Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October 2014 New Mystery Releases!

Summer always goes by too quickly for me. I read twice as many books during the summer months as I do the rest of the year. Since my pool season was cut short by flooding, I'm already getting reacquainted with the inside of my house. Normally I wouldn't be, but all the standing water rapidly bred swarms of mosquitoes, and I can't stay outside for any length of time without making involuntary blood donations-- or covering myself from head to toe with some sort of chemicals. Once everything dries out, they'll disappear, but at the moment I'm suffering from the skeeter grumps.

What better thing to do to get my mind off pests than to look for new books? I've pared down my list of intriguing October mysteries to these. I've grouped them by release date, and I've included all the information you'll need to find them at your favorite book procurement locations. All book synopses are courtesy of my favorite online showroom: Amazon.  Happy Reading!

=== October 1 ===

Title: Death in Elysium
Author: Judith Cutler
Series: #1 in the Jodie Welsh series set in rural England
ISBN: 9780727883964
Publisher: Severn House
Hardcover, 224 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "High-flying city career woman Jodie Welsh was prepared for a dramatic change in lifestyle when she met and married the Reverend Theo Welsh, settling down to an entirely new kind of life as the wife of a country vicar in the picturesque village of Lesser Hogben. But if she thought life as a city deal-maker was tough, nothing could have prepared her for the emotional roller coaster of local church and village politics. As a newcomer, Jodie encounters hostility and disapproval from several of the villagers, particularly in her efforts to engage and assist Lesser Hogben’s disaffected youth.

When a local lad Jodie employed to help in her garden disappears, along with Jodie’s expensive camera, everyone around her is inclined to assume the worst. Only Jodie and the missing boy’s friend Mazza are convinced of his innocence. But Burble’s disappearance marks the start of a series of disturbing incidents which escalate in intensity – until the body shows up, and Jodie must use her well-honed negotiating and networking skills to unmask a ruthless killer.

Title: The Question of the Missing Head
Series: #1 in the Asperger's Mysteries set in New Jersey
ISBN: 9780738741512 
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Paperback, 336 pages

Synopsis: "Samuel Hoenig answers questions for a living. And as a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, his unique personality helps him ferret out almost any answer there is. But his latest question is a rather odd one—who stole a preserved head from the Garden State Cryonics Institute?

Arriving at the scene of the crime accompanied by his new colleague, Ms. Washburn, Samuel finds that what started out as a theft has escalated to murder. With suspects and motives emerging at a rapid rate, one final question remains—can Samuel’s powers of deduction uncover a killer in the face of overwhelming odds?"

=== October 7 ===

Title: A Demon Summer
Author: G.M. Malliet
Series: #4 in the Father Max Tudor series set in the village of Nether Monkslip in England
ISBN: 9781250021410
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 400 pages

Synopsis: "Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees everywhere with Wicked Autumn, A Fatal Winter, and Pagan Spring, the critically acclaimed mysteries featuring handsome former-spy-turned-cleric Father Max Tudor.

In A Demon Summer, someone has been trying to poison the 15th Earl of Lislelivet. Since Lord Lislelivet has a gift for making enemies, no one—particularly his wife—finds this too surprising. What is surprising is that the poison was discovered in a fruitcake made and sold by the Handmaids of St. Lucy of Monkbury Abbey. Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former MI5 agent, is asked to investigate. But just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well."

Title: Desert Rage
Author: Betty Webb
Series: #8 in the Lena Jones P.I. series set in Scottsdale, Arizona
ISBN: 9781464203107 
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Hardcover, 300 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Ferociously ambitious U.S. Senatorial candidate Juliana Thorsson has been keeping a secret. The horrific slaughter of a prominent doctor, his wife, and their ten-year-old son inside their Scottsdale home brings Thorsson to Private Investigator Lena Jones. The slain family’s 14-year-old, Alison, and her boyfriend, Kyle, have confessed to the murders. Thorsson wants to hire Lena to discover if Alison is telling the truth, but before accepting the job, Lena demands to know why a rising political star wants to involve herself with the fate of a girl she’s never met. Desperate for Lena’s help, Thorsson reveals her explosive secret—that Ali son is the candidate’s biological daughter, a fact she’s kept hidden for years. But that’s not all. Thorsson then confides something even more unusual than a mere hidden pregnancy, something that could ruin her political plans forever. Suspecting that Alison’s parents had secrets of their own that could have led to the murders, Lena finally accepts Thorsson’s assignment. But interviewing those who knew the family well soon puts Lena—now a strong defender of the two teens—in danger of her life. Fast-paced, probing, and ¬ filled with the trademark twists of the Lena Jones series, Desert Rage once again shows that Betty Webb is unsparing of her characters yet writes their stories with wit and compassion.

