Tuesday, March 28, 2023

April 2023 New Mystery Releases!

I was reading the other day about a college research facility in the Sierra Nevada mountains that had almost 56 feet of snow on the ground... and they were expecting five more in the latest storm. I don't know about you, but those figures boggle my mind. It makes me think of two things: (1) the Donner Party that tried to get through those mountains but were trapped in the snow and had to resort to cannibalism in order to survive, and (2) worry about what's going to happen when all that snow melts. How much of California is going to wind up in the Pacific?
I've often said that I could survive being snowed in-- and I might even welcome it-- as long as I had plenty of food, plenty of heat, plenty of paper and pens, and (this is a no brainer) plenty of books to read. I might change that now. How? Just in one thing.
I wonder if you can get reliable internet service in 61 feet of snow?
While I ponder that, I'll let you peruse my list of the best new crime fiction being released in April. I've grouped my choices by their release dates, and their covers and synopses are courtesy of my favorite showroom, Amazon. Let's see if any of my picks made your own Need to Read lists.
=== April 4 ===
Title: Lost in Paris
Author: Betty Webb
Series: #1 in the Zoe Barlow historical series set in 1920s Paris, France.
334 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "PARIS, 1922: Zoe Barlow knows the pain of loss. By the age of eighteen, she'd already lost her father to suicide, and her reputation to an ill-fated love affair―not to mention other losses, too devastating for words. Exiled from her home and her beloved younger sister by their stepmother, she was unceremoniously dumped in Paris without a friend to help her find her way.
Four years later, Zoe has forged a new life as a painter amidst fellow artists, expats, and revolutionary thinkers struggling to make sense of the world in the aftermath of war. She's adopted this Lost Generation as her new family, so when her dear friend Hadley Hemingway loses a valise containing all of her husband Ernest's writings, Zoe happily volunteers to track it down. But her search for the bag keeps leading to murder victims, and Zoe must again face hard losses―this time among her adopted tribe. If she persists in her reckless quest to find the killer, the next life lost may be her own.
Title: Fateful Words
Series: #8 in the Scottish Bookshop cozy series set in Edinburgh, Scotland.
304 pages
Synopsis: "When Edwin, Delaney’s boss at the Cracked Spine bookstore, leaves town on secret business, Delaney is called upon to guide his yearly literary tour around Edinburgh. But on the first night of the tour, at the inn where the tour group is staying, the inn manager falls―or is pushed―off the roof of the inn, and killed. Then, one of the tour members disappears, leaving a trail of puzzles in her wake.

In a race against the clock, Delaney sets out on the expedition of her life, following clues around Edinburgh to get to the bottom of this mystery. Exploring sights from Greyfriars Bobby to the Royal Mile to the Sir Walter Scott Monument, she'll have to put the pieces together quickly, or the bookstore's survival could be on the line...as well as her own

Title: Green for Danger
Series: #2 in the Inspector Cockrill series set in Kent, England. Reissue of a mystery previously published in 1944. 
284 pages
Synopsis: "It is 1942, and struggling up the hill to the new Kent military hospital Heron's Park, postman Joseph Higgins is soon to deliver seven letters of acceptance for roles at the infirmary. He has no idea that the sender of one of the letters will be the cause of his demise in just one year's time.
When Higgins returns to Heron's Park with injuries from a bombing raid in 1943, his inexplicable death by asphyxiation in the operating theatre casts four nurses and three doctors under suspicion, and a second death in quick succession invites the presence of the irascible―yet uncommonly shrewd―Inspector Cockrill to the hospital. As an air raid detains the inspector for the night, the stage is set for a tense and claustrophobic investigation with a close-knit cast of suspects.
Title: Homecoming
Author: Kate Morton
Standalone Suspense set in the UK and Australia with dual timelines (1959 and the present day).
560 pages
Synopsis: "Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek on the grounds of a grand country house, a local man makes a terrible discovery. Police are called, and the small town of Tambilla becomes embroiled in one of the most baffling murder investigations in the history of South Australia.

Many years later and thousands of miles away, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for two decades, she now finds herself unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and is seriously ill in the hospital.

At Nora's house, Jess discovers a true crime book chronicling a long-buried police case: the Turner Family Tragedy of 1959. It is only when Jess skims through its pages that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this notorious event – a mystery that has never been satisfactorily resolved.

An epic story that spans generations, Homecoming asks what we would do for those we love, how we protect the lies we tell, and what it means to come home. Above all, it is an intricate and spellbinding novel from one of the finest writers working today.
=== April 11 ===
Title: Heart of the Nile
Author: Will Thomas
Series: #14 in the historical Barker & Llewelyn series set in Victorian London.
320 pages
Synopsis: "Cyrus Barker, along with his former assistant and now partner Thomas Llewelyn, is the premier enquiry agent in all of 19th century London, and beyond. They've thwarted the designs of villains and crooks off all sorts, helped Scotland Yard crack their most challenging cases, and worked for the Her Majesty's Government at the very highest levels. But nothing has been quite as challenging and dangerous as the latest case that comes to find them.

