Tuesday, September 28, 2021

October 2021 New Mystery Releases!

This is one of my favorite times of the year. For those of you who don't live in the desert, you're probably thinking, "Ah yes, fall. Leaves changing colors. Pumpkin spice. Cooler weather." Well, summer doesn't end on Labor Day here in the Sonoran Desert. It's the end of September, and temperatures are still at or over 100°. No, what makes this one of my favorite times of the year is that it's time for the butterflies to gather as they begin to head south for the winter. The flowers I have tend to attract bright yellow butterflies, especially those known as Cloudless Sulphurs, and I love watching them dance on the breeze and chase each other around. More than once, Denis and I have driven out of town and wandered through washes and gullies that come down from the mountains just so we can watch dozens (and even hundreds) of butterflies puddling at water sources, building up their strength for who knows what kind of journey. 

Have I been too busy watching butterflies to keep an eye peeled for new crime fiction? Heaven forbid! The following list contains my picks for the best new mysteries 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 and see if you find any to add to your own lists!

=== October 5 ===
Title: An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed
Author: Helene Tursten
Series: #2 in a series of short stories featuring an elderly Swedish woman. Set in Sweden and South Africa.
272 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Just when things have finally cooled down for 88-year-old Maud after the disturbing discovery of a dead body in her apartment in Gothenburg, a couple of detectives return to her doorstep. Though Maud dodges their questions with the skill of an Olympic gymnast a fifth of her age, she wonders if suspicion has fallen on her, little old lady that she is. The truth is, ever since Maud was a girl, death has seemed to follow her.

In these six interlocking stories, memories of unfortunate incidents from Maud’s past keep bubbling to the surface. Meanwhile, certain Problems in the present require immediate attention. Luckily, Maud is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands . . . even if it means she has to get a little blood on them in the process.

Title: 1979
Author: Val McDermid
Series: #1 in the Allie Burns investigative journalist series set in Scotland.
320 pages
Synopsis: "It's only January, and the year 1979 has already brought blizzards, strikes, power cuts, and political unrest. For journalist Allie Burns, however, someone else's bad news is the unmistakable sound of opportunity knocking, an opportunity to get away from the "women's stories" her editors at the Scottish daily The Clarion keep assigning her. Striking up an alliance with budding investigative journalist Danny Sullivan, Allie begins covering international tax fraud, then a group of Scottish ultranationalists aiming to cause mayhem ahead of a referendum on breaking away from the United Kingdom. Their stories quickly get attention and create enemies for the two young up-and-comers. As they get closer to the bleeding edge of breaking news, Allie and Danny may find their lives on the line.
The first novel in a brand-new series for McDermid, 1979 is redolent of the thundering presses, hammering typewriters, and wreaths of smoke of the Clarion newsroom. An atmospheric journey into the past with much to say about the present, it is the latest suspenseful, pitch-perfect addition to Val McDermid's crime pantheon."
Title: The Taking of Jemima Boone: Colonial Settlers, Tribal Nations, and the Kidnap That Shaped America
Standalone narrative non-fiction set in 1770s Kentucky.
288 pages
Synopsis: "On a quiet midsummer day in 1776, weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, thirteen-year-old Jemima Boone and her friends Betsy and Fanny Callaway disappear near the Kentucky settlement of Boonesboro, the echoes of their faraway screams lingering on the air.

A Cherokee-Shawnee raiding party has taken the girls as the latest salvo in the blood feud between American Indians and the colonial settlers who have decimated native lands and resources. Hanging Maw, the raiders’ leader, recognizes one of the captives as Jemima Boone, daughter of Kentucky's most influential pioneers, and realizes she could be a valuable pawn in the battle to drive the colonists out of the contested Kentucky territory for good.

With Daniel Boone and his posse in pursuit, Hanging Maw devises a plan that could ultimately bring greater peace both to the tribes and the colonists. But after the girls find clever ways to create a trail of clues, the raiding party is ambushed by Boone and the rescuers in a battle with reverberations that nobody could predict. As Matthew Pearl reveals, the exciting story of Jemima Boone’s kidnapping vividly illuminates the early days of America’s westward expansion, and the violent and tragic clashes across cultural lines that ensue.

