Wednesday, May 01, 2019

May 2019 New Mystery Releases!

After attending the event for Ragnar Jónasson last week at The Poisoned Pen, I have the urge to attend the Iceland Noir Festival next year in Reykjavik-- even though it's scheduled for November when it's dark 24/7. Everything's cheaper because no tourists go to Iceland then. The Northern lights. Ian Rankin. Anthony Horowitz. Louise Penny. Ann Cleeves. (With more authors to come.) Can you blame me for wanting to go? I don't think Denis is too keen on the idea, but you never know. And this is all because I went to see Ragnar Jónasson, an author whose books I decided to sample because I'm always on the lookout for something new!

Speaking of being on the lookout for something new, here are my picks for the best in new crime fiction being released throughout the month of May. (Covers and synopses courtesy of Amazon.) Hopefully, I've chosen a title or two that tickles your fancy. Let's take a look!

=== May 7 ===

Title: The Woman in the Blue Cloak
Author: Deon Meyer
Standalone Novella set in South Africa
160 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Early on a May morning in the depth of South Africa’s winter, a woman’s naked body, washed in bleach, is discovered on a stone wall beside the N2 highway at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass, some thirty-five miles from Cape Town. The local investigation stalls, so the case is referred to Captain Benny Griessel and his colorful partner Vaughn Cupido of the Hawks―the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations. The woman proves to be Alicia Lewis, an expert in old Dutch Masters paintings specializing in the recovery of valuable lost art. Discovering the two men she had contacted before coming to South Africa reveals what she was seeking―a rare painting by Carel Fabritius, Rembrandt’s finest student, not seen since it disappeared from Delft in 1654. But how Lewis died, why, and at whose hand shocks even the two veteran detectives."

Title: The Scent of Murder
Author: Kylie Logan
#1 in the Jazz Ramsey series set in Ohio.
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about―Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale makeup is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

Title: The Stone Circle
#11 in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series set in England.
368 pages

Synopsis: "DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters. They are anonymous, yet reminiscent of ones he has received in the past, from the person who drew him into a case that’s haunted him for years. At the same time, Ruth receives a letter purporting to be from that very same person—her former mentor, and the reason she first started working with Nelson. But the author of those letters is dead. Or is he?

The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly.

=== May 8 ===

Title: The Jean Harlow Bombshell
#1 in the Classic Star Biography mysteries set in New York City.
336 pages

Synopsis: "Justine Turner is a world-famous biographer of Hollywood stars. She's also Charlotte Donovan's overbearing boss. So it comes as no surprise to Charlotte when Justine requests an emergency meeting related to her latest in-progress biography. It is a surprise, though, when Justine up and dies before their urgent discussion can begin.

In the wake of such a tragedy, all Charlotte wants to do is finish the Jean Harlow biography that Justine had started. Instead, she finds herself in grave danger―stalked both online and in person by a drop-dead Jean Harlow look-alike. Together with police sergeant Den Brophy, Charlotte uncovers shocking revelations. But will these revelations be enough to catch the killer?"

=== May 14 ===

Title: The Satapur Moonstone
Author: Sujata Massey
#2 in the Perveen Mistry historical series set in 1920s India.
360 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Sahyadri mountains, where the princely state of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur’s royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic hunting accident. The state is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur’s two maharanis, the dowager queen, and her daughter-in-law.

The royal ladies are in a dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer’s counsel is required. However, the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s only female lawyer. Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince’s future, but she arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace’s deadly curse?

Title: Disappearing Earth
Standalone set on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia.
272 pages

Synopsis: "One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls--sisters, eight and eleven--go missing. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women.

Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty--densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska--and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused.

In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer's virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.

=== May 21 ===

Title: Deception Cove
#1 in the Neah Bay thriller series set in Washington state.
384 pages

Synopsis: "Former US Marine Jess Winslow reenters civilian life a new widow, with little more to her name than a falling-down house, a medical discharge for PTSD, and a loyal dog named Lucy. The only thing she actually cares about is that dog, a black-and-white pit bull mix who helps her cope with the devastating memories of her time in Afghanistan.

After fifteen years -- nearly half his life -- in state prison, Mason Burke owns one set of clothes, a wallet, and a photo of Lucy, the service dog he trained while behind bars. Seeking a fresh start, he sets out for Deception Cove, Washington, where the dog now lives.

As soon as Mason knocks on Jess's door, he finds himself in the middle of a standoff between the widow and the deputy county sheriff. When Jess's late husband piloted his final "fishing" expedition, he stole and stashed a valuable package from his drug dealer associates. Now the package is gone, and the sheriff's department has seized Jess's dearest possession-her dog. Unless Jess turns over the missing goods, Lucy will be destroyed.

The last thing Mason wants is to be dragged back into the criminal world. The last thing Jess wants is to trust a stranger. But neither of them can leave a friend, the only good thing in either of their lives, in danger. To rescue Lucy, they'll have to forge an uneasy alliance. And to avoid becoming collateral damage in someone else's private war, they have to fight back -- and find a way to conquer their doubts and fears."

