Wednesday, July 26, 2017

August 2017 New Mystery Releases!

As always, summer is running through my fingers as quickly as the proverbial sands through an hour glass, and one thing that I've noticed is that I've been more easily distracted. As a result, I'm at least a dozen books behind my normal reading pace at this time of year. I tend to be a competitive person if I'm not careful, so falling behind means that a part of me wants to drop everything and concentrate on reading to get myself back on track. Another part of myself tells me to cool it; that I'm allowed to take it a bit easy once in a while.

I may be behind in the total number of books I've read, but that doesn't prevent me from keeping track of new mysteries coming out. The following are my picks of the new crime fiction being released during the month of August. The books are grouped by release date and have information that you'll need to help you add them to your Must Read lists. Book covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon. 

=== August 1 ===

Title: Shadow Girl
Author: Gerry Schmitt
Series: #2 in the Afton Tangler police procedural series set in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage...

Title: Murder in Disguise
Author: Mary Miley
Series: #4 in the Roaring Twenties historical mystery series.
240 pages

Synopsis: "Employed by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Jessie Beckett has a busy time as Script Girl for Pickford-Fairbanks Studios. Yet she also has a reputation as a skilled amateur sleuth. So when a projectionist is shot dead and his grieving widow asks Jessie if she can find out who killed him, Jessie is determined to find the killer and his motive. But who was the mysterious man in the red coat who fired three shots at Joe Petrovitch? And how could he enter and leave a crowded theatre without being noticed? To find the answers, Jessie must delve into the dead man’s past and uncover dark secrets from another continent and another era. As she is to discover, the past has a long reach..."

Title: A Tangled Yarn
Series: #5 in the Yarn Retreat cozy series set on the northern California coast.
304 pages

Synopsis: "Casey Feldstein has her hands full with preparations at the Vista Del Mar hotel on the scenic Monterey Peninsula as another yarn retreat begins. The retreaters will be thrown for a loop this time, learning the trendy art of arm knitting and finger crocheting. 

But not everyone is enthusiastic about trying something new, and Casey is forced to come up with an alternative craft for her less adventurous pupils. Things go from worst to worsted when a travel writer from a neighboring retreat group is found dead in his room among a sea of feathers. When one of the owners of Vista Del Mar pleads for help, Casey gets hooked into the case and must unravel a delicate skein of secrets to catch a killer.

Title: On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service
Author: Rhys Bowen
Series: #11 in the Royal Spyness historical mystery series
304 pages

Synopsis: "In the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Crowned and Dangerous, Lady Georgiana Rannoch juggles secret missions from the Queen, Darcy, and her mother. But it’s all in a day’s work when you’re thirty-fifth in line to the British Crown.

When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment, I am left to figure out how to travel to Italy sans maid and chaperone to help my dear friend Belinda, as she awaits the birth of her baby alone. An opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—my cousin the queen is in need of a spy to attend a house party in the Italian lake country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding. 

What luck! A chance to see Belinda and please the queen as I seek her permission to relinquish my claim to the throne so I can marry Darcy. Only that’s as far as my good fortune takes me. I soon discover that Mummy is attending the villa party and she has her own secret task for me. Then, Darcy shows up and tells me that the fate of a world on the brink of war could very well depend on what I overhear at dinner! I shouldn’t be all that surprised when one of my fellow guests is murdered and my Italian holiday becomes a nightmare...

Title: Tahoe Payback
Author: Todd Borg
Series: #14 in the Owen McKenna thriller series set in Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada.
352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "When a man tells Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna that his girlfriend disappeared, McKenna wonders if the woman got cold feet and ran away. But when she turns up murdered on Fannette Island with red roses in her mouth, McKenna discovers that she used a scam charity to steal millions.

A second victim is found with a tennis ball crammed into his mouth. A third has military medals in his cheeks. McKenna suspects that these victims also ran fraudulent charities.

While McKenna investigates the murders, his girlfriend Street Casey has reason to believe that her ex-con father, who's jumped parole, wants revenge for her testimony that put him in prison decades ago.

It appears that the victims are all payback targets of a vigilante killer. McKenna finds lots of potential suspects. But he can't link any of them to the crimes. What he doesn't know is that both he and his girlfriend are about to face someone who wants them very dead...

=== August 8 ===

Title: The Paris Spy
Series: #7 in the Maggie Hope historical series set in World War II Paris, France
321 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Maggie Hope has come a long way since serving as a typist for Winston Churchill. Now she’s working undercover for the Special Operations Executive in the elegant but eerily silent city of Paris, where SS officers prowl the streets in their Mercedes and the Ritz is draped with swastika banners. Walking among the enemy is tense and terrifying, and even though she’s disguised in chic Chanel, Maggie can’t help longing for home.

