Wednesday, November 27, 2019

December 2019 New Mystery Releases!

December? Already?!? How did that happen?

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in...

Okay...I think I've calmed myself down.

There's nothing like hospitals and doctors and specialists and home healthcare nurses to make you completely lose track of time, but one thing I did not lose track of are some of the new mysteries that are being released during the month of December.

These are my picks of the best new crime fiction for December, and they're grouped by release date. Book covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see if I chose a title or two that made its way to your own wishlists!

=== December 3 ===

Title: Thin Ice
Author: Paige Shelton
Series: #1 in the Beth Rivers series set in Alaska.
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she's got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout. 

Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear―and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?

Title: Winter Grave
Author: Helene Tursten
Series: #2 in the Embla Nyström police procedural series set in Sweden
336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "When a little girl disappears a few weeks before Christmas, suspicion falls on the last person she was seen with: the mentally disabled teenage boy who gave her a ride home after school. Complicating the matter is the fact that detectives can hardly get a word out of him. When a second child disappears and a police officer is found dead, tensions in the small town of Strömstad reach an all-time high.

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Detective Inspector Embla Nyström has just returned to work and is still recovering from her recent brush with a killer, which left her unable to get back in the ring to defend her title of Nordic light-welterweight champion. As she hunts for the missing children, Embla can’t help but think of the case that has been haunting her for years: the disappearance of her childhood best friend. Could the incidents be linked? With the passing of each dark winter day, the odds of finding the children alive shrink, and desperation mounts. Their parents want answers and will stop at nothing to get them.

Title: Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour
Series: #17 in the Peculiar Crimes Unit police procedural series set in England.
448 pages

Synopsis: "When a man is found hanging upside down inside a willow tree on Hampstead Heath, surrounded by a baffling assortment of occult objects, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate. Was this a botched satanic ritual pulled off by bored teenagers, a gang initiation, or the work of a mastermind with grander intentions? Bryant and May set off in search of answers and are soon reminded that London is a city steeped in blood and magic.

When another body is pulled from the river at dawn, it becomes clear that a killer lurks in the night. To catch him, the PCU switches to graveyard shifts, but the team still comes up short. As they explore a night city where the normal rules do not apply, they’re drawn deeper into a case that involves murder, arson, kidnapping, blackmail, loneliness, and bats.

May takes a technological approach, while Bryant goes in search of his usual academics and misfits for help, for this investigation reveals impossibilities at every turn. How do you stop a killer who appears not to exist? Luckily, impossibilities are what the Peculiar Crimes Unit does best.

Title: Now You See Them
Series: #5 in the Stephens & Mephisto historical mystery series set in England.
368 pages

Synopsis: "The new decade is going well for Edgar Stephens and his good friend the magician Max Mephisto. Edgar is happily married, with children, and promoted to Superintendent. Max has found fame and stardom in America, though is now back in England for a funeral, and a prospective movie job. Edgar’s new wife, though—former detective Emma—is restless and frustrated at home, knowing she was the best detective on the team.

But when an investigation into a string of disappearing girls begins, Emma sees her chance to get back in the action. She begins her own hunt, determined to prove, once and for all that she’s better than the boys. Though she’s not the only one working toward that goal—there’s a new woman on the force, and she’s determined to make detective. When two more girls go missing, both with ties to the group, the stakes climb ever higher, and Max finds himself drawn into his own search.

Who will find the girls first? And will they get there in time?

Title: The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt
Author: Burt Solomon
Series: #2 in the John Hay historical thriller series set in New England and Washington, DC.
304 pages

Synopsis: "The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt is a historical thriller from award-winning political journalist and Washington insider Burt Solomon, featuring Teddy Roosevelt's near death...accident or assassination attempt?

Theodore Roosevelt had been president for less than a year when on a tour in New England his horse-drawn carriage was broadsided by an electric trolley. TR was thrown clear but his Secret Service bodyguard was killed instantly. The trolley’s motorman pleaded guilty to manslaughter and the matter was quietly put to rest.

But was it an accident or an assassination attempt…and would there be another “accident” soon?

