Wednesday, November 30, 2016

December 2016 New Mystery Releases!

Somehow, someway, it's the last month of the year, and I'm already seeing "Best of" lists cropping up. I have my own Best of list on the sidebar of my blog all year long, but I may do something about posting it in its entirety this year. I know that many of you who are faithful readers (thank you!) don't visit the blog in order to read what I've got to say.

I've got a lot to say recently. All I've got to do is find the time to write it all down and schedule it to post. Post? You should see the yellow, orange, and purple post-it notes stuck all over the top of my desk!

But this post should be all about my picks of the brand-new crime fiction being released throughout the month of December. Books to add to your personal wish lists, perhaps books to buy for the readers in your life. I have them all grouped according to release date, and I've included all the information you'll need to find them at all your favorite book procurement sites. Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Let's take a look at the list!

=== December 1 ===

Title: Denny's Law
Series: #6 in the Sarah Burke police procedural series set in Tucson, Arizona.
ISBN: 9780727886484
Publisher: Severn House
Hardcover, 192 pages

Synopsis: "The murder of a man seen fighting in a house during a Fourth of July street parade plunges Sarah Burke's whole household – her fragile mother Aggie, shrewd and ever-helpful live-in boyfriend Will and even her hard-charging niece, Denny – into her latest case.

The investigation leads to a money-laundering ring with international connections, and Sarah and her smart, hard-working crew of detectives must follow the puzzle, set against the backdrop of Tucson's unique character – an ancient, beautiful valley with a polyglot ethnic community and a bilingual, modern city – without knowing where it might take them. Could the answers lie closer to home than she realizes?

Title: Renting Silence
Author: Mary Miley
Series: #3 in the Roaring Twenties historical series set in Hollywood. 
ISBN: 9780727886538
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Hardcover, 240 pages

Synopsis: "When Jessie is asked by her idol, the famous actress Mary Pickford, if she can do some private investigating for her, Jessie reluctantly accepts. A girl was found stabbed in her bedroom with another woman lying unconscious on the floor next to her, a bloody knife in her hand. With no police investigation into the murder, it’s up to Jessie to hone her amateur detective skills and prove the girl's innocence before she hangs for murder.

But as Jessie travels through the roaring twenties world of Hollywood and movies, surreptitiously interviewing fellow traveling performers, she struggles to find the connection she needs. And with her love interest David seemingly involved in seedy dealings, can she uncover the killer’s identity before she too is endangered?

=== December 6 ===

Title: The Ghosts of Misty Hollow
Series: #6 in the Ghost of Granny Apples cozy series set in Massachusetts.
ISBN: 9780425282083 
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Bestselling crime writer Gino Costello is working on his next book in a historic farmhouse in the heart of Massachusetts. His story features some paranormal elements so he’s invited family friend Emma to provide her input as a medium. But as soon as Emma arrives—with her fiancĂ©, Phil, and Granny Apples in tow—that’s when the real trouble begins.

Emma is immediately contacted by the Browns, a family of ghosts who originally owned the house in the early nineteenth century. They need Emma to help them locate the spirits of their two children who disappeared. Meanwhile, a dead body appears at the house. Now Emma, Granny, and Phil must read between the lines to find answers before a killer books it...

Title: Out of Bounds
Author: Val McDermid
Series: #3 in the Detective Inspector Karen Pirie police procedural series set in Scotland.
ISBN: 9780802125743
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Hardcover, 464 pages

Synopsis: "When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.

An enthralling, twisty read, Out of Bounds reaffirms Val McDermid’s place as one of the most dependable professionals in the mystery and thriller business.

Title: Who Watcheth
Author: Helene Tursten
Series: #9 in the Detective Inspector Irene Huss police procedural series set in Sweden. 
ISBN: 9781616954048
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "He watches the women from the shadows. He has an understanding with them; as long as they follow his rules, they are safe. But when they sin, he sentences them to death.

A woman is found dead in a cemetery, strangled and covered in plastic. Just a few days before her death, the victim had received a flower, an unintelligible note, and a photograph of herself. Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues on the Violent Crimes Unit in Göteborg, Sweden, have neither clue nor motive to pursue, and when similar murders follow, their search for the killer becomes increasingly desperate. Meanwhile, strange things have been going on at home for Irene: first, the rose bush in her garden is mangled, then she receives a threatening package with no return address. Is Irene being paranoid, or is she next on the killer’s list?

Title: Plaid and Plagiarism
Author: Molly MacRae
Series: #1 in the Highland Bookshop cozy series set in Scotland.
ISBN: 9781681772561
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Hardcover, 288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Set in the weeks before the annual Inversgail Literature Festival in Scotland, Plaid and Plagiarism begins on a morning shortly after the four women take possession of their bookshop in the Highlands. Unfortunately, the move to Inversgail hasn’t gone as smoothly as they’d planned.

