Wednesday, April 27, 2016

May 2016 New Mystery Releases!

Lots of trips to the Desert Botanical Garden. Trips to my local Michael's to fondle yarn. Lunches with authors and friends. Sitting outside to soak up a little sun. The usual appointments and errands. Lots of knitting. Long phone conversations with faraway friends. Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry. Blogging. Have I had time to read? 

You betcha!

I've also had time to choose what I think will be the cream of the crop when it comes to new mysteries being released in May.

They're grouped by release date, and I've included all the information you'll need to find your own copies. Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

I hope I've found some titles to add to your wish lists and shelves. Happy Reading!

=== May 3 ===

Title: The Woman in Blue
Series: #8 in the Dr. Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson series set in Norfolk, England
ISBN: 9780544417854
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, 368 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Known as England’s Nazareth, the medieval town of Little Walsingham is famous for religious apparitions. So when Ruth Galloway’s druid friend Cathbad sees a woman in a white dress and a dark blue cloak standing alone in the local cemetery one night, he takes her as a vision of the Virgin Mary. But then a woman wrapped in blue cloth is found dead the next day, and Ruth’s old friend Hilary, an Anglican priest, receives a series of hateful, threatening letters. Could these crimes be connected? When one of Hilary’s fellow female priests is murdered just before Little Walsingham’s annual Good Friday Passion Play, Ruth, Cathbad, and DCI Harry Nelson must team up to find the killer before he strikes again.

Title: A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall
Series: #3 in the Kat Stanford cozy series set in Devon, England
ISBN: 9781250065506
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When antique dealer Kat Stanford stumbles upon the partially mummified body of a young woman in an abandoned wing at Honeychurch Hall, suspicion falls on those who had been living there many years ago. And it appears that the deceased had been murdered. Given her mother Iris’s checkered past, Kat is not surprised to learn that Iris knew the victim.

Meanwhile, the unexpected appearance of former lothario Bryan Laney sets female hearts aflutter. Despite the passing years, time has not dampened his ardor for Iris, but the feeling is not reciprocated.

With stories of hidden treasure and secret chambers, past and present collide. As Kat becomes embroiled once more in her mother’s mysterious and tumultuous bygone days, she comes to realize that life is never black and white, and sometimes it is necessary to risk your own life to protect the lives of the ones you love."

Title: Wilde Lake
Author: Laura Lippman
ISBN: 9780062083456
Publisher: William Morrow
Hardcover, 368 pages

Synopsis: "Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected—and first female—state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard county doesn’t see many homicides.

As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?

The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one’s times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present’s standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn’t want to.

=== May 10 ===

Title: Prayers the Devil Answers
Series: #11 in the Appalachian Ballad series set in Tennessee and North Carolina
ISBN: 9781476772813
Publisher: Atria Books
Hardcover, 352 pages

Synopsis: "Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn’t a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them.

Suddenly thrust into the role of primary caretaker for her family following the tragic death of her husband, Ellie Robbins is appointed to serve out his term as sheriff of their rural Tennessee mountain town. The year is 1936, and her role is largely symbolic, except for the one task that only a sheriff can do: execute a convicted prisoner.

Ellie has long proven she can handle herself. But becoming sheriff is altogether different, and the demands of the role are even more challenging when she is forced to combat society’s expectations for a woman. Soon enough, dark secrets come to light, and Ellie must grapple with small town superstitions and the tenuous ties she shares with a condemned killer as she carves out a place for herself in an uncertain future.

“There is no one quite like Sharyn McCrumb. No one better either” (San Diego Union-Tribune), and her luscious narrative brings her unforgettable characters to life with the “pure poetry” (The New York Times Book Review) that defines her astounding novels. Prayers the Devil Answers
combines masterful historical research and captivating folklore to make an atmospheric and suspenseful tour de force." 

Title: See Also Deception
Series: #2 in the Marjorie Trumaine historical series set in 1960s North Dakota
ISBN: 9781633881266
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Paperback, 270 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "October 1964—Just months after freelance indexer Marjorie Trumaine helped solve a series of murders in Dickinson, North Dakota, she is faced with another death that pulls her into an unwanted investigation. Calla Eltmore, the local librarian, is found dead at work and everyone considers it suicide. But Marjorie can't believe that Calla would be capable of doing such a thing.

