Wednesday, June 30, 2021

July 2021 New Mystery Releases!


Since I can't get out in the pool until the open wounds on my leg finally decide to heal and stay healed, I'm glad I've feathered my nest here in the living room. I'm feeling more connected to the neighborhood and have even started adding books to a nearby neighbor's Little Free Library. 
And may I just say that this "connected-ness" wouldn't be possible if not for the new windows we installed a couple of years ago. There's no way in the world I could've sat here in the living room with the curtains open and not roasted alive-- even with the air conditioning on. But now, here I sit, watching the neighbors come and go, counting the new arms the cactus is growing, and keeping track of all the visiting bees and hummingbirds at the fairy duster bush.

Of course, that's not all I'm doing while I'm sitting in pampered comfort. I'm getting a lot of reading done as well, and you know what that means. That means that I have to keep a lookout for new books to read!

The following list contains my picks of the best new crime fiction being released throughout the month of July. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see if I've chosen any that are on your own wish lists!

=== July 1 ===

Title: Death and Croissants
Author: Ian Moore
Series: #1 in the Follet Valley amateur sleuth series set in rural France
230 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B in the fictional Val de Follet in the Loire Valley. Nothing ever happens to Richard, and really that’s the way he likes it.

One day, however, one of his older guests disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. Another guest, the exotic Valérie, persuades a reluctant Richard to join her in investigating the disappearance.

Richard remains a dazed passenger in the case until things become really serious and someone murders Ava Gardner, one of his beloved hens... and you don’t mess with a fellow’s hens!

Unputdownable mystery set in rural France, by TV/radio regular and bestselling author Ian Moore – perfect for fans of Richard Osman's The Thursday Murder Club."

=== July 6 ===

Title: An Irish Hostage
Author: Charles Todd
Series: #12 in the Bess Crawford historical series set in Ireland during the years immediately following World War I.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "The Great War is over—but in Ireland, in the wake of the bloody 1916 Easter Rising, anyone who served in France is now considered a traitor, including nurse Eileen Flynn and former soldier Michael Sullivan, who only want to be married in the small, isolated village where she grew up. Even her grandmother is against it, and Eileen’s only protection is her cousin Terrence who was a hero of the Rising and is still being hunted by the British. 
Bess Crawford had promised to be there for the wedding. And in spite of the danger to her, she keeps that promise—only to be met with the shocking news that the groom has vanished. Eileen begs for her help, but how can Bess hope to find him when she doesn’t know the country, the people, or where to put her trust? Time is running out, for Michael and for Bess herself, and soon her own life is on the line. With only an Irish outlaw and a man being hunted for murder on her side, how can she possibly save herself, much less stop a killer?
Title: The Hollywood Spy
Series: #10 in the Maggie Hope historical series set in California in 1943.
368 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Los Angeles, 1943. As the Allies beat back the Nazis in the Mediterranean and the United States military slowly closes in on Tokyo, Walt Disney cranks out wartime propaganda and the Cocoanut Grove is alive with jazz and swing every night. But behind this sunny façade lies a darker reality. Somewhere in the lush foothills of Hollywood, a woman floats lifeless in the pool of one of California’s trendiest hotels.

When American-born secret agent and British spy Maggie Hope learns that this woman was engaged to her former fiancée, John Sterling, and that he suspects her death was no accident, intuition tells her he’s right. Leaving London under siege is a lot to ask. But John was once the love of Maggie’s life . . . and she won’t say no.
Maggie struggles with seeing her lost love again, but what’s more shocking is that her own country is as divided and convulsed with hatred as Europe. The Zoot Suit Riots loom large in Los Angeles, and the Ku Klux Klan casts a long shadow everywhere. But there is little time to dwell on memories once she starts digging into the case. As she traces a web of deception from the infamous Garden of Allah to the iconic Carthay Circle Theater, she discovers things aren’t always the way things appear in the movies—and the political situation in America is more complicated, and dangerous, than the newsreels would have them all believe.

Title: People Like Them
Author: Samira Sedira
Standalone psychological suspense set in France
192 pages
Synopsis: "Anna and Constant Guillot live with their two daughters in the peaceful, remote mountain village of Carmac, largely deaf to the upheavals of the outside world. Everyone in Carmac knows each other, and most of its residents look alike--until Bakary and Sylvia Langlois arrive with their three children.

