New Releases For The Week Of January 3rd, 2021–Part 1

Animal is a relentless thriller by renowned surgeon and humanitarian Dr. Munish K. Batra, in collaboration with international best-selling author Keith R.A. DeCandido. This thought-provoking, pulse-pounding novel will engross and enthrall. Do the most noble of intentions justify the most horrific acts?

Two grisly murders are committed at a meatpacking plant by a person wearing a cow mask…not long after the CEO of a water park is brutally killed by someone wearing an orca mask.

Interpol Agent An Chang believes these are the latest acts of a ruthless serial killer he has been chasing for more than twenty years…a killer who targets those who harm innocent animals.

Elephant poachers in Chad, Russian big-game hunters of endangered species, dog fighters in Atlanta, European food execs who gorge ducks to make paté, gorilla hunters in the Congo, ivory merchants in China.

Those who torture animals are not safe…

Working with two California detectives, Chang races to unmask the killer, as his spree ramps up. But the killer’s motives and history are far deeper than anyone realizes, and the truth of his rampage leads on a wild chase from the streets of Shanghai around the globe…

Who is the real animal?

Animal is a brilliant and ferocious thriller. A tale of hideous inhumanity and very rough justice. Highly recommended!”-Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rage and V-Wars

“I promise you it will grab hold of you and not let go; it will inspire you, it will anger you and it will live uneasily in your mind for a long time.”-David Fisher, New York Times best-selling author of Lincoln’s Last Trial and Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook

“Todd’s astute character studies . . . offer a fascinating cross section of postwar life. . . . A satisfying puzzle-mystery.” — The New York Times Book Review 

Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is assigned one of the most baffling investigations of his career: an unsolved murder case with an unidentified victim and a cold trail with few clues to follow 

A woman has been murdered at the foot of a megalith shaped like a great shrouded figure. Chief Inspector Brian Leslie, one of the Yard’s best men, is sent to investigate the site in Avebury, a village set inside a prehistoric stone circle not far from Stonehenge. In spite of his efforts, Leslie is not able to identify her, much less discover how she got to Avebury—or why she died there. Her killer has simply left no trace. 

Several weeks later, when Ian Rutledge has returned from successfully concluding a similar case with an unidentified victim, he is asked to take a second look at Leslie’s inquiry. But Rutledge suspects Chief Superintendent Markham simply wants him to fail.

Leslie was right—Avebury refuses to yield its secrets. But Rutledge slowly widens his search, until he discovers an unexplained clue that seems to point toward an impossible solution. If he pursues it and he is wrong, he will draw the wrath of the Yard down on his head. But even if he is right, he can’t be certain what he can prove, and that will play right into Markham’s game. The easy answer is to let the first verdict stand: Person or persons unknown. But what about the victim? What does Rutledge owe this tragic young woman? Where must his loyalty lie? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook

Picnic In the Ruins by [Todd Robert Petersen]

“Part mystery; part quirky, darkly funny, mayhem-filled thriller; and part meditation on what it means to ‘own’ land, artifacts, and the narrative of history in the West . . . A fast-paced, highly entertaining hybrid of Tony Hillerman and Edward Abbey.” —Kirkus Reviews

Anthropologist Sophia Shepard is researching the impact of tourism on cultural sites in a remote national monument on the Utah-Arizona border when she crosses paths with two small-time criminals. The Ashdown brothers were hired to steal maps from a “collector” of Native American artifacts, but their ineptitude has alerted the local sheriff to their presence. Their employer, a former lobbyist seeking lucrative monument land that may soon be open to energy exploration, sends a fixer to clean up their mess. Suddenly, Sophia must put her theories to the test in the real world, and the stakes are higher than she could have ever imagined.

