There’s never a bad time for a mystery, but the approach of fall, along with a hint — hope? — of cool weather, makes for ideal reading. Here are several titles to watch for this fall.
The Bullet That Missed
Pamela Dorman Books, $27
In this third snappy, sharp and suspenseful adventure of the Thursday Murder Club, an investigation into the death of a TV presenter leads to intrigue involving an ex-KGB operative, strangers with code names and more crime. The Coopers Chase Retirement Village foursome — Elizabeth, Ron, Joyce and Ibrahim — may now be nestled in a lovely British setting, but once again must call on their talents from previous occupations to set things right.
Marple: Twelve New Mysteries
Variety of authors
William Morrow / HarperCollins, $28.99
Those of us who have adored Miss Jane Marple for decades are a little amused at readers who praise the current literary trend featuring strong, older women as a new thing. Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, who first appeared in print in 1927, surprised both cops and criminals with her steely will and keen insights. Here, 12 new authors, including Lucy Foley, Val McDermid and Ruth Ware, contribute stories featuring the quiet lady from a small village as she tackles new crimes.
The Marsh Queen
Gallery Books / Simon & Schuster, $27.99
Loni Murrow is a bird artist for the Smithsonian, and if her life is quiet, she’s OK with that. But a call to help family in Florida sends her on a search that will bring all sorts of questions and challenges. Filled with rich details about nature, quick dialogue and a fresh plot, this is a satisfying, immersive read.
The Rising Tide
Grouchy, impatient, and smart, smart, smart British Inspector Vera Stanhope is called to investigate an unusual murder. For 50 years, a group of friends have met on Holy Island to reminisce and to mourn one friend who died years ago in rising tidal waters. But this time, when one friend is found hanged, Vera must unravel years of lies and secrets. It might be hard to work for Vera, but it’s always a pleasure to tag along at a readerly distance.
Next in Line
Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick and his elite Scotland Yard squad must monitor the Royalty Protection Command, whose job it is to protect the Royal Family. The job is especially stressful now that the Family includes its most beloved “People’s Princess” Diana. Archer, once a member of Parliament, knew Princess Diana, and he provides rich insights and details as well as a riveting plot.
Sometimes People Die
Hanover Square, $27.99
After he’s caught stealing drugs, a young doctor takes the only job offered — at a struggling London hospital. Even though the staff is exhausted and the money scarce, too many patients are dying. Are they being helped to death? The author uses his experience as a physician to add believable, scary details to the well-paced plot.
Grand Central, $28
Sam Capra might seem like a good suburban dad; he and his 13-year-old son Daniel live in Austin, Texas, where Sam stays busy running his bars and nightclubs.
But Sam is also an elite spy, and he’s given the news that Markus Bolt is missing. An American traitor, Bolt fled to Russia, but now he’s missing, and the Americans want him even more than the Russians. Capra is asked to find Bolt’s American daughter and see if she can help — or if she’ll hurt — the cause. Abbott brings his usual skill to plot, dialogue and the creation of believable characters.