Thursday, March 27, 2014

April 2014 New Mystery Releases!

You'd think that, with me buzzing around spring cleaning, I'd have less time and inclination to read, but that's not been the case. In fact, my reading consumption has increased. I'm really beginning to think that I'm a human solar panel, and the more sunshine I can absorb, the more I need to read. Besides, any of you who've read my yearly reading statistics posts already know that in the summer I resemble a shark on a feeding (i.e., reading) frenzy!

Here are my picks for new mysteries being released in April. They're sorted by release dates and contain all the information you'll need to find them at your favorite book procurement locations. Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Happy Reading!

===  April 1  ===

Title: Destroyer Angel
Author: Nevada Barr
#18 in the Anna Pigeon series set in various national parks throughout the United States
ISBN: 9780312614584
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the U.S. Park Services, sets off on vacation—an autumn canoe trip in the to the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. With Anna is her friend Heath, a paraplegic; Heath’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a wealthy designer of outdoor equipment; and her daughter, Katie, who is thirteen. For Heath and Leah, this is a shakedown cruise to test a new cutting edge line of camping equipment. The equipment, designed by Leah, will make camping and canoeing more accessible to disabled outdoorsmen.

On their second night out, Anna goes off on her own for a solo evening float on the Fox River.  When she comes back, she finds that four thugs, armed with rifles, pistols, and knives, have taken the two women and their teenaged daughters captive. With limited resources and no access to the outside world, Anna has only two days to rescue them before her friends are either killed or flown out of the country.

Title: Under Cold Stone
Author: Vicki Delany
#7 in the Constable Molly Smith series set in British Columbia, Canada
ISBN: 9781464202353  
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 250 pages

Synopsis: "A weekend getaway to the Rocky Mountains. A Scottish-inspired castle of carved stone, imposing turrets, liveried bellhops, and panoramic views. Perched on the verge of one of the world’s greatest wildernesses. They’re an unlikely couple: Lucky Smith, passionate environmentalist, old-time hippy; Paul Keller Chief Constable of Trafalgar, British Columbia. This vacation is a chance to explore their fledging late-in-life relationship, to indulge themselves at the famous Banff Springs Hotel.

Trouble interferes when Lucky, strong-willed and sometimes too stubborn for her own good, stands up to two bullies in the local coffee shop. To his horror Paul recognizes one of the young men as his estranged son, Matt. In the early hours of the following morning, a frantic Matt calls his father for help.  Lucky and Paul arrive to find a body on the apartment floor, but Matt has gone.

Matt Keller is an experienced wilderness adventurer. All signs indicate that he’s escaped into the backcountry. To RCMP Sergeant Eddie Blechta, running is all the proof of guilt he needs. Paul Keller  can do nothing but watch the investigation from a distance, terrified that Blechta is right.

Lucky’s daughter, Constable Molly Smith of the Trafalgar City Police, abandons her chaotic Thanksgiving kitchen to offer her mom support. She has no intention of meddling in the police investigation, but when Matt’s sad, shy girlfriend, Tracey, asks for her help, Molly Smith finds herself not only interfering but putting herself on the wrong side of Edward Blechta. And Molly Smith is as good in the wilderness as Matt Keller

Title: Sugar and Iced
Author: Jenn McKinlay
#6 in the Cupcake Bakery series set in Scottsdale, Arizona
ISBN:  9780425258927
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Normally Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura wouldn’t be caught dead at a beauty pageant, but when Mel’s mom asks them to provide cupcakes for the seventy-fifth annual Sweet Tiara contest as a favor for her best friend, they can’t say no. Plus, between cooking up a daily display for the three-day event and sponsoring a cupcake creation challenge for the participants, Fairy Tale Cupcakes will get great publicity.

