Wednesday, January 28, 2015

February 2015 New Mystery Releases!

Once again, it's one of my favorite times-- picking and choosing amongst all the wonderful new crime fiction novels that are going to be released in the next month. There's just something about new books that make me tingle, and I'm pretty sure you all feel the same way.

I've grouped my picks according to release dates, and I've included all the information you'll need to find each and every one at all your favorite "book procurement" sites. Book synopses and covers are courtesy of Amazon.

There's a little something for everyone in this list, so I hope I've chosen a title or two that will make it onto your own wishlists. Happy Reading!

=== February 3 ===

Title: By Book or by Crook
Author: Eva Gates (AKA Vicki Delany)
Series: #1 in the Lighthouse Library cozy series set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
ISBN: 9780451470935
Publisher: Signet
Mass market Paperback, 352 pages

Synopsis: "For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending.

Title: The Beige Man
Author: Helene Tursten
Series: #7 in the Detective Inspector Irene Huss police procedural series set in Sweden
ISBN: 9781616954000
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Göteborg, Sweden: The high-speed chase of a stolen BMW takes a chilling turn when the two police officers involved witness a gruesome hit-and-run. When they finally recover the abandoned vehicle, search dogs are unable to trace the thieves, but they do uncover an entirely different horror: the half-naked corpse of a young girl in a nearby root cellar.

As Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues struggle to put the pieces together, they discover the man whose car was stolen—a retired police officer—is none other than the victim in the hit-and-run. Could it be a strange coincidence? Or is something larger at play? Meanwhile, the hunt for the girl’s killer leads Irene into the dark world of sex trafficking. An international criminal has arrived in Göteborg, and he’ll stop at nothing to expand his sinister operation

Title: The Chessmen
Author: Peter May
Series: #3 in the Lewis police procedural series set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland
ISBN: 9781623656041
Publisher: Quercus
Hardcover, 388 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times raved: "Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth." Among the many honors received, The Blackhouse, the first novel in May's acclaimed Lewis trilogy, won the Barry and Crime Thriller Hound awards.

Now in The Chessmen Peter May gives us a dramatic conclusion to his award-winning Lewis trilogy. Living again of the Isle of Lewis, the ex-Detective Inspector Fin McLeod is working as a security officer for a local landowner. While investigating illegal activity on the estate Fin encounters the elusive poacher and former childhood friend Whistler Macaskill.

But while Fin catches up with Whistler, the two witness a freak natural phenomenon--a 'Bog Burst'--which spontaneously drains a loch of its water, revealing a mud-encased light aircraft with a sickeningly familiar moniker on its side.

Both men immediately know hat they will find inside: the body of Roddy Mackenzie, a friend whose flight disappeared more than seventeen years before. But when Whistler's face appears to register something other than shock, an icy chill of apprehension overtakes Fin. What secret has Whistler been hiding from him, and everyone else on the island? Fin is unprepared for how the truth about the past will alter the course of the future."  

Title: Played by the Book
Author: Lucy Arlington (AKA Ellery Adams and Sylvia May)
Series: #4 in the Novel Idea cozy series set in North Carolina
ISBN: 9780425276631  
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Synopsis: "The owner of the Novel Idea Literary Agency is thrilled when former local boy and popular television show host Damian York returns to Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, to launch his new gardening book. But Lila is less than excited about the hubbub when she sees her mounting to-do list. Between planning York’s gala and sprucing up her yard for another event, she’s spread too thin—especially after she finds a skull buried in her flowerbeds.

As Lila’s macabre discovery leads to other secrets hidden in Inspiration Valley’s past, a member of the local garden club is found slumped over her prize roses—murdered. Now it’s up to Lila to dig through old mysteries and new clues to unearth a murderer before someone else is found pushing up daisies

Title: An Early Wake
Series: #3 in the County Cork cozy series set in Ireland
ISBN: 9780425252536
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Synopsis: "Summer is ending in County Cork, Ireland, and with it the tourist season. Expat Maura Donovan is determined to keep Sullivan’s Pub in the black as the days grow shorter—but how? When she hears that the place was once a hot spot for Irish musicians who’d come play in the back room, she wonders if bringing back live music might be Sullivan’s salvation.

