Wednesday, February 28, 2018

March 2018 New Mystery Releases!

It's a good thing I took another look at my post title. It originally said "March 2918 New Mystery Releases." Some of you might have seen that and thought someone spiked my punch bowl-- or wondered about my wonderful contacts who could tell me about books being written nine hundred years from now!

I'm always on the hunt for new mysteries to read, and these are my picks of new crime fiction being released throughout the month of March. I've grouped them by release dates and hopefully given you enough information so that you will succumb to temptation and add them to your wishlists. Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

It's time to stop talking so you can take a look at the list.  Here we go!

=== March 1 ===

Title: The Suffering of Strangers
Author: Caro Ramsay
Series: #9 in the Anderson & Costello police procedural series set in Glasgow, Scotland.
256 pages

Synopsis: "When a six-week-old baby is stolen from outside a village shop, Detective Inspector Costello quickly surmises there?s more to this case than meets the eye. As she questions those involved, she uncovers evidence that this was no impulsive act as the police initially assumed, but something cold, logical, meticulously planned. Who has taken Baby Sholto ? and why?

Colin Anderson meanwhile is on the Cold Case Unit, reviewing the unsolved rape of a young mother back in 1996. Convinced this wasn't the first- or last - time the attacker struck, Anderson looks for a pattern. But when he does find a connection, it reaches back into his own past . . .

=== March 6 ===

Title: A Brush with Shadows
Series: #6 in the Lady Darby historical series set in the UK.
383 pages

Synopsis: "July 1831. It's been fifteen years since Sebastian Gage has set foot in Langstone Manor. Though he has shared little with his wife, Lady Kiera Darby, about his past, she knows that he planned never to return to the place of so many unhappy childhood memories. But when an urgent letter from his grandfather reaches them in Dublin, Ireland, and begs Gage to visit, Kiera convinces him to go.

All is not well at Langstone Manor. Gage's grandfather, the Viscount Tavistock, is gravely ill, and Gage's cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. He wandered out into the moors and never returned. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred's disappearance. And when Alfred's brother Rory goes missing, Kiera and Gage must concede he may be right. Now, they must face the ghosts of Gage's past, discover the truth behind the local superstitions, and see beyond the tricks being played by their very own eyes to expose what has happened to Gage's family before the moors claim yet another victim...

Title: A Funeral in Mantova
Series: #5 in the Rick Montoya amateur sleuth series set in Italy.
220 pages

Synopsis: "Lombardy was once hotly disputed by the cities of Venice and Milan. Today it is famed for its food rather than war. But the murder of the elderly fisherman, for so it proves to be, reveals battles still rage within the region's controlled agribiz, the manufacture of cheese and cured meats by generations of local families, as well as over the best use for a parcel of land owned by the victim, Roberto Rondini, and now passing to his heirs.

Rick Montoya, an American from New Mexico self-employed as a translator in Italy, soon receives a call from the States. The US Embassy in Rome has recommended his services to wealthy Angelo Rondini, cousin to Roberto. Angelo, age seventy-eight and born in nearby Voglia, has been invited to the funeral by Roberto's daughter, Livia Guarino. Out of respect, Angelo has agreed to connect with the Italian family he hasn't seen since he was a very young boy.

Rick hires on as interpreter. And soon receives another assignment - a local cop, Inspector Crespi, linked to Rick's uncle, Commissario Piero Fontana of the Roman Questura, leads the murder investigation and asks Rick to observe and report. Rick agrees, if Angelo accepts his working undercover. And so Rick once again puts his linguistic skills to use for the local law in solving a crime.

Despite the joys and distractions of the city and its watery setting, its glorious art and architecture, and the temptations of the local cuisine and cheese culture, the investigation must probe the life of Roberto and the history of the Rondinis as well as the rivalries of the locals. Yet with all this on display, the story is stolen by two women: Angelo's American executive assistant, and Livia, the Rondini clan's new matriarch.

David Wagner's Rick Montoya Mysteries will appeal to readers of Michael Dibdin, Donna Leon, and Martin Walker.

