Tuesday, November 29, 2022

December 2022 New Mystery Releases!

It's the Monday before Thanksgiving, and since I've got the big Thursday feed all sorted, it gives me plenty of time to do one of the things I like best: talk about new books.
Of my many blessings-- you faithful readers being an important one-- I can't imagine where my life would be without books. They have been a constant since before my birth. (Hey, my mother was a librarian!)
The following list contains my picks for the best new crime fiction being released throughout the month of December. This list tends to be more on the cozy side of the mystery spectrum, probably due to the time of year.
I've listed my picks by their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of my favorite showroom, Amazon. Take a look to see if I've chosen some of your wishlisted books, or if I've managed to add a title or two that you hadn't heard of.
=== December 6 ===
Title: Showstopper
Series: #21 in the Peter Diamond police procedural series set in Bath, England.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "In the six years since the start of the hit British TV show Swift, its cast and crew have been plagued by misfortune, beginning with the star actress’s pulling out of the show before it began. By now there have been multiple injuries by fall, fire, or drowning; two deaths; and two missing persons cases.

The media quickly decides it’s a curse, but who’s to say there isn’t a criminal conspiracy afoot? Now that the filming has moved to Bath, Peter Diamond, Chief of the Avon and Somerset Murder Squad, is on the case. While the investigation into one fatal accident is underway, a cameraman goes missing, challenging even the most credulous to wonder if he might have been the victim of foul play rather than a jinx. How can so many things go wrong on one set in such a short time?

Complicating already complex matters is the fact that Diamond’s boss is trying her best to get him out of her hair; he may be forced to retire if he can’t solve the case. Will this be the end for Peter Diamond?

Title: Winter's End
Series: #4 in the Alaska Wild series featuring an o-the-run thriller writer, Beth Rivers.
272 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "It’s springtime in Benedict, Alaska, and with the warmer weather comes an unseasonably somber local tradition...the annual Death Walk. At the end of each brutal winter, citizens gather downtown and then break into groups to search the community for those who might have somehow gotten stuck at home. Beth Rivers sets off with her friend Orin and dog Gus, toward the cabin of an elderly resident, intending to check on him.

When they reach the cabin, the old man is alive, but not in the best shape. Beth stays with him while Orin hurries to town for help, but it’s not Orin who returns. Gril comes back with shocking news, and it soon becomes clear that Orin has also vanished. When they discover that their friend has been doing some top-secret research, they start to worry he’s been exposed, or worse.

Meanwhile, Beth continues on her own search, for her father, who allegedly is alive in Mexico, but won't return her calls. Still, she's making progress in healing from her own trauma, though can't quite shake the feeling she's being followed..

Title: Knits, Knots & Knives
Series: #3 in the Craft Fair Knitters cozy series set in Pennsylvania.
288 pages
Synopsis: "For once things seem to be running smoothly for knitting enthusiast Lia Geiger. Her daughter is living on her own and happy with her new job on the alpaca farm. Plus, Lia and her Ninth Street Knitters have been knitting for the Civil War reenactment being held on the grounds next to the Crandalsburg Craft Fair. It’s all fun and battle games until one of the “injured soldiers” turns out to be the very real victim of a murder, and Lia’s friend and neighbor falls under deep suspicion.
Suddenly, the good folks of Crandalsburg are spinning all kinds of yarns and pointing fingers at one another. Lucky for Lia, she has the combined wits of the Ninth Street Knitters to help her ply the truth from this crafty killer.
Title: A Dangerous Business
Author: Jane Smiley
Standalone historical mystery set in Gold Rush Era California.
224 pages
Synopsis: "From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning and best-selling author of A Thousand Acres: a mystery set in 1850s Gold Rush California, as two young prostitutes—best friends Eliza and Jean—follow a trail of missing girls.

Monterey, 1851. Ever since her husband was killed in a bar fight, Eliza Ripple has been working in a brothel. It seems like a better life, at least at first. The madam, Mrs. Parks, is kind, the men are (relatively) well behaved, and Eliza has attained what few women have: financial security. But when the dead bodies of young women start appearing outside of town, a darkness descends that she can't resist confronting. Side by side with her friend Jean, and inspired by her reading, especially by Edgar Allan Poe’s detective Dupin, Eliza pieces together an array of clues to try to catch the killer, all the while juggling clients who begin to seem more and more suspicious.

