Tuesday, October 31, 2023

November 2023 New Mystery Releases!

Although a brutal summer and health problems kept me cooped inside for a few months and made time drag, I'm still shocked to see that November is almost here. One good thing about that? Temperatures are now in the 80° range and below-- absolutely perfect for going to the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo.
Denis's medical procedure went very well, and his range of movement is greatly improved-- another reason to get out and about. And speaking of out and about, we're going to go to The Poisoned Pen tomorrow night to see Steve Hockensmith, the author of the Holmes on the Range historical mysteries. It's been almost a year since the last time I visited my favorite bookstore, and I can't wait!
But while I wait, let me tempt you with my picks for the best new crime fiction being released in the month of November. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.
=== November 2 ===
Title: Dagger of Death at Honeychurch Hall
Series: #10 in the cozy Honeychurch Hall series set in rural England.
320 pages
Synopsis: "At last St Mary's church is going to have its own vicar! Not only that, the gorgeous Reverend Pritchard is sixty, single... and in need of a wife.

But when he spearheads a campaign to restore a derelict chapel - rumoured to be haunted by a German Luftwaffe pilot- in a far-flung corner of the Honeychurch estate, the Dowager Countess puts her foot down. But nobody quite understands why...

Meanwhile, a fierce bidding war at an auction of military memorabilia ends in Kat's female adversary being murdered and Kat being held as the prime suspect. And then it turns out that several of the auctioned items are connected to Operation Tiger, a doomed rehearsal for the D-Day landings that took place in nearby Slapton Sands all those years ago. And Kat begins to realise that the vicar, the Luftwaffe ghost and all the World War II weaponry may all somehow be related...

=== November 7 ===

Title: Forgotten Trail
Author: Claire Kells 
Series: #3 in the National Parks series set in Pinnacles National Park, California
272 pages
Synopsis: "When a guest turns up dead at the newly opened Pinnacles Grand Hotel, ISB agent Felicity Harland finds herself summoned to a peculiar scene. A gentle breeze blows in from the balcony window, belying the violence of a man stabbed to death in his hotel room. It’s clear to Harland that this murder was personal, especially when the victim’s wife admits that she wanted him dead.

But Harland isn’t so sure that this was a domestic dispute gone bad. When she hears about the Park Service searching for a missing person out on the trails, she sets out with her partner, Ferdinand “Hux” Huxley, to see if the two cases are connected.

As Harland and Hux take on the rocky, exposed terrain of California’s ancient volcanic wonderland, they soon realize that the mystery at the Pinnacles Grand is not at all what it seems—and that a predator may be closing in.

Title: The Proof of the Pudding
Author: Rhys Bowen
Series: #17 in the Royal Spyness historical series set in Great Britain.
304 pages

Synopsis: "Georgie, back home at her estate in Eynsleigh, impatiently awaits the birth of her baby. But she has plenty to occupy her: her new chef, Pierre, has arrived from Paris, and Sir Hubert, who owns Eynsleigh, is back from his latest expedition. It's time for Georgie to throw her first house party to celebrate his return and show off her new chef. The dinner party is a smashing success. Sir Mortimer Mordred—famous author of creepy Gothic horror novels—is one of the guests. He recently purchased a nearby Elizabethan manor nearby because it has a famous poison garden. After the dinner, Sir Mortimer approaches Georgie and asks to borrow her new chef for his upcoming party, and Georgie and Darcy, her dashing husband, are invited!

The tour of the poison garden is fascinating, as is Sir Mortimer’s laboratory. Shockingly, just after the banquet several of the guests become sick. And one dies, apparently poisoned by berries from the garden. But how could this be when they all ate the same meal and the same delectable dessert? Georgie has to find the culprit to save her new chef and her own reputation—all before her bundle of joy arrives!