What begins as a madcap caper across the RV-strewn vacation lands of southern Utah becomes a meditation on mythology, authenticity, the ethics of preservation, and one nagging question: Who owns the past? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Killer Comfort Food (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery Book 5) by [Lynn Cahoon]

Angie Turner’s Idaho restaurant, the County Seat, is known and loved for its fresh food. For Angie, it’s also meant a fresh start. But when big agriculture comes to town—along with whispers of foul play—Angie could lose more than the farm . . .
A soybean processing plant is trying to buy up the land around the small farm Angie’s beloved Nona left her. If Angie doesn’t sell, she’ll be surrounded by the plant and the congestion that comes with it. On the other hand, it’s Nona’s farmhouse. What is Angie supposed to do without it?  Move into a condo in town with Precious, Mabel, and Dom—respectively, a goat, chicken, and dog. Worse, a troubling rumor is circulating about the lawyer who’s heading up the development: His socialite wife seems to be missing. When Barb, owner of the local bar, asks Angie to look into the woman’s disappearance, she’s hesitant—until Barb reveals her surprising connection. Now it’s up to Angie to find the woman, uncover a shady plot, and hang onto her home—before she becomes a criminal’s final course . . .
Praise for Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap Mysteries
“Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true.”
—Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries
“Lynn Cahoon has created an absorbing, good fun mystery in Mission to Murder.”
Fresh Fiction (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Winter blizzards bring a flurry of cases to solve in this riveting new foxhunting mystery featuring “Sister” Jane Arnold and her incorrigible hounds from New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown.

Frigid February air has settled into the bones of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making for a slow foxhunting season, though “Sister” Jane Arnold’s enthusiasm is not so easily deterred. With the winter chill come tweed coats, blazing fireplaces—and perhaps another to share the warmth with, as the bold hunting scarlets worn by the men in Sister Jane’s hunting club make the hearts of women flutter—until someone’s stops entirely.

Harry Dunbar, a member of the Jefferson Hunt club with a penchant for antique furniture, is found with his skull cracked at the bottom of the stairs to a local store. There are no telltale signs of foul play—save for the priceless (and stolen) Erté fox ring in his pocket. Sister and her hounds set out to uncover the truth: was this simply an accident—a case of bad luck—or something much more sinister?

Steeped in the deep traditions of Virginia horse country and featuring a colorful cast of characters both two- and four-legged, Scarlet Fever is another spirited mystery from Rita Mae Brown. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook

Spring Upon a Crime (A Seattle Wilderness Mystery Book 2) by [ML Erdahl]

Wilderness guide Crystal Rainey leads a group of college students to a private campground amidst the awe-inspiring Olympic Rain Forest. The excursion is ruined when the charming hostess Roxie is discovered standing over the land owner’s body, murder weapon in hand.

Enlisted to investigate the crime to absolve her friend, Crystal descends on the quiet city of Forks to find loggers, developers, and eco-protesters circling the property, intent on either exploiting or protecting the bastion of old-growth forest. The list of suspects is intimidating. Can Crystal find answers in a community determined to keep her in the dark? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery Book 1) by [Paula Darnell]

Artist Amanda Trent, accompanied by her beloved golden retriever Laddie and her persnickety calico cat Mona Lisa, is determined to start a new life after her husband divorces her to marry a younger woman, but it isn’t easy.

After a disastrous interview at the prestigious Roadrunner Gallery in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, far away from her previous home in Kansas City, Amanda’s afraid that she’ll fail at her new career. But her prospects begin to improve when she’s accepted as the newest member of the cooperative gallery.

