Tuesday, August 29, 2023

September 2023 New Mystery Releases!

I find it hard to believe that I'm writing a post concerning September already. I don't have the faintest clue where summer went. (I guess time flies when a goodly portion of your time is spent with medical concerns.)
The water in our non-heated swimming pool is rapidly cooling, and the white-winged doves have disappeared, so I know that dove hunting season is about to start. Dumb animals? Bird brains? Yeah, right. Although I'd think the doves would stay well within the city limits where they can't be hunted. Who knows!
In between leg wraps and doctor visits, I've been keeping an eye peeled for reading material, and the following books are my picks for the best new crime fiction being released during the month of September. I've grouped my choices by their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon. 
Let's see how many "must-reads" from my list we have in common!
=== September 1 ===
Title: Redemption
Series: #1 in the police procedural series featuring Eva "Lightning Dance" Duran, a sheriff's deputy and member of the Tewa Pueblo tribe of Taos, New Mexico.
365 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "After four women disappear from the Taos Pueblo reservation, Deputy Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran dives into the case. For her, it’s personal. Among the missing is her best friend, Paloma, a heroin addict who left behind an eighteen-year-old son.

Eva senses a lack of interest from the department as she embarks on the investigation. But their reluctance only fuels her fire. Eva teams up with tribal police officer and longtime friend Cruz “Wolf Song” Romero to tackle a mystery that could both ruin her reputation and threaten her standing in the tribe.

And when the missing women start turning up dead, Eva uncovers clues that take her deeper into the reservation’s protected secrets. As Eva races to find Paloma before it’s too late, she will face several tests of loyalty―to her friend, her culture, and her tribe.

=== September 5 ===

Title: The Longmire Defense
Series: #19 in the Sheriff Walt Longmire series set in Wyoming
368 pages
Synopsis: "Deep in the heart of the Wyoming countryside, Sheriff of Absaroka County, Walt Longmire, is called to a crime scene like few others that he has seen. This crime brings up issues that go back to Walt’s grandfather’s time in Wyoming, as the revelations he learns about his grandfather come back to offer clues and motives for Walt’s investigation. Filled with back-country action, and with the great cast of characters that readers have come to love with the Longmire series, this new book will be sure to satisfy both long-time readers and those new to the series."

Title: The Raging Storm
Author: Ann Cleeves
Series: #3 in the Two Rivers police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Matthew Venn set in Devon, England.
400 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "When Jem Rosco―sailor, adventurer, and legend―blows into town in the middle of an autumn gale, the residents of Greystone, Devon, are delighted to have a celebrity in their midst. But just as abruptly as he arrived, Rosco disappears again, and soon his lifeless body is discovered in a dinghy, anchored off Scully Cove, a place with legends of its own.

This is an uncomfortable case for Detective Inspector Matthew Venn. Greystone is a place he visited as a child, a community he parted ways with. Superstition and rumor mix with fact as another body is found, and Venn finds his judgment clouded.

As the winds howl, and Venn and his team investigate, he realizes that no one, including himself, is safe from Scully Cove’s storm of dark secrets.
Title: Reykjavík
Author: Ragnar Jónasson & Katrín Jakobsdóttir
Standalone thriller set in Iceland.
384 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Iceland, 1956. Fourteen-year-old Lára decides to spend the summer working for a couple on the small island of Videy, just off the coast of Reykjavík. In early August, the girl disappears without a trace. Time passes, and the mystery becomes Iceland‘s most infamous unsolved case. What happened to the young girl? Is she still alive? Did she leave the island, or did something happen to her there?

Thirty years later, as the city of Reykjavík celebrates its 200th anniversary, journalist Valur Robertsson begins his own investigation into Lára's case. But as he draws closer to discovering the secret, and with the eyes of Reykjavík upon him, it soon becomes clear that Lára's disappearance is a mystery that someone will stop at nothing to keep unsolved . . .

Title: Holly
Author: Stephen King
Standalone thriller set in Maine.
464 pages

Synopsis: "Stephen King’s Holly marks the triumphant return of beloved King character Holly Gibney. Readers have witnessed Holly’s gradual transformation from a shy (but also brave and ethical) recluse in Mr. Mercedes to Bill Hodges’s partner in Finders Keepers to a full-fledged, smart, and occasionally tough private detective in The Outsider. In King’s new novel, Holly is on her own, and up against a pair of unimaginably depraved and brilliantly disguised adversaries.

When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl’s desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.

Mere blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live Professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of bourgeois respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they are harboring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie’s disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they are up to: they are savvy, they are patient, and they are ruthless.

Holly must summon all her formidable talents to outthink and outmaneuver the shockingly twisted professors in this chilling new masterwork from Stephen King.

Title: A Fire at the Exhibition
Author: T.E. Kinsey
Series: #10 in the Lady Hardcastle historical series set in Edwardian England.
334 pages

Synopsis: "May 1912. After the previous year’s deadly heatwave, it’s been an uneventful spring in Littleton Cotterell. Though for Lady Hardcastle and her fiercely loyal lady’s maid Flo, at least there are the provincial delights of the village’s inaugural art exhibition―and bicycle race―to look forward to.

