Wednesday, October 28, 2015

November 2015 New Mystery Releases!

Hard to believe that the end of the year is staring us in the face, isn't it? Wow-- I've never had a year go by so fast!

November is the beginning of the busiest time of year for most of us. I was in retail for most of my working life, and may I just say that I'm glad I got out of it before retailers decided that they had to be open on Thanksgiving? For much too long we've all been treated like nothing but walking wallets. I escape most of this insult and insanity by creating a Christmas wonderland in my own home and sitting by the fire with some good books. 

Books have always been my drug of choice, and November certainly has a bumper crop of new crime fiction. My list is longer than usual because I didn't want to ignore new-to-me authors just so I could include all the tried-and-true. Besides, you and those you buy gifts for deserve plenty of New Mystery Goodness to choose from, don't you? Like always, my choices are grouped by release dates and have all the information you'll need to find them at your favorite book procurement locations. Synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Happy Reading! 

=== November 3 ===

Title: A Specter of Justice
Series: #5 in the Sam Blackman Private Investigator series set in Asheville, North Carolina
ISBN: 9781464204722
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Hardcover, 252 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When private detective Sam Blackman agrees to help his partner and lover, Nakayla Robertson, conduct a fundraiser for orphaned twin boys, he does so to ease his conscience. The boys' parents were killed in a courtroom shootout where Sam was the key witness against the twins' father. The charity event, a nighttime ghost tour of the legendary haunted sites of Asheville, North Carolina, seems harmless enough. Sam only has to tell the story of a grief-stricken woman who hanged herself from an old, arched stone bridge. “Helen, come forth,” he cries. Sam and his tour-goers expect the actress playing Helen's ghost to walk toward them from the bridge's dark recesses. Instead, her body tumbles from overhead and dangles at the end of a noose. Someone has reenacted the legend with deadly authenticity. When a second murder mimics another old ghost tale, the police fear a macabre serial killer is on the prowl. But the case isn't Sam's to solve. Then, a tidal wave of evidence begins to point to one man --Sam's friend, defense attorney Hewitt Donaldson. Sam and Nakayla, firmly believing in Donaldson's innocence, must not only prove it, but halt a murderer seemingly bent on retribution. Does the killer's motivation rise from the present, or is Team Donaldson dealing with some specter from the past?

Title: The Puffin of Death
Author: Betty Webb
Series: #4 in the Gunn Zoo series set in Iceland
ISBN: 9781464204166
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 258 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "California zookeeper Theodora Bentley travels to Iceland to pick up an orphaned polar bear cub destined for the Gunn Zoo’s newly installed Northern Climes exhibit. The trip is intended to be a combination of work and play. But on day two, while horseback riding near a picturesque seaside village, Teddy discovers a man lying atop a puffin burrow, shot through the head. The victim is identified as American bird-watcher Simon Parr, winner of the largest Powerball payout in history. Is Teddy a witness―or a suspect? Others include not only Parr’s wife, a famed suspense novelist, but fellow members of the birding club Parr had generously treated to their lavish Icelandic expedition. Hardly your average birders, several of them have had serious brushes with the law back in the States. Guessing that an American would best understand other Americans, police detective Thorvaald Haraldsson grudgingly concedes her innocence and allows Teddy to tag along with the group to volcanoes, glaciers, and deep continental rifts in quest of rare bird species. But once another member of the club is murdered and a rockfall barely misses Teddy’s head, Haraldsson forbids her to continue. She ignores him and, in a stunning, solitary face-off with the killer in Iceland’s wild interior, concludes an investigation at once exotic, thrilling, and rich in animal lore." 

