Who could not pass up "Hen of the Baskervilles"? The title alone is fantastic, and this mystery sounds lighthearted and funny. It takes place in Virginia, within the environment of a state fair. Of course the plot revolves around a chicken, a prize chicken no less, and Meg Langslow, the fair's deputy director, works to solve the case. This is the 15th Meg Langslow caper written by Donna Andrews and will become available on July 16.
|Hen of the Baskervilles|
You might have heard about J.K. Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy", her first published book since the Harry Potter series. It came out to great fanfare last year, and on July 23, it comes out in paperback. Set in the fictional small town of Pagford in south western England (West Country), Rowling's newest book doesn't have any magic or wizards, but her insightful understanding of human nature seems to be on display once again.
|The Casual Vacancy|
Also available on July 23 is a murder mystery set in AD670 in Ireland. "The Seventh Trumpet" by Peter Tremayne, a pseudonym of British historian and novelist Peter Berresford Ellis, is the 21st story in the Sister Fidelma Series. In "The Seventh Trumpet", Fidelma of Cashel investigates the murder of a young nobleman, whose identity is unknown. Her trusted companion Eadulf aids in the investigation.
|The Seventh Trumpet|
With all of the excitement (felt by some, maybe not by others) about the impending arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby, "Heirs and Graces" by Rhys Bowen seems particularly timely. This glimpse into English high society during the 1930s is also a murder mystery, and is appropriately categorized as a "cozy" mystery. The 7th book in the Royal Spyness series features titled sleuth Lady Georgiana Rannoch, and arrives on bookshelves on August 6.
|Heirs and Graces|
"The Bone Season" by Samantha Shannon tells of a dystopian future set in a strange new London and elsewhere, in which different groups move against each other. The fantasy-based plot for this first offering in a planned 7-book series involves clairvoyants like Paige Mahoney, the main character, and an alien race called the Rephaim. Look out for this book on August 20.
|The Bone Season|
Last but not least is veteran crime writer Patricia Cornwell's latest novel "Dust" featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta and Pete Marino. The book takes readers from Scarpetta's stomping grounds of Cambridge, Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., where Scarpetta's husband is carrying on his own investigation for the FBI. You have to wait a little longer to bring "Dust" home, as it becomes available in time for the Fall/Winter holidays on November 12.
All of these books caught my eye for one reason or another. I hope they interest you too. Happy reading!