Mystery Minute: August 2018

Our Mystery Minute series brings you acclaimed mysteries that just beg to be added to your already towering TBR pile.

***

Ruined Abbey, by Anne Emery

"True to the Irish tradition of great storytelling, this is a mesmerizing tale full of twists that will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

About the book: It’s 1989. The Troubles are raging in Ireland, bombs exploding in England. In this prequel to the Collins-Burke series, Father Brennan Burke is home in New York when news of his sister’s arrest in London sends him flying across the ocean. The family troubles deepen when Brennan’s cousin Conn is charged with the murder of a Special Branch detective and suspected in a terrorist plot against Westminster Abbey. The Burkes come under surveillance by the murdered cop’s partner and are caught in a tangle of buried family memories.

From the bullet-riddled bars of Belfast to an elegant English estate, Ruined Abbey combines a whodunit with a war story, love story, and historical novel, while exploring the eternal question: what is fair in love and war? It all starts with a ruined abbey.

**

Still Water, by Amy Stuart

“Her prose is rich and descriptive, building suspense and creating a moody atmosphere.”—Quill & Quire

About the book: Sally Proulx and her young boy have mysteriously disappeared in the stormy town of High River. Clare is hired to track them down, hoping against all odds to find them alive. But High River isn’t your typical town. It’s a place where women run to—women who want to escape their past. They run to Helen Haines, a matriarch who offers them safe haven and anonymity. Pretending to be Sally’s long-lost friend, Clare turns up and starts asking questions, but nothing prepares her for the swirl of deception and the depth of the lies.

Did Sally drown? Did her son? Was it an accident, or is their disappearance part of something bigger?

In a town where secrets are crucial to survival, everyone is hiding something. Detectives Somers and Rourke clearly have an ulterior motive beyond solving the case. Malcolm Boon, who hired Clare, knows more about her than he reveals. And Helen is concealing a tragic family history of her own. As the truth surges through High River, Clare must face the very thing she has so desperately been running from, even if it comes at a devastating cost. Compulsively gripping and twisty, Still Water is a deep dive of a thriller that will leave you breathless.

**

The Night Bell, by Inger Ash Wolfe (Michael Redhill)

"A rare unplug-the-phone, skip-all-meals, ignore-your-bedtime thriller. It's twisty, sharp and very, very creepy—and Det. Hazel Micallef is a perfectly original charmer."—Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

About the book: The fourth novel in this acclaimed series is brilliantly paced, addictively suspenseful—the author's best yet. Hazel Micallef (played by Suzanne Sarandon in the recent film of the series' debut, The Calling) has become one of crime writing's most memorable detectives. Port Dundas, Ontario, is portrayed vividly in the series as the quintessential Canadian town. The Night Bell moves between the past and the present, as two mysteries converge. A discovery of the bones of murdered children is made on land that was once a county foster home. Now it's being developed as a brand new subdivision whose first residents are already railing against broken promises and corruption. But when three of their number are murdered after the find, their frustration turns to terror. While trying to stem the panic and solve two crimes at once, Hazel finds her memory stirred back to the fall of 1959, when the disappearance of a girl from town was blamed on her adopted brother. Although he is long dead, she begins to see the present case as a chance to clear her brother's name, something that drives Hazel beyond her own considerable limits and right into the sights of an angry killer.

**

Creep, by R.M. Greenaway

R.M. Greenaway injects an element of gothic suspense into Creep. The result is a haunting, well-wrought tale, with echoes of The Hound of the Baskervilles, set against the dark majesty of Vancouver's North Shore. A compelling read.—Sam Wiebe

About the book: It seems the October rains have brought death and disaster to North Vancouver. A missing hiker is found by his son and daughter, a foul smell leads to a mauled body in a crawl space, and a small boy is attacked by a man in wolf form. Once an up-and-coming Serious Crimes investigator, these days Constable Cal Dion is back on general duties, feeling out-of-the-loop and rebellious. On a routine canvassing task, he finds himself questioning an attractive witness, one he feels is peripheral enough to the crawl space case that he would be safe in asking her out. Of course, it’s the worst decision ... Constable David Leith is in the thick of the same investigation, a case complicated by rumours running wild and a most elusive suspect. Halloween has brought out the ghouls for Leith and his team … and possibly a shapeshifter as well, with murder on its mind.

**

When the Flood Falls, by J.E. Barnard

More than a riveting page-turner, When the Flood Falls also offers readers a stirring celebration of female friendship and the ability of women to summon strength and resilience in times of crisis. I already can’t wait for the next Lacey McCrae adventure.—Angie Abdou, author of In Case I Go

About the book: With her career in tatters and her marriage receding in the rear-view mirror, ex-RCMP corporal Lacey McCrae trades her uniform for a tool belt, and the Lower Mainland for the foothills west of Calgary. Amid the oil barons, hockey stars, and other high rollers who inhabit the wilderness playground is her old university roommate, Dee Phillips. Dee’s glossy life was shattered by a reckless driver; now she’s haunted by a nighttime prowler only she can hear.

As snowmelt swells the icy river, threatening the only bridge back to civilization, Lacey must make the call: assume Dee’s in danger and get her out of there, or decide the prowler is imaginary and stay, cut off from help if the bridge is swept away.

August 1, 2018
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