Wednesday, February 26, 2014

March 2014 New Mystery Releases!

The income tax refund is in the bank, I've been stitching up a storm, and I seem to be mostly back into my reading groove-- which is a very good thing. I'm not about to speak one syllable about the Phoenix weather for the past two months for fear many of you will start lobbing snowballs at me. Good heavens, what you folks in the Polar Icebox continue to have to put up with!

The only thing for it is to look through my pick of the new mysteries available in March in order to keep your reading supplies well stocked. Grab that book, that hot drink and that warm cozy afghan, and curl up with some good crime fiction. Nothing like a murder or two to take your mind off the snow levels!

I've grouped the books by release dates and have included all the information you'll need to find them at all your favorite book procurement sites. Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Happy Reading!

===  March 1  ===

Title: Double Fault
Author: Judith Cutler
#5 in the DCS Fran Harman police procedural series set in Kent, England
ISBN:  9780727883391
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Hardcover, 224 pages

Synopsis: "When a child goes missing at the local tennis club on the day when several skeletons are unearthed on an Ashford building site, Fran Harman finds her caseload heavier than ever at a time when the force is cripplingly short-staffed and she has a less than supportive new Chief Constable to contend with.

Enjoying a game of tennis with his fellow Golden Oldies when the girl disappeared, Fran's partner Mark can't help blaming himself for not keeping a closer eye on her. Sucked into the kind of desperate police search he thought he'd left behind on retirement, Mark enlists the help of the Oldies to find young Livvie before it's too late.

Meanwhile, a further shocking discovery in the skeleton case suggests that a serial killer may be lurking rather closer than Fran would wish.

Title: Cold Mourning
#1 in the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series set in Canada
ISBN: 9781459708013
Publisher: Dundurn
Paperback, 392 pages

Synopsis: "It's a week before Christmas when wealthy businessman Tom Underwood disappears into thin air -- with more than enough people wanting him dead.

New police recruit Kala Stonechild, who has left her northern Ontario detachment to join a specialized Ottawa crime unit, is tasked with returning Underwood home in time for the holidays. Stonechild, who is from a First Nations reserve, is a lone wolf who is used to surviving on her wits. Her new boss, Detective Jacques Rouleau, has his hands full controlling her, his team, and an investigation that keeps threatening to go off track.

Old betrayals and complicated family relationships brutally collide when love turns to hate and murder stalks a family."

===  March 4  ===

Title: Spinning in Her Grave
Author: Molly MacRae
#3 in the Haunted Yarn Shop cozy series set in Tennessee
ISBN: 9780451240644
Publisher: Signet
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages

Synopsis: "It’s time for Blue Plum’s annual historical festival, and everyone—including Kath and her spunky fiber and needlework group, TGIF—is getting in on the action. Expert spinners are being gathered, and a businessman has approached Kath about using the second-floor windows of her store for part of a reenactment. But the reenactment ends in real-life bloodshed when local baker Reva Louise Snapp is shot—with a bullet from a modern-day gun.

Kath has her theories about who wanted to end Reva Louise’s life. But there’s also talk of a sniper stalking Blue Plum, and Kath’s shop is suspected to be the murderer’s hideout. Now Kath, her TGIF pals, and the gloomy ghost, Geneva, must unravel the mystery quickly, or someone else might be left hanging by a thread....

Title: Pearls and Poison
Author: Duffy Brown
#3 in the Consignment Shop cozy series set in Savannah, Georgia
ISBN: 9780425252482
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "It’s election time in Savannah, Georgia, and Judge Guillotine Gloria—aka Reagan Summerside’s mom—is neck and neck in the polls with Kip 'Scummy' Seymour.  But the already dirty campaign is about to get downright filthy—with one candidate getting buried six feet under…

With her strong opinions and knack for getting into trouble, Reagan is not an ideal volunteer for her mother’s alderman campaign. Plus, she’d rather be running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, and eating doughnuts with her dog, Bruce Willis. But when her mother’s opponent, Kip, is found poisoned and her mother is pegged as a suspect, Reagan nominates herself as lead murder investigator.

Reagan is intent on finding Kip’s killer and clearing her mother’s good name, but she soon finds herself on the bad side of Kip’s enemies-turned-suspects. This time, no amount of costumes and makeup can keep her inconspicuous and out of danger. Because the closer Reagan gets to the truth, the hotter things get…

Title: Poisoned Ground
Author: Sandra Parshall
#6 in the Rachel Goddard series set in Virginia
ISBN:  9781464202247
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Hardcover, 250 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When a powerful development company sets its sights on Mason Country, Virginia, as the location for a sprawling resort for the rich, the locals begin taking sides. Many residents see the resort as economic salvation for the small Blue Ridge Mountains community, while others fear the county will become financially dependent on a predatory company.

