Need a little mystery to go with your iced tea? Try one of these.
It’s not swimsuit season yet, but crime-fiction fans can still look forward to a bountiful summer crop. Here, among the season’s new titles, are some contenders for Books Most Likely to Have Sunblock Spilled on Them:
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- 10 of the summer’s hottest crime-fiction titles
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“Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse,” by Nancy Atherton (Viking, $26, on sale May 30). Atherton’s latest light-as-a-feather cozy about ghostly Aunt Dimity finds her and her earthbound friend Lori Shepherd knee-deep in the case of a woman who cheerfully confesses to the murder of her husband — and possibly several others, too.
“Wolf on a String,” by Benjamin Black (Holt, $28, on sale June 6). A departure for Black (the pen name of distinguished British writer John Banville); stepping away from his series about Irish coroner Quirke, we travel to 16th-century Prague and a murder connected to the court of the eccentric emperor Rudolf II.
“Cold Earth,” by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur, $25.99). Cleeves’ justly deserved following has risen sharply thanks, in part, to the excellent BBC adaptations of her books; here, Jimmy Perez, an intense and empathetic police detective in Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands, investigates an unidentified murder victim whose body is found in the aftermath of a landslide.
“Arrowood,” by Mick Finlay (MIRA, $15.99, on sale July 18). Arrowood is the Victorian workingman’s answer to the higher-class Sherlock Holmes — a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, shabby detective with a seriously bad attitude toward his more famous counterpart.
“Y is for Yesterday,” by Sue Grafton (Putnam, $29, on sale August 22). This story, about a decades-old sexual assault captured on a just-revealed videotape, extends a marathon run through the alphabet by Kinsey Millhone, Grafton’s full-blooded and always game private detective.
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“Defectors,” Joseph Kanon (Atria, $27, on sale June 6). Kanon, a reliable and versatile writer, offers the Cold War-era tale of two brothers: a top CIA man who defected to the Soviets and an American publisher who wants to make public the ex-spy’s explosive memoirs.
“Cold Hearted River,” by Keith McCafferty (Viking, $26, on sale July 4). McCafferty’s series about private eye Sean Stranahan, set mainly in Montana’s rugged wilderness, continues with this story about murder and the real-life legend of lost treasure — a trunk containing early works by Ernest Hemingway and the iconic writer’s fishing gear.
“Testimony,” Scott Turow (Grand Central, $28). Legal thriller superstar Turow (“Presumed Innocent”) is back, this time with a tale of an American lawyer recruited by the International Criminal Court to investigate a massacre in war-torn Bosnia.
“The Templars’ Last Secret,” by Martin Walker (Knopf, $25.95, on sale June 16). A murder in a picturesque French village is linked to the nearby ruins of a Knights Templar castle, and it captures the attention of Bruno, the village’s shrewd chief of police and a dedicated gourmand.
“Forever and a Death,” by Donald E. Westlake (Hard Case, $22.99, on sale June 13). Shamelessly escapist fun: a previously unpublished novel about an outlandish plot — robbing every bank in Hong Kong before sinking it in the ocean — that arose from the ashes of a treatment that the late master of the caper novel wrote in the 1990s for a since-abandoned Bond movie.