The major publishing houses are gearing up like finely oiled machines for springtime releases. Watch out for these titles over the next few months.
â€œPolice at the Station and They Donâ€™t Look Friendlyâ€ by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street Books, 320 pages, $15.95) March 7
Adrian McKinty is a finalist for a coveted Edgar Alan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his novel â€œRain Dogs.â€ His Detective Sean Duffy is a homicide cop in Northern Ireland during the time of â€œThe Troubles.â€ This next book could be McKintyâ€™s best yet.
â€œThe Collapsing Empireâ€ by John Scalzi (Tor Books, 336 pages, $25.99) March 21
One of our leading science fiction writers resides in Bradford, Ohio. The press release for John Scalziâ€™s latest novel describes how â€œa scientist, a starship captain, and the Empress of the Interdependency – are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.â€
â€œLeo Durocher-Baseballâ€™s Prodigal Sonâ€ by Paul Dickson (Bloomsbury, 368 pages, $28) March 21
Paul Dicksonâ€™s biography of the impresario Bill Veeck is one of the best baseball books of recent years. In his latest effort Dickson takes one mighty biographical swing at Leo Durocher, a colorful baseball player and manager. Durocher was a loudmouthed brawler, ladyâ€™s man, fine coach, and coiner of the expression: â€œnice guys finish last.â€
â€œThe Bridgeâ€ by Stuart Prebble (Mulholland Books, 288 pages, $26). March 28
The book opens as a man is tossing small children off of a bridge into the River Thames in London. The press nicknames this elusive monster â€œthe Madman.â€ In this brilliantly executed crime novel the chills are guaranteed.
â€œPrussian Blueâ€ by Phillip Kerr (Marian Wood/Putnam, 544 pages, $27). April 4
Careworn former Berlin detective Bernie Gunther returns. It is the 1950â€™s-heâ€™s working at a hotel on the French Riviera under an assumed name. The ghosts of his past wonâ€™t let him rest. This might be Kerrâ€™s best one yet. I loved it.
â€œA Welcome Murderâ€ by Robin Yocum (Seventh Street Books, 280 pages, $15.95) April 4
Robin Yocumâ€™s last book â€œA Brilliant Deathâ€ is up against Adrian McKintyâ€™s for an Edgar Award. Yocum lives in Columbus and sets these novels in eastern Ohio. In this one a former pro baseball player gets out of prison after serving seven years on drug charges. He goes back to Steubenville to retrieve some cash he had stashed away. But his plans soon go awry.
â€œProving Groundâ€ by Peter Blauner (Minotaur Books, 368 pages, $25.99) May 2
Peter Blaunerâ€™s first book in a planned series featuring the New York City detective Lourdes Robles opens with the murder of an attorney who was never popular with the police. Lourdes is teamed with a grizzled old detective who is about to retire. It has been 10 years since Blaunerâ€™s last book. He hasnâ€™t lost a step.
â€œInto the Waterâ€ by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 400 pages, $28). May 2
How does one follow up on â€œThe Girl on the Train,â€ the biggest novel of last year? Well, Paula Hawkins had that daunting task and she has performed admirably. Sorry, no hints, no clues, no spoilers from me. Oh, what a twisty, amazing story. Youâ€™ll read this one.
â€œThe Childâ€ by Fiona Barton (Berkley, 384 pages, $26). June 27
Fiona Bartonâ€™s literary debut â€œThe Widowâ€ made many best of the year lists. Now with â€œThe Childâ€ Barton can cement her reputation as a force in the mystery genre. During a demolition project the skeleton of a baby in unearthed. The journalist Kate Waters is on the case and this intrepid reporter wonâ€™t give up until she uncovers the story of who that child was and how she got there.