Mysteries delve into gothic, paranoia

Mysteries run the gamut between cozy and gothic with several new books!

Simone St. James travels to 1920s England in a gothic story of a ghost hunter’s niece in “An Inquiry into Love and Death.”

Jillian Leigh is used to be looking considered strange – an Oxford student of brilliant parents, she’s not interested in landing a husband, but a job instead. When her estranged Uncle Toby is killed in a fall off a cliff, she is sent by her parents to identify the body and settle his estate. But the reason Toby was in the small village of Rothewell may have something to do with his death – he was a ghost hunter on the track of the famed Walking John, a 200-year-old ghost. Was Toby the victim of a haunting or a murder? The handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken seems to think it was murder, and Jillian wants to uncover the truth. But what she finds might change her world-view entirely and put her life in danger.

This is a chilly, gothic mystery that will grab a hold of the reader and not let go. There’s romance, danger and a ghost or two.

“An Inquiry into Love and Death” is published by New American Library. It is $14 and 339 pages long.

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No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben tells the story of a college professor who won’t give up on his lost love in “Six Years.”

Jake Fisher was dumped by his love, Natalie, six years ago when she abruptly left him and immediately married another man. Never able to get Natalie out of his mind, Jake stumbles upon the obituary of her husband and feels compelled to see her one last time. But once at the funeral, he discovers the mourning widow isn’t Natalie – and has been married to the deceased for decades. Did he have a secret life or was the wedding Jake witness a complete lie? Where is Natalie? Jake is determined to find out and once he begins to pick at the threads of the mystery, what unravels is something he never expected.

The mystery in this story and how far it encompasses Jake is a good one and keeps the reader surprised. My only problem with the story was the “discovery” that Jake had known Natalie only a few months before she disappeared. Obsessing for six years over a relationship that was ended within a matter of a few months?

“Six Years” is published by Dutton. It is $27.95 and 351 pages long.

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New York Times bestselling author Joanne Fluke brings the sweets and murder in “Red Velvet Cupcake Murder.”

Hannah Swensen is having a busy summer with her bakery, and her latest job is red velvet cupcakes for the grand opening of the Red Velvet Lounge at the Albion Hotel. It looks like being in uncomfortable panty hose in the middle of summer might be Hannah’s only problem – that is until the notorious Doctor Bev shows up with her latest beau, a wealthy investor. The next thing she knows, a partygoer has fallen off the hotel’s roof, either pushed or an accident. The victim – the sheriff’s secretary – is hospitalized, and Hannah makes it her mission to find out what happened. But that’s not the only violence in town, Hannah is ready to murder Doctor Bev herself when she starts making moves on Hannah’s boyfriend, Norman. And Hannah finds herself in hot water when Bev is found dead after eating a red velvet cupcake! While Hannah might have wished her dead, she didn’t kill her, and now she’s going to have to prove her innocence!

This cozy mystery series will have readers drooling for more murder-mystery plots and more delicious sounding recipes!

“Red Velvet Cupcake Murder” is published by Kensington. It is $25 and 323 pages long with a long list of recipes inside!

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Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com