Title: The Island
#2 in the Hidden Iceland police procedural series.
352 pages

Synopsis: "Autumn of 1987 takes a young couple on a romantic trip in the Westfjords holiday―a trip that gets an unexpected ending and has catastrophic consequences.
Ten years later a small group of friends goes for a weekend in an old hunting lodge in Elliðaey. A place completely cut off from the outside world, to reconnect. But one of them isn't going to make it out alive. And Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is determined to find the truth in the darkness.

Ragnar Jonasson burst onto the American scene with Snowblind and Nightblind, the first two novels in the Ari Thor thriller series, and the praise was overwhelming. With The Darkness, he launched a new series featuring a completely new sleuth, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykjavik Police department. The Island is the second book in this series."

Title: Cari Mora
Author: Thomas Harris
Standalone thriller set in Miami, Florida.
320 pages

Synopsis: "Twenty-five million dollars in cartel gold lies hidden beneath a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront. Ruthless men have tracked it for years. Leading the pack is Hans-Peter Schneider. Driven by unspeakable appetites, he makes a living fleshing out the violent fantasies of other, richer men.

Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a wobbly Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. She works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful, marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before.

Monsters lurk in the crevices between male desire and female survival. No other writer in the last century has conjured those monsters with more terrifying brilliance than Thomas Harris. Cari Mora, his sixth novel, is the long-awaited return of an American master.

=== May 28 ===

Title: Murder at Morrington Hall 
Author: Clara McKenna
#1 in the Stella and Lyndy historical series set in England.
304 pages

Synopsis: "Spring, 1905:  Free-spirited like the Thoroughbreds she rides across the Kentucky countryside, Stella takes adventure by the reins when she’s asked to attend a mysterious wedding in rural England. But once she arrives at the lush Morrington Hall estate, her cold and ambitious father confesses that he won’t only give away his best racehorses as gifts—he has also arranged to give away his daughter as bride to the Earl of Atherly’s financially strapped son . . .

Stella refuses to be sold off like a prized pony. Yet despite a rough start, there’s something intriguing about her groom-to-be, the roguish Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst. The unlikely pair could actually be on the right track with each other . . . until they find the vicar who was to marry them dead in the library.

With culture clashes mounting between families, a scandalous murder case hangs over Morrington Hall. Now, Stella and Lyndy must go from future spouses to amateur sleuths as they team up to search for the truth—and prevent an unbridled criminal from destroying their new life together right out of the gate...

Title: The Sentence Is Death
#2 in the Daniel Hawthorne P.I. series set in England.
384 pages

Synopsis: "'You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late ...'

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine—a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realizes that these secrets must be exposed—even at the risk of death..."

All I can say about the new crime fiction being released in May is WOW. A new book by Thomas Harris, the man who changed how I thought with his book Red Dragon! New books by Anthony Horowitz, Sujata Massey, Elly Griffiths, and Ragnar Jónasson-- all of whom have made my annual Best Reads list! And none of the others are slackers by any stretch of the imagination. I'm in a dizzy tizzy, thinking of all the wonderful reading I have ahead of me.

Now... how about you? Which books on my list are on your own Must Read lists? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Wow, indeed! So much great crime fiction coming out this month, Cathy! I'd be really hard put to choose which one I'm most looking forward to read. My TBR is *not* going to like this! ;-)

  2. It is a very good month. I have Elly Griffiths on pre-order so it will be here soon. I,also, plan to read The Satapur Moonstone as the first book was one of my best reads of 2018. I will read at some time The Island as I have the first book in the hidden Iceland series to read yet. When I heard that Ragnar Jonasson was at the P.P., I knew you would be there. I will pass on the Anthony Horowitz as I am one of the few people who is not a fan.

    I am interested in your review of The Scent of Murder. I really like Susan Furlong's Bone Gap Traveller's mystery series. It is about an Irish Traveller who returns home to Tennessee with her cadaver service dog Wilco. The first book Splintered Silence was a best read of 2018 for me. I see The Scent of Murder has a cadaver dog in training. It does seem that service dog mysteries are starting to come out of one ears now. It is like a new trend. Thanks for sharing the listing.

    1. I love the new trend in mysteries with working dogs, and I'd missed Furlong's series, so-- with your recommendation-- I just picked up Splintered Silence, the first book for my May edition of Additions to My eBook Stockpile. Thanks, Lynn!

  3. Kylie Logan's book I'll look for. Elly Griffiths and Sujata Massey's books are already on library reserve.

    Looks like you have a great list of books to read.

  4. I think the Kylie Logan book looks interesting and thanks for the reminder about Johnson and the Iceland set books, have been meaning to check out the first one. And can't wait for Massey's new book! She will actually be here on tour near the end of the month and I hope to go!

    1. I hope you get to see her-- she's an interesting speaker!

  5. Wow, I've been out of touch. Long story....

    I was wondering if there was a new Anthony Horowitz coming out. Yay! Just a few more days...


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