Wednesday, January 27, 2016

February 2016 New Mystery Releases!

A disturbing new trend is emerging, and it has everything to do with my newly recovered passion for knitting. I like knitting gifts for people, and I don't expect payment of any sort. I'd be making the stuff anyway; it's good to know that I can send some of these things to people who will enjoy them.

But they're sending me gift cards as a thank you, and since they know I'm passionate about books, they are gift cards to bookstores. Yikes-- no wonder I have to keep my eye peeled for the latest in crime fiction titles! 

Here are my picks for the newest mystery titles being released in February. They're grouped by release date and have all the information you'll need to find them at your favorite book procurement sites. Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Here we go. Let's take a look!

=== February 1 ===

Title: Tundra Kill
Author: Stan Jones
Series: #5 in the Nathan Active police procedural series set in Alaska
ISBN: 9780979980381 
Publisher: Bowhead Press
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "Nathan Active, the top cop in a swath of the Alaskan tundra that is larger than fifteen U.S. states, has a new mystery to unravel after a dog musher is killed by a snowmobile. When the case is connected with Alaska’s gorgeous female governor, Active is swept into the bizarre family affairs and outsized political ambitions of the most dangerous woman he has ever met.  Now the counter-moves that have been put into place by the governor threaten the lives of both his beloved Grace Palmer and her daughter, Nita. With his career on the line, Active has to outwit the governor and save the people he cares for most before time runs out." 

=== February 2 ===

Title: A Disguise to Die For
Author: Diane Vallere
Series: #1 in the Costume Shop cozy series set in Nevada
ISBN: 9780425278284
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "No sooner does former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her family’s costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for—literally—when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo’s friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz.

For Margo, clearing Ebony’s name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer disguise can’t hide a murderer in plain sight for long

Title: A Turn for the Bad
Series: #4 in the County Cork cozy series set in Ireland
ISBN: 9780425273425 
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways—and Sullivan’s Pub is her classroom. Maura didn’t only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it’s the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat.

Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it’s the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head...

Title: Off the Books
Author: Lucy Arlington
Series: #5 in the Novel Idea cozy series set in North Carolina
ISBN: 9780425276679 
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned a wedding-themed week for Inspiration Valley, celebrating not only North Carolina’s best vendors but also some of the agency’s most popular bridal books. The fact that Lila can use the event to plan her own impending nuptials is just the icing on the cake.

But wedding bells turn to warning bells when Lila finds a dead man facedown in the frosting. Soon it’s discovered that the victim was connected to several Novel Idea authors, all of whom quickly become suspects in the case. It’s up to Lila and her fellow agents to find the real killer before one of their clients winds up scribbling stories from behind bars...

Title: Unreasonable Doubt
Author: Vicki Delany
Series: #8 in the Constable Molly Smith police procedural series set in British Columbia, Canada
ISBN: 9781464205132   
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Hardcover, 266 pages

Synopsis: "What would it be like to return to your hometown after twenty-five years in prison for a crime you have maintained you did not commit? And why would you? Walter Desmond is back in Trafalgar, British Columbia, having been officially exonerated when new evidence showed corruption at worst, incompetence at best, by the Trafalgar City Police conducting the investigation. His pitbull attorney is seeking five million in damages from the provincial government. But Walt has not returned to Trafalgar to pursue money or revenge. He just wants to know the why of it. The family of the murdered girl, Sophia D’Angelo, is bitterly determined to see Walt returned to prison―or dead. But for Trafalgar’s police, including Sergeant John Winters and Constable Molly Smith, the reality is: if Walter didn’t kill Sophia, someone else did. So, case reopened. It lands on Winters’ desk. The records are moldering. One investigating officer is dead, the other is retired―and not talking. The police are instructed to treat Walt as if he’d never been arrested or convicted. Someone else apparently killed Sophia, someone still walking free. But too many minds remain closed. It’s good luck for Walt that a group of women in town for the dragon boat race are staying in the B&B where he’s booked, women with no local prejudices. But then a townswoman, then a boat woman, are attacked by a rapist, the media gets active, and tempers dangerously flare."  

Title: The Killing Forest
Author: Sara Blaedel
Series: #8 in the Louise Rick/Camilla Lind police procedural series set in Denmark
ISBN: 9781455581542  
Publisher: Grand Central 
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "Following an extended leave, Louise Rick returns to work at the Special Search Agency, an elite unit of the National Police Department. She's assigned a case involving a fifteen-year-old who vanished a week earlier. When Louise realizes that the missing teenager is the son of a butcher from Hvalsoe, she seizes the opportunity to combine the search for the teen with her personal investigation of her boyfriend's long-ago death . . . 

Louise's investigation takes her on a journey back through time. She reconnects with figures from her past, including Kim, the principal investigator at the Holbaek Police Department, her former in-laws, fanatic ancient religion believers, and her longtime close friend, journalist Camilla Lind. As she moves through the small town's cramped network of deadly connections, Louise unearths toxic truths left unspoken and dangerous secrets.

Title: Murder at the Manor:Country House Mysteries
ISBN: 9781464205736
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 384 pages
Synopsis: "The English country house is an iconic setting for some of the greatest British crime fiction. This new collection gathers together stories written over a span of about 65 years, during which British society, and life in country houses, was transformed out of all recognition. It includes fascinating and unfamiliar twists on the classic ‘closed circle’ plot, in which the assorted guests at a country house party become suspects when a crime is committed. In the more sinister tales featured here, a gloomy mansion set in lonely grounds offers an eerie backdrop for dark deeds.

