Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May 2014 New Mystery Releases!

While many of you folks are finally experiencing spring, the Sonoran Desert is already beginning to slip into our two-part summer. Yes, that's right-- the Sonoran Desert really has five seasons, the normal four plus an extra summer because monsoon season differs so much from the blazingly hot and dry May and June. Don't cry for me, I love the heat, and (both) summers are my optimal times to devour books!

Here are my picks for new mysteries being released in May. They're sorted by release dates and contain all the information you'll need to find them at all your favorite "book procurement locations." Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Happy Reading!

=== May 1 ===

Title: The Shroud Maker
Author: Kate Ellis
#18 in the Wesley Peterson police procedural series set in South Devon, England 
ISBN: 9780749958046
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Hardcover, 368 pages

Synopsis: "A year after the mysterious disappearance of Jenny Bercival, DI Wesley Peterson is called in when the body of a strangled woman is found floating out to sea in a dinghy. The discovery mars the festivities of the Palkin Festival, held each year to celebrate the life of John Palkin, a 14th century Mayor of Tradmouth who made his fortune from trade and piracy. Now it seems like death and mystery have returned to haunt the town. Could there be a link between the two women? One missing, one brutally murdered? And is there a connection to a fantasy website called Shipworld which features Palkin as a supernatural hero with a sinister, faceless nemesis called the Shroud Maker? When archaeologist Neil Watson makes a grim discovery on the site of Palkin's warehouse, it looks as if history might have inspired the killer. And it is only by delving into the past that Wesley comes to learn a truth that will bring mortal danger in its wake."

Title: Red Man Down
#5 in the Sarah Burke police procedural series set in Tucson, Arizona
ISBN: 9780727883674
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Hardcover, 192 pages

Synopsis: "Sarah Burke's Saturday off is interrupted when she is called to a shooting – a rookie cop has been involved in a shootout with a criminal stealing copper wire from a warehouse. When the criminal in question turns out to be ex-cop and Red Man Ed Lacey, Sarah is shocked. The evidence suggests he wanted the cop to shoot him. But why?

Sarah and her team delve into Ed’s life, and soon decide to re-open an investigation into three deaths. The more they investigate, the more obstacles they encounter – particularly from the family, who quickly close ranks. What are they hiding?

=== May 6 ===

Title: Death of a Mad Hatter
Author: Jenn McKinlay
#2 in the Hat Shop cozy series set in London, England
ISBN: 9780425258903
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Scarlett Parker and her British cousin, Vivian Tremont, are hard at work at Mim’s Whims—their ladies’ hat shop on London’s chic Portobello Road—to create hats for an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea, a fund-raiser for a local children’s hospital. It seems like a wonderfully whimsical way to pass the hat, and Scarlett and Viv are delighted to outfit the Grisby family, the hosts who are hoping to raise enough money to name a new hospital wing after their patriarch.

Unfortunately, the Grisby heir will not live to see it—he’s been poisoned. When traces of the poison are found on the hat Scarlett and Viv made for him, the police become curiouser and curiouser about their involvement. Now the ladies need to don their thinking caps and find the tea party crasher who’s mad enough to kill at the drop of a hat…

Title: Doing It at the Dixie Dew
Author: Ruth Moose
Debut cozy set in Littleboro, North Carolina
ISBN: 9781250046383
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 256 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When Beth McKenzie returns to her hometown and attempts to turn an old Southern mansion into a bed and breakfast called The Dixie Dew, her first guest is murdered. Three days later a young priest who looks better in tennis whites than cleric black is found strangled in his chapel. The whole town of Littleboro is turned upside down, inside out, and Ossie Delbardo, the town cop whose job heretofore mainly involved controlling football traffic on Friday nights, is not cut out to solve the murders. Beth fears her newly opened B&B is in danger of failing. She’s even more worried that she is Ossie’s number one suspect. Aided by her friend from high school and trusty handyman, she sets out to discover the truth of the murders.

Littleboro has its share of characters, some of which are helpful and others misleading. There's Crazy Reba who lives in a tree, bathes in any bathtub she finds empty, and Dumpster dives; Verna, the town know-it-all and affectionate owner of Robert Redford, a huge white rabbit; and Miss Tempie Merritt, music teacher and organist who always wears hat, gloves, and lace-trimmed white socks. When Beth herself is attacked, there’s no more time for baking muffins and stenciling pineapples on the porch. She’s in a race to uncover her neighbors’ secrets before her hometown becomes her burial ground.

Title: Invisible City
Author: Julia Dahl
#1 in the Rebekah Roberts series set in New York City
ISBN: 9781250043399  
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she’s also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn.

Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah’s shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD’s habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder. Rebekah can’t let the story end there. But getting to the truth won’t be easy—even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it's clear that she's not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider

=== May 13 ===

Title: Any Other Name
Author: Craig Johnson
#10 in the Sheriff Walt Longmire police procedural series set in Absaroka County, Wyoming
ISBN:  9780670026463
Publisher: Viking
Hardcover, 336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Sheriff Walt Longmire had already rounded up a sizable posse of devoted readers when the A&E television series Longmire sent the Wyoming lawman’s popularity skyrocketing. Now, with three consecutive New York Times bestsellers to his name and the second season of Longmire reaching an average of 5.4 million viewers per episode, Craig Johnson is reaching a fan base that is both fiercely loyal and ever growing.

In Any Other Name, Walt is sinking into high-plains winter discontent when his former boss, Lucian Conally, asks him to take on a mercy case in an adjacent county. Detective Gerald Holman is dead and Lucian wants to know what drove his old friend to take his own life. With the clock ticking on the birth of his first grandchild, Walt learns that the by-the-book detective might have suppressed evidence concerning three missing women. Digging deeper, Walt uncovers an incriminating secret so dark that it threatens to claim other lives even before the sheriff can serve justice—Wyoming style.

Title: Fatal Enquiry
Author: Will Thomas
#6 in the Barker and Llewelyn PI historical series set in late Victorian England
ISBN:  9781250041043
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Brimming with wit, atmosphere, and unforgettable characters, FATAL ENQUIRY reintroduces private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewellyn, and their unforgettable world of Victorian London.

Some years ago, Cyrus Barker matched wits with Sebastian Nightwine, an aristocrat and sociopath, and in exposing his evil, sent Nightwine fleeing to hide from justice somewhere in the far corners of the earth. The last thing Barker ever expected was to encounter Nightwine again—but the British government, believing they need Nightwine’s help, has granted him immunity for his past crimes, and brought him back to London. Nightwine, however, has more on his mind than redemption—and as Barker and Llewellyn set out to uncover and thwart Nightwine’s real scheme, they find themselves in the gravest danger of their lives.

Title: Murder at Honeychurch Hall
#1 in the Kat Standford cozy series set in Devon, England
ISBN: 9781250007797
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Kat Stanford is just days away from starting her dream antique business with her newly widowed mother Iris when she gets a huge shock. Iris has recklessly purchased a dilapidated carriage house at Honeychurch Hall, an isolated country estate located several hundred miles from London. 

Yet it seems that Iris isn’t the only one with surprises at Honeychurch Hall. Behind the crumbling fa├žade, the inhabitants of the stately mansion are a lively group of eccentrics to be sure—both upstairs and downstairs —and they all have more than their fair share of skeletons in the closet. 

When the nanny goes missing, and Vera, the loyal housekeeper ends up dead in the grotto, suspicions abound. Throw in a feisty, octogenarian countess, a precocious seven year old who is obsessed with the famous fighter pilot called Biggles, and a treasure trove of antiques, and there is more than one motive for murder. 

As Iris’s past comes back to haunt her, Kat realizes she hardly knows her mother at all. A when the bodies start piling up, it is up to Kat to unravel the tangled truth behind the murders at Honeychurch Hall."

=== May 15 ===

Title: Trouble in the Cotswolds
Author: Rebecca Tope
#12 in the Thea Osborne series set in the Cotswolds in England
ISBN:  9780749014438
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Hardcover, 288 pages

Synopsis: "Thea Osborne hopes to spend a quiet Christmas house-sitting in the picturesque village of Stanton. Walks in the local countryside with the dogs are all the excitement she wants. Her arrival at the village coincides with the funeral of Douglas Callender and the murder of his girlfriend the following day.

Thea finds herself thrust into the middle of another Police investigation as she unwraps motives and scandals across the village. The arrival of Drew Slocombe is the best present Thea could receive. Amid the bleak winter of Stanton and the murderous scandal, Thea is determined that she will survive the festive season.

Thea’s interest is stirred but the onset of flu looks to prevent any sleuthing. However, when two people show up brutally murdered the following afternoon, even when battling a fever Thea finds herself thrust into the middle of yet another Police investigation. With the Callendar family linked to most of the village Stanton is bursting with motives for the murders including jealousy, closures of footpaths and secret animal testing. Thea turns to local resident Dennis Ireland for safety but Dennis, as with the other villagers, may not be as safe as first appears and Thea wonders who she can trust to help her survive the festive season.

=== May 20 ===

Title: The Devil's Workshop
Author: Alex Grecian
#3 in the Murder Squad historical police procedural series set in late Victorian England
ISBN: 9780399166433
Publisher: Putnam
Hardcover, 400 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "London, 1890. Four vicious murderers have escaped from prison, part of a plan gone terribly wrong, and now it is up to Walter Day, Nevil Hammersmith, and the rest of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad to hunt down the convicts before the men can resume their bloody spree. But they might already be too late. The killers have retribution in mind, and one of them is heading straight toward a member of the Murder Squad, and his family.

And that isn’t even the worst of it. During the escape, the killers have stumbled upon the location of another notorious murderer, one thought gone for good but now prepared to join forces with them.

