Wednesday, November 29, 2017

December 2017 New Mystery Releases!

Nothing can make me feel more like an old fart than what seems to me to be the rapid progression of time. There's no way that Thanksgiving should be in my rearview mirror and Christmas looming ever closer in front of me. In fact, I'm finding that so difficult to accept that I'm sitting here with my choices for the best new crime fiction being released throughout the month of December instead of going out and putting up Christmas decorations. (Those two Santa lamp finials and that one Christmas chair cushion will be enough. Right?)

Well, if you're delaying the inevitable like I am, stay where you are and take a look at my list. It's organized by release date, and hopefully I've included a title or two that will tickle your fancy... or perhaps the fancy of some folks on your gift-buying list. Covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Let's take a look at the list!

=== December 5 ===

Title: Chained
Author: Eileen Brady
Series: #3 in the Kate Turner DVM cozy series set in upstate New York.
275 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Everyone in the charming Hudson Valley town of Oak Falls expected Flynn Keegan, their handsome blond "Golden Boy" to make it big in Hollywood. So when veterinarian Kate Turner identifies a bone dug up by one of her dog patients as human, no one thinks back ten years to remember Flynn. Until DNA and a smashed skull prove he was murdered.

With few clues available to the forensic team, the grieving family begs Kate to investigate. His four closest friends plead ignorance. Neighbors and teachers remember the charismatic young man but offer no real help. Meanwhile, Kate is juggling her eccentric house call clients, a silly pot-bellied pig wedding and the sudden re-appearance of an old college boyfriend. Anthropologist Jeremy Engels, who returns like Indiana Jones from an African dig, is eager to rekindle their romance and offer his help. Together, they plan to crash Flynn's high school reunion, a re-creation of his senior prom, and interview his fellow students. Time isn't of the essence with a ten-year-old cold case. Right? Her Gramps is convinced the killer is long gone, just like the illegally captured brown bear she helped save, now roaming free in the woods. But Kate soon discovers that chains of love can be as strong as those made of steel - and some deadly secrets have put her next on the kill list."

Title: Beau Death
Author: Peter Lovesey
Series: #17 in the Peter Diamond police procedural series set in Bath, England.
416 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Bath, England: A wrecking crew is demolishing a row of townhouses in order to build a grocery store when they uncover a skeleton in one of the attics. The dead man is wearing authentic 1760s garb and on the floor next to it is a white tricorn hat—the ostentatious signature accessory of Beau Nash, one of Bath’s most famous historical men-about-town, a fashion icon and incurable rake who, some say, ended up in a pauper’s grave. Or did the Beau actually end up in a townhouse attic? The Beau Nash Society will be all in a tizzy when the truth is revealed to them.

Chief Inspector Peter Diamond, who has been assigned to identify the remains, begins to fantasize about turning Nash scholarship on its ear. But one of his constables is stubbornly insisting the corpse can’t be Nash’s—the non-believer threatens to spoil Diamond’s favorite theory, especially when he offers some pretty irrefutable evidence. Is Diamond on a historical goose chase? Should he actually be investigating a much more modern murder?

Title: And Death Goes to...
Author: Laura Bradford
Series: #3 in the Tobi Tobias cozy series set in St. Louis, Missouri.
210 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "The Tobias Ad Agency is in the running for the coveted Golden Storyboard, and Tobi couldn't be more thrilled-until she discovers it's literally an award to die for. 

It's an honor just to be nominated. But, let's get real, Tobi wants to win. The St. Louis Advertising Awards are like the Oscars for her field, and Tobi' is up for its most prestigious prize, Best Overall Ad Campaign. The competition is always fierce, but this year it's killer . . . 

Despite her high hopes, Tobi isn't exactly shocked when she doesn't win. But she is shocked when the winner, Deidre Ryan, takes the stage only to plummet to her death as a platform suddenly gives way. After the police discover foul play, Tobi's Grandpa Stu wastes no time in nominating suspects. But was Deidre the intended victim-or was someone else meant to take the fatal fall? Now it's a race to catch a killer in the spotlight before another nominee gets the booby prize and Tobi gets trapped in a no-win situation."

Title: Nightblind
Author: Ragnar Jónasson
Series: #3 in the Dark Iceland police procedural series set in northern Iceland.
240 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Ari Thor Arason is a local policeman who has an uneasy relationship with the villagers in an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland―where no one locks their doors.

The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by a murder. One of Ari’s colleagues is gunned down at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark Arctic waters closing in, it falls to Ari Thor to piece together a puzzle that involves a new mayor and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik. It becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all."

Title: Comic Sans Murder
Author: Paige Shelton
Series: #3 in the Dangerous Type cozy series set in Star City, Utah.
288 pages

Synopsis: "The visit of quirky world-famous horror author Nathan Grimes to Star City is especially thrilling for Clare Henry and her grandfather Chester. As the owners of The Rescued Word, a charming boutique shop in town, Clare and Chester specialize in restoring old typewriters and repairing beloved books. They’ve invited Nathan to their shop to use their equipment for his next book.

But all plans to work on the book take a step in the wrong direction when a tourist discovers an abandoned ski boot on the slopes—and the only sign of the owner is the dismembered foot he left inside! Nathan’s writer’s curiosity for all things horror is further piqued after the body of Clare’s high school friend Lloyd Gavin is discovered sans one foot. When all toes point to a class reunion gone wrong, Nathan can’t help but join Clare and her best friend, police officer Jodie Wentworth, as they hurry to track down the killer before more former classmates become Most Likely to Be Killed.

