Tuesday, April 25, 2023

May 2023 New Mystery Releases!

I can only shake my head in disbelief that it's almost May already. This time last year, we were deep in misery with Denis's spinal infection that meant major back surgery and endless weeks in hospital and rehab. Since then, there have been so many changes to life here at Casa Kittling, and it's taken some getting used to. However, one thing hasn't changed.
I always remain on the lookout for new mysteries to read. The following are my picks of the best new crime fiction being released during the month of May. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the book covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.
There's a little something for everyone in May: established authors as well as new ones, UK releases as well as those here in the US, and every type of mystery from cozy to the more hard-boiled.
Now the question is-- did I choose any books that tickle your fancy? Let's find out!
=== May 2 ===
Title: Blow Up
Author: Ellen Crosby
Series: #3 in the Sophie Medina photojournalist series set in the Washington, DC area.
240 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "International photojournalist Sophie Medina and her old school friend Father Jack O'Hara are out for a run on Capitol Hill when they find the body of Associate Supreme Court Justice Everett Townsend lying in an alley, barely alive. Townsend, a diabetic, later dies in the ER from complications due to hypoglycemia.

His tragic death has unexpected repercussions for Sophie when Javi, a young homeless man of Sophie's acquaintance, is murdered. Before he died, Javi told her a shocking story about Townsend that could have a devastating impact on the nation's highest court - and on the American justice system - if word got out.

Unable to persuade anyone that what she learned is true and on the run from whoever is protecting Townsend's dark secret, Sophie searches a collection of her photographs of Washington D.C.'s homeless community, looking for evidence before everything blows up in her face . . .

The third Sophie Medina mystery, following Ghost Image and Multiple Exposure, is a great choice for readers who enjoy fearless female sleuths, well-plotted puzzles and gripping political intrigue.
Title: Nonna Maria and the Case of the Stolen Necklace
Series: #2 in the cozy series featuring a 70-year-old widow living on an Italian island.
288 pages
Synopsis: "Nonna Maria has a lot on her plate—and it’s not just fresh pasta. Two crimes have rocked the sun-drenched island of Ischia, and once again, the island’s denizens have called upon the espresso-brewing, sage-counsel-giving sleuth.

A wealthy woman alleges that a valuable necklace has been stolen from her hotel room. The necklace, she claims, has been in her family for decades. She blames one of the young women working on the cleaning crew as the most likely suspect—a young woman who turns out to be Nonna Maria’s goddaughter. She takes the heat, but privately she proclaims her innocence.

Nearby, the body of a woman is found on a curved road near the borough of Barano. The woman is not known to anyone on the island. She has no purse, no identification. The one potential suspect is a young friend of Nonna Maria’s who drove by the area that very night and thinks that he might have hit something—a pothole, or an animal, or maybe the woman in question.

It turns out that this woman has a history on the island, having left Ischia decades ago. But why did she return, and more important, who killed her? Like the links of a beautiful, missing necklace, it’s up to Nonna Maria to string together the clues and solve these two mysteries before death comes to Ischia again.

Title: The Magistrate
Series: #3 in the Police Inspector Lu Fei series set in rural China.
320 pages
Synopsis: "A brutal murder investigation with connections to corruption at the very highest level threatens not just the career but also the life of Inspector Lu Fei in Brian Klingborg's latest mystery…"


Title: Dressed to Drill
Series: #10 in the Fixer-Upper cozy series set in California.
336 pages
Synopsis: "While Shannon Hammer is thrilled to attend the premiere of the movie based on her boyfriend Mac’s latest book, she can’t wait to trade her killer heels for work boots and start her next renovation project in Lighthouse Cove: a quaint Victorian church that has seen better days. And will see them again—as a museum—if Shannon, her talented crew, and her sister Chloe have anything to say about it.

But on the first day of demolition, work comes to a screeching halt when they stumble on the body of a beautiful young woman in one of the chapels. Who killed the assistant art director? Suspects crawl out of the woodwork as fast as Shannon can restore it. The church is hiding a century of secrets from the days that smugglers wreaked havoc on the California coast. But it’s a more recent secret that someone killed to protect. Shannon and Mac will use every tool in their toolbox to nail down the truth before any more lives are sacrificed.