Jack the Ripper is loose in London once more.

=== May 21 ===

Title: Nursing Homes Are Murder
Author: Mike Befeler
#6 in the Paul Jacobson Geezer-Lit series set in Hawaii
ISBN: 9781432828165
Publisher: Five Star

Synopsis: "Paul Jacobson, who suffers from short-term memory loss, becomes an undercover resident at a nursing home to help the Honolulu police track down a sexual assault perpetrator.
The police give Paul the names of three persons-of-interest and Paul begins investigating. None of the three appear suspicious.

Things go downhill when the woman who had been assaulted is found murdered.

Paul meets interesting residents, including a woman with synesthesia, a woman who eats soap, and a woman who races wheelchairs.

After another sexual assault, someone tries to smother Paul.

Interrupting a third attempted sexual assault, Paul figures out who the culprit is.
The bad guy tries to abduct Paul at gunpoint, but Paul escapes when a resident in an electric wheelchair runs into the bad guy

=== May 22 ===

Title: The Killing Club
Author: Paul Finch
#3 in the DS Mark "Heck" Heckenburg of Scotland Yard's Serial Crimes Unit series set in England
ISBN: 9780007551255
Publisher: Avon
Paperback, 400 pages

Synopsis: "Get hooked on Heck: the maverick detective who knows no boundaries. The perfect read for fans of Stuart Macbride and Luther. DS Mark 'Heck' Heckenburg is used to bloodbaths. But nothing can prepare him for this. Heck's most dangerous case to date is open again. Two years ago, he put the ringleader of The Nice Guys Club - a vicious rape and murder gang - behind bars. But Heck knows that this depraved organisation stretches far beyond UK shores. When brutal murders start happening across the country, it's clear that the Nice Guys are at work again. Their victims are killed in cold blood, in broad daylight, and by any means necessary. And Heck knows it won't be long before they come for him. Brace yourself as you turn the pages of a living nightmare. Welcome to The Killing Club."

=== May 29 ===

Title: Sundance
Author: David Fuller
Standalone Historical mystery set in the USA at the turn of the twentieth century
ISBN:  9781594632457
Publisher: Riverhead
Hardcover, 352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Legend has it that bank robber Harry Longbaugh and his partner Robert Parker were killed in a shootout in Bolivia. That was the supposed end of the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy.

Sundance tells a different story. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Longbaugh is very much alive, though serving in a Wyoming prison under an alias.

When he is released in 1913, Longbaugh reenters a changed world. Horses are being replaced by automobiles. Gas lamps are giving way to electric lights. Workers fight for safety, and women for the vote. What hasn’t changed are Longbaugh’s ingenuity, his deadly aim, and his love for his wife, Etta Place.

It’s been two years since Etta stopped visiting him, and, determined to find her, Longbaugh follows her trail to New York City. Confounded by the city’s immensity, energy, chaos, and crowds, he learns that his wife was very different from the woman he thought he knew. Longbaugh finds himself in a tense game of cat and mouse, racing against time before the legend of the Sundance Kid catches up to destroy him.

By turns suspenseful, rollicking, and poignant, Sundance is the story of a man dogged by his own past, seeking his true place in this new world.

This is what I call a Jackpot Month. There's nothing like watching a mature woman dance around the house clutching a book to her bosom like I did when I received an unsolicited copy of Craig Johnson's newest book, Any Other Name. (I'm so glad Denis wasn't home that afternoon-- video may have been made available!) I was just as thrilled to see another of my favorites, Will Thomas, appear with a long overdue book in his Barker and Llewelyn series. Stay tuned because I'll have five copies of Fatal Enquiry to give away during the week of its release! Then there's two more additions to favorite series... if I were a grasshopper, I wouldn't know which way to jump. As it is, I'm a simple human "bean" who can only read and concentrate on one book at a time....

What new mysteries are you looking forward to in May? Did any of these titles tickle your fancy? Which ones? Inquiring minds want to know!


  1. Cathy - Any time there's a Craig Johnson and a Mike Befeler in the same month, I'm a happy woman. Thanks for this news!

    1. You're welcome. Somehow, I can see you dancing around the room with a book clutched to your chest, too. ;-)

  2. Elizabeth Gunn looks to have a good series for me to get into following Jon Talton.

    1. Another good series, Bella. You learn about the real Phoenix when reading Talton, and the real Tucson from Elizabeth Gunn. And the stories aren't bad, either! *wink*

  3. Oh my gosh, I'm overwhelmed. I'm still working on new books announced over the months and have so many books stacked and on reserve at the library.

    One series that interests me it eh "geezer" one. Must check that out. I need
    that humor as an aging person and armchair detective.

    1. Yes, I'm hoping to take up where Paul Jacobson (the old geezer in Mike Befeler's series) leaves off in a few years!

  4. Good for you, Cathy!

    1. I think I've read enough mysteries over the years to be able to figure out a fictional crime or two!


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