Title: Barbed Wire Heart
Author: Tess Sharpe
Standalone noir thriller.
416 pages

Synopsis: "Harley McKenna is the only child of North County's biggest criminal. Duke McKenna's run more guns, cooked more meth, and killed more men than anyone around. Harley's been working for him since she was sixteen--collecting debts, sweet-talking her way out of trouble, and dreading the day he'd deem her ready to rule the rural drug empire he's built.

Her time's run out. The Springfields, her family's biggest rivals, are moving in. Years ago, they were responsible for her mother's death, and now they're coming for Duke's only weak spot: his daughter.

With a bloody turf war threatening to consume North County, Harley is forced to confront the truth: that her father's violent world will destroy her. Duke's raised her to be deadly--he never counted on her being disloyal. But if Harley wants to survive and protect the people she loves, she's got to take out Duke's operation and the Springfields.

Blowing up meth labs is dangerous business, and getting caught will be the end of her, but Harley has one advantage: She is her father's daughter. And McKennas always win.

A remarkable novel with a deep emotional core, BARBED WIRE HEART seamlessly blends page-turning suspense with a multilayered and unflinching portrayal of a poor, rural community where family is everything.

Title: The Silent Companions
Author: Laura Purcell
Standalone Gothic suspense set in England.
315 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But with her husband dead just weeks after their marriage, her new servants resentful, and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure—a silent companion—that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of the estate are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition—that is, until she notices the figure’s eyes following her.

A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, The Silent Companions is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect—much like the companions themselves.

=== March 8 ===

Title: Phoenix Burning
Series: #2 in the Veranda Cruz police procedural series set in Phoenix, Arizona.
338 pages

Synopsis: "Homicide Detective Veranda Cruz will stop at nothing to take down the Villalobos cartel. But when a wave of violence in the city escalates, she fears that the secrets of her past will take her down instead.

Adolfo Villalobos is a crime boss who's determined to stake his claim. To prove that he's ready to run his family's sprawling criminal empire, he devises a plan to silence his siblings and destroy Veranda, leaving a trail of destruction through downtown Phoenix that makes national headlines. Veranda believes the task force she's been assigned to lead will end the cartel's reign of terror, until Adolfo's revenge takes a cruel—and highly personal—twist."

=== March 13 ===

Title: Lethal in Old Lace
Author: Duffy Brown
Series: #5 in the Consignment Shop cozy series set in Savannah, Georgia.
298 pages

Synopsis: "There are two social functions in Savannah guaranteed to get people talking: weddings and funerals. And just as consignment shop owner Reagan Summerside agrees to marry the hunky Walker Boone, her neighbors, sisters Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbot, step up their business as professional mourners. They are so successful that the Sleepy Pines Retirement Center has hired them as a part of their retirement package. But the celebration over good business is cut short when the residents at Pines suddenly begin dying at an alarming rate. And the sisters are the first suspects.

Reagan has her doubts, however, and begins to look into the strange phenomenon. But then something even stranger happens: a body winds up in the sisters’ pink Caddy. The evidence begins to pile up and the suspicious case of Willie Fishbine, who swindled the sisters out of a fortune and coincidentally died prior to the Pines case, is reopened.

Not wanting Willie to be buried until they can find the killer responsible for the murders, Reagan must catch the culprit in time to walk down the aisle. Witty, fabulous, and full of charm, Lethal in Old Lace is perfect for fans of Ellery Adams and Jenn McKinlay.

Title: Searcher of the Dead
Series: #1 in the Bess Ellyott historical series set in Elizabethan England.
334 pages

Synopsis: "Living amid the cultural flowering, religious strife, and political storms of Tudor England, Bess Ellyott is an herbalist, a widow, and a hunted woman. She fled London after her husband was brutally murdered, but the bucolic town in the countryside where she lands will offer her no solace. She still doesn’t know who killed her husband, but she knows one thing: The murderer is still out there. This becomes all too clear when Bess’s brother-in-law, a prosperous merchant, is himself found dead—dangling from a tree, an apparent suicide.