Title: All Men Fear Me
Author: Donis Casey
Series: #8 in the Alafair Tucker historical series set in 1917 Oklahoma
ISBN: 9781464204708
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 312 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "The U.S. has finally entered the First World War and scheduled the first draft lottery. No one in Boynton, Oklahoma, is unaffected by the clash between rabid pro-war, anti-immigrant "patriots" and anti-conscription socialists, who are threatening an uprising rather than submit to the draft. Alafair Tucker is caught in the middle when her brother, a union organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, pays her a visit. Rob Gunn is fresh out of an internment camp for participants in an Arizona miners’ strike. He assures Alafair that he's only come to visit family, but she's not so sure. More unsettling, Alafair's eldest son enlists, and a group calling itself the “Knights of Liberty” vandalizes the farm of Alafair’s German-born son-in-law. Alafair’s younger son, 16-year-old Charlie, is wildly patriotic and horrified by his socialist uncle. With his father's permission Charlie takes a part-time war job at the Francis Vitric Brick Company. Soon several suspicious machine breakdowns delay production, and a couple of shift supervisors are murdered. Everyone in town suspects sabotage, some blaming German spies, others blaming the unionists and socialists. But Charlie Tucker is sure he knows who the culprit is and comes up with a plan to catch him red-handed. And then there is old Nick―a mysterious guy in a bowler hat who's been hanging around town." 

Title: Crowned and Moldering
Author: Kate Carlisle
Series: #3 in the Fixer-Upper cozy series set in northern California
ISBN: 9780451469212
Publisher: NAL
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

Synopsis: "When Mac Sullivan—famous thriller writer and Shannon’s new beau—first moved to Lighthouse Cove, California, he bought the historic lighthouse mansion that the town is named after. Mac needs help cleaning up the place, and Shannon is more than happy to get her handywoman hands on the run-down Victorian.

But during demolition, a grisly discovery is made among the debris—the bones of a teenage girl who went missing fifteen years ago. Locals had always assumed Lily Brogan ran away from her difficult life, but it seems her troubles followed her to the grave. If Shannon has any chance of getting her renovation back on track, she’ll need to tackle the cold case. But with new suspects coming out of the woodwork every day, she’ll have to be careful to pry the right secrets and clues from the poor girl’s problematic past…

Title: A Likely Story
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Series: #6 in the Library Lover's cozy series set in Connecticut
ISBN: 9780425260746
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Hardcover, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she's determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother's fate." 

Title: The Crossing
Series: #20 in the Harry Bosch series set in California. (Also includes Mickey Haller.)
ISBN: 9780316225885
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Hardcover, 400 pages

Synopsis: "Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. A woman has been brutally murdered in her bed and all evidence points to Haller's client, a former gang member turned family man. Though the murder rap seems ironclad, Mickey is sure it's a setup.

Bosch doesn't want anything to do with crossing the aisle to work for the defense. He feels it will undo all the good he's done in his thirty years as a homicide cop. But Mickey promises to let the chips fall where they may. If Harry proves that his client did it, under the rules of discovery, they are obliged to turn over the evidence to the prosecution.

Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch reluctantly takes the case. The prosecution's file just has too many holes and he has to find out for himself: if Haller's client didn't do it, then who did? With the secret help of his former LAPD partner Lucy Soto, Harry starts digging. Soon his investigation leads him inside the police department, where he realizes that the killer he's been tracking has also been tracking him.

Title: Writing All Wrongs
Author: Ellery Adams
Series: #7 in the Books by the Bay cozy series set in North Carolina
ISBN: 9780425270844
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Synopsis: "After Olivia and Chief Rawlings enjoy a brief honeymoon on Palmetto Island, they’re joined by the rest of the Bayside Book Writers for the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival. The festival’s highlight is Silas Black, celebrity screenwriter and television producer, who is currently working on a popular television show in North Carolina.

As the festival gets under way, a trickster seems to be bringing famous local ghost stories to life. But when the body of a woman close to Black is found on the beach, Olivia and her friends must deduce who on the island could resort to murder—before the sands of time run out for someone else…

Title: Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything
Author: Nancy Martin
Series: #1 in the Sunny McKillip cozy series set in Texas
ISBN: 9780312573744
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 320 pages
Synopsis: "Rich and flamboyant Honeybelle Hensley, the most colorful character in Mule Stop, Texas, dies a suspicious death and enrages the whole town by leaving her worldly fortune to the most undeserving recipient-her dog. The incorrigible Miss Ruffles is a Texas Cattle Cur, not a cuddly lapdog, and when Honeybelle was alive, Miss Ruffles liked nothing better than digging up Honeybelle's famous rose garden after breakfast, chasing off the UPS man before lunch and terrorizing the many gentleman callers who came knocking at cocktail hour. 

