Need some new mysteries to follow? Say no more: Here’s this month’s roundup of crime fiction.
“The Guest List” (William Morrow, $27.99) comes from British author Lucy Foley, whose debut (“The Hunting Party”) was a surprise bestseller. It’s a fond homage to the Golden Age of Detective Fiction mysteries, complete with a classic setup: Take an unlikely group of people in a remote setting, add a violent, isolating storm, and throw in murder and dark secrets.
On an island off the Irish coast, a just-married power couple — the star of a reality show and a high-profile magazine editor — hosts an elaborate wedding reception. The celebrations are rudely interrupted by the discovery of a body.
Various participants in turn narrate slivers of back stories, including the news that the bride recently received an anonymous note warning her to call things off. Foley’s prose can get a little purple, but the puzzle is solid, she plays fair with the reader, and overall her story is swift and entertaining.
“Riviera Gold” (Bantam, $28, out June 9) extends the prolific Laurie R. King’s superior series contributing to the lively cottage industry in new Sherlock Holmes stories. Holmes, in retirement, is married to Mary Russell, a young British-American woman who matches the world’s greatest detective in courage and brains. Despite Holmes’ official retreat from active duty, they continue to have ripping adventures.
It’s 1925, and the focus is firmly on Russell. She’s vacationing on the French Mediterranean coast while Holmes is away, apparently on a secret mission.
Mrs. Hudson — the couple’s beloved landlady/housekeeper, who in King’s imagining was once a con artist — is also missing … until she turns up as a suspect in a murder in Monaco. Russell, of course, rolls up her sleeves and gets to work clearing Mrs. Hudson’s name.
Books of psychological suspense with “girl” in the title continue their extended moment, and here comes Megan Miranda’s “The Girl from Widow Hills” (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, out June 23).
Twenty years earlier, Arden Maynor tells us, she was a 6-year-old in rural Kentucky. One night she went sleepwalking and was swept away in a massive storm. Missing for three days, she was miraculously rescued in an event that captivated the nation.
Arden has had a troubled life since, as has her single mother. Hoping to escape the trauma and unwanted publicity, she has reinvented herself in a new locale as hospital administrator Olivia Meyer. She remembers only fragments of the incident and has never revealed her identity to anyone.
But the past is not even past, because she sleepwalks again one night and awakes standing over a dead body — one with a connection to the long-ago events. Then she’s confronted by a man who says he knows exactly who she once was. Significant suspension of disbelief is needed to accept some of the book’s twists, but the tension remains high.