Tuesday, August 31, 2021

September 2021 New Mystery Releases!


Okay now. Seems to me the last time I blinked, it was only May. How could it be September already? I would feel more outraged if it weren't for something I read less than an hour ago on a knitting blog. The blogger called 2020 a lost year, and I think we can all agree with that, thanks to the pandemic. Then she went on to say that 2021 is a lost year masquerading as a normal year, and the more I think about it, the more I agree with her, thanks to all the people who won't get vaccinated. There are a lot of folks who need to be transported in a time machine back to the good old days to see what it was like pre-vaccines to be fodder for all sorts of diseases-- several kinds of measles, chicken pox, mumps, and on and on and on. 

This is just one of the many reasons why I like how keeping an eye peeled for new crime fiction can keep my blood pressure from spiking. The following list contains my picks for the best new mysteries being released throughout the month of September. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the book covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see if any of my choices are on your own lists!
=== September 7 ===
Title: Striking Range
Series: #7 in the Timber Creek K-9 police procedural series set in the mountains of Colorado.
288 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "He was suspect number one--the man who tried to kill Deputy Mattie Cobb and may have killed her father thirty years earlier. But when Mattie and cold case detective Jim Hauck reach the Colorado state prison where they will finally get to interview him, he's found dead in his cell. There's only one clue: a map leading to Timber Creek and rugged Redstone Ridge.

Though she usually works with veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie's K-9 partner Robo has just sired a litter of pups, who require special, time-consuming care at Cole's clinic. Left to explore the map's clue without him, Mattie and Robo journey into the burned forest surrounding Redstone Ridge. But before they can finish their search they're called to help investigate the death of a young woman found in a campground filled with elk hunters. Identification of the deceased points to her having recently given birth, but the infant is nowhere to be found.

As a deadly storm descends upon the mountains, covering everything with a layer of ice and snow, Mattie and her team search for the missing newborn. The storm batters the area, taking its toll on the team and forcing the sheriff to call in reinforcements. When new evidence surfaces, they decide that finding the woman's killer will lead them to her baby, making them even more desperate to solve the case.

Then Cole goes missing, stranded alone in the high country with a person that Mattie now suspects is the mastermind behind several murders, including her father's. She and Robo take to the trail to find Cole--but the killer has a cold-blooded plan that threatens them all.

Title: The Heron's Cry
Author: Ann Cleeves
Series: #2 in the Two Rivers police procedural series set in North Devon, England.
400 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder--Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter's broken vases.

Dr. Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He's a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.

Then another body is found--killed in a similar way. Matthew soon finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home.

DI Matthew Venn returns in The Heron's Cry, in Ann Cleeves' powerful next novel, proving once again that she is a master of her craft.
Title: The Dark Remains
Series: #4 Laidlaw Investigation police procedural set in Scotland.
208 pages
Synopsis: "Lawyer Bobby Carter did a lot of work for the wrong kind of people. When his body is found in an alley behind a pub that is known to be under the protective wing of a local crime boss, the fragile equilibrium that has been keeping Glasgow relatively safe for months is shattered. Besides a distraught family and any number of powerful friends, Carter has left behind his fair share of enemies. So who is responsible for his death?

DC Jack Laidlaw’s reputation precedes him. He’s not a team player, but he’s got a sixth sense for what’s happening on the streets. His boss chalks Carter’s death up to the usual rivalries, but Laidlaw knows it can’t be that simple. As two Glasgow gangs go to war, he needs to find Carter’s killer before the whole city explodes.

William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw books changed the face of crime fiction. When he died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case. Ian Rankin has finished what McIlvanney started. Here, in The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and Laidlaw’s relentless quest for truth."

 === September 14 ===

Title: Deadly Summer Nights
Author: Vicki Delany
Series: #1 in the Catskill Summer Resort historical cozy series set in 1950s New York State.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "It’s the summer of 1953, and Elizabeth Grady is settling into Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. As a vacation getaway, Haggerman’s is ideal, and although Elizabeth’s ostentatious but well-meaning mother is new to running the resort, Elizabeth is eager to help her organize the guests and the entertainment acts. But Elizabeth will have to resort to untested abilities if she wants to save her mother’s business.

When a reclusive guest is found dead in a lake on the grounds, and a copy of The Communist Manifesto is found in his cabin, the local police chief is convinced that the man was a Russian spy. But Elizabeth isn’t so sure, and with the fate of the resort hanging in the balance, she’ll need to dodge red herrings, withstand the Red Scare, and catch a killer red-handed.

Title: My Sweet Girl
Standalone thriller set in Sri Lanka and California
384 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Ever since she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, Paloma has had the best of everything—schools, money, and parents so perfect that she fears she'll never live up to them.

Now at thirty years old and recently cut off from her parents’ funds, she decides to sublet the second bedroom of her overpriced San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. Paloma has to admit, it feels good helping someone find their way in America—that is until Arun discovers Paloma's darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her own fragile place in this country.

Before Paloma can pay Arun off, she finds him face down in a pool of blood. She flees the apartment but by the time the police arrive, there's no body—and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.
Paloma is terrified this is all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago. Did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?

=== September 21 ===

Title: Daughter of the Morning Star
Series: #17 in the Walt Longmire police procedural series set in Wyoming.
336 pages
Synopsis: "When Lolo Long's niece Jaya begins receiving death threats, Tribal Police Chief Long calls on Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire along with Henry Standing Bear as lethal backup. Jaya "Longshot" Long is the phenom of the Lame Deer Lady Stars High School basketball team and is following in the steps of her older sister, who disappeared a year previously, a victim of the scourge of missing Native Woman in Indian Country. Lolo hopes that having Longmire involved might draw some public attention to the girl's plight, but with this maneuver she also inadvertently places the good sheriff in a one-on-one with the deadliest adversary he has ever faced in both this world and the next.

