Tuesday, February 22, 2022

March 2022 New Mystery Releases!


This is my first spring sitting here in the living room to blog and look out the window, and since it is spring, I'm doing much more looking out the window than I am blogging. More and more birds are flocking to the birdbath that Denis placed outside this window, mainly because two cats (one feral and one whose owner thinks nothing of letting it roam all over the neighborhood) have the birdbaths in the back garden staked out. I don't think the cats have been very successful hunters the past few months since there have been no breeze-driven drifts of feathers for me to find. I don't know why the cats haven't staked out this birdbath as well. Perhaps because it's out front in plain view and they don't want anyone to catch them in their murderous ways.

Amidst all the nest-building, drinking, bathing, chattering, and fussing, I haven't forgotten to keep an eye peeled for new books to read. Don't forget, I'm Cathy the Magpie, always on the lookout for bright, shiny new mysteries to read!

The following are my picks of the best new crime fiction being released during the month of March. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon. Let's see if any of my choices are already on your own personal wish lists!

=== March 1 ===

Title: Girl in Ice
Standalone thriller set in the Arctic Circle
304 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Valerie 'Val' Chesterfield is a linguist trained in the most esoteric of disciplines: dead Nordic languages. Despite her successful career, she leads a sheltered life and languishes in the shadow of her twin brother, Andy, an accomplished climate scientist stationed on a remote island off Greenland’s barren coast. But Andy is gone: a victim of suicide, having willfully ventured unprotected into 50 degree below zero weather. Val is inconsolable—and disbelieving. She suspects foul play.

When Wyatt, Andy’s fellow researcher in the Arctic, discovers a scientific impossibility­—a young girl frozen in the ice who thaws out alive, speaking a language no one understands—Val is his first call. Will she travel to the frozen North to meet this girl, and try to comprehend what she is so passionately trying to communicate? Under the auspices of helping Wyatt interpret the girl’s speech, Val musters every ounce of her courage and journeys to the Arctic to solve the mystery of her brother’s death.

The moment she steps off the plane, her fear threatens to overwhelm her. The landscape is fierce, and Wyatt, brilliant but difficult, is an enigma. But the girl is special, and Val’s connection with her is profound. Only something is terribly wrong; the child is sick, maybe dying, and the key to saving her lies in discovering the truth about Wyatt’s research. Can his data be trusted? And does it have anything to do with how and why Val’s brother died? With time running out, Val embarks on an incredible frozen odyssey—led by the unlikeliest of guides—to rescue the new family she has found in the most unexpected of places.

Title: Deadly Director's Cut
Author: Vicki Delany
Series: #2 in the Catskill Summer Resort cozy series set in 1950s New York State.
304 pages
Synopsis: "Famous director Elias Theropodous has chosen Haggerman’s Catskills Resort as a shooting location for his next film. It sounds glamorous to much of the staff, but resort manager Elizabeth Grady is less satisfied. Dealing with the ridiculous demands of the antagonistic director is bad enough, and his attempts to walk all over Elizabeth are making her feel like her position at the resort has been changed into a bit part.
But when Elias is poisoned during a dinner at the resort, the future of the film and the resort itself are on the line. Between an aging movie star, a harried producer, and former victims of the deceased director’s wrath, Elizabeth has a full cast of suspects to examine, and she’ll need to investigate every lead to catch a killer.

Title: Sisters of Night and Fog
Author: Erika Robuck
Standalone historical thriller set in World War II Europe
480 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "1940. In a world newly burning with war, andin spite of her American family’s wishes, Virginia d’Albert-Lake decides to stay in occupied France with her French husband. She’s sure that if they keep their heads down, they’ll survive. But is surviving enough?
Nineteen-year-old Violette Szabo has seen the Nazis’ evil up close and is desperate to fight them. But when she meets the man who’ll change her life only for tragedy to strike, Violette’s adrift. Until she enters the radar of Britain’s secret war organization—the Special Operations Executive—and a new fire is lit in her as she decides just how much she’s willing to risk to enlist.
As Virginia and Violette navigate resistance, their clandestine deeds come to a staggering halt when they are brought together at Ravensbrück concentration camp.
The decisions they make will change their lives, and the world, forever.

