Wednesday, November 26, 2014

December 2014 New Mystery Releases!

Here's hoping for one of two things for all you fellow bookaholics this holiday season: One, that you'll receive lots of books, marvelous books; and/or Two, you'll receive plenty of gift cards so you can go out and choose lots of books, marvelous books, for yourself. I don't know about you, but nothing burns holes in my wallet faster than gift cards to my favorite bookstores!

The following are my picks for new crime fiction being released during the month of December. I've grouped them by release date, and I've included all the information you need to find them at all your favorite "book procurement locations."  Book synopses are courtest of Amazon.

Happy Holidays-- and Happy Reading to you all! 

=== December 1 ===

Title: Gods of Gold
Author: Chris Nickson
Series: #1 in the Detective Inspector Tom Harper historical series set in 1890s Leeds, England
ISBN: 9780727884282  
Publisher: Severn House
Hardcover, 224 pages

Synopsis: "June 1890. Leeds is close to breaking point. The gas workers are on strike. Supplies are dangerously low. Factories and businesses are closing; the lamps are going unlit at night.

Detective Inspector Tom Harper has more urgent matters on his mind. The beat constable claims eight-year-old Martha Parkinson has disappeared. Her father insists she’s visiting an aunt in Halifax – but Harper doesn’t believe him. When Col Parkinson is found dead the following morning, the case takes on an increasing desperation.

But then Harper’s search for Martha is interrupted by the murder of a replacement gas worker, stabbed to death outside the Town Hall while surrounded by a hostile mob. Pushed to find a quick solution, Harper discovers that there’s more to this killing than meets the eye – and that there may be a connection to Martha’s disappearance

Title: Blue Avenue
Author: Michael Wiley
Series: #1 in the Daniel Turner police procedural series set in Jacksonville, Florida
ISBN: 9780727884299
Publisher: Severn House
Hardcover, 224 pages

Synopsis: "Summoned by his old friend, homicide detective Daniel Turner, to identify the trussed-up, naked body of a woman, found wrapped in cellophane amongst a pile of garbage on Blue Avenue, a down-at-heel area of Jacksonville, Florida, businessman William Byrd or ‘BB’ is in for a shock. He recognises the dead woman as Belinda Mabry, the girl with whom he spent an intense and passionate summer twenty-five years before. What’s more, as Daniel informs him, she’s the third victim to have met such a hideously gruesome end. Determined to find out what happened to Belinda Mabry and where she’d been for the past twenty-five years, BB must revisit his own troubled past – and discover more than he ever really wanted to know about the woman he once loved. But his investigations are causing serious ripples amongst prominent members of the local community. Has BB found himself on a road of no return?

=== December 2 ===

Title: Blood Jungle Ballet
Author: John Enright
Series: #4 in the Jungle Beat police procedural series set in American Samoa
ISBN: 9781612185033
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Paperback, 282 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "A disquieting string of murders terrorizes the remote, lush island of Samoa. Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua has seen a lot in his time with the police force, but even he is unsettled by the bodies that have started piling up. At first, the murders don’t seem connected—a local transvestite found castrated and brutalized, a visiting politician who drops dead on the dance floor, a prison guard and an inmate who kill each other—but as Apelu works with the hospital’s new medical examiner to find out who is behind the killings, a disturbing pattern emerges. And the closer they get to the killer, the more destructive he becomes. Can they put the pieces together before Apelu becomes the next victim?

Title: Geared for the Grave 
Author: Duffy Brown
Series: #1 in the Cycle Path cozy series set on Mackinac Island, Michigan
ISBN: 9780425268940
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Hoping to shift her chances of a promotion in her favor, Evie Bloomfield heads to Mackinac Island to assist her boss’s father. Rudy Randolph has broken his leg and operating his bike shop, Rudy’s Rides, is too much to handle by himself. But Evie’s good turn only leads to more trouble…

After Evie’s arrival, wealthy resident Bunny Harrington dies in what looks like a freak bike accident. Upon closer inspection, Bunny’s brakes were tampered with, and now the prime suspect in her murder is also Bunny’s number one enemy: Rudy. So if Evie hopes to stay on her boss’s good side, she’ll need to steer Rudy clear of jail. Now she must quickly solve this mystery so she can put the brakes on the real killer’s plan

Title: If You've Got It, Haunt It
Author: Rose Pressey
Series: #1 in the Haunted Vintage cozy series set in Georgia
ISBN: 9781617732492
Publisher: Kensington
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Cookie Chanel has opened her own vintage clothing boutique, It’s Vintage, Y’All, in the charming town of Sugar Creek, Georgia. Always on the lookout for stylish second-hand steals, she attends the estate sale of deceased socialite Charlotte Meadows. But she gets a lot more than she bargained for when Charlotte’s ghost appears before her—offering fashion advice and begging Cookie to find out who murdered her.

