Tuesday, September 27, 2022

October 2022 New Mystery Releases!


Another month, another crop of new mysteries. There's always something to look forward to!
As I write this in mid-September, the temperatures are still right around 100°, and I have to admit that, summer lover or not, I am looking forward to October when things finally begin cooling off.
My reading pace may have fallen off in the past couple of months, but that doesn't keep me from looking for new books to read. Just call me a literate magpie.
I've grouped my picks of October's best new crime fiction by their release dates, and the book covers and synopses are courtesy of my favorite showroom, Amazon.
Now it's time to see if I've chosen anything that tickles your fancy just as much as it tickles mine. October is a good blend of tried, true, and new. Let's check my list!
=== October 4 ===
Title: Funeral Train
Series: #2 in the Dust Bowl historical series set in 1930s Oklahoma.
320 pages
Synopsis: "Already suffering the privations of the 1930s Dust Bowl, an Oklahoma town is further devastated when a passenger train derails—flooding its hospital with the dead and maimed. Among the seriously wounded is Etha, wife of Sheriff Temple Jennings. Overwhelmed by worry for her, the sheriff must regain his footing to investigate the derailment, which rapidly develops into a case of sabotage.

The following night, a local recluse is murdered. Temple has a hunch that this death is connected to the train wreck. But as he dissects the victim’s life with help from the recuperating and resourceful Etha, he discovers a tangle of records that make a number of townsfolk suspects in the murder.

Temple’s investigations take place against the backdrop of the Great Depression—where bootlegging, petty extortion, courage, and bravado play out in equal measure."
=== October 11 ===
Title: Sinister Graves
Series: #3 in the Cash Blackbear series set in 1970s Minnesota and North Dakota.
240 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Set in 1970s Minnesota on the White Earth Reservation, Pinckley Prize–winner Marcie R. Rendon’s gripping new mystery follows Cash Blackbear, a young Ojibwe woman, as she attempts to discover the truth about the disappearances of Native girls and their newborns.

A snowmelt has sent floodwaters down to the fields of the Red River Valley, dragging the body of an unidentified Native woman into the town of Ada. The only evidence the medical examiner recovers is a torn piece of paper inside her bra: a hymnal written in English and Ojibwe.

Cash Blackbear, a 19-year-old Ojibwe woman, sometimes helps Sheriff Wheaton, her guardian, on his investigations. Now she knows her search for justice for this anonymous victim will take her to the White Earth Reservation, a place she once called home.

When Cash happens upon two small graves in the yard of a rural, “speak-in-tongues kinda church,” Cash is pulled into the lives of the malevolent pastor and his troubled wife while yet another Native woman dies in a mysterious manner.
Title: The Plot and the Pendulum
Series: #13 in the Library Lovers cozy series set in Connecticut.
304 pages
Synopsis: "Library director Lindsey Norris is happy to learn the Briar Creek Public Library is the beneficiary of the Dorchester family’s vast book collection. However, when Lindsey and the library staff arrive at the old Victorian estate to gather the books, things take a sinister turn. One of the bookcases reveals a secret passage, leading to a room where a skeleton is found, clutching an old copy of The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe.
Lindsey does a quick check of missing persons, using the distinctive 80s era clothing worn by the deceased to determine a time frame, and discovers that Briar Creek has an unsolved missing person’s case from 1989. A runaway bride went missing just weeks after her wedding. No suspects were ever arrested and the cold case remains unsolved. Lindsey and the crafternoon crew decide that justice is overdue and set about solving the old murder mystery, using some novel ideas to crack the case.
Title: Secret Lives
Series: #1 in the Ethel Fiona Crestwater series set in Washington, DC.
288 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "For fans of unexpected-yet-badass female sleuths, meet former FBI agent-turned-boardinghouse landlady Ethel Fiona Crestwater. Her age affords her precious invisibility. She can outthink and outshoot most men―and women―half her age.

When someone murders one of her boarders, Ethel springs into action―much to the surprise of her double-first-cousin-twice-removed, Jesse, who has recently come to stay with her while he attends university. As he watches her photograph the crime scene, conceal evidence, and speed-dial the Secret Service Director, Jesse realizes that there's much more to Ethel than appearances suggest.

When Jesse is assaulted and the gym bag full of cash Ethel had hidden is stolen from the basement, the pair decides it's time to launch their own unofficial investigation. With no one to trust but each other, this unlikely duo learns that the only thing truly worth risking your life for is family.
Title: 1989
Author: Val McDermid
Series: #2 in the Allie Burns journalist series set in 1980s Scotland.
416 pages
Synopsis: "Hailed as Britain’s Queen of Crime, Val McDermid’s award-winning, internationally bestselling novels have captivated readers for more than thirty years. In her Allie Burns series, she returns to the past—both ours and in some ways her own—with the story of a female journalist whose stories lead her into world of corruption, terror, and murder.

