The publishers know even readers are busy during December. My pile of books for December is quite small. But, January and February are already overwhelming. So, enjoy a one-day post of forthcoming books, the December Treasures in My Closet.
Elizabeth J. Duncan brings back costume designer and amateur sleuth Charlotte Fairfax in the second Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Ill Met by Murder. It's the most important night of the year for the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. And, this year, the performance is part of the wedding celebration for Paula's daughter and her fiancé Adrian. But, when Adrian's rival in the business world ends up murdered with a stolen prop, Charlotte is up to the task of investigating. (Release date is Dec. 13.)
Time of Death marks the mystery debut for Lucy Kerr. The mystery involves Frankie Stapleton, who left the quiet town of Stillwater twelve years earlier, moving to Chicago where she's an emergency room nurse. She left behind her family, their struggling hardware store, and her fiancé. Now, she's back to help her pregnant sister, but within a short time of arriving at Stillwater General Hospital, she helps a man suffering a cardiac arrests during the chaos of a bus crash. Now, her patient's dead, her sister has undergone an emergency C-section, and Frankie is threatened with a malpractice lawsuit. But, something isn't right in Stillwater, and Frankie has to catch a killer to clear her name. (Release date is Dec. 13.)
Swedish author Camilla Grebe makes her solo American debut with The Ice Beneath Her (translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel). It's a psychological thriller that blends Scandinavian crime with unreliable narration. When a woman is found beheaded in the home of a business tycoon, an investigator and a psychological profiler are put on the case. The death bears an uncanny resemblance to an unsolved murder from ten years earlier. But, now, the police have a suspect, the business tycoon who is missing. (Release date is Dec. 27.)
James L'Etoile's debut mystery is At What Cost. "Would you trade your career to save your child?" Sacramento Police Department Detective John Penley and his new partner, Detective Paul Newberry are leading the investigation into a local serial killer. The killer has dumped three bodies in the past six weeks, all of them missing their internal organs. But, then the detectives stumble upon a personal message the killer left for Penley, attached to a human kidney. How could the killer know Penley's son is on the kidney transplant waiting list? Will the killer take the bait, or trust the medical establishment? (Release date is Dec. 13.)
Author Rob McCarthy is a medical student whose debut mystery, The Hollow Men, introduces police surgeon Harry Kent who works for the London Metropolitan Police, and juggles hospital duties to keep away the memories of his time as an army medic. He helps those the world would rather brush aside, such as teenager Solomon Idris, who took eight people hostage. Harry is sent to treat the clearly-ill teenager. But, Solomon's life is put in danger in a critical care ward, and Harry is determined to uncover the secret that drove the boy to desperate action. (Release date is Dec. 20.)
Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae sounds right up my alley. It's the first in a new cozy mystery series involving the owners of the new Highland Bookshop in Invergail, Scotland. It's set in the weeks just before the annual Invergail Literature Festival soon after the four new owners have taken possession of their new bookshop. Janet Marsh's move into her house has been delayed by vandalism, though. And, she's convinced the vandal is Una Graham, an advice columnist trying to make a name for herself as an investigative reporter. When the women find Una's corpse, they know it's murder, but a collection of nasty letters convince them a number of people detested the dead woman. (Release date is Dec. 6.)
Dandy Gilver has to solve her grisliest case yet in Catriona McPherson's The Reek of Red Herrings. Dandy finds herself spending Christmas on the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast. Odd things have turned up in barrels of fish, with a strong whiff of murder. She and her trusty cohort, Alec Osborne, have been enlisted to investigate. They're soon swept up in the fisherfolk's wedding season as well as the mystery. (Release date is Dec. 13.)
Did you read Will Schwalbe's beautiful The End of Your Life Book Club? He's back, with another book for readers. The summary says, Books for Living is "A treasure of a book for everyone who loves books, loves reading, and loves to hear the answer to the question: 'What are you reading?'" He talks about the books that have inspired him, and relates each book to a question of our daily lives. (Release date is Dec. 27.)
Carrie Smith brings back NYPD Detective Claire Codella in Forgotten City. She's eager to take on a new case while Lieutenant McGowan is determined to keep her out of the news. The police procedural pits the unrelenting detective against a cast of diverse New Yorkers. When a Broadway legend with early onset Alzheimer's dies at fifty-six in a dementia care unit, only her daughter wants an investigation. Everyone, especially Codella's lieutenant wants the case shut down. Can she put together the truth before a killer strikes again? (Release date is Dec. 13.)
Short list, isn't it? Did you find something you want to read? Or, are you going to wait for the enormous January list?