Wednesday, December 28, 2016

January 2017 New Mystery Releases!

I hope the holidays are treating you with kindness. I know that isn't always the case. The very first Christmas I faced alone, I made myself throw a Christmas Eve party. I've never been much of a drinker, but I made a big bowl of sparkling raspberry punch that had a bit of a kick to it, and then several of my friends brought their own refreshments. My punch disappeared in less than five minutes, and it was on to all the food and other fizz. A friend who was also facing Christmas Day solo spent the night, and we got to share our hangovers

However, I'm not wanting to share hangovers with you right now. I have a few Poisoned Pen gift cards burning holes in my wallet, so I'm going to take a look at my picks of the new crime fiction being released in January to get an idea of how to spend my bounty. I've grouped them by release dates, and I've included all the information you'll need to find them at your own favorite book procurement sites. Book synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Let's take a look at this list of mine!

=== January 1 ===

Title: The Murder Book
Author: Jane A. Adams
Series: #1 in the Chief Inspector Henry Johnstone historical series set in 1928 London.
ISBN:  9780727886552
Publisher: Severn House
Hardcover, 240 pages

Synopsis: "Lincolnshire, England. June 1928. When three freshly-buried bodies are unearthed in the front yard of a rented cottage, DCI Henry Johnstone, a specialist murder detective from London, is summoned to investigate. Two of the victims are identified as Mary Fields, known to have worked as a prostitute, and her seven-year-old daughter Ruby. But who is the third victim and what was he doing at the cottage?

Johnstone is determined to do things by the book, but his use of forensic science and other modern methods of detection soon ruffles feathers. Frustrated by the unhelpful attitude of the local constabulary, Johnstone fears the investigation is heading nowhere. Then he’s called out to another murder . .

=== January 3 ===

Title: The Return of the Raven Mocker
Author: Donis Casey
Series: #9 in the Alafair Tucker historical series set in 1918 Oklahoma.
ISBN: 9781464207549
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Hardcover, 226 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "World War I is raging in Europe, but as the deadly influenza pandemic of 1918 sweeps like a wildfire through Boynton, Oklahoma, Alafair Tucker is fighting her own war. Her daughter, Alice, and son-in-law, Walter Kelley, have both come down with the flu, and Alafair has moved into town to care for them after quarantining her young children at their sister’s farm. Boynton as a whole isolates itself like an old English plague village, discouraging anyone from coming into town and the residents from traveling outside. A new doctor applies science to treating the stricken, but Alafair applies all she knows about hygiene, nutrition, and old and trusted country remedies. Unable to aid her sons and sons-in-law fighting overseas, this is danger she can combat.

One autumn afternoon, screams coming from next door alert Alafair that Alice’s neighbor, Nola Thomason, and her son Lewis have suddenly and unexpectedly succumbed. Yet there is something about the way the pair died that causes Alafair to suspect their deaths were due to poison rather than to influenza. The epidemic is so overwhelming that it is many days before the only doctor left in town can confirm Alafair’s suspicions; neither Nola nor Lewis died of the flu. The only witness to their deaths, twelve-year-old Dorothy Thomason, a special friend of Alafair’s daughter, Sophronia, is so traumatized that she is rendered mute. Were Nola and her son murdered, and if so, why?

The usual motives for murder are greed, or jealousy, or hatred. Or could it be, as Alafair fears, that the Raven Mocker, the most dreaded of the Cherokee wizards or witches, the evil spirit who takes to the air in a fiery shape to rob the old, the sick, and the dying of their lives, is hunting victims and bringing misery to the innocent?

Title: Assault and Beret
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Series: #5 in the Hat Shop cozy series set in Paris.
ISBN: 9780425279595
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "London milliner Vivian Tremont and her American cousin and partner, Scarlett Parker, tip their caps to their beloved shop on Portobello Road in Notting Hill and set off for Paris, where Viv can’t wait to teach a hat-making class. But she has another reason to travel to the City of Light: to find the man she impulsively eloped with years ago and have their marriage annulled.

William Graham is not only handsome and charming, but he also has a glamorous job as an insurance investigator who works with priceless pieces of art, most recently a small Renoir that has been discovered in a junk shop. But when both Will and the masterpiece suddenly disappear, it’s up to the ladies from London to follow the trail of clues. They’ll need to hold on to their chapeaux, however, because someone is a master in the art of deception...

