2017 is a great year for new British mystery and suspense novels. Many of them are part of a series and I can’t wait to read them! Others are hopefully the beginning of new series (Weycombe). In the interest of geographic accuracy, I know my title says “British” but I have included one series that takes place in Scotland. Either way, I will definitely have my nose in one mystery book after another thanks to these prolific writers!
In This Grave Hour: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear released March 14
It is 1939 and Britain has just declared war with Germany. Maisie Dobbs is searching for the killer of a Belgian refugee who escaped during the occupation of Belgium in the Great War. Jacqueline Winspear gives us another well-researched, historical mystery with a strong, principled and heroic leading lady. This is the 13th novel in the Maisie Dobbs series.
The Day of the Lie: A Father Anselm Thriller released March 28
Father Anselm is a lawyer-turned-monk who also happens to be a detective. In The Day of the Lie, Father Anselm investigates the story of an old friend who was part of an underground resistance movement in Communist Poland during the Cold War. After surviving imprisonment, Father Anselm’s friend asks him to find out who betrayed her. This is the 6th novel in the Father Anselm Thriler series and is perfect for those who enjoy the works of John le Carré and William Boyd.
Of Books and Bagpipes: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton released April 4
Delaney Nichols traded Kansas for adventure in Scotland when she took a job working at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop in Edinburgh that specializes in rare manuscripts and objects. Delaney is sent to Castle Doune to buy a rare Scottish comic. Instead, she discovers the body of the man she was supposed to meet and the rare comic lying nearby. This is the second book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series and it is a perfect read for anyone who loves book-themed mysteries, a little romance and being swept away by descriptions of the gorgeous Scottish landscape.
Devil’s Breath (A Max Tudor Mystery) by G.M. Malliet April 11
Ex-MI5 agent-turned-cleric Max Tudor is asked to help a former colleague find the murderer of a glamorous film star whose body washes ashore near the yacht she was staying on. This is book 6 in the Max Tudor series. For more information about this particular writer and book series see my detailed review here.
A Whiff of Cyanide (A Hampstead Mystery) by Guy Fraser-Sampson June 2
Detective Simon Collison is back to investigate a death at a crime writers convention. Written in the style of the Golden Age of detective fiction, Guy Fraser-Sampson incorporates classic mystery puzzles with likeable characters. These characters could easily be transplanted into a Lord Peter Wimsey or Inspector Alleyn novel. For a more detailed review of the Hampstead Mystery series please see my review here.
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service (A Royal Spyness Mystery) by Rhys Bowen August 1
Set in the 1930s, Lady Georgie has her plate full as she takes on three separate sleuthing tasks at an Italian villa. Georgie’s mother, her fiancé Darcy and the Queen herself have high expectations for her sleuthing skills. As Britain hurdles closer and closer towards the brink of war, the Queen’s son gets closer and closer to a marriage with Wallis Simpson.
Weycombe by G.M. Malliet October 8
The idyllic village of Weycombe is tainted by the murder of a local estate agent. American transplant, and titled through marriage, Jillian White investigates the murder that has marred the village’s perfect facade and calls into question the honesty and trustworthiness of the locals.
Racing the Devil (An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery) by Charles Todd December 12
Inspector Ian Rutledge takes on a case extending back to a promise made by English officers on the eve of the Battle of the Somme in World War 1. The promise to reunite and race motorcars from Paris to Nice ends in a mountain road accident. It then sets the stage for a future accident one year later. Rutledge must unravel the complicated threads to save an innocent child from being the next victim.
A Legacy of Spies by John le Carre December 12
Can a spy ever really retire and live out the rest of his days quietly? Smiley is summoned out of retirement to a meeting in London with The Service. His past comes back to haunt him as he is to be held accountable for intelligence operations he was part of during the Cold War. This is the first George Smiley novel in 25 years.
What mysteries are you looking forward to reading this year? Let me know in the comments below.