5 new mystery novels whisk readers around the globe

In this great new crop of whodunits, mystery fans can revel in being armchair detectives and armchair travelers to locations around the globe — London, Tuscany, Sicily and the English countryside.

‘A Grave Robbery,’ by Deanna Raybourn

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In aristocratic Victorian society, women are expected to quietly remain in the background. Veronica Speedwell, though, is irreverent and outspoken; she’s a scientist (specifically a lepidopterist or butterfly expert) who lives with her upper-class lover, Stoker, a natural historian who specializes in taxidermy. Veronica and Stoker also are amateur sleuths who have solved a number of crimes together. Their latest case begins when their patron, an inveterate collector named Lord Rosemorran, brings them his latest find: a glass-covered casket containing what looks like a waxen female form. Discovering to their horror that it’s actually the weirdly well-preserved body of a woman who died years ago, Veronica and Stoker set out to find who she is and how she was killed. Ably assisted by some friends — a maverick Scotland Yard detective and a female journalist determined to make a name for herself — Veronica and Stoker take death-defying risks in their quest to ensure the dead woman’s murderer is brought to justice. Longtime fans of the series will rejoice in this newest adventure, but Raybourn ensures that “A Grave Robbery” also stands on its own. (Berkley, March 12)

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