December’s Intriguing New Releases in Mystery & Thrillers

The holiday season is packed full of travel, social obligations, and time with family and friends—so there’s no better time to have a page-turning book to turn to during quiet moments, whether you’re stranded at the airport, or hiding out in the coat room. There are some fabulous holiday treats in store for mystery and thriller fans, including a compelling new antihero from the author who brought us Dexter and a perfect new British cozy starring Agatha Raisin.

Under Occupation, by Alan Furst
In occupied Paris in 1942, novelist Paul Ricard is handed a secret document by a stranger just before the man is killed by the Gestapo. When Ricard, realizing the document’s importance, goes out of his way to make sure it ends up in the hands of the resistance network, he finds himself unexpectedly drawn into a world of spying and subterfuge. As his involvements with anti-Nazi efforts increase, Ricard finds himself entangled with a beautiful spy and risking his life to undertake ever more dangerous assignments in this perfectly paced, edge-of-your seat historical espionage thriller.

Genesis, by Robin Cook
The death of twenty-eight year old social worker Kera Jacobsen seems like an open-and-shut case of a drug overdose…at first. But according to her family and friends, Kera never used drugs. And then there’s the fact that she’s ten weeks pregnant—and no one can name the father. As the mysteries and inconsistencies pile up, NYC Medical Examiner Laurie Montgomery finds herself distracted from the investigation by a medical emergency, and her new pathology resident, the slightly unconventional Dr. Aria Nichols, takes the lead. Aria plans to search genealogical databases for a match of the fetus’s DNA in the hopes of discovering possible male relatives who might lead to an identification of the father. But when a close friend of the victim’s is murdered, Laurie and Aria realize their cutting-edge investigative methods might be getting them too close to the truth—and they could be next on the killer’s list.

Just Watch Me, by Jeff Lindsay
The author who brought us the darkly irresistible Dexter series has a new vigilante antihero for us to root for: brilliant thief and master of disguise Riley Wolfe, who never met a priceless jewel he couldn’t steal. Until now—just as Riley is getting bored of his usual stealing-from-and-occasionally-murdering-the-superrich routine, he learns that the Crown Jewels of Iran are about to be exhibited in a Manhattan museum. These gems are beyond valuable, but stealing them is completely and utterly impossible…or is it? will Don’t miss this pitch-perfect escapist crime caper.

Beating About the Bush (Agatha Raisin Series #30), by M.C. Beaton
When the body of Mrs. Dunwiddy, the elderly assistant to the chairman of a local manufacturing company, turns up by the side of the road, crabby and clever Agatha Raisin is brought in to investigate. Quite a number of suspects, from a beloved donkey to several dubious factory bosses, are implicated in the crime, which keeps Agatha busy. Most concerning, however, are Agatha’s feelings for her longtime friend and sometimes-lover, Sir Charles Fraith. Will she unravel either the mystery at hand, or the one of the human heart? This charming, offbeat series is a bullseye for fans of British cozies.

Trace of Evil: A Natalie Lockhart Novel, by Alice Blanchard
Burning Lake, NY is an isolated town with a history as unsetting as its name. In the last few years nine transients have disappeared, and rookie detective Natalie Lockhart has been charged with investigating. The murder of local school teacher Daisy Buckner ramps things up considerably—there’s an obvious suspect, but when that suspect is found in a coma soon after the murder, it complicates things. The more Natalie digs, the more buried secrets come to light. This intricate, atmospheric mystery introduces a smart, relatable detective readers will be excited to follow into a series.

And Dangerous to Know (Rosalind Thorne Mystery Series #3), by Darcie Wilde
The resourceful Rosalind Thorne’s services have been retained by Lady Melbourne with regard to a delicate matter: a stack of letters of a sensitive nature relating to the poet Lord Byron have disappeared. Rosalind takes up residence at Melbourne house, posing as Lady Melbourne’s secretary while investigating the disappearance of the letters—but when she learns that the body of an unidentified woman has turned up in the Melbourne House courtyard, matters become even more concerning—and even dangerous. The third novel in this delightful Austen-inspired Regency mystery series continues to immerse readers in historical detail while shocking them with twists they didn’t see coming.

Brewed Awakening (Coffeehouse Mystery Series #18), by Cleo Coyle
Clare Cosi finds herself on an NYC park bench with no idea how she got there—when she wanders to a local coffeeshop where she knows she’ll be safe, she discovers that she’s been missing for the past week, and even worse, that she can’t remember the last ten years of her life. She doesn’t recognize her fiance, and she thinks her adult daughter is still a child. But the real problem is that according to security camera footage, Clare witnessed a kidnapping at gunpoint right before she lost her memory—but she has no idea what happened after that…or does she? Evidence begins to mount that Clare may have had something to do with the crime—and if she can’t reclaim her memories, she’s at risk of ending up in jail as an accomplice to a kidnapping and murder. A twisty, thought-provoking installment in a caffeinated long-running series.

Follow BNReads