Title: No Accident
Author: Steven F. Havill
Series: #24 in the Posadas County police procedural series set in southern New Mexico
288 pages
Synopsis: "When a driver slams his pickup truck―twice―into a tandem bike being ridden by Carlos Guzman and his fiancée, Tasha, in Briones, California, it's more than a simple hit-and-run; the driver clearly intended to harm them. Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman gets the call with the news of her son's accident and wastes no time racing to his side. She is greeted by Police Captain Eddie Mitchell, formerly of Posadas County, who allows Estelle to "consult" on the investigation―but only to a point.
While Carlos struggles with critical injuries, an employee at the bike shop where Carlos bought the tandem is found shot dead in a dumpster―the same man who had borrowed the truck that mowed down Carlos and Tasha. The local cops aren't convinced there's any connection between the two crimes. Not a believer in coincidence, Estelle pursues every possible angle with a cop's determination to solve the case, and a mother's resolve to keep her son safe at any cost.
=== March 8 ===
Title: A Vintage End
Author: D'Arcy Kavanagh
Series: #1 in the Paul Burke journalist series set in the French Riviera
398 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "It’s another beautiful day on the French Riviera until Paul Burke and a group of bicyclists participating in a vintage bike race come across a disturbing scene: two skeletons dressed in Nazi memorabilia linking major race sponsor Bosco Yablonski to one of the worst periods in history.

Although the authorities dismiss it as a hoax aimed at discrediting the sponsor, Burke isn't convinced. As he continues to cover vintage races for his newspaper, more bizarre incidents occur. And when two bodies turn up, Paul knows serious threats to Yablonski and the cyclists loom in upcoming events. But who would want to harm the race or its sponsor?

Paul soon finds himself involved in a mystery with deadly consequences as the vintage bike race escalates into a national news story.

Title: The Old Woman with the Knife
Author: Gu Byeong-Mo
Standalone thriller set in South Korea 
288 pages

Synopsis: "At sixty-five, Hornclaw is beginning to slow down. She lives modestly in a small apartment, with only her aging dog, a rescue named Deadweight, to keep her company. There are expectations for people her age—that she'll retire and live out the rest of her days quietly. But Hornclaw is not like other people. She is an assassin.

Double-crossers, corporate enemies, cheating spouses—for the past four decades, Hornclaw has killed them all with ruthless efficiency, and the less she's known about her targets, the better. But now, nearing the end of her career, she has just slipped up. An injury leads her to an unexpected connection with a doctor and his family. But emotions, for an assassin, are a dangerous proposition. As Hornclaw's world closes in, this final chapter in her career may also mark her own bloody end.

A sensation in South Korea, and now translated into English for the first time by Chi-Young Kim, The Old Woman with the Knife is an electrifying, singular, mordantly funny novel about the expectations imposed on aging bodies and the dramatic ways in which one woman chooses to reclaim her agency.

=== March 15 ===

Title: Bruno's Challenge: And Other Stories of the French Countryside
Short Story Anthology featuring Bruno Chief of Police set in southwestern France
256 pages

Synopsis: "Martin Walker presents his first collection of stories featuring all the familiar characters from his Bruno novels and the glories of the Périgord region of France, with ample helpings of food and wine.

After a prisoner breaks parole to see his son on Christmas, Bruno must track him down before he throws away his chance at eventual freedom. When a Senegalese man’s coffee sells superbly at the market, some café owners become incensed by the new competition and take matters into their own hands. As a Swiss tourist and a St. Denis native fall in love over the fruit-and-veggie stall, one of their family members takes drastic steps to break them up. A fledgling tour bus business is sabotaged, leading Bruno to take a closer look at a town love triangle. Called in to investigate a case of stolen oysters, our beloved policeman reunites with an old flame to catch the shellfish thieves.
In story after story, Bruno settles town disputes, mediates family quarrels, and tracks down lawbreakers in his adored village of St. Denis and its environs. Featured meals in the collection include a fatty Christmas goose, a savory nettle soup with crème fraîche, and a fluffy quiche Lorraine.

Title: Fallen Creed
Author: Alex Kava
Series: #7 in the Ryder Creed K-9 law enforcement series set in Nebraska
358 pages
Synopsis: "K9 handler, Ryder Creed and his scent dog, Grace return to Nebraska to join FBI Agent, Maggie O'Dell on the same task force that helped rescue his sister, Brodie a year ago. But their job is interrupted when a rural Postal carrier finds a black, plastic bag discarded in a grassy roadside ditch. What's inside is shocking to even these seasoned investigators.

