Wednesday, July 29, 2015

August 2015 New Mystery Releases!

Once again summer seems to be flying by. I actually appear to be making several empty spaces on my to-be-read shelves which means I've been lax on my book buying duties. Shame on me! 

I've been keeping track of how much I spend on books each month, and so far I've only spent $2.16 in July, and there's not much month left. It would appear that the combination of summer and pool is a good thing for my wallet. (Something tells me August will change all that.)

Never fear-- I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for new crime fiction, and the following books are my picks for new mysteries being released during the month of August. They are grouped by release date, and I've included all the information you'll need to find them at your favorite "book procurement sites." Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon.  Happy Wish Listing, Pre-Ordering, and Reading!

=== August 1 ===

Title: Tahoe Blue Fire
Author: Todd Borg
Series: #13 in the Owen McKenna P.I. series set in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada
ISBN: 9781931296236
Publisher: Thriller Press
Paperback, 351 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna gets a call from a woman who's afraid for her life, it sounds like she is excessively paranoid.

McKenna investigates and discovers that two other people have already died. He believes the killer is after something worth millions, a precious artifact that dates back to Renaissance Italy.

When McKenna finds a connection between the victims and a famous retired pro football tackle named Adam Simms, he worries that Simms will be the next victim.

Simms seems gentle as a teddy bear. But decades of football gave Simms Traumatic Brain Injury, causing loss of memory and worse. When Simms can't remember details of his relationship to the other victims, McKenna begins to wonder if it's because Simms is suffering dementia or if he's a diabolical fake.

As McKenna pursues the case, he will need every bit of strength and skill, for the murderer is determined to kill McKenna in the most vicious way imaginable...

=== August 4 ===

Title: A Chorus of Innocents
Author: P.F. Chisholm
Series: #6 in the Sir Robert Carey historical series set in the 16th century Border Lands of England and Scotland
ISBN: 9781464204623
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 302 pages

Synopsis: "Thursday, 12th October, 1592. Eighteen days after the action closes in An Air of Treason, courtier Sir Robert Carey and Carey’s surly, larcenous, and loyal henchman Henry Dodd, Land Sergeant of Gilsland, are back in Carlisle and the Debateable Lands, the Border country, the Wild North, the land of the hot trod where the thieving, feuding reiver clans are 'English when it suited, and Scots at their pleasure.' A Chorus of Innocents ushers forward Lady Elizabeth Widdrington, the married woman whom Carey adores but respects. It opens when a very pregnant young woman rides to Lady Widdrington’s tower crying that her minister husband has been murdered and she herself has been raped. You will meet canny King James VI, his amoral favorite Lord Spynie, the fey Lady Hume, Mr. Anricks, a surprisingly skilled tooth drawer, Young Henry Widdrington with his unfortunate spots, and all the boys in murdered Minister Burn’s choir. The action proceeds full tilt for ten days and 'finishes with a marvelous set piece of derring-do involving enough arms and ammunition for the siege of Stalingrad, plus the last line will leave you with your heart in your mouth,' says author Dana Stabenow, who adds, 'As always the scene Chisholm sets is a veritable time travel portal you step through the instant you turn to the first page.'" 

Title: Unleashed
Author: Eileen Brady
Series: #2 in the Kate Turner DVM series set in upstate New York
ISBN: 9781464203961
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 266 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Dr. Kate Turner is happy with her new life in Oak Falls, upstate New York. Working as a relief veterinarian at a small house-call practice, she truly enjoys helping her patients. All that changes when client Claire Birnham is found dead, an apparent suicide. A talented artist, Claire had everything to live for: new job, Manhattan apartment, her Cairn terrier Toto. As feisty as the Wizard of Oz Toto, he and Claire were devoted. Kate can’t imagine Claire simply abandoning her pet. Was her death murder? Questions end in the police arresting young kennel helper Eugene. The fragile friendship between Kate and police officer Luke Gianetti frays as she ignores his advice and keeps asking questions. House calls provide gossip and clues, some helpful, some not so much, as she treats her animal patients. Did Claire’s recent insurance windfall prove too tempting for her hard working and hard drinking mother? What does trouble in the art gallery where Claire worked signal? How huge a grudge did heavy metal rocker A.J. hold against high-school sweetheart Claire after she dumped him? Was Claire a threat to AJ’s rich new girl? Dr. Kate mixes real medicine with murder as she risks her life over Claire’s death, aided by insights from a former fire investigator, aka her Gramps." 

Title: Isolation
Series: #9 in the archaeologist Faye Longchamp series set in Florida
ISBN: 9781464204029
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Hardcover, 300 pages

Synopsis: "Archaeologist Faye Longchamp-Mantooth has dug herself a deep hole and she can't make her way out of it. As she struggles to recover from a shattering personal loss, she sees that everyone she loves is trying to reach out to her. If only she could reach back. Instead she’s out digging holes all over her home, the Florida island of Joyeuse. In their old plantation home, Joe Wolf Mantooth is surrounded by family―Faye, the wife he loves; their toddler son he adores; and his father, who hasn't gotten around to telling him how long he's been out of prison or how he got there―yet Joe has never felt so helpless or alone. Then a close friend at the local marina is brutally murdered, the first in a string of crimes against women that rocks Micco County. Joe, desperate to help Faye, realizes she is in danger from both her inner demons and someone who has breached the island’s isolation. Local law and environmental officials say they want to help, but to Faye and Joe they feel more like invaders. A struggling Faye reaches back over a century into her family’s history for clues. And all the while, danger snakes further into their lives, threatening the people they love, their cherished home, even the very ground―some of it poisoned―beneath their feet." 

