Tuesday, May 28, 2024

June 2024 New Mystery Releases!

I need to stop being a scaredy cat. Ever since ParaTransit left Denis and me waiting on a cold, dark street corner for two and a half hours after an author event at The Poisoned Pen, I've been reluctant to attend any evening events at my favorite bookstore. Granted, most of them are available through YouTube, but it's certainly not the same as attending them in person. Of course, I can tell myself that the street corner won't be cold at this time of year...

While I'm mulling that over, let me share my picks for the best new crime fiction in July. I've grouped them according to their release dates, and the synopses and covers are courtesy of Amazon.

Let's see if I can tempt you with any of my choices...

=== June 4 ===

Title: Over the Edge
Standalone thriller set in Sedona, Arizona.
304 pages

*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.

Synopsis: "After a disastrous mistake ended her career as a crime reporter, Del Cooper returns to Sedona and takes a gig with a down-on-its-luck tour company while she rebuilds her life. Her peaceful small-town escape ends when, hiking in a remote red rock canyon, she finds the broken body of a murdered man.

At first, she believes the murder is connected to a proposed land trade that will pave the way for a luxury development on the edge of town, but it seems money isn’t the killer’s only motive. As she digs deeper, she uncovers the small town’s darkest secrets, all leading her to Lee Ranch, a former filming location for Western movies. Two women disappear after Del interviews them, and rumors begin to spin faster than Sedona’s famed energy vortexes. But she knows the truth: Someone is watching her from the shadows.

Desperate for answers, Del ventures into the wilderness to lure the killer into the open. But out here in the red rocks, bodies can be lost forever.

Title: Nothing Can Erase You
Author: Michel Bussi
Standalone thriller set in the south of France.
463 pages
Synopsis: "Maddi LibĂ©ri is a successful doctor living an idyllic life in the South of France. On the morning of her son’s tenth birthday, they walk to the beach together. The boy presses for a quick swim, but when the surf is too rough, she sends him off to buy a baguette instead.

He never returns.

Ten years later, Maddi stands at the spot where she last saw her son. A pilgrimage of sorts. And she can’t believe her eyes. There, standing at the water’s edge, is a young boy―and he looks exactly like her son. Same face, same suit…even the same birthmark.

Rattled, Maddi becomes obsessed with the boy. She upends her life to get closer to him. And the more she learns about her son’s doppelgänger, the more unhinged she becomes. Dangerous secrets brought to light put people’s lives at risk, and plot twists reveal truths you’ll never see coming.

Title: The Unwedding
Author: Ally Condie
Standalone thriller set in California.
352 pages
Synopsis: "Ellery Wainwright is alone at the edge of the world.
She and her husband, Luke, were supposed to spend their twentieth wedding anniversary together at the luxurious Resort at Broken Point in Big Sur, California. Where better to celebrate a marriage, a family, and a life together than at one of the most stunning places on earth?
But now she’s traveling solo.
To add insult to injury, there’s a wedding at Broken Point scheduled during her stay. Ellery remembers how it felt to be on the cusp of everything new and wonderful, with a loved and certain future glimmering just ahead. Now, she isn’t certain of anything except for her love for her kids and her growing realization that this place, though beautiful, is unsettling.
When Ellery discovers the body of the groom floating in the pool in the rain, she realizes that she is not the only one whose future is no longer guaranteed. Before the police can reach Broken Point, a mudslide takes out the road to the resort, leaving the guests trapped. When another guest dies, it’s clear something horrible is brewing.

Everyone at Broken Point has a secret. And everyone has a shadow. Including Ellery.

Title: The Comfort of Ghosts
Series: #18 (and last) in the Maisie Dobbs historical mystery series set in 1945 London.
360 pages

Synopsis: "London, 1945: Four adolescent orphans with a dark wartime history are squatting in a vacant Belgravia mansion—the owners having fled London under heavy Luftwaffe bombing. Psychologist and Investigator Maisie Dobbs visits the mansion on behalf of the owners and discovers that a demobilized soldier, gravely ill and reeling from his experiences overseas, has taken shelter with the group.