In this enthralling narrative in the tradition of Candice Millard and David Grann, Matthew Pearl unearths a forgotten and dramatic series of events from early in the Revolutionary War that opens a window into America’s transition from colony to nation, with the heavy moral costs incurred amid shocking new alliances and betrayals."

=== October 12 ===

Title: Diamond and the Eye
Series: #20 in the Peter Diamond police procedural series set in Bath, England.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "If there's one thing detective Bath Peter Diamond has no patience for, it's a dumb git trying to get involved in one of his investigations—for example, a Philip Marlowe-wannabee private investigator like the self-styled Johnny Getz (his card claims he Getz results). But fate has saddled Diamond with this trial. A Bath antiques dealer, Septimus "Seppy" Hubbard, has disappeared without a trace, and his daughter, Ruby, has hired Johnny Getz to find him. When a dead body is discovered in Seppy's locked-up store, the missing persons case becomes a murder investigation, and now Diamond has to collaborate with the insufferable private eye." 

Title: Death at Greenway
Standalone thriller set in World War II England
448 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Bridey Kelly has come to Greenway House—the beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie—in disgrace. A terrible mistake at St. Prisca’s Hospital in London has led to her dismissal as a nurse trainee, and her only chance for redemption is a position in the countryside caring for children evacuated to safety from the Blitz.

Greenway is a beautiful home full of riddles: wondrous curios not to be touched, restrictions on rooms not to be entered, and a generous library, filled with books about murder. The biggest mystery might be the other nurse, Gigi, who is like no one Bridey has ever met. Chasing ten young children through the winding paths of the estate grounds might have soothed Bridey’s anxieties and grief—if Greenway were not situated so near the English Channel and the rising aggressions of the war.

When a body washes ashore near the estate, Bridey is horrified to realize this is not a victim of war, but of a brutal killing. As the local villagers look among themselves, Bridey and Gigi discover they each harbor dangerous secrets about what has led them to Greenway. With a mystery writer’s home as their unsettling backdrop, the young women must unravel the truth before their safe haven becomes a place of death . . .

Title: Mercy Creek
Series: #2 in the Jo Wyatt police procedural series set in southwestern Colorado.
288 pages
Synopsis: "The late summer heat in Echo Valley, Colorado turns lush greenery into a tinder dry landscape. When a young girl mysteriously disappears, long buried grudges rekindle. Of the two Flores girls, Marisa was the one people pegged for trouble. Her younger sister, Lena, was the quiet daughter, dutiful and diligent—right until the moment she vanished.
Detective Jo Wyatt is convinced the eleven-year-old girl didn’t run away and that a more sinister reason lurks behind her disappearance.  For Jo, the case is personal, reaching far back into her past.  But as she mines Lena’s fractured family life, she unearths a cache of secrets and half-lies that paints a darker picture.
As the evidence mounts, so do the suspects, and when a witness steps forward with a shocking new revelation, Jo is forced to confront her doubts, and her worst fears. Now, it's just a matter of time before the truth is revealed—or the killer makes another deadly move.

Title: The Corpse Flower
Author: Anne Mette Hancock
Series: #1 in the Kaldan & Scháfer investigative journalist/police detective series set in Denmark.
336 pages
Synopsis: "Danish journalist Heloise Kaldan is in the middle of a nightmare. One of her sources has been caught lying, and she could lose her job over it. Then she receives the first in a series of cryptic and unsettling letters from a woman named Anna Kiel.

Wanted in connection with the fatal stabbing of a young lawyer three years earlier, Anna hasn't been seen by anyone since she left the crime scene covered in blood. The police think she's fled the country until homicide detective Erik Scháfer comes up with a lead after the reporter who originally wrote about the case is found murdered in his apartment. Has Anna Kiel struck again, or is there more than one killer at large? And why does every clue point directly to Heloise Kaldan?