But the world of pageants is even hotter than Mel’s kitchen. A high-strung judge and a pushy stage mom target Lupe, a young friend of Mel and Angie’s, at the competition and aim to take her out—by any means necessary. When the same judge shows up dead underneath Mel and Angie’s cupcake display, Lupe is crowned the lead suspect. Now Mel and Angie will have to find the real killer quickly or Lupe may be strutting the catwalk in prison pinstripes…

Title: The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry
Author: Ann Purser
#5 in the Ivy Beasley Enquiries series set in England
ISBN:  9780425261811
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Rumors are flying around the village of Barrington about Mrs. Winchen Blatch, a reclusive widow living alone in her old farmhouse. In the past few weeks, the widow claims she has been tormented by ghostly visitations, so she hires Ivy and her fellow investigators at Enquire Within to get to the bottom of the mystery. Ivy’s new classes are very close to the widow’s farmhouse, perfect for combining studying and snooping…

With each new clue—a dark chamber, a smoking cigar and an amorous lodger—it becomes harder to separate fact from fiction. And when the ghost is revealed to be flesh and blood, the lonely widow may be in more trouble than Ivy and her team can handle…

Title: By Its Cover
Author: Donna Leon
#23 in the Guido Brunetti series set in Venice, Italy
ISBN: 9780802122643
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Hardcover, 288 pages

Synopsis: "One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem—the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist.

As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty

Title: Murder at Westminster Abbey
Author: Amanda Carmack
#2 in the Kate Haywood series set in mid-16th century England
ISBN: 9780451415127.
Publisher: Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "1559. Elizabeth is about to be crowned queen of England and wants her personal musician Kate Haywood to prepare music for the festivities. New to London, Kate must learn the ways of city life…and once again school herself as a sleuth.

Life at the center of the new royal court is abuzz with ambition and gossip—very different from the quiet countryside, where Kate served Elizabeth during her exile. Making her way among the courtiers who vie for the new queen’s favor, Kate befriends Lady Mary Everley. Mary is very close to Elizabeth. With their red hair and pale skin, they even resemble each other—which makes Mary’s murder all the more chilling.

The celebrations go on despite the pall cast over them. But when another redhead is murdered, Kate uncovers a deadly web of motives lurking just beneath the polite court banter, and follows the trail of a killer whose grievance can only be answered with royal blood.

Title: Frog Music
Standalone set in Victorian San Francisco
ISBN: 9780316324687
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Hardcover, 416 pages

Synopsis: "Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.

The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny's murderer to justice--if he doesn't track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It's the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.

In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue's lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other

Title: Body Count
Author: Barbara Nadel
#16 in the Inspector Çetin Ikmen series set in Istanbul, Turkey
ISBN: 9780755388929
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing
Hardcover, 384 pages

Synopsis: "Any bloody death will lead Inspectors Ikmen and Suleyman out onto the dark streets of Istanbul. On January 21, a half-decapitated corpse in the poor multicultural district of Tarlabasi poses a particularly frustrating and gruesome mystery. But as the months pass and the violence increases, it turns into a hunt for that rare phenomenon in the golden city on the Bosphorus: a serial killer. Desperate to uncover the killer's twisted logic as the body count rises, Ikmen and Suleyman find only more questions. How are the victims connected? What is the significance of the number 21? And how many Istanbullus must die before they find the answers?"

===  April 15  ===

Title: The Axe Factor
#3 in the Jimm Juree series set in rural southern Thailand
ISBN: 9781250043368
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Since Jimm Juree moved, under duress, with her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she misses the bright lights of Chiang Mai. Most of all, she’s missed her career as a journalist, which was just getting started. In Chiang Mai, she was covering substantial stories and major crimes. But here in Maprao, Jimm has to scrape assignments from the local online journal, the Chumphon Gazette—and be happy about it when she gets one. This time they are sending her out to interview a local farang (European) writer, a man in his late fifties, originally from England, who writes award-winning crime novels, one Conrad Coralbank.

At the same time, several local women have left town without a word to anyone, leaving their possessions behind. These include the local doctor, Dr. Sumlak, who never returned from a conference, and the Thai wife of that farang writer, the aforementioned Conrad Coralbank. All of which looks a little suspicious, especially to Jimm’s grandfather, an ex-cop, who notices Coralbank’s interest in Jimm with a very jaundiced eye. With a major storm headed their way and a potential serial killer on the loose, it looks like Jimm Juree, her eccentric family, and the whole town of Maprao is in for some major changes.

===  April 22  ===

Title: A Few Drops of Blood
#2 in the Natalia Monte series set in Naples, Italy
ISBN: 9781616953539
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When the bodies of two men are found, shockingly posed, in the garden of an elderly countess, Captain Natalia Monte of the Carabiniere is assigned the case. Soon she finds herself shuttling between  Naples’ decadent art galleries and violent criminal underworld. If she is to succeed in solving the heinous crime, Natalia must deal with not only her own complicated past and allegiances, but also those of the city as a whole. A riveting and poetic exploration of the violence that lurks in the heart of beauty."