Maisie’s quest to bring comfort to the youngsters and the ailing soldier brings to light a decades-old mystery concerning Maisie’s first husband, James Compton, who was killed while piloting an experimental fighter aircraft. As Maisie unravels the threads of her dead husband’s life, she is forced to examine her own painful past and question beliefs she has always accepted as true.

The award-winning Maisie Dobbs series has garnered hundreds of thousands of followers, readers drawn to a woman who is of her time, yet familiar in ours—and who inspires with her resilience and capacity for endurance. This final assignment of her own choosing not only opens a new future for Maisie and her family, but serves as a  fascinating portrayal of the challenges facing the people of Britain at the close of the Second World War.

Title: Holy City
Author: Henry Wise
Standalone thriller set in rural Virginia
352 pages
Synopsis: "After a decade of exile precipitated by the tragic death of his mother, Will Seems returns home from Richmond to rural Southern Virginia, taking a job as deputy sheriff in a landscape given way to crime and defeat. Impoverished and abandoned, this remote land of tobacco plantations, razed forests, and boarded-up homes seems stuck in the past in a state that is trying to forget its complex history and move on. 

Will's efforts to go about his life are wrecked when a mysterious, brutal homicide claims the life of an old friend, Tom Janders, forcing Will to face the true impetus for his return: not to honor his mother's memory, but to pay a debt to a Black friend who, in an act of selfless courage years ago, protected Will and suffered permanent disfigurement for it. 

Meanwhile, a man Will knows to be innocent is arrested for Tom's murder, and despite Will's pleas, his boss seems all too content to wrap up the case and move on. Will must weigh his personal guilt against his public duty when the local Black community hires Bennico Watts, an unpredictable private detective from Richmond, to help him find the real killer. It would seem an ideal pairing—she has experience, along with plenty of sand, and Will is privy to the details of the case—but it doesn't take long for either to realize they much prefer to operate alone. 

Bennico and Will clash as they each defend their untraditional ways on a wild ride that wends deep into the Snakefoot, an underworld wilderness that for hundreds of years has functioned as a hideout for outcasts—the forgotten and neglected and abused—leaving us enmeshed in the tangled history of a region and its people that leaves no one innocent, no one free, nothing sacred.

Title: Tell Me Who You Are
Author: Louisa Luna
Standalone thriller set in New York City
352 pages
Synopsis: "Brooklyn psychiatrist Dr. Caroline Strange is certain she knows what's best for her patients, her family, and pretty much everyone else, but that all changes when a troubled young man arrives for his appointment and makes a pair of alarming confessions: I am going to kill someone, and I know who you really are.

Dr. Caroline is accustomed to hearing her patients’ deepest, darkest secrets, but it seems Nelson Schack may be one step ahead when detectives show up later that day, inquiring about a missing woman. It looks like Nelson has made good on his threat―yet somehow it’s Dr. Caroline who becomes the prime suspect.

Convinced the police are incompetent, Dr. Caroline takes matters into her own hands, chasing down the elusive Nelson and running headlong into a past she has spent her entire life trying to forget. As she closes in on her target, all the polished pieces of her manicured life splinter when people begin to question who she really is.

Harrowing, unpredictable, and compulsively readable, the award-winning author Louisa Luna’s
Tell Me Who You Are is an utterly gripping psychological thriller that begs the question: Can a person ever really outrun their past?

=== June 18 ===

Title: Death in the Air
Author: Ram Murali
Standalone thriller set in the Indian Himalayas.
368 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "Ro Krishna is the American son of Indian parents, educated at the finest institutions, equally at home in London’s poshest clubs and on the squash court, but unmoored after he is dramatically forced to leave a high-profile job under mysterious circumstances. He decides it’s time to check in for some much-needed R&R at Samsara, a world-class spa for the global cosmopolitan elite nestled in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. A person could be spiritually reborn in a place like this. Even a very rich person.