=== January 10 ===

Title: For Time and All Eternities
Series: #3 in the Linda Wallheim series set in Draper, Utah.
ISBN: 9781616956660
Publisher: Soho Crime
Hardcover, 336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Mormon bishop's wife Linda Wallheim is stunned to learn her son Kenneth has gotten engaged to a young woman from a polygamous family. Naomi Carter may have left the religion she grew up in, but the Carters will still be the Wallheims' in-laws once Kenneth and Naomi are married.

Stephen Carter, Naomi's father and the patriarch of the Carter clan, invites the Wallheims over to the Carter family compound in the remote foothills of the mountains outside Salt Lake City. Stephen Carter wishes to extend an olive branch to his future in-laws and introduce them to his five wives and twenty-two children. But Linda suspects he also wants to try to persuade the Wallheims that his way of life is truly righteous. 

From Linda's point of view, polygamy is an abhorrent practice, one that dehumanizes women and makes children vulnerable to unhealthy family structures. She and her husband, Kurt, arrive at the Carter compound braced for trouble—Linda has her eyes peeled for signs that Stephen's wives and children are unhappy or abused. Although she can't find concrete evidence of mistreatment, Linda's gut instinct tells her that something on the Carter family compound is deeply wrong. She can't quite put her finger on what—until it's too late, and one of the family members is found murdered. 

Afraid that Stephen Carter's unworldly, sequestered wives and children might suffer at the hands of investigating police, Linda vows to stay at the compound until the murderer is found and the survivors are safe. But even if she manages to do more good than harm with her snooping and interfering, Linda can't unsee what she has seen during her time at the Carters'—now, confronting the legacy of polygamy in her own Mormon family raises even more questions about her already shaky faith.

Title: The Ripper's Shadow
Standalone historical mystery
ISBN: 9781683310051
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover, 368 pages

Synopsis: "The year is 1888 and Jack the Ripper begins his reign of terror.

Miss Sarah Bain, a photographer in Whitechapel, is an independent woman with dark secrets. In the privacy of her studio, she supplements her meager income by taking illicit “boudoir photographs” of the town's local ladies of the night. But when two of her models are found gruesomely murdered within weeks of one another, Sarah begins to suspect it's more than mere coincidence.

Teamed with a motley crew of friends--including a street urchin, a gay aristocrat, a Jewish butcher and his wife, and a beautiful young actress--Sarah delves into the crime of the century. But just as she starts unlocking the Ripper's secrets, she catches the attention of the local police, who believe she knows more than she's revealing, as well as from the Ripper himself, now bent on silencing her and her friends for good.

Caught in the crosshairs of a ruthless killer, Sarah races through Whitechapel's darkest alleys to find the truth...until she makes a shocking discovery that challenges everything she thought she knew about the case. Intelligent and utterly engrossing, Laura Joh Rowland's Victorian mystery The Ripper's Shadow will keep readers up late into the night.

Title: Where I Can See You
Author: Larry D. Sweazy
ISBN: 9781633882119
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Paperback, 255 pages

Synopsis: "Haunted by the disappearance of his mother when he was eight years old, detective Hud Matthews begins his own investigation to find out what really happened so many years before. When a rare murder occurs in the lakeside community, Hud's veteran skills are called upon to capture the killer. Pulled deep into the threads of the community with ties to the past, Hud quickly becomes a target, not only of the killer but of those who wish the past to be left alone. As Hud gets closer to discovering the truth about the crimes, he has to face a choice of enforcing the law, or stepping outside of it to make sure that his version of justice is served."  

Title: She Stopped for Death
Series: #2 in the Little Library cozy series set in Michigan.
ISBN: 9781683310136
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover, 336 pages

Synopsis: "Jenny Weston and her mother, Dora, have been receiving strange midnight visits. Bear Falls's own elusive and highly secretive poet, Emily Sutton, has lived her life cloistered away with her sister in a house at the edge of Pewee Swamp. But now, Emily's started leaving scraps of poetry in Dora's Little Library, and Dora makes it her mission to befriend the sheltered woman.

Meanwhile Zoe Zola, almost famous author, Little Person, and the Westons' quirky next-door neighbor, is hard at work on a new book, this one about the inner life of Emily Dickinson. And once again, Zoe's literary work starts making uncanny connections with the events in her own world as Emily Sutton reemerges into society. But Zoe begins to suspect things aren't anywhere near normal at Emily's swamp house or in the lives of the people she claims have abandoned her...until looking further into the poet's half-truths leads Zoe and Jenny to a horrible murder.

