Tuesday, August 30, 2022

September 2022 New Mystery Releases!

After all the rain falling everywhere else but here at Casa Kittling, Mother Nature finally relented a bit and allowed us to have two lakes and a pond. (Yes, I measure monsoon storms by the amount of water left standing in the front yard.) The senita cactus, the Baja fairy duster, the yellow bells, the bougainvillea, they're all ecstatic. I swear I could look out the window and watch them grow.
But no matter how happy the plants and shrubs are at the front of the house, they don't hold a candle to the ones in the back. You see, evidently the rental property on the other side of the alley has been vacant for awhile, and no one's been around to raise the sluice gate to let the irrigation water flood the property for a good soak. Well, that water has to go somewhere once it backs up in the irrigation ditch, and it's been coming right over here. the oleanders, the Tombstone roses, and the Mexican birds of paradise are out of their minds in delight between the rains and the irrigation. I've never seen them so full and tall. 
So yes, I have been paying a lot of attention to the outside of the house, but you know that hasn't kept me from keeping my eyes peeled for new mysteries to read. I've grouped my picks for the best new crime fiction in September according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of one of my favorite showrooms, Amazon. Let's see if I've found anything that tickles your fancy!
=== September 1 ===
Title: A Deadly Covenant
Series: #8 (but a prequel) in the Detective Kubu police procedural series set in Botswana.
395 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "This is the eighth book in the Detective Kubu series and the second with him as a young man.

While building a pipeline near the Okavango Delta, a contractor unearths the skeleton of a long-dead Bushman. Kubu and Scottish pathologist, Ian MacGregor, are sent to investigate, and MacGregor discovers eight more skeletons.

Then an elder of the nearby village is murdered at his home. The local police believe it was a robbery, but Kubu thinks otherwise. So does a strange woman who claims it was an angry river spirit. The situation gets more confusing when the strange woman is found dead, apparently killed by a crocodile.

Assistant Superintendent Mabaku joins them as accusations of corruption are levelled and international outrage builds over the massacre of the Bushman families. But how do the recent murders link to the dead Bushmen, if at all? As Kubu and his colleagues investigate, they uncover a deadly covenant and begin to fear that their own lives may be in danger.

The young Kubu’s second big case mixes local mythology and tradition with smart police work to make for a satisfyingly immersive mystery that begs resolution until the last, unpredictable moment.
=== September 6 ===
Title: Back to the Garden
Standalone mystery set in California the 1970s and the present day.
336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "A magnificent house, vast formal gardens, a golden family that shaped California, and a colorful past filled with now-famous artists: the Gardener Estate was a twentieth-century Eden.

And now, just as the Estate is preparing to move into a new future, restoration work on some of its art digs up a grim relic of the home’s past: a human skull, hidden away for decades.

Inspector Raquel Laing has her work cut out for her. Fifty years ago, the Estate’s young heir, Rob Gardener, turned his palatial home into a counterculture commune of peace, love, and equality. But that was also a time when serial killers preyed on innocents—monsters like The Highwayman, whose case has just surged back into the public eye.

Could the skull belong to one of his victims?

To Raquel—a woman who knows all about colorful pasts—the bones clearly seem linked to The Highwayman. But as she dives into the Estate’s archives to look for signs of his presence, what she unearths begins to take on a dark reality all of its own.

Everything she finds keeps bringing her back to Rob Gardener himself. While he might be a gray-haired recluse now, back then he was a troubled young Vietnam vet whose girlfriend vanished after a midsummer festival at the Estate.

But a lot of people seem to have disappeared from the Gardener Estate that summer when the commune mysteriously fell apart: a young woman, her child, and Rob’s brother, Fort.

The pressure is on, and Raquel needs to solve this case—before The Highwayman slips away, or another Gardener vanishes

Title: The Rising Tide
Author: Ann Cleeves
Series: #10 in the Vera Stanhope police procedural series set in the North of England.
384 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "For fifty years a group of friends have been meeting regularly for reunions on Holy Island, celebrating the school trip where they met, and the friend that they lost to the rising causeway tide five years later. Now, when one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now . . .

