Wednesday, March 28, 2018

April 2018 New Mystery Releases!

April is turning out to be a much busier month than I'd planned, mostly because my eyes were bigger than my stomach. Not only will our niece Daisy be here from England for two weeks beginning the 23rd, not only do I have to clean house like a crazy person, I also have to see if I can nudge my eyeballs into high speed because I over-committed on advance reading copies. For some reason, this seems to be a lesson I need to re-learn every two to three years.

Nevertheless, I am always on the lookout for new crime fiction, and these are my picks for the month of April. They are grouped according to release dates, and I'd like to thank Amazon for the covers and synopses. Hopefully, I've chosen a title or two that strikes your fancy. Let's see how much I can tempt you...

=== April 3 ===

Title: Lost Books and Old Bones
Author: Paige Shelton
Series: #3 in the Scottish Bookshop cozy series set in Edinburgh, Scotland.
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Delaney Nichols, originally of Kansas but settling happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, works at the Cracked Spine in the heart of town. The shop is a place filled with curiosities and surprises tucked into every shelf, and it’s Delaney’s job to research the rare tomes and obscure artifacts that people come to buy and sell. When her new friends, also students at the medical school, come to the shop to sell a collection of antique medical books, Delaney knows she’s stumbled across a rare and important find indeed. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister, agrees to buy the multivolume set, perhaps even to keep for his own collection.

But not long after the sale, one of Delaney’s new friends is found murdered in the alley behind the Cracked Spine, and she wonders if there is some nefarious connection between the origin of these books and the people whose hands they fell into. Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice. During her investigation, Delaney she finds some old scalpels in the bookshop’s warehouse—she and discovers that they belonged to a long-dead doctor whose story and ties to the past crimes of Burke and Hare might be connected to the present-day murder. It’s all Delaney can do to race to solve this crime before time runs out and she ends up in a victim on the slab herself.

Title: Wedding Cake Crumble
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Series: #10 in the Cupcake Bakery cozy series set in Scottsdale, Arizona.
288 pages

Synopsis: "With Angie and Tate's wedding just around the corner, it's a happy time for Melanie Cooper and the bakery crew. Not only are they finessing the last minute details of the big day, but their bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes, has just been hired to bake cupcakes for the blockbuster book signing of a controversial author who wrote a steamy bestseller filled with juicy local gossip.

But one by one, the people Angie has hired to work at the wedding begin turning up dead. As the body count rises, the bestselling author is the next to bite the dust. Mel quickly realizes she needs to figure out how the murders are connected and why--before the killer brings the entire cupcake crew crumbling down. After all, Angie and Tate deserve their sweet happily ever after.

Title: A Necessary Evil
Series: #2 in the Wyndham and Banerjee historical series set in 1919 Calcutta, India.
381 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "India, 1920. Captain Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of the Calcutta Police Force investigate the dramatic assassination of a Maharajah's son, in the sequel to A Rising Man.

The fabulously wealthy kingdom of Sambalpore is home to tigers, elephants, diamond mines, and the beautiful Palace of the Sun. But when the heir to the throne is assassinated in the presence of Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant 'Surrender-Not' Banerjee, they discover a kingdom riven with suppressed conflict. Prince Adhir was a modernizer whose attitudes—and romantic relationships—may have upset the more religious elements of his country, while his brother—now in line to the throne—appears to be a feckless playboy.

As Wyndham and Banerjee desperately try to unravel the mystery behind the assassination, they become entangled in a dangerous world where those in power live by their own rules—and those who cross their paths pay with their lives. They must find a murderer before the murderer finds them . . .

Title: The Awkward Squad
Author: Sophie Hénaff
Series: #1 in the Awkward Squad police procedural series set in 2012 Paris, France.
271 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Suspended from her job as a promising police officer for firing "one bullet too many", Anne Capestan is expecting the worst when she is summoned to H.Q. to learn her fate. Instead, she is surprised to be told that she is to head up a new police squad, working on solving old cold cases.

