October’s Best New Mysteries

October’s new mysteries are filled with cozies, humor, and hilarious animal puns, but if you’re also looking for a searing gothic nightmarescape, a sexy ghost captain, or a new gem in the Sherlock Holmes canon, you’re in luck there too! Adjust your deerstalker caps and get ready for a mysterious fall, gumshoes!

To the Land of Long Lost Friends, by Alexander McCall Smith
In the 20th novel in McCall Smith’s delightful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe takes up with an old friend, who is having some trouble with her daughter, and is reminded once more that getting involved in family matters is often a complicated endeavor. In the meantime, Charlie has decided to propose to his girlfriend, Queenie-Queenie, but he’s having some difficulty drumming up a suitable bride price. With its likable characters and deft writing, this is a series that’s as much about humanity’s foibles and shining moments as it is about its mysteries.

A Book of Bones (Charlie Parker Series #17), by John Connolly
Connolly’s latest supernatural thriller in the underrated Charlie Parker series blends chilling gothic horror with an adept police procedural, resulting an almost unclassifiable—but extremely compelling—tale of good verses inter-dimensional evil. Throw in human sacrifice, a book that could end the world, and some of the creepiest villains since Hannibal Lecter, and you have a rollicking ghostly thriller that’s also superlatively entertaining.

The Shape of Night: A Novel, by Tess Gerritsen
In an effort to put a terrible tragedy behind her, Ava flees Boston for a sleepy seaside town in Maine. There she rents a rambling house called Brodie’s Watch, named for a long-dead sea captain who is rumored to still haunt the place. When the ghost of Captain Jeremiah Brodie shows up seeming all-too-real (and all too sexy), Ava finds herself wondering if she’s lost her mind, even as she also finds it impossible to ignore the specter’s considerable charms. But when Ava digs deeper into the house’s history, she discovers its horrible secret: every woman who has ever lived there has died. A haunting romantic thriller with an irresistible Gothic twist, this is one of Gerritsen’s best.

A Bitter Feast: A Novel, by Deborah Crombie
Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James and their children are excited to spend the weekend at Beck House. It’s a magnificent estate in the beautiful Cotswalds region, and the family has been invited Gemma’s detective sergeant, Melody Talbot. A charity luncheon has been planned for the weekend, catered by rising-star chef Viv Holland, who is hoping to gain a career boost from the event. But a terrible car accident, followed by several suspicious deaths, makes it a working weekend for Gemma and her husband, who are pulled into an investigation that seems to point squarely at Viv—or even at Beck House and its occupants. Crombie’s novels are full of nuanced characters, twisty plots, and local color.

Dachshund Through the Snow: An Andy Carpenter Mystery, by David Rosenfelt
There’s a Christmas tree at Andy and Laura Carpenter’s local pet store, decorated with wishes instead of ornaments, and one such wish touches defense attorney Andy’s heart: it’s a three part wish from a little boy named Danny: a coat for his mom, a sweater for his dachshund, and to find his missing dad. As it turns out, Danny’s dad is actually on the run after being arrested for a murder, but he swears he’s innocent. It looks like an open-and-shut case, but when Andy begins investigating, he learns that not everything quite adds up. Dog lovers will especially love the wry, clever Andy Carpenter series.

Owl Be Home for Christmas: A Meg Langslow Mystery, by Donna Andrews
This charming whoo-dunit takes place just before Christmas, during the annual Owl Fest Convention in Caerphilly, Virginia. A freak snowstorm strands all of the attendees at the Caerphilly Inn, which is unfortunate, as many of them are, as you might imagine, extremely eccentric. Trapped among them is Meg Langslow, there to assist her grandfather, conference host Dr. J. Mongtomery Blake, with general logistics. When one of the guests, a visiting ornithologist, is murdered, it looks like Chief Burke is set on keeping all of the attendees/suspects at the hotel until the crime is solved. Everyone is in danger of missing being at home for the holidays; that is, unless Meg can rise to the occasion and solve the murder.

The Adventures of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, MD, by Nicholas Meyer
The author the beloved Holmes mystery The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is back with his fourth “discovery” of a previously unknown case found in Watson’s journal. In this mystery that will delight Sherlock Holmes devotees, Watson and Holmes find themselves in pursuit of a document whose provocative contents have already cost a British Secret Service agent her life. The chase brings them to Russia aboard the Orient Express—on a case so dangerous, that is part of a conspiracy so shocking—that it presents an unprecedented challenge even to Sherlock Holmes.

What mysteries are you excited to read this month?

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