Wednesday, July 29, 2020

August 2020 New Mystery Releases!

I don't know how a season can drag on endlessly and flash by in the blink of an eye all at the same time, but... August? I've mentioned before that I've been having a tough time concentrating on books lately, so I've been taking out my distractions on knitting, television, and sifting through things I've boxed up, tucked away on shelves, and not touched for years. You have to do what you have to do to maintain some semblance of sanity, right?

One thing that hasn't changed is my need to know what new mysteries are being released, and what follows is my picks of the best new crime fiction in August. The books are listed by release date, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon because they deserve to be showroomed, too.

Let's see if I've found anything that tickles your fancy!

=== August 1 ===

Title: Tahoe Hit
Author: Todd Borg
Series: #18 in the Owen McKenna private investigator series set in Lake Tahoe, California.
316 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Carston Kraytower’s San Francisco hedge fund is hugely profitable. But Kraytower has a secret background he’ll do anything to conceal. Two of his colleagues know what he’s hiding. All seems okay until they start dying in inexplicable ways up at Lake Tahoe.

Kraytower’s son Joshua grows up surrounded by riches and secrets and deadly mysteries. Those mysteries drive a killer to seek revenge. The killer kidnaps Joshua, the one person who is innocent.

As the murderer’s scheme unfolds, Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna realizes that in order to find and save the kidnapped boy, he has to unravel a mystery that seems to stretch back in time to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a gripping tale filled with betrayal and murder, where nearly all the characters die...

=== August 4 ===

Title: The Finisher
Series: #19 in the Peter Diamond police procedural series set in Bath, England
360 pages

Synopsis: "On the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first novel, Peter Lovesey, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and titan of the British detective novel, returns to the subject of his very first mystery—running.

Through a particularly ill-fated series of events, couch potato Maeve Kelly, an elementary school teacher whose mother always assured her “curvy” girls shouldn’t waste their time trying to be fit, has been forced to sign up for the Other Half, Bath’s springtime half marathon. The training is brutal, but she must disprove her mother and collect pledges for her aunt’s beloved charity. What Maeve doesn’t know is just how vicious some of the other runners are.

Meanwhile, Detective Peter Diamond is tasked with crowd control on the raucous day of the race—and catches sight of a violent criminal he put away a decade ago, and who very much seems to be up to his old tricks now that he is paroled. Diamond’s hackles are already up when he learns that one of the runners never crossed the finish line and disappeared without a trace. Was Diamond a spectator to murder?

=== August 18 ===

Title: Death at High Tide
Series: #1 in the Island Sisters cozy series set in the Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall, England
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "When Evie Mead’s husband, Robert, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, a mysterious note is found among his possessions. It indicates that Evie may own the rights to an old hotel on Tregarrick Rock, one of the Isles of Scilly.

Still grieving, Evie is inclined to leave the matter to the accountant to sort out. Her sister Margot, however, flown in from her glamorous career in LA, has other plans. Envisioning a luxurious weekend getaway, she goes right ahead and buys two tickets―one way―to Tregarrick.

Once at the hotel―used in its heyday to house detective novelists, and more fixer-upper than spa resort, after all―Evie and Margot attempt to get to the bottom of things. But the foul-tempered hotel owner claims he's never met the late Robert, even after Evie finds framed photos of them―alongside Robert's first wife―in his office. The rest of the island inhabitants, ranging from an ex-con receptionist to a vicar who communicates with cats, aren't any easier to read.

But when a murder occurs at the hotel, and then another soon follows, frustration turns to desperation. There’s no getting off the island at high tide. And Evie and Margot, the only current visitors to Tregarrick, are suspects one and two. It falls to them to unravel secrets spanning generations―and several of their own―if they want to make it back alive.

Title: The Less Dead
Author: Denise Mina
Standalone thriller set in Scotland
352 pages

Synopsis: "Dr. Margo Dunlop is at a crossroads. Her adoptive mom just passed away, and Margo misses her so much she can't begin to empty the house-or, it seems, get her brother on the phone. Not to mention she's newly single, secretly pregnant, and worried about her best friend's dangerous relationship. In an effort to cheer herself up she goes in search of her birth mother. Instead she finds Nikki, her mother's sister. Aunt Nikki isn't what Margo expects, and she brings upsetting news: Margo's mother is dead. Worse, she was murdered years ago, and her killer is still at large-and sending Nikki threatening letters.

Margo is torn. Should she stay out of this mess, or try to find justice? But then Margo receives a letter, too. Someone out there has been waiting and watching, and in Margo sees the spitting image of her mother...

Darkly funny and deeply affecting, The Less Dead is a sharply modern new thriller from the bestselling author of Conviction, and a surprisingly moving story of daughters and mothers, secrets and choices, and how the search for the truth-and a long-hidden killer-will lead one woman to find herself.

