Monday, December 22, 2008

Tempting Titles - Christmas Mysteries 2008

Every year people give Christmas mystery novels as gifts. If you didn’t get one this year come to the library and check out one of the previous mysteries by an author who annually presents one. Here are the brand new holiday mysteries for 2008, including one set in a New York Armenian community by a new author.

Six Geese A-Slaying by Donna Andrews

"In the 10th entry in Andrews's fine-feathered cozy series (Cockatiels at Seven, etc.), Meg Langslow is having a tough enough time trying to organize the Christmas parade, with its Twelve Days of Christmas theme, in Caerphilly, Va. Then someone drives a stake through the heart of Santa, played by grouchy Ralph Doleson, who hates children and animals (and no, he's not a vampire). Finding the killer who could totally spoil Christmas becomes number one priority for perky amateur sleuth Meg. Suspects include protesting members of SPOOR (Stop Poisoning Our Owls and Raptors), six of whose members are playing geese in the parade, a local woman whom Doleson may have been blackmailing and a nosy Washington Tribune reporter." (Publisher Weekly)

Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown

“The 16th entry in the Mrs. Murphy mystery series (Puss 'n Cahoots) is the first holiday offering from Brown. Regulars "Harry" Haristeen and her sleuthing cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, seek out a murderer when a dead body appears under the Christmas tree.” For all mystery collections and essential for series fans.” (Library Journal)

Indigo Christmas: a Hilda Johansson mystery by Jeanne M. Dams

“Hilda Johansson Cavanaugh finds herself caught between the world of her past as a housemaid and her new role as a wealthy wife in Agatha-winner Dams's delightful sixth mystery set in early 20th-century South Bend, Ind. (after 2005's Crimson Snow). When Hilda's only friend's husband is accused of stealing, arson and murder, Hilda determines to prove him innocent. Meanwhile, as part of her efforts to belong to society, Hilda joins a group of well-to-do members of the community in creating a Christmas party for street boys, some of whom she hires to help in her investigation.” (Publisher Weekly)

Ringing in Murder by Kate Kingsbury

"At the start of Kingsbury's engaging fourth holiday Pennyfoot Hotel mystery set during the Edwardian era (after 2007's Shrouds of Holly), amateur sleuth Cecily Sinclair Baxter is hoping for a festive winter season at her hotel on England's windy southeast coast, but the Christmas curse strikes again. The speaker of the House of Lords, Sir Walter Hetherton, and his wife, Lady Clara, are killed by an explosive Yuletide cracker at the Pennyfoot Country Club, which Cecily now manages. … A scary, vanishing snowman heightens the suspense. While the murderer's motive might strike some as a bit unconvincing, cozy fans will be pleased to ring in the new year with this cheerful Kingsbury trifle.” (Publisher Weekly)

A Christmas Grace: a novel by Anne Perry

“Bestseller Perry's sixth Christmas novel (after 2007's A Christmas Beginning), one of the stronger entries in the series, explores further mysteries of the soul. A few weeks before Christmas, 1895, Emily Radley, the sister of Charlotte Pitt (last seen with husband, Thomas Pitt, in Buckingham Palace Gardens), answers a summons from Father Tyndale, spiritual leader of a small Western Ireland community. … Perry effortlessly evokes the region's insularity and isolation while imbuing religious themes into a whodunit without being preachy.” (Publisher Weekly)

Murder at the Altar: a historical novel by Terry Phillips

“On Christmas Eve morning in 1933, the head of the Armenian Church in America, Archbishop Ghevont Tourian, is stabbed to death with a double-edged butcher knife as he begins Sunday services. His infamous murder in a little New York City church is witnessed by hundreds of parishioners -- among them, a newspaper reporter named Tom Peterson. The next day, this story is splashed on the front page of every major daily in Manhattan. And no wonder. Not since the assassination of Thomas à Becket has such a high religious leader been slain in a house of worship. This gruesome homicide shatters the Armenian community and confounds the cops. Was it a terrorist attack to silence a political adversary, a KGB plot to discredit anti-communists in America, or simply a tragic turn in an ancient, bitter dispute?” (Publisher description) [No image available]

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