But Bess doesn’t believe that for a moment, and nor do her neighbors. Competition is cutthroat in the 17th century, and word around the town holds that the dead man is a victim of rival merchants scheming to corner the wool market. Bess, though, is convinced the killer is out to destroy her family.

Town constable Christopher Harwoode will cross members of his own family to help Bess find the killer—whose next target may very well be Queen Elizabeth I—in this unshakably gripping, devilishly unpredictable series debut that will delight fans of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory.

Title: This Is How It Ends
Author: Eva Dolan
Standalone thriller set in the UK.
336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "The building was once home to families, friends, children, couples, love, life. Now, almost every apartment is empty, the inhabitants forced out by the developers tearing down the old social housing to build luxury homes.

Only a few of the inhabitants have fought back against the attempts to evict them from their homes and their histories. And they have been joined by passionate student protester and would-be journalist, Ella, who is leading a high-profile media campaign to protect those who refuse to leave.

One night, Ella returns home to find a horrible scene awaiting her-the dead body of a mysterious man. Panicked, she calls her neighbor Molly, who convinces her that the police won't believe she's innocent. Together the two women concoct a gruesome plan to hide the body.

But the secret won't stay buried for long. As truth hangs in the balance, a neighbor tells Molly he had heard Ella arguing with a man in the hallway and mistrust grows between Ella and Molly, as repercussions of that night threaten to change both women's lives forever.

=== March 20 ===

Title: Death Comes in Through the Kitchen
Standalone amateur sleuth set in Cuba.
368 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Matt, a San Diego journalist, arrives in Havana to marry his girlfriend, Yarmila, a 24-year-old Cuban woman whom he first met through her food blog. But Yarmi isn’t there to meet him at the airport, and when he hitches a ride to her apartment, he finds her lying dead in the bathtub.

With Yarmi’s murder, lovelorn Matt is immediately embroiled in a Cuban adventure he didn’t bargain for. The police and secret service have him down as their main suspect, and in an effort to clear his name, he must embark on his own investigation into what really happened. The more Matt learns about his erstwhile fiancée, though, the more he realizes he had no idea who she was at all—but did anyone?

Title: The Temptation of Forgiveness
Author: Donna Leon
Series: #27 in the Guido Brunetti police procedural series set in Venice, Italy.
272 pages

Synopsis: "The memorable characters and Venetian drama that have long captivated Donna Leon’s many readers are on full display in The Temptation of Forgiveness. Surprised, if not dismayed, to discover from his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, that leaks are emanating from the Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is surprised more consequentially by the appearance of a friend of his wife’s, fearful that her son is using drugs and hopeful Brunetti can somehow intervene. When Tullio Gasparini, the woman’s husband, is found unconscious and with a serious brain injury at the foot of a bridge in Venice after midnight, Brunetti is drawn to pursue a possible connection to the boy’s behavior. But the truth, as Brunetti has experienced so often, is not straightforward.

As the twenty-seventh novel unfolds in Donna Leon’s exquisite chronicle of Venetian life in all its blissful and sordid aspects, Brunetti pursues several false and contradictory leads while growing ever more impressed by the intuition of his fellow Commissario, Claudia Griffoni, and by the endless resourcefulness and craftiness of Signorina Elettra, Patta’s secretary and gate-keeper. Exasperated by the petty bureaucracy that constantly bedevils him and threatens to expose Signorina Elettra, Brunetti is steadied by the embrace of his own family and by his passion for the classics. This predilection leads him to read Sophocles’ Antigone, and, in its light, consider the terrible consequences to which the actions of a tender heart can lead.

=== March 27 ===

Title: To Die but Once
Series: #14 in the Maisie Dobbs historical series set during the beginning months of World War II in England and France.
336 pages

Synopsis: "During the months following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, Maisie Dobbs investigates the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a hush-hush government contract. As news of the plight of thousands of soldiers stranded on the beaches of France is gradually revealed to the general public, and the threat of invasion rises, another young man beloved by Maisie makes a terrible decision that will change his life forever. 

