Tuesday, July 27, 2021

August 2021 New Mystery Releases!


Summer couldn't be going past any faster than if it sprouted wings and flew. With open wounds on this leg, I haven't been able to get in the pool which has always been my go-to seasonal reading spot, so it's a good thing that I feathered my nest here in the living room or what the British usually call the lounge. Lounge? That does fit because when I'm finished blogging, I immediately begin lounging with a book.

It's normal for me to keep my eyes peeled for new crime fiction to read, and I've compiled a list of my picks for the best new mysteries to read. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Now it's time to see if I'll be adding to your Need-to-Read lists. Let's take a look!

=== August 1 ===

Title: Tahoe Jade
Author: Todd Borg
Series: #19 in the Owen McKenna private investigator series set in Lake Tahoe (California and Nevada)
350 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "A Letter From Abe Lincoln

In the fall of 1861, President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to the new governor of California, Leland Stanford. Lincoln sent the letter by Pony Express, which went through Tahoe. The letter from Lincoln was intercepted, and it never reached Stanford.

An Assault, A Fire, A Kidnapping

160 years later, Firefighter Jade Jaso was assaulted in Sacramento. The next day she nearly died in a warehouse fire. A short time later, her rancher father was killed in a fall at Lake Tahoe. Then Jade disappeared.

A Coded Message

When Detective Owen McKenna is brought on the case, he finds Lincoln’s letter hidden in the personal effects of Jade Jaso’s father, who was a collector of historical memorabilia. The letter contains a coded message. McKenna learns that the message refers to a treasure Stanford had mentioned to Lincoln. Unfortunately, Jade’s father made the deadly mistake of talking about the letter. The information came to a brute of a man who would kill and torture anyone who got in the way of finding that treasure, including Jade and her father, as well as Owen McKenna and McKenna’s girlfriend Street Casey...

=== August 3 ===

Title: The Coldest Case
Series: #16 in the Bruno Chief of Police series set in southwestern France 
336 pages

Synopsis: "After attending an exhibit on the facial reconstruction of ancient skulls, Bruno wonders if this technology might provide an invaluable clue to a thirty-year-old cold case. But learning the identity of the murder victim is only the beginning.
The investigation quickly turns thorny and leads Bruno to a reclusive vintner, Henri Bazaine, whose education at a vocational school in a formerly Communist region has raised some eyebrows. An inquiry into the defunct school turns up shadowy reports of possible connections and funding from the Stasi, the repressive police agency of the former East Germany. The scrutiny on Henri intensifies once Bruno discovers that he was declared dead thirty years ago and has been living under an assumed name ever since.
The strange case is further complicated as Parisian bureaucrats get involved, hinting that essential diplomatic relations might be at stake. And to make matters even worse, the Dordogne is suffering from an intense summer drought that is sparking fires across the region. But as always, Bruno will keep a cool head through it all--and, bien sûr, takes time to enjoy a sumptuous Périgordian meal!

Title: Clark and Division
Historical Mystery, Standalone, set in 1940s Chicago, Illinois.
312 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Chicago, 1944: Twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, where they have been detained by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life in California the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled two thousand miles away in Chicago, where Aki’s older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier and moved to the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family’s reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train.

Aki, who worshipped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose’s death a suicide. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth.

Inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime fiction plot with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history.

=== August 5 ===

Title: The Stone Chamber
Author: Kate Ellis
Series: #25 in the Wesley Peterson police procedural series set in southwestern England.
384 pages

Synopsis: "On a summer evening, Robert and Greta Gerdner are shot dead at their home in the Devon countryside.

DI Wesley Peterson suspects the execution-style murders might be linked to Robert's past police career - until Robert's name is found on a list of people who've been sent tickets anonymously for a tour of Darkhole Grange, a former asylum on Dartmoor.

Wesley discovers that other names on the list have also died in mysterious circumstances and, as he is drawn into the chilling history of the asylum, he becomes convinced that it holds the key to the case.

When his friend, archaeologist Neil Watson, finds the skeleton of a woman buried in a sealed chamber dating back to the fifteenth century at his nearby dig, Wesley wonders whether there might be a connection between the ancient cell and the tragic events at Darkhole Grange.

