Wednesday, May 27, 2020

June 2020 New Mystery Releases!

If you don't pay attention, time can get away from you. I could swear it was winter just yesterday, and then I blinked and now it's summer.

I know that isn't true. I did enjoy all the spring blossoms on our property. Now I'm accumulating a mask collection and using combs to keep my shaggy hair out of my eyes. Maybe I'm creeping into my second childhood because I'm wearing my hair the same way I did when I was about eight years old. (Well, I used a barrette instead of a comb if you want to be picky.)

But you know me well. Masks aren't the only things I'm collecting. I've also been collecting information about new books. Here are my picks for the best in new crime fiction being released throughout the month of June. The titles are grouped according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see if I've chosen any that tickle your fancy...

~~~ June 2 ~~~

Title: The Delightful Life of a Suicide Pilot
Series: #15 in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series set in 1980s Communist Laos. 
288 pages

Synopsis: "After 15 cunning, mischievous, heartbreaking, hilarious, eye-opening, and atmospheric installments, Colin Cotterill's award-winning Dr. Siri Paiboun series comes to a close. Make sure you don't miss this last chapter, a deliciously clever puzzle that illuminates the history of World War II in Southeast Asia.

Laos, 1981: When an unofficial mailman drops off a strange bilingual diary, Dr. Siri is intrigued. Half is in Lao, but the other half is in Japanese, which no one Siri knows can read; it appears to have been written during the Second World War. Most mysterious of all, it comes with a note stapled to it: Dr. Siri, we need your help most urgently. But who is “we,” and why have they left no return address?

To the chagrin of his wife and friends, who have to hear him read the diary out loud, Siri embarks on an investigation by examining the text. Though the journal was apparently written by a kamikaze pilot, it is surprisingly dull. Twenty pages in, no one has died, and the pilot never mentions any combat at all. Despite these shortcomings, Siri begins to obsess over the diary’s abrupt ending . . . and the riddle of why it found its way into his hands. Did the kamikaze pilot ever manage to get off the ground? To find out, he and Madame Daeng will have to hitch a ride south and uncover some of the darkest secrets of the Second World War.

Title: The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope
Author: C.W. Grafton
Series: #1 in the Gil Henry series set in Kentucky.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Short, chubby, and awkward with members of the opposite sex, Gil Henry is the youngest partner in a small law firm, not a hard-boiled sleuth. So when an attractive young woman named Ruth McClure walks into his office and asks him to investigate the value of the stock she inherited from her father, he thinks nothing of it―until someone makes an attempt on his life.

Soon Gil is inadvertently embroiled in scandal, subterfuge, and murder. He's beaten, shot, and stabbed, as his colleagues and enemies try to stop him from seeing the case through to the end. Surrounded by adversaries, he teams up with Ruth and her secretive brother to find answers to the questions someone desperately wants to keep him from asking.

In this portrait of America on the eve of America's entry into World War II, C.W. Grafton―himself a lawyer and the father of prolific mystery writer Sue Grafton―pens an award-winning mystery that combines humor and the hard-boiled style and will keep readers guessing until its thrilling conclusion."

Title: Remain Silent
Author: Susie Steiner
Series: #3 in the Manon Bradshaw police procedural series set in England.
320 pages

Synopsis: "Newly married and navigating life with a preschooler as well as her adopted adolescent son, Manon Bradshaw is happy to be working part-time in the cold cases department of the Cambridgeshire police force, a job that allows her to potter in, coffee in hand, and log on for a spot of Internet shopping—precisely what she had in mind when she thought of work-life balance. But beneath the surface, Manon is struggling with the day-to-day realities of what she’d assumed would be domestic bliss: fights about whose turn it is to clean the kitchen, the bewildering fatigue of having a young child while in her forties, and the fact that she is going to couples counseling alone because her husband feels it would just be her complaining.

But when Manon is on a walk with her four-year-old son in a peaceful suburban neighborhood and discovers the body of a Lithuanian immigrant hanging from a tree with a mysterious note attached, she knows her life is about to change. Suddenly, she is back on the job full-force, trying to solve the suicide—or is it a murder—in what may be the most dangerous and demanding case of her life.

