Wednesday, April 29, 2020

May 2020 New Mystery Releases!

I've been really lucky with my reading lately. I've read two books in a row that made my Best Reads of 2020 list, and I'm in the middle of another good'un. You know what that means, don't you?

I'm on the lookout for more!

The following titles are my picks of the best new crime fiction being released during the month of May. There's a little something for everyone, which sums up my tastes in the mystery genre.

I've got them grouped by release date, and the book covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Did I choose any books that tickled your fancy? Let's take a look!

=== May 5 ===

Title: The Secrets of Bones
Author: Kylie Logan
Series: #2 in the Jazz Ramsey series set in Ohio.
336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Second in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Secrets of Bones is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains a cadaver dog.

Assembly Day at St. Catherine’s dawns bright and cloudless as professional women gather from all around Ohio to talk to the schoolgirls about their careers ranging from medicine to NASA, to yoga. Jazz Ramsey has also signed up to give the girls a taste of her lifelong passion: cadaver dog training. Her adorable new puppy Wally hasn’t been certified yet, so she borrows the fully-trained Gus from a friend and hides a few bones in the unused fourth floor of the school for him to find.

The girls are impressed when Gus easily finds the first bone, but then Gus heads confidently to a part of the floor where Jazz is sure no bones are hidden―at least not any that she’s put there. But Gus is a professional, and sure enough, behind a door that no one has opened in ages, is a human skeleton. Jazz recognizes the necklace the skeleton is wearing, and that it belonged to Bernadette Quinn, an ex-teacher at the school who’d quit her job abruptly one Christmas break. But now it seems Bernadette never left the school at all, and her hiding place makes it clear: this was murder.

Bernadette in life had been a difficult personality, and so there are a plethora of suspects inside the school and out of it. As Jazz gets closer to the truth she can’t help but wonder if someone might be dogging her footsteps...

Title: Death in the East
Series: #4 in the Wyndham & Banerjee historical series set in India.
352 pages

Synopsis: "Calcutta police detective Captain Sam Wyndham and his quick-witted Indian Sergeant, Surrender-Not Banerjee are back for another exotic adventure set in 1920s India.

1905, London. As a young constable, Sam Wyndham is on his usual East London beat when he comes across an old flame, Bessie Drummond, attacked in the streets. The next day, when Bessie is found brutally beaten in her own room, locked from the inside, Wyndham promises to get to the bottom of her murder. But the case will cost the young constable more than he ever imagined.

1922, India. Leaving Calcutta, Captain Sam Wyndham heads for the hills of Assam, to the ashram of a sainted monk where he hopes to conquer his opium addiction. But when he arrives, he sees a ghost from his life in London—a man thought to be long dead, a man Wyndham hoped he would never see again. Wyndham knows he must call his friend and colleague Sergeant Banerjee for help. He is certain this figure from his past isn’t here by coincidence. He is here for revenge . . .

=== May 12 ===

Title: Street Music
Series: #9 in the Poke Rafferty series set in Thailand.
384 pages

Synopsis: "Eight years ago, Poke Rafferty, an American travel writer, and his Thai wife, Rose, adopted a Bangkok street child named Miaow, forming an unconventional intercultural family. That family has weathered extreme challenges—each of its three members carried the scars of a painful and dangerous history—but has stuck together with tenacity and love (and a little help from some friends).

Now that family is in jeopardy: the birth of Poke and Rose’s newborn son has littered their small apartment with emotional land mines, forcing Poke to question his identity as a dad and Miaow to question her identity as a daughter. At the same time, the most cantankerous member of the small gang of Old Bangkok Hands who hang out at the Expat Bar suddenly goes missing under suspicious circumstances. Engaged in the search for the missing American, Poke is caught completely off-guard when someone he thought was gone forever resurfaces—and she has the power to tear the Raffertys apart.

Title: The Streel
Author: Mary Logue
Series: #1 in the Deadwood historical series set in South Dakota.
240 pages

Synopsis: "When I was fifteen and my brother Seamus sixteen, we attended our own wake. Our family was in mourning, forced to send us off to America.