Just that morning another young woman has gone missing. Is her disappearance connected? Did she run away? Or was she taken? And is it only a matter of time before she ends up in a roadside ditch?

Ryder agrees to search for her, but an early snowstorm threatens to replace the warm fall temperatures. His scent dog, Grace has never worked in cold and snowy conditions.

The snow blurs the landscape and grinds life to a halt. As Maggie O'Dell searches for answers about the victim, she begins to uncover a cold-blooded, ruthless killer who has murdered before. By the time Maggie realizes no one has heard or seen Ryder since before the snow began to fall, she fears he and Grace may have walked into the killer's path.

=== March 18 ===

Title: Murder at Primrose Cottage
Series: #3 in the Flora Steele cozy series set in 1950s Cornwall, England
289 pages
Synopsis: "Cornwall, 1956: When Flora Steele sets off for a peaceful vacation with crime writer Jack Carrington in his little red Austin, the last thing she expects to find is a body at their pretty rental cottage!

Shocked by the discovery, inquisitive Flora joins forces with handsome Jack to find out how the poor man came to such an untimely end in the overgrown orchard of Primrose Cottage. They discover Roger Gifford was a man with plenty of friends and the villagers seem devastated by his sudden death…

So why was he murdered? And who has blood on their hands – his estranged wife Beatrice, his wayward younger brother Lionel, or the suspicious newcomer Mercy Dearlove?

The baffling case gets even more complicated when a second man is found dead and a set of puzzling clues lead them to an intriguing wartime mystery connected to Jack’s estranged father.

As old secrets emerge and Jack receives an unsettling letter, it seems the crime writer is in danger of a fate befitting his fictional characters. Will Flora be able to crack the case and save Jack? Or will this be one murder too many for Flora Steele?
=== March 22 ===
Title: An Eternal Lei
Series: #2 in the Leilani Santiago amateur sleuth series set in Hawaii
225 pages
Synopsis: "It's the middle of the pandemic and Hawaii has been virtually closed to tourists. 
So when Leilani Santiago and her young sisters save a mysterious woman wearing an unusual lei from drowning in Waimea Bay in Kaua‘i, questions abound. Who is she and where did she come from? Leilani suddenly finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when the lei is traced back to her best friend, the very pregnant Courtney Kahuakai, and her family’s flower business. 
While the woman is in a medically-induced coma at a local hospital, Leilani sets out to discover her identity and her connections to the island. She is drawn deeper into the mystery, only to stumble into secrets that prove deadly. When Leilani’s investigation puts her family in danger, her survival and the safety of those dearest to her will depend on her sense of ingenuity and the strength of her island community."
=== March 29 ===
Title: Sea Storm
Author: Andrew Mayne
Series: #3 in the Underwater Investigation Unit law enforcement series set in Florida
301 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "A distress call draws rescuers Sloan McPherson and the Underwater Investigation Unit to a cruise ship off the coast of Fort Lauderdale that’s sinking from a mysterious explosion. When it appears to be the work of an ecoterrorist and other ships are threatened, it becomes a race against time. More clues are discovered, and evidence is in danger of being washed away by a coming tropical storm. Sloan grows concerned that key details are being ignored, and a strange lack of urgency by authorities sets off alarms. 
As the troubling questions compound, Sloan is determined to chase down every lead she has. Her persistence is getting her closer to the truth: that there’s something far more troubling at play than the official explanation. It’s also putting Sloan on a collision course with an enemy more powerful than she realizes, in a case so complex and deadly it may be impossible to prove. Now cracking the case is a matter of staying one step ahead of someone with every resource imaginable to bury Sloan and everything she knows.
Title: The Echoes
Series: #4 in the Kinship historical series set in 1920s Ohio
288 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "As July 4, 1928 approaches, Sheriff Lily Ross and her family look forward to the opening of an amusement park in a nearby town, created by Chalmer Fitzpatrick―a veteran and lumber mill owner. When Lily is alerted to the possible drowning of a girl, she goes to investigate, and discovers schisms going back several generations, in an ongoing dispute over the land on which Fitzpatrick has built the park.

