Tuesday, October 26, 2021

November 2021 New Mystery Releases!


I'm sitting here, looking out the window and wondering when the guy's going to show up to work on the bathroom. He's already ninety minutes late. Top on my list of things that aggravate me is people who don't show up when they say they are going to. I would think it refreshing for someone to come right out and say, "I'm going to show up whenever I get around to it." It would be much more honest, but then, that particular person might find himself out of a job sooner rather than later.

Okay. He's here. While he gets his show on the road, let me get mine started. The following list contains my picks of the best new crime fiction being released during the month of November. 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 anything that tickles your fancy, too!

=== November 2 ===

Title: Fogged Off
Series: #3 in the Cyd Redondo cozy series set in England. 
237 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "When her client and Jack the Ripper expert Shep Helnikov is found dead in London, travel agent Cyd Redondo is on the hook for thirty thousand dollars to return his body home. So when his university offers to cover the costs if she’ll go in person to collect him—and his Ripper research—she jumps at the chance, even if it means bringing her wily uncle along. But no sooner does Cyd arrive in London than her client’s death by natural causes starts to look most unnatural.

Cyd’s only hope for recovering the body and vamoosing back to Brooklyn is to find the killer herself—but she’s thwarted at every turn by Scotland Yard, Shep’s former girlfriends, a sinister mortuary service, an old nemesis, and her taxidermist uncle himself. And when Shep’s apartment is ransacked and a second Ripper expert is found murdered, Cyd knows she’ll have to solve the crimes fast, before someone books her on a one-way trip to the morgue.

Title: Killer Research
Series: #12 in the Library Lovers cozy series set in Connecticut.
304 pages
Synopsis: "Spring is livening up Briar Creek after a long, cold winter, and newlyweds Lindsey and Sully could not be happier. Even though the upcoming mayoral election is getting heated, everything else in town is coming up daffodils...until a body is found.

Ms. Cole, a librarian and current candidate for town mayor, is shocked when she opens her trunk to discover a murder victim who just so happens to be a guy she dated forty years ago and the founder of the baking empire Nana's Cookies. As the town gossip mill turns, a batch of rumors begins to circulate about Ms. Cole's rebellious youth, which--along with being a murder suspect--threatens to ruin her life and her budding political career. But Ms. Cole is one tough cookie who will not go down without a fight.

Has the campaign for mayor turned deadly? It is up to Lindsey, Sully, and the rest of the crafternoon pals to see how the cookie crumbles and figure out who is trying to frame Ms. Cole for murder and why.

=== November 4 ===
Title: The Red Monarch
Author: Bella Ellis
Series: #3 in the Brontë Sisters historical mystery series set in England.
352 pages.
*UK Release
Synopsis: "The Brontë sisters' first poetry collection has just been published, potentially marking an end to their careers as amateur detectors, when Anne receives a letter from her former pupil Lydia Robinson.

Lydia has eloped with a young actor, Harry Roxby, and following her disinheritance, the couple been living in poverty in London. Harry has become embroiled with a criminal gang and is in terrible danger after allegedly losing something very valuable that he was meant to deliver to their leader. The desperate and heavily pregnant Lydia has a week to return what her husband supposedly stole, or he will be killed. She knows there are few people who she can turn to in this time of need, but the sisters agree to help Lydia, beginning a race against time to save Harry's life.