Meanwhile, the letters keep coming, and they hint at a connection between Anna and Heloise. As Heloise starts digging deeper, she realizes that to tell Anna's story she will have to revisit the darkest parts of her own past--confronting someone she swore she'd never see again.
The Corpse Flower is the first in the #1 bestselling Danish crime series, the Kaldan and Scháfer mysteries.
Title: The Last Ride in the Bumble Bee Jacket
Author: Spencer Kope
Standalone thriller
328 pages
Synopsis: "When a mystery is discovered in the trunk of a 1951 Plymouth convertible, four unlikely people are drawn together, some with questions, some with answers. Of all the forks in life's road, the car was the least expected. "


Title: State of Terror
Standalone Thriller
512 pages
Synopsis: "After a tumultuous period in American politics, a new administration has just been sworn in, and to everyone’s surprise the president chooses a political enemy for the vital position of secretary of state.

There is no love lost between the president of the United States and Ellen Adams, his new secretary of state. But it’s a canny move on the part of the president. With this appointment, he silences one of his harshest critics, since taking the job means Adams must step down as head of her multinational media conglomerate.

As the new president addresses Congress for the first time, with Secretary Adams in attendance, Anahita Dahir, a young foreign service officer (FSO) on the Pakistan desk at the State Department, receives a baffling text from an anonymous source.

Too late, she realizes the message was a hastily coded warning.

What begins as a series of apparent terrorist attacks is revealed to be the beginning of an international chess game involving the volatile and Byzantine politics of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran; the race to develop nuclear weapons in the region; the Russian mob; a burgeoning rogue terrorist organization; and an American government set back on its heels in the international arena.

As the horrifying scale of the threat becomes clear, Secretary Adams and her team realize it has been carefully planned to take advantage of four years of an American government out of touch with international affairs, out of practice with diplomacy, and out of power in the places where it counts the most.

To defeat such an intricate, carefully constructed conspiracy, it will take the skills of a unique team: a passionate young FSO; a dedicated journalist; and a smart, determined, but as yet untested new secretary of state.

State of Terror is a unique and utterly compelling international thriller cowritten by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 67th secretary of state, and Louise Penny, a multiple award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling novelist.
=== October 19 ===
Title: A Corruption of Blood
Series: #3 in the Raven & Fisher historical series set in 1840s Edinburgh, Scotland.
416 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Dr Will Raven is a man seldom shocked by human remains, but even he is disturbed by the contents of a package washed up at the Port of Leith. Stranger still, a man Raven has long detested is pleading for his help to escape the hangman.

Back at 52 Queen Street, Sarah Fisher has set her sights on learning to practise medicine. Almost everyone seems intent on dissuading her from this ambition, but when word reaches her that a woman has recently obtained a medical degree despite her gender, Sarah decides to seek her out.

Raven's efforts to prove his erstwhile adversary's innocence are failing and he desperately needs Sarah's help. Putting their feelings for one another aside, their investigations will take them to both extremes of Edinburgh's social divide, where they discover that wealth and status cannot alter a fate written in the blood.

Title: A Line to Kill
Series: #3 in the Hawthorne & Horowitz private investigator series set in England. 
384 pages

Synopsis: "When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don’t expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation—or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past.

Arriving on Alderney, Hawthorne and Horowitz soon meet the festival’s other guests—an eccentric gathering that includes a bestselling children’s author, a French poet, a TV chef turned cookbook author, a blind psychic, and a war historian—along with a group of ornery locals embroiled in an escalating feud over a disruptive power line. 

When a local grandee is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Hawthorne and Horowitz become embroiled in the case. The island is locked down, no one is allowed on or off, and it soon becomes horribly clear that a murderer lurks in their midst. But who?

Both a brilliant satire on the world of books and writers and an immensely enjoyable locked-room mystery, A Line to Kill is a triumph—a riddle of a story full of brilliant misdirection, beautifully set-out clues, and diabolically clever denouements."

=== October 21 ===

Title: Murder Isn't Easy: The Forensics of Agatha Christie
Non-Fiction Standalone
368 pages
UK Release
Synopsis: "While other children were devouring the works of Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter, Carla Valentine was poring through the pages of Agatha Christie novels. It was this early fascination that led to her job as a pathology technician, trained in forensics and working in mortuaries.

