Mysteries range from cozy, thrillers

There are plenty of thrills to be had with new mysteries!

First, a Green Living Festival becomes the scene of a murder in Staci McLaughlin’s “Green Living Can Be Deadly.”

Dana is helping organize the festival and is running the booth for her workplace, O’ Connell Organic Farm & Spa. She’s trying to tempt people to try their healthy fare, and perhaps take a pig writing pen, but attendance is sparce. She decides to visit one of the other booths and finds it run by an old friend of hers from high school, Wendy. The two talk of catching up later, but later in the day, Dana hears a man arguing with Wendy and then Wendy is found murdered! Why was she killed? Does it have something to do with her carbon-footprint-reducing company Invisible Prints? Was it something to do with Wendy personally? Dana is determined to find out! This is a fun little cozy mystery about an amateur sleuth, with a colorful cast of characters.

“Green Living Can Be Deadly” is published by Kensington. It is $7.99 and 366 pages long.

Jonathan Kellerman returns to his Alex Delaware series in “Killer.”

Psychologist Alex Delaware is called by a local court to conduct interviews for both sides of a child custody case. Two sisters are fighting for custody of one little girl. The girl’s mother is a bit flaky, but seemingly means well. The girl’s aunt is well-to-do and seemingly wants to provide a stable home life. As Alex digs in, he begins to see veneers crack, and receives a death threat from one of the women when the hearing doesn’t go her way. When one sister is found dead and the other disappears with the baby, Alex must dig not only into his own past, but also the two women’s to discover the truth about what really happened.

This is an emotionally charged story, with plenty to think about dealing with child custody laws, and the mystery will have readers guessing.

“Killer” is published by Ballantine Books. It is $28 and 335 pages long.

A family drama is wrapped in a bit of mystery in Carla Buckley’s “The Deepest Secret.”

Eve Lattimore is doing her best to hold her family together. Her son Tyler has a rare disease that makes it impossible for him to be out in the sunlight, her older daughter is beginning to become a bit wild and resentful, her husband is out of town with work a lot and even Tyler is starting to test his boundaries. Eve is doing what she can for all of them and starting to feel the strain. Then one evening, Eve is driving home and her close friend and neighbor’s daughter, Amy, walks in front of her car and is struck and killed. Eve, panicking in the moment, decides not to tell anyone because she fears what will happen to Tyler without her around. As the police begin to question everyone in their tight-knit neighborhood, Eve begins to feel the guilt and all sorts of secrets begin to come out. What was Amy doing out that night? Will Eve’s crime be discovered?

This is a searing look into the secrets of families, the decisions people make that affect everyone and the lengths, right or wrong, many will go through to protect their family. Told through varying points-of-view, characters’ motives are questioned throughout.

“The Deepest Secret” is published by Bantam Books. It is $26.


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