Title: Echoes of the Dead
Author: Spencer Kope
Series: #4 in the Special Tracking Unit FBI series set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
320 pages
Synopsis: "Magnus “Steps” Craig is the best 'tracker' in the world, renowned for his ability to follow a person's trail anywhere - no matter the terrain or how old the trail. Steps utilizes his unique talent as part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI, which is called in on cases that require his unparalleled skills. But there’s a secret to his success. Steps has a kind of synesthesia where he can see the ‘essence’ of a person―which appears to him as a unique color or pattern he calls "shine"―on everything they’ve touched. It's a secret Steps has shared with a rare few people and could, if revealed, endanger not only himself but the unit that he serves.

Steps and the Special Tracking Unit are called in on a new case where the local law enforcement is baffled. Four friends have vanished while on their annual fly-fishing trip―a congressman, a district attorney, a CEO of a major accounting firm, and a co-founder of a successful hedge fund. Now, Steps must search some of the most treacherous terrain, the Sierra Nevada range, as one by one time begins to run out for the missing men. Desperate to save whoever they can, Steps and his team discover that this is no simple missing persons case, but one with sinister motivations unlike any they've seen before.

=== September 28 ===

Title: Lost Mountain Pass
Series: #1 in the Trusty Dawson Deputy U.S. Marshal historical series set in Oklahoma.
320 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Kosoma, Indian Territory. The outlaw Darby brothers have been sentenced to hang until dead. Witnessing the execution are Amelia Darby, sister of the condemned men, as well as U.S. Deputy Marshal Sam “Trusty” Dawson and Judge Gordon Hadesworth. After justice is served, Trusty hits the trail, escorting the judge—and begrudgingly, Amelia—back to Oklahoma. Ambushed en route, the judge is murdered and Amelia vanishes, leaving Trusty to believe she led them into a trap for revenge.
To find Amelia, Trusty will have to put his faith in Father Michael Darby, a fourth brother who gave up his criminal ways to take up the cloth and collar. Unwilling to let his sister continue to fall to the wicked evil that claimed the rest of his family, Michael joins the hunt for Amelia. But as their journey turns deadlier by the day, Trusty starts to doubt that Michael is truly on the righteous path…

Wow! Any month that has a new Ann Cleeves and a new Craig Johnson has to be considered a stellar month, but there are so many other good ones! Which ones are on your own lists? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. A new Craig Johnson? And that enticing-looking McIlvanney/Rankin duet? And a new Vicki Delany? This just isn't fair, Cathy! How am I supposed to keep the TBR under control with all of that temptation!!! Seriously, though, it looks like a fantastic set of releases coming out this month, and that's great.

    1. Control? I gave up control of my TBR a long time ago! LOL

  2. I've read and enjoyed The Heron's Cry and Striking Range! I look forward to a new Craig Johnson, Spencer Kope, and Vicki Delany. :) Sept. looks good!

  3. These books look good.

    I 100% agree with "2021 is a lost year masquerading as a normal year".

    1. Problem is... I think it's going to take us a long time to get back to anything that even remotely resembles "normal". :-(

  4. I also agree about the 2021 comment. Sigh. However, I'm excited about a new Ann Cleeves book and several others here. We always have books, right?

  5. I absolutely love the descriptions of 2020 and 2021 you shared...totally agree with both.

    I'm particularly looking forward to getting my hands/eyes on the new ones by Craig Johnson and Ian Rankin, two of my very favorite mystery writers. I'm reading Johnson's An Obvious Fact right now, and that finishes the series for me except for the new one, so it's just in time. But I can't imagine what it will be like to not have a Craig Johnson in my TBR stack for the first time after so many years. Kind of dreading that, actually.

    The virus infections are still running rampant in Houston and other Texas cities, and sometimes I feel ready to strangle some of those who refuse to get vaccinated. I don't get that.

    1. I don't either. There are times that I would love to kick their brains up between their shoulder blades... but I'm not that limber anymore. :-(

  6. A lot of interesting books here and some series books I haven't tried. Striking Range and My Sweet Girl tickle my fancy. But others do, too.
    I'll be checking in here to read reviews.
    Meanwhile, if I could draw cartoons, I'd be on the floor covered by books and TBR lists.

    1. And here I'd draw you curled up with your nose buried in a book, surrounded by stacks of more books, and one hand reaching out for a chocolate. :-)

    2. I think you've got me pegged. Stack of books on my bed, chocolate nearby. In fact, I'm waiting for a grocery delivery, including chocolate.
      Unfortunately, I'm writing something under a deadline, so reading books for pleasure has to wait a bit.
      I did read Megan Rapinoe's memoir, "One Life," which I loved.

    3. Good luck with your deadline. I know they can be beasts.

    4. Yes, a grant proposal. I finished, but sent ti to other people, so there may be changes. I hope not, but it won't be too painful.
      Then I write on Texas. If I don't gain five pounds doing that, I'll be lucky.

  7. My Sweet Girl drew my attention because of the rarity of books set in Sri Lanka. And I was not aware that another Spencer Kope was due (yay!). I've already got holds set for the new Mizushima and Craig Johnson. Definitely a good month, which helps since I also agree with the description of 2021.

    1. Yes, September is definitely a good month book-wise.

  8. And a new Sri Lankan author there too. Thanks for the update.


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