In doing so, our intrepid sisters come face to face with a terrifying adversary whom even the toughest of the slum-dwellers are afraid of . . . The Red Monarch.
=== November 9 ===
Title: Down a Dark River
Author: Karen Odden
Series: #1 in the Inspector Corravan historical series set in Victorian England.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "London, 1878. One April morning, a small boat bearing a young woman’s corpse floats down the murky waters of the Thames. When the victim is identified as Rose Albert, daughter of a prominent judge, the Scotland Yard director gives the case to Michael Corravan, one of the only Senior Inspectors remaining after a corruption scandal the previous autumn left the division in ruins. Reluctantly, Corravan abandons his ongoing case, a search for the missing wife of a shipping magnate, handing it over to his young colleague, Mr. Stiles.
An Irish former bare-knuckles boxer and dockworker from London’s seedy East End, Corravan has good street sense and an inspector’s knack for digging up clues. But he’s confounded when, a week later, a second woman is found dead in a rowboat, and then a third. The dead women seem to have no connection whatsoever. Meanwhile, Mr. Stiles makes an alarming discovery: the shipping magnate’s missing wife, Mrs. Beckford, may not have fled her house because she was insane, as her husband claims, and Mr. Beckford may not be the successful man of business that he appears to be.
Slowly, it becomes clear that the river murders and the case of Mrs. Beckford may be linked through some terrible act of injustice in the past—for which someone has vowed a brutal vengeance. Now, with the newspapers once again trumpeting the Yard’s failures, Corravan must dredge up the truth—before London devolves into a state of panic and before the killer claims another innocent victim.
Title: The Dark Hours
Series: #4 in the Renée Ballard & Harry Bosch police procedural series set in Los Angeles, California.
400 pages
Synopsis: "There’s chaos in Hollywood at the end of the New Year’s Eve countdown. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD detective Renée Ballard waits out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. Only minutes after midnight, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party.
Ballard quickly concludes that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky and that it is linked to another unsolved murder—a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch. At the same time, Ballard hunts a fiendish pair of serial rapists, the Midnight Men, who have been terrorizing women and leaving no trace.
Determined to solve both cases, Ballard feels like she is constantly running uphill in a police department indelibly changed by the pandemic and recent social unrest. It is a department so hampered tia and low morale that Ballard must go outside to the one detective she can count on: Harry Bosch. But as the two inexorable detectives work together to find out where old and new cases intersect, they must constantly look over their shoulders. The brutal predators they are tracking are ready to kill to keep their secrets hidden.
Title: A Blizzard of Polar Bears
Series: #2 in the wildlife biologist Alex Carter series set in the Canadian Arctic.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Fresh off her wolverine study in Montana, wildlife biologist Alex Carter lands a job studying a threatened population of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic. Embedded with a small team of Arctic researchers, she tracks the majestic bears by air, following them over vast, snowy terrain, spending days leaning precariously out of a helicopter with a tranquilizer gun, until she can get down on the ice to examine them up close.

But as her study progresses, and she gathers data on the health of individual bears, things start to go awry. Her helicopter pilot quits unexpectedly, equipment goes missing, and a late-night intruder breaks into her lab and steals the samples she’s collected. She realizes that someone doesn’t want her to complete her study, but Alex is not easily deterred.

Managing to find a replacement pilot, she returns to the icy expanses of Hudson Bay. But the helicopter catches fire in midflight, forcing the team to land on a vast sheet of white far from civilization. Surviving on the frozen landscape is difficult enough, but as armed assailants close in on snowmobiles, Alex must rely on her skills and tenacity to survive this onslaught and carry out her mission.
===November 10 ===
Title: Murder on the Pier
Series: #2 in Flora Steele historical series set in England.
270 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Sussex, 1955: When bookshop owner Flora Steele goes for a walk along the pier she isn’t expecting to spot a young woman’s body in the stormy waters below. And she’s shocked to discover the victim is someone she knows…

Convinced the death was not an accident, Flora persuades attractive local crime writer Jack Carrington to help her find out what really happened to poor Polly Dakers, a popular young woman with a complicated love life, who’d been at the heart of village life in Abbeymead.

Jack is reluctant to get involved in another murder case at first but even he can’t deny that Polly’s fall seems fishy. An argument at a party, a missed hairdresser’s appointment and a red woollen bobble found on the wooden boards where Polly last stood provide a trail of clues…

As they grow closer to solving the puzzling mystery, the unlikely pair stumble upon several surprising secrets about those closest to Polly. A number of potential suspects begin to emerge. But who really disliked Polly enough to kill her? Was it Raymond, her jilted first love? Harry, her latest beau? Or Evelyn, Harry’s jealous estranged wife?

As the investigation brings them closer to the truth, Flora is intent on unmasking the killer – but will her stealthy sleuthing lead her down a dangerous path?

=== November 11 ===

Title: The Shadows of Men
Series: #5 in the Wyndham & Banerjee historical series set in 1920s Calcutta, India.
352 pages
Synopsis: "Calcutta, 1923

When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can the officers of the Imperial Police Force—Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant “Surrender-Not” Banerjee—track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath?

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this remarkable series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

Title: Bruno's Challenge
Short Story anthology featuring Bruno, Chief of Police of a small village in southern France.
288 pages

*UK Release

Synopsis: "A bumper collection of delightful stories featuring Bruno, Chief of Police and France's favourite cop, all set in the beautiful Dordogne valley and the ravishing Perigord region of the south west. Here is a landscape of meandering rivers with medieval castles overlooking their banks, of lush hillsides and spreading vineyards, of delicious local wines and world renowned cuisine.

With titles like 'The Chocolate War'; 'The Birthday Lunch'; 'Oystercatcher'; 'A Market Tale' and 'Fifty Million Bubbles', you may be sure that champagne and gastronomy will feature as well as cosy crime in 'Dangerous Vacation'. Bruno strides through these tales, staying calm. settling local disputes and keeping safe his beloved town of St Denis.

Only on one occasion does he panic: in 'Bruno's Challenge', his friend Ivan, proprietor and chef of the town's popular eatery, suddenly collapses on the eve of a large anniversary dinner, and he asks Bruno to take over the restaurant. After a few protests followed by some deep breaths, the inimitable Bruno meets his challenge and saves the day.