But at the exhibition opening, there’s a panicked shout of ‘Fire!’ In the confusion, the main attraction―an extremely expensive book―is stolen from under everyone’s nose, as is a valuable painting lent by Sir Hector Farley-Stroud. Then the race, which starts as a charming day out, ends in a shocking death. And to top it all off, the Farley-Strouds reveal they’re in debt and might lose their house.

The sleuthing duo soon find themselves torn between a murder investigation, an art theft mystery, and trying to help their pals. All with a suspicious figure from Flo’s past, a supercilious insurance investigator, and a pair of rather bizarre treasure hunters on the loose…"
Title: Reefs, Royals, Reckonings
Series: #4 in the Constable Teddy Creque series set in the British Virgin Islands.
269 pages
Synopsis: "When Constable Teddy Creque is assigned to the security detail at a grand reception on the little island of Tortola for Princess Portia and her husband Lord Sutherland, he's prepared for a British royal night out. He's less prepared for an evening of dreary small talk about bond prices and tax havens. But at least the event is going smoothly, he tells himself . . . That is, until it's cut dramatically short by a shot ringing out from the direction of the garden.

Anxious that one of the royals is in danger, Teddy springs into action. He has to get the royal pair to safety, but first he has to find them. And they're not the only ones missing - where is his superior, Deputy Commissioner Howard Lane?

Soon, in the depths of the tropical darkness, Teddy has his answer - and is confronted by his worst nightmare. Plunged into his most high-profile investigation yet, Teddy knows he has to solve this case fast . . . or heads will roll.

=== September 19 ===
Title: Blessing of the Lost Girls
Author: J.A. Jance
Series: #20 in the Sheriff Joanna Brady series set in Cochise County, Arizona.
352 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Driven by a compulsion that challenges his self-control, the man calling himself Charles Milton prowls the rodeo circuit, hunting young women. He chooses those he believes are the most vulnerable, wandering alone and distracted, before he strikes. For years, he has been meticulous in his methods, abducting, murdering, and disposing his victims while leaving no evidence of his crimes—or their identities—behind. Indigenous women have become his target of choice, knowing law enforcement’s history of ignoring their disappearances.

A cold case has just been assigned to Dan Pardee, a field officer with the newly formed Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s Task Force. Rosa Rios, a young woman of Apache descent and one-time rodeo star, vanished three years ago. Human remains, a homicide victim burned beyond recognition, were discovered in Cochise County around the time she went missing. They have finally been confirmed to be Rosa. With Sheriff Joanna Brady’s help, Dan is determined to reopen the case and bring long-awaited justice to Rosa’s family. As the orphaned son of a murdered indigenous woman, he feels an even greater, personal obligation to capture this killer.

Joanna’s daughter Jennifer is also taking a personal interest in this case, having known Rosa from her own amateur rodeo days. Now a criminal justice major, she’s unofficially joining the investigation. And as it becomes clear that Rosa was just one victim of a serial killer, both Jennifer and Dan know they’re running out of time to catch an elusive predator who’s proven capable of getting away with murder.

Title: Dark Ride
Author: Lou Berney
Standalone thriller
256 pages
Synopsis: "Twenty-one-year-old Hardy “Hardly” Reed—good-natured, easygoing, usually stoned—is drifting through life. A minimum-wage scare actor at an amusement park, he avoids unnecessary effort and unrealistic ambitions. 

Then one day he notices two children, around six or seven, sitting all alone on a bench. Hardly checks if they’re okay and sees injuries on both children. Someone is hurting these kids.

He reports the incident to Child Protective Service.

That should be the end of it. After all, Hardly's not even good at looking out for himself so the last thing he wants to do is look out for anyone else. But he's haunted by the two kids, his heart breaking for them. And the more research he does the less he trusts that Child Protective Services —understaffed and overworked—will do anything about it.

That leaves…Hardly. He is probably the last person you’d ever want to count on. But those two kids have nobody else but him. Hardly has to do what's right and help them.

For the first time in his life, Hardly decides to fight for something. This might be the one point in his entire life, he realizes, that is the entire point of his life. He will help those kids.

At first, trying to gather evidence that will force the proper authorities to intervene, Hardly is a total disaster. Gradually, with assistance from unexpected allies, he develops investigative skills and discovers he’s smarter and more capable than he ever imagined.

But Hardly also discovers that the situation is more dangerous than he ever expected. The abusive father who has been hurting these children isn’t just a lawyer—he also runs a violent drug-dealing operation. The mother claims she wants to escape with the kids—but Hardly isn't sure he can trust her.

Faced with a different version of himself than he has ever known, Hardly refuses to give up. But his commitment to saving these kids from further harm might end up getting the kids, and Hardly himself, killed.

