The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades*

New booksCrime fiction is an awfully diverse genre and in a lot of ways that’s a good thing. In fact in most ways it is. There’s something in the genre for just about anyone to enjoy, no matter how dark, light, thriller-ish, character-driven, plot-driven or any other way they like their novels. And for the crime writer, writing in a diverse genre means there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of the kind of novel to write. But here’s the thing. A diverse genre with a lot of authors means that the crime fiction fan’s TBR list/library can get out of control. But that doesn’t stop crime fiction fans from getting excited when a new release by a favourite author is coming out.

Of course, everyone has a different set of favourites. But here are just a few of the new books coming out this year that I am very much looking forward to reading.

Coming out in April will be Martin Edwards’ The Frozen Shroud, the sixth in his Lake District series featuring DCI Hannah Scarlett and Oxford historian Daniel Kind. Edwards has a real gift for depicting the beautiful Lake District, and this series weaves together strong characters, past mysteries and present mysteries. Little wonder I’m so eager for this new novel. In it, Scarlett and her Cold Case Review team investigate the connections between the World War I-era murder of Gertrude Smith, the five-year-old murder of Shenagh Moss, and another murder closer to home for Scarlett.

Another book I’m very much looking forward to reading is William Ryan’s The Twelfth Department. This is the third in his historical crime fiction series featuring Moscow CID Captain Alexei Korolev. These novels take place mostly in Moscow during the Stalinist years leading up to World War II. Korolev lives and works during a very dangerous time in the then-Soviet Union. He’s assigned to investigate murder cases and he is committed to his job. At the same time, he is fully aware of the political tinder box in which he lives and he knows that he has to move carefully and trust no-one completely. In The Twelfth Department which is scheduled to be released in July, and which has already been getting excellent advance reviews, Korolev is excited at the prospect of a visit from his son Yuri. But he’s soon caught up in something quite different when he is assigned to investigate the murder of a noted scientist who’s been shot. It turns out that the victim was working on a sensitive, and very dark, project, and when another scientist is murdered, Korolev knows that this case is going to be extremely dangerous for him and also for his family.

Also being released in July will be Angela Savage’s The Dead Beach. This is the third in her series featuring Australian ex-pat Jayne Keeney, who lives and works in Bangkok. Savage creates a very real picture of life in Thailand and what it’s like to be a farang – a foreigner – who lives there. In this novel, Keeney is hired to find out who murdered a young tour guide who worked in the southern part of Thailand. From what Savage says about the novel, this case


‘…brings her [Keeney} face-to-face with unscrupulous businessmen, embittered thugs, environmental zealots and deadly cobras.’


Sounds like just another day’s work for Keeney, who’s already had to go up against child traffickers, corrupt cops and unscrupulous charity workers.

July will be a good month for me reading-wise because I’m also looking forward to Elizabeth Spann Craig’s Rubbed Out, the fourth in her Memphis Barbecue series which she writes as Riley Adams. This series features Lulu Taylor, who owns and runs Aunt Pat’s Barbecue, a popular Memphis restaurant. One of the things I like about this series is its authentic portrait of Southern life and culture. There’s humour and strong characterisation in this series, too. In this particular novel, Taylor gets mixed up in the murder of barbecue pitmaster Ruben Shaw. Taylor’s good friend Cherry Hayes gets into a violent quarrel with Shaw at a barbecue competition, so when Shaw is found murdered only a few hours later, Hayes is a very likely suspect. Taylor wants to clear her friend’s name, so she investigates the murder and finds that Hayes is not at all the only person who had a good reason to kill Ruben Shaw.

I’m also looking forward to a couple of October releases. For one, Jørn Lier Horst’s Vinterstengt is coming out in English as Closed For Winter. This is the seventh in Horst’s series featuring Chief Inspector William Wisting, who lives and works in Stavern, Norway. Horst creates (in my opinion at any rate) a strong sense of place and local culture and some well-drawn characters in this police procedural series. Closed For Winter continues Wisting’s story. In this novel, Ove Bakkerud is preparing for a last few quiet weeks in his summer home before closing it for the winter. Then his home is burgled. As if that’s not enough, Bakkerud discovers the body of a neighbour in the house next door. Wisting and his team investigate, only to be faced with the discovery of other bodies on the same archipelago. And what does all of that have to do with an unusual number of dead birds in the area?

