Wednesday, December 26, 2018

January 2019 New Mystery Releases!

Here I am, compiling a new release post when I haven't even gone through all my reading statistics for the past year. I guess I can't get really enthused about doing that because I didn't meet my reading goal. I tend to be competitive, so I really don't like it when I fail. (Even though four eye surgeries may have had something to do with it.)

What I didn't stop doing was keeping an eye peeled (ouch) for new, enticing crime fiction that will be released throughout the month of January. If I ever stop doing that, you know something is seriously wrong!

These are my picks of the best in new crime fiction being released in January. I have them grouped according to release date, and the book covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon. I hope I've listed some that tickle your fancy. Let's take a look!

=== January 8 ===

Title: Lives Laid Away
Author: Stephen Mack Jones
Series: #2 in the August Snow P.I. series set in Detroit, Michigan.
312 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "When the body of an unidentified young Hispanic woman dressed as Queen Marie Antoinette is dredged from the Detroit River, the Detroit Police Department wants the case closed fast. Wayne County Coroner Bobby Falconi gives the woman’s photo to his old pal ex-police detective August Snow, insisting August show it around his native Mexicantown to see if anyone recognizes her. August’s good friend Elena, a prominent advocate for undocumented immigrants, recognizes the woman immediately as a local teenager, Isadora del Torres.

Izzy’s story is one the authorities don’t want getting around—and she’s not the only young woman to have disappeared during an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid, only to turn up dead a few weeks later. Preyed upon by the law itself, the people of Mexicantown have no one to turn to. August Snow, the son of an African-American cop and a Mexican-American painter, will not sit by and watch his neighbors suffer in silence. In a guns-blazing wild ride across Detroit, from its neo-Nazi biker hole-ups to its hip-hop recording studios, its swanky social clubs to its seedy nightclubs, August puts his own life on the line to protect the community he loves.

Title: The Burglar
Author: Thomas Perry
Standalone thriller set in Los Angeles.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Elle Stowell is a young woman with an unconventional profession: burglary. But Elle is no petty thief―with just the right combination of smarts, looks, and skills, she can easily stroll through ritzy Bel Air neighborhoods and pick out the perfect home for plucking the most valuable items. This is how Elle has always gotten by―she is good at it, and she thrives on the thrill. But after stumbling upon a grisly triple homicide while stealing from the home of a wealthy art dealer, Elle discovers that she is no longer the only one sneaking around. Somebody is searching for her.

As Elle realizes that her knowledge of the high-profile murder has made her a target, she races to solve the case before becoming the next casualty, using her breaking-and-entering skills to uncover the truth about exactly who the victims were and why someone might have wanted them dead. With high-stakes action and shocking revelations, The Burglar will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they barrel towards the heart-racing conclusion.

Title: Sydney Noir
Edited by John Dale
A collection of crime fiction short stories set in Sydney, Australia.
256 pages

Synopsis: "Sydney is a good choice for Akashic's first noir anthology set in Australia...The 14 uniformly strong selections feature familiar subgenre figures: gangsters, ethically compromised cops, and people bent on revenge for the loss of a loved one...Fans of dark crime fiction will want to seek out other works by these contributors, most of whom will be unfamiliar to American readers."

Title: The Paragon Hotel
Author: Lyndsay Faye
Standalone historical thriller set on a cross-country train bound for Portland, Oregon.
432 pages

Synopsis: "The year is 1921, and "Nobody" Alice James is on a cross-country train, carrying a bullet wound and fleeing for her life following an illicit drug and liquor deal gone horribly wrong. Desperate to get as far away as possible from New York City and those who want her dead, she has her sights set on Oregon: a distant frontier that seems the end of the line.

She befriends Max, a black Pullman porter who reminds her achingly of Harlem, who leads Alice to the Paragon Hotel upon arrival in Portland. Her unlikely sanctuary turns out to be the only all-black hotel in the city, and its lodgers seem unduly terrified of a white woman on the premises. But as she meets the churlish Dr. Pendleton, the stately Mavereen, and the unforgettable club chanteuse Blossom Fontaine, she begins to understand the reason for their dread. The Ku Klux Klan has arrived in Portland in fearful numbers--burning crosses, inciting violence, electing officials, and brutalizing blacks. And only Alice, along with her new "family" of Paragon residents, are willing to search for a missing mulatto child who has mysteriously vanished into the Oregon woods.

