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 2018 Top Ten:

1.  The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachmann
2.  The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
3. Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
4.  The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
5.  Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
6.  Force of Nature by Jane Harper
7.  The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
8.  Dead if You Don't  by Peter James
9.  Sirens by Joseph Knox
10.  A Gentleman's Murder by Christopher Huang
Finds of the Year:

Iona Whishaw - Lane Winslow series
Steve Burrows - Dominic Jejeune series
Robert Bryndza - Erica Foster series
Robert Galbraith - Comoran Strike series

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143110439
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - March 26th, 2019

The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series

One of five Summer 2019 reading picks by Bill Gates

"The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, [and] twists of fate." —The Wall Street Journal

He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

A Deceptive Devotion (Lane Winslow Mystery #6) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781771513005
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchwood Editions - April 23rd, 2019

A wedding is on the horizon for Lane Winslow and Inspector Darling. As one of the few Russian speakers in her community, Lane is obliged to act as translator and hostess for Countess Orlova, an elderly Russian woman who has tracked her missing brother to the Nelson area. Nelson PD investigates, but then the murder of a lone hunter in the hills above King's Cove takes top priority.

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The Word Is Murder: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062676801
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 7th, 2019


New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime novel, this time writing a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes.

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The Widows of Malabar Hill (A Perveen Mistry Novel #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616959760
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - November 20th, 2018

1920s India: Perveen Mistry, Bombay's only female lawyer, is investigating a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in full purdah when the case takes a turn toward the murderous. The author of the Agatha and Macavity Award–winning Rei Shimura novels brings us an atmospheric new historical mystery with a captivating heroine.

The Satapur Moonstone (A Perveen Mistry Novel #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616959098
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - May 14th, 2019

The highly anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed novel The Widows of Malabar Hill.

The Stone Circle (Ruth Galloway Mysteries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328974648
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - May 7th, 2019

In a chilling entry to the award-winning Ruth Galloway series, she and DCI Nelson are haunted by a ghost from their past, just as their future lands on shaky ground.

DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters. They are anonymous, yet reminiscent of ones he has received in the past, from the person who drew him into a case that’s haunted him for years.

The Lost Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250105684
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - February 5th, 2019

Jane Harper's latest book, The Lost Man, is an atmospheric standalone. With the feel of The Dry,  Harper again transports the reader to the intense heat and arid landscape of rural Australia. Set at Christmas, this is the story of family secrets, jealousies and grudges which are finally out in the open.

Three brothers own and operate large cattle ranches in the outback. Their properties border each other, but their homes are hours apart. When middle brother is found dead near an old landmark, the question is asked...suicide, or murder.

The Lost Man is just what you'd expect from Harper. ..well-written, incredible sense of place and an unexpected climax. Pick up a copy, get a big glass of ice water and enjoy! - Brenda

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The Stranger Diaries Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328577856
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 5th, 2019

Elly Griffiths, the ever-popular author of two series - Ruth Galloway and the Magic Men - has now given us an amazing standalone in The Stranger Diaries. Clare and her teenage daughter Georgia live in a rural area outside London where Clare is a high school English teacher and Georgia is a student. An integral part of Clare's curriculum each year is teaching R. M. Holland's The Stranger.  When a friend and fellow teacher is murdered, a note featuring a line from Holland's short story is found next to the body.  

Enter Harbinder, a police detective assigned the case.  Told by the three narrators, Elly has seamlessly intertwined their stories in this eerily atmospheric tale.  And, her thoughtful use of classic literary references adds to the unique intrigue of The Stranger Diaries.  I loved it! - Brenda

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The Good Detective (A P.T. Marsh Novel #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525535539
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 19th, 2019

Set in Georgia, Detective P. T. Marsh is a policeman's policeman, on the path to all things good.  Then, his wife and son were killed in a tragic accident.  Since then, Marsh hasn't made the best decisions, personally or professionally...and the consequences may be deadly. 

Steeped in Southern tradition, this debut is for fans of Greg Iles. Can't wait for a sequel! - Brenda