Murder, mystery in several new novels

A woman with synesthesia helps her police detective boyfriend solve crimes in “Murder with a Twist” by Allyson K. Abbott.

Bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton experiences the world in a way most of us don’t – she can hear or feel odors, or taste and see sounds. This neurological disorder actually helps her see the world in a different way – and this has come in handy at crime scenes. While her bar hosts a group of hypothetical crime solvers who like to study over mystery puzzles, Mack is helping to solve the real thing with Duncan Albright, her boyfriend.

Mack is called to a crime scene of a man whose suicide quickly looks like murder. Helping to get to the bottom of the case with Duncan, she also is called upon to help with a young child’s kidnapping. Can Mack help bring justice and save the day? Will her gifts be an asset or a liability? And will her casework ruin her new relationship?

With the twist using synesthesia to solve crimes, this is an interesting, page-turning, cozy mystery.

“Murder with a Twist” is published by Kensington. It is $7.99 and 319 pages long.


New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman tells a family mystery story in “After I’m Gone.”

Felix and Bambi Brewer met in 1959 at a dance. Felix charmed Bambi away from her date, and eventually charms her into marriage, promising her the world, but letting her know it might be done by unsavory means. Though Felix always has other women, including the much younger, Julie, he always comes home to Bambi and their three daughters. Until the day in 1976, when he doesn’t – facing prison time, he flees the country. Ten years later, the mistress disappears too, and everyone assumes she went to be with her man. Now, her body is found in a park and former police detective Sandy Sanchez is investigating her murder. As Sandy’s investigation continues, and the story of the family unfolds over the course of many years, a lot of secrets come to light and maybe even a murderer in their midst.

The saga of a family is told over the years in this gripping novel. The characters’ stories all come to light gradually and will take the reader by surprise.

“After I’m Gone” is published by William Morrow. It is $26.99 and 331 pages long.


A New Scotland Yard novel comes in “Murder in Retribution” by Anne Cleeland.

Rookie detective Kathleen Doyle has jumped to the public eye, not just for being a good detective, but also for her new relationship and surprise marriage to Chief Inspector Michael Sinclair, Lord Acton. While the office might be uncomfortable and people might not understand their relationship, Doyle finds she has another surprise in store for everyone – she is pregnant. While attempting to fight morning sickness and investigate a turf war between Russian and Irish groups that is starting to have a high body count, Doyle soon learns she might just be a target and that the people she is hunting are closer than she thinks …

Reminiscent of Holmes and Watson, Sinclair and Doyle make a good team and romantic couple. The surprise ending will grab readers and likeable Doyle makes a great heroine.

“Murder in Retribution” is published by Kensington. It is $24 and 282 pages long.


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