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All the Sinners Bleed

S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)

Cosby’s latest Southern noir sees a Black sheriff’s homecoming complicated by a grisly school shooting and the subsequent discovery of a serial killer. What could be lurid is rendered moving—even lyrical—in Cosby’s hands, and he nicely balances psychological depth with brisk, page-turning pacing. This is a gritty, timely thriller that sticks in the head and never entertains at the expense of enlightening (or vice versa).


Beware the Woman

Megan Abbott (Putnam)

Edgar winner Abbott returns for this breathless dive into desire and gender politics. At first, pregnant Jacy feels pampered by a summer road trip to visit her father-in-law, but things shift when she has a miscarriage scare and her husband aligns with his father’s old-school notions about women and pregnancy. Jacy starts to feel like a prisoner at her husband’s family estate, and Abbott manipulates the sense of menace like a virtuoso violinist.


A Most Agreeable Murder

Julia Seales (Random House)

Screenwriter Seales’s outstanding debut marries Jane Austen pastiche and locked-room mystery for a sharp, wildly entertaining whodunit. It’s the early 19th century, and 25-year-old Beatrice Steele harbors a frightful secret: she loves to solve crimes. When a wealthy bachelor turns up dead at the local ball, Beatrice teams up with private detective Vivek Drake to ferret out the murderer. The intricate plot races along at a sprightly pace, and Seales delights with sharp humor and accomplished narrative control.


The Paris Mystery

Kirsty Manning (Vintage)

Manning launches a new mystery series starring intrepid reporter Charlie James, who faces off against professional sexism and a cold-blooded killer in late-1930s Europe. After a circus party ends in death, Manning embarks on a serpentine investigation that takes her through swinging Paris at its hedonistic peak. Readers will be intrigued to see what happens when an author known for mastery of historical detail dabbles in straight-up genre fare.


The Lie Maker

Linwood Barclay (Morrow)

This riveting thriller centers on a washed-up writer’s search for his long-lost father. After a copyediting gig falls through, Jack Givins is approached by the U.S. Marshals to write backstories for people in witness protection. The position gives Givins the idea to contact his father, who entered the program when Givins was a child. When he discovers the authorities have lost track of his father since then, he runs blindly on his trail. Crafty plotting and rich characters make this a winner.


Swamp Story

Dave Barry (Simon & Schuster)

Crime fiction doesn’t come much funnier than this Florida-set caper from Barry. Jesse Braddock has little hope for a better life until she stumbles on a cache of gold bars, supposedly a buried Confederate Army payroll shipment—but the treasure has already captured the interest of some ex-cons who plotted to find it during their time in prison. Barry keeps the comic suspense flowing at a sprightly pace. Carl Hiaasen fans, take note.


Symphony of Secrets

Brendan Slocumb (Anchor)

Slocumb’s thought-provoking mystery centers on fictional early 20th-century composer Frederick Delaney. After one of Delaney’s long-lost operas is recovered, Bern Hendricks is called in to authenticate it, and learns his lily-white musical hero might have had a lot of help from a Black contemporary. This exploration of the ways race, power, and modern music intersect is a timely page-turner.


What Remains

Wendy Walker (Blackstone)

Walker’s penchant for buzzy, acclaimed thrillers bodes well for her latest yarn about a cold case detective saddled with an unwanted admirer after she’s caught up in a department store tragedy. Detective Elie Sutton saves one man’s life by killing another, and slowly learns that the survivor isn’t at all who he says he is.


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