Marjorie's suspicions are further aroused when she notices something amiss at Calla's wake, but the police seem uninterested in her observations.

Despite pressing job commitments and the burden of caring for a husband in declining health, Marjorie sets out to uncover the truth. What she finds is a labyrinth of secrets—and threats from someone who will kill to keep these secrets hidden.

Title: Reliance, Illinois
Author: Mary Volmer
Historical Fiction (with a lot of secrets) standalone set in a Mississippi River town in Illinois in the 1870s
ISBN: 9781616956721
Publisher: Soho Press
Hardcover, 368 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Reliance, Illinois tells the story of a young woman faced with choices that will alter the course of her own future, and offers a brilliant window into American life during a period of tumultuous change. Illinois, 1874: With a birthmark covering half her face, thirteen-year-old Madelyn Branch is accustomed to cold and awkward greetings, and expects no less in the struggling town of Reliance. After all, her mother, Rebecca, was careful not to mention a daughter in the Matrimonial Times ad that brought them there. When Rebecca weds, Madelyn poses as her mother’s younger sister and earns a grudging berth in her new house. Deeply injured by her mother’s deceptions, Madelyn soon leaves to enter the service of Miss Rose Werner, prodigal daughter of the town’s founder. Miss Rose is a suffragette and purveyor of black market birth control who sees in Madelyn a project and potential acolyte. Madelyn, though, wants to feel beautiful and loved, and she pins her hopes on William Stark, a young photographer and haunted Civil War veteran.

=== May 17 ===

Title: Boar Island
Author: Nevada Barr
Series: #19 in the Anna Pigeon series set in Maine
ISBN: 9781250064691
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 384 pages

Synopsis: "Anna Pigeon, in her career as a National Park Service Ranger, has had to deal with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors, but cyber-bullying and stalking is a new one. The target is Elizabeth, the adopted teenage daughter of her friend Heath Jarrod. Elizabeth is driven to despair by the disgusting rumors spreading online and bullying texts. Until, one day, Heath finds her daughter Elizabeth in the midst of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. And then she calls in the cavalry---her aunt Gwen and her friend Anna Pigeon.

While they try to deal with the fragile state of affairs---and find the person behind the harassment---the three adults decide the best thing to do is to remove Elizabeth from the situation. Since Anna is about to start her new post as Acting Chief Ranger at Acadia National Park in Maine, the three will join her and stay at a house on the cliff of a small island near the park, Boar Island.

But the move east doesn't solve the problem. The stalker has followed them east. And Heath (a paraplegic) and Elizabeth aren't alone on the otherwise deserted island. At the same time, Anna has barely arrived at Acadia before a brutal murder is committed by a killer uncomfortably close to her.

Title: The Singer from Memphis
Author: Gary Corby
Series: #6 in the historical Athenian series set in 461 BCE
ISBN: 9781616956684
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Nicolaos, the only private investigator in ancient Athens, discovers that helping an author with his book research can be very dangerous. The would-be author Herodotus has hired Nico and his priestess wife, Diotima, to accompany him to Egypt to research that ancient country’s history. Unfortunately, Egypt happens to be in the throes of a rebellion against its overlords, the Persian Empire. Pirates infest the sea route. Three different armies roam the Egyptian countryside. The river is full of crocodiles. Everywhere Nico turns, there’s a secret agent ready to kill him, and he can’t find a decent cup of wine anywhere. A simple historical investigation turns into a dangerous adventure of international espionage.

Title: Lost and Gone Forever
Author: Alex Grecian
Series: #5 in the historical Murder Squad series set in London, England
ISBN: 9780399176104
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Hardcover, 384 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Many changes have happened to the Murder Squad. Rash actions have cost Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith his job, and in response he has set up his own private detective agency. Inspector Walter Day has been missing for a year, and no one knows where he is—though there is a strong suspicion that Saucy Jack has him. Hammersmith has made finding Day his primary case, and he has company—a pair of bounty hunters, a man and a woman. It is only gradually that he has come to realize that they are not what they seem . .