With the clock ticking, Wesley must solve the puzzle, before the next person on the list meets a terrible end . . .

Whether you've read the whole series, or are discovering Kate Ellis's DI Wesley Peterson novels for the first time, this is the perfect page-turner if you love reading Ann Cleeves and Elly Griffiths.

=== August 10 ===

Title: The Bitter Taste of Murder
Series: #2 in the Tuscan Mystery series set in Italy.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "One year after moving to his late wife’s Tuscan hometown of Gravigna, ex-NYPD detective Nico Doyle has fully settled into Italian country life, helping to serve and test recipes at his in-laws’ restaurant.
But the town is shaken by the arrival of wine critic Michele Mantelli in his flashy Jaguar. Mantelli holds his influential culinary magazine and blog over Gravigna’s vintners and restaurateurs. Some of Gravigna's residents are impressed by his reputation, while others are enraged—especially Nico's landlord, whose vineyards Mantelli seems intent of ruining.
Needless to say, Mantelli’s lavish, larger-than-life, and often vindictive personality has made him many enemies, and when he is poisoned, the local maresciallo, Perillo, has a headache of a high-profile murder on his hands—and once again turns to Nico for help.

=== August 17 ===

Title: Danger at the Cove
Series: #2in the Island Sisters cozy series set in the Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall, England.
304 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Renovations on Tregarrick Rock Hotel are coming along, and Evie Mead thinks they just might be done by opening day. Then one of her sister Margot’s old Hollywood friends, Louise, arrives unannounced―and expecting VIP treatment.

Evie has half a mind to tell Louise to find other accommodations, but Margot pleads with Evie, saying that Louise―despite her upbeat and demanding attitude―is grieving her recently deceased husband. Evie pities her, and besides, the sisters need help. A simple rewiring project has resulted in a major overhaul of the hotel, and they’re way over budget. The small life insurance policy left to Evie by her own husband is gone, and they are desperate for funds. Margot believes that Louise, a marketing guru, can put the hotel on the map and give it the boost it needs.

But when a member of the hotel staff is found dead, and then another murder follows, the sisters’ plans crumble before their eyes. Who would do such a thing―and why? In a rollicking adventure involving a shipwreck filled with buried treasure, a dashing and mysterious Australian named Randy, and old rivalries stretching back to far before Evie and Margot ever set foot on the island, it’s all hands on deck to find the killer―and save the hotel.

Title: The Double Mother
Author: Michel Bussi
Standalone thriller set in France
480 pages
Synopsis: "Four-year-old Malone Moulin is haunted by nightmares of being handed over to a complete stranger and begins claiming his mother is not his real mother. His teachers at school say that it is all in his imagination as his mother has a birth certificate, photos of him as a child and even the pediatrician confirms Malone is her son. The school psychologist, Vasily, believes otherwise as the child vividly describes an exchange between two women. Vasily begins recording their conversations and reinterprets the creatures Malone uses in the childish tales he recounts to his stuffed toy to piece the story together as much as he can.

Convinced that Malone is telling the truth, Vasile approaches police commander Marianne Augresse with the case, who has been searching for a gang of thieves that robbed a luxury store and left a couple dead in the neighboring town of Deauville to no avail. Not knowing why a child would lie and with perhaps her own own maternal and protective instinct kicking in, Marianne takes Vasile’s plead for help seriously.

Marianne and her team soon discern that Malone’s memory is in the hands of those around him; the cold members of the Moulin family and the people that they associate themselves with. With Malone’s recollection of the past quickly fading to give way to pirates, animals and other more innocent thoughts children have at his age, Marianne is desperate to find a through line.

Well-crafted and showcasing the fragility of a child’s cognition, The Double Mother is a riveting investigation to follow."
Title: Bloodless
Series: #19 in the FBI special agent Pendergast series set in Georgia.
400 pages
Synopsis: "A fabulous heist:

On the evening of November 24, 1971, D. B. Cooper hijacked Flight 305—Portland to Seattle—with a fake bomb, collected a ransom of $200,000, and then parachuted from the rear of the plane, disappearing into the night…and into history.