===November 18 ===

Title: Old Sins
Series: #4 i the DI Kelso Strang police procedural series set in Scotland.
336 pages
Synopsis: "On a clear, moonlit night, DCI Kelso Strang hears the unmistakable howl of a wolf. A disturbing sound, but not the only unsettling thing about the remote town of Inverbeg, where he is taking a break with an old army friend.
Sean Reynolds is obsessive about rewilding his Auchinglass estate and there are rumours that he has taken illicit steps to hurry that on, much to the anger of local farmers. There are other tensions too. An elderly lady died some months before, officially in a tragic stumble off a cliff path, but she was burdened with many secrets and her closest friend believes it was murder.
When horror strikes in Inverbeg, Strang fears further retribution is at work and as he gets closer to uncovering the ugly truth, he finds himself in more danger than ever before.

=== November 25 ===

Title: Death on the Trans-Siberian Express
Author: C.J. Farrington
Series: #1 in the Olga Pushkin amateur sleuth series set in Siberia, Russia.
336 pages

*UK Release

Synopsis: "Olga Pushkin, Railway Engineer (Third Class) and would-be bestselling author, spends her days in a little rail-side hut with only Dmitri the hedgehog for company. While tourists and travellers clatter by on the Trans-Siberian Express, Olga dreams of studying literature at Tomsk State University - the Oxford of West Siberia - and escaping the sleepy, snow-clad village of Roslazny.

But Roslazny doesn't stay sleepy for long. Poison-pen letters, a small-town crime wave, and persistent rumours of a Baba Yaga - a murderous witch hiding in the frozen depths of the Russian taiga - combine to disturb the icy silence. And one day Olga arrives at her hut only to be knocked unconscious by a man falling from the Trans-Siberian, an American tourist with his throat cut from ear to ear and his mouth stuffed with 10-ruble coins. Another death soon follows, and Sergeant Vassily Marushkin, the brooding, enigmatic policeman who takes on the case, finds himself falsely imprisoned by his Machiavellian superior, Chief-Inspector Babikov.

Olga resolves to help Vassily by proving his innocence. But with no leads to follow and time running out, has Olga bitten off more than she can chew?

Any month with a new Renée Ballard/Harry Bosch mystery is a stellar month, but there are plenty of others to be excited about as you saw for yourself. Which ones are already on your own Need-To-Read lists? Which ones did you find out about just now and add to that list? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Oh, my! A Connelly, a Mukharjee, and a Walker, all in the same month? I see some great reading coming up, Cathy! I hope your bathroom overhaul goes smoothly.

    1. It's done, and it did. I'm just waiting for a few more things to be delivered in order to take the official After photos. It's quite the transformation.

  2. Thank you for featuring Down a Dark River! I see you're in Phoenix, like I am -- I'm wondering if we've ever overlapped at the Poisoned Pen, back when events were in person. I hope to meet you at some point. Thanks for all you do to support the writing/reading community. Bloggers are the lifeblood. :)

    1. Yes, we have overlapped more than once at The Poisoned Pen. If things ever get back to some semblance of normal, it's a safe bet that we will meet. :-)

  3. Nice selection to look forward to!

  4. So many good books to choose from next month! I can't wait. :)

    1. Now I've got an Oldie but Goodie in my head: "An-ti-ci-PAY-shun! An-ti-ci-PAY-yay-shun!" LOL

  5. I love Jenn McKinlay's Library Lover's series!

    1. I do, too! Jenn used to be a librarian, and we've swapped a few of our librarian stories. Fun times!

  6. Lots of good ones, but I am especially looking forward to the next Bronte Sisters mystery!

  7. I already have the Connelly, Henderson, and Walker books on my list (she said with glee). I'm behind on Mukherjee's series, so that's multiple books to look forward to. I'm most intrigued by Down a Dark River and the Trans-Siberian Express - new authors to try!

  8. I'm going to be all over the new Michael Connelly book because his are one of the few books that I almost always end up buying in the first week of publication. I love both the main characters now, and can't wait for this new episode in their relationship...both professional and personal.

    All of the other authors are new to me, but I'm really curious about the Bruno stories by Martin Walker. Interesting setting, and that's always a huge plus.

    I'll look forward to your reviews to help me choose from the rest.

    1. I'm with you, Sam-- I love Connelly's Ballard & Bosch books. As far as Martin Walker and Bruno... good stories, good characters, and you'll feel as though you're in France as you read.

  9. I may read Killer Research, as I saw Paige Shelton rave about it. So I'll give it a try. Can't hurt, right? Good discussion with her at the PP, so pleasant.

    1. Yes. I've had the pleasure of both her company and Jenn's several times. They are both nice, talented, funny sweethearts.


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