Title: Blood Betrayal
Series: #2 in the Blackwater Falls police procedural series set in Colorado.
304 pages

Synopsis: "In Blackwater Falls, Colorado, veteran police officer Harry Cooper is hot on the heels of some local vandals when the situation turns deadly: believing one of them has a gun, Harry opens fire and Duante Reed, a young Black man, is killed. The "gun" in his hands was a bottle of spray paint. Meanwhile, in nearby Denver, a drug raid goes south and a Latino teen, Mateo Ruiz, is also killed.

Detective Inaya Rahman is all too familiar with the name of the young cop who has seemingly killed Mateo: Kelly Broda. Kelly is the son of the police officer John Broda, who led a violent attack on her when they were both in Denver. No one is more surprised than Inaya when John turns up on her doorstep, pleading for her help in proving the innocence of his son.

With the Denver Police force spread thin between the two cases, protests on both sides of the cases begin. Inaya and her boss Lieutenant Waqas Seif have their work cut out for them to consider the guilt of the perpetrators and their victims. Harry was by all accounts an officer dedicated to the communities he served: was this shooting truly a terrible mistake? Duante was, to some, a street artist with no prior record, but to others, he was a vandal. Mateo was either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or a dangerous drug dealer. In either case, was lethal force truly necessary?

Forced to reckon with her own prejudices and work through those of her colleagues around her, Inaya must discover the truth of what really happened on one fateful night in Blackwater Falls.

Title: Resurrection Walk
Series: #7 in the Lincoln Lawyer legal thriller series set in California.
416 pages

Synopsis: "Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back, taking the long shot cases, where the chances of winning are one in a million. After getting a wrongfully convicted man out of prison, he is inundated with pleas from incarcerated people claiming innocence. He enlists his half brother, retired LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, to weed through the letters, knowing most claims will be false.
Bosch pulls a needle from the haystack: a woman in prison for killing her husband, a sheriff’s deputy, but who still maintains her innocence. Bosch reviews the case and sees elements that don’t add up, and a sheriff’s department intent on bringing quick justice in the killing of one of its own.
Now Haller has an uphill battle in court, a David fighting Goliaths to vindicate his client. The path for both lawyer and investigator is fraught with danger from those who don’t want the case reopened and will stop at nothing to keep the Haller-Bosch dream team from finding the truth.

=== November 14 ===

Title: Past Lying
Author: Val McDermid
Series: #7 in the Karen Pirie police procedural series set in Scotland.
439 pages
Synopsis: "Britain’s reigning “Queen of Crime” (The Scotsman), Val McDermid is the award-winning, internationally bestselling author of over thirty novels. The long-awaited seventh novel in the acclaimed series that has captivated audiences for twenty years, both on the page and now in the Edgar Award–nominated ITV/BritBox show, Past Lying is a full tilt novel of ego, retribution, deceit, and just how far one will go to settle the score.
It’s April 2020 and Edinburgh is in lockdown. It would seem like a strange time for a cold case to go hot—the streets all but empty, an hour’s outdoor exercise the maximum allowed—but a mere pandemic doesn’t mean crime takes a holiday. When a source at the National Library contacts DCI Karen Pirie’s team about documents in the archive of a recently deceased crime novelist, it seems it’s game on again. At the center of it, a novel: two crime novelists facing off over a chessboard. But it quickly emerges that their real-life competition is drawing blood. What unspools is a twisted game of betrayal and revenge, and as Karen and her team attempt to disentangle fact from fiction, it becomes clear that their investigation is more complicated than they ever imagined.
Title: Play of Shadows
Series: #3 in the Dr. Evan Wilding series set in Illinois.
447 pages
Synopsis: "On a stormy Chicago night, renowned semiotician Dr. Evan Wilding and his brother, River, who’s back from an archaeological dig, reunite in a mystery. A package addressed to both of them contains a hand-drawn maze, an ancient Cretan coin, and a cryptic greeting: Let the game begin.

The opening move is murder.

In a downtown alley, a man has been found nearly cleaved in two, a symbol drawn on his forehead and a savage rip in his throat. Given the clues, Evan sees a parallel to a fearsome Greek myth. Which means his friend Detective Addie Bisset is on the trail of a legendary flesh-eating monster―one terrifyingly human and tumbling a panicked city toward chaos.

