Tuesday, February 21, 2023

March 2023 New Mystery Releases!

How on earth can I be writing a post that concerns MARCH already? 
Actually, I'm writing this on Super Bowl Sunday, and let me tell you, Phoenix has been going nuts this weekend with both the Super Bowl and the Phoenix Open golf tournament in town. (FYI: the Phoenix Open brings 600,000 to 700,000 people to town all by itself.) Denis is glad that he no longer drives the rental car shuttle bus to and from the airport, since he's well-acquainted with this particular brand of insanity, having done it twice. 
Temperatures are back in the 70s where they should be, so sitting outside in a patch of sun is a delight. I'm serenaded by mockingbirds, and the breeze is perfumed by the blooming sweet acacia tree. Yes, I'm spoiled but not so spoiled that I forget to keep an eye peeled for new mysteries to read.
The following list contains my picks of the best new crime fiction being released in March. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the cover and synopsis of each is courtesy of my favorite showroom, Amazon.
Let's see if any of my choices tickle your fancy!
=== March 7 ===
Title: Bert and Mamie Take a Cruise
Standalone historical thriller set during an African cruise in 1939.
224 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "February 1939. Mamie Mason isn't enthusiastic when Bert, her husband of thirty years, persuades her to join him on an African cruise. Bert might be pining for adventure, but Mamie's perfectly content with her comfortable life in Hills Corners, Ohio.

But once the couple board the glamorous SS
Columbus, Mamie has to admit - much as it pains her - that Bert was right. Swimming in the pool, dancing under the stars, their own bedroom steward to serve their every whim . . . Mamie settles in and prepares to thoroughly enjoy all the sights that Africa has to offer, in the company of a motley collection of eccentric first-class passengers.

Then Mamie witnesses something shocking - and her vacation takes a twist that neither she nor Bert could ever have predicted. Far from home, with a killer in their midst, the couple's only choice is to turn detective. But surrounded by Nazis, spies and passengers with secrets, how can they uncover the killer - enjoy their vacation of a lifetime - and make it back to Ohio alive?

Title: Murder Visits a French Village
Series: #1 in the Château in Burgundy cozy series set in France.
224 pages
Synopsis: "Ariel Shepard is devastated by the sudden loss of her husband, but nothing could have prepared her for inheriting the rundown French château they'd visited on their honeymoon four years ago. With finances tight she has no choice but to swap her Manhattan apartment and city lifestyle for a renovation project in a peaceful French village.

When Ariel hires an expert to help her uncover the legacy of her beautiful ruin, life only becomes more complicated. Christiane, the historian, is found dead in the moat, and although the local police aren't suspicious, Ariel is. She joins two other ex-pats, Pippa and Katherine, to investigate, but with plenty of workmen - and errant tools - around the  château, many people had the means, but who had the motive? Why would anyone want to kill a historian?
Ariel begins to suspect that her French village life will be anything but peaceful! Can she solve the suspicious murder and make her château in Burgundy the perfect new home?
Title: Death of a Bookseller
Author: Bernard J. Farmer
Series: #2 in the Sergeant Jack Wigan traditional mystery series set in England. Originally printed in 1956.
288 pages.
Synopsis: "An honest policeman, Sergeant Wigan, escorts a drunk man home one night to keep him out of trouble and, seeing his fine book collection, slowly falls in to the gentle art of book collecting. Just as the friendship is blossoming, the policeman's book-collecting friend is murdered.
To solve the mystery of why the victim was killed, and which of his rare books was taken, Wigan dives into the world of 'runners' and book collectors, where avid agents will gladly cut you for a first edition and then offer you a lift home afterwards. This adventurous mystery, which combines exuberant characters with a wonderfully realised depiction of the second-hand book market, is sure to delight bibliophiles and classic crime enthusiasts alike.
Title: Standing Dead
Series: #8 in the Timber Creek K-9 police procedural series set in Colorado.
288 pages
Synopsis: "Deputy Mattie Cobb and her sister, Julia, travel to Mexico to visit their mother, but when they arrive, they discover that she and her husband have vanished without a trace. Back in Timber Creek, Mattie finds a chilling note on her front door telling her to look for “him” among the standing dead up in the high country.
The sheriff’s department springs into action and sends a team to the mountains, where Mattie’s K-9 partner, Robo, makes a grisly discovery—a body tied to a dead pine tree. Mattie is shocked when she realizes she knows the dead man. And then another note arrives, warning that Mattie’s mother is in desperate straits. In a last-ditch gambit, Mattie must go deep undercover into a killer’s lair to save her mother—or die trying.

