Wednesday, August 01, 2018

August 2018 New Mystery Releases!

Whiling away the hours reading good books in the shady end of my swimming pool is a given each and every summer, and I hope that doesn't change for a good long time. Thankfully most of my upcoming eye surgeries aren't going to have a great impact on this, so I'll still be able to read and enjoy the wildlife that seems to like my pool as much as I do.

I've been keeping an eye out for new crime fiction that will be released during the month of August, and here are my picks, grouped according to their publication dates. Book covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Now let's see if I've chosen any titles that make their way onto your own personal wishlists!

=== August 1 ===

Title: Jane Doe
Standalone set in the Midwest.
258 pages

Synopsis: "Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her."

=== August 6 ===

Title: Tahoe Skydrop
Author: Todd Borg
Series: #16 in the Owen McKenna PI series set in the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada.
352 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Tahoe tech guru Yardley LaMotte had a vision for future robots that could transform the world. He started a company called Tahoe Robotics.

Twisted killers with ties to a Swedish prison gang figured out how to steal the software. All they needed was the key to unlock the computer code.

A brilliant kid was in the classroom when the Tahoe Robotics founder visited a local school and talked about encryption. When that kid goes missing, the father contacts Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna.

When McKenna learns that the kidnappers are hiding the kid at a mountaintop compound protected by armed guards, he plans to rescue the child by using a paraglider to drop out of the sky at night. But the plan goes horribly wrong. Unless McKenna and his Great Dane Spot can find the child, the child will die...

=== August 7 ===

Title: The Last Hours
Author: Minette Walters
Series: #1 in a series set in fourteenth-century Devon, England.
544 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "When the Black Death enters England through the port in Dorsetshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is—or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness.

But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from the manor when news of this pestilence reaches her, she looks for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. She decides to bring her serfs inside the safety of the moat that surrounds her manor house, then refuses entry to anyone else, even her husband.

Lady Anne makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband’s steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs...until food stocks run low. The nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat again?

Compelling and suspenseful,
The Last Hours is a riveting tale of human ingenuity and endurance set against the worst pandemic in history. In Lady Anne of Develish—leader, savior, heretic—Walters has created her most memorable heroine to date."

Title: The Prisoner in the Castle
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Series: #8 in the Maggie Hope historical series set on the west coast of Scotland during World War II.
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "World War II is raging, and former spy Maggie Hope knows too much.

She knows what the British government is willing to do to keep its secrets.

She knows the real location of the planned invasion of France.

She knows who’s lying. She knows who the double-crossers are. She knows exactly who is sending agents to their deaths.

These are the reasons Maggie is isolated on a remote Scottish island, in a prison known as Killoch Castle, out of contact with friends and family.

Then one of her fellow inmates drops dead in the middle of his after-dinner drink—and he’s only the first. As victims fall one by one, Maggie will have to call upon all her wits and skills to escape—not just certain death . . . but certain murder.

For what’s the most important thing Maggie Hope knows?

She must survive.

Title: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding
Author: Rhys Bowen
Series: #12 in the Royal Spyness historical series set in 1930s England.
304 pages

Synopsis: "If only Darcy and I had eloped! What I thought would be a simple wedding has been transformed into a grand affair, thanks to the attendance of the queen, who has offered up the princesses as bridesmaids. Silly me! I thought that withdrawing from the royal line of succession would simplify my life. But before Darcy and I tie the knot in front of queen and country, we have to find a place to live as man and wife...

House hunting turns out to be a pretty grim affair. Just as we start to lose hope, my globetrotting godfather offers us his fully staffed country estate. Mistress of Eynsleigh I shall be! With Darcy off in parts unknown, I head to Eynsleigh alone, only to have my hopes dashed. The grounds are in disarray and the small staff is suspiciously incompetent. Not to mention the gas tap leak in my bedroom, which I can only imagine was an attempt on my life. Something rotten is afoot--and bringing the place up to snuff may put me six feet under before I even get a chance to walk down the aisle...

=== August 14 ===

Title: Don't Eat Me
Series: #13 in the Dr. Siri Paiboun historical series set in 1970s Laos.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Dr. Siri Paiboun, the 75-year-old ex-national coroner of Laos, may have more experience dissecting bodies than making art, but now that he’s managed to smuggle a fancy movie camera into the country, he devises a plan to shoot a Lao adaptation of War and Peace with his friend Civilai. The only problem? The Ministry of Culture must approve the script before they can get rolling. That, and they can’t figure out how to turn on the camera.

Meanwhile, the skeleton of a woman has appeared under the Anusawari Arch in the middle of the night. Siri puts his directorial debut on hold and assists his friend Phosy, the newly promoted Senior Police Inspector, with the ensuing investigation. Though the death of the unknown woman seems to be recent, the flesh on her corpse has been picked off in places as if something—or someone—has been gnawing on the bones. The plot Siri and his friends uncover involves much more than a single set of skeletal remains.

Title: Last Looks
Author: Howard Michael Gould
Debut thriller set in present-day California
304 pages

Synopsis: "There are run-of-the-mill eccentric Californians, and then there's former detective Charlie Waldo.

Waldo, a onetime LAPD superstar, now lives in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions. He has left behind his career and his girlfriend, Lorena, to pay self-imposed penance for an awful misstep on an old murder case. But the old ghosts are about to come roaring back.

There are plenty of difficult actors in Hollywood, and then there's Alastair Pinch.

Alastair is a onetime Royal Shakespeare Company thespian who now slums it as the "wise" Southern judge on a tacky network show. He's absurdly rich, often belligerent, and typically drunk--a damning combination when Alastair's wife is found dead on their living room floor and he can't remember what happened.

