Tuesday, December 26, 2023

January 2024 New Mystery Releases!

As I sit here typing this post, Phoenix is getting some badly needed rain. For the past two days, it's been overcast and gloomy-- the type of day when you can hear desert dwellers exclaim, "What a beautiful day!" It is a rare day indeed when the sun isn't shining here, and I like it like that. However, I do appreciate days when there is a gentle rain and cooler temperatures so I can snuggle under one of my afghans with a nice cup of pumpkin spice tea and a good book.

Speaking of books, what better way to start a new year than to look ahead to new temptations? The following are my picks for the best new crime fiction being released during the month of January. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the synopses and covers are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see if I can manage to tempt you with any of my choices!

=== January 2 ===

Title: The Nubian's Curse
Series: #20 in the Benjamin January historical series set in 1840 New Orleans
332 pages
Synopsis: "December 1840. Surgeon turned piano-player Benjamin January is looking forward to a peaceful holiday with his family. But the arrival of an old friend brings unexpected news - and unexpected danger.

Persephone Jondrette has found Arithmus: a Sudanese man with extraordinary mental abilities who January last saw in France, nearly fifteen years ago, during a ghost-hunting expedition to a haunted chateau. January and his friends survived the experience . . . but Arithmus' benefactor, the British explorer Deverel Wishart, did not. He was discovered dead one morning, his face twisted in horror, and shortly afterwards Arithmus vanished, never to be seen again.

Did Deverel succumb to the chateau's ghosts - or did Arithmus murder him and run away? January is determined to uncover the truth about the tragic incident from his past, and clear his old friend's name - but even he isn't prepared for what happens next . . .

The Nubian's Curse by NYT-bestselling author Barbara Hambly is the latest instalment of the critically acclaimed historical mystery series featuring talented amateur sleuth and free man of color, Benjamin January.

Title: Rabbit Hole
Author: Kate Brody
Standalone Thriller
384 pages
Synopsis: "Ten years ago, Theodora “Teddy” Angstrom’s older sister, Angie, went missing. Her case remains unsolved. Now Teddy’s father, Mark, has killed himself. Unbeknownst to Mark’s family, he had been active in a Reddit community fixated on Angie, and Teddy can’t help but fall down the same rabbit hole.

Teddy’s investigation quickly gets her in hot water with her gun-nut boyfriend, her long-lost half brother, and her colleagues at the prestigious high school where she teaches English. Further complicating matters is Teddy’s growing obsession with Mickey, a charming amateur sleuth who is eerily keen on helping her solve the case.

Bewitched by Mickey, Teddy begins to lose her moral compass. As she struggles to reconcile new information with old memories, her erratic behavior reaches a fever pitch, but she won’t stop until she finds Angie—or destroys herself in the process.

A biting critique of the internet’s voyeurism,
Rabbit Hole is an outrageous and heart-wrenching character study of a mind twisted by grief—and a page-turning mystery that’s as addictive as a late-night Reddit binge.

=== January 9 ===

Title: The Sign of Four Spirits
Author: Vicki Delany
Series: #9 in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop cozy series set on Cape Cod, Massachusetts 
304 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "When a psychic fair arrives in West London, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, wants nothing to do with it. But somehow, at the urging of Donald Morris, an enthusiastic Sherlockian, she finds herself talked into attending a séance, along with baker and best friend Jayne Wilson, store assistant, Ashleigh, and former pop star Bunny Leigh.

But to her surprise, Gemma finds herself banned from the séance and shown the door. Curious, she listens in from outside the room. The medium informs a disappointed Donald that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will not be able to make it tonight. Then, Gemma hears a voice cut off, a cry for help, a scream. Gemma bursts into the library to see that someone has collapsed on the table--dead. The windows are all locked, and Gemma was guarding the only door. Someone in this room is a murderer. But who?

The game is once again afoot for Gemma Doyle, as she hunts a killer. But, this time, is the killer of flesh and blood or had the medium summoned doom from beyond the veil?

Title: Death Under a Little Sky
Author: Stig Abell
Series: #1 in the Jake Jackson series set in England
352 pages
Synopsis: "When Jake Jackson inherits his reclusive uncle’s property in the country, the detective seizes the opportunity for a new life away from the hustle of London.

The new home in this charming rural idyll is beautiful and the surroundings are stunning. While the locals are a bit eccentric, they’re also friendly and invite the newcomer to join their annual treasure hunt.

When a young woman’s bones are discovered, Jake finds himself pulled back into the role of detective, and on the trail of a dangerous killer hiding within this most unlikely of settings.
=== January 23 ===
Title: Murder at a Scottish Castle
Author: Traci Hall
Series: #5 in the Scottish Shire cozy series set in northern Scotland
304 pages
Synopsis: "With the summer days getting shorter in the seaside village of Nairn, the annual bagpiping competition at Ramsey Castle promises to be quite the end-of-season blowout. Paisley has snagged a special invitation from the dowager countess, who wants to showcase her cashmere goods in the castle gift shop, and she’s brought her son Brody, Grandpa, and their black Scottish terrier Wallace.

There’s a fierce rivalry between Robert Grant, the Earl of Lyon, and last year’s winner Jory Baxter, with Grant loudly vowing to show up the blowhard Baxter and claim clan bragging rights. But the reigning champion has barely put the reed to his lips when he turns red and collapses, soon to take his dying breath. DI Zeffer suspects foul play.