Though relieved to still have a job, Capestan is not overjoyed by the prospect of her new role. Even less so when she meets her new team: a crowd of misfits, troublemakers and problem cases, none of whom are fit for purpose and yet none of whom can be fired.

But from this inauspicious start, investigating the cold cases throws up a number a number of strange mysteries for Capestan and her team: was the old lady murdered seven years ago really just the victim of a botched robbery? Who was behind the dead sailor discovered in the Seine with three gunshot wounds? And why does there seem to be a curious link with a ferry that was shipwrecked off the Florida coast many years previously?

Title: A Dying Note
Author: Ann Parker
Series: #6 in the Silver Rush historical series set in San Francisco.
319 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "It's autumn of 1881, and Inez Stannert, still the co-owner of Leadville, Colorado's Silver Queen Saloon, is settled in San Francisco with her young ward, Antonia Gizzi. Inez has turned her business talents to managing a music store, hoping to eventually become an equal partner in the enterprise with the store's owner, a celebrated local violinist.

Inez's carefully constructed life for herself and Antonia threatens to tumble about her ears when the badly beaten body of a young musician washes up on the filthy banks of San Francisco's Mission Creek canal. Inez and Antonia become entangled in the mystery of his death when the musician turns out to have ties to Leadville, ties that threaten to expose Inez's notorious past. And they aren't the only ones searching for answers. Wolter Roeland de Bruijn, "finder of the lost," has also been tasked with ferreting out the perpetrators and dispensing justice in its most final form. Leadville's leading madam Frisco Flo, an unwilling visitor to the city with a Leadville millionaire, is on the hook as well, having injudiciously financed the young musician's journey to San Francisco in the first place.

Time grows short as Inez and the others uncover long-hidden secrets and unsettled scores. With lives and reputations on the line, the tempo rises until the investigation's final, dying note."

Title: Resurrection Bay
Author: Emma Viskic
Series: #1 in the Caleb Zelic private investigator series set in present-day Australia.
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Caleb Zelic's childhood friend has been brutally murdered - fingers broken, throat slit - at his home in Melbourne. Caleb vows to track down the killer, but he's profoundly deaf; missed words and misread lips can lead to confusion and trouble. Fortunately, Caleb knows how to read people; a sideways glance, an unconvincing smile, speak volumes. When his friend Frankie, a former cop, offers to help, they soon discover the killer is on their tail. Sensing that his ex-wife may also be in danger, Caleb insists they return to their hometown of Resurrection Bay. But here he learns that everyone - including his murdered friend - is hiding something. And the deeper he digs, the darker the secrets..."

Title: American by Day
Author: Derek B. Miller
Standalone mystery set in the present-day US.
352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "A gripping and timely novel that follows Sigrid—the dry-witted detective from Derek B. Miller's best-selling debut Norwegian by Night—from Oslo to the United States on a quest to find her missing brother.

SHE KNEW IT WAS A WEIRD PLACE. She’d heard the stories, seen the movies, read the books. But now police Chief Inspector Sigrid Ødegård has to leave her native Norway and actually go there; to that land across the Atlantic where her missing brother is implicated in the mysterious death of a prominent African-American academic. AMERICA.

Sigrid is plunged into a United States where race and identity, politics and promise, reverberate in every aspect of daily life. Working with—or, if necessary, against—the police, she must negotiate the local political minefields and navigate the backwoods of the Adirondacks to uncover the truth before events escalate further.

Refreshingly funny, slyly perceptive, American by Day secures Derek B. Miller's place as one of our most imaginative and entertaining novelists.

=== April 8 ===

Title: Scot Free
Series: #1 in the Last Ditch series set in California.
288 pages.

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Lexy Campbell fell in love and left her native Scotland for a golden life in California—hitched to a hunk, building her marriage counseling practice, living the dream. Six months later she's divorced, broke, and headed home. There's just one last thing. Lexy's only client—sweet little old Mrs. Bombarro—is in jail for murdering her husband with a fireworks rocket. Lexy knows the cops have got it wrong; all she needs is a few days to prove it and somewhere cheap to sleep at night. But checking into the Last Ditch Motel leads Lexy to a whole new cast of characters with troubles of their own."

