James Lee Burke and S. A. Cosby’s New Summer Chillers

Spine-tingling page-turners from a longtimer and a rising writer

No one can word-sketch an eerily beautiful scene quite like the living legend James Lee Burke, whether he’s describing bloodred bougainvillea dripping off ironwork in New Orleans or fog shrouding the Mississippi. In his latest novel, Flags on the Bayou (Atlantic Monthly Press), Civil War–era Louisiana provides the turbulent backdrop for a murder accusation, skirmishes, blossoming love, and the specter of a storm over the Gulf.

A distinctive newer voice on the Southern noir scene, S. A. Cosby delivers his fourth book, the taut and riveting whodunit All the Sinners Bleed (Flatiron Books), which follows Titus, the first Black sheriff in a small Chesapeake Bay community, as he faces down raw evil while keeping his soul intact.