It’s 1989 and Allie Burns is back. Older and maybe wiser, she’s running the northern news operation of the
Sunday Globe, chafing at losing her role in investigative journalism and at the descent into the gutter of the UK tabloid media. But there’s plenty to keep her occupied. The year begins with the memorial service for the victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, but Allie has barely filed her copy when she stumbles over a story about HIV/AIDS that will shock her into a major change of direction. The world of newspapers is undergoing a revolution, there’s skullduggery in the medical research labs and there are seismic rumblings behind the Iron Curtain. When murder is added to this potent mix, Allie is forced to question all her old certainties. 

Readers are having a great time time-traveling with Val, and
1989 is a seamless, riveting novel that brings us once again face to face with how very much past is prologue, and how history’s sins stay with us.

Title: Santa's Little Yelpers
Series: #26 in the Andy Carpenter series set in New Jersey.
304 pages
Synopsis: "'Tis the season in Paterson, New Jersey: Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, are surrounded by holiday cheer. It’s even spread to the Tara Foundation. The dog rescue organization, not used to having puppies, has their hands full with a recent litter. Eight puppies are a lot to handle, and Andy is relieved when his co-worker Chris Myers agrees to foster them.

Myers, a newer employee at the Tara Foundation, did time for a crime he swears he didn’t commit. When Myers discovers a key witness against him lied on the stand, he goes to Andy to ask for representation in getting the conviction overturned. Myers thinks they can have this wrapped up by Christmas, no problem.

But when the witness is murdered, and Myers is arrested for the crime, things go from bad to worse. Suddenly, it’s all elves on deck to make a list and check it twice, so they can prove Myers is innocent.
Title: Under a Veiled Moon
Author: Karen Odden
Series: #2 in the DI Michael Corravan historical series set in 1870s England.
336 pages
Synopsis: "September 1878. One night, as the pleasure boat the Princess Alice makes her daily trip up the Thames, she collides with the Bywell Castle, a huge iron-hulled collier. The Princess Alice shears apart, throwing all 600 passengers into the river; only 130 survive. It is the worst maritime disaster London has ever seen, and early clues point to sabotage by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who believe violence is the path to restoring Irish Home Rule. 
For Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, born in Ireland and adopted by the Irish Doyle family, the case presents a challenge. Accused by the Home Office of willfully disregarding the obvious conclusion, and berated by his Irish friends for bowing to prejudice, Corravan doggedly pursues the truth, knowing that if the Princess Alice disaster is pinned on the IRB, hopes for Home Rule could be dashed forever.

Corrovan’s dilemma is compounded by Colin, the youngest Doyle, who has joined James McCabe’s Irish gang. As violence in Whitechapel rises, Corravan strikes a deal with McCabe to get Colin out of harm’s way. But unbeknownst to Corravan, Colin bears longstanding resentments against his adopted brother and scorns his help.
As the newspapers link the IRB to further accidents, London threatens to devolve into terror and chaos. With the help of his young colleague, the loyal Mr. Stiles, and his friend Belinda Gale, Corravan uncovers the harrowing truth—one that will shake his faith in his countrymen, the law, and himself.

Title: Death at Paradise Palms
Series: #2 in the Retired Detectives Club series set in Florida.
316 pages
Synopsis: "When movie producer Cody Ziegler goes missing from The Homestead’s Millionaires’ Row, his wife, retired actress Olivia, immediately claims there’s foul play afoot. A million-dollar ransom demand soon follows, with clear instructions not to involve the cops. In desperation she enlists the help of Moira, Rick, Philip and Lizzie, aka the Retired Detectives Club.

Racing against the clock, the four retirees set to work. Sure, Cody had enemies―there’s a disgruntled employee, a jilted film-maker and a hundred other people who know how much he’s worth. But when it emerges that Cody’s apparently perfect marriage isn’t what it seems, even Olivia isn’t above suspicion.

When Cody’s car turns up in a nearby lake with a shocking surprise inside, the case becomes even more complicated. But with Philip and Lizzie’s marriage on the rocks, and threatening notes sending Moira into a spin, the Retired Detectives Club risks falling apart before getting any closer to the truth.