But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible . . .
Title: Deadly Spirits
Author: Mary Miley
Series: #3 in the Mystic's Accomplice historical series set in 1920s Chicago.
224 pages
Synopsis: "Summer, 1924. Young widow Maddie Pastore has been working for fraudulent spiritual medium Madame Carlotta for nearly a year - if 'work' you could call it. Investigating Carlotta's clients, and attending seances as her shill, keeps Maddie and her young son Tommy fed and clothed, and she's grown to love the kind, well-meaning spiritualist like family.

Still, Maddie - estranged from her abusive parents for over a decade - can't help but wonder what fates befell her brothers and sisters. So when she lucks into two free tickets to a glamorous Chicago speakeasy and recognizes the star performer as her pretty little sister Sophie, she's beyond delighted.

But before Maddie can meet with Sophie again, the telephone rings. It's Sophie's husband, calling in a panic to tell her that his wife is locked in the Cook County jail, charged with first-degree murder . . .

Enter a dark and deadly world of seances and speakeasies, populated by fake mediums, sultry singers and dangerous mobsters! An ideal pick for readers who enjoy glitzy Jazz Age mysteries with feisty female sleuths.

Title: Killers of a Certain Age
Standalone thriller
368 pages
Synopsis: "Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.
When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.
Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman—and a killer—of a certain age.
=== September 13 ===
Title: The Perfect Crime: 22 Crime Stories from Diverse Cultures Around the World
Edited by Vaseem Khan and Maxim Jakubowski
Short Story Anthology
448 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "From Lagos to Mexico City, Australia to the Caribbean, Toronto to Los Angeles, Darjeeling to rural New Zealand, London to New York – twenty-two bestselling crime writers from diverse cultures come together from across the world in a razor sharp and deliciously sinister collection of crime stories.
Featuring Oyinkan Braithwaite, Abir Mukherjee, S.A. Cosby, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, J.P. Pomare, Sheena Kamal, Vaseem Khan, Sulari Gentill, Nelson George, Rachel Howzell Hall, John Vercher, Sanjida Kay, Amer Anwar, Henry Chang, Nadine Matheson, Mike Phillips, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Felicia Yap, Thomas King, Imran Mahmood, David Heska Wanbli Weiden and Walter Mosley."
Title: Murder on the Vine
Series: #3 in the Tuscan Mysteries set in Italy and featuring former NYPD homicide detective Nico Doyle.
336 pages
Synopsis: "On a late October Sunday morning in Gravigna, local maresciallo Perillo is having breakfast with ex-NYPD detective Nico Doyle when he is called back to the station in Greve. Laura Benati, the young manager of Hotel Bella Vista, is worried—her bartender and good friend eighty-year-old Cesare Costanzi has been missing for three days. 
The next morning, Jimmy, co-owner of Bar All’Angolo, Gravigna’s local cafĂ©, where Nico is a frequent patron, runs out of gas on his way back from Florence. When Nico meets him to help, Nico’s dog, OneWag, reacts to the smell coming from Jimmy’s trunk. Inside Nico finds a body wrapped in plastic: Cesare Costanzi, stabbed several times in the chest.
Why would anyone kill Cesare, and how did he end up in Jimmy’s car? That’s for Nico to find out, as Perillo once again turns to Nico for help with the investigation.

Title: Marple: Twelve New Mysteries
Authors: Agatha Christie, Naomi Alderman, Leigh Bardugo, Alyssa Cole, Lucy Foley, Elly Griffiths, Natalie Haynes, Jean Kwok, Val McDermid, Karen M. McManus, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse, and Ruth Ware
Short Story Anthology 
384 pages
Synopsis: "Jane Marple is an elderly lady from St Mary Mead who possesses an uncanny knack for solving even the most perplexing puzzles. Now, for the first time in 45 years, Agatha Christie’s beloved character returns to the page for a globe-trotting tour of crime and detection.