First, Janet Marsh is told she’ll have to wait before moving into her new home. Then she finds out the house has been vandalized. Again. The chief suspect? Una Graham, an advice columnist for the local paper―who’s trying to make a name for herself as an investigative reporter. When Janet and her business partners go looking for clues at the house, they find a body―it’s Una, in the garden shed, with a sickle in her neck. Janet never did like that garden shed.

Who wanted Una dead? After discovering a cache of nasty letters, Janet and her friends are beginning to wonder who didn’t, including Janet’s ex-husband. Surrounded by a cast of characters with whom readers will fall in love, the new owners of Yon Bonnie Books set out to solve Una’s murder so they can get back to business.

A delightful and deadly new novel about recognizing one’s strengths and weakness―while also trying to open a new bookshop―Plaid and Plagiarism is the start of an entertaining new Scottish mystery series.

Title: A Decline in Prophets
Series: #2 in the Rowland Sinclair historical series set in 1930s Australia.
ISBN:  9781464206832
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback, 332 pages

Synopsis: "Travel back in time to 1932 and book a first-class suite on the passenger liner RMS Aquitania, but take care, for among your fellow passengers is a ruthless killer….

Direct threats from Australia’s warring Right and the Left having quieted, wealthy Rowland Sinclair and his group of bohemian friends are their way home to Sydney via New York after a lengthy stay in Europe. The wealthy Sinclair scion has treated his artist friends to first-class accommodations on the Cunard ship, the luxury liner of the day. Also on board are some members of the Theosophical Society, one of those spiritualism movements that had a heyday in the early twentieth century, as well as an aggressively conservative Irish Catholic Bishop and his cohorts. Their clash ups the tensions in first class and presents the liner’s captain with a tricky situation when bodies start to drop.

It is Sinclair’s bad luck that he becomes a suspect in the first death, that of the Bishop’s beautiful young niece. But before the ship docks, he is cleared and the investigation, and further crimes, are taken ashore to the Australian capital and into some of its grand country houses.

Weaving historical fact, events, and people with fiction, Sulari Gentill has created a delightful and spirited crime story, the second in the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, set against the public unraveling of the Theosophist Society. There’s an Evelyn-Waugh-meets-Agatha-Christie feel about this series and an extra treat in the New York scenes of A Decline of Prophets where one of Rowly’s boho friends, in fact the sculptress whom he loves, is romanced by the not well-known English actor Archie Leach.

=== December 13 ===

Title: Time of Death
Author: Lucy Kerr
Series: #1 in the Stillwater General series.
ISBN:  9781629539904
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover, 336 pages

Synopsis: "It’s been twelve years since ER nurse Frankie Stapleton fled the quiet banks of Stillwater, but with her sister’s pregnancy taking a dangerous turn and a string of failed relationships in Chicago hanging over her, Frankie is back–and hoping to put the past behind her. Within minutes of arriving at Stillwater General Hospital however, she ends up saving a man’s life, only to have him turn up dead hours later – and the hospital blames Frankie.

Her instincts say Clem Jensen didn’t die of natural causes, but the more she digs, the more she discovers too many suspects, a few surprising allies, and some hard truths about the first man she ever loved–and left. Now the boy she once knew is a skeptical sheriff’s deputy, her family's hardware store is in jeopardy, and the rift between Frankie and her loved ones is deeper than ever.

With her career–and future–on life support, Frankie must catch a killer, clear her name, and heal the wounds of the past in Lucy Kerr’s enthralling mystery debut.

Title: The Seventh Plague
Author: James Rollins
Series: #12 in the Sigma Force thriller series.
ISBN: 9780062381682
Publisher: William Morrow
Hardcover, 448 pages

Synopsis: "Two years after vanishing into the Sudanese desert, the leader of a British archeological expedition, Professor Harold McCabe, comes stumbling out of the sands, frantic and delirious, but he dies before he can tell his story. The mystery deepens when an autopsy uncovers a bizarre corruption: someone had begun to mummify the professor's body--while he was still alive.

His strange remains are returned to London for further study, when alarming news arrives from Egypt. The medical team who had performed the man's autopsy has fallen ill with an unknown disease, one that is quickly spreading throughout Cairo. Fearing the worst, a colleague of the professor reaches out to a longtime friend: Painter Crowe, the director of Sigma Force. The call is urgent, for Professor McCabe had vanished into the desert while searching for proof of the ten plagues of Moses. As the pandemic grows, a disturbing question arises. Are those plagues starting again?

Before Director Crowe can investigate, a mysterious group of assassins leaves behind a fiery wake of destruction and death, erasing all evidence. With the professor's body incinerated, his home firebombed, Sigma Force must turn to the archaeologist's only daughter, Jane McCabe, for help. While sifting through what's left of her father's work, she discovers a puzzling connection, tying the current threat to a shocking historical mystery, one involving the travels of Mark Twain, the genius of Nikola Tesla, and the adventures of famous explorer, Henry Morgan Stanley.

