Wednesday, September 25, 2013

October 2013 New Mystery Releases!

Time's just ticking away like a bomb this year, isn't it? The water is cooling down in my unheated pool. I've sat out there and read so many wonderful books this summer, but during the past three weeks, I've also watched the angle of the sunlight change. As long as I can spend time out in the pool, I will refuse to admit that it's fall. Even though the signs are all around me. Even though I'm already compiling my annual Christmas mysteries list. (Didn't want to hear that one, did you?)

As usual, I've narrowed down my choice of October's new mystery releases to a baker's dozen (my lucky number)-- and that's not easy. The books are grouped by release date, and I've included all the information you need to find them at all your favorite book procurement locations. All book synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Happy reading!

=== October 1 ===

Title: Spider Woman's Daughter
Author: Anne Hillerman (daughter of Tony Hillerman)
Series: #19 in the Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee series set on the Navajo Nation in the southwestern US
ISBN: 9780062270481
Publisher: Harper
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "Anne Hillerman, the talented daughter of bestselling author Tony Hillerman, continues his popular Leaphorn and Chee series with Spider Woman’s Daughter, a Navajo Country mystery, filled with captivating lore, startling suspense, bold new characters, vivid color, and rich Southwestern atmosphere.

Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of someone very close to her. With the victim fighting for his life, the entire squad and the local FBI office are hell-bent on catching the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations forbidding eyewitness involvement. But that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is in charge of finding the shooter.

Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key. Digging into the old investigation, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth...and closer to a killer determined to prevent justice from taking its course."

Title: Poisoned Prose
Author: Ellery Adams
Series: #5 in the Books by the Bay series set in Oyster Bay, North Carolina
ISBN: 9780425262955
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Olivia thought gathering some of the most renowned storytellers in one place would be a nice, simple way for herself and the Bayside Book Writers to appreciate their talents. But things take a dark turn when the most famous storyteller in the nation—the captivating performer Violetta Devereaux—announces onstage that she will meet her end in Oyster Bay.

When Violetta is discovered murdered after the show, everyone involved with the retreat becomes a suspect. There are rumors that Violetta, who grew up in extreme poverty in the Appalachian Mountains, possessed an invaluable treasure. Now Chief Rawlings and the Bayside Book Writers must work at a frenzied pace to solve the crime before someone closes the book on them.

Title: A Finder's Fee
Author: Joyce and Jim Lavene
Series: #5 in the Missing Pieces series set in Duck, North Carolina
ISBN:  9780425252314
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Two weeks before the mayoral election, Dae gets sidetracked from her political aspirations by a spirit in need of rescuing. An antique amber necklace allows Dae to connect with Maggie Madison, a witch who wants Dae to rebury her bones so she can rest in peace. But digging leads Dae to an even bigger mystery, a forty-year-old murder with ties to Randal “Mad Dog” Wilson, her mayoral opponent.

Dae wants to run a clean race, but town sentiment is mixed about whether she’s using her abilities to get the election to go her way. And when she learns that her own grandfather—the former sheriff of Dare County—might be mixed up in the long-buried tragedy, Dae will have to uncover the real killer and put Maggie to rest, before her political career ends up six feet under…

Title: Buried in Bargains
Author: Josie Belle (AKA Jenn McKinlay)
Series: #3 in the Good Buy Girls series set in Virginia
ISBN:  9780425252307
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages

Synopsis: "Maggie Gerber and those discount divas, the Good Buy Girls, are gearing up for their first big holiday thrift shop sale. But one of the Girls—Joanne Claramotta, pregnant with her first child—is acting less than festive. It could be hormones. Or it could be Diane Jenkins, the young knockout her husband, Michael, hired as his new deli assistant.

Calming Joanne’s nerves proves impossible when Maggie finds Michael unconscious on his deli floor—and with Diane next to him, strangled to death with her apron strings. Then Maggie discovers something even more disturbing.

There’s no record of Diane having been hired. In fact, she has no history at all. It’s as if she never even existed. Now Maggie fears that unwrapping Michael’s secrets could really kill her holiday spirit.

Title: Afoot on St. Croix
Author: Rebecca M. Hale
Series: #2 in the Mystery in the Islands series set on St. Croix in the Caribbean
ISBN: 9780425251959
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages

Synopsis: "For tourists, the idyllic island of St. Croix is a perfect escape from the world. For Charlie Baker, it’s a trap. He hasn’t set foot on the island since his life fell apart there ten years ago. But now his ex-wife is luring him back with the promise of a family reunion—a promise she keeps breaking.

He always knew Mira was a little crazy, but returning one last time—determined to see his children no matter what—he’s about to discover just how crazy she is. And with a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows who could be the source of the terrifying Goat Foot Woman legend, he will also learn what dark fate the island has in store for him.

=== October 8 ===

Title: The Back Road
Author: Rachel Abbott
ISBN: 9781477807750  
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Paperback, 478 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When a young girl, Abbie Campbell, is knocked over and left for dead on the back road of the village of Little Melham, waves of shock ripple through the small community and a chain of events, which threatens to expose long-kept secrets, is triggered. 