Title: The Golden Spoon
Author: Jessa Maxwell
Standalone thriller set in Vermont.
288 pages
Synopsis: "Every summer for the past ten years, six awe-struck bakers have descended on the grounds of Grafton, the leafy and imposing Vermont estate that is not only the filming site for “Bake Week” but also the childhood home of the show’s famous host, celebrated baker Betsy Martin.

The author of numerous bestselling cookbooks and hailed as “America’s Grandmother,” Betsy Martin isn’t as warm off-screen as on, though no one needs to know that but her. She has always demanded perfection, and gotten it with a smile, but this year something is off. As the baking competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s merely sabotage—sugar replaced with salt, a burner turned to high—but when a body is discovered, everyone is a suspect.

A sharp and suspenseful thriller for mystery buffs and avid bakers alike,
The Golden Spoon is a brilliant puzzle filled with shocking twists and turns that will keep you reading late into the night until you turn the very last page of this incredible debut.
=== March 14 ===
Title: Red Queen
Author: Juan Gómez-Jurado
Series: #1 in a thriller trilogy set in Spain.
384 pages
Synopsis: "Antonia Scott―the daughter of a British diplomat and a Spanish mother―has a gifted forensic mind, whose ability to reconstruct crimes and solve baffling murders is legendary. But after a personal trauma, she's refused to continue her work or even leave her apartment.

Jon Gutierrez, a police officer in Bilbao―disgraced, suspended, and about to face criminal charges―is offered a chance to salvage his career by a secretive organization that works in the shadows to direct criminal investigations of a highly sensitive nature. All he has to do is succeed where many others have failed: Convince a recalcitrant Antonia to come out of her self-imposed retirement, protecting her and helping her investigate a new, terrifying case.

The case is a macabre, ritualistic murder―a teen-aged boy from a wealthy family whose body was found without a drop of blood left in it. But the murder is just the start. A high-ranking executive and daughter of one of the richest men in Spain is kidnapped, a crime which is tied to the previous murder. Behind them both is a hidden mastermind with even more sinister plans. And the only person with a chance to see the connections, solve the crimes and successfully match wits with the killer before tragedy strikes again...is Antonia Scott.

=== March 21 ===

Title: The White Lady
Series: #1 in the Elinor White historical series set in Post-World War II England.
336 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "A reluctant ex-spy with demons of her own, Elinor finds herself facing down one of the most dangerous organized crime gangs in London, ultimately exposing corruption from Scotland Yard to the highest levels of government.

The private, quiet “Miss White" as Elinor is known, lives in a village in rural Kent, England, and to her fellow villagers seems something of an enigma. Well she might, as Elinor occupies a "grace and favor" property, a rare privilege offered to faithful servants of the Crown for services to the nation. But the residents of Shacklehurst have no way of knowing how dangerous Elinor's war work had been, or that their mysterious neighbor is haunted by her past.

It will take Susie, the child of a young farmworker, Jim Mackie and his wife, Rose, to break through Miss White's icy demeanor—but Jim has something in common with Elinor. He, too, is desperate to escape his past. When the powerful Mackie crime family demands a return of their prodigal son for an important job, Elinor assumes the task of protecting her neighbors, especially the bright-eyed Susie. Yet in her quest to uncover the truth behind the family’s pursuit of Jim, Elinor unwittingly sets out on a treacherous pathyet it is one that leads to her freedom.
=== March 28 ===
Title: Her Deadly Game
Standalone legal thriller set in Washington.
396 pages
Synopsis: "Keera Duggan was building a solid reputation as a Seattle prosecutor, until her romantic relationship with a senior colleague ended badly. For the competitive former chess prodigy, returning to her family’s failing criminal defense law firm to work for her father is the best shot she has. With the right moves, she hopes to restore the family’s reputation, her relationship with her father, and her career.

