Tuesday, April 30, 2024

May 2024 New Mystery Releases!

I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time realizing that May is here. At least I've had some fun (Daisy and Suzanne's visit) lately instead of a boring round of nothing but weekly medical appointments. It's been almost a year since I was sent to the wound care clinic, and I think it's time for me to admit that my legs might never heal. Nothing I (or the doctor and nurses) do seems to work, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying!

Time may fly, but I will always keep my eyes peeled for new reading material. (You knew that already, didn't you?)  The following list contains my picks for the best new crime fiction being released during the month of May. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see how many of my choices are on your own Need to Read lists!

=== May 2 ===

Title: A Nest of Vipers
Series: #3 in the Bangalore Detectives Club historical series set in 1920s India.
352 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "This latest novel in the Bangalore Detectives Club mystery series takes the reader deep into the historical era surrounding the visit by Edward, Prince of Wales, to Bangalore in 1921. When the prince begins a tour of a number of Indian cities, he encounters passionate crowds demanding independence from Britain, with rioting on the streets of Bombay in November 1921.

The mood of the prince's subsequent trip to Bangalore and Mysore in January 1922 appears, at first glance, very different and is made to large, welcoming crowds. But perhaps all is not what it seems to be. While exploring another (seemingly unrelated) crime scene, Kaveri and Ramu become tangled in a complex web of intrigue, getting pulled into a potentially dangerous plan that could endanger the life of the visiting prince.

This new novel also takes us into the world of jadoo—Indian street magic—with sleight-of-hand magicians, snake charmers, and rope tricks. Kaveri and Ramu continue their sleuthing, with help from the Bangalore Detectives Club, amidst the growing rumblings of Indian independence and the backdrop of female emancipation.
Title: Queen Macbeth
Author: Val McDermid
Series: #5 in the Darkland Tales set in ancient Scotland.
152 pages
*UK release
Synopsis: "Shakespeare fed us the myth of the Macbeths as murderous conspirators. But now Val McDermid drags the truth out of the shadows, exposing the patriarchal prejudices of history. Expect the unexpected . . .

A thousand years ago in an ancient Scottish landscape, a woman is on the run with her three companions – a healer, a weaver and a seer. The men hunting her will kill her – because she is the only one who stands between them and their violent ambition. She is no lady: she is the first queen of Scotland, married to a king called Macbeth.

As the net closes in, we discover a tale of passion, forced marriage, bloody massacre and the harsh realities of medieval Scotland. At the heart of it is one strong, charismatic woman, who survived loss and jeopardy to outwit the endless plotting of a string of ruthless and power-hungry men. Her struggle won her a country. But now it could cost her life.

=== May 7 ===

Title: Dodge and Burn
Author: Ellen Crosby
Series: #4 in the Sophie Medina photojournalist series set in present-day Washington, DC.
299 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "When billionaire philanthropist and art collector Robson Blake hires Sophie Medina to take photographs for him, she doesn't expect to show up and find her client dead. It seems he was the victim of a burglary gone wrong. But why was his state-of-the-art security system turned off . . . and why, in a house full of priceless Old Masters, is the only thing missing a beautiful but insignificant Ukrainian religious icon?

Before long, Sophie finds herself in the crosshairs of a D.C. homicide detective who suspects she knows more than she is saying about Blake's murder - and he's not wrong. To Sophie's mixed delight and horror, she's recently learned she has a half-brother . . . who might also be an international art thief, with eyes on Blake's collection.

As the police get closer to finding Blake's killer, Sophie is certain someone is trying to frame her for his murder. Can she find the real killer in time - even if it means turning in her own brother to prove her innocence?

Title: Hunted
Standalone thriller set in the UK and US.
400 pages
Synopsis: "In London, the police storm Heathrow Airport to bring in a father for questioning about his missing daughter.
In Florida, a mother makes a connection between her son and the bomber, fearing he has been radicalized.
And in Oregon, an unknown organization’s conspiracy to bring America to its knees unfolds…
On the run from the authorities, the two parents are thrown together in a race against time to stop a catastrophe that will derail the country’s future forever.

But can they find their kids before it’s too late?
=== May 14 ===
Title: Locked in Pursuit
Series: #4 in the Electra McDonnell historical series set in World War II England.
272 pages

Synopsis: "Safecracker Ellie McDonnell hasn’t seen Major Ramsey―her handsome but aloof handler in the British government―since their tumultuous mission together three months before, but when she hears about a suspicious robbery in London she feels compelled to contact him. Together they discover that a rash of burglaries leads back to a hotbed of spies in the neutral city Lisbon, Portugal, and an unknown object brought to London by a mysterious courier.

As the thieves become more desperate and their crimes escalate, it becomes imperative that Ellie and Ramsey must beat them at their own game. Fighting shadowy assailants, enemy agents, and the mutual attraction they’ve agreed not to acknowledge, Ellie and Ramsey work together to learn if it truly takes a thief to catch a thief.