But now Miss Ruffles is in danger, and it's up to Sunny McKillip, the unwilling dogsitter, to keep her safe. Sunny is new to Texas, and sometimes she feels as if she's fallen into an alien world. If it isn't the pistol-packing football fans and the sweet-talking, yet ruthless ladies of the garden club who confound her, it's the rowdy rodeo hounds and the tobacco-spitting curmudgeon at Critter Control who have her buffaloed. With a killer on the loose and a cowboy lawyer keeping a suspicious eye on her every move, Sunny needs all the help she can get understanding how Texans think. There's more to Honeybelle's death than meets this Yankee's eye, and Sunny has Miss Ruffles to protect, too. It's a bucking bull ride of an adventure for Sunny, and if she's not careful she might just get killed . . . or her heart lassoed.

Title: Recipes for Love and Murder
Author: Sally Andrew
Series: #1 Tannie Maria mystery set in South Africa
ISBN: 9780062397669
Publisher: Ecco
Hardcover, 432 pages

Synopsis: "A bright new talent makes her fiction debut with this first entry in a delicious crime set in rural South Africa—a flavorful blend of The #1 Ladies Detective Agency and Goldie Schulz series, full of humor, romance, and recipes and featuring a charming cast of characters.

Tannie Maria (Tannie meaning Auntie, the respectful Afrikaans address for a woman older than you) is a middle-aged widow who likes to cook—and eat. She shares her culinary love as a recipe columnist for the local paper—until The Gazette decides its readers are hungrier for advice on matters of the heart rather than ideas for lunch and dinner.

Tannie Maria doesn’t like the change, but soon discovers she has a knack—and a passion—for helping people. Of course she shares her recipes and culinary advice whenever she can! Assisting other people with their problems, Tannie Maria is eventually forced to face her own issues, especially when the troubles of those she helps touch on the pain of her past, like a woman desperate to escape her abusive husband.

When the woman is murdered, Tannie Maria becomes dangerously entwined in the investigation, despite the best efforts of one striking detective determined to keep her safe. Suddenly, this practical, down-to-earth woman is involved in something much more sinister than perfecting her chocolate cake recipe . . ."

Title: Death Takes Priority
Author: Jean Flowers
Series: #1 in the Post Office cozy series set in Massachusetts
ISBN: 9780425279106
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "After caring for her dying aunt and being dumped by her fiancé, Cassie Miller decides to return to her small hometown in the Berkshires to lick her wounds and live in the house where she was raised. Leaving behind her managerial position in the Boston main postal office, Cassie trades in her tailored suits and high heels for the comfortable blue shirt and red, white, and blue striped scarf of the Postmaster for North Ashcot, Massachusetts.

Everything is business as usual until Cassie arrives at work one day to find that someone has broken into the post office building. The only items stolen: stacks of telephone books. Who steals phone books? Two days later, the body of an unidentified man is found in the woods. And when the handsome antiques dealer she just had lunch with is taken into custody, Cassie is suddenly drawn into the case. With a crime enveloped in mystery, she needs to track the killer—before another victim’s fate is sealed in the dead letter office…

=== November 5 ===

Title: Smoke and Mirrors
Author: Elly Griffiths
Series: #2 in the Stephens and Mephisto historical series set in 1950s England
ISBN: 9781784290269
Publisher: Quercus
Hardcover, 352 pages

*UK Release

Synopsis: "Brighton, winter 1951.

Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max's headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it's not long before the press nickname them 'Hansel and Gretel'.

DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms' fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie's unfinished - and rather disturbing - last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?

Once again Edgar enlists Max's help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But is this all just classic misdirection?

=== November 8 ===

Title: A Body to Spare
Series: #10 in the Odelia Grey cozy series set in California
ISBN: 9780738718866
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Paperback, 336 pages

Synopsis: "Odelia Grey’s relaxing day of errands is ruined when she finds a body folded like an origami crane in the trunk of her car. And it’s not just any dead body—it’s the corpse of Zach Finch, a young man who had been kidnapped eight years earlier. But why was he put in Odelia’s car? Where has Zach been all these years?

With her name at the top of the suspect list, Odelia and her husband, Greg, are determined to find answers. They’ll do whatever it takes to uncover the truth, even if they have to give the slip to an arrogant FBI agent and delve into the dangerous world of contract killers.

