Sunday, July 01, 2012

July 2012 New Mystery Releases!

This summer the publishers are bound and determined to keep me sitting in the pool reading book after book until my skin is permanently pruned! There is one good thing about this state of affairs (besides the obvious good reading): I'm getting my laps done faster and faster so I can get down to turning those pages.

No matter how much I weeded, the final list is still longer than I'd like it to be, but I just couldn't ax any more titles. These are the books that made the cut. They are grouped by release dates, and I've included the information you'll need to find them at all your favorite book spots. Hopefully I've chosen a title or two that you just can't do without. (I don't want to be all alone with my endless wish list....) Enjoy some blissful summer reading!

=== July 3 ===

Title: Pies and Prejudice
Author: Ellery Adams
Series: #1 in the Charmed Pie Shoppe series set in Georgia
ISBN: 9780425251409
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flaky crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.

Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name

Title: Murder on the Half Shelf
Author: Lorna Barrett
Series: #6 in the Booktown series set in New Hampshire
ISBN:  9780425247754
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery shop, Haven’t Got a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors to the public in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run.

But what should have been a pleasant overnight stay for Tricia becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling discoveries: Pippa’s murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that her husband Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years.

Now Harry is the prime suspect, but Tricia doesn’t believe him capable of murder, regardless of her own feelings toward him. And even though Harry’s led a life of lies, Tricia’s learning that Pippa had her share of secrets that some people may have not wanted revealed…

Title: The Portrait of Doreene Gray
Series: #2 in the Tripping Magazine series set in Port Townsend, Washington
ISBN: 9780312569167
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "In this laugh-out-loud-funny mystery, Angus MacGregor and the zany staff of Tripping Magazine, a travel magazine that covers paranormal destinations, investigate a bizarre story in a town brimming with secrets. Forty years ago, Maureene Pinter painted a portrait of her twin sister, Doreene. In an eerie turn of events, Doreene hasn’t aged, although her portrait has. When Doreene decides to sell the portrait, the Tripping team travel to Doreene’s mansion in Port Townsend, Washington, a Victorian town wreathed in mists and mysteries, to get the scoop on this intriguing story.

When strange strips of paper appear in her soup, Doreene invites Tripping to stay and solve the town’s many puzzles. Why does a man named Enrico Russo sit in a white Impala outside the mansion? And what does Lupita, the housekeeper, fear?  Soon, it becomes clear that while Doreene has kept her youthful looks, the past is catching up with her. Packed with laughs and featuring a mystery with a delightful literary twist, Esri Allbritten's The Portrait of Doreene Gray is a fabulously entertaining tale."

Title: The Sleeping and the Dead
Author: Jeff Crook
Series: #1 in the Jackie Lyons series set in Memphis, Tennessee
ISBN: 9781250000286
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 336 pages

Synopsis: "Jackie Lyons is a former vice detective with the Memphis Police Department who is trying to put her life back together: her husband has sent divorce papers, she's broke, and needs a place to live. But a failed marriage, unemployment, and most recently a fire in her apartment aren’t her only problems: she also sees ghosts.

Since Jackie left the force, she’s been making ends meet by photographing crime scenes for her old friends on the force, and for the occasional collector.  When she is called to the murder scene of the Playhouse Killer's latest victim, she starts seeing crime scenes from a different perspective-- her new camera captures images of ghosts. As her new camera brings her occasional ghostly visitors into sharper relief, it also points her toward clues the ex-detective in her won’t let go: did the man she has just started dating kill his wife? Is the Playhouse Killer someone she knows?  

As Jackie works to separate natural from supernatural, friend from foe, and light from dark, the spirit world and her own difficult past become the only things she can depend on to solve the case."

Title: The 13th Target
Author: Mark de Castrique
ISBN: 9781590586167
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 250 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books*

Synopsis: "When his wife dies of ovarian cancer, Russell Mullins quits the Secret Service to repurpose his life. He joins a Washington D.C. private protection company and is assigned to guard Paul Luguire, a Federal Reserve executive and its chief liaison with the U.S. Treasury.Mullins and Luguire form a strong friendship. So when a police detective calls in the middle of the night with word of Luguire's suicide, Mullins doesn't buy it. His doubts are reinforced by Amanda Church, a former Secret Service colleague now in the Federal Reserve's cyber-security unit. She uncovered a suspicious financial transaction initiated by Luguire only days before his death. He authorized unrequested funds to be transferred from the Federal Reserve to a regional bank.Even stranger, after Luguire's suicide, Amanda finds the transaction has been erased from Federal Reserve records. The regional bank now shows the money wired from an offshore account in the name of Russell Mullins. Someone is setting Rusty up. And when the bank president is murdered, Mullins rockets to the top of the suspect list. As a tenacious reporter develops leads, Mullins follows a conspiratorial trail of killing and kidnapping that leads from a shadowy mastermind to the possible destruction of America's financial system.In an age of Wall Street meltdowns and downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, the secretive Federal Reserve has a pivotal role. Twelve targets are known. The clock is ticking. What, or who, is the thirteenth?"