Keera’s chance to play in the big leagues comes when she’s retained by Vince LaRussa, an investment adviser accused of murdering his wealthy wife. There’s little hard evidence against him, but considering the couple’s impending and potentially nasty divorce, LaRussa faces life in prison. The prosecutor is equally challenging: Miller Ambrose, Keera’s former lover, who’s eager to destroy her in court on her first homicide defense.

As Keera and her team follow the evidence, they uncover a complicated and deadly game that’s more than Keera bargained for. When shocking information turns the case upside down, Keera must decide between her duty to her client, her family’s legacy, and her own future."
Title: Intrigue in Istanbul
Series: #4 in the Jane Wunderly historical series set in 1920s Turkey.
288 pages
Synopsis: "Istanbul, 1926: After her historian father makes a clandestine journey abroad, Jane and the dapper Mr. Redvers trace his footsteps while signs of danger loom back home in the United States. They’re greeted at their destination by Aunt Millie and unsettling news: Professor Wunderly was on a mission to locate the lost heart of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent—a legendary relic from the Ottoman Empire said to possess potent mystical powers—then vanished completely, leaving behind his unpacked luggage, a perplexing riddle, and an eerie mystery Jane must solve to keep her loved ones safe.

What starts off as a clear-cut investigation becomes an intercontinental game of cat and mouse as Jane realizes a gang of nameless figures have been stalking her every move from Turkey to Hungary. And it seems even helpful friends can’t be trusted for long when a man is stabbed to death on the Orient Express to Budapest. With Redvers by her side and few clues to rely on, Jane’s desperate search for her father leads to centuries-old secrets and an unidentified enemy who could make her disappear like the missing Sultan’s heart . . .

=== March 30 ===

Title: Murder Under a Red Moon
Series: #2 in the Bangalore Detectives Club historical series set in 1920s India.
300 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "When new bride Kaveri Murthy reluctantly agrees to investigate a minor crime to please her domineering mother-in-law—during the blood moon eclipse, no less—she doesn't expect, once again, to stumble upon a murder.

With anti-British sentiment on the rise, a charismatic religious leader growing in influence, and the fight for women's suffrage gaining steam, Bangalore is turning out to be a far more dangerous and treacherous place than Kaveri ever imagined—and everyone's motives are suspect.

Together with the Bangalore Detectives Club—a mixed bag of street urchins, nosy neighbours, an ex-prostitute, and a policeman's wife— Kaveri once again sleuths in her sari and hunts for clues in her beloved 1920s Ford.

But when her life is suddenly put in danger, Kaveri realizes that she might be getting uncomfortably close to the truth. So she must now draw on her wits and find the killer . . . before they find her.
March seems to be quite the month for armchair traveling sleuths. Books set in Africa, France, England, Colorado, Vermont, Spain, England, Washington, Turkey, and India. Reading only the books on this list would take you practically around the world.
Did I manage to include books that were already on your wish lists? Which ones? Or... did I manage to tempt you with some new titles? Inquiring minds would love to know! 


  1. This looks like a nice selection, Cathy. I've read some of Susan C. Shea's other series, but not this one, so that might be really interesting. There's a few others that have caught my eye, too. Yes, it's time for 'Oooh, shiny!!' ;-)

  2. So happy that the weather is better and I do understand about the Super Bowl/Phoenix Open thing. Well, I haven't been there, but my hubby was watching the Phoenix Open and then we realized that the Super Bowl was there the same weekend. Whew! Lots of activity in Phoenix!

    I've got a few of these books on my list already - The White Lady, Her Deadly Game and The Golden Spoon. Will take a look at others. And, no, I can't believe we're talking about March!!

  3. I'm so excited for Standing Dead! I love that series...Robo is such an awesome dog. :D

  4. Under a Red Moon from the Bangalore Detective series looks good. I'll wait for the reviews until I commit to a book.

  5. I am looking forward to another Jane Wunderly story!

    1. And just reserved Best and Mamie at the library!

    2. Bert and Mamie sure do get around Africa on their cruise!


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