Maisie’s investigation leads her from the countryside of rural Hampshire to the web of wartime opportunism exploited by one of the London underworld’s most powerful men, in a case that serves as a reminder of the inextricable link between money and war. Yet when a final confrontation approaches, she must acknowledge the potential cost to her future—and the risk of destroying a dream she wants very much to become reality.

Title: Murder, She Knit
Author: Peggy Ehrhart
Series: #1 in the Knit & Nibble cozy series set in New Jersey.
288 pages

Synopsis: "Since her only daughter left for college, widow Pamela Paterson has kept busy as associate editor of a craft magazine and founder of the Knit and Nibble knitting club in quaint Arborville, New Jersey. Now, she’s trying out a new hobby—solving murders!

Pamela is hosting the next Knit and Nibble meeting and can’t wait to liven up her otherwise empty home with colorful yarn, baking, and a little harmless gossip. She even recruits Amy Morgan, an old friend who recently moved to town, as the group’s newest member. But on the night of the gathering, Amy doesn’t show. Not until Pamela finds the woman dead outside—a knitting needle stabbed through the front of her handmade sweater . . .

Someone committed murder before taking off with Amy’s knitting bag, and Pamela realizes that only she can spot the deadly details hidden in mysterious skeins. But when another murder occurs, naming the culprit—and living to spin the tale—will be more difficult than Pamela ever imagined . . .

Well, this list has a little something for everyone, doesn't it? My vote for the creepiest book cover this month is Caro Ramsay's The Suffering of Strangers. My favorite? It's a tie between Winspear's To Die but Once and Ehrhart's Murder, She Knit--although that cat looks like a twin of the cat in Betty Hechtman's knitting series! (Or... at least I think it's a cat. It's got a mighty long nose.)

Did I tempt you with any of these titles this month? Which ones? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. First of all, that cat looks...a little something (odd), but the book sounds good. I also like the sound of The Silent Companions - give me a good ghost story any day. LOL

    1. I'm about two-thirds of the way into The Silent Companions. Creepy!

  2. Oh, a new Donna Leon!! And your list reminds me that I need to get to know Caro Ramsay's work better, Cathy. Not that that'll be good for the TBR *Sigh.*

    1. A fat and sassy TBR is a very good thing!

  3. The Silent Companions sounds good to me. It has not been ordered by the libraries in this area. The cover of Death Comes in Through the Kitchen caught my eye. Interested in reading your reviews of both books I mentioned.

    1. Haven't started Death Comes in Through the Kitchen yet, but The Silent Companions is proving to be very interesting, as Arte Johnson would say. ;-)

  4. Yes! You did tempt me! With the knitting one! I loved the cover!

    1. I pre-ordered that one. There's something about that bowl of yarn.... ;-)

  5. Well, I've been waiting for Eva Dolan's book and may have to be pro-active and order it.

    I'm adding Donna Leon's to the TBR list. I am still waiting for the library to get the latest Ruth Galloway book -- not so patiently.

    And I have two fat, sassy TBR lists, one in each computer. The thing is they never shrink, only expand.

    1. I'd get nervous if my TBR lists shrank. Those are my security blankets, and who wants a tiny security blanket? :-)

  6. My friend B. from Missouri asked me to post this comment for her:

    "These are all authors that I have not tried except for the Donna Leon. At the first of the year I tried the first Leon book in that series and got hooked. I read my way through all 26 of them and am looking forward to the new one. I stopped along the way to read a few other things but always ended up back with Commissario Brunetti.

    The David P. Wagner book caught my eye. I think it would be fun now to get a different view of solving a crime in Italy. I'd have to start with the first book, though. I'm sort of obsessive about that."

    1. You'll get an American's point of view of Italian crime solving in Wagner's series. I enjoyed the first book. And-- if you haven't tried it yet-- I highly recommend Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Salvo Montalbano mysteries. I adore that series!

  7. I love Guido Brunetti, Paula Falier, Elettra Zorzi and the city of Venice. Among my favorite characters.

    Then there's Salvo Montalbano. What an irascible rascal he's become, but the stories are always fun and funny reads.


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