Then, on her very first day, she discovers Janice, the stern director, has been murdered right in the art gallery, and the Roadrunner’s members, including Amanda herself, become suspects. Which gallery member murdered the unpopular director? Or was the killer an outsider with an ax to grind? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback

The Introvert Bears Filthy Witness by [Michael Paul Michaud]

Newly estranged from Donna, The Introvert is selected as one of twelve jurors on a notorious murder trial, forcing him to navigate a litany of uncomfortable social interactions, this time with no avenue of escape. Equal parts harrowing and hilarious, The Introvert Bears Filthy Witness is the third entry in the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

The Redemptive Return: A Contemporary Small Town Mystery Thriller (The Father Tom Mysteries Book 3) by [J. R.  Mathis, Susan Mathis]

When his sister is murdered, Father Tom Greer and Detective Helen Parr are plunged into the seedy world of human trafficking to find her killer. Doing so puts them both in mortal danger as they seek to break up an organization intent on exploiting young women.

But that’s the least of their problems.

The six months since Father Leonard’s suicide have left Father Tom an emotional and spiritual wreck. He’s neglected his duties in the parish. He’s alienated most of the members of his congregation. His secretary and ex-mother-in-law Anna is increasingly worried about him. His prayer life is non-existent. Increasingly, he’s questioning his very calling to the priesthood, even the very existence of God.

The only thing he’s not questioning? His growing love for Helen.

After a frantic late-night call from his estranged sister begging for his help, his mother informs him his sister is missing. Tom and Helen travel together to his Florida hometown to search for her. But his sister’s already dead, murdered, his boyhood friend the local Sheriff says, as part of a drug deal gone wrong.

But something doesn’t ring true about the story. For one thing, Tom’s sister was found miles from where she apparently called him. For another, Tom’s convinced that his old friend the Sheriff is hiding something.

With these doubts in mind, Father Tom and Helen work to unravel the mysteries surrounding his sister’s life and how they led to her murder. With help from Helen’s assistant, the precocious genius Gladys Finklestein, they uncover a human trafficking ring and go undercover for answers.

But a brief explosion of grief-fueled passion in an old cabin during a Florida thunderstorm complicates things, as Father Tom and Helen are finally forced to confront the most profound mystery of all.

The mystery of love and friendship. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Untouchable by [J Martineck, Michael]

FBI Special Agent Leah Capello knew the art world had a dark side, but kidnapping is a whole new hue. To save a young child she accepts the help of Joshua Fawls, who claims to be an art expert, seems a little psychic and is probably, more than likely, a delightfully skilled conman. Together they bend conventions, break rules, and learn that the artist Edgar Degas was right: Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Just like the perfect crime. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Lost in Las Vegas: A Frost & Crowe Mystery by [Kristen Painter]

In this new Jayne Frost and Sinclair Crowe mystery, a royal road trip takes the Princess and Prince Consort of the North Pole all the way to Las Vegas.
And even though they’re in Sin City on official business, it doesn’t take long for trouble to find them. Trouble that’s very close to home. In fact, Sinclair’s entire family is gambling on him and Jayne figuring out what’s gone dangerously wrong with the cool new magic trick at the end of his parents’ show.
Thankfully, they have help from a few friends and a pair of talking cats. But how many times can they roll the dice before time runs out? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Audiobook

Long, Hot, Witchy Summer (A Moonstone Bay Cozy Mystery Book 7) by [Amanda M. Lee]

Life couldn’t be going much better for Hadley Hunter. She’s living the dream on Moonstone Bay with her boyfriend Galen Blackwood, plotting her next move as a witch for hire, and basically basking in happiness.
That all changes when a summer afternoon on the beach turns into a nightmare, an odd creature from the depths of the ocean surfacing and attacking Hadley on the beach. Her friend Lilac, a demon with a few issues, fights it off but it escapes … and becomes a problem for an island that bases its entire economy on tourism.
The all-powerful DDA isn’t happy. Lilac’s hair refuses to stop glowing red. Booker is struggling to help all his friends. Essentially, things turn messy quickly.
On top of that, Hadley’s father drops in out of nowhere and demands she return home. He’s not happy with what he hears about the island and decides it’s too dangerous for her to say. Hadley, of course, has other ideas and is determined to bring her father around to her way of thinking.
Between monsters popping up out of nowhere and her father’s inability to stop freaking out, Hadley has her hands full. The monsters keep popping up in the oddest places, and always their attention is on Hadley.
Monsters are nothing new for Hadley but the ones attacking now seem to be different. It’s up to Moonstone Bay’s newest witch and her motley crew of paranormal colleagues to solve a mystery and save the day. Again.
They just have to survive to do it. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Murder After Dinner: a Northwest Cozy Mystery (Northwest Cozy Mystery Series Book 15) by [Dianne Harman]

