Snow Blind by P. J. Tracy (Putnam, $24.95) is the fourth Monkeewrench mystery concocted by mother-daughter writing team P. J. and Traci Lambrecht at a farmhouse outside of Chisago City. Quirky characters who lack clear vision endure grisly, though not gratuitous, tumult from downtown Minneapolis to Dundas and ensure that readers will never again see snowmen as symbols of childhood innocence.
Although William Kent Krueger’s previous Cork O’Connor novels have taken place in northeastern Minnesota, the masterful Copper River (Atria, $24), to be published later this month, finds the sheriff of Tamarack County hiding from hit men in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As another character observes, O’Connor is a guy who attracts trouble; he proceeds here to resolve it with captivating timing and talent.
Krueger has also written a story about St. Paul’s West Side for Twin Cities Noir, an anthology of new crime and place stories edited by Julie Schaper and Steven Horwitz (Akashic, $14.95). Other contributors include Pete Hautman (Linden Hills) and Mary Logue (Kenwood), coauthors of Snatched: The Bloodwater Mysteries, an entertaining read for young adults (Putnam Sleuth, $15.99).