Can Moira and the gang find Cody before it’s too late? Or will this case see them lose in more ways than one?"
Title: Murder on the Spanish Seas
Author: Wendy Church
Debut thriller set on a cruise ship featuring down-on-her-luck Jesse O'Hara.
280 pages

Synopsis: "Jesse O'Hara is profane, introverted, and not frequently sober – and has just lost another job. “A million-dollar brain and a ten-cent personality,” her last employer said. With nothing better to do, Jesse reluctantly accepts the gift of a luxury cruise around the Iberian Peninsula. She’s not sure she can drink enough to keep her boredom at bay, but that's the least of her problems. From the very first moment of the cruise, it's clear to Jesse that something is very wrong.

Aided by her near-photographic memory, Jesse investigates a series of strange incidents on the ship and uncovers what looks like a terrorist plot in the works. But with each new layer uncovered, her perception shifts and broadens-- and someone doesn’t want her poking around. For Jesse, bruised and concussed is preferable to tan and relaxed, so she ignores the mounting danger even as she closes in on the villains, who have perfectly timed their grand finale...

Murder on the Spanish Seas is a riveting, whip-smart, and smart-aleck debut thriller that will keep you on your toes just as frequently as it keeps you in stitches. A perfect read for fans of Ruth Ware and Janet Evanovich."
=== October 18 ===
Title: The Boys from Biloxi
Author: John Grisham
Standalone legal thriller set in Mississippi
464 pages
Synopsis: "For most of the last hundred years, Biloxi was known for its beaches, resorts, and seafood industry. But it had a darker side. It was also notorious for corruption and vice, everything from gambling, prostitution, bootleg liquor, and drugs to contract killings. The vice was controlled by small cabal of mobsters, many of them rumored to be members of the Dixie Mafia.
Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco grew up in Biloxi in the sixties and were childhood friends, as well as Little League all-stars. But as teenagers, their lives took them in different directions. Keith’s father became a legendary prosecutor, determined to “clean up the Coast.” Hugh’s father became the “Boss” of Biloxi’s criminal underground. Keith went to law school and followed in his father’s footsteps. Hugh preferred the nightlife and worked in his father’s clubs. The two families were headed for a showdown, one that would happen in a courtroom.
Life itself hangs in the balance in
The Boys from Biloxi, a sweeping saga rich with history and with a large cast of unforgettable characters.

Title: Must Read Well
Author: Ellen Pall 
Standalone thriller set in New York City.
284 pages
Synopsis: "Ellen Pall's Must Read Well immerses the reader in an escalating game of cat-and-mouse between two women: a millennial scholar driven to deceit to reach her goals and a frail octogenarian no less capable of deception.

Narrated by Liz Miller, a penniless Ph.D. candidate desperate to finish her dissertation, the novel begins when Liz's boyfriend abruptly ditches her, rendering Liz homeless and reduced to couch-surfing at best friend Petra's tiny Manhattan studio apartment. Trying to find an affordable living space, she stumbles across a Craigslist posting that will change her life: a room with a view in a pre-war Greenwich Village apartment. The rent is a pittance, but in exchange, the tenant must be willing to read aloud daily to the apartment's sight-impaired landlady.

Liz quickly figures out that the sight-impaired landlady is none other than Anne Taussig Weil, author of the 1965 international blockbuster The Vengeance of Catherine Clark and the very woman whose refusal to cooperate for the past four years has held up Liz's dissertation on the feminist works of mid-century women novelists. Access to Weil is the key to completing her doctorate at Columbia and finally getting her academic career back on track.

Liz sets scruples aside and presents herself as a quiet young woman still finding her way in life. Once settled in, Liz learns from Weil that her need for a reader stems from a desire to revisit a key episode in her life. That episode, recorded in the scrawled journals Weil kept since she was a young girl, turns out to be the story of her passionate, disastrous, secret love affair with a celebrated pianist-the affair, in fact, which gave rise to the plot of Vengeance.

The novel, which builds from there to a double-twist climax, is fast-paced women's fiction, perfect for book club members everywhere.
=== October 25 ===
Title: A Trace of Poison
Author: Colleen Cambridge
Series: #2 in the Phyllida Bright historical series set in England.
272 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "In England’s stately manor houses, murder is not generally a topic for polite conversation. Mallowan Hall, home to Agatha Christie and her husband, Max, is the exception. And housekeeper Phyllida Bright delights in discussing gory plot details with her friend and employer . . .
The neighboring village of Listleigh has also become a hub of grisly goings-on, thanks to a Murder FĂȘte organized to benefit a local orphanage. Members of The Detection Club—a group of celebrated authors such as G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha herself—will congregate for charitable events, including a writing contest for aspiring authors. The winner gets an international publishing contract, and entrants have gathered for a cocktail party—managed by the inimitable Phyllida—when murder strikes too close even for her comfort.
It seems the victim imbibed a poisoned cocktail intended for Alastair Whittlesby, president of the local writers’ club. The insufferable Whittlesby is thought to be a shoo-in for the prize, and ambition is certainly a worthy motive. But narrowing down these suspects could leave even Phyllida’s favorite fictional detective, M. Poirot, twirling his mustache in frustration.
It’s a mystery too intriguing for Phyllida to resist, but one fraught with duplicity and danger, for every guest is an expert in murder—and how to get away with it . . .

