Wednesday, December 30, 2015

January 2016 New Mystery Releases!

I bet many of you are in the same boat as I: you were given gift cards over the holidays, and they're burning holes in your wallet. I buy books from three major places: all my Kindle format books from Amazon, and the physical books are purchased mostly from The Poisoned Pen in person and online from Well, I've already splurged at Book Outlet, and I'm trying to stay away from The Poisoned Pen until the next author event I'll be attending. Wish me luck!

You know me. I keep my eyes peeled for new crime fiction to read, and the following books are my picks of what's being released during the month of January. They're listed by release dates and include all the information you'll need to find them at all your favorite book procurement sites. Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Who knows? Perhaps you'll find a title or two to use those gift cards on....

=== January 1 ===

Title: The House of Susan Lulham
Author: Phil Rickman
Series: Novella in the Merrily Watkins series set in England near the Welsh border
ISBN: 9781782397557
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Hardcover, 192 pages

Synopsis: "The angular, modernist house was an unexpected bargain for Zoe and Jonathan Mahonie—newcomers to the city of Hereford and apparently unaware that the house's pristine, white interior walls had been coated with the lifeblood of a previous owner. How is Merrily Watkins, diocesan exorcist for Hereford, to know if Zoe Mahonie is lying or deluded when she claims that the wrathful Susan Lulham is still in residence? Then comes another bloody death. Who is the real killer?

=== January 5 ===

Title: To Helvetica and Back
Author: Paige Shelton
Series: #1 in the Dangerous Type cozy series set in fictional Star City, Utah
ISBN: 9780425277256
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?

Title: Copy Cap Murder
Series: #4 in the Hat Shop cozy series set in London, England
ISBN: 9780425279588
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "For Scarlett Parker, part of the fun of living in London is celebrating the British holidays, and she’s excited to share her first Bonfire Night with her cousin Vivian Tremont. Invited to a posh party by their friend Harrison Wentworth, Scarlett and Viv decide to promote their hat shop, Mim’s Whims, by donning a few of their more outrageous creations. The hats prove to be quite the conversation starters as the girls mix and mingle with the guests—never suspecting that one of them is a killer.

It’s a cold, clear night, perfect for the British tradition of tossing a straw stuffed effigy of Guy Fawkes, traitor to the crown, onto the bonfire. But instead of a straw man, they realize in the heat of the moment that the would-be Guy Fawkes is actually Harrison’s office rival and he’s been murdered. Before the smoke has cleared, Harrison is the Metropolitan police’s prime suspect, and Scarlett and Vivian must find the real homicidal hothead before their dear friend’s life goes up in flames

Title: Monty and Me
Author: Louisa Bennet
Series: #1 in the Monty and Sidebottom series set in England
ISBN: 9780008124045
Publisher: Avon
Hardcover, 400 pages

Synopsis: "You might think that dogs can’t understand us…but you’d be wrong.

Apart from an obsession with cheese, Monty is a perfectly rational animal. So when his beloved master is stabbed to death, Monty decides to use his formidable nose to track the killer down.

Luckily he manages to find a home with Rose Sidebottom, the young policewoman who’s investigating the case. But with her colleagues turning against her, and the wrong man collared, she’s going to need a little help…

=== January 12 ===

Title: I Am Your Judge
Author: Nele Neuhaus
Series: #4 in the Kirchhoff and von Bodenstein police procedural series set in Germany
ISBN: 9781250071682
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 416 pages 

Synopsis: "Police Detective Pia Kirchhoff is about to leave on her long-delayed honeymoon when she receives a phone call. An elderly woman has been shot and killed while walking her dog. A short while later another murder is committed and the modus operandi is eerily similar - a woman is killed by a bullet that smashes through her kitchen window ... and in both cases the same weapon fired the shot. Two more murders follow in short order. None of the victims had enemies and no one knows why they were singled out. As fear of the Taunus Sniper grows among the local residents, the pressure rises on Detective Kirchhoff. She and her partner, Oliver von Bodenstein, search for a suspect who appears to murder at will, but as the investigation progresses, the police officers uncover a human tragedy.
I am Your Judge is tightly plotted, and delivers surprise twists at every turn with a story that is ripped from the headlines.

Title: The Girls She Left Behind
Author: Sarah Graves
Series: #2 in the Lizzie Snow police procedural series set in Maine
ISBN: 9780553390438
Publisher: Bantam
Hardcover, 272 pages

Synopsis: "For Lizzie Snow, the ice and snow of her first punishing North Woods winter are dreadful enough. But near the small town of Bearkill a stubborn forest fire now rages out of control, and as embers swirl dangerously in the smoke-filled air, a teenage girl with a history of running away has dropped out of sight again. The locals and the law both think Tara Wylie is up to her old tricks—until her mother receives a terrifying text message.

Equally disturbing: Henry Gemerle—a kidnapper and rapist who once held three girls prisoner for fifteen years—has escaped, and may be lurking in Bearkill. As the fire closes in, Lizzie teams up with her boss, Sheriff Cody Chevrier, and state cop Dylan Hudson to search for the missing girl and the wily fugitive. But they’re blocked by Tara’s mother, a frustrating teller of needless lies and keeper of dark, incomprehensible secrets.