~~~ June 9 ~~~

Title: Snowed Under
Author: Mary Feliz
Series: # 6 in the Maggie McDonald cozy series set in California.
227 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Lake Tahoe in February is beautiful, but Maggie can't see a thing as she drives through a blinding blizzard with her friend Tess Olmos and their dogs, golden retriever Belle and German shepherd Mozart. Maggie has offered her professional decluttering skills to help Tess tidy up her late husband's cabin in preparation to sell. She also plans to get in some skiing when her husband Max and their boys join them later in the week.

What she doesn't plan on is finding a boot in a snowdrift attached to a corpse. The frozen stiff turns out to be Tess's neighbor, Dev Bailey, who disappeared two months ago. His widow Leslie expresses grief, but Maggie can't help but wonder if it's a snow job. As more suspects start to pile up, things go downhill fast, and Maggie must keep her cool to solve the murder before the killer takes a powder . . .

Title: The Distant Dead
Author: Heather Young
A standalone thriller set in Nevada.
352 pages

Synopsis: "A body burns in the high desert hills. A boy walks into a fire station, pale with the shock of a grisly discovery. A middle school teacher worries when her colleague is late for work. By day’s end, when the body is identified as local math teacher Adam Merkel, a small Nevada town will be rocked to its core by a brutal and calculated murder. 

Adam Merkel left a university professorship in Reno to teach middle school in Lovelock seven months before he died. A quiet, seemingly unremarkable man, he connected with just one of his students: Sal Prentiss, a lonely sixth-grader who lives with his uncles on a desolate ranch in the hills. The two outcasts developed a tender, trusting friendship that brought each of them hope in the wake of tragedy. But it is Sal who finds Adam’s body, charred almost beyond recognition, half a mile from his uncles’ compound. 

Nora Wheaton, the middle school’s social studies teacher, dreamed of a life far from Lovelock only to be dragged back on the eve of her college graduation to care for her disabled father, a man she loves but can’t forgive. She sensed in the new math teacher a kindred spirit--another soul bound to Lovelock by guilt and duty. After Adam’s death, she delves into his past for clues to who killed him and finds a dark history she understands all too well. But the truth about his murder may lie closer to home. For Sal Prentiss’s grief seems heavily shaded with fear, and Nora suspects he knows more than he’s telling about how his favorite teacher died. As she tries to earn the wary boy’s trust, she finds he holds not only the key to Adam’s murder, but an unexpected chance at the life she thought she’d lost.

Weaving together the last months of Adam’s life, Nora’s search for answers, and a young boy’s anguished moral reckoning, this unforgettable thriller brings a small American town to vivid life, filled with complex, flawed characters wrestling with the weight of the past, the promise of the future, and the bitter freedom that forgiveness can bring."

Title: Riviera Gold 
Series: #16 in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes historical series set on the Riviera.
368 pages

Synopsis: "It’s summertime on the Riviera, and the Jazz Age has come to France’s once-sleepy beaches. From their music-filled terraces, American expatriates gaze along the coastline at the lights of Monte Carlo, where fortunes are won, lost, stolen, and sometimes hidden away. When Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes arrive, they find their partnership pulled between youthful pleasures and old sins, hot sun and cool jazz, new affections and enduring loyalties.

Russell falls into easy friendship with an enthralling American couple, Sara and Gerald Murphy, whose golden life on the Riviera has begun to attract famous writers and artists—and some of the scoundrels linked with Monte Carlo’s underworld. The Murphy set will go on to inspire everyone from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Pablo Picasso, but in this summer of 1925, their importance for Russell lies in one of their circle’s recent additions: the Holmeses’ former housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, who hasn’t been seen since she fled England under a cloud of false murder accusations.

When a beautiful young man is found dead in Mrs. Hudson’s front room, she becomes the prime suspect in yet another murder. Russell is certain of Mrs. Hudson’s innocence; Holmes is not. But the old woman’s colorful past has been a source of tension between them before, and now the dangerous players who control Monte Carlo’s gilded casinos may stop at nothing to keep the pair away from what Mrs. Hudson’s youthful history could bring to light.

