News from a friend also brought me low. As she was with her daughter in the hospital for the birth of her granddaughter, "persons unknown" broke into her daughter's storage unit and emptied it. No new baby furniture, no furniture at all for that matter, all the kitchen things gone, and so many memories... stolen. Only a very few "rejects" left behind. I've lived through this myself, and it's the theft of cherished mementoes that breaks your heart. The rest can be replaced. I mourn the loss of my grandfather's and father's dog tags years after their theft, and I always will. I won't go into what I'd still like to do to the thieves.
But the thought of new books can always distract me, even if it's only for a little while. Here are my picks of the best new crime fiction being released throughout the month of October. I've grouped them by their release dates, and the book covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.
Let's take a look to see if I've chosen any that tickle your fancy!
=== October 6 ===
Author: Andrea Camilleri
Series: #26 in the Inspector Salvo Montalbano police procedural series set in Sicily.
Synopsis: "Mimi Augello is visiting his lover when the woman's husband unexpectedly
returns to the apartment; he climbs out the window and into the
downstairs apartment, but one danger leads to another. In the dark he
sees a body lying on the bed. Shortly after, another body is found, and
the victim is Carmelo Catalanotti, a director of bourgeois dramas with a
harsh reputation for the acting method he developed for his actors.
Are the two deaths connected? Catalanotti scrupulously kept notes and comments on all the actors he worked with, as well as strange notebooks full of figures and dates and names. Inspector Montalbano finds all of Catalanotti's dossiers and plays, the notes on the characters, and the notes on his last drama, Dangerous Turn--the theater is where he'll find the answer."
Title: On Borrowed Crime
Author: Kate Young
Series: #1 in the Jane Doe Book Club cozy series set in Georgia.
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She
likes her job as receptionist for her uncle's private investigative
firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe members are the friends
she's always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth
wedding anniversary. But recently, with her best friend Melanie on
vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and
moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry
on top of it all is finding Carol, a member of the club, dead and
shoved into a suitcase, left at Lyla's front door.
Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol's heart condition, the coroner rules Carol's death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla's best friend. Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend's name, and to not allow Carol become one of the club's studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer. That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer's next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse."
Title: Murder on a Cold Street
Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: #5 in the Lady Sherlock historical series set in Victorian England.
Synopsis: "Inspector Treadles, Charlotte Holmes’s friend and collaborator, has been
found locked in a room with two dead men, both of whom worked with his
wife at the great manufacturing enterprise she has recently inherited.
Rumors fly. Had Inspector Treadles killed the men because they had opposed his wife’s initiatives at every turn? Had he killed in a fit of jealous rage, because he suspected Mrs. Treadles of harboring deeper feelings for one of the men? To make matters worse, he refuses to speak on his own behalf, despite the overwhelming evidence against him.
Charlotte finds herself in a case strewn with lies and secrets. But which lies are to cover up small sins, and which secrets would flay open a past better left forgotten? Not to mention, how can she concentrate on these murders, when Lord Ingram, her oldest friend and sometime lover, at last dangles before her the one thing she has always wanted?"
Title: Saddled With Murder
Author: Eileen Brady
Series: #1 in the Dr. Kate Vet cozy series set in New York State.
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "It's the Christmas season and veterinarian Kate Turner is not feeling very jolly. She's overworked, unappreciated, and dealing with two dissatisfied clients. Throw in a very complicated personal life and Kate's definitely got a case of the holiday blues.
To make matters worse, Kate's ex-boyfriend, Jeremy, is mugged and robbed after they have a heated argument in the hospital parking lot. Then, two of her dissatisfied clients turn up dead (which really gets Kate's tinsel in a tangle). All of these events seem like coincidences, but they add up to something much more venomous."
Title: Still Life
Author: Val McDermid
Series: #6 in the Karen Pirie police procedural series set in Scotland.
Synopsis: "When a lobster fisherman discovers a dead body in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, Karen is called into investigate. She quickly discovers that the case will require untangling a complicated web―including a historic disappearance, art forgery, and secret identities―that seems to orbit around a painting copyist who can mimic anyone from Holbein to Hockney. Meanwhile, a traffic crash leads to the discovery of a skeleton in a suburban garage. Needless to say, Karen has her plate full. Meanwhile, the man responsible for the death of the love of her life is being released from prison, reopening old wounds just as she was getting back on her feet."
=== October 13 ===
Title: Silent Bite
Author: David Rosenfelt
Series: #22 in the light-hearted Andy Carpenter series set in the New Jersey area.
Synopsis: "Lawyer Andy Carpenter can finally take a breath; he’s back on dry land
after a family Caribbean cruise forced on him by his wife, Laurie, to
get into the Christmas spirit. Of course the family’s first stop is to
the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization that has always been
Andy’s true passion.
But when Andy arrives, his partner, Willie Miller, needs his help. Willie’s old cellmate, Tony Birch, has been arrested for murder. Andy doesn’t necessarily believe in Tony, but Willie does. And Andy believes in Willie, which is why Andy decides to take the case.
Once again David Rosenfelt puts readers in the Christmas spirit in a tale that is equal parts mystery and holiday cheer."
=== October 20 ===
Title: Apprehend Me No Flowers
Author: Diane Vallere
Series: #7 in the Madison Night cozy series set in Texas.
Synopsis: "After a lawsuit puts interior decorator Madison Night’s business on
indefinite hold, she needs a diversion. A walk in the park with police
captain Tex Allen is anything but: they discover two corpses on the
property. The bodies are unidentifiable, and inconvenient weather
conditions have rendered the crime scene obsolete. With no leads, the
case seems unsolvable.
