Tuesday, June 27, 2023

July 2023 New Mystery Releases!

I'm sitting here attempting to get back on track with my normal blogging schedule even though I'm on two medications that make me want to do nothing but (1) stretch out with a book and read or (2) sleep. Since I'm still on the mend from my recent cellulitis flareup, I'm going to keep my introduction to a minimum.
The following books are my picks of the best new crime fiction in July. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and their covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.
Let's see if any of my picks are already on your own Need-to-Read lists! 

=== July 4 ===

Title: The Housekeepers
Author: Alex Hay
Standalone thriller
368 pages
Synopsis: "Mrs. King is no ordinary housekeeper. Born into a world of con artists and thieves, she’s made herself respectable, running the grandest home in Mayfair. The place is packed with treasures, a glittering symbol of wealth and power, but dark secrets lurk in the shadows.

When Mrs. King is suddenly dismissed from her position, she recruits an eclectic group of women to join her in revenge: A black market queen out to settle her scores. An actress desperate for a magnificent part. A seamstress dreaming of a better life. And Mrs. King’s predecessor, with her own desire for vengeance.

Their plan? On the night of the house’s highly anticipated costume ball—set to be the most illustrious of the year—they will rob it of its every possession, right under the noses of the distinguished guests and their elusive heiress host. But there’s one thing Mrs. King wants even more than money: the truth. And she’ll run any risk to get it…

=== July 11 ===

Title: The Mistress of Bhatia House
Series: #4 in the Perveen Mistry historical series set in 1920s India.
432 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "India, 1922: Perveen Mistry is the only female lawyer in Bombay, a city where child mortality is high, birth control is unavailable and very few women have ever seen a doctor.

Perveen is attending a lavish fundraiser for a new women’s hospital specializing in maternal health issues when she witnesses an accident. The grandson of an influential Gujarati businessman catches fire—but a servant, his young ayah, Sunanda, rushes to save him, selflessly putting herself in harm’s way. Later, Perveen learns that Sunanda, who’s still ailing from her burns, has been arrested on trumped-up charges made by a man who doesn’t seem to exist.  

Perveen cannot stand by while Sunanda languishes in jail with no hope of justice. She takes Sunanda as a client, even inviting her to live at the Mistry home in Bombay’s Dadar Parsi colony. But the joint family household is already full of tension. Perveen’s father worries about their law firm taking so much personal responsibility for a client, and her brother and sister-in-law are struggling to cope with their new baby. Perveen herself is going through personal turmoil as she navigates a taboo relationship with a handsome former civil service officer. 

When the hospital’s chief donor dies suddenly, Miriam Penkar, a Jewish-Indian obstetrician, and Sunanda become suspects. Perveen’s original case spirals into a complex investigation taking her into the Gujarati strongholds of Kalbadevi and Ghatkopar, and up the coast to Juhu Beach, where a decadent nawab lives with his Australian trophy wife. Then a second fire erupts, and Perveen realizes how much is at stake. Has someone powerful framed Sunanda to cover up another crime? Will Perveen be able to prove Sunanda’s innocence without endangering her own family?

Title: An Evil Heart
Series: #15 in the Kate Burkholder police procedural series set in Ohio.
320 pages
Synopsis: "On a crisp autumn day in Painters Mill, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder responds to a call only to discover an Amish man who has been violently killed with a crossbow, his body abandoned on a dirt road. Aden Karn was just twenty years old, well liked, and from an upstanding Amish family. Who would commit such a heinous crime against a young man whose life was just beginning?

The more Kate gets to know his devastated family and the people―both English and Amish―who loved him, the more determined she becomes to solve the case. Aden Karn was funny and hardworking and looking forward to marrying his sweet fiancĂ©, Emily. All the while, Kate’s own wedding day to Tomasetti draws near...

But as she delves into Karn’s past, Kate begins to hear whispers about a dark side. What if Aden Karn wasn’t the wholesome young man everyone admired? Is it possible the rumors are a cruel campaign to blame the victim? Kate pursues every lead with a vengeance, sensing an unspeakable secret no one will broach.