To unravel a secret going back millennia, Director Crowe and Commander Grayson Pierce will be thrust to opposite sides of the globe. One will search for the truth, traveling from the plague-ridden streets of Cairo to a vast ancient tomb buried under the burning sands of the Sudan; the other will struggle to stop a mad genius locked within a remote Arctic engineering complex, risking the lives of all those he holds dear.

As the global crisis grows ever larger, Sigma Force will confront a threat born of the ancient past and made real by the latest science--a danger that will unleash a cascading series of plagues, culminating in a scourge that could kill all of the world's children . . . decimating mankind forever.

Title: Ill Met by Murder
Author: Elizabeth J. Duncan
Series: #2 in the Shakespeare in the Catskills cozy series set in upstate New York.
ISBN: 9781629537696
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover, 288 pages

Synopsis: "It’s the most important night of the year for costume designer Charlotte Fairfax and the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company--the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. This year, the company will give a moonlight performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebrations for Paula's daughter, Belinda, and her fiance Adrian. But then Hugh Hedley, family friend of the Van Dusens and Adrian's rival in the cutthroat world of high-end Manhattan real estate, is found murdered with a stolen prop from the play.

Paula, desperate to keep her daughter’s name of out of the paper, enlists Charlotte's help, despite the fact that Charlotte's already got her hands full amidst her costume design responsibilities and finding a home for the company's new theater school. But Charlotte nevertheless throws herself into an investigation of shady business deals, a missing dog, and long buried family secrets because 'though she be but little, she is fierce!' Ill Met by Murder, the second in Elizabeth J. Duncan's compelling mystery series, will satisfy every Shakespeare and mystery lover alike.

Title: At What Cost
Author: James L'Etoile
Series: #1 in the Detective Penley police procedural series set in Sacramento, California.
ISBN: 9781629539959
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover, 304 pages

Synopsis: "What would you do to save your child?

Detective John Penley and his new partner, Detective Paula Newberry, of the Sacramento Police Department are tasked with leading the investigation into a local serial killer who has dumped three bodies in the past six weeks--and all of them are missing their internal organs. But while pursuing a lead, the detectives stumble upon a personal message the killer left behind for Penley. And it's attached to a human kidney.

How could the killer know Penley's son is on the kidney transplant waiting list? Now Penley's baited into an impossible trap that could jeopardize his entire career. Will the detective take down the killer and place his faith in the medical establishment to heal his son? Or, will he make a deal with the devil for the transplant organ his son needs to live?

At What Cost, James L'Etoile's engrossing new mystery, is a heart-stopping thrill ride that will keep readers guessing at every turn. Fans of Michael Connelly and Thomas Perry won't be able to put this down.

Title: Forgotten City
Author: Carrie Smith
Series: #2 in the Claire Codella police procedural series set in New York City.
ISBN: 9781629537672
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "NYPD Detective Claire Codella is chomping at the bit for a new case. Lieutenant McGowan is determined to keep her out of the news, but she’s about to be back in the public eye in a big way.

Broadway legend Lucy Merchant has tragically succumbed to early onset Alzheimer’s. At age fifty-six, she’s tucked away in the dementia care unit of the ultra-exclusive Manhattan care facility Park Manor. When she falls asleep and doesn’t wake up, her billionaire husband is ready for the funeral, but her daughter demands an investigation.

Only three months back on the job after cancer treatment, Codella finds herself at the center of a high profile case nearly everyone--especially her lieutenant--wants to shut down. But the forensic evidence raises alarming questions and Codella needs answers. To find them, she will have to crack the defenses of slippery administrators, frightened caregivers, and unobliging family members, all while unlocking some of her own dark memories.

Forgotten City, Carrie Smith’s gripping follow-up to Silent City, pits the unrelenting detective against a cast of diverse New Yorkers driven by their desires and ambitions and haunted by their pasts. But can she piece together the truth before the murderer kills again?

There are some familiar and trusted names on this list-- one or two of whom I've been neglecting. Shame on me! I'll have to see if I can correct that oversight before the new year....

Hopefully I've added to your own wish lists. After all... I don't want to be in this predicament all by my lonesome. Which titles sound the most intriguing to you? Inquiring minds would love to know!



  1. Oh, too many temptations here, Cathy!! A McDermid, A Tursten, and Sulari Gentill's latest?? Sounds like a banner month!

  2. I have both of Elizabeth J. Duncan's books on my Kindle, ready to go. They look very enticing. Sulari Gentill's series also intrigues me.

    1. I've got to read Gentill's book before the end of the year. I've noticed that I haven't read anything set in Australia-- shame on me!

  3. Oy, so many titles to read with the Tursten, McDermid, Gentill.
    I am shocked to see an actual woman's face on the cover of Renting Silence, although the book above it is another woman's back view. I may have to read the book just because I approve of the cover.

    1. I wondered if anyone would say something about Miley's cover. McDermid's also has an entire woman's face, although it is in shadow.

  4. I also always notice women's backs on book covers or silhouette. The most annoying thing to me is a woman's face cut in half. So when I see a full face, it's almost a reason to cheer and read the book.


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