Title: Hidden Creed
Author: Alex Kava
Series: #6 in the Ryder Creed K-9 series set in Florida
326 pages

Synopsis: "A TRAILBLAZER IN THE K9 MYSTERY GENRE, award-winning Alex Kava delivers her signature trademark combining "well-developed characters" (Publishers Weekly) with "a highly original plot" (Suspense Magazine) then packing it with "twists, turns and suspense galore" (Modern Dog). "Did I mention the dogs? They and their human partners are simply the heart and soul of everything." (Florida Weekly)

2019 Nebraska Fiction Award (Lost Creed) winner author, Alex Kava adds another dynamic chase between murderers, Ryder Creed and his amazing scent dog Grace.

During a training exercise, Creed's scent dog, Grace, is drawn off course and discovers a shallow grave. The body was never meant to be found, hidden deep in an isolated part of Florida's Blackwater River State Forest. The remote area has no easy access in or out. The killer obviously hoped his secret would be scattered and swallowed up by the forces of nature.

When Creed's dogs continue to find more remains, investigators quickly realize they're dealing with someone who knows the forest intimately and has been using it to hide his handiwork for years

Soon Ryder Creed and everyone who's close to him will discover just how far this killer is willing to go to keep his secrets hidden forever.

Title: Never Forget
Author: Michel Bussi
Standalone thriller set in France
480 pages

Synopsis: "In the town of Yport, during a run along Europe’s tallest cliff, Jamal notices a red scarf hanging on a fence. Then he sees the woman, her dress torn, her back to the void, her eyes fixed on his own. Jamal holds the scarf out to her like a buoy.

A few seconds later, the stranger’s lifeless body is found lying on the icy pebbles of the empty beach below. Around her neck, the red scarf.

Everyone thinks he pushed her. He only wanted to save her.

That’s Jamal’s version. Do you believe it?

=== August 20 ===

Title: Midnight at Malabar House
Author: Vaseem Khan
Series: #1 in the Persis Wadia historical series set in 1950 Bombay, India.
336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "'the leading character is the deftly drawn Persis Wadia, the country's first female detective. She's a wonderful creation and this is a hugely enjoyable book' - Ann Cleeves

Bombay, New Year's Eve, 1949

As India celebrates the arrival of a momentous new decade, Inspector Persis Wadia stands vigil in the basement of Malabar House, home to the city's most unwanted unit of police officers. Six months after joining the force she remains India's first female police detective, mistrusted, sidelined and now consigned to the midnight shift.
And so, when the phone rings to report the murder of prominent English diplomat Sir James Herriot, the country's most sensational case falls into her lap.

As 1950 dawns and India prepares to become the world's largest republic, Persis, accompanied by Scotland Yard criminalist Archie Blackfinch, finds herself investigating a case that is becoming more political by the second. Navigating a country and society in turmoil, Persis, smart, stubborn and untested in the crucible of male hostility that surrounds her, must find a way to solve the murder - whatever the cost.

=== August 25 ===

Title: Shadows of the Dead
Author: Spencer Kope
Series: #3 in the Special Tracking Unit law enforcement series set in various US locations.
384 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "A woman―abducted and found in the trunk of a car after a high-speed chase―regains consciousness in the ICU to reveal two crucial pieces of information: the man who kidnapped her is not the same as the man who left her in the woods, and she's not the first victim―in fact, she is number eight.

Magnus “Steps” Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Known for his ability to find and follow trails over any surface, Steps is called in on cases that require his unparalleled skills. But there’s a secret to his talent. Steps has a kind of synesthesia where he can see the ‘essence’ of a person―what he calls ‘shine’―on everything they’ve touched.

Brought in to track the driver through a dense forest after the blood hounds have lost his trail, Steps and his partner Jimmy find the driver laughing maniacally, babbling about souls, and hiding a pristinely maintained box of eight posed rats. Now the Special Tracking Unit must chase two villains―through not just the real world, but the dark web as well―tracking an enemy they can't see, as time runs out for the unknown victims.