October will also see the release of The Case of the Love Commandos, Tarquin Hall’s fourth novel featuring Punjabii private investigator Vishwas ‘Vish’ Puri. Puri lives and works in Delhi, which Hall depicts in all of its beauty, squalor, vivid colour, life, and variety. Puri’s team consists of his secretary Elizabeth Rani, his office boy Door Stop (so called because he does as little as he can get away with doing), his driver Handbrake, and his fellow investigators Tubelight (who always takes his time sputtering to life in the mornings), Flush (whose family was the first in his village to get an indoor toilet) and Facecream (so called because she blends in perfectly in any surroundings). In this particular novel, Puri and his team investigate the abduction of a student named Ram, a member of India’s untouchable caste. He was set to marry a girl from a high caste, who’d been rescued from her family by the Love Commandos. But when Ram doesn’t appear at his own wedding, Puri takes the case. The trail leads to rural India so Puri travels to an area outside his usual element, so to speak. He also has to look over his shoulder because his rival Hari Kumar is also on this case. Word is too that Puri’s mother Mummy-ji, of whom I am very fond, features in this novel as well.

And then there’s December, when Michael Connelly’s The Gods of Guilt is set for release. This novel features attorney Mickey Haller, whom Connelly fans will know made his first ‘starring’ appearance in The Lincoln Lawyer. In The Gods of Guilt, Haller discovers that a former client – someone he thought he had saved and helped start a new life – has been murdered. Connelly is a master of creating flawed but basically sympathetic characters such as Haller, and forcing them to face their own pasts. He did it (in my opinion) brilliantly with his other famous creation Harry Bosch in novels such as Echo Park and The Last Coyote. And in The Gods of Guilt, it seems it’ll be Haller’s turn to deal with his past. I’m a fan of Connelly’s work, so this is one of those novels I’ll probably pre-order…

I’m also looking forward to lots of other releases as well. For instance, Domingo Villar’s Cruces de Piedra (Stone Crosses) will be released in Spain in May. I’m not sure how long it’ll take for this third Leo Caldas novel to be released elsewhere, but as soon as it is, I will definitely be reading it. Oh, and I’m currently reading T.J. Cooke’s Defending Elton which is due to be released very soon, but I’m not commenting on it much at the moment as I’ve not finished it; you’ll hear more about it, I can say that much.

What about you? Which novels are you really, really, really looking forward to reading this year?

If you’re a writer, here’s your opportunity: Got anything crime fictional being published this year?



*NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a song by Timbuk3


Filed under Angela Savage, Domingo Villar, Elizabeth Spann Craig, Jørn Lier Horst, Martin Edwards, Michael Connelly, Riley Adams, T.J. Cooke, Tarquin Hall, William Ryan

22 responses to “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades*

  1. I am not ready for any of these. I have not even started the William Ryan series, but my husband has the first two, so I will try to fit them in soon(ish). I hope to start the Angela Savage series as soon as I can get a paperback copy. Many of the other series I have started but not that far along on.

    The Elizabeth Spann Craig series could be interesting since I am from the South, have an Aunt Pat, and love barbecue. And they don’t do it right in California. I already have one of her other series though. Does this series set in Memphis need to be read in order?

    • Tracy – I know what you mean about trying to get ‘home’ food when you live in another place. The Memphpis BBQ series doesn’t at all need to be read in order (although of course there’s a certain ‘flow’ if one does. I recommend it.
      And I really empathise with not being ready for certain series. There are far, far too many I’ve not yet started that I should have *sigh*…

  2. I’ll just go from your list Margot 🙂 I loved the title of your post.


    • Donna – Thanks – I like that title too, ‘though I say it myself. And I hope if you get the chance to read some of these books that you’ll be glad you did.

  3. kathy d.