As the persistent poltergeist tags along and a possibly psychic pussycat moves into the shop, Cookie sorts through racks of suspects to see who may be hiding some skeletons in the closet. Do a clothing store owner and a disembodied socialite have a ghost of a chance of collaring a killer—or will Cookie’s life be the next one hanging by a thread?

Title: Keeper of the Castle
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Series: #5 in the Haunted Home Renovation cozy series set in the San Francisco Bay area
ISBN: 9780451465801
Publisher: Signet
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

Synopsis: "Lately, Mel has been worried about finding enough historic renovation work to pay the bills. But while Turner Construction is in need of a project, Mel’s boyfriend, Graham, has his hands full managing the reconstruction of an ancient building shipped over from Scotland.

With the job plagued by rumors that the stones are cursed, Graham brings in Mel to look for paranormal activity. And while the ghost of a charming Scottish clansman does seem to be hanging around the site, the real shock comes when they stumble upon a body.

When the original construction crew starts running scared, Mel brings in her team to finish the job. Now all she has to do is nail down the killer, and put the spirits to rest, before anyone else winds up heading for the highlands…

Title: Aground on St. Thomas
Author: Rebecca M. Hale
Series: #3 in the Mystery in the Islands series set on St. Thomas
ISBN: 9780425252512
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

Synopsis: "The tropical paradise of St. Thomas is shut down as the FBI seizes control of the island to apprehend government officials on bribery charges. Tourists and locals are stranded until FBI agent Gabe “Friday” Stein can find the missing governor and two senators who have eluded capture.

Innocent of any crime, Senator Julia Sanchez can only escape wrongful arrest with the help of eccentric Senator Bobo. As they try to blend in with increasingly hostile locals and make their trek across the island to safety, Senator Sanchez is only just beginning to realize the extent of the corruption behind the island’s idyllic façade

Title: The Skeleton Road
Author: Val McDermid
Series: #2 in the Detective Inspector Karen Pirie series set in Scotland
ISBN: 9780802123091
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Hardcover, 384 pages

Synopsis: "In the center of historic Edinburgh, builders are preparing to demolish a disused Victorian Gothic building. They are understandably surprised to find skeletal remains hidden in a high pinnacle that hasn’t been touched by maintenance for years. Who do the bones belong to, and how did they get there? Could the eccentric British pastime of free climbing the outside of buildings play a role? Enter cold case detective Karen Pirie, who gets to work trying to establish the corpse’s identity. And when it turns out the bones may be from as far away as former Yugoslavia, Karen will need to dig deeper than she ever imagined into the tragic history of the Balkans: to war crimes and their consequences, and ultimately to the notion of what justice is and who serves it.

Title: Scorched Eggs
Author: Laura Childs
Series: #6 in the Cackleberry Club cozy series set in small town Minnesota
ISBN: 9780425255599
Publisher: Berkley
Hardcover, 320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "As Suzanne is getting her hair colored at Root 66, she’s stunned to witness the County Services office next door suddenly go up in flames. Concerned neighbors throng the streets, and the fire department does their best. Unfortunately, their best isn’t enough to save longtime civil service worker—and friend to the Cackleberry Club—Hannah Venable.

Soon enough, it’s discovered that an accelerant was used to fan the flames. Someone set the fire on purpose—was Hannah the intended victim? Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to smoke out the culprit.