Title: Love Me or Grieve Me
Series: #10 in the Madison Night cozy series set in Texas. 
280 pages
Synopsis: "When a junior copy editor at the local newspaper mistakenly uses interior decorator Madison Night’s life story in the obituary of a recently deceased woman with a similar name, Madison’s live turns upside down. Addison Nigh, a once in-demand jazz vocalist, had fallen into obscurity, and her death notice surprises only those who thought she died decades ago.

Canceled lines of credit and a swarm of condolences to Madison’s loved ones are just the tip of the iceberg, but when the decorator discovers evidence that the real dead woman played a part in an unsolved murder, their identity mix-up gives Madison backstage access to a life of secrets. As parallels between the singer’s life and her own become impossible to ignore, Madison questions the true price of fame. But Madison isn’t the only one to discover the singer’s buried secrets, and if she’s not careful, the next obituary might be her own.

Can Madison protect a mysterious past with similar notes to her own, or will exposing the truth be her swan song?
Another rich reading offering in October, eh? I'm very excited about several of the books this month, but I have to admit that I'm most anticipating Laurie Loewenstein's Funeral Train. I loved her first Dust Bowl mystery, Death of a Rainmaker, and I've waited a long time for this one... but there are so many others to savor!
Which ones are you most looking forward to? Are there any new-to-you titles in my list that intrigue you? Which ones? You know inquiring minds want to know!


  1. I have no idea. I am overwhelmed by the number of books here and I have 10 library books to read and six to read or listen to at the library website. Plus I want to get my hands on the global story colection "The Perffect Crime," and Mihael Connelly's new book is coming out soon. Etc.

    1. Or as the late British book blogger Maxine Clarke used to say, "we are spoilt for choice." However, I liked The Bangalore Detectives Club which was lovely and I think in some ways more cognizant of poverty in India than some other books set there. But now I'm on The Island with McKinty. Will I survive? Not sure.

    2. Yes, the two main characters were much more socially aware than I've seen in other series. To be honest, I don't think you'd run across that "enlightened" attitude all that often, but it was certainly nice to see it here.

  2. So many great-looking books here, Cathy! It's great to see another Rosenfelt, and there's a Grisham, too. And that McDermid is calling to me. Well, I guess that's part of the joy of reading - you never run out of things to read!

  3. I am with you. When I saw Funeral Train by Laurie Loewenstein was a new book, I became excited. I really liked her Death of a Rainmaker. I will be reading Funeral Train. I want to read Secret Lives too as it is the first one in a series. I am playing catch up with so many series.

    1. I've started so many series that I know I'll never be able to catch up with them all.

  4. Lots of good selections! I'm glad to see Jenn McKinlay continues to come out with books in the Library Lovers series. I'll get to it eventually.

    1. Somehow I've managed to get one behind in that series. Must catch up!

  5. Lots to choose from here. The only ones of these writers that I have read are Grisham and McDermid. I really should try some of the others as well.

  6. So many good ones coming out! I want to definitely read Sinister Graves, and Secret Lives looks really good, too. :D

  7. What an interesting month! I'm reading this the same evening that my book club discussed Rendon's 1st Cash Blackbear book, so I'll read the 2nd before moving on to the new one.

    And I needed the reminder about Odden's Inspector Carravan, so I'll definitely check that one out as well.

    1. Karen Odden is in Europe right now. Research, anyone?

    2. Oh, I'll volunteer! Hurricane Ian will be a tropical storm by the time he gets here, so I anticipate spending some quality time traveling vicariously through my reading this weekend.

    3. Sounds like an excellent plan!

  8. What a variety of reads. A Trace of Poison is the one I'd like to get hold of particularly.

    1. The first book in the series really hooked me, Mystica.

  9. I'm so glad these blurbs are easily findable, as I can't write down every book that interests me or I would have no room to sit down. Lots here to think about. Will wait for reviews on some.


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