A look at new mystery novels now available

A free trip to a resort ends in murder in “Beach Bags and Burglaries” by Dorothy Howell.

Haley has received a free trip to an exclusive resort thanks to a contest she won at her part-time job at Holt’s Department store.

She and her best friends, Marcie, Bella and Sandy, are content to soak up the sun and celebrity sightings. Haley is also determined to track down the elusive Sea Vixen beach bag, which is sold exclusively at a shop at the resort. But they’ve barely unpacked when a body is discovered – a maid at the hotel named Jaslyn. Haley has had a bit of experience tracking down murderers before, and doesn’t want to ruin her vacation, but she keeps getting sucked in – especially since she’s the one who discovered the body. But whether it’s a hot FBI agent who claims he’s only at the resort for a wedding, a hot L.A. homicide detective she’s worked with before or a private detective, Haley’s back on the case surrounded by hot guys. Whether it’s tracking down a bad guy, a bag or avoiding a frenemy’s on-site wedding, Haley’s ready for it all – with style.

A fun whodunnit caper that would be a perfect end-of-summer read, Haley is a charming heroine who just can’t seem to avoid trouble.

“Beach Bags and Burglaries” is published by Kensington. It is $24 and 304 pages long.


A gritty crime novel follows a disgraced young cop in “Third Rail” by Rory Flynn.

Eddy has returned to his small hometown outside of Boston, now emptying parking meters instead of working in the narcotics unit as before. Having been scapegoated in the death of a Red Sox fan in the aftermath of the World Series win, Eddy has sunk low. After a night of drinking, he spends the night with a bartender in a seedy bar he frequents, and wakes up the next morning to find his police-issue gun missing. Unable to report the loss for fear of being caught, he replaces it with a plastic one, hoping it will turn up. But Eddy may have a in back to the narcotics unit as a new drug called Third Rail hits the streets and seems responsible for several fatalities.

And he is drawn to a young mother named Candace whose boyfriend, Dex, seems to be on the edge of something shady. As everything begins to collide it seems like Eddy will be caught in the middle with only his wits to save him.

This story of political corruption and drugs is framed through the eyes of a flawed but trying to be redeemed protagonist, fitting perfectly with a crime noir type setting. Detective story fans will enjoy this.

“Third Rail” is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is $23 and 212 pages long.


Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com