Title: Insidious Intent
Author: Val McDermid
Series: #10 in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan police procedural series set in northern England.
400 pages

Synopsis: "Widely recognized as one of our finest crime writers, with numerous accolades and legions of devoted readers worldwide, internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is back with the latest installment in her series featuring psychologist Tony Hill and former police detective Carol Jordan. In Insidious Intent, Tony and Carol are on the hunt for a serial killer who victimizes women at weddings without a date―and forces the duo to confront their most haunting moral dilemma so far.

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: Someone is crashing the festivities and luring the women away―only to leave the victims’ bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate―but this may be the toughest case they’ve ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner Elinor must deal with a cruel cyber-blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin."

Title: The Missing Guests of the Magic Grove Hotel
Author: David Casarett
Series: #2 in the Ethical Chiang Mai Detective Agency cozy series set in Thailand.
384 pages

Synopsis: "A fascinating mystery featuring Ladarat Patalung, the first and only nurse detective in Thailand.

As a nurse ethicist, Ladarat Patalung works to save the lives of her patients, and to make sure the ones she can't save have at least the dignity of a "good death."

But when wealthy foreign travelers start to go missing all across Thailand, Detective Wiriya Mookjai fears that a killer is at large, and turns to Ladarat for help.

The travelers have nothing in common, except for brief stays at a mysterious resort, known as the Magic Grove Hotel..."

=== December 8 ===

Title: Too Big to Die
Author: Sue Ann Jaffarian
Series: #12 in the Odelia Grey cozy series set in southern California.
288 pages

Synopsis: "It's the dog days of summer for Odelia and Greg after they rescue a dog from a closed car on a blistering hot day. The culprit is former reality star Marla Kingston, who's married to a client of Odelia's law firm. The dog was saved, but Odelia's job might not be when Kingston demands blood. Things get even stickier when a video of the rescue goes viral, and the man who helped them winds up dead. And who is the mysterious young woman who shows up about the same time? Is she connected or just an opportunist looking to cash in on their reluctant Internet fame?"

=== December 12 ===

Title: Signal Loss
Author: Garry Disher
Series: #7 in the Hal Challis police procedural series set outside Melbourne, Australia.
352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "A pair of hit men working a job for a meth kingpin has a very bad day, and the resulting bushfire draws attention to a drug lab and two burned bodies in a Mercedes. Sergeant Ellen Destry—newly minted head of her department’s sex crime unit—and Inspector Hal Challis return in this newest installment of Garry Disher’s Peninsula-based crimes series. With meth-related crime on the rise, interdepartmental tensions mount, and Challis soon finds himself fighting to keep control of his case. Meanwhile, Destry is hunting for a serial rapist who is extremely adept at not leaving clues. A tense, human, and at times darkly funny entry into Disher’s celebrated Ned Kelly Award-winning series."

Title: A Murder for the Books
Series: #1 in the Blue Ridge Library cozy series set in Virginia.
336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families... including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

Title: Unnatural Causes
Author: Dawn Eastman
Series: #1 in the Dr. Katie LeClair suspense series set in Michigan.
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.

Katie quickly gets to work on building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn't be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn't remember writing it.

When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town's history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it's too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman's riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.

=== December 19 ===

Title: Historically Dead
Series: #2 in the Stitch in Time cozy series set in Pennsylvania.
222 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Seamstress Daria Dembrowski must find a historically-minded killer before the fabric of her peaceful town rips wide open . . . 

When the reality show My House in History comes to Laurel Springs, Pennsylvania, savvy seamstress Daria Dembrowski sees a business opportunity. The show follows two elderly sisters' quest to restore their colonial mansion, and that means a heap of work for a seamstress who specializes in historical textiles. Although one of the old women is a bit of a grump, Daria loves the job-until she discovers one of the researchers dead, and the whole project threatens to unwind.

As a series of historical crimes pile up, from a stolen Paul Revere platter to a chilling incident of arson, Daria must find the killer quickly, for her life is hanging by a thread."

I think you'll agree, there are some very interesting new books being released in December, and I'll have you know that one of the titles in this post has made my Best Reads of 2017 list. Which books tickled your fancy? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Geez -- more books, some adorable covers and some books to search for at the library's catalogue.

    I can see the dilemma -- read mysteries or put up the Xmas decorations? The older I get, the more I know what I would do. I don't do this, but I pitch in and do a friend's lights as my father taught us this important skill as children, and enjoy her tree.

    And I enjoy looking at this blog to see how the Kittling household celebrates the holidays -- with a bang!

    1. The bang seems to be getting smaller each year.

  2. Oh, a Peter Lovesey and a Garry Disher! Nice selection, Cathy! And books do make great gifts (including to ourselves... ;-) )

  3. I hope you don't overdo it with the decorations if you are having mobility problems.

    I do not do ladders, haven't since I broke the left leg.

    So, be careful. Will anyone really mind if it's not the whole enchilada? We Kittling fans will understand.

    1. Everyone will have to understand because I still haven't put up anything substantial outside of several pillows and the second lamp finial...and shifting things around in preparation for putting things up. Maybe tomorrow.


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