5 Addictive, New (and from Last Year) Mysteries We Can't Put Down

Looking to travel far, far away—and solve a few murders? Pick up these fresh, smart reads for fall.
Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mystery

Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mystery

304 pages; Penguin Books
In the mood for a jaunt to Provence before the weather cools off? On the itinerary: A dinner of porcini mushroom tarts, fresh-radish-and-white-rose-petal salad, monkfish in black olive oil—oh, plus some wine theft and a serial killer. In this delectable whodunnit, the trouble starts when half the bottles vanish from the cellar of a generations-old winery. Before examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque can find the thief, a young female bank clerk dies from injuries suffered during a vicious sexual assault, and then more women begin turning up dead. Though the plot is hair-raising, what keeps you glued to this mystery is its vivid portrait of everyday life in Aix, which deftly juxtaposes the elegance of the city—designer shops, fancy restaurants, art galleries—with quotidian woes and pleasures (one example: how to drive on a narrow, centuries-old street). Verlaque and his French city are so absorbing that you might forget you're reading a mystery and relax into a reverie about driving out to a restaurant in the country with him and his pals—but would that be so bad? Read...and dream.
— Nathalie Gorman