8 New Crime Books for Your TBR Pile

by Severn House on 6 December 2022

New Books for December

Its the final publication day of 2022 and we’re closing out the year with a bang! This month’s new selection of chills and thrills make the perfect gifts for the crime fiction reader in your family – or an early present to you from you 😉

We’ve got gripping suspense courtesy of Tessa Wegert, David Mark, and Caro Ramsay; cosy mysteries from Simon Brett, Catriona McPherson, Carol Miller, and Sandra Balzo; and hard-boiled sleuthing in the library from Con Lehane.

Waste of a Life by Simon Brett
A Decluttering Mystery #3

Declutterer Ellen Curtis has been working to bring order into the life of Cedric Waites, a recluse in his eighties who hasn’t left his house or let anyone inside it since his wife died. On one of her regular visits, Ellen finds the old man dead.

Sad but, given his age, perhaps not unexpected. Nothing to get worked up about . . . until the police raise the suspicion that Cedric might have been poisoned! The cause seems be something he ate, and as Ellen cleared away the old man’s food containers, she is under suspicion. As is Dodge, who works for Ellen and has unhelpfully done a runner . . .

Meanwhile, a rival declutterer is out to sabotage Ellen’s reputable business, her two grown-up children are back home and in crisis, and she has a potential love interest. Ellen’s life has taken on a chaotic turn of its own! Can she uncover the killer and bring order back to her own life?

Brett layers the old-fashioned puzzle with deep psychological insights . . . Not to be missed
–Booklist Starred Review

The Kind to Kill by Tessa Wegert
A Shana Merchant Novel #4

Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant is a skilled Senior Investigator keeping New York’s beautiful Thousand Islands community safe. She’s a loving partner. A strong woman. A survivor.

She’s also bound by blood to a serial killer. And after months of concealing the truth from the world as she hunted Blake Bram down, her secret is finally out.

Shana just wants to get on with her life and win back her community’s trust. But as Alexandria Bay fills up with tourists in advance of the annual festival known as Pirate Days, a visitor goes missing, and the case threatens to destroy not just the celebrations, but what remains of Shana’s reputation.

Shana’s not to blame for the killer in her family, but people are starting to whisper that she attracts trouble. That A-Bay was safer before she arrived. And as the investigation deepens, Shana starts to fear that they may be right.

Because while Bram is gone, he is far from forgotten.

The complex plot and subtle characterizations elevate this above similar fare. Wegert remains a writer to watch
Publishers Weekly

The Devil Stone by Caro Ramsay
A DCI Christine Caplan Thriller #1

In the small Highland village of Cronchie, a wealthy family are found brutally murdered in a satanic ritual and their heirloom, ‘the devil stone’, is the only thing stolen. The key suspects are known satanists – case closed? But when the investigating officer disappears after leaving the crime scene, DCI Christine Caplan is pulled in to investigate from Glasgow in a case that could restore her reputation.

She suspects the murder scene was staged, and with the heir to the family estate missing, there is something more at play than a mythical devil stone… As she closes in on the truth, it is suddenly her life, not her reputation that is danger. Will Caplan’s first Highland murder case be her last?

“Ramsay debuts a new series with this dark, suspenseful, and atmospheric thriller starring a charismatic heroine”
–Booklist Starred Review

Scot in a Trap by Catriona McPherson
A Last Ditch Mystery #5

A mysterious object the size of a suitcase, all wrapped in bacon and smelling of syrup, can mean only one thing: Thanksgiving at the Last Ditch Motel. This year the motel residents are in extra-celebratory mood as the holiday brings a new arrival to the group – a bouncing baby girl.

But as one life enters the Ditch, another leaves it. Menzies Lassiter has only just checked in. When resident counsellor Lexy Campbell tries to deliver his breakfast the next day, she finds him checked out. Permanently. Shocking enough if he was a stranger, but Lexy recognises that face. Menzies was her first love until he broke her heart many years ago.

What’s he doing at the Last Ditch? What’s he doing dead? And how can Lexy escape the fact that she alone had the means, the opportunity – and certainly the motive – to kill him?