=== November 10 ===

Title: The Promise
Author: Robert Crais
Series: #16 in the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series set in California. Also features LAPD K-9 Officer Scott James and his German Shepherd, Maggie.
ISBN: 9780399161490
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Hardcover, 416 pages

Synopsis: "When Elvis Cole is secretly hired to find a grief-stricken mother, he's led to an ordinary house on a rainy night in Echo Park.  Only the house isn't ordinary, and the people hiding inside are a desperate fugitive and a murderous criminal with his own dangerous secrets.

As helicopters swirl overhead, Scott and Maggie track the fugitive to this same house, coming face-to-face with Mr. Rollins, a killer who leaves behind a brutally murdered body and enough explosives to destroy the neighborhood.  Scott is now the only person who can identify him, but Mr. Rollins has a rule:  Never leave a witness alive.

For all of them, the night is only beginning.

Sworn to secrecy by his client, Elvis finds himself targeted by the police even as Mr. Rollins targets Maggie and Scott.  As Mr. Rollins closes in for the kill, Elvis and Joe join forces with Scott and Maggie to follow a trail of lies where no one is who they claim -- and the very woman they promised to save might get them all killed

=== November 11 ===

Title: Scalp Dance
Author: Lu Clifton
Series: #1 in the Sam Chitto police procedural series set in Oklahoma
ISBN: 9781432831295
Publisher: Five Star

Synopsis: "This mystery mingles Choctaw culture, science, and murder and features Lieutenant Sam Chitto of the Oklahoma Choctaw Tribal Police. A series of seemingly unrelated incidents come together to help solve a mysterious case involving beheaded men, but he is forced to make a decision that could not only challenge his personal code of ethics but also cost a man his life."  

=== November 24 ===

Title: Yarned and Dangerous
Series: #1 in the Tangled Web cozy series set in Connecticut
ISBN: 9781617737176
Publisher: Kensington
Paperback, 288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Josie Blair left Dorset Falls twelve years ago in hopes of making it big in New York City. But after earning an overpriced master’s degree and getting fired by a temperamental designer, she finds herself heading back to her hometown. Her great-uncle was injured in a car accident, and newly unemployed Josie is the only person available to take care of him. Uncle Eb’s wife didn’t survive the crash, so Josie is also tasked with selling the contents of her Aunt Cora’s yarn shop. But the needling ladies of the Charity Knitters Association pose a far bigger challenge than a shop full of scattered skeins…

Miss Marple Knits is one of the few businesses still open in the dreary downtown. Josie can’t imagine how it stayed open for so long, yet something about the cozy, resilient little shop appeals to her. But when one of the town’s most persnickety knitters turns up dead in a pile of cashmere yarn, Josie realizes there’s something truly twisted lurking beneath the town’s decaying façade…

What a loaded month for new crime fiction! I'm just about to dive into Sadie Hartwell's Yarned and Dangerous, and I have to admit that I absolutely love the name of the yarn shop: Miss Marple Knits. Isn't it perfect?

Which titles in this particular line-up caught your eye? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Omigosh! More new releases! I'm still not caught up with prior new releases.
    Would someone please start a petition requesting an extra day a week -- or else 3 1/2 hours a day for reading time?
    There is also a new John Grisham, entitled "The Rogue Lawyer," which was reviewed along with Connelly's new book, "The Crossing" in the NY Times. I've got Grisham's on library hold.
    Good luck with these books.

    1. I like the idea of the extra 3½ hours per day....

  2. Oh, there are some great ones this time, Cathy! The Connelly, the Webb, the Griffiths and the Crais got my attention right away. Now let's see if I can restrain myself! ;-)

  3. So looking forward to the new Donis Casey book. Can't wait. She's finally up to WWI.

    1. I've already read it, courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley. I had the privilege of seeing Donis last night and saying, "You did it again! That man in the bowler hat gave me chills!"

  4. Erm...well, A Likely Story caught my eye, but it was primarily because Peter Rosen is the name of Claire Malloy's husband in Joan Hess' Claire Malloy series. Oh!

    Looks like there could be some interesting ones in there.

    1. I've already sampled a few, so I know there are, Pepper! :-)


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