Why was "Nobody" Alice James forced to escape Harlem? Why do the Paragon's denizens live in fear--and what other sins are they hiding? Where did the orphaned child who went missing from the hotel, Davy Lee, come from in the first place? And, perhaps most important, why does Blossom Fontaine seem to be at the very center of this tangled web?

Title: The New Iberia Blues
Series: #22 in the Dave Robicheaux police procedural series set in Louisiana.
464 pages

Synopsis: "Detective Dave Robicheaux’s world isn’t filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier’s rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director.

Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier’s door, it isn’t to congratulate him on his Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Robicheaux has discovered the body of a young woman who’s been crucified, wearing only a small chain on her ankle. She disappeared near Cormier’s Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young deputy, Sean McClain, are looking for answers. Neither Cormier nor his enigmatic actor friend Antoine Butterworth are saying much, but Robicheaux knows better.

As always, Clete Purcel and Davie’s daughter, Alafair, have Robicheaux’s back. Clete witnesses the escape of Texas inmate, Hugo Tillinger, who may hold the key to Robicheaux’s case. As they wade further into the investigation, they end up in the crosshairs of the mob, the deranged Chester Wimple, and the dark ghosts Robicheaux has been running from for years. Ultimately, it’s up to Robicheaux to stop them all, but he’ll have to summon a light he’s never seen or felt to save himself and those he loves.

Stephen King hailed New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke “as good as he ever was.” Now, with The New Iberia Blues, Burke proves that he “remains the heavyweight champ, a great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed” (Michael Connelly).

Title: She Lies in Wait
Author: Gytha Lodge
Series: #1 in the DCI Jonah Sheens police procedural series set in England.
368 pages

Synopsis: "On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.

=== January 22 ===

Title: Rupture
Series: #4 in the Dark Iceland police procedural series set in northern Iceland.
272 pages

Synopsis: "Hailed for combining the darkness of Nordic Noir with classic mystery writing, author Ragnar Jonasson’s books are haunting, atmospheric, and complex. Rupture, the latest Ari Thór thriller, delivers another dark mystery that is chillingly stunning with its complexity and fluidity.
Young policeman Ari Thór tries to solve a 50-year-old murder when new evidence surfaces. But the case proves difficult in a town where no one wants to know the truth, where secrets are a way of life. He's assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose and the town in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them.

Title: The Golden Tresses of the Dead 
Author: Alan Bradley
Series: #10 in the Flavia de Luce historical series set in England.
352 pages

Synopsis: "Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s sister Ophelia is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. “A church is a wonderful place for a wedding,” muses Flavia, “surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at the altar.” Flavia is not your normal twelve-year-old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of poisons, she has solved many mysteries, sharpening her considerable detection skills to the point where she had little choice but to turn professional. So Flavia and dependable Dogger, estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire, set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve—not so simple an endeavor with her odious little moon-faced cousin, Undine, constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home, beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s wedding cake: a human finger."

Title: The Smiling Man
Author: Joseph Knox
Series: #2 in the Aiden Waits police procedural series set in England.
400 pages

Synopsis: "Aidan Waits is back on the night shift, the Manchester PD dumping ground for those too screwed-up for more glamorous work. But the monotony of petty crimes and lonesome nights is shattered when he and his partner are called to investigate a break-in The Palace, an immense, empty hotel in the center of the city.

There they find the body of a man. He is dead. The tags have been cut from his clothes, his teeth have been filed down, and even his fingertips have been replaced…
And he is smiling.

But as Waits begins to unravel the mystery of the smiling man, he becomes a target. Someone wants very badly to make this case disappear, and as their threats escalate, Aidan realizes that the answers may lie not only with the wealthy families and organized criminals connected to the Palace but with a far greater evil from his own past.

=== January 29 ===

Title: The Gun Also Rises
Author: Sherry Harris
Series: #6 in the Garage Sale cozy series set in Massachusetts.
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "A wealthy widow has asked Sarah Winston to sell her massive collection of mysteries through her garage sale business. While sorting through piles of books stashed in the woman's attic, Sarah is amazed to discover a case of lost Hemingway stories, stolen from a train in Paris back in 1922. How did they end up in Belle Winthrop Granville's attic in Ellington, Massachusetts, almost one hundred years later?
Before Sarah can get any answers, Belle is assaulted, the case is stolen, a maid is killed, and Sarah herself is dodging bullets. And when rumors spread that Belle has a limited edition of The Sun Also Rises in her house, Sarah is soon mixed up with a mobster, the fanatical League of Literary Treasure Hunters, and a hard-to-read rare book dealer. With someone willing to kill for the Hemingway, Sarah has to race to catch the culprit—or the bell may toll for her . . ."