Title: Crushed Velvet
Author: Diane Vallere
Series: #2 in the Material Witness cozy series set in California
ISBN: 9780425270585
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it’s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect.

Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There’s just the small matter of Genevieve’s own incriminating confession: I’m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl’s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams—and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch…

Title: If Onions Could Spring Leeks
Author: Paige Shelton
Series: #5 in the Country Cooking School cozy series set in southern Missouri
ISBN: 9780425269299
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "With summer tourists flocking to Broken Rope, locals volunteer to keep chaos to a minimum. Old West skits are running smoothly, actors are behaving, and stagecoach rides are more popular than ever, but when a spectral visitor appears by ghost train, it’s a job only Betts and Gram can handle.

Gram soon starts having nightmares about their ghostly visitor’s demise.  And if a ghost and the hot summer weather weren’t making things sticky enough, one of the town’s volunteers—a man notorious for having more than his fair share of ex-wives—is murdered. When Jerome, Bett’s otherworldly friend, makes an unsettling appearance, this simmering double mystery becomes a recipe for disaster

Title: Malice at the Palace
Author: Rhys Bowen
Series: #9 in the Royal Spyness historical cozy series set in 1930s England
ISBN: 9780425260388
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Hardcover, 304 pages

Synopsis: "While my beau Darcy is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen—especially one that includes lodging. The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace.

My duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London and, above all, dispel any rumors about George’s libertine history. Perhaps that last bit isn’t so simple.

George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men—including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when I search the Palace for a supposed ghost only to encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George’s mistresses.

Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds—and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places—the investigation brings us precariously close to the prince himself.

Title: Murder on the Horizon
Author: M.L. Rowland
Series: #3 in the Search and Rescue cozy series set in California
ISBN: 9780425263686
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Gracie and her Search and Rescue teammates are searching along the highway in the middle of the blisteringly hot Mojave Desert when they make a grisly discovery—a trash bag containing human body parts. Not long after, Gracie's growing friendship with a ten-year-old runaway draws her unwittingly into the secretive, hate-filled world of the boy's family—a group of gun-toting extremists. As a wildfire roars into Timber Creek, Gracie finds herself caught up in an explosive plot that, unless she stops it, will destroy countless innocent lives."

=== August 11 ===

Title: The Patriarch
Author: Martin Walker
Series: #8 in the Bruno Chief of Police series set in southwestern France
ISBN: 9780385354172
Publisher: Knopf
Hardcover, 336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When Bruno is invited to the lavish birthday celebration of World War II flying ace and national icon Marco 'the Patriarch' Desaix, it’s the fulfillment of a boyhood dream. But when the party ends in the death of Gilbert, Marco’s longtime friend, it’s another day on the job for the chef de police. All signs point to a tragic accident, but Bruno isn’t so sure. There is more to the Desaix family’s lives and loyalties than meets the eye. There is Victor, the Patriarch’s son, Gilbert’s old comrade-in-arms and sometime rival; Victor’s seductive wife, Madeleine, whose roving eye intrigues Bruno even more than her fierce political ambitions; Yevgeny, another son, an artist whose paintings seem to hold keys to the past; and the Patriarch himself, whose postwar Soviet ties may have intersected all too closely with Gilbert’s career in Cold War intelligence.

Bruno is diverted by a dangerous conflict between a local animal rights activist and outraged hunters—as well as meals to cook, wine to share, and an ever more complicated romantic situation. But as his entanglement with the Desaix family grows and his suspicions heighten, Bruno’s inquiries into Gilbert’s life become a deadly threat to his own

=== August 18 ===

Title: A Pattern of Lies
Author: Charles Todd
Series: #7 in the Bess Crawford historical series set in England and France during World War I
ISBN: 9780062386243
Publisher: William Morrow
Hardcover, 336 pages

Synopsis: "An explosion and fire at the Ashton Gunpowder Mill in Kent has killed over a hundred men. It’s called an appalling tragedy—until suspicion and rumor raise the specter of murder. While visiting the Ashton family, Bess Crawford finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn’t stop with Philip Ashton’s arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege.

The only known witness to the tragedy is now at the Front in France. Bess is asked to find him. When she does, he refuses to tell her anything that will help the Ashtons. Realizing that he believes the tissue of lies that has nearly destroyed a family, Bess must convince him to tell her what really happened that terrible Sunday morning. But now someone else is also searching for this man.

To end the vicious persecution of the Ashtons, Bess must risk her own life to protect her reluctant witness from a clever killer intent on preventing either of them from ever reaching England."