Wealthy and flashy, the family of five are outsiders in the small town, their impressive chalet and three expensive cars a stark contrast to the modesty of those of their neighbors. Despite their differences, the Langlois and the Guillots form an uneasy, ambiguous friendship. But when both families begin experiencing financial troubles, the underlying class and racial tensions of their relationship come to a breaking point, and the unthinkable happens.

With piercing psychological insight and gripping storytelling, People Like Them asks: How could a seemingly "normal" person commit an atrocious crime? How could that person's loved ones ever come to terms with it afterward? And how well can you really know your own spouse?

Title: Palm Springs Noir 
Editor: Barbara Demarco-Barrett
Short Story Anthology set in Palm Springs, California
304 pages

Synopsis: "Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct location within the geographic area of the book.

Palm Springs Noir features brand-new stories by: T. Jefferson Parker, Janet Fitch, Eric Beetner, Kelly Shire, Tod Goldberg, Michael Craft, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Rob Roberge, J.D. Horn, Eduardo Santiago, Rob Bowman, Chris J. Bahnsen, Ken Layne, and Alex Espinoza.

From the introduction: The best noir writers make us feel the heat of the sun, the touch of a lover. Setting can be gritty but can also be sublime, no longer relegated to urban locales and seedy hotel rooms but also mansions and swimming pools. Hence, Palm Springs, which may seem like an odd setting for a collection of dark short stories--it’s so sunny and bright here. The quality of light is unlike anywhere else, and with an average of three hundred sunny days a year, what could go wrong?...

The stories in this collection come on like the wicked dust storms common to the area. More than half are by writers who live here full-time; all have homes in Southern California. They know this place in ways visitors and outsiders never will. These are not stories you'll read in the glossy coffee-table books that feature Palm Springs's good life. There is indeed a lush life to be found here, but for the characters in these stories, it’s often just out of reach."
 === July 8 ===
Title: The Dying Day
Author: Vaseem Khan
Series: #2 in the Persis Wadia historical series set in India
400 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "For over a century, one of the world's great treasures, a six-hundred-year-old copy of Dante's The Divine Comedy, has been safely housed at Bombay's Asiatic Society. But when it vanishes, together with the man charged with its care, British scholar and war hero, John Healy, the case lands on Inspector Persis Wadia's desk.

Uncovering a series of complex riddles written in verse, Persis - together with English forensic scientist Archie Blackfinch - is soon on the trail. But then they discover the first body.

As the death toll mounts it becomes evident that someone else is also pursuing this priceless artefact and will stop at nothing to possess it . . .

Harking back to an era of darkness, this second thriller in the Malabar House series pits Persis, once again, against her peers, a changing India, and an evil of limitless intent.

=== July 13 ===

Title: Butcher Pen Road
Author: Kris Lackey
Series: #3 in the Bill Maytubby & Hannah Bond police procedural series set in Oklahoma
200 pages 

Synopsis: "On Oklahoma's Big Rock Prairie, a deaf boy finds a body in Pennington Creek. Johnston County Deputy Hannah Bond and Chickasaw Lighthorse Police Sergeant Bill Maytubby find a crime scene where nothing seems to fit -- from the dead angler's oversize waders to the kind of fish in his creel. They scour the creekside brush, then hit the road for Texas in a widening search for the killer.

On the Big Rock, a towering bearded man is building a limestone replica of Roman Jerusalem for a Christian passion play. His cronies, who are in league with an interstate fraud ring, want the boy to disappear now.

Flying an ancient rented Cessna, Maytubby takes fire from a suspect he is tailing, while Bond combs river trails for traces of the killer.

While Maytubby and Bond try to protect the deaf boy and his mother from the crime ring, an improbable ally materializes from the prairie oak thickets, wielding a monstrous shotgun."

=== July 20 ===

Title: Fatal Family Ties
Author: S.C. Perkins
Series: #3 in the Ancestry Detective series set in Texas
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books. 

Synopsis: "Lucy is just about to tuck into a plate of tacos at her favorite Austin joint, Big Flaco’s, when she gets an unexpected visit from her former―and least-favorite―co-worker. Camilla Braithwaite hasn’t gotten much friendlier since the last time Lucy saw her, but that doesn't stop her from asking a favor. In her hand is a newspaper feature on an ancestor, a civil war corporal―and a liar, according to the article. Charles Braithwaite is depicted as a phony and a deserter, and Camilla wants Lucy’s help clearing his name.