Title: The Highwayman
Author: Craig Johnson
Series: #14 in the Sheriff Walt Longmire series set in Wyoming
ISBN: 9780735220898
Publisher: Viking
Hardcover, 208 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When Wyoming highway patrolman Rosey Wayman is transferred to the beautiful and imposing landscape of the Wind River Canyon, an area the troopers refer to as no-man's-land because of the lack of radio communication, she starts receiving “officer needs assistance” calls. The problem? They're coming from Bobby Womack, a legendary Arapaho patrolman who met a fiery death in the canyon almost a half-century ago. With an investigation that spans this world and the next, Sheriff Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear take on a case that pits them against a legend: The Highwayman.

=== May 19 ===

Title: The Malice of Waves
Author: Mark Douglas-Home
Series: #3 in the Sea Detective series set in Scotland
ISBN: 9780718182755
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Hardcover, 304 pages
UK Release

Synopsis: "Five years ago, fourteen-year-old Max Wheeler disappeared from Priest's Island, an isolated but bleakly beautiful place on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. 

In the closeknit local community, there are no secrets, except what happened to Max. None of the police or private investigations since have shed any light on what happened the night he went missing, presumed dead.

But there is one man who is yet to take on the case: The Sea Detective.

Cal McGill is an oceanographer and unique investigator who uses his knowledge of tides, winds and currents to solve mysteries no-one else can.

However, Cal is an unwelcome stranger who must navigate the tensions between Max's inconsolable father, the broken family he has neglected, and the embittered locals, resentful after years of suspicion.

As Cal arrives, a violent storm approaches, threatening to completely cut off the island, with a possible murderer at large.."  

May is a feast! Craig Johnson. Nevada Barr. Elly Griffiths. And on. And on. And on.  Wow!

Which of these books are going on your reading lists?


  1. Ooh, what a treasure trove of loot.

    I'll put the Barr, Griffiths and Douglas-Home on my list and try to find the Corby and Grecian.

    You do so much and get so much reading accomplished on top of it. How do you do it?

    1. For one thing, I don't have paid employment. For another, I have a wonderful husband who doesn't conduct white glove inspections of the house!

  2. Oh, some good 'uns, here, Cathy! I've already got the Dennison to read, and the Craig (no surprise), the Barr, the Griffiths and the Douglas-Home got my attention right away. I think it's going to be hard on the TBR...

    1. Support columns so it won't topple? ;-)

  3. I have the Griffiths and Dennison pre-ordered. I have to read the 2nd book in the Douglas-Home book first but am happy to see that a third book has come out.

    The Singer from Memphis has me thinking about the title. At first it catches your eye, due to Elvis. It is a historical Athenian I wonder where the Memphis comes in. I am wondering if there is an ancient city called Memphis. I just googled it and yes it is an ancient city and capital in Egypt. It is a catchy title.

    1. Yes, Corby's title is going to make most people think of Elvis first, but having a bit of Amelia Peabody in me I already knew about Memphis in Egypt. :-)

  4. I hope to find this list again so I'll just scroll backwards to find it. Is there a better way?

    Since this blog discusses book covers, I'll say that Gary Corby's books' covers are always good, interesting. And I think The Malice of Waves should have a cover more like the Nevada Barr cover with menacing waves, not calm ones, or huge ocean waves.

    1. Scroll down my sidebar until you see "Looking for Something?" Click on the down arrow to bring up the drop down menu. Scroll till you get to "New Mystery Releases" and click on it. They'll come up with the most recent post shown first.

      I love Corby's book covers. They're always great. Colorful and extremely evocative of the time period about which he writes.

      I agree with you about the cover of The Malice of Waves.

  5. Having been to Acadia National Park, I think I may check out the new Nevada Barr. There are others that look interesting as well.

    1. Yes, it's been a while since we've seen Anna Pigeon. Barr will be at The Poisoned Pen, so I'm looking forward to that as well.

  6. Oh, lucky you going to see Nevada Barr.

    I have read nearly all of her books, skipped a few, but put this one on library reserve as soon as I read about it here.

    And I have been to Acadia National Park a few times and think it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.


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