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Like to Die: A McKenzie Novel by David Housewright, Minotaur Books, US $26.99, Pp 320, June 2018, ISBN 978-1250094537

How It Happened by Michael Koryta, Little, Brown and Company, US $27.00, Pp 360, May 2018, ISBN 978-0316293938

Buried in Books (Bibliophile Mystery) by Kate Carlisle, Berkley, US $25.00, Pp 280, June 2018, ISBN 978-0451477743

Tin Man by Sarah Winman, G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House, US $23.00, Pp 224, May 2018, ISBN 978-0735218727

Rushmore McKenzie is a former police detective from St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a millionaire but nobody knows how he acquired all this wealth. Now, occasionally, he works as an unlicensed private investigator especially for his friends or his friends’ friends. Such investigations are usually unpaid favors. Erin Peterson is a friend of a friend and a local businesswoman who owns a growing food company called Salsa Girl. Someone has been systematically filling the outer locks of her factory with super glue. Erin Peterson does not want to report it to the police, which may take a lot of effort and energy in fulfilling technicalities. Ian is a common friend of McKenzie and Erin. Without informing Erin, Ian seeks help from McKenzie. Ian has an amorous feeling for Erin. But, she has been too busy in her business and has had no time for a boyfriend. As a favor to Ian, McKenzie agrees to help Erin. It is a case of industrial sabotage but needs a simple investigation on the face of it but take McKenzie down a dark and twisted path. When McKenzie visits Erin, she denies anything serious happening. She rules out any sabotage and calls it a prank. McKenzie refuses to accept the explanation. His suspicions are confirmed when someone fills with glue the doors of the refrigerated delivery van locks also. But when the harassment grows and threatens her business, she decides to ask for McKenzie’s help. As McKenzie starts an investigation, the situation becomes more complicated and deadly. At one point, McKenzie is forced to wonder who his real friends are. McKenzie focuses on Randy Bignell-Sax from whom Erin had borrowed money for her business. Randy Bignell-Sax is the scion of a rich local Bignell family. The Bignell family owns the Minnesota Foods which distributes Erin’s six flavors. When a bombing takes place at the plant, McKenzie starts realizing that Salsa Girl was actually built on a weak foundation and may not survive the coming bigger threats. Like to Die is full of suspense and action and hard to put. This grand mystery explores lover’s psychology and the role of money in determining human relations. David Housewright is a master storyteller.

David Housewright is the winner of the Edgar Award and is the three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for his crime fiction, including his Twin Cities P.I. Mac McKenzie Novels (What the Dead Leave BehindStealing the Countess). He is a past president of the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA). He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

*****

Kimberly Crepeaux is a notorious jailhouse snitch, a teen mother, and a heroin addict. She is well known for her petty crimes in the rural Maine where she lives. When Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly, the daughter of a well-known local family and her lover respectively, are found murdered, she readily confesses to having killed them. But, the people have little reason to believe her story. The reason was that the bodies of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly were not traceable. Rob Barrett, the FBI investigator has been investigating Kimberly for the last few months. Rob Barrett is known for telling a true confession from a bad one. Rob is one of the few people who tend to believe Kimberly’s grisly and bone-chilling story of a hit and run fueled by dope and cheap beer leading to a brutal stabbing in cold blood. He believes it must have happened how it happened. But the problem is Jackie and Ian’s bodies are to be found nowhere. As Rob has put his name and reputation at stake by accepting the truth of Kimberly’s confession, the bodies of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly are found 200 miles away from where she said they should be. Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly were shot in the back. Also, a different suspect’s DNA is found on the bodies. The case is closed and Barrett is reassigned. However, Howard Pelletier refuses to let his daughter’s murder be abandoned and forgotten. Barrett’s career may already be over but he decides to help a grieving father as he believes this is the only option he was left with. How It Happened is a bone-chilling and scary story that will take you to rural America. This extraordinarily captivating crime mystery has a powerful plot and a lot of suspense. As you read it, you feel as if you have missed a few heartbeats.

Michael Koryta is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels, most recently Rise the Dark. His previous novels–including Last Words, Those Who Wish Me Dead, and So Cold the River — were New York Times notable books, national bestsellers, and have been nominated for numerous awards, including having won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Koryta is a former private investigator and newspaper reporter. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and Camden, Maine.

*****

San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright feels she has been lucky and blessed. Her marriage is only a few days away and she has made sure everything she needs to do before the wedding day is done on time. She is all ready for her marriage with Derek Stone, the love of her life. On the bridal shower day, she is surprised to see Heather and Sara although she had not invited them. Neither was she expecting them. Heather and Sara were her college roommates twelve years ago. Heather and Sara fell apart when Sara stole Heather’s boyfriend, Rod Martin, and married him. Brooklyn was caught in the crossfire between the two women and lost them. Brooklyn is glad both Heather and Sara are trying to sort out their differences with Brooklyn and reconnect. Heather and Sara have brought the gifts of rare copies of the first editions of The Three Musketeers and The Red Fairy Book as wedding gifts. In the college, the three friends were known and called The Three Musketeers. But, Brooklyn was in for unpleasant surprises. First, one of her two friends is murdered. Then, Brooklyn finds that one of the rare books is a forgery. Was it the victim who forged the rare book? Or was she murdered because she had guessed who forged the rare book. Brooklyn and Derek must find the culprits before a killer and a con artist on the loose can ruin their big day. Will they be able to grab the killer before the wedding day? Brooklyn actually does grab the knife-wielding killer who had grabbed her a little while the ceremony and says, “You get one drop of blood on this dress and you’re a dead man.”

Bibliophile Mystery is The New York Times bestselling series. Buried in Books will seize you from the first page and hold tight until its end. It is an entertaining story full of imagination, nostalgia, and suspense.

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries as well as the Fixer-Upper Mysteries. She is a native Californian who worked in television production for many years before turning to write fiction. Her first book, Homicide in Hardcover, debuted in February 2010, followed by If Books Could Kill, The Lies That Bind, Murder Under Cover, and One Book in the Grave. She is the proud recipient of the Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier awards, and her first Bibliophile Mystery received a Best First Mystery nomination from RT Book Reviews.

*****

Tin Man is set in Oxford, UK, and revolves around two friends. The friendship between Ellis and Michael started when they were just twelve-year-old boys. They were often seen together enjoying — riding bicycles in the streets of Oxford together, learning to swim, enjoying poetry together, but most importantly, dodging their overbearing parents. But, as we fast-forward the story ten years or so, we see that Ellis is married to Annie; and Michael is not on the scene. Where is Michael? What happened to their friendship? When Ellis enters his forties, Annie dies and Ellis is working the night shift in a car plant. He has become melancholic and the death of Annie has only aggravated the feeling. Ellis’s father had forced him to work in a plant instead of letting him live his dream of becoming an artist. His intense emotional and sexual relationship with Michael – and their estrangement as adults — has also contributed to his unhappiness. After leaving Ellis, Michael entered a new relationship with G. who later contracted AIDS. But, as it turns out, Michael still considers Ellis his first love. Tin Man is written in beautiful language and style. You will feel that the characters belong to real life and you may have met them somewhere in real life. This unputdownable novel is not just another beautiful love story; it is a lot more than a love story. It is equally about recovering profound loss of love. This slim novel is one of those novels you can surely finish in one sitting.

Sarah Winman is the author of two novels that include When God Was a Rabbit and A Year of Marvelous Ways. Tin Man is her third novel. She grew up in Essex and now lives in London. She attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to act in theatre, film, and television.

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