Following a trail of grisly clues—a bloodstained motel room, a makeshift coffin in a shallow grave—Lizzie is drawn ever closer to the flames in her race to save an innocent and corner a monster. Someone else also wants to find Tara Wylie and Henry Gemerle, though, for reasons that have nothing to do with mercy or justice. And when they all meet, the inferno threatening Bearkill will pale in comparison to the hell that’s about to break loose.

Title: Hour of the Wolf
Author: Håkan Nesser
Series: #7 in the Chief Inspector Van Veeteren police procedural series set in a country that resembles Sweden
ISBN: 9780307906878
Publisher: Pantheon
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "A boy in a dark duffel coat. Lying in the ditch. Contorted at impossible angles, with his back pressed up against a concrete culvert and his face staring straight at him. As if he were trying to make some kind of contact. As if he wanted to tell him something.

In the middle of a damp, dark night, a young man is struck by a car after leaving his girlfriend’s house. The driver, drunk, leaves the body by the side of the road. Wrestling with guilt, the driver tries to put the murder out of his mind—until a blackmail note arrives, setting into motion a chain of events that will draw everyone involved into a fog of crime.

Reinhart, the new chief inspector of the Maardam police force, sets his team to work. But when the victim of a second, possibly related, killing is identified, Reinhart realizes that this is no ordinary investigation. In Hour of the Wolf, former chief inspector Van Veeteren—a legend now in retirement—is called upon to face his greatest trial yet, when someone close to him is found dead.

Van Veeteren’s former colleagues, desperate for answers, struggle to decipher the clues to these appalling crimes. As the killer becomes increasingly unhinged and unpredictable, Van Veeteren is forced to reenter a world he left behind, and to avenge a death. Told with Håkan Nesser’s trademark eye for detail, breakneck plotting, and gut-wrenching moral tension, Hour of the Wolf finds the Nordic noir superstar spinning one of his darkest tales yet

Title: A Taste for Nightshade (APA The Penny Heart in the UK)
Standalone set in England
ISBN: 9781250056924
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Hardcover, 464 pages

Synopsis: "Manchester 1787. When budding young criminal Mary Jebb swindles Michael Croxon's brother with a blank pound note, he chases her into the night and sets in motion a train of sinister events. Condemned to seven years of transportation to Australia, Mary sends him a 'Penny Heart'-a token of her vow of revenge.

Two years later, Michael marries naïve young Grace Moore. Although initially overjoyed at the union, Grace quickly realizes that her husband is more interested in her fortune than her company. Lonely and desperate for companionship, she turns to her new cook to help mend her ailing marriage. But Mary Jebb, shipwrecked, maltreated, and recently hired, has different plans for the unsuspecting owners of Delafosse Hall.

A Taste for Nightshade is a thrilling historical novel that combines recipes, mystery and a dark struggle between two desperate women, sure to appeal to fans of Sarah Waters and Carolly Erickson.

Title: The Crooked House
Author: Christobel Kent
Standalone set in England
ISBN: 9780374131821
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Hardcover, 368 pages

Synopsis: "Published in the United Kingdom in 2015, Christobel Kent's The Crooked House has drawn comparisons to works by the pantheon of British female literary suspense writers--Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, P. D. James, and Kate Atkinson. In this darkly atmospheric psychological thriller, she accomplishes what those celebrated writers do best: she creates an insular world (a single house, a small town) where something sinister has occurred, and subtly inflects each page with the toxic residue of violence.

Much like the unnamed narrator of Rebecca, Alison lives her life under the radar. She has no ties, no home, and she spends her days at a backroom publishing job. Which is how she wants it. Because Alison used to be a teenager named Esme, who lived in a dilapidated house by a bleak estuary with her parents and three siblings. One night, something unspeakable happened in the house, and Alison emerged the only survivor. In order to escape from the horror she witnessed, she moved away from her village, changed her name, and cut herself off from her past.

Only now her boyfriend invites her to a wedding in her old hometown, and she decides that if she's going to have any chance of overcoming the trauma of what happened, she'll have to confront it. But soon Alison realizes that that night's events have left a terrible mark on everyone in the village, and she begins to suspect that they are all somehow implicated in her family's murder.

=== January 19 ===

Title: Even Dogs in the Wild
Author: Ian Rankin
Series: #22 in the Inspector Rebus police procedural series set in Scotland
ISBN: 9780316342513
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Hardcover, 352 pages

Synopsis: "Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is feeling the heat. She's investigating the death of a senior government prosecutor, David Minton, who has friends in high places. When one of their own is killed, the powers that be want answers fast. But Clarke is puzzled: if Minton died in a robbery as everyone thinks, why is nothing missing from his home? The answer may lie not in what was taken, but in what was left behind at the scene--an ominous note.

Malcolm Fox is feeling useless. Shunned by his colleagues because of his past in the Complaints bureau, he's been reassigned to a grunt detail, helping a surveillance team--one that trusts him even less than his own boss does--track a notorious Glasgow crime family. Helping Clarke with the Minton case is the only thing that makes Fox feel like a real cop.