Title: Knot Dead Again
Series: #10 in the Yarn Retreat cozy series set in California.
238 pages
Synopsis: "When the perennially cloudy skies of Cadbury unleash a torrential downpour, yarn retreat host Casey Feldstein watches in dismay as the streets surrounding Vista Del Mar become flooded and she and her retreat guests are trapped there. But the storm is the least of their worries when a man is found dead in his room, and the guests begin to speculate that he may have been murdered. With the police unable to reach them, Casey is forced to fill their soggy shoes and investigate. 

She's quick to discover evidence pointing to foul play, but with the guests growing restless and suspicious, it's everything Casey and the staff can do to keep them fed, distracted-and safe. Then another body is found, and as the weather finally begins to clear, Casey realizes she has to act fast before the killer makes a clean getaway. Because the culprit has tampered with the evidence and is tying up loose ends, and Casey fears she may be left high and dry-or drenched and dead . . .

=== May 21 ===

Title: The Last Hope
Series: #11 in the Maggie Hope historical series set in World War II Europe.
304 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Maggie Hope has come a long way since she was Mr. Churchill’s secretary. In the face of tremendous danger, she’s learned espionage, sabotage, and reconnaissance. But things are different now that she has so much to lose, including the possibility of a family with John Sterling, the man who’s long held her heart.

British Intelligence has ordered Maggie to assassinate Werner Heisenberg, the physicist who may deliver a world-ending fission bomb for Germany. She’s shaken. An assassination is unlike anything she has ever done. How can the Allies even be sure Nazi Germany
has a bomb? Determined to gather more information, Maggie travels to Madrid, where Heisenberg is visiting for a lecture.

At the same time, couturier Coco Chanel, a spy in her own right with ambiguous loyalties, has requested a mysterious meeting with the British ambassador in Madrid—and has requested Maggie join them. As the two play a dangerous game of cat and mouse, Maggie tries to get a better understanding of Heisenberg, but is faced with betrayal and a threat more terrifying than losing her own life.

Maggie desperately wants to find her happily-ever-after, but as the war reaches a fever pitch, the stakes keep rising. Now, more than ever, the choices she makes will reverberate around the globe, touching everyone she loves—with fateful implications for the future of the free world.

Title: The Last Murder at the End of the World
Standalone thriller set on an island in a dystopian world.
368 pages

Synopsis: "Solve the murder to save what's left of the world.

Outside the island there is nothing: the world was destroyed by a fog that swept the planet, killing anyone it touched.

On the island: it is idyllic. One hundred and twenty-two villagers and three scientists, living in peaceful harmony. The villagers are content to fish, farm and feast, to obey their nightly curfew, to do what they're told by the scientists.

Until, to the horror of the islanders, one of their beloved scientists is found brutally stabbed to death. And then they learn that the murder has triggered a lowering of the security system around the island, the only thing that was keeping the fog at bay. If the murder isn't solved within 107 hours, the fog will smother the island―and everyone on it.

But the security system has also wiped everyone's memories of exactly what happened the night before, which means that someone on the island is a murderer―and they don't even know it.

And the clock is ticking."
Title: Return to Blood
Author: Michael Bennett
Series: #2 in the Hana Westerman police procedural series set in New Zealand.
336 pages
Synopsis: "After the perils of a case that landed much too close to home, Hana Westerman turned in her badge and abandoned her career as a detective in the Auckland CIB. Hoping that civilian life will offer her the opportunity to rest and recalibrate, she returns to her hometown of Tātā Bay, where she moves back in with her beloved father, Eru. Yet the memories of the past are everywhere, and as she goes for her daily run on the beach, Hana passes a local monument to Paige, a high school classmate who was murdered more than twenty years ago and hidden in the dunes overlooking the sea. A Māori man with a previous record was convicted of the crime, although Eru never believed he was guilty.

When her daughter finds another young woman’s skeleton in the sands, Hana soon finds herself awkwardly involved. Investigators suspect that this is Kiri Thomas, a young Māori woman who disappeared four years earlier, after battling years of drug addiction. Hana and her daughter Addison are increasingly captivated by the story behind this unsolved crime, but without the official police force behind her, Hana must risk compromising her own peace and relationships if justice is to be served.

Expanding the range of vivid characters who made Michael Bennett’s first book, Better the Blood, so appealing, and offering a shocking twist at the end, Return to Blood takes readers further into Māori culture and traditions as it engages us more deeply into the story of Hana Westerman.
Title: An Assassination on the Agenda
Author: T.E. Kinsey
Series: #11 in the humorous Lady Hardcastle historical series set in 1912 England.
320 pages
Synopsis: "July 1912. Lady Hardcastle and her tenacious lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong, are enjoying a convivial gathering at the home of their dear friends, the Farley-Strouds. The only fly in the idyllic ointment seems to be the lack of musical entertainment for the forthcoming summer party―until, that is, Lady Hardcastle’s brother Harry calls with news of a murder.

