Hoping to find a new read that keeps you on the edge of your seat? As your trusty partner in crime, we've done the sleuthing for you. From gripping thrillers to mysteries by award-winning authors, our investigations have uncovered the best in ebook deals this month. But act fast! Like the most successful killers, they'll be gone before you know it ...
Note: These deals were last updated on 12/4/19. Check back soon to get debriefed on next month's best discounted books.
The Great Stink
A mystery that offers “a gripping and richly atmospheric glimpse into the literal underworld of Victorian England—the labyrinthine London sewer system” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Clare Clark’s critically acclaimed The Great Stink “reeks of talent” as it vividly brings to life the dark and mysterious underworld of Victorian London (The Washington Post Book World). Set in 1855, it tells the story of William May, an engineer who has returned home to London from the horrors of the Crimean War. When he secures a job transforming the city’s sewer system, he believes that he will be able to find salvation in the subterranean world beneath the city. But the peace of the tunnels is shattered by a murder, and William is implicated as the killer. Could he truly have committed the crime? How will he bring the truth above ground?
The Peril Ahead
Department Z tracks down a doomsday weapon in an edge-of-your-seat spy thriller from the Edgar Award–winning author who sold eighty million books worldwide.
Department Z is a small and little-known faction of the intelligence service. Among the other branches, its work is legendary. The department’s agents are scattered across most of the world’s capitals and even in smaller cities, and many strange matters pass through their hands. Or, more accurately, the hands of Gordon Craigie and Bill Loftus.
Craigie must take enormous risks as both Washington and Moscow begin to suspect Britain of seeking out a destructive weapon. His investigation leads him to an English seaside resort where Craigie must track down the men that have kidnapped a professor, while evading the master conspirator who is out to get him. When the conspirator goes after the prime minister, Craigie is in real trouble.
New York Times–bestselling author: “Terrific . . . Might be the best drug book since Robert Stone’s brilliant Dog Soldiers or Don Winslow’s superb Cartel series” (Providence Journal).
Emily runs a successful bistro in Humboldt County, California, where she lives with her boyfriend, Jeff, a volunteer firefighter. Except firefighting isn’t really Jeff’s main job—that would be flying Humboldt’s finest weed to out-of-state customers. And he isn’t really Emily’s boyfriend, more like a guy that circumstance has stuck her with. And his name isn’t really Jeff—it’s Danny, and Emily’s real name is Michelle Mason . . . although no one can ever know that. She’s on the run from her past, which has just caught up with her.
The ex-CIA agent who got her and Danny into this whole mess has shown up in Humboldt County. Michelle should have killed him when she had the chance, but now she has no choice but to play Gary’s game—and if she loses, she or someone close to her will pay the ultimate price.
From one of The Observer’s “10 Best Modern European Crime Writers”—a murder mystery set on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
The sun-drenched Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is technically part of France, subject to French law and loyal to the French Republic. But in 1980, the scars of colonialism are still fresh, and ethnic tensions and political unrest seethe just below the surface of everyday life.
French-Algerian judge Anne Marie Laveaud relocated to this beautiful Caribbean island confident that she could make it her new home. But her day-to-day life is filled with frustration. Now she is assigned a murder case in which she is sure the chief suspect, an elderly ex-con named Hégésippe Bray, is a political scapegoat. Her superiors are dismissive of her efforts to prove Bray innocent, and to add insult to injury, Bray himself won’t even speak to her because she’s a woman. But she won’t give up, and Anne Marie’s investigations lead her into a complex tangle of injustice, domestic terrorists, broken hearts—and maybe even voodoo.
This tale of a pot grower in peril is “as cockeyed and riotous as Carl Hiaasen on really good dope” (Kirkus Reviews).
Miro Basinas is an experimental botanist who sells his rarefied product to a discerning clientele. Only Miro is not growing heirloom tomatoes or making organic wine—he’s growing weed. And when Miro wins Amsterdam’s famed Cannabis Cup, cannasseurs and ganjaficionados aren’t the only people who want a piece of him and his mind-blowing pot that tastes like mangoes—and Miro is quickly hit with a bullet.
A mild-mannered hipster who doesn’t know the first thing about revenge—or even who shot him—Miro is soon on a quest to recover his prize invention and to secure his place as the Floyd Zaiger (creator of the pluot) of weed. It’s a journey packed with a delicious cast of characters, including a string-theory obsessed cop, a kinky paramedic, a Mormon missionary struggling to keep his “sap” under control in a city that is the personification of sex, a half-Irish-half-Salvadoran drug dealer and his dim-witted associates, a cougar starlet, and an entrepreneur who wants to turn his medical marijuana Compassion Centers into the Starbucks of pot. Baked is a hilarious, rip-roaring romp from a talented, utterly original novelist.
How the Hula Girl Sings
A haunted ex-con returns to his hometown: “Fans of hard-boiled pulp fiction will particularly enjoy this novel” (Booklist).
Luce Lemay is out on parole three years after an awful tragedy sent him to prison. In his small Illinois town, he does his best to find hope: in a new job at the local Gas-N-Go; in his companion and fellow ex-con, Junior Breen, who spells out puzzling messages to the unquiet ghosts of his past; and finally, in the arms of the lovely but reckless Charlene.
But sorrow and violence lie in his path, in this suspenseful exploration of the still-looming shadow of the death penalty.
The Risk of Infidelity Index
An expat detective navigates through seamy, steamy Bangkok in this novel in the international bestselling and Shamus Award–winning series.
When PI Vincent Calvino’s surveillance of a drug piracy ring ends in definitive video evidence, it looks like the fortunes of the American expatriate and disbarred lawyer are about to turn. But when Calvino’s client dies of a heart attack, and he finds the body of a murdered massage girl downstairs, the Thai authorities get suspicious of the farang who was in the wrong place at the wrong time . . . twice.