Lucy would prefer to spend her free time with her new beau, special agent Ben Turner, but takes the case, making no promises that Camilla will like the outcome of her investigation. Camilla leads Lucy to the Texas History Museum, where their first clue is a triptych painting, passed down in the Braithwaite family for generations, one panel of which has disappeared. But before Lucy can get much further, a member of the Braithwaite family is murdered in his own bed, and another panel of the painting found missing.

There are no shortage of suspects among the Braithwaite clan―including Camilla herself. This case will take Lucy to Houston and back again as she works to find the truth, and catch an elusive killer.

=== July 26 ===

Title: The Bookshop Murder
Series: #1 in the Flora Steele cozy series set in England
256 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "The young man with the shock of white-blond hair lay spread-eagled on the floor, surrounded by fallen books. His hand reached out to the scattered pages, as though he was trying to tell her something.

But who is he? How did he come to be killed in Flora’s ordinary little bookshop? Flora finds out he was staying at the Priory Hotel, and when the gardener suddenly dies in its beautiful grounds only a few days later, she is certain that something untoward is happening in her quiet village by the sea.

But are the two deaths connected? And is someone at the hotel responsible – the nervous cook, the money-obsessed receptionist, or the formidable manageress?

Determined to save her beloved bookshop’s reputation and solve the murder mystery, Flora enlists the help of handsome and brooding Jack Carrington: crime writer, recluse and her most reliable customer.

As the unlikely duo set about investigating the baffling case, guilty faces greet them at every door. And they soon realise there’s more than one person hiding secrets in Abbeymead…

The start of a brand-new murder mystery series featuring bookshop owner Flora Steele and crime writer Jack Carrington. Fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis will love this perfect cozy murder mystery novel. An utterly addictive story that will have you guessing until the very end.

Well, that's an interesting lineup of books, isn't it? A new Bess Crawford. A new Maggie Hope. The second in Vaseem Khan's new historical series featuring a female police officer in India. And some new faces. I'm looking forward to diving right in.

How about you? Which titles are already on your own wish lists? Did you find any new ones to add? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. I'm glad you have such a comfortable place to heal up, Cathy. And I'm especially glad that the windows are working out for you. There's something about that connectedness, isn't there? Thanks for sharing these up-and-coming titles. Good to see a Vaseem Khan among them; I like his Baby Ganesha series, and even though this one is a different sort of series, I think he does it well.

    1. I think he does, too.

      In many ways, I think I have to thank this leg of mine. If not for it, I would be spending most of my time in my own head as I have done in the past. I'm far from being the life of the party, but now at least I'm paying attention to what's going on off the property. Why, I may even be able to do something besides visit doctors and therapists soon! *swoon*

  2. Have you read Lisa Gardner's Before She Disappeared? I am reading it now and it's unputdownable. A good one for your pool time.

  3. So many of these mysteries look good! I can't choose between them.

    1. I could be a smart Alec and say, "Why choose?" but I know what you mean. It's impossible to read everything we want to read, so choices must be made.

  4. I'm looking forward to reading the S.C. Perkins series. The Ian Moore book looks intriguing as well.

    1. I've read the first two books in Perkins' series, and I really enjoyed them. The Ian Moore book is very amusing.

  5. So many good books for July! I have been looking forward to the new Maggie Hope and curious how she will take to being back in America. And I didn't realize the Vaseem Khan book was this month too!

  6. You know I'll be interested in a visit to France!

    I'm also happy to see a new Bess Crawford (though I think I still have the previous one yet to read), and am interested in that case in Oklahoma ...

    1. I finally caught up with Bess Crawford, so I was ready for An Irish Hostage. I try to make a point of getting current with at least two series during the summer, although I don't know which ones they'll be this year!

  7. Lots of treats here. I feel like I'm deserting the mystery reading crowd, but I am reading a memoir in the library's overdrive system. But, I have The Bombay Prince on hold there both in both and overdrive format.

    1. You're just taking a little sidetrip. You'd never desert the mystery-reading crowd.

  8. No. And I meant "in both paper and overdrive format. No. I would not desert mystery readers. I read this blog, Reviewing the Evidence and The Rap Sheet and the NYTBR crime page and various reviews and I have notes jotted down and typed of mystery fiction.

    But memoirs can be fascinating and general fiction, too.


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