Title: Smaller and Smaller Circles
Author: F.H. Batacan
Series: #1 in the Saenz and Lucero police procedural series set in the 1990s in the Philippines
ISBN: 9781616953980
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 368 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Payatas, a 50-acre dump northeast of Manila’s Quezon City, is home to thousands of people who live off of what they can scavenge there. It is one of the poorest neighborhoods in a city whose law enforcement is already stretched thin, devoid of forensic resources and rife with corruption. So when the eviscerated bodies of preteen boys begin to appear in the dump heaps, there is no one to seek justice on their behalf.

In the rainy summer of 1997, two Jesuit priests take the matter of protecting their flock into their own hands. Father Gus Saenz is a respected forensic anthropologist, one of the few in the Philippines, and has been tapped by the Director of the National Bureau of Investigations as a backup for police efforts. Together with his protégé, Father Jerome Lucero, a psychologist, Saenz dedicates himself to tracking down the monster preying on these impoverished boys.

Smaller and Smaller Circles, widely regarded as the first Filipino crime novel, is a poetic masterpiece of literary noir, a sensitive depiction of a time and place, and a fascinating story about the Catholic Church and its place in its devotees’ lives.

=== August 25 ===

Title: X
Author: Sue Grafton
Series: #24 in the Kinsey Milhone private investigator series set in California
ISBN: 9780399163845
Publisher: Putnam
Hardcover, 416 pages

Synopsis: "X:  The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

 The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: think xylophone.

The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.

Sue Grafton’s X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.

Title: The Drowned Boy
Author: Karin Fossum
Series: #11 in the Inspector Sejer police procedural series set in Norway
ISBN: 9780544483965
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, 240 pages

Synopsis: "Carmen and Nicolai failed to resuscitate their son, Tommy, after finding him floating in their backyard pond. When Inspector Skarre arrives on the scene, Carmen reports that Tommy, a healthy toddler with Down syndrome, wandered into the garden while Nicolai was working in the basement and she was cleaning the house. Skarre senses something is off with Carmen’s story and consults his trusted colleague, the famed Inspector Sejer. An autopsy reveals Tommy’s lungs to be full of soap.

When Sejer and Skarre revisit the couple, Carmen, an epileptic, changes her story, confessing that she’d been knocked unconscious by a seizure while bathing Tommy. When she came to, she found him drowned in the tub and, horrified and frightened, threw him into the pond.

But Skarre and Sejer’s doubt is not appeased and the case is reopened. What more could Carmen be hiding? And what lengths will she take to cover her guilt? As Carmen’s own family starts to doubt her, Skarre and Sejer work to find the truth.

Title: The Nature of the Beast
Author: Louise Penny
Series: #11 in the Armande Gamache police procedural series set in Canada
ISBN: 9781250022080
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 384 pages

Synopsis: "Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. Including Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache, who now live in the little Quebec village.

But when the boy disappears, the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true. And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet.

And now it is now, writes Ruth Zardo. And the dark thing is here.

A monster once visited Three Pines. And put down deep roots. And now, Ruth knows, it is back.

Armand Gamache, the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he himself played a terrible part in what happens next.

Title: Threads of Evidence
Author: Lea Wait
Series: #2 in the Mainely Needlepoint cozy series set in coastal Maine
ISBN: 9781617730061
Publisher: Kensington Books
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "It's hard to imagine anything bad ever happening in picturesque Haven Harbor, Maine--until a famous face rolls into town and unthreads some very dark secrets. . .

Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepointers are all too familiar with the Gardener estate. The crumbling Victorian mansion, known as "Aurora," has been sitting vacant for nearly twenty-five years--and some say it's haunted by the ghost of Jasmine Gardener, the teenage girl who died there in 1970 under mysterious circumstances...

Harbor Haven is abuzz with excitement when Hollywood actress Skye West decides to buy Aurora and sell off its furnishings. And Angie is intrigued when Skye asks her to appraise the estate's sizable collection of needlepoint pictures. But the more she examines the pieces, the more they seem to point toward Jasmine's murder--and the murderer--and it's up to her to stitch the clues together. . .


Wow-- there's not much else to say about the month of August than it's the proverbial embarrassment of riches! Hmm... perhaps I could add something about August also being a book budget buster.....

Okay, time to 'fess up. Which titles did you narrow it down to? The Grafton? The Penny? The Walker? Inquiring minds just have to know!


  1. *Sigh,* here we go again, Cathy. A Walker, a Penny, a Fossum and a Bowen?! Not fair, sez I! There goes my budget...

  2. For right now, I'm just definitely in for the Louise Penny book. But...I'm sure I could be talked into more books. That's 'never' a problem. LOL

  3. I am planning on reading Paige Shelton, M.L.Rowland and Lea Wait books this upcoming month. I am not "caught up" yet with Louise Penny and Mary Anna Evans series. I do like those books too.

    1. Yes, Mary Anna Evans is one of those writers who should be "up there with the Big Dogs," if you know what I mean. She's good.

  4. Oh, most definitely the Charles Todd.


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