Brenda's Staff Picks

Brenda Jordan at Murder By The Book since 2009

After years of reading only True Crime, I slowly moved to mystery novels. Now, I primarily read British, Historical, Foreign and Espionage novels. From Peter James to Alan Bradley, Geraldine Brooks to Mark Pryor, Kate Morton to Amor Towles, Martin Walker to Daniel Silva, each author offers his/her unique ability to tell a story well. And, the well-written, well-told story is what I want!

Whether fast-paced, intense, poignant, charming— I know the story has “it” when I can’t get it out of my mind. What’s better than the anticipation of a new book by a favorite author, or the unexpected find of a great book by a new author? Nothing! That’s what it’s all about.

Brenda's 2019 Top Ten:

1. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
2. The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
3. The Book Artist by Mark Pyror
4. The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey
5. The Whisper Man by Alex North
6. Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
7. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
8. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
9. The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup
10. The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Find of the Year: Old Man in the Corner by Baroness Orczy

Staff Pick Badge
The Animals at Lockwood Manor Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358106401
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 10th, 2020

It's London 1939, and evacuation of museum collections is underway. Hetty Cartwright is given the responsibility of overseeing hundreds of mammal specimens being transferred to Lockwood Manor, where they will remain throughout the war.  But the task seems overwhelming when Hetty realizes the servants resent the arrival of both the mammals and her, and to make matters worse, Lord of the Manor - Lockwood is less than accommodating. Taunting Hetty, mammals are moved from room to room, some go missing, some get damaged.  Is someone stalking Hetty as she goes about her business?  

Oh, and then there's Lucy, the haunted daughter of Lord Lockwood....what's her story?

Pick up and copy to find out. - Brenda

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The Tenant Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982127572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - January 14th, 2020

Set in Copenhagen, this debut features Police Detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner.  Tenant Julie is found murdered in her apartment, an apartment owned by Esther de Laurenti, who lives two floors above Julie and her roommate Caroline.  Police learn Esther is writing a novel, with it's main character based on Julie.  But when it's revealed that Julie's death mirrors Esther's novel, Detectives Korner and Werner have to decide whether Esther is a suspect or a victim.  

A much-anticipated debut, it won't disappoint!  - Brenda

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Firewatching (A Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler Novel #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525542025
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 25th, 2020

This debut novel features Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler, a cold-case reviewer who finds himself in the middle of a high-profile murder investigation. Renovation of the Cartwright mansion reveals skeletal remains behind a bricked wall in the cellar.  Could it be Gerald Cartwright, owner, who disappeared years earlier?

This may be the case to jump-start Tyler's career...until he realizes the prime suspect is Tyler's latest one-night stand.

Intelligent, taut and fast-paced, this debut should put Russ Thomas on the path to a smart, new series featuring Adam Tyler. - Brenda

Signed copies available!

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The Satapur Moonstone (A Perveen Mistry Novel) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641291316
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - March 10th, 2020

The follow-up to last year's Widows of Malabar Hill features Perveen Mistry, Bombay's only female attorney.  It's India 1922 and the state of Satapur has experienced a series of tragedies involving the royal family.  When the maharaja and his teen-aged son both die unexpectedly, the state comes under the rule of the British Raj to govern the two maharanis - the dowager queen and her daughter-in-law.

Living in purdah and unable to speak to men, Perveen is hired by the Government Council to travel to Satapur to meet with the maharanis to determine the educational needs of the young Crown Prince, and hopefully, to restore peace to the palace.  

The Satapur Moonstone is an excellent sequel to Widows of Malabar Hill.  I loved it! - Brenda