Mystery novels gain a new layer from their settings: a mystery set in New York City will have a very different feeling from one set in a cozy English town, or even from one set in a town upstate. Mysteries set in the wilderness carry an extra edge to them. So far from civilization, everything becomes more dangerous, turning what could be an ordinary murder into something far more terrifying.

By JP Gritton
Tin House Books, $15.95, 246 pages

JP Gritton’s Wyoming may not have a murder, but set in Wyoming of 1988, it certain has the edge that the American West always has and always will. Shelley Cooper has no job, no wife, and fifty pounds of marijuana his brother wants him to drive to Houston. Since that’s the only opportunity he has, he takes it with both hands. The way out goes as well as he could expect. The way back, however, is anything but.

The Twenty-ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra
By Alex Messenger
Blackstone Publishing, $25.99, 272 pages

The Twenty-Ninth Day recounts the true story of Alex Messenger’s survival in the Canadian wilderness. At seventeen, he was mauled by a bear while canoeing in the tundra. He survives the bear, but his journey becomes a race against time as he and his companions head for a remote border village in an attempt to get help. It is a true trial by fire, filled with all the wonders and perils of Canada.

A Bold Gamble at Lake Tahoe: Crime and Corruption in a Casino’s Evolution
By Doresa Banning
Doresa-Ellen Banning, $14.95, 247 pages

A Bold Gamble at Lake Tahoe, by Doresa Banning, tells the shocking but true story of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village, Nevada. From humble beginnings as a nature-inspired hotel, it soon found itself in the hands of Jimmy Hoffa and the mob. This book is a thrilling tale of crime and theft, gamblers and celebrities, heavy sins and a town with more trees than people.

Thin Ice: A Mystery
By Paige Shelton
Minotaur Books, $26.99, 288 pages

The start of a new series, Paige Shelton’s Thin Ice follows best-selling novelist Beth Rivers who has recently survived a kidnapping, where she was held in a van for three days. As part of her escape, she heads to a remote Alaskan town, where she takes on the task of revitalizing the newspaper. However, she soon finds herself wrapped up in another tale: a recent suicide may have involved foul play.

Tracking Game: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery
By Margaret Mizushima
Crooked Lane Books, $26.99, 282 pages

Mattie Cobb returns in the fifth book in Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 mysteries, Tracking Game. After an explosion outside a community dance, Mattie finds the body of one Nate Fletcher, but she soon learns he was killed by gunshots. Not long after, another man in shot in the mountains. Toss in a deadly predator on the loose and the grit that comes from living in a secluded mountain town, and you’ve got a mystery you won’t be able to put aside.