking the case by asking, “When was the last time your search ended with finding the living?” Frankie finds herself undercover on the tech mogul’s private island in the Pacific. She is surrounded by a dozen strangers with dangerous secrets and there’s a storm brewing.

Author A.J. Landau starts a new thriller series with, “Leave No Trace.” In a daring, brutal act of terrorism, an explosion rocks and topples the Statue of Liberty. Special Agent Michael Walker of the National Park Service is awakened by his boss with that news and sent to New York as the agent-in-charge. Not long after he lands, he learns two things – one that Gina Delgado of the FBI has been placed in charge of the investigation as the lead of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and two, that threats of a second terrorism attack are already being called into the media. While barred from the meetings of the Joint Task Force for his lack of security clearance, Walker finds a young boy among the survivors with a critical piece of information – a video linking the attackers to the assault. As a radical domestic terrorist group, led by a shadowy figure known only as Jeremiah, threatens further attacks against America’s cultural symbols, powerful forces within the government are misleading the investigation to further their own radical agenda.

“Wolves of Winter,” is the second entry in Dan Jones’ Essex Dogs trilogy. It’s 1347 and six soldiers known as the Essex Dog find themselves bruised and bloodied by an epic battle at Crécy. They must now pick through the wreckage of the fighting—and their own lives. As a new siege begins, the Dogs are sent to attack the soaring walls of Calais. King Edward has vowed no Englishman will leave France ‘til this city falls. To get home, they must survive a merciless winter in a lawless camp deadlier than any battlefield. Obsessed with tracking down the vanished Captain, Loveday struggles to control his own men. Romford is haunted by the reappearance of a horrific figure from his past. And Scotsman is spiraling into a pit of drink, violence, and self- pity. The Dogs are being torn apart—but this war is far from over. It won’t be long before they lose more of their own. From a vast siege camp built outside Calais’ walls, to the pirate ships patrolling the harbor, and into the dark corners of oligarchs’ houses, where the deals that shape—and end—lives are made, this captivating and darkly comic story brings the fourteenth century vividly to life.