Tuesday, November 28, 2023

December 2023 New Mystery Releases!

You probably don't know the answer any more than I do, but... where has this year gone?

I'm sitting here listening to two men putting new insulation in the attic. There are lots of interesting noises driving the neighbors' dog crazy and occasionally making me jump a little since I'm not used to sudden sounds overhead. I'm also trying to remember where I put my notes for which Christmas decorations I want to put up this year-- and I'd better get working on that quickly.

But-- you know me-- nothing is going to stop me from keeping my eyes peeled for new mysteries to read. The following list contains my picks for the best new crime fiction that will be available in December. I have them grouped according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see if I've chosen any that tickle your fancy!

=== December 1 ===

Title: Please Tell Me
Author: Mike Omer
Standalone Thriller
379 pages
Synopsis: "When eight-year-old Kathy Stone turns up on the side of the road a year after her abduction, the world awaits her harrowing story. But Kathy doesn’t say a word. Traumatized by her ordeal, she doesn’t speak at all, not even to her own parents.

Child therapist Robin Hart is the only one who’s had success connecting with the girl. Robin has been using play therapy to help Kathy process her memories. But as their work continues, Kathy’s playtime takes a grim turn: a doll stabs another doll, a tiny figurine is chained to a plastic toy couch. All of these horrifying moments, enacted within a Victorian doll house. Every session, another toy dies.

But the most disturbing detail? Kathy seems to be playacting real unsolved murders.

Soon Robin wonders if Kathy not only holds the key to the murders of the past but if she knows something about the murders of the future. Can Robin unlock the secrets in Kathy’s brain and stop a serial killer before he strikes again? Or is Robin’s work with Kathy putting her in the killer’s sights?

=== December 5 ===

Title: Murder Crossed Her Mind
Series: #4 in the Pentecost & Parker historical mystery series set in 1947 New York City
384 pages
Synopsis: "Vera Bodine, an elderly shut-in with an exceptional memory, has gone missing and famed detective Lillian Pentecost and her crackerjack assistant Willowjean “Will” Parker have been hired to track her down. But the New York City of 1947 can be a dangerous place, and there’s no shortage of people who might like to get ahold of what’s in Bodine’s head.

Does her disappearance have to do with the high-profile law firm whose secrets she still keeps; the violent murder of a young woman, with which Bodine had lately become obsessed; or is it the work she did with the FBI hunting Nazi spies intent on wartime sabotage? Any and all are on the suspect list, including their client, Forest Whitsun, hotshot defense attorney and no friend to Pentecost and Parker.

The clock is ticking to get Bodine back alive, but circumstances conspire to pull both investigators away from the case. Will is hot on the trail of a stickup team who are using her name—and maybe her gun—for their own ends. While Lillian again finds herself up against murder-obsessed millionaire Jessup Quincannon, who has discovered a secret from her past—something he plans to use to either rein the great detective in . . . or destroy her.

To solve this mystery, and defeat their own personal demons, the pair will have to go nose-to-nose with murderous gangsters, make deals with conniving federal agents, confront Nazi spies, and bend their own ethical rules to the point of breaking. Before time runs out for everyone.

Title: Lost Hours
Series: #5 in the Alaska Wild series featuring thriller writer Beth Rivers
288 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "A year after arriving in Benedict, Beth Rivers is feeling very at home in Alaska, even as outsiders are starting to return to enjoy the brief summer perfection. Beth feels like she’s finally let go of most of her demons. She’s even found her father, Eddy Rivers―or, rather, he found her―and she's trying to find the middle ground between anger and forgiveness.

One sunny July day, Beth boards a tourist ship to see the glaciers, the main reason visitors venture to the area, and something Beth hasn’t attempted until now. But when the captain has to navigate to an island, a bloodied woman is found standing on the shore, waving for help. When she’s brought aboard, she claims she was kidnapped from her home in Juneau three days earlier, and that a bear on the island killed her captor. She, however, is unharmed.

The woman, Sadie, finds a sympathetic ear in Beth. She tells her that she’s been in Juneau under witness protection, and that the Juneau police don’t like her. When another kidnapping occurs, Beth and police chief Gril can’t help but think the two cases are interwoven, though the clues to solving them will be harder to unravel.

Title: Daughter of Ashes
Author: Ilaria Tuti
Series: #3 in the Teresa Battaglia police procedural trilogy set in northern Italy.
432 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a trail-blazing criminal detective on the Italian police force, is on sick leave, recovering from her recent brush with death in pursuit of a killer. But none of her colleagues, not even her partner, know that her Alzheimer’s is getting worse, and that Teresa is unsure she will ever return to work.

Teresa’s plans for retirement are shelved, however, when she is urgently summoned to meet with menacing serial killer Giacomo Mainardi. Refusing to speak with anyone but Teresa, whose investigative work twenty-seven years prior landed him in maximum security prison, Mainardi has disconcerting news: somebody is after him, and only Teresa holds the key to keeping everyone, including herself, safe. To solve the case, Teresa must come face to face with a history she thought she’d buried, back to when Giacomo first began to kill, and Teresa—newly pregnant and married to an abusive man—did everything she could to catch him.

Title: The Lost Tomb and Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder
Standalone Non-Fiction
320 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "What’s it like to be the first to enter an Egyptian burial chamber that’s been sealed for thousands of years? Where might a blocked doorway or newly excavated corridor lead? And what might this stupendous tomb reveal about the most powerful pharaoh in Egyptian history? 