=== May 9 ===

Title: Playing It Safe
Series: #3 in the Electra McDonnell historical series set in World War II England.
272 pages
Synopsis: "As the Blitz continues to ravage London, Ellie McDonnell―formerly a safecracking thief, but currently determined to stay on the straight and narrow to help her country―is approached by British Intelligence officer Major Ramsey with a new assignment. She is to travel under an assumed identity to the port city of Sunderland and there await further instructions. In his usual infuriating way, the Major has left her task as vague and mysterious as possible.

Ellie, ever-ready to aid her country, heads north, her safecracking tools in tow. But before she can rendezvous with the major, she witnesses an unnatural death. A man falls dead in the street in front of her, with a note clutched in his hand. Ellie’s instincts tell her that the man’s death is connected in some way to her mission.

Soon, Ellie and the major are locked in a battle of wits and a race against time with an unknown and deadly adversary, and a case that leads them to a possible Nazi counterfeiting operation. With bombs dropping on the city and a would-be assassin shadowing their every move, it will take all of Ellie’s resourcefulness and Major Ramsey’s fortitude to unmask the spymaster and avert disastrous consequences―for England and for their own lives.

Title: Fixit
Author: Joe Ide
Series: #6 in the IQ private investigator series set in the Los Angeles area.
320 pages
Synopsis: "Danger has always followed IQ, a reality he’s keenly aware of as he’s laid up in a hospital bed, recovering from injuries sustained in his last case. Isaiah cannot help himself from being the hero, and any misery he’s suffered as a result—wounds from a knife fight, gnawing paranoia—he’s suffered alone. Yet as IQ recovers, five hundred miles from East Long Beach, he’s unaware that Grace has been abducted by his sworn enemy, the professional hitman Skip Hanson. Skip is savage and psychotic, determined to punish Isaiah for sending him to prison and destroying his life. Now, Isaiah and his sometimes partner, ex-hustler Juanell Dodson, must track scant clues through L.A.’s perilous landscape as Grace’s predicament grows more uncertain.

A complication arises in the form of Winnie Hando, a homicide detective with something to prove. Stubborn and effective, Winnie sees Isaiah’s efforts as an obstruction to the investigation and a possible embarrassment: an unlicensed PI can’t be seen doing the department’s job better than the department. Winnie tries to stop Isaiah while pursuing the case herself, their struggles clashing and slowing their progress. As the desperate hunt winds on, Isaiah fears that even if he can bring Grace home alive, things between them will never be the same. This latest series installment is an explosive collision of drug dealers, thieves, maniacs, shotguns, vicious dogs, stampeding horses, and Ide’s signature energy, grit, and profundity
=== May 11 ===
Title: Double Illusion
Author: Barbara Nadel
Series: #25 in the Inspector Çetin Ikmen police procedural series set in Istanbul, Turkey
400 pages
UK Release
Synopsis: "When Ates Bocuk, son of a feared Istanbul gang leader, is arrested for the brutal murder of his Roma lover, feelings of vengeance are ignited among rival Turkish gangs and the Roma community. Forensic evidence is stacked against him, but Ates refuses to speak, and Inspector Suleyman suspects that there is more to the case than meets the eye. Then Cetin Ikmen discovers that Ates is psychotic and believes that everyone in his life is an imposter, which suggests that Ates might in fact be a victim of a far more sinister game . . .

As violence erupts, Suleyman and his team work tirelessly to expose a shocking tale of corruption, power and betrayal - but not before more blood is shed on these dark and dangerous streets.

Title: Outback
Series: #2 in the Bill Kemp insurance investigator series set in the Australian Outback.
304 pages
UK Release
Synopsis: "Insurance investigator Bill Kemp had never wanted to trek deep into Australia’s remote interior. But after his clients Sophie and Adam Church inherit an abandoned opal mine, they become the target of threatening letters, urging Sophie to abandon the inheritance claim … or pay the price.