The year is 1880 and of all the places Brigid Reardon and her brother might have dreamed of when escaping Ireland’s potato famine by moving to America, Deadwood, South Dakota, was not one of them. But Deadwood, in the grip of gold fever is where Seamus lands and where Brigid joins him after eluding the unwanted attentions of the son of her rich employer in St. Paul—or so she hopes. But the morning after her arrival, a grisly tragedy occurs; Seamus, suspected of the crime, flees, and Brigid is left to clear his name and to manage his mining claim, which suddenly looks more valuable and complicated than he and his partners supposed.

Mary Logue, the author of the popular Claire Watkins mysteries, brings her signature brio and nerve to this story of a young Irish woman turned reluctant sleuth as she tries to make her way in a strange and often dangerous new world. From the famine-stricken city of Galway to the bustling New York harbor, to the mansions of Summit Avenue in St. Paul, and finally to the raucous hustle of boomtown Deadwood, Logue’s new thriller conjures the romance and the perils, and the tricky everyday realities, of a young immigrant surviving by her wits and grace in nineteenth-century America."

=== May 14 ===

Title: Grave's End
Author: William Shaw
Series: #4 in the Alexandra Cupidi police procedural series set in England.
400 pages

Synopsis: "DS Alexandra Cupidi faces establishment corruption, class divide and environmental activism in this gripping new novel by a rising star of British crime fiction."

=== May 19 ===

Title: Kill the King
Author: Sandrone Dazieri
Series: #3 in the Caselli & Torre police procedural series set in Italy.
512 pages

Synopsis: "From thriller master Sandrone Dazieri, here is the startling conclusion to the internationally bestselling Caselli and Torre trilogy in which two damaged but deductively brilliant detectives must sort out what is real and what is imagined.

Reeling from a deadly bombing in Venice and her investigative partner Dante’s disappearance, Detective Colomba Caselli retreats to the rural countryside outside Rome to nurse her wounds. When an apparently autistic teenager appears in her yard, covered in blood, he leads her to a brutal crime scene where nothing is what it seems. As Colomba gets pulled into the investigation and the body count spirals upward, she is implicated in the violence. Soon, she’s convinced that a powerful villain is working in the shadows to cause the carnage and frame her, but the only person who can help her is Dante—and he hasn’t been seen in over a year and is presumed dead. Colomba is sure he’s alive and out there somewhere, but will she find him before it’s too late? And can she clear her name and be free of the far-reaching legacy of the villain known as the Father?

Bursting with action, ingeniously plotted, and filled with one unexpected twist after another, Kill the King is a shocking and satisfying conclusion to this breathtakingly original crime series.

Title: The Queen's Secret
Author: Karen Harper
Standalone historical suspense set in World War II England.
384 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "1939. As the wife of King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kind demeanor is a will of steel.

Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson. Vowing to do whatever it takes to make her husband’s reign a success, Elizabeth endears herself to the British people, and prevents the former king and his brazen bride from ever again setting foot in Buckingham Palace.

Elizabeth holds many powerful cards, she’s also hiding damaging secrets about her past and her provenance that could prove to be her undoing.

In this riveting novel of royal secrets and intrigue, Karen Harper lifts the veil on one of the world’s most fascinating families, and how its “secret weapon” of a matriarch maneuvered her way through one of the most dangerous chapters of the century.

=== May 26 ===

Title: What You Don't See
Author: Tracy Clark
Series: #3 in the Chicago private investigator series set in Illinois.
304 pages

Synopsis: "Former cop Cass Raines knows the streets of Chicago all too well. Now she’s a private investigator and getting an exclusive glimpse into how the other half lives—and how they die . . .
Wealth. Power. Celebrity. Vonda Allen’s glossy vanity magazine has taken the Windy City by storm and she’s well on her way to building a one-woman media empire. Everybody adores her. Except the people who work for her. And the person who’s sending her flowers with death threats . . .

As Vonda’s bodyguard, off-duty cop Ben Mickerson knows he could use some back-up—and no one fits the bill better than his ex-partner on the police force, Cass Raines. Now a full-time private eye, Cass is reluctant to take the job. She isn’t keen on playing babysitter to a celebrity who’s rumored to be a heartless diva. But as a favor to Ben, she signs on. But when Vonda refuses to say why someone might be after her, and two of her staff turn up dead, Ben and Cass must battle an unknown assailant bent on getting to the great lady herself, before someone else dies.