Title: A Room Full of Bones
Author: Elly Griffiths
Series: #4 in the Ruth Galloway series set in England
ISBN: 9780547271200
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, 352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books*

Synopsis: "When Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop, she finds the museum's curator lying dead on the floor. Soon the museum's wealthy owner lies dead in his stables, too.

These two deaths could be from natural causes, but when he is called in to investigate, Nelson isn't convinced, and it is only a matter of time before he and Ruth cross paths once more. When threatening letters come to light, events take an even more sinister turn. But as Ruth's friends become involved, where will her loyalties lie? As her convictions are tested, Ruth and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling, and the mystery of 'The Dreaming' hold the answer to these deaths, as well as the keys to their own survival.

=== July 5 ===

Title: Jack 1939
ISBN: 9781594487194
Publisher: Riverhead
Hardcover, 368 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books*

Synopsis: "It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy.

It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election—an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose.

In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war. A potent combination of history and storytelling,
Jack 1939 is a sexy, entertaining read."

=== July 10 ===

Title: The Joy Brigade
Author: Martin Limón
Series: #8 in the Sueño and Bascom series set in 1970s South Korea
ISBN:  9781616951481
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 279 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books*

Synopsis: "Seoul, early 1970s: US Army Sergeant George Sueño is on a mission of extreme importance to the South Korean government, as well as the US Army. Kim Il-Sung has vowed to reunite North and South Korea into one country before he hands control of the government over to his son, which means North Korea is planning to cross the DMZ and overpower the American-allied South Korean government. Sueño's mission is to prevent this by sneaking into North Korea and obtaining an ancient map detailing the network of secret tunnels that run underneath the DMZ. To do so, he will have to go undercover and infiltrate the North Korean Communist inner sanctum.

Aware of the often dubious nature of the US Military's tactics, Sueño is skeptical about his assignment. But he has other things on his mind. The keeper of the map is Doc Yong, a former lover of Sueño's who was forced to flee South Korea the year before—and she has a son. Before they can be happily reunited, the plan falls to pieces, and Sueño is captured. Can he rely on the enigmatic Hero Kang, his sole contact in the hostile country? Will the lovely Rhee Mi-Sook, the leader of the North Korean secret police, be too much to handle? And who are the mysterious group of women known as the Joy Brigade?

Title: The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken
Author: Tarquin Hall
Series: #3 in the Vish Puri series set in India
ISBN: 9781451613155
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Hardcover, 352 pages

Synopsis: "Dubbed “a wonderfully engaging P.I.” (The Times, London), Tarquin Hall’s irresistible protagonist Vish Puri has become an international favorite through a series that “splendidly evokes the color and bustle of Delhi and the tang of contemporary India” (Seattle Times). Now the gourmandizing, spectacularly mustachioed sleuth finds himself facing down his greatest fears in an explosive case involving the Indian and Pakistani mafias. 

When the elderly father of a top Pakistani cricketer playing in a new multimillion-dollar cricket league dies frothing at the mouth during a post-match dinner, it’s not a simple case of Delhi Belly. His butter chicken has been poisoned. To solve the case, Puri must penetrate the region’s organized crime, following a trail that leads deep into Pakistan—the country in which many members of the P.I.’s family were massacred during the 1947 partition of India. The last piece of the puzzle, however, turns up closer to home when Puri learns of the one person who can identify the killer. Unfortunately it is the one person in the world with whom he has sworn never to work: his Mummy-ji. 

With riotously entertaining prose, a boisterous cast of characters, and a pitch-perfect sense of place, Tarquin Hall has crafted a gripping whodunit that takes us deep into Indian history and society. He brings a hugely appealing culture to life with all its sights, sounds, smells, foods, and complexity. As the title implies, The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken is a succulent read by a writer at the top of his game."

Title: The Crowded Grave 
Author: Martin Walker
Series: #4 in the Bruno Chief of Police series set in France
ISBN:  9780307700193
Publisher: Knopf
Hardcover, 336 pages

Synopsis: "It’s spring in the idyllic village of St. Denis, and for Chief of Police Bruno Courrèges that means lamb stews, bottles of his beloved Pomerol, morning walks with his hound, Gigi—and a new string of regional crimes and international capers. When a local archaeological team looking for Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal remains turns up a corpse with a watch on its wrist and a bullet in its head, it’s up to Bruno to solve the case. But the task will not be easy, not with a meddlesome new magistrate eager to make a strong impression, an ongoing series of attacks by animal rights activists on local foie gras producers, and a nearby summit between France and Spain approaching—not to mention two beautiful, brilliant women vying for Bruno’s affections.

Complicating events even further, the professor in charge of the dig is soon reported missing, leading Bruno to suspect that the past and the present are bound up in dangerous ways. As summer approaches, the wine growing cooler and the fruit sweeter, Bruno's investigations take him indelibly deeper into contemporary Europe’s dark history of terrorist and counterterrorist tactics—and toward a dramatic finale.

As savory as
foie gras, as piquant as vin de noix, and as richly complex as the region’s truffles, The Crowded Grave is a feast for mystery lovers and Francophiles alike."