Harry dispatches them to Bristol on behalf of the Secret Service Bureau, with instructions to prevent the local police from uncovering too much about the victim. It seems an intriguing mystery―all the more so when they find a connection between the killer and an impending visit from an Austrian trade delegation, set to feature a very important guest…

Summoned to London to help with some very important security arrangements, the intrepid duo will have to navigate sceptical bureaucrats, Cockney gangsters and shadowy men in distinctive hats in their attempts to foil an explosive―and internationally significant―threat."
=== May 23 ===
Title: The Wild Swimmers
Author: William Shaw
Series: #6 in the Alexandra Cupidi police procedural series set in southeastern England.
384 pages
*UK release
Synopsis: "If only Alexandra Cupidi had turned south instead of north, she would have found the dead woman.

Instead it is her vulnerable daughter Zoë who stumbles across Mimi Greene's lifeless body on the shoreline. A regular wild swimmer with a group of close friends, it's out of character for Mimi to have been swimming alone, especially in bad weather. DS Cupidi starts to suspect this is more than just an accidental drowning.

Meanwhile, her friend and colleague Jill Ferriter receives a mysterious letter from a man who claims to be her father. Stephen Dowles has been in prison for the last twenty years, convicted of two brutal and senseless murders.

With Cupidi obsessed by the death of Mimi Greene, Ferriter must lean on Bill South to uncover the facts around Dowles' conviction, revisiting old colleagues and criminals.

The Wild Swimmers is an explosive return to the DS Alexandra Cupidi Series, where the shores of the south Kent coastline expose deadly secrets.
Title: The Blood Promise
Author: Liz Mistry
Series: #1 in the Solanki and McQueen police procedural series set in Scotland.
394 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "A deadly gift

Imogen Clark wakes up on her 16th birthday to find her parents dead at the breakfast table, along with a message from their killer.

A twist of fate

Detectives Jazzy Solanki and Annie McQueen join the investigation, but the more they discover, the more Jazzy suspects that the killing is a twisted message for her. Jazzy shares the same birthday as Imogen, and believes that this is more than a coincidence.

A race to catch a killer

When Jazzy discovers the connection between the killer and the stalker who has been following her for years, she is forced to confront the dark past she was desperate to keep hidden. She must stop at nothing to solve the case, before she becomes the next victim…

Don't miss the first book in the Solanki and McQueen Crime Series, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid and Marion Todd.

=== May 28 ===

Title: First Frost
Series: #20 in the Sheriff Walt Longmire series set in Wyoming.
336 pages
Synopsis: "It’s the summer of 1964, and recent college graduates Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear read the writing on the wall and enlist to serve in the Vietnam War. As they catch a few final waves in California before reporting for duty, a sudden storm assaults the shores and capsizes a nearby cargo boat. Walt and Henry jump to action, but it’s soon revealed by the police who greet them ashore that the sunken boat carried valuable contraband from underground sources.

The boys, in their early twenties and in the peak of their physical prowess from playing college football for the last four years, head out on Route 66. The question, of course, is how far they will get before the consequences of their actions catch up to them—the answer being, not very.

Back in the present day, Walt is forced to speak before a Judge following the fatal events of
The Longmire Defense. With powerful enemies lurking behind the scenes, the sheriff of Absaroka County must consider his options if he wishes to finish the fight he started.

Going back and forth between 1964 and the present day, Craig Johnson brings us a propulsive dual timeline as Walt Longmire stands between the crossfire of good and evil, law and anarchy, and compassion and cruelty at two pivotal stages in his life.

As my niece Suzanne would say, "Oh, my giddy aunt!" Just look at all the marvelous books being released in May! An "embarrassment of riches" doesn't even begin to cover it!

Which of my picks were already on your Need to Read lists? Or... did I manage to add a few more that you hadn't heard of? Which ones? Inquiring minds need to know!


  1. Ah, so very much to love here, Cathy! I liked Michael Bennett's Better the Blood very much, so the next one interests me. Same with the Nagendra. And did I see a Craig Johnson here? Uh-oh, time to hide the credit card...

    1. I know! May is definitely Book Budget Buster Month!

  2. I'm afraid to look too closely at this list...my TBR list is already too long! And your posts always have me adding more books to it. ;D

    1. We will never ever run out of things to read, will we? :-)

  3. Michael Bennett and Craig Johnson are already on my list, and you've reminded me that I still have several installments of Kinsey's series to enjoy. And I'm now looking forward to your review of The Blood Promise, too.

    1. I had to laugh at Kinsey's response to this post on Twitter. He looked at the graphic and replied: "Lady Hardcastle. On Wanted Posters since 1912." I do love his sense of humor.

  4. Looks like a great month. I am not really ready for the last hope, but am so excited to read it. Will be hard to say goodbye to all those characters.

    1. I know what you mean, Julia. The first time I met Susan, she told me that the very first review she read of her first book in the series was mine.

  5. Can't wait for A Nest of Vipers and Locked in Pursuit!

    1. May is an incredible month for mysteries!

  6. Ooh, great Michael Bennett's new book is out about Hana Westerman in New Zealand. And a new Bangalore Detective Club and Alexandra Cupidi books, too. Oh, when will I have time to read them?


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