L.A. Confidential meets vintage noir in Joseph Kanon’s Stardust (Atria, $27.99), a sleek, smart detective story set in post-World War II Hollywood. After working as an Allied translator, Ben Collier, son of a German-Jewish filmmaker and an American woman, arrives in Los Angeles to investigate his brother’s suspicious death.  In addition to tangling with slippery studio heads, scrappy reporters, and the Communist blacklist, Ben’s inquiry leads him deep into the German émigré community–an insular group of artists, writers, and survivors who would rather be left alone. Stardust combines old-fashioned intrigue with a fresh perspective on the postwar United States.

Stardust: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439156322
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Washington Square Press - July 6th, 2010

Jane Stanton Hitchcock’s reputation as a mystery writer grows with each book, and Mortal Friends (HarperCollins, $25.99) is sure to win her many new fans.  Most of the action takes place in Georgetown and on Embassy Row—Politics and Prose is in there, too.  Many denizens of the Washington social scene appear in disguise along the way.  I recognized Katharine Graham, Vernon and Ann Jordan, and Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn under completely different names, and you’ll have fun trying to spot others in this ultimate inside-the-Beltway mystery, or “killer read,” as People magazine describes it.

Mortal Friends: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061173714
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - June 29th, 2010

Since Rennie Airth’s first mystery, River of Darkness, a dozen years ago, I’ve wanted more stories about John Madden, the Scotland Yard inspector. It was a long wait for The Blood-Dimmed Tide, and now Airth has published the third Madden chronicle, The Dead Of Winter (Viking, $25.95). It’s 1944. Madden has retired to a farm with his wife. Then a young Jewish refugee they employed is murdered while visiting relatives in London. Madden joins his old colleagues to solve the crime. Does the woman’s death have something to do with the murder in Paris four years before of a Jewish furrier? Was she one of the Poles he was waiting for to drive with him to Portugal? Or was she a murderer? And how does the Resistance figure in this puzzle? This is a beautifully written book, full of twists and turns—it’s the reason I love mysteries.

The Dead of Winter: A John Madden Mystery Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117247
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 29th, 2010