Nearly every Agatha Christie story involves one - or, more commonly, several - dead bodies, and for a young Carla, a curious child already fascinated with biology, these stories and these bodies were perfect puzzles.

Of course, Agatha herself didn't talk of 'forensics' in the way we use it now, but in each tale she writes of twists and turns with her expert weave of human observation, ingenuity and genuine science of the era. Through the medium of the 'whodunnit', Agatha Christie was a pioneer of forensic science, and in Murder Isn't Easy Carla illuminates all of the knowledge of one of our most beloved authors.
=== October 26 ===
Title: Murder at Mallowan Hall
Series: #1 in the Phyllida Bright historical series set in 1930s England.
272 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Tucked away among Devon's rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses...

The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha's Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor...

A former Army nurse, Phyllida reacts with practical common sense--and a great deal of curiosity. It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands--along with a distracted, anxious staff--but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered--this time, one of her housemaids--Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot's footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans' guests is the killer. With help from the village's handsome physician, Dr. Bhatt, Mr. Dobble, the butler, along with other household staff, Phyllida assembles the clues. Yet, she is all too aware that the killer must still be close at hand and poised to strike again. And only Phyllida's wits will prevent her own story from coming to an abrupt end...

Another bumper crop of new mysteries to read, eh? Agatha Christie and her house seems to be a popular subject/setting this month, with Death at Greenway, Murder at Mallowan Hall, and Murder Isn't Easy all being released. If you've been reading the news, publishers are giving all sorts of warnings about upcoming difficulties in shipping new books. I hope it won't be as bad as they're predicting, but there shouldn't be much of a problem for me since so many of the books I acquire are digital.
So... which books were already on your wishlists? Did I include any new-to-you titles that you just had to add? Which ones? You know inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Oh, some great ones coming out this time, Cathy! The Tursten looks fantastic, and I keep hearing such great things about this new McDermid series. I see there's a Peter Lovesey coming out, too - glad to see that. I like his Peter Diamond novels. All in all, a good month ahead!

  2. I have the new McDermid, but I want at least half of the others on this list!

  3. I have a couple of these on my list already - 1979 and Death At Greenway. That one will be a different direction for Lori Rader-Day. Thanks for posting this. I, of course, will be checking out others on the list in case I need to add them (of course I'll need to add them! Ha!).

    1. You'd have to turn in your Voracious Reader Card if you didn't! LOL

  4. Death at Greenway is on reserve from the library. Murder at Mallowan Hall was already on my radar as was the Horowitz book. An Elderly Lady Must Not be Crossed sounds interesting, as does Murder Isn't Easy. Lots of good selections!

  5. I'm about to read "An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good," and if that one is half as good as it looks, I'll soon be looking for the new one. Glad to see that one. And anything new by Val McDermid is always worth a look...love her writing. Haven't been as fortunate with Matthew Pearl's books, but that one is interesting. Oh, and that cover for Death at Greenway is absolutely clever. I love the wa it makes it appear that an angel is on the cover.

    1. I hadn't even noticed that about the cover, but I took another look, and you're right. Very clever!

  6. I really want to read The Taking of Jemima Boone, and Death at Greenway, too. Those are already on my TBR list. But after looking at your list, I think I need to add Murder at Mallowan Hall to it, too. :)

    1. Yes, it certainly seems to be Agatha Christie Month. :-)

  7. How is it almost October?! I am looking forward to several but note we have a bounty of Christie the ins.

  8. The McDermid and Pearl titles were already on my radar, but there are several others I need to check out as well. And I envy you those butterfly-watching excursions - those sound great!

    1. They were absolutely wonderful.

      I have to admit that the major reason why the Pearl title captured my fancy is that one branch of our family followed Daniel Boone around. Who knows? One of my ancestors might be mentioned.

  9. Definitely 1979 by Val McDermid. Will read others, especially if they get good reviews hete.


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