    I’m looking forward to meeting up with Jayne Keeney again in Angela Savage’s The Dead Beach. Of course, Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller is a given, as not only do I like the writer but legal thrillers are a favorite genre. Others on your list will go on the TBR list.
    I’m very much looking forward to the English translated Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason, a favorite author, which is supposed to be released in August. Guido Brunetti should be arriving in my city soon in The Golden Egg by Donna Leon.
    There are probably others,which I don’t yet know about but will be anticipating.

    • Kathy – Oh, you’ve mentioned two authors I like very, very much. I’d forgotten that Strange Shores was coming out, and of course, a new Guido Brunetti story is always something to look forward to. Yes, it’s going to be a good reading year.

  4. I’m not good at keeping uptodate with what’s coming when – so instead, I’ll share the authors who make me buy their new book as soon as it goes on sale: Elly Griffiths (but just had one, so a while to wait), CJ Sansom (but please go back to the Shardlake series), Catriona McPherson with her d wonderful Dandy Gilver, and the not-well-enough-known Barry Maitland. All of them I’ll buy sight unseen, which is quite a reference, isn’t it…

    • Moira – It certainly is quite an endorsement. I couldn’t agree more about Elly Griffiths. Folks do read her Ruth Galloway novels if you haven’t. I like the Shardlake series you mentioned, too. And thanks for the reminder of Catriona McPherson’s work. I must get back to that series. I’ll confess too that I’m one of those who don’t know enough about Maitland’s work. I must remedy that.

  5. I’m rarely if ever up-to-date in a series, but I’m looking forward to reading Arne Dahl’s Misterioso before Bad Blood comes out later this year. Or maybe I should give up my quest to read series in order 🙂

    • Rebecca – Oh I like what I’ve read of Arne Dahl too. And don’t worry; you’re far from the only one who isn’t up-to-date on every series *sigh.* I only wish I could stay updated on every series that I like. Thanks too for mentioning that Bad Blood is coming out. Another one I’ll want to read.

  6. Margot: I almost hesitated to read the post as I look over at TBR. Still, who can resist reading about promising new books. I enjoyed the listing. I am currently reading an ARC of a new thriller to be published in June, Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews.

    • Bill – Thanks – I’m glad you enjoyed what you read. I’ll be interested in seeing what you think of Red Sparrow. And you’re right; I can’t resist reading about promising new books either.

  7. I’m looking forward to Mari Hannah’s third novel Deadly Deceit, out in April. I have also just downloaded a sample of the first in the Martin Edwards book. The samples are a great way for me to remember I want to read them!

    • Rebecca – Oh, I’ve heard Deadly Deceit will be good; I hope you’ll enjoy it. And I agree about samples. They are such an effective tool for helping a reader get a sense of a book. Martin Edwards is a favourite author of mine, so I’m biased. But I do think you’ll like his work.

  8. Margot, when I read blogs like yours I’m always astounded by how many authors I still haven’t read or, in many cases, haven’t even heard of! And yet if you came to our house you would be falling over books, we have so many and I can’t bear to part with them. Of course, they’re not all crime, but since I got into writing it myself it tends to be what I go for. Still, it’s good to get new suggestions. I shall be looking out for the new Michael Connelly – I love everything he writes.

    • Pauline – I know what you mean about the number of books there are too read. I feel exactly the same way. There’s always so much more to read than I’ll ever have time to enjoy. And of course it’s hard to get down to the end of the pile because something new is always coming out. I’m a fan of Connelly’s work too. He’s never outright disappointed me.

  9. This looks like a great year for mysteries! Thanks for giving me more to put on my TBR list…and thanks for mentioning my upcoming release. 🙂

  10. Thanks for the shout out, Margot. Release date for The Dying Beach has been brought forward to 26 June. I am trying to resist new releases until I get through my own TBR pile but sometimes you just can’t help yourself…

    • Angela – Oh, thanks for the update! And my apologies for the mistake on the title *blush.* Folks, you heard it here! Do check out the Jayne Keeney series. And you’re right, Angela, about the appeal of new releases. As you say, sometimes they are impossible to resist….

  11. I’m reading ‘The Twelfth Department’ at the moment. It is very enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the Lier Horst too!

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