There’s just something about “bad boys”
That fascinates people.
But there’s a reason they’re called “bad boys.”
Is that why Kade, the one with the “bad boy” reputation, was murdered?
Of course, there were a lot of people who had a reason to want him dead.
Like Harper, his ex-girlfriend, whose parents
Told her no more partying with him and put her on a short financial leash.
And Kyran, who was supposed to run the company
When Kade’s father died unexpectedly.
But what about those rumors that Kade’s father had been murdered?
Was Kade involved?
Then there was Cooper.
He never thought Kade would steal business opportunities from him.
Particularly the ones Cooper had shared with him.
But that’s something else “bad boys” do.
And what about Jessica?
The roofie Kade gave her ruined her life.
All of them attended the dinner party hosted by Ivy,
The CEO of Rosie’s Seafood Company.
And Kade had made her look like a fool when she asked for a company loan.

Even though no one was all that sorry Kade was murdered, the killer still had to be found. Join DeeDee, Jake, Detective Murphy, and Georgie the cat, as they confront the possible killer – one of the guests at Ivy’s dinner party.

This is the 15th book in the Northwest Cozy Mystery Series by a USA Today Bestselling Author. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Murder Unseen: NEW for 2021 - a compelling British crime mystery (Detective Inspector Skelgill Investigates Book 16) by [Bruce Beckham]


Nobody saw her. Nobody can find her.

When 37-year-old Lisa Jackson sets out for work one Friday morning she is in high spirits. Things are going well with her new boyfriend. But when she does not reach her desk, or answer her mobile phone, her colleagues and family raise the alarm.

Suspicion immediately falls on co-worker Ray Piper. A married man, he and Lisa have recently ended an affair. But steely-eyed Piper denies any knowledge of Lisa’s disappearance.

Yet as the police begin to piece together her last movements – and match them to those of her ex-lover – a narrative emerges that leads to only one possible conclusion.

With Skelgill and DS Leyton otherwise engaged, it falls to DS Emma Jones to head the investigation – a chance for the bright young detective to shine. But soon she finds herself engaged in a deadly battle of wits with a cold and calculating adversary.

Will she hold her nerve? Will she succeed alone? And what will happen if she does not find Lisa – for no body undermines her case.

As the trial date nears, hopes begin to fade – Lisa is gone without trace. And a scheming killer may walk free.

“Great characters. Great atmospheric locale. Great plots. What’s not to like?”

Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Ghoulish Magic (Tabby Kitten Mystery Book 5) by [Constance Barker, Corrine Winters]

Two Murders Two Years Apart, During the Harvest Moon

When Thea encounters the ghost of the first victim after a second is murdered a year later, she knows the murders are related. But who would want both women murdered and wait a year to commit the second one?

Aunt Tiegan is a suspect when it’s discovered the second victim was a thorn in her side. Also a ritual circle found at the crime scenes was also discovered in Tiegan’s home.

The head chef at Maline Cuisine dated the second victim until he found out she was cheating on him. Has jealousy reared it’s ugly head?

Annie was bullied by both victims. Had she finally had enough of their despicable ways? But why murder them a year apart if that’s the case?

Dean is the current boyfriend of the most recent victim. He should be anguished but instead he shows no emotion and is immediately seen with other women. Was the victim too clingy for his taste? Or did she have something on him that he didn’t want revealed?

Find out what Thea and Sybil discover in the 5th book of the Tabby Kitten Mystery Series (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

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