Eliza and Jean are determined not just to survive, but to find their way in a lawless town on the fringes of the Wild West—a bewitching combination of beauty and danger—as what will become the Civil War looms on the horizon. As Mrs. Parks says, "Everyone knows that this is a dangerous business, but between you and me, being a woman is a dangerous business, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise ...


Title: The Widowmaker 
Series: #2 in the Black Harbor police procedural series set in Wisconsin.
304 pages
Synopsis: "Ever since business mogul Clive Reynolds disappeared twenty years ago, the name "Reynolds" has become synonymous with "murder" and "mystery." And now, lured by a cryptic note, down-on-her-luck photographer Morgan Mori returns home to Black Harbor and into the web of their family secrets and double lives. The same night she photographs the Reynolds holiday get-together, Morgan becomes witness to a homicide of a cop that triggers the discovery of a long-buried clue.

This could finally be the thing to crack open the chilling cold case, and Investigator Ryan Hudson has a chance to prove himself as lead detective. If only he could stop letting his need to solve his partner's recent murder distract him. But as Morgan exposes her own dark demons, could her sordid history be the key to unlocking more than one mystery?

Title: Knot a Game
Series: #9 in the Yarn Retreat cozy series set in coastal California.
234 pages
Synopsis: "At the urging of Vista Del Mar's owner, Casey Feldstein takes on the job of combining a murder mystery game with her next weekend yarn retreat. Enlisting the help of the hotel's staff to play the roles of victim and suspects, she lays out a plot and plants some red herrings. And as her intrigued guests watch the murder play out and the clues unfold, Casey is certain she's pulled off the perfect make-believe murder-until a real murder intrudes and everyone at the hotel is named as a suspect. As her retreat guests turn away from the fake murder to solve the real one, Casey has her hands full trying to keep them from meddling in police business. But even as they're dead-set on unraveling the mystery in their midst, Casey has her eye on a few of them, some of whom don't seem to be who or what they claim. With time ticking down on her weekend and her guests more interested in nabbing a killer than knitting, Casey will have to stitch together her own solution before the killer can stop her and declare game over . . .

=== December 8 ===
Title: Graves on the Fens
Author: Joy Ellis
Series: #14 in the DI Nikki Galena police procedural series set in the Lincolnshire Fens of England. 
404 pages
Synopsis: "It arrives in the morning. An old-fashioned airmail envelope addressed to Detective Nikki Galena. Inside, on a single sheet of blue airmail paper, are three words:

You failed me.

The second airmail envelope arrives at Nikki’s home address. The same message. Only this time, it’s followed by four names:
Alexandra Cornfield, Ruth Baker, Bethany Lyons, Leanne Delaney.

Four missing women. Four local women whose bodies were never found.

The contents of the third letter, delivered by motorcycle courier, are even more disturbing.

The letter leads directly to the discovery of a body buried in a shallow grave out on the Fens. And Nikki and her partner Detective Joseph Easter are plunged into a baffling murder investigation.

Someone appears to be pursuing a personal vendetta against Nikki— and she has no idea who, or why. But one thing she does know: whoever it is is playing a very twisted game — and if Nikki and her team don’t stop them, more deaths will follow.
=== December 13 ===
Title: Secrets Typed in Blood
Series: #3 in the Pentecost & Parker P.I. historical series set in New York City.
384 pages
Synopsis: "New York City, 1947: For years, Holly Quick has made a good living off of murder, filling up the pages of pulp detective magazines with gruesome tales of revenge. Now someone is bringing her stories to life and leaving a trail of blood-soaked bodies behind. With the threat of another murder looming, and reluctant to go to the police, Holly turns to the best crime-solving duo in or out of the pulps, Willowjean “Will” Parker and her boss, famed detective Lillian Pentecost. 

The pair are handed the seemingly-impossible task of investigating three murders at once without tipping off the cops or the press that the crimes are connected. A tall order made even more difficult by the fact that Will is already signed up to spend her daylight hours undercover as a guileless secretary in the hopes of digging up a lead on an old adversary, Dr. Olivia Waterhouse. 

