Tuesday, March 29, 2022

April 2022 New Mystery Releases!

Spring has sprung with a vengeance here in the Sonoran Desert, and one of the things I love the most about it is that it starts happening in February, a month I always despised growing up in the cold, slushy, blustery Midwest. 

I've been watching birds collecting nesting materials, and one pair of house finches keeps checking out the top of the security camera at the front door. They keep flying away and coming back, flying away and coming back, and I certainly hope they find a better place for their nest!

Of course, birds aren't the only things I've been watching. I've also been keeping an eye peeled for new mysteries. (So what else is new?) The following are my picks of the best new crime fiction being released throughout the month of April. They are grouped according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see if I can add any books to your Need-to-Read lists!

=== April 5 ===

Title: The Art of the Decoy
Author: Trish Esden
Series: #1 in the cozy Scandal Mountain Antiques series set in northern Vermont.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling:  Books.
Synopsis: "After her mother is sent to prison for art forgery, Edie Brown returns to Northern Vermont to rebuild her family’s fine art and antiques business. She’s certain she can do it now that her mother is gone. After all, butting heads with her mom over bad business practices was what drove Edie away three years ago, including a screwup that landed Edie on probation for selling stolen property.
When Edie scores a job appraising a waterfowl decoy collection at a hoarder’s farmhouse, she’s determined to take advantage of the situation to rebuild the business’s tarnished reputation and dwindling coffers. In lieu of payment, Edie intends to cherry-pick an exceptional decoy carved by the client’s renowned Quebecoise folk artist ancestors. Only the tables turn when the collection vanishes.
Accused of the theft, Edie’s terrified that the fallout will destroy the business and land her in prison next to her mom. Desperate, she digs into the underbelly of the local antiques and art world. When Edie uncovers a possible link between the decoy theft and a deadly robbery at a Quebec museum, she longs to ask her ex-probation officer, and ex-lover, for help. But she suspects his recent interest in rekindling their romance may hide a darker motive.
With the help of her eccentric uncle Tuck and Kala, their enigmatic new employee, Edie must risk all she holds dear to expose the thieves and recover the decoys before the FBI’s Art Crime Team or the ruthless thieves themselves catch up with her.

Title: The Burning Pages
Series: #7 in the Scottish Bookshop cozy series set in Edinburgh, Scotland.
304 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling:  Books.
Synopsis: "One winter's night, bookseller Delaney Nichols and her coworker Hamlet are invited to a Burns Night dinner, a traditional Scottish celebration of the poet Robert Burns. She's perplexed by the invitation, but intrigued. The dinner takes place at Burns House itself, a tiny cottage not far from the Cracked Spine bookshop but well hidden. There, it becomes clear that Delaney and Hamlet were summoned in an attempt to make amends between Edwin, Delaney's boss, and one of the other invitees, who suspected Edwin for burning down his own bookshop twenty years ago after a professional disagreement.

But after the dinner, there’s another fire. The Burns House itself is burned to the ground, and this time there’s a body among the ruins. When Hamlet is accused of the crime, Delaney rushes to prove his innocence, only to discover that he might actually have a plausible motive...

Title: Knit or Dye Trying
Series: #2 in the Riverbank Knitting cozy series set in Maryland.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "As spring comes to Collinstown, the village launches a food festival to draw a new group of tourists. Libby, proud owner of Y.A.R.N., has planned a yarn event to provide an alternative option to a foodie weekend. Artisan fiber dyer Julie Wilson—known for her work with animal-friendly, plant-based knitting fibers such as bamboo and hemp as well as her brilliant use of color—will hopefully draw a crowd with a special dyeing workshop.

The festival begins, but it draws more than crowds. First a flock of sheep parades down the street, herded by farmers protesting Julie’s antiwool stance. Then Julie’s celebrity chef sister appears, and the siblings resume a long-standing rivalry. Despite all this, Julie’s workshop has sold out. Libby is thrilled, and they’re preparing for a full house. But the night before the event, Julie is found alone in the warehouse event space—dead. The witty “Watch Julie Wilson Dye” workshop title now has a terrible new meaning—and it’s up to Libby to catch a crafty killer.