The case spirals out of control when a young Amish woman comes forward with a horrific story that pits Kate against a dangerous and unexpected opponent. When the awful truth is finally uncovered, Kate comes face to face with the terrible consequences of a life lived in all the dark places.

Title: Ten-Acre Rock
Author: Kris Lackey
Series: #4 in the Chickasaw Nation mysteries set in Oklahoma.
204 pages
Synopsis: "In the shadow of a massive boulder on Oklahoma's Big Rock Prairie, a squirrel hunter discovers a charred skeleton in a homemade charcoal kiln. Johnston County deputy Hannah Bond and Chickasaw Lighthorse police sergeant Bill Maytubby are called to the scene and soon identify the victim as a young Chickasaw man from a nearby town.
What begins as the search for a killer soon throws Maytubby and Bond into the deep end of a conspiracy that puts both the victim's family and the officers themselves at risk. While Maytubby and Bond lead a manhunt through moonlit backroads and blackjack thickets, they must quickly decipher the murderer's next move ... before it's too late.

=== July 18 ===

Title: The Bitter Past
Author: Bruce Borgos
Series: #1 in the Sheriff Porter Beck series set in Nevada.
320 pages
Synopsis: "Porter Beck is the sheriff in the high desert of Nevada, north of Las Vegas. Born and raised there, he left to join the Army, where he worked in Intelligence, deep in the shadows in far off places. Now he's back home, doing the same lawman's job his father once did, before his father started to develop dementia. All is relatively quiet in this corner of the world, until an old, retired FBI agent is found killed. He was brutally tortured before he was killed and clues at the scene point to a mystery dating back to the early days of the nuclear age. If that wasn't strange enough, a current FBI agent shows up to help Beck's investigation.

In a case that unfolds in the past (the 1950s) and the present, it seems that a Russian spy infiltrated the nuclear testing site and now someone is looking for that long-ago, all-but forgotten person, who holds the key to what happened then and to the deadly goings on now

=== July 20 ===

Title: The Conspirators
Standalone thriller set in Austria.
400 pages
*UK Release
Synopsis: "Jacob Meaney makes so little money as a translator that his girlfriend has given up on him. Then Eloise, an Australian digital marketer, appears out of the blue, offering him unheard of sums for a couple of weeks' work.

A private plane and helicopter take him to a showcase villa in Carinthia and all the luxury he could ever want. Here he meets the owner of the house Bondarenko. Unwillingly Jacob has become part of an organised crime conspiracy, held captive there by armed guards.

His task is to interpret between Hindi, Russian and English during Zoom calls with Nazim, an Indian criminal whose gang have taken over the manufacture and distribution network of the wonder fertility drug that Bondarenko has been selling on the internet. It becomes clear to Jacob that his employer is in far deeper and more dangerously than he realises. The gang's plan is to take over the entire operation by any means.

The villa has become a lethal gilded prison to Jacob and Vlada, the maid who's a trafficked worker. When Nazim finally strikes which side will Jacob take to survive?

=== July 25 ===

Title: The Lady from Burma
Author: Allison Montclair
Series: #5 in the Sparks & Bainbridge historical series set in post-World War II England.
336 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "In the immediate post-war days of London, two unlikely partners have undertaken an even more unlikely, if necessary, business venture - The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. The two partners are Miss Iris Sparks, a woman with a dangerous - and never discussed - past in British intelligence and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, a war widow with a young son entangled in a complicated aristocratic family. Mostly their clients are people trying to start (or restart) their lives in this much-changed world, but their new client is something different. A happily married woman has come to them to find a new wife for her husband. Dying of cancer, she wants the two to make sure her entomologist, academic husband finds someone new once she passes.

Shortly thereafter, she's found dead in Epping Forest, in what appears to be a suicide. But that doesn't make sense to either Sparks or Bainbridge. At the same time, Bainbridge is attempting to regain legal control of her life, opposed by the conservator who has been managing her assets - perhaps not always in her best interest. When that conservator is found dead, Bainbridge herself is one of the prime suspects. Attempting to make sense of two deaths at once, to protect themselves and their clients, the redoubtable owners of the Right Sort Marriage Bureau are once again on the case.