The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt casts this event in a darker light. John Hay, the Secretary of State, finds himself in pursuit of a would-be assassin, investigating the motives of TR’s many enemies, including political rivals and the industrial trusts. He crosses paths with luminaries of the day, such as best-pal Henry Adams, Emma Goldman, J.P. Morgan, Mark Hanna, and (as an investigatory sidekick) the infamous Nellie Bly, who will help Hay protect the man who wants to transform a nation."

=== December 31 ===

Title: Murder in Rat Alley
Series: #7 in the Sam Blackman private investigator series set in North Carolina.
272 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Iraq War veteran Sam Blackman with his prosthetic leg and his no-nonsense private eye partner Nakayla Robertson love their investigations which always carry a thread from the past—and they love each other. An interracial couple in the new South, the Asheville, NC, pair has surrounded themselves with a terrific support team including an unorthodox lawyer and a veteran cop. They deploy humor both to bind them together and to deflect insults. Plus, it helps deal with the tragedies their work uncovers.

Such a tragedy interrupts a meeting between the PIs and the neighboring law office when a body is unearthed from the grounds of the nearby Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute. During the Cold War, it monitored developing space programs. Today it plays a vital role in gathering weather and climate data. The body has been in the ground for a long time. Why would its discovery spark off a new murder in Asheville's mountain music scene, the victim found amid the garbage of dark, dank Rat Alley?

She was the fiancée of the man murdered long ago. But surely this case is more than a domestic drama playing out over time...

The Blackman Agency Investigations excel at merging past and present, bringing little-known history to light, and are perfect for fans of James Lee Burke, Stephen Mack Jones, Margaret Maron, and Robert B. Parker."

Title: Sell Low, Sweet Harriet
Author: Sherry Harris
Series: #8 in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale cozy series set in Massachusetts.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "ONE WOMAN’S TRASH . . .
Sarah Winston’s garage sale business has a new client: the daughter of a couple who recently died in a tragic accident while away on a trip to Africa. Their house is full of exotic items from around the world that need to be sold off. When Sarah learns that the deceased were retired CIA agents, the job becomes more intriguing—but when an intruder breaks in and a hidden camera is found, it also becomes more dangerous. And Sarah has enough on her plate right now since she’s investigating a murder on the side at the nearby Air Force base, where her status as a former military spouse gives her a special kind of access.

With so much work piling up, Sarah decides to hire some help. But her assistant, Harriet—a former FBI hostage negotiator—has a rare talent for salesmanship. Which is good, because Sarah may have to haggle for her life with Harriet’s assistance . . .

Title: Sealed Off
Author: Barbara Ross
Series: #8 in the Maine Clambake cozy series set in Maine.
256 pages

Synopsis: "Early October is “winding down” time in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but there’s nothing relaxing about it for Julia Snowden. Between busloads of weekend leaf peepers at the Snowden Family Clambake and a gut renovation of the old mansion on Morrow Island, she’s keeping it all together with a potentially volatile skeleton crew—until one of them turns up dead under the firewood.

When the Russian demo team clearing out the mansion discovers a room that’s been sealed off for decades, Julia’s baffled as to its purpose and what secrets it might have held. Tensions are already simmering with the crew, but when one of the workers is found murdered, things come to a boil. With the discovery of another body—and a mysterious diary with Cyrillic text in the hidden room—the pressure’s on Julia to dig up a real killer fast. But she’ll have to sort through a pile of suspects, including ex-spouses, a spurned lover, and a recently released prisoner, to fish out one clammed-up killer."

From this list, I have to admit that Sherry Harris's title Sell Low, Sweet Harriet makes me smile, and I love the covers of Paige Shelton's Thin Ice and Barbara Ross's Sealed Off. But the most important question is... did any of these books make their way onto your own wishlists? Which ones? Inquiring minds would love to know!



  1. OK, I say this is not fair, Cathy! A Griffiths, a Tursten, and a Fowler? I don't suppose I'll ever catch up with my TBR... Seriously, this does look like a great list. Lots to look forward to, isn't there?

    1. Yes, there is-- and I think we're not meant to ever catch up with our TBR!

  2. Yep, this is upsetting my wish list, which grows ever longer. Since we rarely get snow, I'm fond of snow/winter books and the top two are particularly interesting to me.

    1. Both are good, but if I could choose only one, I'd choose THIN ICE.

  3. The Barbara Ross books is on my wish list...

    1. May you receive it soon-- Happy Thanksgiving!


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