Title: Off Kilter
Author: Hannah Reed
Series: #1 in the Scottish Highlands series
ISBN: 9780425265826 
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages 

Synopsis: "After the recent death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, thirty-something Eden Elliott is seriously in need of a fresh start. At the urging of her best friend, bestselling author Ami Pederson, Eden decides to embark on an open-ended trip to the picturesque village of Glenkillen in the Scottish Highlands, to do some hands-on research for a book of her own. But almost as soon as Eden arrives in the quaint town, she gets caught up in a very real drama…

The town’s sheep shearer is found murdered—clipped with his own shears—and the locals suspect Vicki MacBride, an outsider whose father’s recent death left her the surprise heir to his lucrative sheep farm. Eden refuses to believe the affable heiress is a murderer, but can she prove that someone is out to frame her new friend before she finds herself on the receiving end of more shear terror?

Title: Murder Off the Beaten Path
Author: M.L. Rowland
Series: #2 in the Search and Rescue series set in California
ISBN:  9780425263679
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "As a member of a mountain search and rescue team, Gracie Kinkaid routinely volunteers to put her life on the line. But it’s at her new day job at a residential camp in the mountains of southern California where she finds her life is really in danger…

As a volunteer for Timber Creek Search and Rescue, Gracie responds to a call out for a car that’s gone over the side of a treacherous mountain road. The crash, which Gracie quickly suspects is no accident, proves to be one in an escalating and deadly series of events that lead her right back to Camp Ponderosa, a church-owned camp where she works as Program Director. As Gracie probes more deeply into the dark secrets at the camp, she unearths a hidden world of illegal activities, including murder…and finds herself going head-to-head with desperate perpetrators who will do anything to silence her forever.

Title: Sons of Sparta
Author: Jeffrey Siger
Series: #6 in the Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series set in Greece 
ISBN: 9781464203169
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 250 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Did the warriors of ancient Sparta simply vanish without a trace along with their city, or did they find sanctuary at the tip of the mountainous Peloponnese? That stark, unforgiving region’s roots today run deep with a history of pirates, highwaymen, and neighbors ferociously repelling any foreigner foolishly bent on occupying this part of Greece. Less well-recorded are the Mani’s families’ strict code of honor and their history of endless vendettas with neighbors and with their own relatives. No wonder their farms look like fortresses. When Special Crimes Division Detective Yiannis Kouros is summoned from Athens to the Mani by his uncle, Kouros fears his loyalty to his boss, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, is about be to be tested by family pressure on the detective to act in some new vendetta, for this uncle once headed the Mani’s most significant criminal enterprise. Instead, Kouros learns the family is about to become rich through the sale of its property—until the uncle is killed, and thus the deal. Acting swiftly to head off a new cycle of violence, Kouros satisfactorily solves the murder. Or so it seems until, back in Athens, Kaldis’ probe into deeply entrenched government corruption leads straight back to the Mani. Both cops now confront a host of unexpected twists, unanticipated players, unanswered questions—and people yet to die." 

Title: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past
Author: Sharyn McCrumb
Series: #10.5 in the Ballad series set in Appalachia
ISBN: 9781426754210
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Hardcover, 160 pages (novella)

Synopsis: "When someone buys the old Honeycutt house, Nora Bonesteel is glad to see some life brought back to the old mansion, even if it is by summer people. But when they decide to stay through Christmas, they find more than old memories in the walls.

On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Spencer Arrowood and Deputy Joe LeDonne find themselves on an unwelcome call to arrest an elderly man for a minor offense. As they attempt to do their duty, while doing the right thing for a neighbor, it begins to look like they may all spend Christmas away from home. In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits her most loved characters who know there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime."