“Darkly amusing . . . McPherson keeps the laughs and the action rolling along
Publishers Weekly

The Whispering Dead by David Mark
A Cordelia Hemlock Novel #2

Cordelia Hemlock is teetering on the verge of joining MI6 when she meets the enigmatic Walt, a high-ranking member of the Secret Intelligence Service, who tells her: They won’t want you to do well. They won’t ever trust you. They don’t trust me and I’m one of them. She takes this as a challenge rather than a warning. She wants to protect the nation. Serve Queen and country. Who would turn down such a glorious opportunity?

Fourteen years later, Cordelia is desk-bound after finishing an undercover operation and going quietly mad with boredom. So when the call comes through on the top-secret Pandora line – so-called after the locked-box the telephone is kept in – she answers it.

It’s Walt. No longer officially MI6, he still inhabits the murky world of intelligence, where information always comes with a price. He tells her he has a secret to share with her – and only her. And once she knows it, nothing will ever be the same again…

“Top-level espionage fiction”
Booklist Starred Review

Death Rides a Pony by Carol Miller
The Fortune Telling Mysteries #2

Sisters Hope and Summer Bailey run Bailey’s Boutique, a mystic shop in Asheville, North Carolina. The annual charity festival is approaching, and the sisters are roped in to offering fortune telling to raise money.

Before proceedings can begin, Summer receives a bad Tarot card reading. She fears she’ll be left destitute from her upcoming divorce battle as the realtor charged with selling her and her soon-to-be ex-husband’s home, Davis Scott, keeps making unwelcome appearances.

Davis’s most troublesome appearance comes when he’s found dead at the festival. Davis had a bad reputation amongst the Ashville community, but who would go to the lengths of killing him . . . and during a charity event, no less! The Tarot cards predicted a death, but do they hold clues to who the murder is?

“An entertaining plot, colorful characters, light romance, and a satisfying ending make this a pleasant and engaging read

Murder by Definition by Con Lehane
A 42nd Street Library Mystery #4

Hardboiled crime writer Will Ford might be critically acclaimed, but he’s every bit as debauched and disreputable as the ne’er-do-well private eye in his novels. So when Ford offers Raymond Ambler – crime-fiction curator at New York City’s prestigious 42nd Street Library – a collection of his papers, Ambler wonders if the project will be more trouble than it’s worth. Still, the disgraced author is an important talent, and Ambler’s never been afraid of a fight.

Ambler’s ready for the controversy that greets news of the acquisition. He’s not ready, however, for what he finds when he finally receives the papers: a gripping unpublished short story apparently based on a real case, with an explosive author’s note. If it’s true, there’s been a shocking coverup at the heart of the NYPD – and a cop has got away with murder.

If it’s true. Ford’s not talking, and Ambler’s good friend Mike Cosgrove, a veteran NYPD homicide detective, is beyond skeptical. But as the pair investigate, they’re drawn into the sordid underbelly of 1990s New York, packed with renegade cops, thugs and mobsters . . . and they’ll be lucky to come back out alive.

“A conscientious valentine whose librarians come off a lot better than its cops
Kirkus Reviews

French Roast by Sandra Balzo
A Maggy Thorsen Mystery #15

Wisconsin coffeehouse owner Maggy Thorsen’s cousin, Jacque Oui, is in trouble. Big trouble! Not only is his cash-strapped Schultz’s Market facing competition from a major new grocery chain, but his ex-wife Paulette has arrived from Paris, spectacularly claiming that she and Jacque are still married, despite Jacque being engaged to Maggy’s friend and star barista Amy Caprese.

When a huge fire rips through Schultz’s Market overnight and a gruesome discovery is made in the shop’s upper flat, Maggy is drawn into her cousin’s affairs. But where is he? With Jacque suddenly missing, can Maggy uncover the truth behind the disturbing events triggered by Paulette’s arrival, or is she about to be scorched by a determined killer?

“The body count rises quickly as Balzo’s quirky cozy turns darker than a freshly brewed espresso
Kirkus Reviews

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