Few oppose the development more vocally than veterinarian Rachel Goddard. She sides with locals reluctant to sell their land and, in the process, complicates the life of her new husband, Sheriff Tom Bridger.

When a beloved couple is gunned down on the very farm they refused to sell, it seems supporters will stop at nothing to ensure the success of the resort. Now disagreement in the community has exploded into civil war with both sides lashing out. As the violence escalates, Rachel discovers the attacks are more sinister than they appear.

Can she bring the truth to light before her community tears itself apart?

Title: City of Darkness and Light
Author: Rhys Bowen
#13 in the Molly Murphy historical mystery series set in 1905 Paris, France
ISBN: 9781250011664 
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Molly and Daniel Sullivan are settling happily into the new routines of parenthood, but their domestic bliss is shattered the night a gang retaliates against Daniel for making a big arrest. Daniel wants his family safely out of New York City as soon as possible. In shock and grieving, but knowing she needs to protect their infant son Liam, Molly agrees to take him on the long journey to Paris to stay with her friends Sid and Gus, who are studying art in the City of Light.

But upon arriving in Paris, nothing goes as planned. Sid and Gus seem to have vanished into thin air, and Molly's search to figure out what happened to them will lead her through all levels of Parisian society, from extravagant salons to the dingy cafes where starving artists linger over coffee and loud philosophical debates. And when in the course of her search she stumbles across a dead body, Molly, on her own in a foreign country, starts to wonder if she and Liam might be in even more danger in Paris than they had been at home.

Title: Murder in Pigalle
Author: Cara Black
#14 in the Aimée Leduc private investigator series set in France
ISBN: 9781616952846
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "June, 1998: Paris's sticky summer heat is even more oppressive than usual as rowdy French football fans riot in anticipation of the World Cup. Private Investigator Aimée Leduc has been trying to slow down her hectic lifestyle—she's five months pregnant and has the baby's well-being to think about now. But then disaster strikes close to home. A serial rapist has been terrorizing Paris's Pigalle neighborhood, following teenage girls home and attacking them in their own houses. It is sad and frightening but has nothing to do with Aimée—until Zazie, the 13-year-old daughter of the proprietor of Aimée's favorite café, disappears. The police aren't mobilizing quickly enough, and when Zazie's desperate parents approach Aimée for help, she knows she couldn't say no even if she wanted to."

Title: The Disappeared
Author: Kristina Ohlsson
#3 in the Fredrika Bergman investigative analyst series set in Sweden
ISBN:  9781476734002
Publisher: Atria Books
Hardcover, 416 pages

Synopsis: "A young woman on her way to a party vanishes without a trace. Two years later, with all hope lost, her body turns up. Mercilessly dismembered, it has deteriorated considerably in its lonely burial spot on the edge of a forest. The forensic team is able to identify the body as that of Rebecca Tolle, a student at the nearby university.

Investigative analyst Fredrika Bergman and her team are assigned to solve the case and question those who may be responsible for Rebecca’s brutal death. Soon, more bodies are found, in the same area. But the killer is still at large.

Fredrika discovers that when Rebecca died, she was researching a person with a dark past- one that Rebecca seems to have uncovered. Fredrika is deeply invested in the already heart-wrenching case, but when her lover’s name comes up as a possible suspect, it might be too much for her to bear.

Did Rebcecca get too close to evil- prompting evil to react?

===  March 11  ===

Title: Stone Cold
Author: C.J. Box
#14 in the game warden Joe Pickett series set in the Bog Horn Mountains of Wyoming
ISBN: 9780399160769
Publisher: Putnam
Hardcover, 384 pages

Synopsis: "Everything about the man is a mystery: the massive ranch in the remote Black Hills of Wyoming that nobody ever visits, the women who live with him, the secret philanthropies, the private airstrip, the sudden disappearances. And especially the persistent rumors that the man’s wealth comes from killing people.

Joe Pickett, still officially a game warden but now mostly a troubleshooter for the governor, is assigned to find out what the truth is, but he discovers a lot more than he’d bargained for. There are two other men living up at that ranch. One is a stone-cold killer who takes an instant dislike to Joe. The other is new—but Joe knows him all too well. The first man doesn’t frighten Joe. The second is another story entirely.

Title: The Outcast Dead
#6 in the forensic archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway series set in England
ISBN: 9780547792774
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, 384 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of a Victorian murderess while a baby snatcher threatens modern-day Norfolk in this exciting new entry in a beloved series.

Every year a ceremony is held at Norwich Castle for the bodies in the paupers’ graves: the Service for the Outcast Dead. Ruth has a particular interest in this year’s proceedings. Her recent dig at Norwich Castle turned up the body of the notorious Mother Hook, who was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children. Now Ruth is the reluctant star of the TV series
Women Who Kill, working alongside the program’s alluring history expert, Professor Frank Barker.