Many distinguished writers are represented in this collection, including such great names of the genre as Anthony Berkeley, Nicholas Blake and G.K. Chesterton. Martin Edwards has also unearthed hidden gems and forgotten masterpieces: among them are a fine send-up of the country house murder; a suspenseful tale by the unaccountably neglected Ethel Lina White; and a story by the little-known Scottish writer J.J. Bell.

=== February 9 ===

Title: Runaway
Author: Peter May
Standalone set in Glasgow and London
ISBN: 9781623657895
Publisher: Quercus
Hardcover, 432 pages
Synopsis: "Glasgow, 1965. Headstrong teenager Jack Mackay cannot allow for even the possibility of a life of predictability and routine. The seventeen-year-old has just one destination on his mind--London--and successfully convinces his four friends, and fellow bandmates, to join him in abandoning their homes to pursue a goal of musical stardom.

Glasgow, 2015. Jack Mackay dares not look back on a life of failure and mediocrity. The heavy-hearted sixty-seven-year-old is still haunted by what might have been. His recollections of the terrible events that befell him and his friends some fifty years earlier, and how he did not act when it mattered most is a memory he has tried to escape his entire adult life.

London, 2015. A man lies dead in a one-room flat. His killer looks on, remorseless. What started with five teenagers following a dream five decades before has been transformed over the intervening decades into a waking nightmare that might just consume them all.

Runaway is a tense crime thriller spanning a half-century of friendships solidified and severed, dreams shared and shattered, passions ignited and extinguished, all set against the backdrop of two unique cities at two unique and transformational periods of recent history.

=== February 16 ===

Title: The Quality of Silence
Author: Rosamund Lupton
Standalone, Psychological Thriller set in Alaska
ISBN: 9781101903674
Publisher: Crown
Hardcover, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Thrillingly suspenseful and atmospheric, The Quality of Silence is the story of Yasmin, a beautiful astrophysicist, and her precocious deaf daughter, Ruby, who arrive in a remote part of Alaska to be told that Ruby's father, Matt, has been the victim of a catastrophic accident. Unable to accept his death as truth, Yasmin and Ruby set out into the hostile winter of the Alaskan tundra in search of answers. But as a storm closes in, Yasmin realizes that a very human danger may be keeping pace with them. And with no one else on the road to help, they must keep moving, alone and terrified, through an endless Alaskan night." 

Title: The Widow
Author: Fiona Barton
Standalone Psychological Thriller set in England
ISBN: 9781101990261
Publisher: NAL
Hardcover, 336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…

Title: Apricot's Revenge
Author: Song Ying
Standalone Thriller about an investigative journalist set in China
ISBN: 9781250016447
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "A business tycoon in China is found dead; he apparently suffered a heart attack while swimming. His body is washed onto a beach in a popular resort known as the Hawaii of the East. But soon it becomes clear that he was murdered. Three immediate beneficiaries of his death become the suspects: the vice president of the company, Zhou, who is in line to take over his position; his young widow, Zhu, who stands to inherit a huge amount of wealth; and his arch business rival, Hong, who is competing in a bid over a piece of hot property.

Nie Feng, a young investigative reporter for a magazine, interviewed the victim just a few days before he died. Through his own research, Nie Feng discovers a new suspect who is not on the police’s radar.

Apricot’s Revenge is an absorbing detective novel and more. Song Ying uses an ingenious plot to investigate social problems in modern China, which makes the book a profound and captivating read, leaving readers thinking long after reaching the last page.

Title: The Blood Strand
Author: Chris Ould
Series: #1 Faroes novel, a police procedural set in the Faroes Islands
ISBN: 9781783297047
Publisher: Titan Books
Paperback, 352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Having left the Faroes as a child, Jan Reyna is now a British police detective, and the islands are foreign to him. But he is drawn back when his estranged father is found unconscious with a shotgun by his side and someone else’s blood at the scene. Then a man’s body is washed up on an isolated beach. Is Reyna’s father responsible?

Looking for answers, Reyna falls in with local detective Hjalti Hentze. But as the stakes get higher and Reyna learns more about his family and the truth behind his mother’s flight from the Faroes, he must decide whether to stay, or to forsake the strange, windswept islands for good

Title: The Silence of the Sea
Author: Yrsa Sigurđardóttir
Series: #6 in the lawyer Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series set in Iceland
ISBN: 9781250051486
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 336 pages

Synopsis: "As The Silence of the Sea opens, a luxury yacht crashes into a Reykjavik pier. But the boat is empty; no one is on board. What has happened to the crew? And what has happened to the family who were very much present when the yacht left Lisbon?

What should Thora Gudmundsdottir, the series sleuth, make of the rumors that the vessel was cursed? She is spooked even more when she boards the yacht and thinks she sees one of the missing children. Where is Karitas, the glamorous young wife of the yacht's former owner? And whose is the body that has washed up further along the shore?

There's a little something for everyone in this month's choices, isn't there? I have to admit that the one I'm most excited about is Stan Jones' Tundra Kill. It's been seven long years since his last Nathan Active book, and that's much too long for this excellent series that really gives you a feel for the culture and the landscape of the Arctic. 

Which titles caught your eye? Inquiring minds need to know these things!




  1. Oh, that is not fair, Cathy! A new Stan Jones, a new Vicki Delany, and the Fiona Barton I keep hearing about! How'm I supposed to stay on budget that way!??

  2. I already have hard copies of The Silence of the Sea and The Quality of Silence (apparently I was attached to the word 'silence'). Ordered them last year from the UK. I'm hearing good things about The Widow and I want to read Unreasonable Doubt and the Peter May book too. And where are the Faroes Islands? Inquiring minds....

    1. Between Iceland and Norway. And they're gorgeous.

  3. What a lovely compilation and makes it so easy for everyone else! thank you.


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