As word gets out, legendary musicians begin to appear at the pub, and the first impromptu jam session brings in scores of music lovers. But things hit a sour note when Maura finds a dead musician in the back room the next morning. With a slew of potential suspects, it’s going to take more than a pint and a good think to force a murderer to face the music

Title: At the Drop of a Hat
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Series: #3 in the Hat Shop cozy series set in England
ISBN: 9780425258910
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Cousins Scarlett Parker and Vivian Tremont’s fashionable London hat shop, Mim’s Whims, is visited by a new customer bearing an old hat box. Ariana Jackson is getting married and wants to restore her mother’s bridal hat and veil for the occasion. The elegant item was made by Scarlett and Vivian’s grandmother over thirty years ago, so Viv is delighted to take the job.

When Scarlett goes to Ariana's office to consult about the restoration cost, she finds her outside, standing over her boss’s dead body. Though Ariana claims to know nothing about his demise, the investigation unveils a motive for murder. Now, with the bride-to-be in custody and the wedding on hold, Scarlett and Viv must find the real killer before Ariana's future is boxed up for good

Title: The Forgotten Girls
Author: Sara Blaedel
Series: #7 in the Rick and Lind police procedural series set in Copenhagen, Denmark
ISBN: 9781455581528
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "Four days later, Louise Rick still had no answers. 

The body of an unidentified woman was discovered in a local forest. A large, unique scar on one side of her face should have made the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. As the new commander of the Missing Persons Department, Louise risks involving the media by releasing a photo of the victim, hoping to find someone who knew her.
Louise's gamble pays off: an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a "forgotten girl." But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates more than thirty years ago. 
Aided by her friend journalist Camilla Lind, Louise finds that the investigation takes a surprising and unsettling turn when it brings her closer to her childhood home. And as she uncovers more crimes that were committed-and hidden-in the forest, she is forced to confront a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

=== February 8 ===

Title: Drawing Conclusions
Author: Deirdre Verne
Series: #1 A Sketch in Crime cozy mystery set in New York state
ISBN: 9780738741314
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Paperback, 312 pages
Synopsis: "Cece Prentice is a most unusual young woman. Heiress to a large fortune thanks to her doctor father, who is the head of a genome company on Long Island, Cece is also a freegan—ecologically-minded and socially conscious. If that happens to include dumpster diving for half an old hamburger, previously started by someone she has never met, then so be it.
 Cece would still be going about her ordinary, albeit weird, life had her beloved twin brother Teddy not been murdered. Drawn into the police investigation, CeCe uses her sketching abilities and knowledge of her father's company to provide Detective DeRosa with the clues he needs to ferret out what happened to Teddy. But she soon realizes that this mystery is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

Title: Death and the Redheaded Woman
Author: Loretta Ross
Series: #1 in the Auction Block cozy series set in Missouri
ISBN: 9780738743936
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Paperback, 264 pages

Synopsis: "As someone who appraises and prepares houses for auction, Wren Morgan has seen her share of fixer-uppers. But when she arrives at her newest project, Wren is unprepared to find something she can't easily fix—a naked, dead man.

Soon after her disturbing discovery, Wren meets Death Bogart, a private investigator and surety recovery agent who's looking for the famous missing jewels of the Campbell family. When it becomes clear that there are actually two sets of lost family jewels, Wren and Death team up to solve not only the mystery of the jewels, but also the naked man's murder. With their case growing more and more complex, though, will they be able to catch the killer and bring home the loot?

=== February 10 ===

Title: Dreamless
Series: #2 in the Odd Singsaker police procedural series set in Norway
ISBN: 9781250016997
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "A promising young singer is found dead in a clearing in a forest, gruesomely murdered—her larynx cut out, and an antique music box placed carefully atop her body, playing a mysterious lullaby that sounds familiar, but that no one can quite place. Chief Inspector Odd Singsaker, of the Trondheim Police Department, still recovering from brain surgery, is called in to investigate.

Singsaker, now married to Felicia Stone, the American detective he met while tracking down a serial killer, fears the worst when another young girl, also known for her melodic singing voice, suddenly goes missing while on a walk with her dog one night. As the Trondheim police follow the trail of this deadly killer, it becomes clear that both cases are somehow connected to a centuries-old ballad called "The Golden Peace," written by a mysterious composer called Jon Blund, in the seventeenth century. This lullaby promises the most sound, sweet sleep to the listener—and as time ticks by, the elusive killer seems as if he will stop at nothing to get his hands on this perfect lullaby

=== February 15 ===

Title: Plague Land
Author: S.D. Sykes
Standalone historical mystery set in medieval England
ISBN: 9781605986739
Publisher: Pegasus
Hardcover, 336 pages

Synopsis: "Oswald de Lacy was never meant to be the Lord of Somerhill Manor. Despatched to a monastery at the age of seven, sent back at seventeen when his father and two older brothers are killed by the Plague, Oswald has no experience of running an estate. He finds the years of pestilence and neglect have changed the old place dramatically, not to mention the attitude of the surviving peasants. 

