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New Year, New Series: Are you a fan of mysteries? Having completed some of my favorite series, I decided to try some new (or new to me) series this year and I present the results. The main question: Do I want to read the next in the series? Read on and find out.

A Disappearance in Fiji by Nilimi Rao 

Disappearance in Fiji cover

This is the first-in-a-planned-series by new author Rao. We are introduced to her protagonist, Akal Singh. World War I has just begun, and Akal Singh has been sent (banished?) to the British colony of Fiji, where he is expected to be a liaison between the police and the Indian indentured servants (“coolies”) working on the sugar plantations. The disappearance of a woman opens Singh’s eyes to the depth of depravity in the system. Yes, I will read the next installment. 

The Right Sort of Man (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery) by Allison Montclair 

The Right Sort of Man cover

If you’re a fan of Maisie Dobbs, Gwen Bainbridge and Iris Sparks are waiting for you to become a fan of theirs. It’s post-WWII London when Gwen and Iris meet and create The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. They are opposites that complement each other as often happens, and as also so often happens, they find themselves working to exonerate a new client who has been charged with murder. There are plenty of webs to get tangled in, and I enjoyed going along with Gwen and Iris until the murder was solved. Yes, this one is now on my list.

Light on Bone (A Georgia O’Keefe mystery) by Kathryn Lasky 

Light on Bone cover

Georgia O’Keefe as a detective? Why not? O’Keefe has arrived in New Mexico expecting tranquility away from New York and Alfred Steiglitz, but things are not as tranquil as they seem.  O'Keefe is out on her morning in the desert when she comes upon a body. She doesn't want to get involved, but well, you know. As far-fetched as the idea seemed, Lasky made the idea of O'Keefe as a detective realistic. Other real-life characters such as Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne, for example, are portrayed as O'Keefe might really have seen them. A follow up has not yet been announced, but I'll keep my eyes open for it.

Flower Net: A Red Princess Mystery by Lisa See 

Flower Net cover

Entering the modern era, it's cross-cultural romance meets international intrigue in this series. If you're a fan of Lisa See, as I am, you know that she excels at providing historical context to the current era, so there's a lot of background on Chinese history as it applies to the characters and the plot. Two young men, one Chinese, one American, are found murdered in different places and under different circumstances. Soon a link between the two develop. Meanwhile, a Justice department lawyer and Chinese are assigned to work together to solve the crime. There are two more books in this series which I look forward to reading.

The Missing American  by Kwei Quartey 

The Missing American cover

I had not read Quartey’s previous series (The Inspector Darko Dawson Mysteries), but this new series, The Emma Djan Mysteries) hooked me from the start. When newly-minted Constable Emma Djan applies to be transferred to a different department and experiences sexual harassment at the hands of a superior, she quits immediately but lands on her feet thanks to a helpful ex-colleague who puts in a good word at a private detection agency. Meanwhile, an American who has been the victim of a scam but has long ties to Ghana decides to take matters into his own hands. When he goes missing, his son comes looking for him, but the police are not much help. You’ll get a real sense of life in Ghana with many references to places, food, and rampant corruption. I look forward to reading the next installment and watching Emma's career develop.

Death and Croissants (Follett Valley Mystery) by Ian Moore 

Death and Croissants cover

Death comes to Central France in this new series. Where is Vincent Grandchamps and why is he visiting the "Top 10 Places to See in the Loire Valley", leaving a bloody hand print wherever he goes? This could be a “cozy” mystery but for the very un-cozy French woman who is determined to figure out what’s going on and dragging the unwitting Brit owner of a B and B along with her. I hoped for more "sense of place" in this novel, having spent a year of college in the area where the book takes place, but sadly, not much of that. However, there were enough twists and turns plus some humor to keep the plot moving along and the characters developing that I will look for the next one.


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About the Author

Carol A. is a Library Associate at the Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library. She’s working to branching out to different genres, but spends a lot of time in the mystery section and perusing the cookbooks aisle. When not at work, she cooks, reads, listens to podcasts on a variety of subjects, and takes long walks – often in combination.