Unfortunately, the list of suspects is as varied as the Cackleberry Club’s menu. When Suzanne finds a possible connection between the fire and the nearby Prairie Star Casino, she comes to realize that the arsonist wanted something very big and bad kept secret. And if the ladies aren’t careful, they may be the ones gambling with their lives…

=== December 9 ===

Title: Five
Author: Ursula Archer
Standalone police procedural set in Austria
ISBN: 9781250037411
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "A woman’s corpse is discovered in a meadow. A strange combination of letters and numbers has been tattooed on the soles of her feet. Detective inspector Beatrice Kaspary from the local murder squad quickly identifies the digits as map coordinates. These lead to a series of gruesome discoveries as she and her colleague Florin Wenninger embark on a bloody trail – a modern-day scavenger hunt using GPS navigation devices to locate hidden caches. The "owner" of these unofficial, unpublished geocaches is a highly calculating and elusive fiend who leaves his victims’ body-parts sealed in plastic bags, complete with riddles that culminate in a five-stage plot. Kaspary herself becomes an unwilling pawn in the perpetrator’s game of cat and mouse as she risks all to uncover the motives behind the murderer’s actions. Five is definitely not a book for the faint-hearted, but it delivers great suspense, unexpected plot twists, and multi-dimensional characters."  

Title: Irène
Series: #1 in the Camille Verhoeven police procedural trilogy set in Paris, France 
ISBN: 9781623658007
Publisher: MacLehose Press
Hardcover, 416 pages

Synopsis: "Camille Verhoeven, whose diminutive stature belies his fierce intensity, has reached an unusually content (for him) place in life. he is respected by his colleagues and he and his lovely wife, Irene, are expecting their first child.

But when a new murder case hits his desk--a double torture-homicide that's so extreme that even the most seasoned officers are horrified-Verhoeven is overcome with a sense of foreboding.

As links emerge between the bloody set-piece and at least one past unsolved murder, it becomes clear that a calculating serial killer is at work. The press has a field day, taking particular pleasure in putting Verhoeven under the media spotlight (and revealing uncomfortable details of his personal life).

Then Verhoeven makes a breakthrough discovery: the murders are modeled after the exploits of serial killers from classic works of crime fiction. The double murder was an exquisitely detailed replication of a scene from Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, and one of the linked cold cases was a faithful homage to James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia.

The media circus reaches a fever pitch when the modus operandi of the killer, dubbed "The Novelist," is revealed. Worse, the Novelist has taken to writing taunting letters to the police, emphasizing that he will stop leaving any clues behind unless Verhoeven remains on the case.

For reasons known only to the killer, the case has become personal. With more literature--inspired murders surfacing, Verhoeven enlists the help of an eccentric bookseller and a professor specializing in crime fiction to try to anticipate his adversary's next move. Then Irene is kidnapped.

With time running out, Verhoeven realizes that all along he's been the unwitting dupe in The Novelist's plans to create an original work of his own. Now, the only person in the world the commandant truly cares for is in danger, and a happy ending seems less and less likely as it becomes clear that the winner of this deadly game may be the man with the least to lose.

=== December 30 ===

Title: The Bishop's Wife
Standalone set in Utah
ISBN: 9781616954765
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 352 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books
Synopsis: "Linda Wallheim is a devout Mormon, the mother of five boys and the wife of a bishop. But Linda is increasingly troubled by her church’s structure and secrecy, especially as a disturbing situation takes shape in her ward. One cold winter night, a young wife and mother named Carrie Helm disappears, leaving behind everything she owns. Carrie’s husband, Jared, claims his wife has always been unstable and that she has abandoned the family, but Linda doesn’t trust him. As Linda snoops in the Helm family’s circumstances, she becomes convinced that Jared has murdered his wife and painted himself as a wronged husband.

Linda’s husband asks her not to get involved in the unfolding family saga. But Linda has become obsessed with Carrie’s fate, and with the well-being of her vulnerable young daughter. She cannot let the matter rest until she finds out the truth. Is she wrong to go against her husband, the bishop, when her inner convictions are so strong?

Inspired by a chilling true crime and written by a practicing Mormon, The Bishop’s Wife is both a fascinating look at the lives of modern Mormons as well as a grim and cunningly twisted mystery.

Another great selection this month, don't you think? Having lived in Utah for three years, I'm looking forward to The Bishop's Wife, and any month that has new books by John Enright and Val McDermid is a great one as far as I'm concerned!

Did any of these titles make it on your own wish lists? Which ones? This inquiring mind would love to know!


  1. Cathy - Some interesting titles coming out. I've heard a lot of good things about the McDermid. Of course, I always hide my credit card from myself when I see you've put your 'new releases' post... ;-)

    1. That's what can be so dangerous about Amazon-- "Buy With One Click"-- you don't even need your credit card! LOL

  2. Lots of new series & standalones! (Although I'm not much into the haunted stuff.) So many books . . .;-)


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