In 1893, a volunteer at the British Museum makes a startling discovery. When examining a mummy in the museum's collection, he discovers there is a giant ruby in the shape of a heart buried in the chest of the mummy. Even more startling, the mummy might well be Cleopatra. The following morning, the volunteer is found floating in the Thames and the ruby has gone missing. Hired by the victim’s wife to learn the truth behind his death, Barker and Llewelyn find themselves in the crosshairs - now they must avoid a violent street gang, a ruthless collector, and the British Museum itself in order to find the killer and safeguard the gem.

Title: Dark Angel
Series: #2 in the Letty Davenport thriller series set on a cross country road trip to California
384 pages
Synopsis: "Letty Davenport’s days working a desk job at are behind her. Her previous actions at a gunfight in Texas—and her incredible skills with firearms—draw the attention of several branches of the US government, and make her a perfect fit for even more dangerous work. The Department of Homeland Security and the NSA have tasked her with infiltrating a hacker group, known only as Ordinary People, that is intent on wreaking havoc. Letty and her reluctant partner from the NSA pose as free-spirited programmers for hire and embark on a cross country road trip to the group’s California headquarters.

While the two work to make inroads with Ordinary People and uncover their plans, they begin to suspect that the hackers are not their only enemy. Someone within their own circle may have betrayed them, and has ulterior motives that place their mission—and their lives—in grave danger.
=== April 18 ===
Title: A Wealth of Deception
Author: Trish Esden
Series: #2 in the Scandal Mountain Antiques cozy series set in Vermont.
336 pages
Synopsis: "When Vermont antique and art dealer Edie Brown discovers an unsettlingly dark collage by the famed reclusive “outsider” artist known only as Vespa, she opens a Pandora’s Box of deception and danger.

Edie teams up with Uncle Tuck and Kala to investigate the background of the collage but only uncover secrets that are more disturbing than the artwork itself. As Edie tracks down the validity of the piece, she stumbles into an art underground where some people are willing to kill to keep their schemes a secret.  

Esden expertly crafts a complex cast of characters, a breathtakingly gorgeous setting, and a twisty plot that often poses more questions than answers.

Title: Symphony of Secrets
Standalone historical thriller set in the 1920s Manhattan music scene and the present day.
448 pages
Synopsis: "Bern Hendricks has just received the call of a lifetime. As one of the world’s preeminent experts on the famed twentieth-century composer Frederick Delaney, Bern knows everything there is to know about the man behind the music. When Mallory Roberts, a board member of the distinguished Delaney Foundation and direct descendant of the man himself, asks for Bern’s help authenticating a newly discovered piece, which may be his famous lost opera, RED, he jumps at the chance. With the help of his tech-savvy acquaintance Eboni, Bern soon discovers that the truth is far more complicated than history would have them believe.

In 1920s Manhattan, Josephine Reed is living on the streets and frequenting jazz clubs when she meets the struggling musician Fred Delaney. But where young Delaney struggles, Josephine soars. She’s a natural prodigy who hears beautiful music in the sounds of the world around her. With Josephine as his silent partner, Delaney’s career takes off—but who is the real genius here?

In the present day, Bern and Eboni begin to uncover more clues that indicate Delaney may have had help in composing his most successful work. Armed with more questions than answers and caught in the crosshairs of a powerful organization who will stop at nothing to keep their secret hidden, Bern and Eboni will move heaven and earth in their dogged quest to right history’s wrongs.
=== April 25 ===
Title: Mastering the Art of French Murder
Series: #1 in the American in Paris historical series set in post-World War II Paris.
272 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "As Paris rediscovers its joie de vivre, Tabitha Knight, recently arrived from Detroit for an extended stay with her French grandfather, is on her own journey of discovery. Paris isn’t just the City of Light; it’s the city of history, romance, stunning architecture . . . and food. Thanks to her neighbor and friend Julia Child, another ex-pat who’s fallen head over heels for Paris, Tabitha is learning how to cook for her Grandpère and Oncle Rafe.

Between tutoring Americans in French, visiting the market, and eagerly sampling the results of Julia’s studies at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, Tabitha’s sojourn is proving thoroughly delightful. That is, until the cold December day they return to Julia’s building and learn that a body has been found in the cellar. Tabitha recognizes the victim as a woman she’d met only the night before, at a party given by Julia’s sister, Dort. The murder weapon found nearby is recognizable too—a knife from Julia’s kitchen.

Tabitha is eager to help the investigation, but is shocked when Inspector Merveille reveals that a note, in Tabitha’s handwriting, was found in the dead woman’s pocket. Is this murder a case of international intrigue, or something far more personal? From the shadows of the Tour Eiffel at midnight, to the tiny third-floor Child kitchen, to the grungy streets of Montmartre, Tabitha navigates through the city hoping to find the real killer before she or one of her friends ends up in prison . . . or worse.

