Mystery & Thriller Books Coming This February
The year has started off strong with the release of books like The Maid and Anthem. February is no different. From spins on a classic detective novel in The Goodbye Coast to stories from our favorite authors, February has a lot to offer and we are excited to delve in. What are you reading this month?
The seductive and relentless figure of Raymond Chandler’s detective, Philip Marlowe, is vividly re-imagined in present-day Los Angeles. Here is a city of scheming Malibu actresses, ruthless gang members, virulent inequality, and washed-out police. Acclaimed and award-winning novelist Joe Ide imagines a Marlowe very much of our time: he’s a quiet, lonely, and remarkably capable and confident private detective, though he lives beneath the shadow of his father, a once-decorated LAPD homicide detective, famous throughout the city, who’s given in to drink after the death of Marlowe’s mother.
Marlowe, against his better judgement, accepts two missing person cases, the first a daughter of a faded, tyrannical Hollywood starlet, and the second, a British child stolen from his mother by his father. At the center of The Goodbye Coast is Marlowe’s troubled and confounding relationship with his father, a son who despises yet respects his dad, and a dad who’s unable to hide his bitter disappointment with his grown boy.
Imagine everyone’s surprise when Carter von Oehson, a sophomore in Dr. Dylan Reinhart’s Abnormal Psychology class, posts on Instagram that he plans to kill himself. 24 hours later and still no one has seen him.
Release the hounds. A massive search ensues. But when Carter’s sailboat rolls in with the tide without him or anyone else on it, the worst seems to be confirmed. He really did it . . . Or did he?
The one person convinced he’s still alive is his father, Mathias von Oehson, founder and CEO of the world’s largest hedge fund. But what Mathias knows and how he knows it would ultimately reveal a secret so damaging that it would be as if he were committing suicide himself. There’s no way he can go to the police. But there’s still someone he can turn to.
Lucas Tappan, a wealthy and eccentric billionaire and founder of Icarus Space Systems, approaches the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute with an outlandish proposal—to finance a careful, scientific excavation of the Roswell Incident site, where a UFO is alleged to have crashed in 1947. A skeptical Nora Kelly, to her great annoyance, is tasked with the job.
Nora's excavation immediately uncovers two murder victims buried at the site, faces and hands obliterated with acid to erase their identities. Special Agent Corrie Swanson is assigned to the case. As Nora’s excavation proceeds, uncovering things both bizarre and seemingly inexplicable, Corrie’s homicide investigation throws open a Pandora's box of espionage and violence, uncovering bloody traces of a powerful force that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—and that threatens to engulf them all in an unimaginable fate.
Death of a Green-Eyed Monster
by M. C. Beaton
With R.W. Green
Hamish's new constable, Dorothy McIver, may be the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. Completely bewitched by her sparkling blue eyes, Hamish spends the summer traveling with her up and down Sutherland until finally, he can take it no longer. He gets down on one knee beside the Land Rover and begs her to marry him—and to his amazement and delight, she says yes.
But just as the town of Lochdubh gets ready to celebrate, Hamish finds himself with a new murder on his hands. If he doesn't find the killer fast, Hamish's dream wedding could become a nightmare.
THE CARD SHARK: Hailey Gordon is looking to make some fast cash to help pay her tuition when she’s caught counting cards at the Encore casino in Boston. She grabs her winnings and makes her escape. With guards closing in, she dives into an unlocked room to hide . . . only to find a dead body.
THE EX-CON: Recently released from prison, Nick Patterson hasn’t felt hope in a long time, but the job he “inherited” in prison promises to change that. He enters hotel room 633 to find that the person he was supposed to meet has been murdered. Next to the corpse stands a terrified young woman—Hailey Gordon.
THE PROFESSOR: American history professor Adrian Jensen learns of the death of his professional nemesis, Charles Walker, the night after he received Walker’s latest research. Skeptical at first, Adrian nearly deletes the file. But when one small, new detail catches his eye, he makes it his mission to uncover what could be one of the biggest secrets of the Revolutionary War.
All three strangers find themselves on the cusp of an incredible discovery—one that someone is willing to kill to keep buried.