=== April 10 ===

Title: The Trauma Cleaner
Standalone Non-Fiction
293 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife. . . But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.

A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his living room. A woman who lives with rats, random debris, and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose.

Sarah Krasnostein has watched the extraordinary Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to these, the living and the dead—and the book she has written is equally extraordinary. Not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, but an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.

Title: A Breath After Drowning
Author: Alice Blanchard
Standalone psychological thriller
448 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Child psychiatrist Kate Wolfe's world comes crashing down when one of her young patients commits suicide, so when a troubled girl is left at the hospital ward, she doubts her ability to help. But the girl knows things about Kate's past, things she shouldn't know, forcing Kate to face the murky evidence surrounding her own sister's murder sixteen years before, bringing Kate face to face with her deepest fear."

=== April 17 ===

Title: Murder at the Mushroom Festival
Series: #4 Kelly Jackson cozy mystery set in California.
176 pages 

Synopsis: "Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit's identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the "Silver Sentinels" must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise . . . "

Title: The Dark Side of Town
Author: Sasscer Hill
Series: #2 in the Fia McKee undercover agent series set at the Saratoga Racetrack in New York state.
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Fia McKee, now officially employed by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TPRB), is sent undercover to Saratoga Racetrack to investigate Mars Pizutti, a racehorse trainer whose horses’ wins are suspiciously lucky—and lucrative. Fia’s bosses believe Pizutti’s success is based on illegal drugs and deceitful methods, and they want Fia to work inside his barn to ferret out the truth.

But after witnessing the tragic and inexplicable suicide of a jockey, Fia discovers the rider’s death is only the tip on an iceberg involving the mob, a crooked racing hedge fund, and threats to the lives of another jockey and his young sister. Fia must find out who’s connected to who, and what shadowy forces are at play before someone else dies."

Title: Whispers of the Dead
Author: Spencer Kope
Series: #2 in the Special Tracking Unit series set in El Paso, Texas.
324 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "There has been a murder, but not only is the identity of the victim unknown, most of the body itself is missing. All that’s been found is a pair of feet, stored in a portable cooler, and left in the house of a Federal judge in El Paso, Texas. The killer apparently broke into the judge’s house, left his grizzly message, and disappeared without a trace. With no clues as to the killer, the person killed, or the intent behind the cooler, all the authorities really know is that this likely isn’t the killer’s first—or his last—victim.

Magnus “Steps” Craig is an FBI agent and an elite tracker, easily the best in the world. Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface. As part of the three-man special team, FBI’s Special Tracking Unit (STU), he is called in on cases where his skills are indispensable. But there’s a secret to his skill. Steps has a kind of synesthesia, an ability that allows him to see whatever each particular person has touched in a unique color—what Steps calls ‘shine.’ His ability is known to only a few people—his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan.

While the Special Tracking Unit tries to grapple with the gruesome scene in El Paso, they soon discover another, earlier victim. Once again, only the feet—in a disposable icebox—were left behind. With almost no clues besides the body parts, Steps and his team find themselves enmeshed in the most difficult case of their careers. And The Icebox Killer has only just begun."

If you've been paying attention to me at all, you know I've been looking forward to Spencer Kope's Whispers of the Dead, but April has quite a few intriguing titles. Which ones have tempted you to put them on your wishlists? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Oh, I do hope you liked the Emma Viskic, Cathy. I thought that was an excellent novel. An I see there's a new Catriona McPherson coming out. Nice - I like her work.

    1. I'm looking forward to reading this new one by McPherson. I love her sense of humor, and I'd like to see if it translates to the printed page.

  2. There are several of these on my list (and yes, you have your work cut out for you!) - probably the most anticipated is Spencer Kope's book. However, Emma Viskic's and Alice Blanchard's as well. And the cupcake shop one. And a couple more...LOL!

  3. I can't wait to read Derek B. Miller's American By Day. Loved Norwegian by Night -- just the proper amount of Jewish humor, angst, grief, guilt and philosophy. What I grew up with.

    I read Emma Viskic's book and the second one, too. They're OK.


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