Title: Mrs. Plansky's Revenge
Series: #1 in the septuagenarian Mrs. Plansky series set in Florida and Romania.
304 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Mrs. Loretta Plansky, a recent widow in her seventies, is settling into retirement in Florida while dealing with her 98-year-old father and fielding requests for money from her beloved children and grandchildren. Thankfully, her new hip hasn’t changed her killer tennis game one bit.

One night Mrs. Plansky is startled awake by a phone call from a voice claiming to be her grandson Will, who desperately needs ten thousand dollars to get out of a jam. Of course, Loretta obliges―after all, what are grandmothers for, even grandmothers who still haven’t gotten a simple “thank you” for a gift sent weeks ago. Not that she's counting.

By morning, Mrs. Plansky has lost everything. Law enforcement announces that Loretta's life savings have vanished, and that it’s hopeless to find the scammers behind the heist. First humiliated, then furious, Loretta Plansky refuses to be just another victim.

In a courageous bid for justice, Mrs. Plansky follows her only clue on a whirlwind adventure to a small village in Romania to get her money and her dignity back―and perhaps find a new lease on life, too.

Title: The Shadow Girls
Author: Alice Blanchard 
Series: #4 in the Natalie Lockhart police procedural series set in New York state.
320 pages

Synopsis: "Someone is playing deadly games. Lieutenant Luke Pittman lies in the hospital in a coma after being attacked by one of their own. Veronica Manes, Burning Lake’s most respected modern-day witch, is dead, her murder left unsolved. Natalie Lockhart has become embroiled in a case with threads that become increasingly difficult to untangle.

Now, a new horror is uncovered, one that shocks the town as never before, and the dark, shadowy path forward for Natalie is paved with challenges that haunt her past―Veronica’s unsolved case. Her sister’s traumatic murder. The long-lost disappearance of her old best friend. Natalie’s obsession with finding the truth leads to a twisted, elemental struggle between good and evil―and nothing will ever be the same again.

There is definitely some good reading becoming available in July! I'm looking forward to the latest installments of two of my favorite series, Sujata Massey's Perveen Mistry and Allison Montclair's Sparks & Bainbridge. Then there's that standalone thriller from another favorite author, William Shaw. I pre-ordered that from Amazon UK. And then there's Spencer Quinn's new series. And then...

Are any of my picks on your own Need-to-Read lists? Which ones? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Ooh, some good 'uns here, Cathy! I'm interested in the Massey (of course!) and I see there's a new Spencer Quinn there, too. And it looks like the start of a new series, too! So cool!

    1. The new Quinn series sounds really good, doesn't it?

  2. Omigosh, more good books. Definitely, I want to read the new Sujata Massey book, and I'll wait to read the reviews here for more. Am on book list overload.

    1. There never seems to be a shortage of books, thankfully.

  3. Wow, they just keep on coming. The only of these authors I've read - and enjoyed - is Linda Castillo, so I may take a look at her new one. The other that grabbed my attention is the one set in India. I just finished Abraham Verghise's The Covenant of Water (over 700 pages long) and I'm not quite ready to leave India. The Mistress of Bhatia House may be the answer.

    1. It's an excellent series, Sam. You might want to look into Vaseem Khan's Persis Wadia series as well.

  4. That's an interesting lineup. I suspect I'll be tempted to sample some of them.

    1. Now why did I just think, "Lead me not into temptation; I can find it all by myself"? ;-)

  5. Thanks for the reminder on the Vaseem Khan series. Right now I'm in India with Murder under a Red Moon.

    1. I hope you like Murder Under a Red Moon, Kathy.

    2. I do like it, especially the detective and her spouse and friends. You are right; the role of women is interesting and is changing in the story. A complicated woman protagonist who is advancing women's rights is a real plus in a historical novel.

  6. As you said, many good ones this month! I'm most intrigued by the Nevada sheriff I had not heard about, with a blurb from Craig Johnson.

  7. I'm very excited for the new Linda Castillo book. I love that series and have read every single book in it. And both The Housekeepers and The Shadow Girls look really good, too. :D

    1. Kate Burkholder is such a great character!


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