Title: Mining for Murder
Author: Mary Angela
Series: #3 in the Happy Camper cozy series set in South Dakota.
207 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "Zo Jones is enjoying the sunny season at her Happy Camper gift shop in Spirit Canyon, South Dakota--when a murder reminds her all that glitters isn't gold . . .

The South Dakota Gold Rush might be long over, but Zo Jones feels like she's hit the mother lode when she and her friends browse an estate sale, where a rare old book about the history of Spirit Canyon is causing quite a commotion. In addition to local stories and secrets, the book may even contain the location of a famous stash of gold--a treasure worth killing for.

Zo's friend Maynard Cline wins the bid on the book, to the chagrin of many interested parties, including the historical society and college history department. But when Zo and Hattie head to Maynard's mansion to borrow the book for a library event, the only thing they find is Maynard--at the bottom of the mountain. The valuable book is gone. Zo knows this must be murder because there's no way a germophobe like Maynard would have voluntarily dived into a pile of dirt. Now she'll have to dig into a new case, and go prospecting for a perpetrator . . .

Title: One Last Chance
Series: #12 in the Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis police procedural series set in Greece.
304 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

"When Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis's longtime assistant, Maggie, returns to her ancestral home on Ikaria for her 104-year-old grandmother's funeral, she quickly realizes not only was Yiayia likely murdered, but that a series of other long-lived Ikariots had recently died under the same suspicious circumstances. Back in Athens, Andreas and his chief detective Yianni pursue a smuggling and protection ring embedded in the Greek DEA, and its possible involvement in the assassination of an undercover cop.

But then Maggie and Yianni uncover a connection between their respective leads in the elder-killings on Ikaria and the DEA corruption case, and they realize that there are international intrigues far more dangerous at play than anyone had imagined.


Title: Witness for the Persecution
Series: #3 in the cozy Jersey Girl Legal series set in California.
240 pages
Synopsis: "Former New Jersey prosecutor Sandy Moss moved to a prestigious Los Angeles law firm to make a new start as a family lawyer. So it seems a little unfair that Seaton, Taylor have created a criminal law division specifically for her. Just because she's successfully defended two murder trials, it doesn't mean she likes them!

But when abrasive Hollywood movie director Robert Reeves is accused of murdering a stuntman on set, Sandy finds she can't say no when he demands her help. Robert might be an unpleasant, egotistical liar, but something tells Sandy that he's innocent - even if no one else can see it.

At least this time, she reassures herself, her charismatic, adorable, and oh-so annoying TV star boyfriend Patrick McNabb isn't involved in the case. He isn't . . . right?

Title: Bitter Roots
Author: Ellen Crosby
Series: #12 in the Wine Country amateur sleuth series set in Virginia.
240 pages
Synopsis: "In just over a week vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery and winemaker Quinn Santori will be married in a ceremony overlooking what should be acres of lush flowering grapevines. Instead they are confronted by an ugly swathe of slowly dying vines and a nursery owner who denies responsibility for selling the diseased plants. With neighboring vineyards facing the same problem, accusations fly and the ugly stand-off between supplier and growers looks set to escalate into open warfare.

When Eve Kerr, a stunning blonde who works at the nursery, is found dead a few days later, everyone wonders if someone in the winemaking community went too far. What especially troubles Lucie is why Eve secretly arranged to meet Quinn on the day she was murdered - and whether Lucie's soon-to-be husband knows something he's not telling her.

