A different French connection

On the Radar — No, there hasn’t been a re-issue of the great 1971 movie. Our French connection this week is via two new novels set in France, written by Frédérique Molay and ML Longworth. If French crime isn’t your tasse de thé, then how about a killer with exotic sexual habits, a stalker thriller, a rookie detective and a cocktail-mixing crime fighter? Oh yes, and let’s have a shout-out for three Canadians who have new books – Phyllis Smallman, Cathy Ace and Linwood Barclay.

crossing-the-line-by-frederique-molayCrossing the Line by Frédérique Molay
This author has been described as the French Michael Connolly, and in this translation by Anne Trager of Le French Book we are reunited with the Paris Homicide team and its chief Nico Sirsky. At the end of the first novel in the series, The 7th Woman (2013), Sirsky was wounded, but now he’s back to full health, and is working the Christmas shift. As he juggles his job, his teenage son, his ex-wife and his new lover, he has to cope with what appears initially to be an elaborate student prank, but becomes an investigation into a macabre murder. On the shelves from 23 September.
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Murder On The Ile SordouMurder on the Ile Sordou by ML Longworth
In 2011, ML Longworth introduced us to Antoine Verlaque, the suave and charming chief magistrate of Aix and his topsy-turvy relationship with law professor Marine Bonnet. This is the fourth in the series, which mixes romance, murder and the heady tastes and smells of the south of France. Verlaque and Bonnet are on holiday on an island just off Marseille. When a fellow guest is murdered, they suspend their amorous holiday to find the killer. However, a violent storm cuts off all communication between The Ile Sordou and the mainland. The author was born in Toronto, but relocated from California to France. She now lives in Aix-en-Provence, and teaches writing at a university in Paris. Out on 30 September.
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Race To DeathRace to Death by Leigh Russell
This was published for Kindle earlier in the summer, but the publishers clearly believe the demand is out there for a paperback edition. This is the second tale featuring DI Ian Peterson, who is a spin-off character from the author’s well established Geraldine Steel series. Not the least of the newly promoted Peterson’s worries is settling into a new home with his family, but when a mysterious death occurs at York racetrack, his problems multiply. His bosses are pressing for a quick solution but Peterson won’t take shortcuts to bring about a quick result. The more he investigates, the more complex the case becomes, and the list of suspects lengthens. We reviewed Stop Dead by Leigh Russell back in June 2013. Race To Death is out on 25 September.
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A Last Act Of CharityA Last Act of Charity by Frank Westworth
JJ Stoner is an ex-military man who has killed at his country’s command, killed to order as a freelance, and has settled one or two scores on his own account. Now, Stoner must use every trick in the book – and a few more that are best left unwritten – to track down a killer who has a distinctive modus operandi and loves to leave the victims in hotel rooms. Stoner soon decides that he is after more than one person, but all his preconceptions are shattered when he discovers that there are actually three female murderers. Three sisters. Three deadly killers called Charity, Chastity and Charm, who are leaving behind them a trail of blood. Like author Frank Westwood, Stoner is a Harley Davidson fanatic and plays a mean blues guitar. Available on 25 September.
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YouYou by Caroline Kepnes
LA-based journalist Caroline Kepnes presents us with a distinctly creepy tale – that of a stalker. Before you say, “Oh not another stalker…” we’ll add that this stalker is not some jerk with a comb-over and a mother fixation. He is bright, funny and at first the object of his attention, Guinevere Beck, thinks he just the guy for her. Not only does Joe not fit the classic stalker mould, we see much of the novel from his quirky viewpoint. Things get much darker and much more serious, however, and the tough and self-confident Guinevere soon realises that she is in serious trouble. The book will be available in hardback and Kindle from 25 September.
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Silence The DeadSilence The Dead by Jack Fredrickson
Grand Point, Illinois. Big name, small town, and a new mayor tries to clear up a 30-year-old mystery. Who killed Betty Jo Dean? There is an exhumation, but when the skull inside the coffin is examined it isn’t Betty Jo’s. All of a sudden Mac Bassett feels like Will Kane in High Noon. Everywhere he goes, people can’t remember things. Doors are shut in his face. He hears more than one version of, “I’d like to help, but…” Betty Jo will always be 17, and Bassett’s righteous anger forces him to confront those who have kept an ugly secret for three decades. To be published on 30 September.
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Corpse Platinum HairThe Corpse With The Platinum Hair by Cathy Ace
In the fourth of this popular series, criminologist Cait Morgan and ex-cop Bud Anderson are vacationing in Sin City itself – Las Vegas. As they finish their meal in an exclusive restaurant, a woman is murdered. The cops are on the scene quickly, and shut down the place. This means that Cait and Ben, plus a stiff and 10 possible killers are the main characters in what is probably the first locked casino murder mystery. You can read our 2013 review of a previous Cathy Ace book, The Corpse With The Golden Nose here and we also have the authors five favourite classic crime novels here. The Corpse With The Platinum Hair will be published on 25 September in paperback, but is already available for download to your Kindle.
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Martini-Regrets-by-Phyllis-Smallman-196x300Martini Regrets by Phyllis Smallman
Sherri Travis is, among other things, and ace cocktail waitress. In her latest adventure she gets stranded when her pickup is hijacked in the beautiful but deadly swampland of the Everglades – and she’s not a girl in love with Florida’s flora and fauna. Trying to avoid nasty stinging and biting things, Sherri discovers the body of a man, and finds herself in the middle of a life-or-death battle with human creatures who are every bit as deadly as the resident gators and Cottonmouths. Martini Regrets will be on the shelves in paperback from 25 September, but is available as a download now.
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No Safe HouseNo Safe House by Linwood Barclay
Seven years before the events in this book begin to unfold, someone saved the lives of  Terry Archer, his wife Cynthia, and daughter Grace. Problem is, the guy who was the hero on that particular occasion is also a vicious criminal. Teenager Grace has an idiot boyfriend and Cynthia, racked with her own insecurities, has moved out. We first met the Archer family in Barclay’s 2009 novel, No Time For Goodbye, but their lives have become no easier. Grace and her reprobate boyfriend make a stupid decision, and become involved in a shooting. With a gun recently handled by Grace. Terry is doing his darnedest to keep his fragile family together, but he faces a gang of  criminals. We took a good long look at Never Saw it Coming in January 2013. No Safe House is out on 25 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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