With a possible murderer in their midst, the rest of Nairn won’t breathe easy until Paisley applies her sleuthing skills to make sure justice is served and the killer pays the piper . . .

Title: No One Can Know
Standalone Thriller
336 pages
Synopsis: "Fourteen years ago, the Palmer sisters―Emma, Juliette, and Daphne―left their home in Arden Hills and never returned. But when Emma discovers she’s pregnant and her husband loses his job, she has no option but to return to the house that she and her estranged sisters still own . . . and where their parents were murdered.

Emma has never told anyone what she saw the night her parents died, even when she became the prime suspect. But her presence in the house threatens to uncover secrets that have stayed hidden for years, and the sisters are drawn together once again. As they face their memories of the past, rivalries restart, connections are forged, and, for the first time, Emma starts to ask questions about what really happened that night.

The more Emma learns, the more riddles emerge. And Emma begins to wonder just what her siblings will do to keep the past buried, and whether she did the right thing staying quiet about what was whispered that night:
“No one can know.”

Title: The Wharton Plot
Standalone historical mystery set in 1911 New York City
304 pages

Synopsis: "New York City, 1911. Edith Wharton, almost equally famed for her novels and her sharp tongue, is bone-tired of Manhattan. Finding herself at a crossroads with both her marriage and her writing, she makes the decision to leave America, her publisher, and her loveless marriage.

And then, dashing novelist David Graham Phillips―a writer with often notorious ideas about society and women’s place in it―is shot to death outside the Princeton Club. Edith herself met the man only once, when the two formed a mutual distaste over tea in the Palm Court of the Belmont hotel. When Phillips is killed, Edith's life takes another turn. His sister is convinced Graham was killed by someone determined to stop the publication of his next book, which promised to uncover secrets that powerful people would rather stayed hidden. Though unconvinced, Edith is curious. What kind of book could push someone to kill?

Inspired by a true story,
The Wharton Plot follows Edith Wharton through the fading years of the Gilded Age in a city she once loved so well, telling a taut tale of fame, love, and murder, as she becomes obsessed with solving a crime.

=== January 24 ===

Title: The Kelsey Outrage: The "Crime of the Century"
Standalone historical thriller set in 1870s Long Island, New York
360 pages
Synopsis: "Cathleen Kelsey has always been her brother, Charles's, protector. An eccentric, Bohemian poet, Charles is a bit of an oddball in their small, Long Island town. When he goes missing on Election Eve in 1872, Cathleen discovers he has been tarred and feathered after a flirtatious girl accused him of entering her bedroom and molesting her.  

Cathleen is certain Charlie is innocent. She suspects the girl's fiancé, the wealthy Sam Royals, and his powerful friends are behind the tarring. Realizing the constable is inept, Cathleen reinvents herself as a smart, fearless detective whose quest is to find Charlie and obtain justice. The town divides along class lines: the "Tars" (defending Sam) vs. the "Anti-Tars." Cathleen proves to be remarkably successful in her detective work, unearthing damning evidence about what the national papers are calling the "Crime of the Century." But the closer she gets to the truth, the more her enemies are determined to stop her.
=== January 30 ===
Title: Family Ties Family Lies
Standalone amateur sleuth set in upstate New York
322 pages
Synopsis: "Rose Webster is facing down her fortieth birthday and worrying about her future as a photojournalist after getting caught in a raucous rally and shoved to the hard pavement, destroying her camera and, at least temporarily, her livelihood. One arm is in a splint, her right hand isn't strong enough to hold a cup of coffee, and bruised ribs make it difficult to breathe. She's filling out insurance claims when her aunt calls to tell her she's needed in upstate New York to care for her ailing mother.

Rose has never liked returning to Lake Amelia in the foothills of the Adirondacks for more than a couple of days, but she has no choice. Doctors discover her mother has more health issues than anyone suspected, and Rose needs to help care for her. While poking around in the attic of her childhood home, Rose discovers personal items of her late father's that hint of a secret life: a photo hidden in a book and a travel bag that hasn't been opened in twelve years.

Her next startling discovery sends shockwaves through her family. She's more determined than ever to find answers no matter the cost. But will she regret what she learns and how it changes the way she thinks about family?

Well, how did I do? Did I tempt you with any of my choices, or were some of them already on your wish lists? Which ones? You know that inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. As you know, I also live in a place that always needs rain, Cathy. It's lovely, isn't it, when you hear that soft pitter-patter of the rain, especially when you don't have to go anywhere. As for the list of new fiction, it looks great, especially that one by Vicki Delany. She's amazing, I think.

  2. I can't quite believe that we're already looking at January 2024! I hope you and Denis had a good Christmas weekend - I did, with much of my family, and probably missed a couple of posts here as a result. Which gives me some reading to look forward to!

    I already have Stig Abell's book on my list, and I think I'll be adding The Wharton Plot after reading this post. I enjoy visiting that time period every so often.

    1. I do, too-- and Wharton is one of my favorite authors. We even share a birthday. :-)

  3. I am intrigued by The Wharton Plot. I will be looking for that one!

  4. I think both the Stig Abell mystery and Kate Alice Marshall thriller sound good. And I love EdithWharton's novels, so that one where she's a character intrigues me, too. :D

    1. Yep. We certainly share some reading DNA. :-)


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