Join Marple as she travels through her sleepy English village and around the world. In St Mary Mead, a Christmas dinner is interrupted by unexpected guests; the Broadway stage in New York City is set for a dangerous improvisation; bad omens surround an untimely death aboard a cruise ship to Hong Kong; and a bestselling writer on holiday in Italy is caught in a nefarious plot. These and other crimes committed in the name of love, jealousy, blackmail, and revenge are ones that only the indomitable Jane Marple can solve.

Bringing a fresh twist to the hallmarks of a classic Agatha Christie mystery, these twelve esteemed writers have captured the sharp wit, unique voice, and droll ingenuity of the deceptively demure detective. A triumphant celebration of Christie’s legacy and essential reading for crime lovers, Marple is a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains one of the most famous detectives of all time."
=== September 20 ===
Title: Mother Daughter Traitor Spy
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Standalone historical thriller based on a true story. Set in World War II Los Angeles.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "June 1940. France has fallen to the Nazis, and Britain may be next—but to many Americans, the war is something happening “over there.” Veronica Grace has just graduated from college; she and her mother, Violet, are looking for a fresh start in sunny Los Angeles. After a blunder cost her a prestigious career opportunity in New York, Veronica is relieved to take a typing job in L.A.—only to realize that she’s working for one of the area’s most vicious propagandists.

Overnight, Veronica is exposed to the dark underbelly of her new home, where German Nazis are recruiting Americans for their devastating campaign. After the FBI dismisses the Graces’ concerns, Veronica and Violet decide to call on an old friend, who introduces them to L.A.’s anti-Nazi spymaster.

At once, the women go undercover to gather enough information about the California Reich to take to the authorities. But as the news of Pearl Harbor ripples through the United States, and President Roosevelt declares war, the Grace women realize that the plots they’re investigating are far more sinister than they feared—and even a single misstep could cost them everything.

Inspired by the real mother-daughter spy duo who foiled Nazi plots in Los Angeles during WWII,
Mother Daughter Traitor Spy is a powerful portrait of family, duty, and deception that raises timeless questions about America—and what it means to have courage in the face of terror.

Title: Forsaken Country
Author: Allen Eskens
Series: #6 in the Max Rupert series set in Minnesota.
352 pages
Synopsis: "Max Rupert has left his position as a Minneapolis homicide detective to live in solitude. Mourning the tragic death of his wife, he's also racked by guilt—he alone knows what happened to her killer. But then the former local sheriff, Lyle Voight, arrives with a desperate plea: Lyle’s daughter Sandy and his six-year-old grandson Pip have disappeared. Lyle’s certain Sandy's ex-husband Reed is behind it, but the new sheriff is refusing to investigate. 

When Max reluctantly looks into their disappearance, he too becomes convinced something has gone very wrong. But the closer Max and Lyle get to finding proof, the more slippery Reed becomes, until he makes a break for the beautiful but formidable Boundary Waters wilderness with vulnerable Pip in tow.

Racing after the most dangerous kind of criminal—a desperate father—and with the ghosts of their own pasts never far behind, Max and Lyle go on the hunt within a treacherous landscape, determined to bring an evil man to justice, and to bring a terrified child home alive.
=== September 27 ===
Title: Treasure State
Author: C.J. Box
Series: #6 in the Cassie Dewell P.I. series set in Montana.
288 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Private Investigator Cassie Dewell’s business is thriving, and her latest case puts her on the hunt for a slippery con man who’s disappeared somewhere in the “treasure state”. A wealthy Florida widow has accused him of absconding with her fortune, and wants Cassie to find him and get it back. The trail takes Cassie to Anaconda, Montana, a quirky former copper mining town that’s the perfect place to reinvent yourself. As the case develops, Cassie begins to wonder if her client is telling her everything.

