Stephanie Graves. A Valiant Deceit (Kensington, $26.00 Signed).
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Weaving wartime intrigue, rural village life, and little-known historical facts about the role of carrier pigeons in WWII, Stephanie Graves continues the adventures of Olive Bright, a young pigeoneer who, along with her racing birds, has been conscripted to aid the fight against the Nazis. It’s not the daring role she'd envisioned for herself, but her quiet little English village is not nearly as sheltered as she imagined…Returning to Pipley following her FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) training, Olive is eager to step up her involvement in the war effort. Her pigeons are being conscripted to aid the Belgian resistance, and it’s up to Olive to choose the best birds for the mission. To protect the secrecy of their work, she must also continue the ruse of being romantically involved with her superior, Captain Jameson Aldridge, a task made more challenging by the fact that she really does have feelings for the gruff Irish intelligence officer. But perhaps the greatest challenge of all comes when an instructor at Station XVII, the top-secret training school housed at Brickendonbury Manor, is found dead in Balls Wood by a troop of Girl Guides. The police quickly rule Lieutenant Jeremy Beckett’s death an accident, but based on clues she finds at the scene, Olive begins to suspect he might have been a spy. Involving the reluctant Jamie, she is determined to solve the murder and possibly stop a threat to their intelligence efforts which could put the Belgians—not to mention her pigeons—in grave danger.
Laura Joh Rowland. Garden of Sins (Crooked Lane, $26.99 Signed Copies).
Award-winning author Laura Joh Rowland is back with the sixth in her critically acclaimed Victorian Mystery series in which Sarah must search for the killer of a woman she found murdered on a train all the while waiting for the verdict of her father's trial for heinous crimes committed two decades earlier.London, November 1890. Crime scene photographer Sarah Bain Barrett faces a perfect storm of events. She and her husband Detective Sergeant Barrett are riding on a train that crashes. While rescuing other passengers, they find a woman who's been strangled to death. Their search for her identity and her killer lead them to Cremorne Gardens, a seedy riverside pleasure park that's a combination carnival, theater, freak show, and museum of oddities. It's among the most challenging cases that Sarah, Barrett, and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O'Reilly have ever undertaken. The suspects include a dwarf, a female acrobat, and a member of the Royal Family. Due to the royal connection, the police commissioner declares the case top-secret. Sarah and company must investigate on the quiet, keeping the suspects, the press, and the public in the dark. That's easier said than done. The investigation is complicated by the injury Hugh sustained during their last case, Mick's romance with a woman who has psychic powers, and Barrett's old flame.Meanwhile, Sarah's father Benjamin Bain goes on trial for a rape and murder that happened more than two decades ago. The victim was a teenage girl named Ellen Casey. Is Benjamin Bain as innocent as he claims? Sarah has serious doubts. The trial is the scandal of the year, a media blitz. The outcome--and the truth about the murder on the train--are beyond Sarah's wildest imaginings. What dangerous secrets are hidden behind the tawdry glamor of Cremorne Gardens? Is Benjamin Bain wrongly accused, or a guilty sinner who deserves to be hanged?
Rosemary Simpson. The Dead Cry Justice (Kensington, $26.00 Signed)
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Heiress-turned-sleuth Prudence MacKenzie and ex-Pinkerton Geoffrey Hunter step out of the elite society of Gilded Age New York as they venture into the city’s crime ridden streets and most dangerous neighborhoods to search for two missing children… May 1890: As NYU Law School finally agrees to admit female law students, Judge MacKenzie’s daughter Prudence weighs her choices carefully. Chief among her concerns is how her decision would affect the Hunter and MacKenzie Investigative Law agency and her professional and personal relationship with the partner who is currently recuperating from a near fatal shooting.But an even more pressing issue presents itself in the form of a street urchin, whose act of petty theft inadvertently leads Prudence to a badly beaten girl he is protecting. Fearing for the girl’s life, Prudence rushes her to the Friends Refuge for the Sick Poor, run by the compassionate Charity Sloan. When the boy and girl slip out of their care and run away, Prudence suspects they are fleeing a dangerous predator and is desperate to find them.Aided by the photographer and social reformer Jacob Riis and the famous journalist Nellie Bly, Prudence and Geoffrey scour the tenements and brothels of Five Points. Their only clue is a mysterious doll with an odd resemblance to the missing girl. But as the destitute orphans they encounter whisper the nickname of the killer who stalks them—Il diavolo—Prudence and Geoffrey must race against time to find the missing children before their merciless enemies do...