This is long--but we have 9 nominees, including some very good books! Poll goes up today.
1. Blind Alley, by Iris Johansen. “When detective Joe Quinn is called to investigate the murder of a young woman whose skin has been peeled away from her skull, he presses the overloaded Eve to work her grisly magic. Eve is shocked to realize that the victim bears an uncanny resemblance to Jane MacGuire, the headstrong 17-year-old she and Joe have adopted.” From Publisher’s Weekly. Amazon readers give 2 our of 5 stars. Hardcover, paperback and abridged audio editions
2. Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts. “Tory Bodeen, whose childhood in Progress, S.C., was marked by her father's beatings, her mother's passivity and, when she was eight, the rape and strangulation of her best friend, Hope Lavelle. Now 26, still haunted by Hope's unsolved murder and memories of an unsettling experience in New York City, to which she fled at age 18, Tory returns to Progress after a quiet four-year stint in Charleston. Although ambivalent about her psychic ability to connect with other minds, she knows she'll never find peace until she uses her skill to find the murderer.” From Publisher’s Weekly. Amazon readers give this 4 out of 5 star;, available in hardcover, paperback, and audio.
3. Dead Man’s Bones by Susan Wittig Albert. “In this gently narrated cozy, a skeleton in a cave allows China to think about archaeology, forensics, love affairs, immigration, and secrets from the past. Meanwhile, two elderly and reclusive sisters, one imperious and the other frail, the last of their family, donate a building, the funds for its renovation, and property for a community theater, with the stipulation that a play written about their father must be the first production. These events turn out to be intimately connected to the body in the cave” from Booklist; hardcover, paperback and audio(free from NetLibrary)
4. Died in the Wool, by Mary Kruger. At the start of Kruger's pun-filled cozy, the first in a new series, Ariadne "Ari" Evans, the 29-year-old owner of Ariadne's Web (a knitting shop in Freeport, Mass.), is shocked to discover the body of a customer, Edith Perry, strangled with some of her best homespun yarn.” From Publisher’s Weekly. Paperback only, lots of stars, but sample of 9 readers is too small to be trustworthy.
5. Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh, “ Member of Parliament Florence Rubrick has the wool pulled over her eyes-quite literally. She's been found dead, her body pressed into a bale of wool. When Inspector Alleyn pays a visit to her New Zealand country home, he meets two fine, handsome men and two lovely young women, all of whom have reason to be grateful to dear Flossie for saving their lives. But as Inspector Alleyn learns, there are secrets aplenty hiding in the floorboards of that sheep station, and one in particular conceals a murderous motive that has the look and smell of treason.” From the book description; the 13th Inspector Alleyn novel. Lots of editions including audio A classic, published long before Amazon gave stars—but it’s still in print after about 60 yrs.
6. Knit Fast, Die Young, by Mary Kruger. Not available until May 22—no stars, no reviews—probably not eligible for this poll.
7. The Main Corpse by Diane Mott Davidson “Goldy, owner of Goldilocks' Catering, barely weathered a disastrous spring in which relentless rains and driving snow put a real damper on her business. But now, thanks to her best friend, Marla, the Colorado caterer is suddenly cooking up a storm...lovingly preparing Crab Quesadillas, Tomato-Brie Pie, and Gold Foil-Wrapped Fudge Bars for her wealthy new client, Prospect Financial Partners.” From the book description. 6th in the series; lts of editions including audio, 3 of 5 stars from Amazon readers (I personally think it was a little better than that!)
8. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear.. Through her own natural intelligence—and the patronage of her benevolent employers—Maisie Dobbs works her way from her position as housemaid into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. Her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind. First of a series; 4 stars (worth more), lots of editions including audio. Starred reviews and a Pub Weekly best book of 2003. Agatha winner and Edgar nominee
9. Open Season by C.J. Box. When a well-known poacher, with whom Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden, has humiliatingly tangled, suddenly turns up dead in his own backyard, Joe finds himself at the top of a downward path that, first, will lead to more bodies and then will put his entire family into peril. Paraphrased from Penzler Pick. Hardcover and paperback, no audio. Amazon readers give 4.5 stars; lots of starred reviews, NYTimes Notable book of 2001, won Anthony, Edgar, Macavity, and other awards. If you like animals, you will probably like this book.