A brutal crime steeped in legend and malevolence:

Fifty years later, Agent Pendergast takes on a bizarre and gruesome case: in the ghost-haunted city of Savannah, Georgia, bodies are found with no blood left in their veins—sowing panic and reviving whispered tales of the infamous Savannah Vampire.

A case like no other:

As the mystery rises along with the body count, Pendergast and his partner, Agent Coldmoon, race to understand how—or if—these murders are connected to the only unsolved skyjacking in American history. Together, they uncover not just the answer…but an unearthly evil beyond all imagining.
There's definitely a little something for everyone in this list, isn't there? August isn't August without a new Owen McKenna or Bruno Chief of Police mystery, and author Kate Ellis has been a favorite of mine for years, too.

Did I find something you just had to add to your Need-to-Read list? Which one(s)? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Omigosh, more new books and series new to me. I have not read any Kate Ellis books, but I think I should try them.

    I read a few nonmysteries, one by Lisa Scottoline, "Eternal," about the holocaust in Italy. And another book about life under the Uruguayan dictatorship. Now I'm reading the lightest novel I could find.

    Then I will read "The Bombay Prince," which is much anticipated.

    1. I think you're going to like The Bombay Prince, Kathy.

  2. Sorry to read you can't yet get in your pool and read under the umbrella with your iced tea.

    1. It is what it is. At least I did spend the time feathering an acceptable substitute!

    2. You are always one to make lemonade out of lemons, figuratively and literally. Good for you.

    3. Not always. I just don't talk about the times when I have a hissy fit.

    4. Given your situation, you are entitled to hissy fits.

  3. Sorry to hear you can't relax in the pool, Cathy. I know that's one of your top summer things. I hope your leg heals soon. In the meantime....a Kate Ellis, a Martin Walker, and a Hannah Dennison coming out? Yes, it's gonna be a good month, I think.

  4. As I've abandoned several books lately, I'm excited to see new possibilities on the horizon! I did read Bloodless and the D.B. Cooper storyline was the best part. His name still comes up often enough to have become myth or legend.

  5. Several of those sound interesting, although since I've been reading mysteries all the month of July I'm just about mysteried out! I used to read and enjoy the Bruno, Chief of Police series but I've sort of gone off him. It's been quite a while since I read one.

    1. I almost went off Bruno myself because it seemed as though Walker had created his favorite formula and showed no signs of deviating from it. Fortunately, that changed.

  6. I have Bloodless. I am a huge Preston/Child fan. Have been since Relic. Can't wait to read it.

    I thought the summer was just flying by for me since my daughter leaves for college in about two weeks.

  7. I have just started on the Bruno, Chief of Police series (reviewed on my blog today). So, the latest Bruno is something to look forward to🙂. The Hannah Dennison series looks promising and the Owen McKenna series looks intriguing.

    I also can't believe how fast the summer is going!

    1. I definitely have to check out your review of Bruno! I love love love the Owen McKenna series, so I really hope you give that one a try.

  8. Even with all these amazing books coming out next month, I'm still not ready for July to be over with. Summer is going by just too fast for me. :)

  9. I can't believe how quickly this year is going! You will not be surprised to learn that I already have Bruno's newest adventure on my list ;)

    I'm adding Bloodless to that list, and really need to check out Owen McKenna, because I haven't read any of that series yet.

    1. You definitely have to check out Owen and Spot!

  10. Several interesting books here. I may try some. I have to get away from some brutal plots I read about lately, so I'm looking for some light reading if I can find some here.

    1. I have a friend who reads nothing but hard-boiled noir fiction. I can't do that. Too dark for too long? It just isn't good for my mood or my little grey cells.

  11. I can't do that, especially if it's about real history, even if in fiction. After reading about the Italian holocaust and the Urugayan military dictatorship, I had to have some light reading. I found one such book, then read a wild book of short stories, and now am in the middle of The Bombay Prince. It is just what I need.

    The library is getting The Night Hawks read, so I"ll get it soon, as well as Megin Rapinoe's memoir, and other light books.


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