Evan, Addie, and River scramble to discover who’s behind the appalling crimes and decipher the baffling motives. The body count is rising. The endgame is nowhere in sight. And the stakes are nothing less than life and death."
=== November 28 ===
Title: Knitmare on Beech Street
Series: #10 in the Knit & Nibble cozy series set in New Jersey
280 pages
Synopsis: "When Pamela, Bettina, and their friends show up at the Voorhees House to greet its new owner, they’re met with a most unwelcome sight: a dead body on the kitchen floor. Tassie Hunt just inherited the old Victorian, which had been occupied by a reclusive widow for many years and had a reputation for being haunted. But Tassie would have been unlikely to be spooked since her career involved debunking such paranormal phenomena.
Her demise sets off a new flurry of gossip and ghostly speculation in the New Jersey town, of course—and it’s tempting to think spirits were indeed involved considering there’s zero evidence so far of foul play. A nosy neighbor reports strange lights and sounds, and a man obsessed with the Victorian era starts photographing the place from the street. But it won’t take long before Pamela and Bettina are moving in on a killer . . .

Title: The Mystery Guest
Author: Nita Prose
Series: #2 in the series featuring Molly, a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel in an unnamed city.
304 pages
Synopsis: "Molly Gray is not like anyone else. With her flair for cleaning and proper etiquette, she has risen through the ranks of the glorious five-star Regency Grand Hotel to become the esteemed Head Maid. But just as her life reaches a pinnacle state of perfection, her world is turned upside down when J. D. Grimthorpe, the world-renowned mystery author, drops dead—very dead—on the hotel’s tearoom floor.
When Detective Stark, Molly’s old foe, investigates the author’s unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to know:
Who killed J. D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author’s secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel’s beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?
As the high-profile death threatens the hotel’s pristine reputation, Molly knows she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer’s identity. But that key is buried deep in her past, as long ago, she knew J. D. Grimthorpe. Molly begins to comb her memory for clues, revisiting her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where she and her dearly departed Gran once worked side by side. With the entire hotel under investigation, Molly must solve the mystery posthaste. Because if there’s one thing she knows for sure, it’s that secrets don’t stay buried forever.

There's definitely a little something for everyone during the month of November. Whether you like cozy mysteries like Hannah Dennison's Honeychurch Hall series or police procedurals like Val McDermid's Karen Pirie or legal thrillers like Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller, November has some excellent reading in store.

How did I do? Are any of my picks already on your own Need to Read lists? Did I manage to add a title or two? Which ones? You know inquiring minds just have to know! 


  1. I am so glad to hear you and Denis are both doing better! I hope you have a fabulous trip to PP - it sounds great! As for these books, I'm not quite sure where to start, there are so many good ones. I'm going to have to make some tough choices, that's for sure.

  2. Have fun at The Poisoned Pen! And that Claire Kells mystery looks especially good to me, as does The Mystery Guest. Two more books to look forward to reading. :D

  3. Such good news for Denis, which is also good for you. I'm envious of your trip to PP, and hope you had a great time!

    Naturally, I already have the new Connelly on my library hold list. I was not aware of the new Kells or Khan, so I appreciate learning about those. And the Nickless book, and series, are new to me and require some investigation ...

    1. We had a great time at The Poisoned Pen, Kate. It was wonderful to get out of the house and do something completely non-medical.

      As far as Barbara Nickless goes, I can also recommend her Sydney Rose Parnell series. Parnell is a railroad cop in Denver.

    2. I've read several in the Parnell series, though that was a few years ago. I think the library stopped adding those, and I lost track of the series, and author. Oh, for a limitless budget to buy books!

    3. That would probably be easier to attain than the ability to read all the books I have waiting to be read! (Well into the hundreds...)

  4. That's an impressive list of new releases - several by authors I have enjoyed in the past. So a lot to look forward to this month. It's good to hear that you and Denis are doing better and able to get out and about.

    1. It feels great to do something that doesn't involve doctors!

  5. Happy November! Thanks for the round up!


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