The chaos surrounding the ensuing investigation grows even more hectic with Emily’s increasingly erratic behavior, the arrival of a young woman searching for her missing poet uncle, and yet another betrayal in Jenny's love life. And only poetry can set the truth free in Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli's charming second Little Library mystery, She Stopped for Death.

=== January 17 ===

Title: Scheduled to Death
Author: Mary Feliz
Series: #2 in the Maggie McDonald cozy series set in northern California.
ISBN: 9781601836663 
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Paperback, 236 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Maggie McDonald is hoping to raise the profile of her new Orchard View organizing business via her first high-profile client. Professor Lincoln Sinclair may be up for a Nobel Prize, but he’s hopeless when it comes to organizing anything other than his thoughts. For an academic, he’s also amassed more than his share of enemies. When Sinclair’s fiancée is found dead on the floor of his home laboratory—electrocuted in a puddle of water—Maggie takes on the added task of finding the woman’s murderer. To do so, she’ll have to outmaneuver the suspicious, obnoxious police investigator she’s nicknamed “Detective Awful” before a shadowy figure can check off the first item on their personal to-do list—Kill Maggie McDonald." 

=== January 31 ===

Title: Justice Delayed
Series: #1 in the Memphis Cold Case suspense series set in Tennessee.
ISBN: 9780800727086
Publisher: Revell
Paperback, 352 pages

Synopsis: "It's been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister's sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn't actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will's cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week--including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.

With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites her readers to crack the case--if they can--alongside the best Memphis has to offer.

Title: The Hanging Tree
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Series: #6 in the Rivers of London urban fantasy series featuring Peter Grant, a police constable, apprentice wizard, and all around nice guy.
ISBN: 9780756409678   
Publisher: DAW
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Synopsis: "Where the Marble Arch stands today in London was once the Tyburn gallows—also known as The Hanging Tree. The walk toward those gallows along Oxford Street and past the Mayfair mansions has a bloody and haunted history as the last trip of the condemned. Some things never change. For both blood and ghosts have returned to those mansions of the super-rich. And it’s up to Peter Grant—England’s last wizard and the Metropolitan Police’s reluctant investigator of all things supernatural—to get to the bottom of the sinister doings."  

Title: Snowblind
Series: #1 in the Dark Iceland police procedural series set in northern Iceland.
ISBN: 9781250096074  
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors--accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.

Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik--with a past that he’s unable to leave behind.

When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theater, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life.

Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness--blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose.

Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from the extraordinary new talent Ragnar Jonasson.

Title: Rather Be the Devil
Author: Ian Rankin
Series: #23 in the John Rebus series set in Scotland.  
ISBN: 9780316342575
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Hardcover, 320 pages

Synopsis: "As he settles into an uneasy retirement, Rebus has given up his favorite vices. There's just one habit he can't shake: he can't let go of an unsolved case. It's the only pastime he has left and up until now, it's the only one that wasn't threatening to kill him. But when Rebus starts reexamining the facts behind the long-ago murder of a glamorous woman at a luxurious hotel - on the same night a famous rock star and his entourage were also staying there - the past comes roaring back to life with a vengeance.

And as soon as Rebus starts asking questions about the long forgotten crime, a fresh body materializes. His inquiries reunite him with his old pals- Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox- as they attempt to uncover the financial chicanery behind the savage beating of an upstart gangster, a crime that suggests the notorious old-school crime boss Big Ger Cafferty has taken to retirement as poorly as Rebus himself.

As he connects the mysteries of the past to the those of the present, Rebus learns - the hard way - that he's not the only one with an insatiable curiosity about what happened in that hotel room forty years ago, and that someone will stop at nothing to ensure that the crime remains ancient history.

A twisted tale of power, corruption, and bitter rivalries in the dark heart of Edinburgh, Rather Be the Devil showcases Rankin and Rebus at their unstoppable best

I don't know about you, but I certainly found a title or two to purchase with my gift cards. Which titles intrigue you the most? Inquiring minds would love to know!



  1. That new Rowland looks interesting, Cathy. I know her series set in Ancient Japan, but not this one. And a new Rankin, too - niiiiice!

    1. Like you, I'm familiar with Rowland's series set in ancient Japan. This foray into new territory looks intriguing!

  2. I'm always so excited to see a new Donis Casey book! Love that series. Also want to read all of Mette Ivie Harrison's books and now is the time to start since this is just #3. Have fun spending those gift cards!!

    1. I'm disappointed because I'll be out of town on the evening that Donis will be at The Poisoned Pen for Raven Mocker.


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!