=== September 26 ===

Title: Murder in an Italian Village
Author: Michael Falco
Series: #1 in the Bria Bartolucci cozy series set in Positano, Italy.
384 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "On the surface, Bria’s Mediterranean life radiates beauty—the kind her late husband, Carlo, dreamed about when he concocted the romantic idea to start a bed and breakfast on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. With the grand opening of Bella Bella approaching six months after Carlo’s tragic death, Bria and her eight-year-old son Marco brace for a bittersweet new beginning by the sea . . .

Before celebratory vino flows on opening day, a stranger appears in an otherwise pristine guest room, lifeless and covered in blood. Bria can’t understand why murder would check into Bella Bella. And police are just as puzzled. As suspicions fall on a B&B employee, what’s certain is that saving her reputation—and surviving—depend on catching the real killer before it’s too late.

Flanked by her feisty best friend, Rosalie, and well-traveled sister, Lorenza, Bria vows to prove to everyone in Positano that no one at Bella Bella was involved with the crime. But as the women expose a scandal that stretches across their dazzling tourist village, it will take everything they’ve got to name the murderer and avoid becoming the next target of someone’s deadly vendetta . . .
Title: Murder by Invitation Only
Series: #3 in the Phyllida Bright historical series set in England.
272 pages
Synopsis: "“A murder will occur tonight at Beecham House . . .” Who could resist such a compelling invitation? Of course, the murder in question purports to be a party game, and Phyllida looks forward to using some of the deductive skills she has acquired thanks to her employer, Mrs. Agatha, who is unable to attend in person.

The hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Wokesley, are new to the area, and Phyllida gladly offers their own overwhelmed housekeeper some guidance while events get underway. Family friends have been enlisted to play the suspects, and Mr. Wokesley excels in his role of dead body. Unfortunately, when the game’s solution is about to be unveiled, the participants discover that life has imitated art. Mr. Wokesley really is dead!

In the absence of Inspector Cork, Phyllida takes temporary charge of the investigation, guiding the local constable through interviews with the Murder Game actors. At first, there seems no motive to want Mr. Wokesley dead . . . but then Phyllida begins to connect each of the suspects with the roles they played and the motives assigned to them. It soon becomes clear that everyone had a reason to murder their host—both in the game and in real life. Before long, Phyllida is embroiled in a fiendishly puzzling case, with a killer who refuses to play by the rules . . .
Title: Double Illusion
Author: Barbara Nadel
Series: #25 in the Inspector Çetin Ikmen series set in Istanbul, Turkey.
352 pages
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.

Wow! September is certainly an embarrassment of riches with a little something for everyone (in other words, a book budget buster month)! 

Which books are you looking forward to the most? Did I tempt you with any that you hadn't already heard of? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Oh, so much to tempt me this time, Cathy! Cleeves, Johnson, Jance, and plenty of others, too. I can see I ought to hide my credit card from myself!

    1. I've been trying to hide mine from myself, too.

  2. What a great batch coming in September, including some of my favorites. I'm caught up on Longmire and really looking forward to Craig Johnson's new one, but I just remembered that I haven't yet read the Cleeves book preceding this new one of hers, so that gives me three books to look forward to. And it's been a while since I've read anything from Ragnar Jónnason, so I need to nudge my library about that one too. Other than King, who I don't bother with anymore, I don't know the others very well...but lots too sample. Great post.

    1. Thanks, Sam. The latest from Jónasson is pretty good.

  3. Walt! Always welcome! And I didn't realizs the new Phylidia Bright would be essentiallt now! Yay!

  4. I love the cover of The Raging Storm, and am looking forward to reading both the new Ragnar Jonasson and the new Stephen King book. :D

    1. We definitely share some reading DNA, but then, we already knew that!

  5. Definitely the Lou Berney although the TBR listis groaning as I type. November Road was so good. I have a pile of library books here, "Stolen" arrived (about the Sami people), and more tomes are awaiting me at the library. So I'm in over my head -- but what a wonderful tidal wave and a weekend is coming up. No one should bother me: I'm reading.

    1. Shhh! Be vewy quiet. Kathy's weading (and so is this Cathy)! Now why did that come out sounding like Elmer Fudd...

  6. And read I did. After suffering from post-good-book slump after finishing "Evergreen," I picked up "The Mistress of Bhatia House," and am in 1922 Bombay with Perveen Mistry. And, of course, very important women's issues are involved in the plot, issues which I'm sure still exist today in India and many other countries. But, as usual, Sujata Massey's writing is so good, I know I'll get post-good-book slump again.

    1. I'm very glad that I've never suffered from that.

  7. Well, once I switch to a new book, if it's good, it takes me awhile to adjust, but once i'm in it, I'm there. It's interesting that the problems women had in India still exist today there and here and elsewhere. Sujata Massey's language is so carefully stated on these issues. I also am intrigued by the Jewish community in Bombay then, had no idea nor that there were different groupings. Live and learn from fiction, I say.

    1. I've probably learned just as much from fiction as I have non-fiction.


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