But her missions come first. Maggie’s half sister, Elise, has disappeared after being saved from a concentration camp, and Maggie is desperate to find her—that is if Elise even wants to be found. Equally urgent, Churchill is planning the Allied invasion of France, and SOE agent Erica Calvert has been captured, the whereabouts of her vital research regarding Normandy unknown. Maggie must risk her life to penetrate powerful circles and employ all her talents for deception and spycraft to root out a traitor, find her sister, and locate the reports crucial to planning D-Day in a deadly game of wits with the Nazi intelligence elite.

Title: Hunting Hour
Series: #3 in the Timber Creek K-9 police procedural series set in Colorado
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Deputy Mattie Cobb is in a dark place and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to work on issues from her past. When she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student, they find the girl dead on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, and Mattie must head to the Walker home to break the bad news. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek because soon another girl goes missing―and this time it’s one of Cole’s daughters.

Knowing that each hour a child remains missing lessens the probability of finding her alive, Mattie and Robo lead the hunt while Cole and community volunteers join in to search everywhere. To no avail. It seems that someone has snatched all trace of the Walker girl from their midst, including her scent. Grasping at straws, Mattie and Robo follow a phoned-in tip into the dense forest, where they hope to find a trace of the girl’s scent and to rescue her alive. But when Robo does catch her scent, it leads them to information that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case.

=== August 15 ===

Title: The Rat Catchers' Olympics
Series: #12 in the Dr. Siri Paiboun historical series set in 1980 Moscow, Russia
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "1980: The People’s Democratic Republic of Laos is proud to be competing in its first-ever Olympics. Of course, half the world is boycotting the Moscow Summer Olympic Games to protest the Soviet Union’s recent invasion of Afghanistan, but that has made room for athletes from countries that are usually too small or underfunded to be competitive—like Laos.

Ex-national coroner of Laos Dr. Siri Paiboun may be retired, but he and his wife, Madame Daeng, would do just about anything to have a chance to visit Moscow, so Siri finagles them a trip by getting them hired as medical advisers to the Olympians. Most of the athletes are young and innocent village people who have never worn running shoes, much less imagined anything as marvelous as the Moscow Olympic Village. As the competition heats up, however, Siri begins to suspect that one of the athletes is not who he says he is. Fearing a conspiracy, Siri and his friends investigate, liaising in secret with Inspector Phosy back home in Laos to see if the man might be an assassin. Siri’s progress is derailed when a Lao Olympian is accused of murder. Now in the midst of a murky international incident, Dr. Siri must navigate not one but two paranoid government machines to make sure justice is done.

Title: Dog Dish of Doom
Series: #1 in the Agent to the Paws cozy series set in New York and New Jersey
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books

Synopsis: "Kay Powell wants to find that break-out client who will become a star. And she thinks she’s found him: His name is Bruno, and he has to be walked three times a day.

Kay is the Agent to the Paws, representing showbiz clients who aren’t exactly people. In fact: they're dogs. Bruno’s humans, Trent and Louise, are pains in the you-know-what, and Les McMaster, the famous director mounting a revival of Annie, might not hire Bruno just because he can’t stand them.

This becomes less of an issue when Trent is discovered face down in Bruno’s water dish, with a kitchen knife in his back. Kay’s perfectly fine to let the NYPD handle the murder, but when the whole plot seems to center on Bruno, her protective instincts come into play. You can kill any people you want, but you’d better leave Kay’s clients alone.

=== August 29 ===

Title: Death by His Grace
Author: Kwei Quartey
Series: #5 in the Darko Dawson police procedural series set in Ghana.
272 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Accra, Ghana: Katherine Yeboah’s marriage to Solomon Vanderpuye is all the talk of Accra high society. But when it becomes apparent that Katherine is infertile, Solomon’s extended family accuses her of being a witch, hounding her until the relationship is so soured Solomon feels compelled to order Katherine out of the house they shared. Alone on her last night there, Katherine is brutally murdered by an intruder.

Chief Inspector Darko Dawson of the Ghanaian federal police has personal as well as professional reasons to find the killer fast: Katherine was the first cousin of his wife, Christine, who is devastated by the tragedy. As Darko investigates, he discovers that many people close to Katherine had powerful motives to kill her, including Solomon, her husband; James Bentsi-Enchill, her lawyer and ex-lover; and her filthy rich pastor, Bishop Clem Howard-Mills. In order to expose the truth, Darko must confront the pivotal role religion plays in Ghana—and wrestle with his old demons the investigation stirs up.