For Ellie Saunders, the truth about that night puts both her marriage and the safety of her children in jeopardy–she has to protect her family, no matter what the cost. And Ellie isn’t the only one with something to hide. She and her sister Leo believe they have put their troubled childhood behind them, but Leo’s quest for the truth reveals a terrible secret that has lain hidden for years. 

Ellie’s neighbour, former detective Tom Douglas, has escaped to Little Melham in search of a quiet life, but finds himself drawn into the web of deceit as his every instinct tells him that what happened to young Abbie was far more than a tragic accident. 

In this gripping novel, the peaceful English countryside belies the horrible truths that lurk beneath the trimmed hedgerows, behind the closed doors of smart sitting rooms and within unspoken conversations."

Title: Night Zone
Author: Steven F. Havill
Series: #19 in the Posadas County mystery series set in New Mexico
ISBN:  9781464200700
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 250 pages

Synopsis: "What do you do when you inherit $330 million after taxes? If you're New Mexico rancher Miles Waddell, you build a dream.

A flat-topped mesa and a third of a billion dollars equals NIGHTZONE, an astronomy-based theme park, complete with giant radio telescope, a bank of smaller scopes linked to a theater, five-star dining in a restaurant with retracting dome ceiling, a hotel/resort, tram car access, and a narrow gauge steam locomotive to carry tourists to the mesa top. Glorious. And too ambitious for many residents of Posadas County.

Waddell's dream begins to sour as one night two eco-terrorists make an opening statement by chain-sawing down power lines that feed the development. One of the terrorists is killed by a bucking power pole. From 20 miles away, former Posadas Sheriff William K. Gastner spots a pair of headlights as the dead man’s companion speeds from the scene.

Charges quickly include murder when the fleeing conspirator is stopped by a cop and guns the lawman down. Hours later a second shooting occurs when Gastner stops to assist Sgt. Jackie Taber during an unrelated traffic stop. Always the last to pull a trigger, the now 74-year old Gastner becomes the focus of a second investigation by the over-stressed District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department. Meanwhile, Waddell's troubles with rumor-mongers and anti-government thugs continue. A tired Gastner is unwilling to work security for NIGHTZONE, but security has become essential.

There is a bright spot: Gastner’s godson, 13 year-old Francisco Guzman. The musical prodigy’s conservatory has scheduled a double concert in Posadas, part of a national tour. Yet the timing of this stellar event could not be worse with the retired Gastner and the whole community tangling with lethal avengers and agendas.

=== October 10 ===

Title: The Case of the Love Commandos
Author: Tarquin Hall
Series: #4 in the Vish Puri series set in India
ISBN: 9781451613261
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Hardcover, 320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When Ram and Tulsi fall in love, the young woman’s parents are dead set against the union. She’s from a high-caste family; he’s an Untouchable, from the lowest stratum of Indian society. Young Tulsi’s father locks her up and promises to hunt down the “loverboy dog.” Fortunately, India’s Love Commandos, a real-life group of volunteers dedicated to helping mixed-caste couples, come to the rescue. Just after they liberate Tulsi, Ram is mysteriously snatched from his hiding place.

It falls to Vish Puri to track down Ram and reunite the star-crossed lovers. Unfortunately, Puri’s having a bad month. Not only did he fail to recover a stolen cache of jewels, but his wallet was filched and he has to rely on his Mummy-ji to get it back. To top it all off, his archrival, suave investigator Hari Kumar, is also trying to locate Ram. In the daring race to find Ram, Puri and his team must infiltrate Ram’s village and navigate the caste politics shaped by millennia-old prejudices.

With wildly entertaining prose, outsize characters, and a perfect sense of place, this modern tale of star-crossed lovers transports us deep into Indian history and culture. And as ever, Tarquin Hall’s gormandizing Punjabi detective is never short of a good curry.

=== October 15 ===

Title: Just One Evil Act
Series: #18 in the Inspector Lynley series set in England
ISBN: 9780525952961
Publisher: Dutton
Hardcover, 736 pages

Synopsis: "Barbara is at a loss: The daughter of her friend Taymullah Azhar has been taken by her mother, and Barbara can’t really help—Azhar had never married Angelina, and his name isn’t on Hadiyyah’s, their daughter’s, birth certificate. He has no legal claim. Azhar and Barbara hire a private detective, but the trail goes cold.

Azhar is just beginning to accept his soul-crushing loss when Angelina reappears with shocking news: Hadiyyah is missing, kidnapped from an Italian marketplace. The Italian police are investigating, and the Yard won’t get involved, until Barbara takes matters into her own hands — at the risk of her own career.

As both Barbara and her partner, Inspector Thomas Lynley, soon discover, the case is far more complex than a typical kidnapping, revealing secrets that could have far-reaching effects outside of the investigation.  With both her job and the life of a little girl on the line, Barbara must decide what matters most, and how far she’s willing to go to protect it.