Title: Ruin Falls
ISBN: 9780345549075
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Hardcover, 352 pages

Synopsis: "Liz Daniels has every reason to be happy about setting off on a rare family vacation, leaving behind her remote home in the Adirondack Mountains for a while. Instead, she feels uneasy. Her children, eight-year-old Reid and six-year-old Ally, have met their paternal grandparents only a handful of times. But Liz’s husband, Paul, has decided that, despite a strained relationship with his mother and father, they should visit the farm in western New York where he spent his childhood.

On their way to the farm, the family stops at a hotel for the night. In the morning, when Liz goes to check on her sleeping children, all her anxiety comes roaring back: Ally and Reed are nowhere to be found. Blind panic slides into ice-cold terror as the hours tick by without anyone finding a trace of the kids. Soon, Paul and Liz are being interviewed by police, an Amber Alert is issued, and detectives are called in.

Frantic worry and helplessness threaten to overtake Liz’s mind—but in a sudden, gut-wrenching instant she realizes that it was no stranger who slipped into the hotel room that night. Someone she trusted completely has betrayed her. Though she knows that Ally and Reid are safe, Liz will stop at nothing to find them and get them back. From her guarded in-laws’ unwelcoming farmhouse to the deep woods of her own hometown, Liz follows the threads of a terrible secret to uncover a hidden world created from dreams and haunted by nightmares.

===  April 29  ===

Title: The Marathon Conspiracy
Author: Gary Corby
#4 in the series featuring Nicolaos, an investigator in classical Athens, beginning in 461 BCE
ISBN: 9781616953874
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 352 pages

Synopsis: "Nicolaos, Classical Athens's favorite sleuth, and his partner in investigation, the clever ex-priestess Diotima, have taken time out of their assignments to come home to get married. But if Nico was hoping they'd be able to get hitched without a hitch, he was overly optimistic. When they arrive in Athens, there's a problem waiting for them.

The Sanctuary of Artemis is the ancient world's most famous school for girls. When one of the children is killed, apparently by a bear, and another girl disappears in the night, Diotima's childhood teacher asks her former pupil to help them. Diotima is honor-bound to help her old school.

Meanwhile a skull discovered in a cave not far from the sanctuary has proven to be the remains of the last tyrant to rule Athens. The Athenians fought the Battle Marathon to keep this man out of power. He was supposed to have died thirty years ago, in faraway Persia. What are his remains doing outside the city walls? Nico's boss, the great Athenian statesman Pericles, wants answers, and he wants Nico to find them. What makes it all so ominous is that the skull was discovered by the two students of the Sanctuary of Artemis who are dead and missing.

What does a decades-dead tyrant have to do with two young girls?  Where is the missing child?  Is a killer bear really lurking beyond the walls of Athens? And who is the mysterious stranger who's trying to kill Nico and Diotima? Can the sleuths solve the interlocked crimes and save a child before their wedding?

Did any of these titles catch your eye-- and make it to your wish list? Which ones? (You know I'm an insatiably curious bookaholic!) I've already read Nevada Barr's Destroyer Angel, and I loved it so much that I can't keep quiet until my review is posted. But there are so many other wonderful books in this list that I can't choose a favorite!


  1. I can't wait for the Nevada Barr, Vicki Delaney and Donna Leon books to get to my library, and then to me. Await them with great anticipation.

    So glad to hear you loved the new Anna Pigeon.

    I guess my own house-cleaning has to wait until I read these new books.

    1. I answered this a while ago, and evidently my comment went off into the wild blue yonder. I've been doing spring cleaning lately out of self-preservation: the dust bunnies were almost nose deep. You can tell where my focus lies!

  2. They are dust bears in my house.

    When one has a broken arm, nothing gets done. That was my excuse during the winter. Now I have to read and catch up on bill paying, etc. Can I read while I'm cleaning is my question?

    Too much to read this spring!

    1. I used to walk to school or walk to work and read, but somehow, I don't think that's going to be feasible with cleaning. I think that's one reason why some folks like audiobooks-- they can clean and listen at the same time.


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