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Tasha Alexander. A Cold Highland Wind (St Martins Press/Minotaur, $28.00).
In this new installment of Tasha Alexander’s acclaimed Lady Emily series set in the wild Scottish highlands, an ancient story of witchcraft may hold the key to solving a murder centuries later.
In the summer of 1905, Lady Emily, husband Colin Hargreaves, and their three sons eagerly embark on a family vacation at Cairnfarn Castle, the Scottish estate of their dear friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge. But a high-spirited celebration at the beginning of their stay comes to a grisly end when the duke’s gamekeeper is found murdered on the banks of the loch. Handsome Angus Sinclair had a host of enemies: the fiance he abandoned in Edinburgh, the young woman who had fallen hopelessly in love with him, and the rough farmer who saw him as a rival for her affections. But what is the meaning of the curious runic stone left on Sinclair’s forehead?
Clues may be found in the story of Lady MacAllister, wife of the Laird of Cairnfarn Castle, who in 1676 suddenly found herself widowed and thrown out of her home. Her sole companion was a Moorish slave girl who helped her secretly spirit her most prized possessions—a collection of strange books—out of the castle. When her neighbors, wary of a woman living on her own, found a poppet—a doll used to cast spells—and a daisy wheel in her isolated cottage, Lady MacAllister was accused of witchcraft, a crime punishable by death.
Hundreds of years later, Lady Emily searches for the link between Lady MacAllister’s harrowing witchcraft trial and the brutal death of Sinclair. She must follow a trail of hidden motives, an illicit affair, and a mysterious stranger to reveal the dark side of a seemingly idyllic Highland village.
Stephanie Barron. Jane and the Final Mystery (Soho Press, $27.95).
The final volume of the critically acclaimed mystery series featuring Jane Austen as amateur sleuth
March 1817: As winter turns to spring, Jane Austen’s health is in slow decline, and threatens to cease progress on her latest manuscript. But when her nephew Edward brings chilling news of a death at his former school, Winchester College, not even her debilitating ailment can keep Jane from seeking out the truth. Arthur Prendergast, a senior pupil at the prestigious all-boys’ boarding school, has been found dead in a culvert near the schoolgrounds—and in the pocket of his drenched waistcoat is an incriminating note penned by the young William Heathcote, the son of Jane’s dear friend Elizabeth. Winchester College is a world unto itself, with its own language and rites of passage, cruel hazing and dangerous pranks. Can Jane clear William’s name before her illness gets the better of her?
Over the course of fourteen previous novels in the critically acclaimed Being a Jane Austen Mystery series, Stephanie Barron has won the hearts of thousands of fans—crime fiction aficionados and Janeites alike—with her tricky plotting and breathtaking evocation of Austen’s voice. Now, she brings Jane’s final season—and final murder investigation—to brilliant, poignant life in this unforgettable conclusion.
C.S. Harris. Who Cries for the Lost (Berkley, $28.00).
Sebastian St. Cyr must confront a savage killer and save his closest friend from the hangman’s noose in this heart-pounding new historical mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of When Blood Lies.
June 1815. The people of London wait, breathlessly, for news as Napoleon and the forces united against him hurtle toward their final reckoning at Waterloo. Among them is Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, frustrated to find himself sidelined while recovering from a dangerous wound he recently received in Paris. When the mutilated corpse of Major Miles Sedgewick surfaces from the murky waters of the Thames, Sebastian is drawn into the investigation of a murder that threatens one of his oldest and dearest friends, Irish surgeon Paul Gibson.
Gibson’s lover, Alexi Sauvage, was tricked into a bigamous marriage with the victim. But there are other women who may have wanted the cruel, faithless Major dead. His mistress, his neglected wife, and their young governess who he seduced all make for compelling suspects. Even more interesting to Sebastian is one of Sedgewick’s fellow officers, a man who shared Sedgewick’s macabre interest in both old English folklore and the occult. And then there’s a valuable list of Londoners who once spied for Napoleon that Sedgewick was said to be transporting to Charles, Lord Jarvis, the Regent’s powerful cousin who also happens to be Sebastian’s own father-in-law.
The deeper Sebastian delves into Sedgewick’s life, the more he learns about the Major’s many secrets and the list of people who could have wanted him dead grows even longer. Soon others connected to Sedgewick begin to die strange, brutal deaths and more evidence emerges that links Alexi to the crimes. Certain that Gibson will be implicated alongside his lover, Sebastian finds himself in a desperate race against time to stop the killings and save his friends from the terror of the gallows.
Boyd Morrison and Beth Morrison. The Last True Templar (Head of Zeus, $29.99).
The thrilling new historical adventure from New York Times bestselling author Boyd Morrison and expert medievalist Beth Morrison. Fox and Willa find themselves on a dangerous quest for the treasure of the Templar Knights.A Perilous Quest. A Deadly Legacy.
Italy, 1351. English knight Gerard Fox and the resourceful Willa have come through a death-defying journey across war-torn Europe. Now looking towards their future together, they must first find a way to reconcile with their difficult pasts.
In a small village between Florence and Siena, Fox and Willa are caught up in a deadly ambush. After rescuing the enigmatic woman who is the target of the attack, they take refuge in her opulent villa and learn her heartbreaking story – a tale of loss, deception... and a burning desire for freedom.
Soon, Fox and Willa are involved in a perilous quest to save her family's legacy... and to do so, they will have to solve a mystery that points the way to the fabled lost treasure of the Knights Templar.
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