Newly minted civilian John Rebus is feeling restless. Being a cop is in his blood and he's failing miserably at retirement. So when Clarke and Fox ask for his help, Rebus doesn't need long to consider his options. But before he can get his bearings, a call comes from Rebus's old nemesis--"Big Ger" Cafferty. Someone just fired a bullet through his front window--and sent him a note identical to Minton's. The normally unflappable old gangster is on edge, but for the life of him Cafferty can't figure out who he's wronged. And the only man he trusts with his life is Rebus.

As the cases collide, it's up to Clarke, Fox, and Rebus to connect the dots and save their unlikely ally Cafferty, whose past harbors a shocking secret that implicates Minton's friends in an unspeakable crime. Even Dogs in the Wild reunites crime fiction legend Ian Rankin's greatest characters in an explosive story exploring the darkest corners of our desires

=== January 26 ===

Title: The Ex
Author: Alafair Burke
Standalone set in New York City
ISBN: 9780062390486
Publisher: Harper
Hardcover, 304 pages

Synopsis: "In this breakout standalone novel of suspense in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train, a woman agrees to help an old boyfriend who has been framed for murder—but begins to suspect that she is the one being manipulated. 

Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.

 Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him—and why?

 For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?"

Title: A Prisoner in Malta
Author: Phillip DePoy
Series: #1 in the Christopher Marlowe historical series set in England and Malta
ISBN: 9781250058423
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "In 1583, the nineteen-year-old Christopher Marlowe---with a reputation as a brawler, a womanizer, a genius, and a social upstart at Cambridge University---is visited by a man representing Marlowe's benefactors. There are rumors of a growing plot against her majesty Queen Elizabeth I, and the Queen's spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, has charged young Marlowe with tracking down the truth. The path to that truth seems to run through an enigmatic prisoner held in complete seclusion in a heavily guarded dungeon in Malta. Marlowe must use every bit of his wits, his skills, and his daring to unravel one of the greatest mysteries in history and help uncover and unravel scheme of assassination and invasion, one involving the government of Spain, high ranking English nobles, and even Pope himself. 

Christopher Marlowe---Elizabethan playwright, poet, and spy---is one of the most enigmatic figures in Renaissance England. The son of a shoemaker from Canterbury, he attended Cambridge University on scholarship and, while frequently in trouble, was bailed out through the intercession of Queen Elizabeth I's Privy Council. Long rumored to have been an agent on behalf of the Queen's spymaster, Edgar Award winner Phillip DePoy's new series brings Marlowe and his times to life.

Title:  Where My Heart Used to Beat
Standalone set in England, France, and Italy
ISBN: 9780805097320
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Hardcover, 352 pages

Synopsis: "London, 1980. Robert Hendricks, an established psychiatrist and author, has so bottled up memories of his own wartime past that he is nearly sunk into a life of aloneness and depression. Out of the blue, a baffling letter arrives from one Dr. Alexander Pereira, a neurologist and a World War I veteran who claims to be an admirer of Robert's published work. The letter brings Robert to the older man's home on a rocky, secluded island off the south of France, and into tempests of memories--his childhood as a fatherless English boy, the carnage he witnessed and the wound he can't remember receiving as a young officer in World War II, and, above all, the great, devastating love of his life, an Italian woman, "L," whom he met during the war. As Robert's recollections pour forth, he's unsure whether they will lead to psychosis--or redemption. But Dr. Pereira knows. Profoundly affecting and masterfully told, Where My Heart Used to Beat sweeps through the 20th century, brilliantly interrogating the darkest corners of the human mind and bearing tender witness to the abiding strength of love." 

Well... inquiring minds want to know-- Did you find any titles to spend those gift cards on? Which ones???


  1. There are definitely some enticing titles on that list, Cathy. The Nesser, the Rankin and the Neuhaus in particular got my attention. I shall have to exercise some restraint!

  2. Yes, there are lovely books here. Many that I'm very tempted by. I'm going to try to restrain myself though and read my own books. The ones already on my shelves. Exception will be Left Coast (of course). Because how could I not. Right?

  3. I am going to read To Helvetica and Back. I am a big fan of Paige Shelton's Country Cooking School Mystery series. The Country School Cooking School series made me realize that I do like some paranormal cozies. It opened up other new authors to me like Juliet Blackwell, Molly MacRae ,etc. I am eager to try her new series. I have read some of her Farmers Market Series too. I am looking forward to The Cracked Spine (Scottish Book Shop new series) coming out in March also.

    1. I've read both of Paige's new books, Lynn, and I think you're going to love them.

  4. The Rankin and the Neuhaus sound interesting. I have read Nesser's and it's tragic, but well-done.

    And hide those gift cards unless you find something really special. Sometimes I think I should hide my credit card at a neighbor's so I can't access it.

    I really try to use the library as much as possible.

    1. One of my gift cards seems to be lost in the detritus on my desk. I guess that's one good reason not to clean it off!


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