On top of that, Cassie is also working what's easily one of her strangest assignments ever. A poem that promises buried treasure to one lucky adventurer has led to a cutthroat competition and five deaths among treasure-hunters. But Cassie’s client doesn’t want the treasure. Instead, he claims to be the one who hid the gold and wrote the poem. And he’s hired Cassie to try to find him. Between the two cases, Cassie has her hands full.

In Montana, a killer view can mean more than just the scenery, and Cassie knows much darker things hide behind the picturesque landscape of Big Sky Country.
Treasure State, C. J. Box's highly anticipated follow-up to The Bitterroots, is full of more twists and turns than the switchbacks through the Anaconda Range.
Title: Shrines of Gaiety
Standalone thriller set in 1920s England.
416 pages
Synopsis: "1926, and in a country still recovering from the Great War, London has become the focus for a delirious new nightlife. In the clubs of Soho, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.  
The notorious queen of this glittering world is Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic eldest, Niven, whose character has been forged in the crucible of the Somme. But success breeds enemies, and Nellie’s empire faces threats from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho’s gaiety, there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost.
With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson gives us a window in a vanished world. Slyly funny, brilliantly observant, and ingeniously plotted,
Shrines of Gaiety showcases the myriad talents that have made Atkinson one of the most lauded writers of our time.

Holy moley-- what a line-up for September! The only authors I haven't read in these picks of mine are in the two short story anthologies. All the rest-- King, Cleeves, Miley, Raybourn, Trinchieri, MacNeal, Eskens, Box, Atkinson-- I've read and enjoyed, and at least half of them have been on my Best Reads lists over the years. What an embarrassment of riches!

Which books on my list are on your own wish lists already? Did I tempt you to add any new ones? Do tell-- you know how inquiring minds want to know!


  1. Oh, my! There are so many good 'uns coming out this month, Cathy! So many great authors on your list I'm not sure where to start. I know I do want to read The Perfect Crime. That's been on my list. Funny how some months just have 'bumper crops' of good books coming out...

    1. I know-- and September seems to be a popular "bumper crop" month! I'm reading The Perfect Crime right now and really enjoying it. And with the lineup of authors in the book that I have yet to read, I think it's going to turn out to be an excellent anthology.

  2. There are lots of good ones coming in September! I especially like the sound of Killers of a Certain Age and Mother Daughter Traitor Spy.

    1. I've never read any of Raybourn's books, but this one certainly makes me want to rectify that oversight-- and MacNeal never disappoints.

  3. So many lovely books coming in September! I love it! Several are on my list already and I added a couple of more. Thanks!

  4. Treasure State looks really good. I'm anxious for Andrea Penrose's next historical mystery Murder at the Serpentine Bridge, which should release in September. Happy reading! :D

    1. I'll have to take a look at Murder at the Serpentine Bridge. Thanks for mentioning it!

  5. Looks like a big month ahead of us. Three of them (Cleeves, Atkinson, and Box) were already on my radar, but I see several other intriguing possibilities here. Heck, a new Vera is always going to be a reason to celebrate; I just hope Ann keeps them coming for a long time.

  6. What a list! Many were already on my radar, to borrow your phrase, including Killers of a Certain Age. I saw your comment that you haven't read any Raybourne yet, and wanted to let you know that she comes highly recommended. Her Veronica Speedwell series is thoroughly enjoyable, and starts with A Curious Beginning.

    I was not aware of Treasure State or Murder on the Vine, so I'm adding those to my list. And that international collection of short stories sounds like a good way to find some new-to-me authors.

    1. I'm enjoying working my way through that short story anthology, Kate.

  7. That's an exciting list. So many favorites of mine! I'm especially looking forward to a new Vera Stanhope.

  8. Really anxious to check out Marple. And Killers of a Certain age. And MacNeal's new one!! So many good things!

  9. Way too many tantalizing books: The Perfect Crime, Laurie King's book, Allen Eskens biijm so many reminders of authors fi like.

  10. Again, not enough light here. Thanks for a reminder of Allen Eskens books, an author I like, too.


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