To make matters worse, with the dead man unlikely to pay, Calvino is forced to take on a job he doesn’t want, trailing the spouses of three expat housewives who have been rattled by “The Risk of Infidelity Index,” a handbook that ranks Bangkok as the city where men are most likely to stray. Unfortunately for Calvino, jealous wives tend to be unhappy, regardless of the results, and drug pirates aren’t the type to play nice . . .
An “appealing and enjoyable” crime novel set in the South Pacific of the early 1960s (Booklist).
Ben Kella has his hands full. A sergeant in the Solomon Islands police force, as well as an aofia, a hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people, he’s called to investigate acts of sabotage that threaten the local operations of a powerful international logging company.
Meanwhile, Sister Conchita, a young nun with a flair for detection, has been forced to assume command of a run-down mission in the lush Western District of the Solomon Islands. When an American tourist is murdered in the mission church, she and Kella join forces to uncover the links between these goings-on and a sudden upsurge of interest in John F. Kennedy—who was once a wartime US naval officer in the area but now, in 1960, thousands of miles away, is about to become the thirty-fifth American president.
Gang of Lovers
PI Marco “the Alligator” Buratti returns in a “raucous, delicious ride” from the celebrated Italian crime writer and author of Bandit Love (Cedar Rapids Gazette).
Padua, Italy. An unremarkable man, a husband and father, disappears without a trace. After a few months of searching, the police send his file to the cold cases department to be thrown in with the files of other missing persons. One woman knows the truth about his disappearance, but, being the daughter of a prominent and wealthy Swiss industrialist, she fears coming forward with what she knows: that she was his lover and that there is more to his disappearance than another bored suburban husband running out on his wife. Stricken by guilt, she finally confides in a lawyer who advises her to turn to Marco Buratti, a.k.a. the Alligator, for help.
Buratti agrees to assist the woman. Initially, the case of the woman’s missing lover seems like a lost cause, but a clue puts the Alligator and his trusted associates, Max the Memory and Beniamino Rossini, on the trail of the unscrupulous and brilliant criminal, Giorgio Pellegrini. The deadly game of chicken in which the good guys and the bad guys are often hard to tell apart is Carlotto’s specialty. But good or bad, these men are survivors in a world where the once ironclad criminal codes of conduct are disappearing and new criminal syndicates do vicious battle with old.
Autumn, All the Cats Return
The second Inspector Sebag mystery following Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored: “A man like this—a cop like this—is definitely worth knowing” (Los Angeles Review of Books).
Inspector Sebag is a policeman in southern France with an unparalleled sixth sense, who excels at slipping into the skin of killers and hunting them down. However, when a retired French Algerian cop is discovered in his apartment with the symbol OAS left near his body and few indications as to who killed him or why, Sebag’s skills are put to the test. Days later, when a controversial monument is destroyed and another French Algerian is shot down, Sebag begins to put the pieces together. Bringing to light the horrors, hopes, and treasons committed during the war in Algeria fifteen years ago, in this sequel to Georget’s Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored, Lt. Gilles Sebag discovers more than just a killer, but an entire secret history that not everyone wants revealed.
In the Company of Spies
Amid the Cuban Missile Crisis, an ex-CIA man finds himself on the brink—in a novel by an author who “has jumped into the front rank of thriller writers” (The Irish Times).
In the summer of 1962, the world is on tenterhooks as Kennedy and Khrushchev square off over plans to place nuclear weapons in Cuba. At the same time, Helm Rust, ex-CIA operative and now small-time smuggler in the Florida Keys, receives two messages. One is a cry for help from his long-lost father in the Soviet Union. The other is allegedly from the desk of Castro himself.
Heading for Russia, he becomes involved in a plot of espionage so deep he doesn’t know which way to turn. Confiding in former allies leaves a trail of corpses and Rust is utterly cut off from any friends he ever had. The lack of trust drives him into the arms of the beautiful—and deceptive—Yelena, who attempts to embroil him in a violent web of international intrigue. Agent, double agent, triple agent . . . is anyone truly loyal?
Three, Imperfect Number
A blind woman leads her Naples police colleagues through the darkness in this distinctive crime thriller.
A report has landed on Commissario Martusciello’s desk. The lifeless body of the singer Jerry Vialdi—aka Gennaro Mangiavento—has been found at the Naples football stadium; another corpse, this one a Jane Doe, has been discovered in the Bentegodi Stadium in Verona, hundreds of miles away.
The bodies were left in the fetal position and there are no signs of physical violence: The method and the madness behind it appear to hide some unutterable secret. Conclusion: a daring challenge left by a psychopath for the police—who are stabbing in the dark with no idea where to begin. All except for superintendent Blanca Occhiuzzi: Beautiful, blind from birth, forced by the dark that envelops her to perceive the world through only four senses, she feels the fear in people; she feels their guilt and their innocence. It is she who takes Martusciello by the hand, guiding him into the mind of a murderer . . .
The Midnight Promise
One PI. Ten crimes. “Stylistically reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill. An exciting and original debut” (The Hoopla Literary Society).
A literary detective story ingeniously told in ten cases. John Dorn is a classic gumshoe. His woman has left him, he lives in his office, and he drinks too much. His one friend, a lawyer named Demetri, hands Dorn an infinite supply of hopeless cases and lost causes, to which Dorn, ever the champion of the underdog and the oppressed, is drawn to “as a sledgehammer is to a kneecap.” A superlative work of hardboiled literary detective fiction, The Midnight Promise wonderfully evokes the underbelly of contemporary Melbourne, its battlers, its hard men, its victims, and its ill-fated heroes.
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Featured image: Takemaru Hirai / Unsplash