DCI Harry Nelson is immersed in the case of three children found dead in their home. He is sure that the mother is responsible. Then another child is abducted and a kidnapper dubbed the Childminder claims responsibility. Are there two murderers afoot, or is the Childminder behind all the deaths? The team must race to find out—and the stakes couldn’t be any higher when another child goes missing.

===  March 18  ===

Title: Hotel Brasil
Author: Frei Betto
Debut crime novel set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
ISBN: 9781908524270
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
Paperback, 288 pages

Synopsis: "The setting for this witty and insightful debut crime novel is a Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, family hotel. Rio is the perfect backdrop with its history of military dictatorship, drug wars, child gangs, and violent policing tactics.

The decapitated body of a hotel resident is found. The eyes have been removed from the head, casually left on the floor of the room. The victim's eerie, frozen Mona Lisa smile seems to indicate that the murderer had been received as a friend.

According to the police, the victim was stabbed in the heart and died before the decapitation. As the investigation continues, with few leads or clues worth pursuing, other hotel clients are found dead; all decapitated, usually with the head found delicately balanced on their knees.

This classical crime novel provides an opportunity for Frei Betto (a Dominican friar, once a political prisoner, a union activist, and then an adviser to President Lula da Silva) to describe Brazilian society, especially those left at its edge, like Rio's favela children, abused, hunted-down, but also addicted to drugs and violent crime.

The book tells the fascinating back stories of the hotel residents, suspects, and eventual victims, such as the maid who dreams of making it in television soaps, and the female pimp who has survived incestuous rape, while being faithful to a suspenseful intrigue that could have been thought up by Ruth Rendell."

Title: Murder at Cape Three Points
Author: Kwei Quartey 
#3 in the Darko Dawson police procedural series set in Ghana
ISBN: 9781616953898
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "At Cape Three Points on the beautiful Ghanaian coast, a canoe washes up at an oil rig site. The two bodies in the canoe—who turn out to be a prominent, wealthy, middle-aged married couple—have obviously been murdered; the way Mr. Smith-Aidoo has been gruesomely decapitated suggests the killer was trying to send a specific message—but what, and to whom, is a mystery. The Smith-Aidoos, pillars in their community, are mourned by everyone, but especially by their niece Sapphire, a successful pediatric surgeon in Ghana's capital, Accra. She is not happy that months have passed since the murder and the rural police have made no headway.

When the Ghanaian federal police finally agree to get involved, Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of the Accra police force is sent out to Cape Three Points to investigate. Pretty as the coast is, he is not happy to be sent away from his wife and two sons, the younger of whom is recovering from a heart operation. And the more he learns about the case, the more convoluted and dangerous it becomes. Three Points has long been inhabited by tribal villages of subsistence fishers, but real estate entrepreneurs and wealthy oil companies have been trying to bribe the tribes to move out. Dawson roots out a host of motives for murder, ranging from personal vendettas to corporate conspiracies.

===  March 25  ===

Title: The Dead Don't Dance
Author: John Enright
#3 in the Apelu Soifua "Jungle Beat" police procedural series set in American Samoa
ISBN:  9781612185026
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Paperback, 252 pages

Synopsis: "Rumored to hold more spirits than people, the remote tropical paradise To’aga frightens many Samoan locals—but not Detective Apelu Soifua. Reeling from the loss of his young daughter, Apelu retreats to the haunted island for a self-imposed exile. He spends his days drinking, trying to ignore the ghosts in his head, and receives few visitors other than a shamanistic recluse and a pair of dedicated marine biologists conducting research.

But after a crew of surveyors arrives, Apelu makes a disturbing discovery: foreign investors plan to build a resort hotel on the coast, a project sure to destroy the To’aga coral reef and shatter the island’s peaceful way of life. When tensions rise and someone—or something—commits a gruesome murder, Apelu must force himself out of retirement to solve the case. Can the heartbroken detective navigate both modern and mystical forces to find the killer and appease the angry spirits of To’aga, in this third book of the Jungle Beat Mystery series?"

Whew! There's some mighty fine reading ahead of us in March! Which books did you add to your wish list? Inquiring minds want to know!


  1. Ouch! Now this is just not fair. Just as I vowed -- and on a blog, too -- to dig into my TBR stacks here, which are taking over my dining table, here comes a list of must-reads!

    This is like going on a diet only to have a bakery open on the corner with tantalizing items.

    So many here I want to read -- Elly Griffiths, Kwei Quartery, Frei Betto, Kristina Ohlsson, the Rhys Bowen, etc.

    1. You should be like me and keep your vows between you and your four walls. ;-)

  2. Cathy - Oh, there are some good things coming out! Can't wait to read the next Elly Griffiths. Oh, and a C.J. Box, too! Yes, good reading ahead.

    1. Most definitely! I can't wait to get into the new Elly Griffiths!


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