But even if Will is stuck in pencil skirts and sensible shoes, she’s not about to let her boss have all the fun. Soon she’s diving into an underground world of people obsessed with murder and the men and women who commit them. Can the killer be found in the Black Museum Club, run by a philanthropist whose collection of grim murder memorabilia may not be enough to satisfy his lust for the homicidal? Or is it Holly Quick’s pair of editors, who read about murder all day, but clearly aren’t telling the full story?

With victims seemingly chosen at random and a murderer who thrives on spectacle, the case has the great Lillian Pentecost questioning her methods. But whatever she does, she’d better do it fast. Holly Quick has a secret, too and it’s about to bring death right to Pentecost and Parker’s doorstep.

Title: The Charity Shop Detective Agency
Author: Peter Boland
Series: #1 in the Charity Shop Detective Agency cozy series set in southern England.
250 pages
Synopsis: "A serial killer is stalking the elderly of Southbourne. The only clue left behind is a domino in the hand of each victim — with a name scratched on the back.

Eighty-six-year-old Sarah Brown is found dead in her hallway one morning by her delivery man. She was stabbed in the back.

Fiona, Sue and Daisy, volunteers at the local charity shop,
Dogs Need Nice Homes, can’t believe their favourite customer is dead. The ladies vow to bring the killer to justice.

With plenty of tea and cake along the way, and despite squabbles with their rivals, the
Cats Alliance across the street, the Charity Shop Detective Agency is born.
=== December 27 ===
Title: Death by Arts and Crafts
Series: #6 in the Abby McCree cozy series set in Washington State.
336 pages
Synopsis: "As the newest member of the Snowberry Creek City Council, perpetually overextended Abby McCree is picked to liaise between the council and the new planning committee for the town’s first ever arts and crafts fair. As far as gigs go, it’s a fun one—Abby’s spending the weekend tooling around Washington State, checking out similar fairs with her two besties, coffee shop owner Bridey Roker, and ceramic artisan Dayna Fisk.
As Abby spreads the word about Snowberry Creek’s fair, recruiting the industry’s biggest movers and makers, the trip feels like a glittering success. But then, someone is found murdered at one of the events and vendors begin disappearing amid suspicious circumstances. Abby’s determined to keep her hands clean, until Dayna finds herself stuck at the top of the suspect list. Now, Abby must weave the clues together and clear her friend’s name before the killer claims another victim—maybe even Abby herself . . .


Are any of these mysteries on your own wish lists? Which ones? Did I manage to add any to these lists of yours? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Those are some interesting books coming out, Cathy. The Boland caught my eye, although I confess I've never read him before. And it's good to see a Lovesey coming out, too. Nice choices here!

    1. There's something catchy about that charity shop title, isn't there?

  2. I have Winter's End on hold at the library. I have enjoyed the series. Seeing a Peter Lovesey reminded me that I like this series too but have a lot of catching up to do with it before I would read The Showstopper. Good series. Several of the books shown I have read the first book in the series. Don't think I will continue with those series. They were good but I have so many to read. One that was new to me that intrigued me was The Charity Shop Detective Agency. I will look for that one. I enjoy this feature that you prepare for us every month. Thank you!

  3. I'm really looking forward to Winter's End. That's been a fun series. And I think I have to try The Charity Shop Detective Agency! :D

    1. Yes, Shelton's series has been fun. Denis and I are going to see her at The Poisoned Pen Saturday. Yippee!

  4. The Charity Shop Detective Agency looks fun! And I do hope to get to the Paige Shelton series one of these days.

    1. I think you'd like Shelton's series, Gretchen.

  5. I already have Winter's End on my list. I did not know about the new Spotswood, though, so that has been added also.

  6. Books by Shelton, Smiley and Spottswoord interest me. Also, the new book by Barbara Kingsolver and one by Kate Atkinson look good.

  7. I would love to take the month of December as a readacation, no one bugging me to do anything,food delivered. I finally signed up for Netflix, and am hooked on the Lincoln Lawyer. I dread to think what will happen to my brain if I get further hooked on Netflix and neglect reading.

    1. Netflix has some good stuff on it, but I have to admit that I watch Britbox, Acorn, and PBS Masterpiece the most.

  8. Paige Shelton and the Alexis Morgan! Hoping to get a few good books read during this busy month!


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