Murder, They Wrote

Three new suspense novels by local scribes—one newcomer to the genre and two who are well accustomed
Brangien Davis  |   January 2012   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION

Not only is Seattle home to a multitude of mystery writers (see: the weather), it’s also an excellent place to curl up with a mystery novel (see also: the weather).

Neon Panic
($14.95; Vantage Point)
Author: West Seattle’s Charles Philipp Martin, formerly a bass player in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, sets this first novel in a steamy Hong Kong setting and fills it with music.
The hook: The woman whose body washes up in the city harbor turns out to have had ties to both a criminal syndicate and the symphony. Is her death related to the sudden disappearance of symphony player Leo Stern?

Believing the Lie
($28.95; Dutton)
Author: Elizabeth George, the Whidbey Island writer acclaimed for her New York Times best-selling “Inspector Lynley” mysteries, adds this (17th!) title to the character-driven series.
The hook: Inspector Lynley is back, plowing through the secrets and lies of the wealthy Fairclough family to discover the truth: Was the nephew’s death an accidental drowning? Or murder?
Reading: January 10, 7 p.m. Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park

The Alpine Winter
($25; Ballantine Books)
Author: Mary Daheim, beloved for her “Alpine Alphabet” crime series set in the Pacific Northwest, brings plucky publisher Emma Lord into the fray once again.
The hook: A decomposed body is found in a cave in the Cascade Mountains—but why are so many different people claiming it as their missing loved one?
Reading: January 15, 3 p.m. Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island