The Sacrifice Stone by Elizabeth Harris. Published by Endeavour

In modern times, Beth Leighton and her brother are in the Roman town of Arles to investigate the story of a child martyr, St. Theodore, who was supposedly killed by a Roman officer as a sacrifice in a pagan rite. In Arles in 175, Sergius Cornelius Aurelius is the ex legionary accused of killing the boy, but there has been a miscarriage of justice and Sergius wants the truth known. Beth, meanwhile, senses a presence nearby. She meets filmmaker Adam who is also searching for the truth, together they will uncover what really happened, telling the truth and setting a soul free. Romantic, sweeping and unforgettable

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Left in the Wind by Ed Gray. Published by Pegasus

The Lost Colony of Roanoke is one of history’s greatest mysteries. Here, Gray takes one of the real colonists, Emme Merrimoth, and shows readers what might have happened through the journal she keeps. Governor John White convinces 118 men, women and children to journey with him to the New World. He and Emme have a relationship aboard ship, and when he asks her to marry him she agrees, in part to escape a past where she was accused of witchcraft. The colonists soon discover their new world in North Carolina, is not what White promised. He leaves them at the mercy of the elements and the natives and sails back to England ostensibly to bring back more supplies. Emme is left alone with colonists who despise her and soon finds herself a captive of a local tribe, but she keeps her journal through it all. A fascinating portrait of a mystery that has captured the imagination for almost 500 years

The Unseen World by Liz Moore. Published by W. W. Norton

Homeschooled by her single father, David, Ada soon becomes a prodigy. Spending all her time at her father’s computer lab, she picks up on much of what her father is doing. The lab soon becomes famous for the ground breaking work David is doing, but at the same time, he begins to experience problems with his mind. When David’s mental problems become severe, he’s institutionalized, and Ada moves in with one of his colleagues. Desperate to find a way to reach her father, Ada creates a software that allows her to make contact with her past and find answers to the questions she’s been longing for. A bittersweet, beautiful story of the power of love

Thorn by Vena Cork. Published by Endeavour

Robin and Rosa Thorn have a lovely life and two happy teenagers, Anna and Danny. Lately though, Anna has become worried, and her mother terrified. It appears the girl has a stalker, and there seems to be no shortage of suspects. Rosa will do anything to protect her child, and when no one else takes the threat seriously, Rosa sets out to stop the stalker herself. This is the first in the Rosa Thorn series that I first read 10 years ago, and it was just as good the second time around

A Good Month for Murder by Del Quentin Wilber. Published by Henry Holt

February 2013 was a particularly busy month for the members of a homicide team in Washington, D.C. Twelve murders and three police involved shootings keep the team hopping. Wilber was able to tag along with detectives as they worked on solving cases that ranged from the brutal to the unthinkable case that left a young honor student dead for no apparent reason. Readers will get a sense for the incredibly difficult work these men and women (and their counterparts nation wide) do. From gallows humor, to anger to despair, readers see the way detectives deal with the horrendous and thankless job they do everyday. My husband is a police officer and I liked the way the author portrayed the murder squad, as fallible humans with the best intentions, doing their best in a brutal, brutal world

Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane by Paul Thomas Murphy. Published by Pegasus

In the 21st century we have become used to crime and used to the way that police apprehend criminals and lock them away. 19th century London was a world away from fingerprints and DNA and police had to rely on witnesses and their own instincts. In April in 1871, a constable walking his London beat was horrified to come upon a young woman kneeling in the street. She has been beaten so savagely, she had lost an eye and part of her skull. Before she lost consciousness, she begged him to let her die. She got her wish days later. The local police and Scotland Yard, overseen by detective John Mulvaney, learned that the woman was a maid for the Pook family and that she was pregnant with Edmund Pook’s child. What followed, to our 21st century eyes, appears to be a farce, with incompetent police work and a trial ending in the main suspect declared not guilty. Murphy peels back the layers of the case, not unlike an onion to show what may have really happened that April night. Mesmerizing