Though the mine appears to be worthless, someone is clearly desperate to stop them from discovering more – about the treasure that might be hidden within and the circumstances that led to Sophie inheriting it in the first place. Was her uncle’s death truly self-inflicted or are there nefarious forces at play? After Sophie narrowly escapes an attempt on her life, the group are left with no choice but to head out into the blistering desert in search of answers.

How far will their unknown enemy go to stop them from uncovering the explosive, long-lost secret of the Deakins family mine? And even if the group can uncover the truth, will they make it out of that vast and hostile wilderness alive?

Outback celebrates the centenary of bestselling thriller writer Desmond Bagley with this new adventure featuring his protagonist Bill Kemp, described by Jeffrey Deaver as ‘part James Bond, part Philip Marlowe, and all hero’. Michael Davies, who completed Bagley’s first Kemp novel Domino Island for publication nearly forty years after the author’s death, now weaves an original tale of danger and death under the Australian sun.
=== May 17 ===
Title: Paradise
Author: Patricia Wolf
Series: #2 in the DS Walker police procedural series set on Australia's Gold Coast.
300 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Australia's Gold Coast: On a stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline, a young mother is brutally murdered and her daughter, Gabby, is left in a coma, with her life hanging in the balance.

DS Lucas Walker
has just arrived in Surfer's Paradise for some much-needed recovery after injuries sustained in his last investigation. But he is soon pulled into the dark twists and turns of this home invasion gone wrong, vowing to find the men responsible.

As Walker digs deeper into the dark underbelly of this shimmering city by the ocean, a case from his own past resurfaces, with deadly consequences.

And as eight-year-old Gabby, the sole witness her mother's murder, wakes in her hospital bed, Walker is in a race against time to stop those responsible before they return to silence her forever...

=== May 23 ===

Title: Six Ostriches
Series: #2 in the Dr. Bannerman Vet series set in Manitoba Canada
272 pages
Synopsis: "It’s springtime in rural Manitoba, and the snow has finally left the exotic animal farm when an ostrich finds and swallows a shiny object. (Because this is what ostriches do.) Cue veterinarian and amateur sleuth Dr. Peter Bannerman, who surgically removes the object, which looks like an ancient Viking artifact. Soon after, people around are horrified by a series of animal mutilations. This sets Peter, and his talented sniffer dog, Pippin, on the hunt for answers. Peter begins to suspect a link between the Viking artifact, the mutilations, and a shadowy group of white supremacists on the internet.
Before long Peter and Pippin are in over their heads, and the only way for them to get out alive will be to unmask the mastermind before they end up among their victims.
=== May 25 ===
Title: Cult
Series: #2 in the Mina Dabiri and Vincent Walder police procedural series set in Sweden.
592 pages
UK Release
Synopsis: "A young child is snatched in broad daylight outside his nursery. Nobody in charge sees a thing, but the other children say a woman is the culprit …

Detective Mina Dabiri calls on her close friend Vincent to untangle the puzzle that surrounds the kidnapped boy. As he finds a link between the boy and other others who have gone missing, it becomes clear that time is running out for everyone involved ….

Meanwhile, Mina’s estranged daughter gets caught up in the secretive world of Epicura, a shadowy organisation that claims to be a centre for leadership development. Can Mina protect her child―a child who doesn’t even know she exists?
Well, how did I do? Did anything tickle your fancy? Which ones? You know inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. These look interesting, Cathy! I noticed a new Camilla Läckberg here. I haven't kept up with her the way I might - mostly just her Fjällbacka series. It'll be interesting to see how she goes about it with something different.

    1. I've fallen behind on the same series, Margot, but I have read one of her standalones. I like her writing.

  2. Lots of potential for my reading list there.

    1. That always seems to be the way-- at least with me!

  3. You've reminded me that I have yet to read the 2nd Inspector Lu, so clearly I need to get to that (after I deal with the 6 library books I brought home just today). Several of the others are definitely in need of consideration also.


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