Lily's family life is soon rattled, too, with the revelation that before he died, her brother had a daughter, Esme, with a woman in France, and arrangements have been made for Esme to immigrate to the U.S. to live with them. But Esme never makes it to Kinship, and soon Lily discovers that she has been kidnapped. Not only that, but a young woman is indeed found murdered in the fishing pond on Fitzpatrick's property, at the same time that a baby is left on his doorstep.

As the two crimes interweave, Lily must confront the question of what makes family: can we trust those we love? And what do we share, and what do we keep secret?

Wow! There is lots of excellent reading in store during the month of March, isn't there? I have to admit that I'm most excited by The Echoes because I love that series, but there are plenty of other good'uns in the batch. 

As far as covers go, the one for The Old Woman with the Knife reminds me of the movie Psycho. Am I the only one?

Which books tickled your fancy from my March list? Inquiring minds would love to know! 


  1. So many great sounding titles. Definitely interested in Girl in Ice and A Vintage End, were they good? And Bruno short stories are a no brainer!

    1. Yes, Bruno short stories are definitely a no-brainer. As for Girl in Ice and A Vintage End, you'll just have to wait for the reviews! ;-)

  2. Ooh, a new Vicki Delany and a new Martin Walker! Those'll be treats, I'm sure, Cathy! I see some other great ones here, too. And I know what you mean about watching life unfold outside your window. When the view is that lovely, it's hard to concentrate....

    1. Plus, I have "T. Rex vision" and all the movement out there catches my eye anyway...

  3. You've got some good ones listed here. Some were new to me, but I already had The Echoes and Girl In Ice on my list. Enjoy!

  4. Wow! I think the easier question would be which ones don't tickle my fancy. I think I could pick any of them up and be happy. I am looking forward to the Vicki Delany.

    We installed a birdbath near our deck that can be viewed from our dining room. We really enjoyed watching the bird's antics and are looking forward to it getting warmer so we can fill it again.

    1. We actually had a couple of nights that were cold enough to freeze the water in the birdbaths. We had some confused birds first thing in the morning when they came to drink and take baths!

  5. Yay for the next Ryder Creed book! I've been waiting for Kava to write another one. It's one of my favorite series. :D

    1. Mine, too! I've been purposefully reading them slowly when I'd really love to gobble them up one right after the other!

  6. Looks like some good reading ahead. Your post reminds me that it's been quite some time since I read one of the Bruno mysteries. Maybe it's time I picked one up again.

    1. The series did become rather formulaic, but sometimes that's the best type of comfort read-- especially when good food, wine, and companionship are involved.

  7. Oh, I'm glad to see another Creed mystery is on its way! And your list reminded me that I need to catch up on the Andrew Mayne books as well as the Kinship series. And I'm going to check out the Kavanagh series, too (more visits to France!), though I'll go to the 1st book to start.

    1. Sometimes I feel quite the daredevil when I don't begin a series with book #1.

  8. Oh, yippee, The Echoes is soon to be available. Love that series, and I hope Malvena is in that book, too. And I sent a friend who's been in the Arctic the review about Girl in Ice.

    And many other books to read, too many. I'll read reviews and then decide what to do.

    1. Ferencik has quite an interesting take on the Arctic.

  9. Oh, really? My friend, the one who has been to areas of the Arctic, will read it and I'll hear her opinion.

    1. It should prove interesting to compare the two.

  10. So many interesting titles! I'm looking forward to some of these. I've read The Echoes (an ARC from NetGalley), and now eagerly await the next in the series.

    1. That's the hardest thing about wonderful series like Montgomery's: the interminable wait for the next book!

  11. And I must read about the dogs in Fallen Creed; that's my draw.
    And when I need a visual fix, I go to Paula Munier's Instagram and look at her three dogs. Wondereful photos.

    1. I really like Kava's series. I love the fact that Creed's dogs are all rescue dogs.

  12. Yes. And I have learned a lot about dogs' marvelous sniffing ability. Whereas we smell beef stew, they smell every ingredient. Some can detect diseases. I liked the book in which the dogs are trained to sniff out a dangerous virus.

    Maybe that will happen with COVID.

    My only gripe is that I read one in Kava's series and my proofreading eye caught mistakes, like "passed" for "past," or in a few places, the wrong word entirely. Editors, where are you?

    1. I've spotted that myself, and it always annoys me.


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