With time on her hands, Madison joins a community volunteer group and discovers a clue that ties the victims to a local florist. A surprise court date catches her off guard, and her continuing involvement in the case may cost her more than she can afford to lose.
Can Madison dig up the evidence needed to catch a killer before the bloom fades on her business?
APPREHEND ME NO FLOWERS is the seventh thrilling cozy mystery in the humorous Mad for Mod series. If you like vintage fashion, edgy cozies, and police investigations, then you’ll love Madison Night’s latest adventure."
Title: A Will to Kill
Author: R.V. Raman
Series: #1 in the Harith Athreya P.I. series set in India.
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "For fans of Knives Out, a book that embodies all the things we love
about Agatha Christie—a haunted manor house, estranged relatives a will,
and a murder— set in modern-day India, and the first in a series from
author RV Raman.
Aging and wheelchair-bound patriarch Bhaskar Fernandez has finally reclaimed his family property after a bitter legal battle, and now wants to reunite his aggrieved relatives. So, he invites them to remote Greybrooke Manor in the misty Nilgiris —a mansion that has played host to several sudden deaths; a colonial edifice that stands alone in a valley that is said to be haunted by the ghost of an Englishman. But Bhaskar has other, more practical problems to deal with.
He knows that his family is waiting for him to die to regain the family fortune, and to safeguard himself against violence during the house party, he writes two conflicting wills. Which one of them comes into force depends on how he dies.
Into this tinderbox, he brings Harith Athreya, a seasoned investigator. When a landslide occurs, temporarily isolating them all at the mansion, and resulting in a murder, Athreya finds that murder is not the only thing the mist conceals. WILL TO KILL is the first Harith Athreya mystery."
=== October 27 ===
Title: Fortune Favors the Dead
Author: Stephen Spotswood
Series: #1 in the Pentecost & Parker historical P.I. series set in New York City.
Synopsis: "It's 1942 and Willowjean "Will" Parker is a scrappy circus runaway whose knife-throwing skills have just saved the life of New York's best, and most unorthodox, private investigator, Lillian Pentecost. When the dapper detective summons Will a few days later, she doesn't expect to be offered a life-changing proposition: Lillian's multiple sclerosis means she can't keep up with her old case load alone, so she wants to hire Will to be her right-hand woman. In return, Will is to receive a salary, room and board, and training in Lillian's very particular art of investigation.
Three years later, Will and Lillian are on the Collins case: Abigail Collins was found bludgeoned to death with a crystal ball following a big, boozy Halloween party at her home--her body slumped in the same chair where her steel magnate husband shot himself the year before. With rumors flying that Abigail was bumped off by the vengeful spirit of her husband (who else could have gotten inside the locked room?), the family has tasked the detectives with finding answers where the police have failed. But that's easier said than done in a case that involves messages from the dead, a seductive spiritualist, and Becca Collins--the beautiful daughter of the deceased, who Will quickly starts falling for. When Will and Becca's relationship dances beyond the professional, Will finds herself in dangerous territory, and discovers she may have become the murderer's next target."
Title: A Solitude of Wolverines
Author: Alice Henderson
Series: #1 in the Alex Carter wildlife biologist/amateur sleuth series set in Montana.
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "The first book in a thrilling series featuring a wildlife
biologist who courts trouble as she saves endangered species . . . and a
mysterious killer who buries his dead in the land she helps preserve—a
fast-paced, action-driven tale of suspense with the atmosphere and
propulsive tension of works by Jane Harper, C. J. Box, William Kent
Krueger, and Nevada Barr.
While studying wolverines on a wildlife sanctuary in Montana, biologist Alex Carter is run off the road and threatened by locals determined to force her off the land.
Undeterred in her mission to help save this threatened species, Alex tracks wolverines on foot and by cameras positioned in remote regions of the preserve. But when she reviews the photos, she discovers disturbing images of an animal of a different kind: a severely injured man seemingly lost and wandering in the wilds.
After searches for the unknown man come up empty, local law enforcement is strangely set on dismissing the case altogether, raising Alex’s suspicions. Then another invasive predator trespasses onto the preserve. The hunter turns out to be another human—and the prey is the wildlife biologist herself. Alex realizes too late that she has seen too much—she's stumbled onto a far-reaching illegal operation and now has become the biggest threat.
In this wild and dangerous landscape, Alex’s life depends on staying one step ahead—using all she knows about the animal world and what it takes to win the brutal battle for survival."
Title: Murder in the Margins
Author: Margaret Loudon
Series: #1 in the Open Book cozy series set in England.
Synopsis: "Penelope Parish has hit a streak of bad luck, including a severe case of
writer's block that is threatening her sophomore book. Hoping a writer
in residence position at The Open Book bookstore in Upper
Chumley-on-Stoke, England, will shake the cobwebs loose, Pen, as she's
affectionately known, packs her typewriter and heads across the pond.
Unfortunately, life in Chumley is far from quiet and when the chairwoman of the local Worthington Fest is found dead, fingers are pointed at Charlotte Davenport, an American romance novelist and the future Duchess of Worthington. Charlotte turns to the one person who might be her ally for help: fellow American Pen. Teaming up with bookstore owner Mabel Morris and her new friend Figgy, Pen sets out to learn the truth and find the tricks that will help her finish her novel."
You certainly can't complain with any month that has new books by authors like Camilleri and McDermid, can you? Of the new-to-me authors, I have to admit that I perked up the most when I saw the synopsis for Alice Henderson's A Solitude of Wolverines. You know me and critters! There are also a couple of very promising new cozy series, and I love Diane Vallere's Madison Night, so I was thrilled when I saw Apprehend Me No Flowers.
What about you? Did any of the books on my list make your eyes light up with anticipation? Which ones? Inquiring minds would love to know!