The Riviera is a place where treasure can be false, where love can destroy, and where life, as Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes will discover, can be cheap—even when it is made of solid gold.

~~~ June 23 ~~~

Title: The Mountains Wild
Series: #1 in the Maggie D'Arcy police procedural series set in Ireland.
416 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "In a series debut for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson, set in Dublin and New York, homicide detective Maggie D'arcy finally tackles the case that changed the course of her life.

Twenty-three years ago, Maggie D'arcy's family received a call from the Dublin police. Her cousin Erin has been missing for several days. Maggie herself spent weeks in Ireland, trying to track Erin's movements, working beside the police. But it was to no avail: no trace of her was ever found.

The experience inspired Maggie to become a cop. Now, back on Long Island, more than 20 years have passed. Maggie is a detective and a divorced mother of a teenager. When the Gardaí call to say that Erin's scarf has been found and another young woman has gone missing, Maggie returns to Ireland, awakening all the complicated feelings from the first trip. The despair and frustration of not knowing what happened to Erin. Her attraction to Erin's coworker, now a professor, who never fully explained their relationship. And her determination to solve the case, once and for all.

A lyrical, deeply drawn portrait of a woman - and a country - over two decades - The Mountains Wild introduces a compelling new mystery series from a mesmerizing author.

Title: The Mist
Series: #3 in the Hulda Trilogy (police procedural) set in Iceland.
320 pages

Synopsis: "The final nail-biting installment in Ragnar Jónasson's critically-acclaimed Hidden Iceland series, The Mist, from the newest superstar on the Icelandic crime fiction scene.

1987. An isolated farmhouse in the east of Iceland.

The snowstorm should have shut everybody out. But it didn't.

The couple should never have let him in. But they did.

An unexpected guest, a liar, a killer. Not all will survive the night. And Detective Hulda will be haunted forever.

~~~ June 30 ~~~

Title: The Finders
Series: #1 in the Mace Reid K-9 series set in Illinois.
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Jeffrey B. Burton's The Finders marks the beginning of a fast-paced new mystery series featuring a heroic golden retriever cadaver dog named Vira and her handler, Mason Reid.

Mason "Mace" Reid lives on the outskirts of Chicago and specializes in human remains detection. He trains dogs to hunt for the dead. Reid’s coming off a taxing year―mourning the death of a beloved springer spaniel as well as the dissolution of his marriage. He adopts a rescue dog with a mysterious past―a golden retriever named Vira. And when Reid begins training Vira as a cadaver dog, he comes to realize just how special the newest addition to his family truly is…

Suddenly, Reid and his prize pupil find themselves hurled into a taxing murder case, which will push them to their very limits. Paired with determined Chicago Police Officer Kippy Gimm, Mace must put all his trust in Vira's abilities to thwart a serial killer who has now set his sights on Mace himself.

Title: The Last Curtain Call
Series: #8 in the Haunted Home Renovation cozy series set in California.
336 pages

Synopsis: "Mel Turner can’t resist the chance to bring the Crockett Theatre, a decrepit San Francisco Art Deco movie palace, back to life. But there’s a catch for Turner Construction: Several artists are currently squatting in the building, and they aren’t the only ones haunting the once-grand halls of the historic theater.…

When one of the squatters is found dead, the police department has a long list of suspects to investigate. Meanwhile, Mel and her fiancé, Landon, are remodeling an old house for themselves and Mel finds being on the other side of a home renovation project more challenging than she expected.

When Mel discovers that the former owner of the Crockett Theatre died under mysterious circumstances, and that there just might be a connection to the ghost haunting her own attic, the case takes a new turn—one that could bring down the curtain for the last time.

Title: Murder in a Scottish Shire
Author: Traci Hall
Series: #1 in the Scottish Shire cozy series set in Scotland.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Known as the Brighton of the North, Nairn is both a charming Scottish town and a popular seaside resort—but to Paislee Shaw, it's simply home—unfortunately to a murderer . . .

For a twenty-eight-year-old single mum, Paislee has knit together a sensible life for herself, her ten-year-old son Brody, and Wallace, their black Scottish terrier. Having inherited a knack for knitting from her dear departed grandmother, Paislee also owns a specialty sweater shop called Cashmere Crush, where devoted local crafters gather weekly for her Knit and Sip.

Lately, though, Paislee feels as if her life is unraveling. She’s been served an eviction notice, and her estranged and homeless grandfather has just been brought to her door by a disconcertingly handsome detective named Mack Zeffer. As if all that wasn't enough, Paislee discovers a young woman who she recently rehired to help in the shop dead in her flat, possibly from an overdose of her heart medicine. But as details of the death and the woman’s life begin to raise suspicions for Detective Inspector Zeffer, it’s Paislee who must untangle a murderous yarn . . .

