Thursday, November 01, 2018

December Treasures in My Closet

First, a note. If you're looking for "What Are You Reading", check yesterday's post. I'll probably answer sooner than I did for the poor people who answered yesterday. Our Internet was completely down until late in the day, so I didn't get back to anyone.

There aren't as many books being released in December as other months. At least, there aren't as many in my closet. Well-known authors continue series. We hear from a few who haven't written in a while. And, there's even a wonderful nonfiction title in the December releases. (How often do I discuss nonfiction?) Here's the list of the December Treasures in My Closet.

Let's kick off the list with a holiday mystery, Laura Childs' Eggs on Ice. The women of the Cackleberry Club must track down the Ghost of Christmas Past. "You would have to have a dickens of a time finding someone who liked" Allan Sharp, a crusty attorney cast as Scrooge in the Kindred Players production ofA Christmas Carol. But, it comes as a shock when the Ghost of Christmas Past stabs him during the first rehearsal, and then disappears down an alley. (Release date is Dec. 4.)

Professor Kate Hanson and the Unsolved Crime Unit are tasked with re-examing a case in A.J. Cross' Cold, Cold Heart. An appeal judge has decreed the forensic evidence in the murder of Della Harrington is unsatisfactory. David Lockman has been serving a life sentence for that murder for the past ten years. When Kate follows a hunch, her professional decision undermines her colleagues and threatens her future with the unit. (Release date is Dec. 1.)

Maddie Day launches the Cozy Capers Book Group mystery series with Murder on Cape Cod. Mac Almeida expects an influx of tourists at her bicycle shop in Westham, Massachusetts. Instead, she finds a body, and recognizes the weapon as belonging to her brother. Her only experience with murder investigations is limited to the cozy mysteries she reads with her local book club, the Cozy Capers. To find the killer, Mac summons help from her Cozy Capers co-investigators "and a library's worth of detectives' tips and tricks." (Release date is Dec. 18.)

Trouble comes in threes in Dawn Eastman's Do No Harm.  Dr. Katie LeClair sees a new patient who was just released from prison for a murder he says he didn't commit. Then, he goes missing. Matters take a more sinister turn when a college student is found dead in the woods. And, he was investigating an old murder case in which Katie was involved. (Release date is Dec. 11.)

J. C. Eaton takes readers back to Arizona in Botched 4 Murder.  Once again, Phee Kimball is dragged into the drama of her mother's retirement community. A new board member upsets everyone with plans to get rid of two golf courses and replace them with eco-friendly parks. Then, there's a friend of Phee's mother, Myrna, who is so bad at bocce that when a community member is found dead while Myrna's practicing, everyone assumes her errant balls killed the woman. Then, the police find an arrow in the victim's neck. (Release date is Dec. 18.)

Simon R. Green brings back Ishmael Jones, an alien from another planet, in Murder in the Dark. Ishmael and his girlfriend, who investigate unusual events for the Organization, are sent to an archaeological dig where a man disappeared into a dark hole. While Ishmael tries to protect the scientists in the new investigating team, they're determined to check out the hole and put themselves in danger. (Release date is Dec. 1.)

It's been a few years since Bryan Gruley had his award-winning Starvation Lake series. He returns to Michigan, to a new town, in Bleak Harbor. Serenity Bleak may be the wealthiest woman in Bleak Harbor, but she has nothing to do with her daughter and her grandson. When fifteen-year-old Danny disappears, his mother and stepfather worry the boy, on the autism spectrum, may have run away. But, privately, they each fear their secrets, or Serenity's money, may have led to a kidnapping. (Release date is Dec. 1.)

Ann Hood's wonderful collection of essays is Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food. Hood tells of her life, the love, loss, through recipes and stories of cooking. She tells of learning to cook, coping with divorce, and, heartbreakingly, with loss. (Release date is Dec. 4.)

Final Shadows is the latest in Kay Hooper's Bishop Files series. Tasha Solomon's world turns upside  down when the psychic abilities she had tried to live with in secret make her a target stalked by unseen enemies. John Brodie, by training, and instinct, is a Guardian. It's his job to keep Tasha alive long enough for her to learn to use her abilities to save people she doesn't know, and maybe even the world. (Release date is Dec. 31.)

The new Kurland St. Mary mystery is Catherine Lloyd's Death Comes to Bath. Major Sir Robert Kurland and Lady Lucy Kurland relocate to Bath so Robert can take the waters and recover from his injury from the battle of Waterloo. It's at the Roman baths that he befriends an elderly businessman. When the man is found drowned in the baths, Robert vows to find the killer, with Lucy's help. (Release date is Dec. 18.)

Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason are editors of Hong Kong Noir, a collection by fourteen authors who explore the dark side of the city in "haunting stories of depravity and despair". (Release date is Dec. 4.)

In Sins as Scarlet, the follow-up to Nicolas Obregon's Blue Light Yokohama, Inspector Iwata now lives in Los Angeles. He quit his job as a police detective in Tokyo, and he's now a private investigator in LA. Iwata has an old contact whose daughter was murdered. The case has been closed, unsolved, and Iwata agrees to take on the case out of loyalty. When a homeless witness recalls words from the killer, Iwata's search leads from Skid Row to the Sonoran Desert as he tracks a heartbreaking puzzle. (Release date is Dec. 18.)

Hearts of the Missing is the debut from 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize recipient Carol Potenza. When a young woman linked to a list of missing Fire-Sky tribal members commits suicide, Pueblo Police Sergeant Nicky Matthews is assigned to the case. Nicky discovers the victims are chosen and murdered because of their genetic makeup. And, in a vengeful twist, "the killer ensures the spirits of those targeted will wander forever, lost to their family, their People, and their ancestors." (Release date is Dec. 4.)

Nora Roberts follows up Year One with the second Chronicles of the One, Of Blood and Bone. In a story of terror and magic, those like thirteen-year-old Fallon Swift, gifted with magic, are hunted. In a mysterious forest shelter, Fallon begins her training with Malick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. Fallon must learn to use her powers, and take up the sword when her identity as the One can no longer be hidden. (Release date is Dec. 4.)

In Clea Simon's first Witch Cats of Cambridge book, A Spell of Murder, three cats with magical powers fear for their owner, a woman who found the body of a friend, a fellow member of a small coven.  (Release date is Dec. 11.)

The third Pacific Homicide novel is The Second Goodbye by Patricia Smiley. LAPD Homicide Detective Davie Richards works cold cases in between catching cases. The one she finds fascinating is the supposed suicide of a woman in a gun shop. She doesn't believe it, and neither did the detective who originally worked the case. It becomes even stranger when Davie finds out the woman had disappeared once before. (Release date is Dec. 8.)

In Post Facto, Daryl Wimberley introduces readers to Clara Sue Buchanan, owner/editor/reporter at Clarion, the smallest newspaper in northern Florida. Used to big city investigations, she has to juggle local politics and advertising while trying to figure out claims of paranormal appearances for everything from aliens to "a lady". Then, there's the death of the most powerful landowner in town. (Release date is Dec. 31.)

I've already read six of the books on this list, and five more of these are on my TBR pile. I hope you find a few titles that interest you. Or, do you have some other December titles to share?


SandyG265 said...

I have Murder on Cape Cod and A Spell of Murder on my wishlist.

Jeff Meyerson said...

MY friend Cindy is having fellow North Carolina resident Kay Hooper speak to her writing group in a few weeks.

Kay said...

I need to read Dawn Eastman's first book and then I'll be ready for this new one. Otherwise, maybe the Ann Hood book. I'm trying to take a step back (in a way) from all the 'new, shiny', for a while at least.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Another fine crop of excellent reads! Looking forward to the new Ann Hood, especially.

Lesa said...

Oh, definitely the Ann Hood for anyone who loves a combination of memoir & food. And, of course, Hood's beautiful essays.

Margie Bunting said...

Bryan Gruley's book is one of this month's Amazon First Reads (and I ordered it just before seeing your post). If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can get the ebook for free. I've enjoyed Gruley's Starvation Lake books, so here's hoping this one is as good.

Other December books on my list include Lolly Winston's Me for You and Lisa Jewell's Watching You,

Margie Bunting said...

I just saw a Facebook post from Steve Hockensmith that announced that the long-awaited latest in his Holmes on the Range Mystery series, THE DOUBLE-A WESTERN DETECTIVE AGENCY, will be available in December.

Lesa said...

If you liked Bryan's Starvation Lake books, Margie, you'll like Bleak Harbor. And, there are a lot of people who will be excited about Steve Hockensmith's book. Thanks for mentioning it!

bookstores said...

Hi, very good article.
Thanks for sharing keep up the good work.

Clea Simon said...

So happy my "A Spell of Murder" made it into your closet! May the fur be with you.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Tried to get into HEARTS OF THE MISSING. Just can't. Flat and predictable. Maybe that is the long dormant writer in me, but everything seems telegraphed and forced.

Lesa said...

Well, darn, Kevin. That's one I was hopeful for. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, though.