Then a catastrophic storm blows through, destroying everything in its path. With no power, no phones, and no wedding venue, Lucie needs to find out who killed Eve and what her death had to do with Quinn.
=== April 12 ===
Title: Fierce Poison
Author: Will Thomas
Series: #13 in the Barker & Llewelyn historical series set in Victorian London.
304 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Private Enquiry agent Cyrus Barker has just about seen it all―he's been attacked by assassins, his office has been bombed, and evil-doers have even nearly killed his dog. But never before has a potential client dropped dead in his office. When Roland Fitzhugh, Member of Parliament arrives to consult Barker and his partner Thomas Llewelyn, he falls to the floor, dead, upon entering. As they soon learn, he's been poisoned with a cyanide laced raspberry tart, and the adulterated tarts also take out an entire family in the East End. Labelled the Mad Pie Man by the press, Barker and Llewelyn are hired by former Prime Minister William Gladstone to find out who has targeted the House of Commons's newest member.

But before they can even begin, they find themselves the latest target of this mad poisoner―with Barker's butler poisoned with digitalis and dozens of diabolic traps discovered at their home. On the run from their unseen adversary, Barker and Llewelyn must uncover the threads that connect these seemingly random acts and stop the killer before they and their closest friends and family become the latest casualties.

=== April 19 ===

Title: Pay Dirt Road
Standalone thriller set in Texas.
304 pages
Winner of the 2019 Tony Hillerman Prize.
Synopsis: "Annie McIntyre has a love/hate relationship with Garnett, Texas.

Recently graduated from college and home waitressing, lacking not in ambition but certainly in direction, Annie is lured into the family business―a private investigation firm―by her supposed-to-be-retired grandfather, Leroy, despite the rest of the clan’s misgivings.

When a waitress at the cafĂ© goes missing, Annie and Leroy begin an investigation that leads them down rural routes and haunted byways, to noxious-smelling oil fields and to the glowing neon of local honky-tonks. As Annie works to uncover the truth she finds herself identifying with the victim in increasing, unsettling ways, and realizes she must confront her own past―failed romances, a disturbing experience she’d rather forget, and the trick mirror of nostalgia itself―if she wants to survive this homecoming.

There's quite a variety of choice during the month of April, isn't there? 

Which ones are on your Need-to_read lists? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Ooh, a new Jeffrey Siger! And a new Will Thomas! That's good news to me, Cathy. It's funny; they're different sorts of writers, but each does a good job (as I see it) of creating atmosphere and local culture.

    1. Yes, they do, They're two of my favorite writers.

  2. I like the sound of The Art of the Decoy (and that cover is gorgeous). The Paige Shelton series is on my TBR, so I hope to get to that one day. The Jersey Girl Legal series is also on my TBR and I had forgotten about it, so this is a good reminder to get going! Lots of good reads coming up.

    1. Yes, and I had to get reviews for five of them ready to post on the same week. Whew!

  3. I like Jeff Seiger's books set in Greece. Will look for this one!

  4. A very cozy month, overall. I'm glad about the new Will Thomas, and plan to check out Pay Dirt Road. And your list reminds me that I have the pleasure of several Jeffrey Siger books waiting for me, since I read in series order (most of the time), and am not yet ready for this newest entry.

    1. Yes, a decidedly cozy month, but one in which Jeffrey Siger, the silver-tongued devil himself, seems to have the advantage. (I've called him that to his face, by the way. He's a charmer.)

  5. Some of these books sound good. And albeit some are cozies, I might just read one or two when my brain is on overload with global events and brutality in my reading. And I like some of the locations so I can branch out further.

    1. Yep. Right now, I'm a bit saturated with cozies, so I'm glad I'm in Victorian London following the trail of a mad poisoner.

  6. Yes, I'd imagine sometimes just what the doctor ordered to get a break from fictional and real-world violence.
    I need to find a few with good humor.
    I am reading The Third Mrs. Galway by a friend, Deirdre Sinnott. It's set in 1838 Utica and it focuses on the then-abolitionist movement. Very good characters.

    1. Wendall Thomas's Cyd Redondo mysteries (starting with Lost Luggage) make me laugh a lot.

  7. I read one of those after I read a review here.
    I have a slew of library books and also books in their Overdrive system. My branch just closed for 1 1/2 years for repairs, so I'll work around that with various methods.
    Brought home interesting books. I'll scroll through your reviews fo find the "Best of Cozies" reviews set in a state which I haven't yet read about.


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