Title: Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake
Author: Sarah Graves
Series: #2 in the Death by Chocolate cozy series set in Maine.
240 pages

Synopsis: "This summer, Eastport’s favorite lovebirds, kindergarten teacher Sharon Sweetwater and Coast Guard Captain Andy Devine, are getting married. The gala reception is sure to be the fête of the season, especially with a wedding-cake-sized whoopie pie courtesy of The Chocolate Moose. For Jake and Ellie, the custom-ordered confection will finally reel in some much-needed profits. But the celebratory air and sweet smell of success are ruined by foul murder.

When Sharon’s bitter ex-boyfriend Toby is poisoned with an arsenic-laced milkshake, Andy is jailed as the prime suspect and the wedding is canceled, whoopie pie and all. Then Sharon makes a shocking confession—one that sounds like a fishy attempt to get Andy off the hook. Now both the bride and groom are behind bars. And with the fate of The Chocolate Moose at stake, it’s up to Jake and Ellie to catch a poisonous predator before someone else sips their last dessert.

Title: Death by Committee
Author: Alexis Morgan
Series: #1 in the Abby McCree cozy series set in Snowberry Creek.
304 pages

Synopsis: "After a rough divorce, Abby McCree only wants to stitch up her life and move on. But other loose ends appear after her elderly Aunt Sybil passes away, leaving Abby to tend to a rundown estate, complete with a slobbery Mastiff of questionable pedigree and a sexy tenant who growls more than the dog. As Abby gets drawn into a tight-knit quilting guild, she makes a twisted discovery—Aunt Sybil’s only known rival is buried in her backyard!

Despite what local detectives say, Abby refuses to accept that her beloved aunt had anything to do with the murder. While navigating a busy social calendar and rediscovering the art of quilting, she launches an investigation of her own to clear Aunt Sybil’s name and catch the true culprit. The incriminating clues roll in, yet Abby can’t help but wonder—can she survive her new responsibilities in Snowberry Creek and still manage to patch together a killer’s deadly pattern without becoming the next victim?

How did I do? Did any of my choices make it onto your own wishlists? Which ones? (You know inquiring minds would love to know!) I have to admit that I'm most looking forward to Ragnar Jónasson's Rupture; I've become quite a fan of his writing!

Happy New Year, and Happy Reading!


  1. Oh, my, Death by Committee! For an academic like me, that title resonates, Cathy... There are definitely some great books coming out. I've especially noticed the Burke, the Bradley, and that Sydney Noir collection.

    1. Yes, that Sydney Noir collection really intrigues me.

  2. It's OK to read a bit less on the book front, Cathy. However, I know you wanted to make your goal. Ah well. As to the books you listed, I am most looking forward to The Paragon Hotel, but I also have She Lies In Wait on my list. And I plan to begin the Jonasson books this coming year. I told you that I want to make 2019 'the year of the series' - at least partially. I want that to be more of my focus. And rereading. I will say that my plan is to 'not have a plan'. I feel I need a little 'go with the wind' this next year. Take care and I'm so glad you got all those eye surgeries accomplished. :-)

    1. I agree. Sometimes you can have a bit too much structure. On another front, Denis and I will probably be going to see Lyndsay Faye at The Poisoned Pen in January.

  3. Oh, the new Thomas Perry! And I would probably be interested in She Lies in Wait for the author's name alone, even if I weren't hooked on police procedurals.

    The Lyndsey Faye title was/is already on my list, so I'll look forward to finding out if you do get to see her.

    I hope your eyes continue to heal well!

    1. Thank you, Kate! (Denis and I are going to try to go see Thomas Perry, too.)

    2. Sounds good - I envy you, living so close to the Poisoned Pen!

    3. I wish everyone were as lucky (although I'd have to show up even earlier to get my preferred seating)!

  4. I enjoyed The Burglar, but absolutely loved The Paragon Hotel! Will be looking for a couple of others on this list. :)

    1. I'm about to finish Lives Laid Away and start The Burglar. That's good news about The Paragon Hotel, Jenclair!


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