Yet some things never change. Oswald's mother remains the powerful matriarch of the family, and his sister Clemence simmers in the background, dangerous and unmarried.

Before he can do anything, Oswald is confronted by the shocking death of a young woman, Alison Starvecrow. The ambitious village priest claims that Alison was killed by a band of demonic dog-headed men. Oswald is certain this is nonsense, but proving it—by finding the real murderer—is quite a different matter. Every step he takes seems to lead Oswald deeper into a dark maze of political intrigue, family secrets and violent strife.

And then the body of another girl is found.

=== February 17 ===

Title: Someone to Watch Over Me
Series: #5 in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir legal series set in Iceland
ISBN:  9781250051479
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, the fifth installment in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series, was named Crime Novel of the Year by the Sunday Times.

A young man with Down's Syndrome has been convicted of burning down his assisted living facility and killing five people, but a fellow inmate at his secure psychiatric unit has hired Thora to prove Jakob is innocent. If he didn't do it, who did? And how is the multiple murder connected to the death of a young woman, killed in what was supposed to be a hit-and-run?

Title: Dreaming Spies
Series: #14 in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes historical series set in England and Japan
ISBN: 9780345531797 
Publisher: Bantam
Hardcover, 352 pages

Synopsis: "After a lengthy case that had the couple traipsing all over India, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to California to deal with some family business that Russell has been neglecting for far too long. Along the way, they plan to break up the long voyage with a sojourn in southern Japan. The cruising steamer Thomas Carlyle is leaving Bombay, bound for Kobe. Though they’re not the vacationing types, Russell is looking forward to a change of focus—not to mention a chance to travel to a location Holmes has not visited before. The idea of the pair being on equal footing is enticing to a woman who often must race to catch up with her older, highly skilled husband.

Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer: not an unlikely career choice for a man richer in social connections than in pounds sterling. And then there’s the lithe, surprisingly fluent young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. She agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can’t shake the feeling that Haruki Sato is not who she claims to be.

Once in Japan, Russell’s suspicions are confirmed in a most surprising way. From the glorious city of Tokyo to the cavernous library at Oxford, Russell and Holmes race to solve a mystery involving international extortion, espionage, and the shocking secrets that, if revealed, could spark revolution—and topple an empire

=== February 24 ===

Title: A Murder of Magpies
Series: #1 in the Samantha Clair series set in England
ISBN: 9781250056450
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 288 pages

Synopsis: "It’s just another day at the office for London book editor Samantha “Sam” Clair. Checking jacket copy for howlers, wondering how to break it to her star novelist that her latest effort is utterly unpublishable, lunch scheduled with gossipy author Kit Lowell, whose new book will dish the juicy dirt on a recent fashion industry scandal. Little does she know the trouble Kit’s book will cause—before it even goes to print. When police Inspector Field turns up at the venerable offices of Timmins & Ross, asking questions about a package addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. Now Sam's nine-to-five life is turned upside down as she finds herself propelled into a criminal investigation. Someone doesn't want Kit's manuscript published and unless Sam can put the pieces together in time, they'll do anything to stop it.

With this deliciously funny debut novel, acclaimed author Judith Flanders introduces readers to an enormously enjoyable, too-clever-for-her-own-good new amateur sleuth, as well Sam's Goth assistant, her effortlessly glamorous mother, and the handsome Inspector Field.

Good heavens, what an embarrassment of riches this month. There's no way I can narrow down the field to just one book that I'm anticipating the most!

What about you? Which titles are making your heart beat faster? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Oooh, some great ones here, Cathy! I especially have my eye on the May and the Tursten. Trying to behave myself, budget-wise, but it's not easy...

  2. My favorite on the list - THE CHESSMEN. I have loved, loved, loved this set of books. Can't wait to read that one.

    1. I agree. Peter May's trilogy is just amazing.

  3. Wow, what a line-up! I think I'm going to try to get a copy of Plague Land.

  4. Replies
    1. I'm soooooooooooo lucky-- I'll be getting my copy signed when King appears at The Poisoned Pen!


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