Title: Knit of the Living Dead
Series: #6 in the Knit& Nibble cozy series set in New Jersey.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Among the countless revelers at the town’s much-anticipated Halloween parade, a woman dressed as Little Bo Peep is the only one making people scream bloody murder. In a scene straight out of a horror movie, the Knit and Nibblers find the nursery rhyme character dead with thick strands of yarn looped around her neck. Pamela and her best friend, Bettina, are set on pinning down who wanted the woman gone forever, but it’ll take every trick they can muster to catch the culprit without becoming the next poor souls to join Little Bo Peep’s dark, endless sleep . . . "

Title: Mesa Verde Victim
Author: Scott Graham
Series: #6 in the National Park series set in Colorado.
220 pages

Synopsis: "'An absorbing archaeological mystery, rich in historical detail and local atmosphere. With its colorful characters and fast–paced plot, Mesa Verde Victim is a fascinating find.'
—AUSMA ZEHANAT KHAN, author of A Deadly Divide

Hounded by false accusations of murder, archaeologist Chuck Bender and his family risk their lives to track down an unknown killer on the loose in a rugged canyon on the remote western edge of Mesa Verde National Park, where ancient stone villages and secret burial sites, abandoned centuries ago by the Ancestral Puebloan people, harbor artifacts so rare and precious they're worth killing over.

SCOTT GRAHAM is the National Outdoor Book Award–winning author of the six–volume National Park Mystery Series for Torrey House Press, including Canyon Sacrifice, Mountain Rampage, Yellowstone Standoff, Yosemite Fall, and Arches Enemy, and five other books. He is an avid outdoorsman who lives with his wife, an emergency physician, in southwestern Colorado.

Title: Every Kind of Wicked
Author: Lisa Black
Series: #6 in the Gardiner & Renner police procedural series set in Ohio.
320 pages

Synopsis: "Life and death have brought Maggie Gardiner full circle, back to the Erie Street Cemetery where she first entered Jack Renner’s orbit. Eight months ago, she learned what Jack would do in the name of justice. More unsettling still, she discovered how far she would go to cover his tracks. Now a young man sprawls atop a snowy grave, his heart shredded by a single wound. A key card in the victim’s wallet leads to the local university’s student housing—and to a grieving girlfriend with an unsettling agenda.
Maggie’s struggle to appease her conscience is complicated by her ex-husband, Rick, who’s convinced that Jack is connected to a series of vigilante killings. Also a homicide detective, Rick investigates what seems like a routine overdose on Cleveland’s West Side; but here, too, the appearance belies a deeper truth.
Rick’s case and Jack’s merge onto the trail of a shadowy, pill-pushing physician who is everywhere and nowhere at once, while Maggie and Jack uncover a massive financial shakedown hiding in plain sight. And when Rick’s bloody fingerprint is found at another murder scene, Maggie’s world comes undone in a violent, irreversible torrent of events . . .

There's a lot of good reading in coming up in August. Besides Spencer Kope's Shadows of the Dead, I think I have the most anticipation for Vaseem Khan's Midnight at Malabar House. And as far as covers go, I think I might shock you. You know how much I dislike covers that show the back of a person, right? Well, the cover I like the most in this group is Alex Kava's Hidden Creed. Why? Because I really really really want to be in that boat with that dog heading out on the water. Right. Now. Sounds like I need to pick up the knitting needles again...

Which new books did you add to your own lists? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. A new Denise Mina? Alex Kava? Vaseem Khan (fascinating, wonder if the writer knows about Sujata Massey's historical series about the first woman lawyer in India 30 years earlier than this date.)

    Lots of goodies. And August already? It seems incredible. Then it'll be five months that I've been held captive in my apartment.

    1. I'm sure Khan is well aware of Massey's series. Who knows? The success of hers may have encouraged him to begin this new series.

  2. Ooh, some good things coming out, Cathy! I see there's a new Dennison that's not part of her Kat Stanford series; I wonder if that's a standalone or part of a new series. And a Mina, a Lovesey and a Khan!? OK, someone hide my credit card! Now!

    1. The Dennison mystery is the start to a new series.

  3. I already had the Kope on my list, as well as Malabar House, but I had not known about the next Kava - thank you!

    And on the subject of covers, Peggy Ehrhart's is very cute - I hope the story is as much fun (but I'm not at all ready for Halloween yet!).

  4. What is the Kat Stanford series like?
    Even though I also have to hide my credit card, this is so welcome to read after reading the latest pandemic statistics. Escapism!

    1. They are light and fun. I've reviewed all of them so far. One review is at

  5. Thanks.
    I escaped for 15 minutes to go to Duane Reade to get snacks, only place open. Interesting. No one was out. It was late.

  6. I like the Dennison cover because it looks cool there, and I'd love to swim on that coast.

    1. Dennison's books usually have good covers, at least in the US. Since I'm allergic to cats, I can't say that I'm ever really fond of a cover with a cat on it.

  7. I am now allergic to cats, but had cats for years before that, and as with living creatures, especially mammals, I do love them.

    I would have a cheetah if it was possible -- or I should say I'd watch cheetah videos all day with them in their natural homes.

    1. Cheetahs and tigers are the exception to my cat rule. If I had a chance to spend them with them, I'd do it in a heartbeat.


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