Title: Breakneck
Author: Marc Cameron
Series: #3 in the Arliss Cutter thriller series set in Alaska.
368 pages
Synopsis: "Off the northeast coast of Russia, the captain and crew of a small crabbing vessel are brutally murdered by members of Bratva, the Russian mafia—their bodies stuffed into crab pots and thrown overboard. The killers scuttle the vessel off the coast of Alaska and slip ashore.

In Washington, DC, Supreme Court Justice Charlotte Morehouse prepares for a trip to Alaska, unaware that a killer is waiting to take his revenge—by livestreaming her death to the world.

In Anchorage, Alaska, Deputy US Marshals Arliss Cutter and Lola Teariki are assigned to security detail at a judicial conference in Fairbanks. Lola is tasked with guarding Justice Townsend’s teenaged daughter while Cutter provides counter-surveillance. It’s a simple, routine assignment—until the mother and daughter decide to explore the Alaskan wilderness on the famous Glacier Discovery train. Hiding onboard are the Chechen terrorists, who launch a surprise attack. While they seize control of the engine, Cutter manages to escape with Justice Townsend by jumping off the moving train—and into the unforgiving wilderness.

With no supplies and no connection to the outside world, Cutter and the judge must cross a treacherous terrain to stay alive. Two of the terrorists are close behind. The others are on the train with the judge’s daughter—and they plan to execute her on camera. With so many lives at stake, Cutter knows there are only two options left: catch the train and kill them all . . . or all will be killed.
Title: The Last Remains
Series: #15 in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series set in the Norfolk region of England.
368 pages
Synopsis: "When builders discover a human skeleton during a renovation of a café, they call in archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway, who is preoccupied with the threatened closure of her department and by her ever-complicated relationship with DCI Nelson. The bones turn out to be modern—the remains of Emily Pickering, a young archaeology student who went missing in 2002. Suspicion soon falls on Emily’s Cambridge tutor and also on another archeology enthusiast who was part of the group gathered the weekend before she disappeared—Ruth’s friend Cathbad.
As they investigate, Nelson and his team uncover a tangled web of relationships within the archeology group and look for a link between them and the café where Emily’s bones were found. Then, just when the team seem to be making progress, Cathbad disappears. The trail leads Ruth a to the Neolithic flint mines in Grimes Graves. The race is on, first to find Cathbad and then to exonerate him, but will Ruth and Nelson uncover the truth in time to save their friend?
Title: We Love to Entertain
Standalone Thriller set in Vermont.
368 pages
Synopsis: "Holly and Robert Barron are attractive young real-estate investors and contestants in a competition run by To the Manor Build, the nation’s most popular home renovation app. With millions in product endorsements and online followers at stake, they’re rehabbing a Vermont home they scored at a bargain price into a chic hilltop estate ideal for entertaining.

It’s all camera-ready laughs and debates over herringbone tile until Holly and Robert go missing hours after their picture-perfect wedding—leaving behind a bloody trail.

Suspicion falls quickly on Erika Turnbull, the Barrons’ twenty-something assistant—eager, efficient, and secretly in love with Robert. Did Erika let her misguided passion turn her into a murderer? So claim the townsfolk of Snowden, Vermont, who still haven’t forgiven her for a tragic accident back in high school.

But Erika’s mother, Kim, is not about to let small-town gossip and a cop with an axe to grind destroy her daughter—again. With time running out and their own lives at risk, the mother-daughter duo set out to find what really happened to the Barrons. First, though, they’ll have to confront the vengeful former owner of Holly and Robert’s estate, ruthless reality-show producers, and a secret that might bring their own house down."
April is set up to be a feast for mystery lovers, with books of all sub-genres as well as both familiar and new-to-me authors. Are any of these books (besides The Last Remains) on your own Need-to-Read lists? Which ones? Are there any new authors on my list that you're tempted to try? Do tell-- It's cruel to keep inquiring minds guessing!


  1. I thought Green For Danger was a good read, Cathy, so it's nice to see another edition coming out. And a Will Thomas? And an Elly Griffith? Betty Webb, too? April is going to be quite the month, and it's nice to see good 'uns on the horizon.

    1. I'm shocked-- you didn't say a word about blowing your budget! ;-)

  2. Good month! Of course, I am waiting for The Last Remains (like everyone else). I have a hold on Symphony of Secrets at the library. I enjoyed his first book The Violin Conspiracy. After reading your new April releases, I put a hold on Betty Webb's Lost in Paris. I enjoy her Lena Jones series.

    1. I'm finding Lost in Paris to be quite a departure from Webb's other two series, Lynn. I'll be interested in seeing what you think of it.

  3. I've only recently started reading the Ruth Galloway series so it's good to know there are several more to entertain me. And now a new one!

    1. I almost envy you being at the beginning of the series whereas I have to wait impatiently for each new book. Ah well.

  4. Lots to look forward to in April! I already have the Griffiths and Sandford on my list, and you've reminded me that I have yet to read Slocumb's Violin Conspiracy. You know I'll have to check out both of the Paris series debuts, though my 1st thought is that post-WWII is usually more appealing for nethan the 1920s with Hemingway and other misbehaving Americans.

    1. You and I are in agreement about post-World War II Paris versus post-World War I Paris.


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