Title: A Fatal Fiction
Series: #3 in the Deadly Edits cozy series set in upstate New York.
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Forgotten on the outskirts of quaint Lenape Hollow, Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel has outlasted its heyday as a popular tourist destination and now awaits demolition. But once Mikki is hired to edit a revealing memoir by Sunny Feldman, the last living relative of its original owners, the doomed resort quickly ends up back in the spotlight . . .

Unfortunately, everyone’s attention shifts to Mikki when a body is discovered at the demolition site. Seen arguing with deceptive entrepreneur Greg Onslow right before his shocking death, the editor has no choice but to spell out exactly why she isn’t guilty of murdering him . . .

Mikki’s dash for answers brings Greg’s shady dealings into focus, along with an unsettling list of potential culprits. As false leads and dead ends force her to revise theories on who really did it, can Mikki judge fact from fiction before the investigation reaches a terrifying conclusion?

Any month with new books from Colin Cotterill, Ragnar Jónasson, and Laurie R. King is a wonderful month, don't you agree? Of the new-to-me authors, I think I'm looking forward the most to The Finders, the first book in Jeffrey Burton's new working dog series.

Now it's your turn! Which of these books did you add to your wishlists? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Gosh, you found so many books.

    Thanks for the reminder about Susie Steiner's new book, "Remain Silent." I can't wait to dig into that. Guess I better order it as the library opening seems about as close as a bagpiper suddenly playing in my hallway.

    I will come back and read carefully. I'm remembering there were books on the new releases list last month that I mean to get.

    1. I read just this morning that the NYC libraries were thinking about opening up on what they called a "grab-and-go" basis, so there may be hope for you.

  2. Well, the setting of the Hall appeals to me right away, Cathy. And a new Colin Cotterill, and a Ragnar Jónasson? Lots to love this time, and such an interesting variety, too, even within the same genre.

  3. The Dr. Siri series and The Mist both sound excellent! Among others.

    1. I'm about to finish the Cotterill, which I've enjoyed (as usual), and it will be sad since this is the last Dr. Siri book. I know it had to happen sooner or later because Siri started the series in his late 70s, but still...

      I've pre-ordered The Mist and can't wait to read it.

  4. Looking at the books this month reminded me of going into a grocery store hungry where everything looks good. I have been reading though so I shouldn't be hungry.
    I have Last Curtain Call on pre-order. On my Kindle is Slash and Burn , the eighth Colin Cotterill book so I am moving along in that series. You once wrote something you said aloud when reading when it looked like someone was coming in to harm Dtui "No, you don't" or 'Don't you dare" One does get invested in the characters.
    I put Remain Silent, Distant Dead and The Mountains Wild on hold at the library.
    I know you have been a big fan of the Hulda Iceland Series. So I imagine you will be reading The Mist. I still have the first one in the series to read.

    1. You know me well. I have The Mist on pre-order!

  5. I already pre-ordered Remain Silent and The Distant Dead. Think I'll add The Mountains Wild as it looks like one I'd really enjoy! And I got my hair cut on Saturday. So nice to have that done. Both of us in masks and she didn't even need to shampoo as I told her I had washed my hair about an hour before. She just wet it, cut it, and we were done. Sigh. It was lovely. Ha!

    1. We'll be getting hair cuts on June 4. I'm not worried about it. There's never anyone else there when we go in, and the woman who cuts our hair is a bit of a germaphobe anyway. I can't wait to see what she's like now! LOL

  6. I am a fan of this genre and making a note of most of the authors (almost all new to me).

    1. Oh, I hope you get a chance to read them, Mystica. There's a lot of good reading in this list!

  7. Such a good list to look forward to! I already have the King and Taylor titles on my list. You've added The Finders and The Distant Dead, and reminded me that I want to get the first in Steiner's series (I dislike starting in the middle).

    1. I must be getting curmudgeonly in my old age. I used to be the exact same way, but now if I have a chance to read a book that's the twelfth in a series, I go ahead and read it. If I like it, I may go back and read the others, but that's not a guarantee. However, if it's only the second or third book in a series, I do pick up the first book to begin with.


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