Waldo's old flame Lorena, hiding peril of her own, draws him toward the case, and Alastair's greedy network convinces Waldo to take it on. But after such a long time away from both civilization and sleuthing--and plagued by a confounding array of assailants who want him gone--Waldo must navigate complicated webs of ego and deceit to clear Alastair's name . . . or confirm his guilt.

=== August 15 ===

Title: Her Kind of Case
Author: Jeanne Winer
Legal Thriller set in Boulder, Colorado
320 pages

Synopsis: "Her Kind of Case is a legal drama that centers on Lee Isaacs, a female defense attorney on the cusp of turning 60, who, out of curiosity, determination, and desire for a big, even impossible, professional challenge, chooses to take on a tough murder case in which a largely uncooperative young man is accused of helping kill a gay gang member. This beautifully written novel, which earned a starred review from Kirkus, is built around not only a gradually resolving mystery but by fully fleshed-out characters, particularly the strong-willed and sharp-witted Lee. It is a breath of fresh air to see someone of Lee's standing achieve career and personal success as an older single woman who grieves the recent loss of her husband but continues her daily routine of law and karate, fighting tooth and nail to prove her client not guilty. (Note: The author, Jeanne Winer, is herself a longtime defense attorney in Boulder, Colorado, and a black-belt karate expert.)"

=== August 28 ===

Title: Died in the Wool
Author: Peggy Ehrhart
Series: #2 in the Knit & Nibble cozy series set in New Jersey.
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Pamela is ready to kick back and relax after a busy day selling stuffed aardvarks to benefit Arborville High School’s sports program at the annual town festival. But just as she’s packing up, she makes a terrible discovery—someone’s stashed a body under the Knit and Nibble’s table. The victim is Randall Jefferson, a decidedly unpopular history teacher after his recent op-ed criticizing the school’s sports program. But the primary suspect has an alibi, and the only clue is a stuffed aardvark found on the victim’s chest . . . Now the Knit and Nibblers must unravel the case quickly—before a crafty killer repeats a deadly pattern."

Title: Little Comfort
Author: Edwin Hill
Series: #1 in the Hester Thursby series set in Massachusetts
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Harvard librarian Hester Thursby knows that even in the digital age, people still need help finding things. Using her research skills, Hester runs a side business tracking down the lost. Usually, she’s hired to find long-ago prom dates or to reunite adopted children and birth parents. Her new case is finding the handsome and charismatic Sam Blaine.

Sam has no desire to be found. As a teenager, he fled his small New Hampshire town with his friend, Gabe, after a haunting incident. For a dozen years, Sam and Gabe have traveled the country, reinventing themselves as they move from one mark to another. Sam has learned how trusting wealthy people can be—especially the lonely ones—as he expertly manipulates his way into their lives and homes.  In Wendy Richards, the beautiful, fabulously rich daughter of one of Boston’s most influential families, he’s found the perfect way to infiltrate the milieu in which he knows he belongs—a world of Brooks Brothers suits, Nantucket summers, and effortless glamour.

As Hester’s investigation closes in on their brutal truth, the bond between Sam and Gabe is tested and Hester unknowingly jeopardizes her own safety. While Gabe has pinned all his desperate hopes of a normal life on Hester, Sam wants her out of the way for good. And Gabe has always done what
Sam asks . . .

Title: Murder in the Oval Library
Author: C.M. Gleason
Series: #2 in the Lincoln's White House historical series set in Washington, DC.
304 pages

Synopsis: "With the Confederate Army firing on Fort Sumter, the Civil War has begun—and an invasion of Washington, DC, from Secessionist Virginia seems imminent. As the population evacuates, the President is in desperate need of men to defend the capital.
Lincoln’s trusted aide, Adam Speed Quinn, and Quinn’s old friend from the Bloody Kansas conflict, Senator Jim Lane, hastily assemble a motley crew of just over a hundred men and garrison them in the East Room at the White House. Dubbed the Frontier Guard, these rough-and-tumble patriots steel themselves for the inevitable attack.
But even as dawn breaks with no Rebel strike, a single act of violence intrudes within the White House. One of the Frontier Guard lies dead in the oval library, throat slit ear to ear. There is a murderer among them.
Lincoln promptly assigns Quinn to deal with the matter, who is in turn aided by journalist Sophie Gates and Dr. George Hilton. And to Quinn’s chagrin, the Southern belle Constance Lemagne insists on being involved in the investigation as well. But when Dr. Hilton examines the body, he makes a startling discovery that overturns all Quinn’s assumptions about the murder. With his president at grave risk from without and within, Quinn must act quickly to catch the White House killer . . .

I don't know about you, but when I take a look at these new books being released in August, it looks like a very good blend of excellent established authors as well as brand-new ones. Did any of my choices make it to your own wishlists? Which ones? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. A new Bowen, a new Cottrill and a new Walters! It's going to be a good month for books.

  2. Several of these are already on my list, but a new one is Her Kind of Case. I definitely like the look of that one. And will now go check it out.

  3. Many thanks for including LITTLE COMFORT.

  4. Ah, at last! The new Maggie Hope! And the new Royal Spyness on the same day! Some enjoyable reading ahead in the near future.

  5. Her Kind of Case -- up my alley, a legal mystery lover, written by a woman attorney. Protagonist sounds perfect.

  6. I really liked The Last Hours! I have a review scheduled for Little Comfort, but will have to take a closer look at some of the others you mention. :)

    1. I haven't cracked Little Comfort yet, but soon-- and I really enjoyed The Last Hours, too. I'm looking forward to see where she takes the next book.


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