Cass finds out the hard way just how persistent a threat they face during the first stop on Vonda’s book tour. As fans clamor for her autograph, things take an ugly turn when a mysterious fan shows up with flowers and slashes Ben with a knife. While her ex-partner’s life hangs in the balance, Cass is left to find out what secrets Vonda is keeping, who might want her dead, and how she can bring Ben’s attacker to justice before enemies in the Chicago Police Department try to stop her in her tracks . .

Title: The Shooting at Château Rock
Author: Martin Walker
Series: #13 in the Bruno, Chief of Police series set in France.
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "When a local's troubling death is linked to a Russian oligarch and his multinational conglomerate, Bruno faces one of his toughest cases yet, one that brings together a French notary and a rock star--and, of course, Bergerac red and white.

It's summer in the Dordogne. The heirs of a Périgordian sheep farmer learn that they have been disinherited, and their father's estate sold to an insurance company in return for a policy that will place him in a five-star retirement home for the rest of his life. But the farmer never gets his life of luxury--he dies before moving in. Was it a natural death? Was there foul play? Bruno begins the investigation that leads him to several shadowy insurance companies owned by a Russian oligarch with a Cypriot passport. The companies are based in Cyprus, Malta, and Luxembourg, but Bruno finds a weak spot in France: the Russian's France-based notaire and insurance agent. As Bruno is pursuing this lead, the oligarch's daughter turns up in the Périgord, and complications ensue, eventually bringing the action to the château of an aging rock star. But, as ever, Bruno makes time for lunch amid it all.

Any month that has new books from Timothy Hallinan, Martin Walker, and William Shaw is a Most Excellent month, so May has plenty in store for us, doesn't it? Did any of my choices wind up on your own wishlists? Which ones? You know that inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Oh, gosh, an abundance of choices. I definitely want to read The Street and Grave's End, and possibly others. The Street is tempting. My father's family came from Ireland at about that time, I think, but ended up in New York, not South Dakota. But it sounds good.
    And William Shaw's series, of course.
    Others are possible, but I have to read what I've got here and the books I already ordered. (sigh)

    1. One of the wonderful things about books is that they don't get mad at you if you don't read them right away.

  2. Oh, wow! A Mukherjee, a Hallinan (bittersweet, really, since that's Poke Rafferty's swan song, I believe), and a Martin Walker! I'd better tell my family to hide my credit card from me, Cathy...

    1. You just reminded me of the friend who sent me the link to a fabulous yarn website, telling me to have Denis hide my credit cards first. Fortunately, I was hooked up to my "boa constrictor" and nowhere near my purse!

  3. The Streel's setting catches my attention. Of course, the new William Shaw is on my list. Several others sound good, too.

    1. It's a good month. It's interesting to see that The Streel is appealing to many of us.

  4. Of course, you know that the new Bruno book will be added to my list.

    The Streel intrigues me. As does The Queen's Secret - but I'll wait to see your review of that.

    1. The Queen's Secret is getting close to the top of the stack. I was stunned to read that its author, Karen Harper, died a couple of days ago. I've read several of her books.

  5. No. Books don't get mad. But they're taking up my kitchen table. Bookshelves are full, boxes to give away in living room. They do take over and multiply like rabbits.

    1. I used to raise rabbits. They can multiply quickly.

  6. I had a Peter Cottontail baby rabbit in college. I am fond of them.

    1. I ought to write a blog post about a few of my rabbit experiences sometime.

  7. Bruno!! And new books from Mukherjee and Logan - what an excellent month!

    I haven't started Shaw's series yet, so that's more to look forward to. And I just learned about the Italian series a couple of days ago, so that is in my future as well.

    And I'm another one intrigued by The Streel.

    But right now I'm going to see if my library has the new adventure in the Perigord on order ...

  8. Well, I looked at prices and think this is no time to worry about budgets or calories.
    So the Logan and Shaw may be on my way for my next birthday.

    1. Are you a May baby? asks the January baby.

  9. I'm a mid-July baby, but pre-birthday gifts to oneself may be necessary in this pandemic. Or wait until the next credit card period!


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