Title: Glass Houses
Author: Louise Penny
Series: #13 in the Armand Gamache police procedural series set in Quebec, Canada.
400 pages

Synopsis: "When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.

From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.

But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.

Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montréal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgment.

Title: A Knit Before Dying
Series: #2 in the Tangled Web cozy series set in Connecticut.
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Shop owner Josie Blair is finally settling into the pace of living in Dorset Falls, Connecticut. Between running Miss Marple Knits, jumpstarting a blog, and handcrafting items with the help of her knitting pals, Josie’s too preoccupied to worry about her past in New York. And thanks to Lyndon and Harry, the owners of the brand-new antique shop next door, she has another project in her midst—repurposing a box of vintage crocheted doilies adorned with the most curious needlework . . .

But before Josie can formally welcome her neighbors, she discovers Lyndon on the floor of his shop stabbed to death by a rusty old pair of sheep shears. Police have pinned Harry as the killer, but Josie isn’t so sure. Now, she’s lacing up for another homicide investigation—and no eyelet or stitch can go unexamined, lest she herself becomes ensnared in the criminal’s deadly design . . .

Title: Macramé  Murder
Series: #3 in the Cora Crafts cozy series set in North Carolina.
352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "As the head of a bustling crafting retreat, Cora Chevalier could use a break of her own. So she and her creative cohorts temporarily swap small-town Indigo Gap for the Sea Glass Island Craft Retreat, where they teach classes and create beachy crafts like shell mosaics and sea glass chimes. Cora and her boyfriend Adrian are enchanted by their surroundings—especially the stunning wedding and blissful newlyweds they encounter on the beach. But awe becomes shock when the bride turns up dead the next day . . .

The woman’s death appears to be the result of a severe jellyfish sting. But when it’s revealed that she was murdered and Adrian becomes a suspect, Cora must hitch the real culprit to the crime—and fast. Because it just might take everything she has to crack a case more twisted than her most complex macramé knot!

Another month with an embarrassment of riches, eh? I'll let you in on a little secret: as I've been devouring my advance reading copies, I've added a title or two from this list to my Best Reads of 2017!

Which titles made it to your own wish lists? Which covers did you find the most striking? Inquiring minds would love to know!



  1. Oh, plenty of good 'uns coming out soon, Cathy! A Cotterill, A Penny, a Bowen, a Quartey.....yikes! Tmbtlt!

  2. Well, I'll definitely be reading about Three Pines and Maggie Hope! It does look like a great month!

  3. I love the covers on the Sadie Hartwell series. They are perfect covers for a cozy mystery.
    Many of the authors I am not caught up with their series. I just read my first Todd Borg yesterday. I have in my TBR books the first books of the following authors: Susan MacNeal, Cotterill and Mizushima. I am making an effort right now to read from my TBR list.
    I also plan to get back to Louise Penny. I have most of the books here. The last book I read kept saying something like "Chaos is coming, old son. Chaos is coming.old son" It almost drove me nuts. It feels like a sacrilege to be critical of a Penny book as her books are loved so much. That was quite a few years ago so it is time to read the next book.

    1. I've thought the same about the Hartwell covers, even though I do not care for cats.

      Oooh! I'll have to check Goodreads to see if you've written a review of the Borg book. I just finished his latest yesterday. And from that list of other firsts you have waiting for you, I'm almost jealous at all the marvelous reading you have waiting for you!

      As for Penny, I agree. I think the title of that book is The Nature of the Beast, and for me, the wheels fell off the series a bit with that book. I know she has the entire story arc in mind so she knows where she's going, but I'm not enjoying the ride quite as much as I once did. She is such a phenomenal person that I feel incredibly guilty even saying something like that, but she's the first person who'd tell me that I have a right to my opinion.

    2. The Penny book is The Brutal Telling which the 5th book in the series. I was keeping up with them at that point. Now I have a lot to read if I want to catch up. I do have most of the books.
      Right now from my TBR list, I am reading Crashed the first book in the Junior Bender series by Timothy Hallinan. I have read some of the Poke Raffety books which I like and must get back to.

    3. I enjoy Junior, and I hope you do, too. As for the Penny book, thanks for the correction. I've been having little senior moments all day, and I've felt as though I should've had someone following me around with white-out! LOL

  4. I'd like to read Dog Dish Of Doom and the rest in the series when they come out.

    1. I just finished reading that one recently, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the series progresses.


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