Our American Friend
Tired of covering the grating dysfunction of Washington and the increasingly outrageous antics of President Henry Caine, White House correspondent Sofie Morse quits her job and plans to leave politics behind. But when she gets a call from the office of First Lady Lara Caine, asking Sofie to come in for a private meeting with Lara, her curiosity is piqued. Sofie, like the rest of the world, knows little about Lara—only that Lara was born in Soviet Russia, raised in Paris, and worked as a model before moving to America and marrying the notoriously brash future president.
When Lara asks Sofie to write her official biography, and to finally fill in the gaps of her history, Sofie’s curiosity gets the better of her. She begins to spend more and more time in the White House, slowly developing a bond with Lara—and eventually a deep and surprising friendship with her.
Even more surprising to Sofie is the fact that Lara is entirely candid about her mysterious past. The First Lady doesn’t hesitate to speak about her beloved father’s work as an undercover KGB officer in Paris—and how he wasn’t the only person in her family working undercover during the Cold War.
The Paris Apartment
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up—to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this?—he’s not there.
The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.
Related: When 'Emily in Paris' Goes Wrong: Thrillers Set in France
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead
Finlay Donovan is—once again—struggling to finish her next novel and keep her head above water as a single mother of two. On the bright side, she has her live-in nanny and confidant Vero to rely on, and the only dead body she's dealt with lately is that of her daughter's pet goldfish.
On the not-so-bright side, someone out there wants her ex-husband, Steven, out of the picture. Permanently. Whatever else Steven may be, he's a good father, but saving him will send her down a rabbit hole of hit-women disguised as soccer moms, and a little bit more involvement with the Russian mob than she'd like.
Meanwhile, Vero's keeping secrets, and Detective Nick Anthony seems determined to get back into her life. He may be a hot cop, but Finlay's first priority is preventing her family from sleeping with the fishes... and if that means bending a few laws then so be it.
With her next book's deadline looming and an ex-husband to keep alive, Finlay is quickly coming to the end of her rope. She can only hope there isn't a noose at the end of it...
Chloe Cates Is Missing
The disappearance of a young internet celebrity ignites a firestorm of speculation on social media, and to find her a detective will have to extinguish the blaze.
Chloe Cates is missing. The 13-year-old star of the hit web series, “CC and Me,” has disappeared, and nobody knows where she’s gone—least of all ruthless momager Jennifer Scarborough, who has spent much of her daughter’s young life crafting a child celebrity persona that is finally beginning to pay off. And in Chloe’s absence, the faux-fairytale world that supported that persona begins to fracture, revealing secrets capable of reducing the highly-dysfunctional Scarborough family to rubble.
Anxious to find her daughter and preserve the life she’s worked so hard to build, Jennifer turns to social media for help, but the hearsay, false claims, and salacious suspicions only multiply. As the search becomes as sensational as Chloe’s series, Missing Persons detective Emilina Stone steps in, only to realize she has a connection to this case herself. Will she be able to stay objective and cut through the rumors to find the truth before it’s too late?
Death of a Laird
by M. C. Beaton
With R.W. Green
When Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is sent to investigate reports that the wealthy new laird of the remote Naglar House has disappeared, north-west Scotland is hit by the worst storm in living memory. The road is washed away, phone lines are down, mobile reception is dead and his police radio is out of order. He is trapped with the laird's high-class house guests. Then he discovers the laird's body.
Forced to remain overnight at the house, Hamish interviews each of the guests and pieces together an alarming picture of clandestine infidelity, vicious jealousy, deadly revenge, lust, greed and fear. It begins to look like all of the guests had good reason to want the laird dead, but which one of them actually did the deed?
Emma Caan is a fake.
She’s a forger, an artist who specializes in nineteenth-century paintings. But she isn’t a criminal; her copies are commissioned by museums and ultra-wealthy collectors protecting their investments. Emma’s more than mastered a Gauguin brushstroke and a van Gogh wheat field, but her work is sometimes a painful reminder of the artistic dreams she once chased for herself, when she was younger and before her family and her world fell apart.
When oligarch art collector Leonard Sobetsky unexpectedly appears with an invitation, Emma sees a way out—a new job, a new path for herself, and access to the kind of money she needs to support her unstable and recently widowed mother.
But every invitation incurs an obligation . . . and Emma isn’t prepared for what’s to come. As she’s pulled further into Leonard’s opulent scene, she will discover what’s lurking beneath the glitz and glamour. When she does, the past she’s worked hard to overcome will collide with the present, making her wonder how much of her carefully curated life is just as fake as her forgeries . . .