=== July 17 ===

Title: The Singapore School of Villainy
Author: Shamini Flint
Series: #3 in the Inspector Singh series set in Singapore
ISBN: 9780312596996
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "Homicide detective Inspector Singh has returned home to Singapore to rest his weary feet after time spent globe-trotting and crime-solving in Malaysia and Bali. But it’s not long before he wishes he would be sent off to another foreign locale. With his wife nagging him and his boss lecturing him about his unconventional work habits, he’s thrilled when a new case comes across his desk.

A senior partner at an international law firm has been murdered, and it’s up to Singh to catch the killer and solve the case. There’s no shortage of suspects, from the victim’s fellow partners, many of whom are hiding secrets, as well as the dead man’s wife and ex-wife. Soon, Inspector Singh is poised to expose the treachery that lies beneath Singapore’s high society. Fast-paced, funny, and highly original, Shamini Flint's The Singapore School of Villainy: Inspector Singh Investigates is a fabulous mystery featuring everybody’s favorite turbaned detective."

Title: The Fear Artist
Author: Timothy Hallinan
Series: #4 in the Poke Rafferty series set in Bangkok, Thailand
ISBN: 9781616951122
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 350 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books*

Synopsis: "An accidental collision on a Bangkok sidewalk goes very wrong when the man who ran into Rafferty dies in his arms, but not before saying three words: Helen Eckersley. Cheyenne. Seconds later, the police arrive, denying that the man was shot. That night, Rafferty is interrogated by Thai secret agents who demand to know what the dead man said, but Rafferty can't remember. When he's finally released, Rafferty arrives home to find that his apartment has been ransacked. In the days that follow, he realizes he's under surveillance. The second time men in uniform show up at his door, he manages to escape the building and begins a new life as a fugitive. As he learns more about his situation, it becomes apparent that he's been caught on the margins of the war on terror, and that his opponent is a virtuoso artist whose medium is fear."

=== July 24 ===

Title: Judgment Call
Author: J.A. Jance
Series: #15 in the Sheriff Joanna Brady series set in Bisbee, Arizona
ISBN:  9780061731167
Publisher: William Morrow
Hardcover, 400 pages

Synopsis: "When Joanna Brady's daughter, Jenny, stumbles across the body of her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, in the desert, the Cochise County sheriff's personal and professional worlds collide, forcing her to tread the difficult middle ground between being an officer of the law and a mother. While investigating murders has always meant discovering unpleasant facts and disquieting truths, the experienced Joanna isn't prepared for the knowledge she's about to uncover. Though she's tried to protect her children from the dangers of the grown-up world, the search for justice leads straight to her own door and forces her to face the possibility that her beloved daughter may be less perfect than she seems—especially when a photo from the crime scene ends up on Facebook. A photo only one person close to the crime scene could have taken. 

The gruesome picture is just the tip of the iceberg. Even a small, close-knit town like Bisbee has its secrets. Navigating her way through the unfamiliar world of social media, Joanna discovers shocking—and incriminating—information. The details build, from a hushed-up suspension, to a group of teenagers with a grudge against the late Ms. Highsmith, to a hateful video calling for the principal's death. The video evidence points to one particular privileged boy, who's already lawyered up thanks to his father, a well-to-do doctor determined to protect his son's reputation. Yet the deeper Joanna digs, the more complications she uncovers. It seems the quiet, upstanding principal had a hidden past, full of mysterious secrets she'd successfully kept buried for years.

As the seasoned sheriff juggles professional constraints and personal demands—budget cuts, new team members, an arrogant coroner, a confused teenager, a precocious toddler, and a high-maintenance mother—she finds herself walking a fine line between justice and family that has never been so blurred."


Six of my favorite series have new installments in July. It's going to be a busy month-- not just for reading but for meeting authors as well!

On Friday, July 13, the Poisoned Pen Conference will be held at the Arizona Biltmore. If you plan to be in the area and love crime fiction, registration costs $20. Among the authors I can't wait to meet are Mark de Castrique, Timothy Hallinan, Martin Limón, and Francine Mathews (all of whom have been mentioned above).

I'll also be attending author signings at the Poisoned Pen for Tarquin Hall, Martin Walker, and J.A. Jance.

Hmmm... maybe it's not such a good idea that I spend long periods of time in the pool. My new nickname might turn out to be the Poisoned Pen Prune!

But to get back on track... which of these titles have proved irresistible to you???


  1. Oh good, some new selections and a new series! Love a good mystery and I have to warm up my Kindle, can't wait for the hardcover of Karin Slaughters latest due out tomorrow!

    1. That reminds me-- I need to warm up my Nook! LOL

  2. Cathy - Thanks for reminding me that I must read A Room Full of Bones!! And a new Tarquin Hall, too? And the Lorna Barrett? Yeah, there goes July's book budget ;-).

  3. Wow, you've got a lot of good reading ahead of you. Pies and Prejudice is on my list of review books too. Looking forward to Ellery's newest series. Have a fun week!


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