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  • Tea and felony

    Maybe she should have seen it coming. As “Tempest in the Tea Leaves” (304 pages, Berkley Prime Crime, $7.99), Kari Lee Townsend’s series debut, opens, Sunny Meadows has escaped her domineering parents in New York City and moved to the upstate town of Divinity to open a fortune-telling business.&nbs...;

  • Rising Reich, rising nightmare

    In the run-up to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, the Nazis hauled down the swastikas and spruced up the city that would be the center of international intention. But putting lipstick on a particularly noxious pig could not disguise the boar’s murderous nature. Enter Hannah Vogel, the heroine of ...

  • Emmy-winning 'Dick Van Dyke Show' writer dies

    Emmy-winning writer Sam Denoff, who wrote for TV's "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and helped create the Marlo Thomas comedy "That Girl," has died in Los Angeles at 83.

  • Pies and photos

    For middle-aged lovers, relationship-threatening danger most often comes from children from previous relationships, and Melinda Wells spins the story in a different way in “Pie a la Murder” (308 pages, Berkley Prime Crime, $7.99), the fourth entry in her series featuring television cook Della Carmic...

  • Stella!

    You know the type:  the stuck-up girl who can’t wait to get out of town after high school, moves to the big city and becomes a success. Such is Priscilla “Priss” Porter.  But she’s back in her hometown of Prosper, Mo., and she has a job for Stella Hardesty, a likable vigilante who puts th...

  • Death from above

    When a plane crashes into the town gazebo when Stoneham, N.H., is celebrating its Founders Day, not only the pilot but speaker Deborah Black is killed. But is this a tragic accident or, as mystery-bookstore Tricia Miles suspects, a murder-suicide?  And if the latter, why? Those are the questio...

  • War (sort of) and death

    With interest in the Civil War at one of its occasional peaks – the sesquicentennial is upon us – what better time for a mystery in which a re-enactment plays a large part. That’s what Julie Hyzy has concocted in “Grace Interrupted” (304 pages, Berkley Prime Crime, $7.99), the second entry in her ...

  • Sex and shots

    San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright has been given an old copy of the “Kama Sutra” to evaluate and soon finds herself in an awkward position. No, it’s not what you’re thinking – although Brooklyn and her boyfriend, Derek Stone, can’t resist some hands-on research in Kate Carlisle’s “Murder...

  • Fiber optics and felonies

    Fiber-optics communication is coming to Martha’s Vineyard, and so is murder.  But 92-year-old poet and sleuth Victoria Trumbull is on the case in Cynthia Riggs’ “The Bee Balm Murders” (304 pages, Minotaur Books, $24.99), the 10th installment in her series. When Orion Nanopoulos, the fiber-opti...

  • Virginia Book Notes

    Despite America’s increasingly mobile society, a Southerner’s move to New York remains a major cultural undertaking.

  • Book Bag Blog: A burning question

    Last year, a prominent newspaper in the Northeast praised Christine Barber’s debut novel, “The Replacement Child,” as a fine regional mystery. True, but confining.

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