The Silent Children by Amna K. Boheim. Published by Matador

Max has received a letter from his estranged mother, Annabel – she’s asking for his help. Despite his anger at his mother for her lack of maternal care over the years, his curiosity is piqued. Annabel gives him an old photograph of herself and her friend Oskar Edelsten. On the back of the photo are the words “You knew”. Annabel explains that she wants Max to find Oskar, that the photo and the words written on the back are the reason she was never able to give Max the love he deserved.  In Vienna in 1938, something odd happened in the home of Annabel Albrecht, her maid Eva and her friend Oskar both disappeared, just before he mother was taken away. Now, decades later, Annabel’s son is determined to find out what happened all those years ago and hopefully connect with his mother while there is still time

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That’s What Friends Are For by marcie Steele. Published by Bookouture

Sam and Louise have been best friends since grade school, but a lot changes between 13 and 30. To the outside eye, Sam has everything a woman could want, a loving husband, beautiful home and successful business. The truth is somewhat different and Sam finds herself helplessly attracted to newcomer Dan. Louise is always happy, always the life of the party, the first to crack a joke, but inside she’s sad and lonely. Looking for Mr. Right has caused her to hook up with a lot of Mr. Wrongs. When someone from their past blows into town, Sam and Louise are left wondering not only if they ever really knew each other, but if they ever really knew themselves

The Rain Sparrow by Linda Goodnight. Published by HQN

Hayden Winters is a popular author of dark and terrifying tales, but he likes living in anonymity. Winters has a past he would just as soon forget and he does his best to keep anyone else from learning about it, so he’s always on the move, never allowing himself to get too close to anyone. All that changes when he meets Carrie Riley at the Peach Orchard Inn. Carrie isn’t the sort of woman to read thrillers, she’s scared of almost everything, but she’s intrigued by Hayden. When Hayden and Carrie find a little boy hiding at the inn, they are determined to help him. Their efforts will uncover a secret that goes way back in time, one that will either make or break Hayden for good. A beautiful setting and well drawn characters made this a very pleasant read

Grave Intent by Alexander Hartung. Published by AmazonCrossing

A man has called the emergency police line after finding a freshly dug grave in a cemetery, a grave that his name on it. Police dispatchers believe the man is drunk or pulling a prank and disregard the call. But the next day, police find his body. Detective Jan Tommen has only recently been reinstated to the Berlin police department after an emotionally draining case and now finds himself doing battle with a madman. More empty grave with name markers appear and Jan enlists the help of friends that include a computer hacker and a medical examiner to solve the case before more people die. I really enjoyed this story, it was an original plotline and the translation was very well done

Pond Lane and Paris by Susie Vereker. Published by Endeavour

After caring for her husband for almost a decade, Laura Brooke is now a widow and ready to get on with her life. She may have feelings for her best friend’s husband, but Laura knows that she needs to find happiness for herself, by himself. Why not turn the cottage her mother left her into a bed and breakfast? Money is Laura’s biggest problems, without funding she’ll never be able to realize her dream. This is a satisfying story about a woman starting life over

A Feast of Carrion by Keith McCarthy. Published by Endeavour

Student Nikki Exner has been found brutally murdered, drawn and quartered. The professors at the college Nikki attended are horrified and former forensic pathologist John Eisenmenger gets drawn into the complexities of the case. The police seem sure they know who the killer is, but John believes their reasoning is flawed. He teams up with attorney Helena Flemming to uncover the truth, but police officer Beverly Wharton is not about to have her detecting skills questioned. It’s so exciting to come across a new author that ticks all the boxes. McCarthy is a master at creating suspense and a complex plot

Speakers of the Dead by J. Aaron Sanders. Published by Plume

Reporter Walt Whitman has made a promise to exonerate a dead woman. Arriving in New York City in 1843, he attempts to save his friend, Lena Stowe who is to be executed for killing her husband Abraham. The sheriff refuses to listen to the evidence Walt has and Lena is hung. Now, with the help of lover, Henry Saunders, Walt will not traverse the dangerous underworld of the Resurrection Men. Providing New York’s medical colleges with dead bodies is a lucrative business, and Walt uncovers information that Abraham was working on legislation that would make the process illegal, thus sealing his and Lena’s fate. A rip roaring adventure into the seedy world of body snatching with one of literature’s greatest heroes in the role of detective. Meticulously researched and beautifully written