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Adult fiction: Murder, Mystery and Suspense

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Big Sky

Author: Kate Atkinson

Part of a series: Jackson Brodie

Publisher: Doubleday (2019)

(No. 5 in the Jackson Brodie series.) Jackson Brodie, ex-military police, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, currently working as a private investigator, makes a highly anticipated return, nine years after the last Brodie, Started Early, Took My Dog. Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It’s picturesque, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes. Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network—and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.

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Black And Blue

Author: Ian Rankin

Part of a series: Rebus

Publisher: Orion (2003)

Rebus is juggling four cases trying to nail one killer - who might just lead back to the infamous Bible John. And he's doing it under the scrutiny of an internal inquiry led by a man he has just accused of taking backhanders from Glasgow's Mr Big. As if this wasn't enough, there are TV cameras at his back investigating a miscarriage of justice, making Rebus a criminal in the eyes of a million or more viewers. Just one mistake is likely to mean an unpleasant and not particularly speedy death or, worse still, losing his job.

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Black Coffee

Author: Agatha Christie

Part of a series: Hercules Poirot Mysteries

Publisher: Harper Collins (2008)

Sir Claud Amory’s revolutionary new formula for a powerful explosive is stolen. Locking his house-guests in the library, Sir Claud switches off the lights to allow the thief to replace the formula, no questions asked. When the lights come on, he is dead, and Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings have to unravel a tangle of family feuds, old flames and suspicious foreigners to find the killer and prevent a global catastrophe. BLACK COFFEE was Agatha Christie’s first playscript, originally performed in 1930 and made into a now rarely-seen film the following year. Combining her typically beguiling plot and sparkling dialogue with his own faithful narrative, Charles Osborne’s novelisation is ‘A worthy addition to the Christie canon’ (The Spectator)

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Black Notice

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Part of a series: Scarpetta Novels

Publisher: Warner Books (2000)

A foreign ship arrives in Richmond, Virginia, amongst its cargo and unidentified body... While Lucy Farinelli goes undercover in Miami to bring down a notorious criminal cartel, Dr Kay Scarpetta and Pete Marino discover a body in a cargo ship recently arrived from Belgium at Virginia's Deep Water Terminal in Richmond. Initially it seems as though it may be the decomposed remains of a stowaway, but Scarpetta's post mortem reveals neither a cause of death nor an identification. So the victim's personal effects and an odd tattoo take Scarpetta on a hunt for information that eventually leads her and Marino to Interpol's headquarters in Lyon. At first the highly confidential information they receive seems incredible, a bizarre trail of conspiracy and deceit, but inexorably the facts reveal a web of privileged and criminal arrogance which puts Dr Kay Scarpetta directly in harm's way, and places her and those she holds most dear at mortal risk.

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Black Water Lilies

Authors: Michel Bussi, Shaun Whiteside

Publisher: W&N (2017)

This is the story of a mystery, of thirteen days that begin with one murder and end with another. Jérôme Morval, a man whose passion for art was matched only by his passion for women, has been found dead in the stream that runs through the gardens at Giverny, where Monet did his famous paintings. In Jérôme's pocket is a postcard of Monet's Water Lilies with the words: Eleven years old. Happy Birthday. Entangled in the mystery are three women: a young painting prodigy, the seductive village schoolteacher and an old widow who watches over the village from a mill by the stream. All three of them share a secret. But what do they know about the discovery of Jérôme Morval's corpse? And what is the connection to the mysterious Black Water Lilies, a rumoured masterpiece by Monet that has never been found...

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Black Widow

Author: Chris Brookmyre

Publisher: Abacus (2016)

THERE IS NO PERFECT MARRIAGE. THERE IS NO PERFECT MURDER. Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing. Then she meets Peter. He’s kind, generous and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she’s been waiting for. Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairytale romance. But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairytales, and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media are calling Black Widow . . . Crime novel of the year (2016).

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Black Wings Has My Angel

Author: Elliott Chaze

Publisher: New York Review of Books (2016)

When Tim Sunblade escapes from prison, his sole possession is an infallible plan for the ultimate heist. Trouble is it's a two-person job. So when he meets Virginia, a curiously well-spoken "ten-dollar tramp," and discovers that the only thing she cares for is "drifts of money, lumps of it," he knows he's met his partner. What he doesn't suspect is that this lavender-eyed angel might just prove to be his match.

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Blindman's Bluff

Author: Faye Kellerman

Part of a series: Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Series

Publisher: Harper Collins (2010)

LAPD homicide detective Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, will be blindsided by a brutal multiple murder in this twisting tale of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman. "They say dead men don't talk, but if you listen, they do." As a lieutenant in the LAPD, homicide detective Peter Decker doesn't get many calls at 3 a.m. unless a case is nasty, sensational-or both. Someone has broken into the exclusive Coyote Ranch compound of billionaire developer Guy Kaffey and viciously gunned him down, along with his wife and four employees. A well-known figure on both the business and society pages, Kaffey, with his sons and his younger brother, Mace, built most of the shopping malls in Southern California and earned a reputation for philanthropy, donating millions to worthy causes. It doesn't take long for Peter, his trusted detectives Scott Oliver and Marge Dunn, and the rest of his homicide team to figure out that the gruesome killings must be an inside job. Things become even more entangled when they discover that Kaffey's largesse had included organizations that extended second chances to delinquents, many of whom Kaffey had hired for his personal security. But was the job pure murder/robbery or something even more twisted? A developer of Kaffey's magnitude doesn't make billions without making more enemies with blood grudges. With leads taking the team across L.A., up and down the Golden State, and into Mexico, Decker is plenty busy-and plenty thankful not to have to worry about his wife, Rina Lazarus, getting caught up in this deadly case. Rina is out of harm's way, serving on a jury at the courthouse. But then a chance encounter with a court translator who needs her help leads Rina into the terrifying heart of her husband's murder investigations-and straight into the path of a gang of ruthless killers. To protect Rina, Decker must find his prey before death unites his two worlds. A fast-paced tour through the urban landscape of L.A., Blindman's Bluff is a riveting mile-a-minute thrill ride from a formidable master of her craft.

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Blood Hunt

Author: Ian Rankin

Publisher: Orion (2010)

It begins with a phone call. Gordon Reeve's brother has been found dead in his car in San Diego. The car was locked from the inside, a gun was in his hand. In the US to identify the body Gordon realises that his brother has been murdered. What's more, it's soon obvious that his own life is in danger. Once back in Scotland he finds out his home has been bugged by professionals. But Reeve is a professional too. Ex-SAS, he was half of a two-man unit with someone he came to fear, then to hate. It looks like his nemesis is back...

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Bloodsport

Author: Dick Francis

Publisher: Jove (1999)

When English agent Gene Hawkins told his boss he'd forego his vacation to search for millionaire Dave Teller's prized missing stallion, he didn't know his retainer would include the attentions of his boss's beautiful daughter--or Teller's seldom sober wife. Nor did he know that a trail from London to New York to Las Vegas to Califonria would eventually lead to murder....

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