=== October 14 ===

Title: Murder at the Brightwell
Author: Ashley Weaver
Series: #1 Amory Ames mystery set in 1930s England
ISBN: 9781250046369
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 336 pages

Synopsis: "Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who questions her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiancé, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only her friendship with Gil, but will upset the status quo with her husband.

Amory accompanies Gil to the luxurious Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe, a disreputable ladies’ man. Amory sees in the situation a grim reflection of her own floundering marriage. There is more than her happiness at stake, however, when Rupert is murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime. Amory is determined to prove his innocence and find the real killer, despite attempted dissuasion from the disapproving police inspector on the case. Matters are further complicated by Milo’s unexpected arrival, and the two form an uneasy alliance as Amory enlists his reluctant aid in clearing Gil’s name. As the stakes grow higher and the line between friend and foe becomes less clear, Amory must decide where her heart lies and catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim

Title: The Life We Bury
Author: Allen Eskens
ISBN: 9781616149987
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Paperback, 303 pages

Synopsis: "College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same.

Iverson is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.

Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

=== October 16 ===

Title: First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen
ISBN: 9780525427247
Publisher: Viking
Hardcover, 320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.

In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books

=== October 21 ===

Title: Wait for Signs
Author: Craig Johnson
Series: Short stories featuring characters from the Walt Longmire mysteries
ISBN: 9780525427919
Publisher: Viking
Hardcover, 192 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Ten years ago, Craig Johnson wrote his first short story, the Hillerman Award–winning “Old Indian Trick.” This was one of the earliest appearances of the sheriff who would go on to star in Johnson’s bestselling, award-winning novels and the A&E hit series Longmire. Each Christmas Eve thereafter, fans rejoiced when Johnson sent out a new short story featuring an episode in Walt’s life that doesn’t appear in the novels; over the years, many have asked why they can’t buy the stories in book form.

Wait for Signs collects those beloved stories—and one entirely new story, “Petunia, Bandit Queen of the Bighorns”—for the very first time in a single volume, regular trade hardcover. With glimpses of Walt’s past from the incident in “Ministerial Aide,” when the sheriff is mistaken for a deity, to the hilarious “Messenger,” where the majority of the action takes place in a Port-A-Potty, Wait for Signs is a necessary addition to any Longmire fan’s shelf and a wonderful way to introduce new readers to the fictional world of Absaroka County, Wyoming." 

=== October 28 ===

Title: Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas
Series: #12 in the Jane Austen series set in England
ISBN: 9781616954239
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family. As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood: Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.

Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident, which Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?


Hopefully I managed to include a title or two that made its way onto your own wishlists. There are several favorite authors of mine represented in October, and you long-time readers will recognize them. As far as the new authors go, there's at least one you long-timers will know the reason for its inclusion. (Of course I would want to read a mystery set in the Highlands!)

Of the new authors' books, I have to admit that the synopsis for Allen Eskens' The Life We Bury really spoke to me, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the book.

How about you? Which titles spoke to you? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Cathy - Oh, a lot of these look interesting. Oh, wait - what? There's a new Craig Johnson coming out? Well, what choice have I really got? And I love the title of the Copperman/Cohen -The Question of the Missing Head. It's great!

    1. Titles usually attract me more than the covers do.

  2. Two of the books I have preordered-Off Kilter and Off the Beaten Path. You introduced me to M.L.Rowland with Zero Degree Murder. After reading it, I pre-ordered her new one The book today that caught my eye and interest is Death In Elysium. Sounds interesting and it is the start of a new series.

    1. I always love Judith Cutler's writing, so I was excited to see the start of a new series from her, too. I'm eagerly awaiting Rowland's new book, and I couldn't ignore Off Kilter, not when it takes place in the Highlands!

  3. How wonderful there is a new Desert Book from Bety Webb. I started this excellant series last week and I just finished #7 of the series. Her protagonist (Lena Jones) is quite captivating and the subjects of the books are eye opening. This is another series you got me reading. Thanks!!!

    1. You're welcome, Bella. I'm so glad you're enjoying Lena!


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!