From the jungles of Honduras to macabre archaeological sites in the American Southwest, Douglas Preston's journalistic explorations have taken him across the globe. He broke the story of an extraordinary mass grave of animals killed by the asteroid impact that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, he explored what lay hidden in the booby-trapped Money Pit on Oak Island, and he roamed the haunted hills of Italy in search of the Monster of Florence. When he hasn't been co-authoring bestselling thrillers featuring FBI Agent Pendergast, Preston has been writing about some of the world’s strangest and most dramatic mysteries.

The Lost Tomb brings together an astonishing and compelling collection of true stories about buried treasure, enigmatic murders, lost tombs, bizarre crimes, and other fascinating tales of the past and present.

Title: Sniffing Out Murder
Series: #1 in the Bailey the Bloodhound cozy series set in Indiana
352 pages
Synopsis: "After deciding that life as a teacher wasn’t right for her, Priscilla found inspiration for her first children’s book in her three-year-old bloodhound’s nose for truth, and so The Adventures of Bailey the Bloodhound was born. After the book’s massively pawsitive response led Pris to move back to her hometown of Crosbyville, Indiana, to continue the series, she’s surprised by how things have changed in the town, but even more so how they haven’t.

Pris is frustrated to discover that newly elected school board trustee Whitney Kelley—a former high school mean girl—is intent on making Crosbyville more competitive by eliminating “frivolous spending” on the arts and social programs, including Pris and Bailey’s beloved pet-assisted reading program. A minor altercation between them isn’t anything unusual, but after Bailey sniffs out Whitney’s body in a bed of begonias, locals start hounding Pris and Bailey as suspects for the crime.

With Bailey’s sharp senses and Pris’s hometown know-how, can they prove to the community that they’re all barking up the wrong tree?

Title: The Nurse Murders
Author: Jon Talton
Series: #2 in the Phoenix Noir historical series featuring P.I. Gene Hammons. Set in 1936 Phoenix, Arizona.
294 pages

Synopsis: "It's 1936, and private investigator Gene Hammons has more work than he can handle. A crime syndicate, J. Edgar Hoover, a wealthy family from back East, and a wily stalker all want something from him. His capable-but-drug-addicted brother, still a homicide detective, is as much a hindrance as a help. Luckily, Hammons finds a professional ally in Pamela Bradbury, a fellow gumshoe with some new tricks to teach him. When the two pair up, there doesn't seem to be a case they can't solve, from kidnapping to blackmail to an intricate gold-smuggling operation.

But then a young nurse with red hair is sadistically raped and killed, and Gene recognizes the signs of a "lust murderer," having famously solved the case of the University Park Strangler years earlier. When he's contacted by the killer, Hammons knows he and Pamela must work quickly to catch the brutal murderer before he strikes again. The two come to each other's rescue more than once, and as deep feelings develop between them, it's not lost on Gene that their relationship might well prove dangerous—especially for Pamela, with her lovely red hair.

Rich in atmosphere and authentic period detail, THE NURSE MURDERS is a gritty, nail-biting race to catch a killer in a city struggling to assert itself amidst the hardships, corruption, and political machinations of post-World War I America."
Title: The Frozen River
Author: Ariel Lawhon
Standalone historical mystery set in 1789 Maine.
448 pages

Synopsis: "Maine, 1789: When the Kennebec River freezes, entombing a man in the ice, Martha Ballard is summoned to examine the body and determine cause of death. As a midwife and healer, she is privy to much of what goes on behind closed doors in Hallowell. Her diary is a record of every birth and death, crime and debacle that unfolds in the close-knit community. Months earlier, Martha documented the details of an alleged rape committed by two of the town’s most respected gentlemen—one of whom has now been found dead in the ice. But when a local physician undermines her conclusion, declaring the death to be an accident, Martha is forced to investigate the shocking murder on her own.

Over the course of one winter, as the trial nears, and whispers and prejudices mount, Martha doggedly pursues the truth. Her diary soon lands at the center of the scandal, implicating those she loves, and compelling Martha to decide where her own loyalties lie.

Clever, layered, and subversive, Ariel Lawhon’s newest offering introduces an unsung heroine who refused to accept anything less than justice at a time when women were considered best seen and not heard.
The Frozen River is a thrilling, tense, and tender story about a remarkable woman who left an unparalleled legacy yet remains nearly forgotten to this day.

There's definitely some good reading in store during the month of December, isn't there? Were any of these books already on your wish lists... or did I manage to find ones that you couldn't resist adding? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. It's funny you'd mention those noises, Cathy. Just two weeks ago, our neighbor had new lighting installed, and there were bangs and drilling noises and so on all day. The end result is worth it, but you do need to be prepared for that noise. Anyway, your list is fabulous as ever; lots of good 'uns to explore! Not, of course, that my TBR needs any additions!

    1. Neither does mine, but that doesn't keep me from looking! LOL

  2. All good reading and the Lawton tops it for me

    1. Yes! The Frozen River is one I'm really looking forward to.

  3. You know I'm looking forward to the new Shelton :). And the new Spotswood is not far behind. I don't know if I'll read The Frozen River, but what a gorgeous cover!

    1. Yes, I really like the cover on that one, too.

  4. That is quite a lineup of books. And my TBR list gets even longer!

    1. I hope your list isn't keeping pace with mine!


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