Title: Dead Man's Time
Author: Peter James
Series: #9 in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series set in England
ISBN: 9781250030184
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 416 pages

Synopsis: "New York, 1922.  Five-year-old Gavin Daly and his seven-year-old sister, Aileen, are boarding the SS Mauretania to Dublin—and safety. Their mother has been shot and their Irish mobster father abducted. Suddenly, a messenger hands Gavin a piece of paper on which are written four names and eleven numbers, a cryptic message that will haunt him all his life, and his father's pocket watch.  As the ship sails, Gavin watches Manhattan fade into the dusk and makes a promise, that one day he will return and find his father. 

Brighton, 2012.  Detective Superintendent Roy Grace investigates a savage burglary in Brighton, in which an old lady is murdered and £10m of antiques have been taken, including a rare vintage watch.  To Grace’s surprise, the antiques are unimportant to her family—it is the watch they want back.  As his investigation probes deeper, he realizes he has kicked over a hornets nest of new and ancient hatreds.  At its heart is one man, Gavin Daly, the dead woman’s ninety-five-year-old brother.  He has a score to settle and a promise to keep—both of which lead to a murderous trail linking the antiques world of Brighton, the crime fraternity of Spain’s Marbella, and New York.

Roy Grace, in a race against the clock to stop another killing, has met his most dangerous adversary yet."

=== October 17 ===

Title: Spirit of Steamboat
Author: Craig Johnson
Series: Christmas novella featuring Walt Longmire set in Wyoming and Colorado
ISBN: 9780670015788
Publisher: Viking
Hardcover, 160 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Sheriff Walt Longmire is reading A Christmas Carol in his office on December 24th when he’s interrupted by the ghost of Christmas past: a young woman with a hairline scar across her forehead and more than a few questions about Walt’s predecessor, Lucian Connally. Walt doesn’t recognize the mystery woman, but she seems to know him and claims to have something she must return to Connally. With his daughter, Cady, and his undersheriff Vic Moretti in Philadelphia for the holidays, Walt is at loose ends, and despite the woman’s reticence to reveal her identity, he agrees to help her.

At the Durant Home for Assisted Living Lucian Connally is several tumblers into his Pappy Van Winkle’s and swears he’s never clapped eyes on the woman before. Disappointed, she whispers “Steamboat” and begins a story that takes them all back to Christmas Eve 1988, when three people died in a terrible crash and a young girl had the slimmest chance of survival . . . back to a record– breaking blizzard, to Walt’s first year as sheriff, with a young daughter at home and a wife praying for his safety . . . back to a whiskey-soaked World War II vet ready to fly a decommissioned plane and risk it all to save a life.

=== October 22 ===

Title: Critical Mass
Author: Sara Paretsky
Series: #16 in the V.I. Warshawski series set in Chicago and Vienna 
ISBN: 9780399160561
Publisher: Putnam
Hardcover, 480 pages

Synopsis: "V.I. Warshawski’s closest friend in Chicago is the Viennese-born doctor Lotty Herschel, who lost most of her family in the Holocaust.  Lotty escaped to London in 1939 on the Kindertransport with a childhood playmate, Kitty Saginor Binder.  When Kitty’s daughter finds her life is in danger, she calls Lotty, who, in turn, summons V.I. to help.  The daughter’s troubles turn out to be just the tip of an iceberg of lies, secrets, and silence, whose origins go back to the mad competition among America, Germany, Japan and England to develop the first atomic bomb.  The secrets are old, but the people who continue to guard them today will not let go of them without a fight."  

=== October 29 ===

Title: Thoreau at Devil's Perch
Author: B.B. Oak
Series: #1 in the Henry Davis Thoreau historical series set in Massachusetts
ISBN:  9780758290236
Publisher: Kensington
Paperback, 352 pages

Synopsis: "The lush, overgrown banks of Massachusetts' Assabet River are the ideal place for Dr. Adam Walker to find coveted medicinal plants for his remedies. But on one balmy August morning he finds something very different. A stranger, identifying himself as Henry David Thoreau of nearby Walden Pond, approaches and entreats Adam to accompany him upriver. He has discovered the body of a young black man at the base of the cliff known as Devil's Perch. As they examine the broken corpse and the surrounding scene, both men become convinced that the unfortunate victim was dead long before he fell. Yet the coroner's jury insists otherwise, dismissing the matter as an accident. Angered by the injustice, Adam and his lovely cousin Julia Bell agree to assist Thoreau in investigating. Adam notes in his new friend all the makings of a great detective an encyclopaedic knowledge of the natural world, uncanny observational skills, a sharp instinct for detecting human foibles. As the case progresses, the mysteries only deepen and there is no mistaking the brutal slaying of a womanizing army captain as anything other than the coldest murder. Journeying from their tranquil village to Boston's most disreputable district, they gradually uncover the monstrous truth even while a vicious killer prepares to end their inquiry for good."


That's my baker's dozen choices for new mysteries being published in October. How many titles made it onto your own personal wish lists? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Cathy - Oh, so happy that new Tarquin Hall is coming out! :-). And I see a new Sara Paretsky too. Interesting.. I'm wondering about that Anne Hillerman. Normally I am very leery about anyone taking up another author's characters. We'll see...

    1. I'm leery of the same thing, Margot. Anne was encouraged to do this by other writers, so we'll just have to see. She's got some big boots to fill!


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