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For Summer Sleuths: Best Mystery, Crime Novels

May 26, 2009

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The Shanghai Moon Awakening The Way Home Black Noir 'The Way Home' primary

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Starting when I was a kid of about 8 or 9, the greatest summer pleasure I could imagine was sitting in the afternoon shade on the stoop of my Queens, N.Y., apartment building, a Tupperware pitcher of Tang (the drink of astronauts!) by my side and a mystery novel in my hand.

Other kids were getting sweaty playing slap ball or tag in the alleyways between the apartment houses; I, meanwhile, was transported far away from the noise and grime of the city to an eternally leafy suburb known as River Heights. That's because, of course, the mystery novels I was reading back then were all Nancy Drews.

The years have gone by and summer is now as hectic as the rest of the year, but whenever I think back to the drowsy delights of summer vacations, a blue roadster and a certain titian-haired sleuth pop into my head. Maybe that's why I was so thrilled to discover, in advance of this summer reading season, five new books for grown-up mystery lovers.

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'The Scarecrow'

The Scarecrow, by Michael Connelly, Little, Brown, Hardcover, 448 pages, List Price: $27.99

'The Shanghai Moon'

The Shanghai Moon, by S.J. Rozan, St. Martin's Minotaur, Hardcover, 384 pages, List Price: $24.95

'Awakening'

Awakening, by S.J. Bolton, Minotaur, Hardcover, 352 pages, List Price: $25.95

'The Way Home'

The Way Home, by George Pelecanos, Little, Brown, Hardcover, 336 pages, List Price: $24.99

'Black Noir'

Black Noir: Mystery, Crime and Suspense Fiction by African-American Writers, edited by Otto Penzler, Pegasus, Paperback, 336 pages, List Price: $14.95

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