But a person—or several—could also die there. Samsara is the Sanskrit word for the karmic cycle of death and rebirth, after all. And as it turns out, the colorful cast of characters Ro meets—including a misanthropic politician; an American movie star preparing for his Bollywood crossover debut; a beautiful heiress to a family jewel fortune that barely survived Partition; and a bumbling white yogi inexplicably there to teach meditation—harbors a murderer among them. Maybe more than one.

As the death toll rises, Ro, a lawyer by training and a sleuth by circumstance, becomes embroiled in a vicious world under a gilded surface, where nothing is quite what it seems . . . including Ro himself. Death in the Air is a brilliant, teasing mystery from a remarkable new talent.

=== June 25 ===

Title: All the Colors of the Dark
Author: Chris Whitaker
Standalone thriller set in 1975 Missouri.
608 pages
*Upcoming review on Kittling: Books.
Synopsis: "1975 is a time of change in America. The Vietnam War is ending. Muhammad Ali is fighting Joe Frazier. And in the small town of Monta Clare, Missouri, girls are disappearing.
When the daughter of a wealthy family is targeted, the most unlikely hero emerges—Patch, a local boy, who saves the girl, and, in doing so, leaves heartache in his wake.
Patch and those who love him soon discover that the line between triumph and tragedy has never been finer. And that their search for answers will lead them to truths that could mean losing one another.
A missing person mystery, a serial killer thriller, a love story, a unique twist on each, Chris Whitaker has written a novel about what lurks in the shadows of obsession and the blinding light of hope.

Well... how did I do? Do any of these strike your fancy? Which ones? The second that I saw Chris Whitaker had a new book, I had high hopes for it because I loved his previous, We Begin at the End, so much.


  1. Thanks for the new list. (groan; I have a slew of library books to read.) The book Death in the Air interests me as it's different and is set in the Indian Himalayas. But as far as events at the PP, you can watch them in real time, as they are happening on Facebook, linked in from their website. I've done it many times and one can write a comment as well. I don't blame you for wanting to avoid a glitch in the pick-up which causes you and Denis to wait for hours. Not a good scene. Thanks for the new book list. It's overwhelming how many new books are coming out these days. But it means people are reading, writing and publishing, despite the absurd book bans.

    1. I've watched the events in real time, but it's still not the same as actually being there where you can talk to other people attending, the bookstore staff, and the author.

    2. So true. I'm home and far from Arizona, so I'm habituated to watching. I would miss meeting authors, too, and the socialization all around, if I was nearby. I understand. The internet has made my participation possible, even if virtual. But seeing authors, staff and other attendees is a treat.

    3. And I agree about Chris Whitaker's book that you liked.

  2. These look great, Cathy! I didn't know that Jacqueline Winspear has a new book coming out - I can hardly keep up with her. And the rest look enticing, too. No wonder my TBR is out of control!

    1. This is the last Maisie Dobbs, Margot. It will be interesting to see what Winspear does next.

  3. Thank you for the list and the descriptions.

  4. I'm a few behind on Maisie Dobbs, and am likely to stretch out the reading knowing that the last of the series is nigh. Holy City is already on my list; the description makes me think of S.A.Cosby's books.

    Much as I love France, I'm going to wait for your review of the Bussi novel, because I'm not drawn in by that description. Death in the Air is a likely candidate, because I don't remember ever (vicariously) visiting the Himalayas, so that could be interesting.

    1. I have read books set in the Himalayas. I'm reading Murali's book right now and-- although it's good-- so far, the setting could be almost anywhere.

  5. Great list. I've read and enjoyed many of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries but it's been a while. I need to figure out where I left off and pick them up again. They are very well written.

    1. Yes, they are, and she's a very interesting speaker.

  6. Death in the Air interests me, especially set in the Indian Himalayas. But I see you are reading it and look forward to the review.

    1. I just finished it last night and was underwhelmed, unfortunately.


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