Associated Press Writer
Upcoming Mystery &
By Ron Berthel
Associated Press Writer
Books by Stephen King, Kinky Friedman, Robert B. Parker, Tami Hoag, William Bernhardt and Julie Garwood, are among the latest hardcover novels of mystery and suspense.
In King’s "From a Buick 8" (Scribner), the villain is a mint-condition midnight blue 1954 Buick Roadmaster, complete with globs of chrome trim and Buick’s signature side portholes. For years, the car has been hidden in a shed in rural Pennsylvania, under the watchful eye of the state police. When the teenage son of a recently killed officer stumbles upon the car, the macabre story of the Buick and its influence on the officers and their work begins to emerge.
Friedman, whose series of comic mysteries stars himself as a private eye in New York’s Greenwich Village, has two disappearances to investigate 2,000 miles apart in "Meanwhile Back at the Ranch" (Simon & Schuster). Among the vanished is a neighborhood boy, an autistic, 11-year-old stock market genius missing for two weeks. Meanwhile, cousin Nancy is frantic: Lucky, her three-legged cat, has been catnapped, so Friedman flies south to search for the tabby.
Parker, author of the "Spenser" books, writes another series about another Boston private eye, Sunny Randall. In "Shrink Rap" (Putnam), No. 3 in the series, Randall becomes the bodyguard for a popular author who needs protection _ not from adoring readers but from her former husband, a prominent psychotherapist. Hoping to learn what makes the stalking psychologist tick, Sunny disguises herself and becomes his patient.
Hoag, a competitive equestrian, sets "Dark Horse" (Bantam) in the world of professional horse show competition in ritzy Palm Beach, Fla. There, Elena Estes, a burned-out former narcotics officer, is approached by Molly, who’s 12 and concerned that her older stepsister, Erin, is missing. Estes goes to the prestigious stables where Erin worked as a groom and uncovers the ugly side of the glamorous sport.
Ben Kincaid defends a priest accused of murder in "Criminal Intent" (Ballantine), No. 11 in Bernhardt’s series featuring the Tulsa, Okla., attorney. When a female parishioner at St. Benedict’s Church is murdered, suspicion falls on its rector, Father Daniel Beale, but evidence is flimsy. When another woman is murdered, Beale is caught red-handed. Kincaid thinks Beale is innocent but might not have a prayer of proving it.
Aunt Carrie is missing and her niece, Avery Delaney, an FBI profiler, is looking for her in Garwood’s "Killjoy" (Ballantine). Carrie was given an expenses-paid, two-week stay at a posh spa in the Colorado mountains and invited Delaney to meet her there. Delaney arrives, but not Aunt Carrie, whose trip was short-circuited by a fellow named Monk, a charming hired assassin.
It’s a "Cold Day in July" (Kensington) in Stella Cameron’s novel in which a medical examiner in Louisiana bayou country is suspicious about the death of a singer whose body is found at the foot of the stairs. There is many a cold day in Alaska, the setting for "Better to Rest" (New American Library), Dana Stabenow’s story about a state trooper who finds a crashed World War II Army plane frozen in a glacier.
People are missing in "Jinxed" (Scribner), Carol Higgins Clark’s sixth book about Los Angeles private eye Regan Reilly, who travels up the coast to Santa Barbara, where a young actor has disappeared while making a film; and in Margaret Coel’s "The Shadow Dancer" (Berkley), in which a missionary at an Indian reservation investigates the disappearance of a parishioner and the murder of a friend’s former husband.
Stories set in Europe include "And Justice There Is None" (Bantam), Deborah Crombie’s eighth book about Scotland Yard’s Gemma and Duncan, who investigate the murder of a young society woman; "The Last Temptation" (St. Martin’s) by Val McDermid, in which a criminal profiler tracks a serial killer who targets psychologists in northern Europe; and "And in Jim Lehrer’s ``No Certain Rest’’ (Random House), a Parks Department archaeologist examining the remains of a Union soldier concludes that he was murdered and that his ID tag does not belong to him.