Commentary: Book Reviews: Five New Mysteries ... and a Long Awaited Sequel

Article excerpt

Five new mysteries and a long-awaited (18 years!) sequel to one of Mystery Lady's all-time favorite books

Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell

You simply can't go wrong with a new Kay Scarpetta mystery. In Cornwell's latest in the series, due out Oct. 23, former medical examiner Scarpetta goes into private practice as a forensic pathologist. Moving to Charleston, S.C., Scarpetta brings along niece Lucy and investigator Pete Marino, experts in their own right. Scarpetta soon finds herself enmeshed, not only in a possible serial- killer situation, but in political intrigues that are all too familiar from her battles with superiors in Virginia.

The Careful Use of Compliments

by Alexander McCall Smith

Due out this month, this latest offering from the author of the popular, Botswana-set "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series is the fourth in a new series featuring Scottish philosopher and sleuth Isabel Dalhousie. Isabel has a new son and has been fired as editor of the Review of Applied Ethics. After attending an art auction where two new paintings purportedly by a deceased artist pop up, Isabel's investigation into whether the paintings are forgeries leads her into a probe of how the artist died.

Dead Heat by Dick Francis (and Felix Francis)

Although co-written fiction can be a bit wonky, this collaboration between Dick Francis, former jockey and veteran author of horse racing-related mysteries and son Felix has some decent buzz around it. Set for publication Sept. 17, Dead Heat features English restaurant owner Max Moreton, who becomes an unlikely sleuth when he must suss out why he and most of those he served as guest chef at a racetrack dinner came down with food poisoning, and why several people, including some of his staff, are killed by a bomb in a racetrack box the next day.

Double Cross by James Patterson

Scheduled for publication Nov, 13, this new Alex Cross mystery has Cross rejoining the Washington, D. …