As you mark your calendar for November events, remember to have your plan to vote in place and a nice stack of books to read, or admiringly stare at. Collecting unread books is also valid — you do you! For this month I’ve got a wide variety of moods and crime books. I’m doing my best to keep up with publishing dates changing so you may remember a book from a couple months ago that got moved for real (hopefully) to this month.
There’s a lot of great reading to be had this November in many different tones and sub-genres! There’s the start to a new police procedural set in Colorado; a dark academia mystery; a short story collection set in countries around the world; a cozy mystery; a story collection with the theme of “witness” with proceeds going to a good cause, a page-turning murder mystery with plenty of suspects; a vigilante historical fiction; a true crime murder that looks at the ethics of genealogy companies’ privacy rules; a past campus murder mystery; a woman who returns home to help her tribe being threatened by frackers; a new Inspector Gamache novel, and two new entries in fun series: one a psychic paired with a detective and the other a loosely tied mystery series for fans of the genre and its tropes.
Blackwater Falls (Detective Inaya Rahman #1) by Ausma Zehanat Khan
Zehanat Khan has a new procedural series! For fans of procedurals with detective pairings that focus on minority cases, this is for you. In a town in Colorado, Detective Inaya Rahman and Lieutenant Waqas Seif are on the case of a murdered teen from a Syrian Muslim refugee family who is found deliberately positioned in the local mosque. Not only will Rahman and Seif have their own personal and professional issues to deal with, but there’s a motorcycle gang and a slew of missing girls the police have had no interest in finding. And if you’re looking for a long series to read, pick up Khan’s Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak series starting with The Unquiet Dead.
The Perfect Crime edited by Vaseem Khan and Maxim Jakubowski
Here’s a great short story collection which lets you read favorite authors and find new favorites! Not only are the 22 crime stories written by 22 different crime authors, but you get stories set all around the world including Mexico City, Lagos, New Zealand, Darjeeling and more. Writers include: Oyinkan Braithwaite, Abir Mukherjee, S.A. Cosby, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, J.P. Pomare, Sheena Kamal, Vaseem Khan, Sulari Gentill, Nelson George, Rachel Howzell Hall, John Vercher, Sanjida Kay, Amer Anwar, Henry Chang, Nadine Matheson, Mike Phillips, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Felicia Yap, Thomas King, Imran Mahmood, David Heska Wanbli Weiden, and Walter Mosley.
Arya Winters and the Cupcakes of Doom (Arya Winters #2) by Amita Murray
I wrote about updating the cozy mystery genre with a new section and this series is for all those readers. Arya Winters lives in an English village as a baker of macabre desserts — think cupcakes and cookies you’d buy for Halloween, but all year round! What doesn’t work so well for her are all the small town nosy residents since they kind of don’t help her social anxiety. Enter a two week art retreat to bake her cakes at a large estate. But it’s a cozy so rather than getting to escape anything, there will be a body…If you want to start at the beginning, pick up Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death.
Witnesses for the Dead: Stories edited by Gary Phillips and Gar Anthony Haywood
Here’s another story collection perfect for finding new-to-you authors! This time the theme is that all the stories center around someone being a witness — how does that affect them? Do they come forward or stay quiet? And proceeds will go to benefiting the Alliance for Safe Traffic Stops. Authors include Pamela Samuels Young, Cara Black, Tod Goldberg, SJ Rozan, Richie Narvaez and more!
Never Name the Dead by D.M. Rowell
This one is for fans of MCs returning home after years to become embroiled in a mystery. Mae left Oklahoma and her Kiowa family behind a decade ago for Silicon Valley. Then her grandfather leaves a strange message and she rushes home. Here she’s known as Mud and what is waiting for her is tribe members being threatened, including her grandfather, by frackers. When her grandfather goes missing, she’s forced to enter the world of murder, betrayal, and theft to find him.
The Lies We Tell by Katie Zhao
If you read these every month you may have déjà vu right now and that’s because I had listed this in August, but the pub date got moved so here it is again and you can go buy it now!
Anna Xu has added even more stress to starting college and moving into dorms: she’s determined to find out who murdered her childhood babysitter. And life tosses her even more obstacles: her childhood rival, whose family also owns her family’s rival business, is in school with her…
The Last Party (DC Morgan #1) by Clare Mackintosh
If you’re a fan of murder mysteries where the suspects are A PLENTY because the victim was a total jerk, this one is for you. In a small village on the border between Wales and England, the developer of exclusive lake vacation homes for wealthy outsiders ends up being found dead on New Year’s Day. DC Leo Brady of Cheshire Major Crimes is partnered for this case with Ffion Morgan who is with the North Wales Police. The story is told in present and past leading up to the murder from a slew of characters’ perspectives. This is a page-turning mystery with colorful characters, an outsider vs. residents dynamic, and a great investigator pairing. It reads as a great standalone but I’m thrilled there will be a sequel!
Bleeding Heart Yard (Harbinder Kaur #3) by Elly Griffiths
This is a wonderful series where so far all the books have read as standalones with totally different characters and cases with one character (detective) as the through line. Cassie Fitzgerald is a police officer with a hell of a secret: her and a group of friends killed a student while in school in the ’90s. Now, prompted by her husband, she finally attends a school reunion only for one of her then friends to turn up dead. Being an MP who dies of a drug overdose, the case gets investigated and it’s Fitzgerald’s brand new boss who is leading the case. How long will secrets stay hidden? If you want to start at the beginning (not necessary but because the whole series is great!) pick up The Stranger Diaries.
Reader, I Murdered Him by Betsy Cornwell
Reader, the title sold me (sorry, not sorry!). Here’s a book for fans of Victorian England historical fiction and vigilantes! Recently sent to a London boarding school, Adele quickly loses her excitement after a violent assault occurs. In order to protect her friends, and possibly herself, she teams up with a con woman to enact justice to keep the girls safe.
The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett
If this fall you’re in the mood for a dark academia mystery, here you go! The crime: a fraternity brother is hit by a car at the University of Georgia and all the witnesses say the driver looked like the victim and was smiling — cold! Also: WTF?! The detective on the case, Marlitt Kaplan, is the daughter of a professor and knows all the campus dirt. Now she’ll have to dig even deeper to figure out what is happening and certainly learn more than she’d like about the Greek system on campus.
For readers of true crime written by journalists, this merges a double murder case that went unsolved for years (the murders of Tanya Van Cuylenborg and Jay Cook while visiting Seattle) with the rise of genealogy companies that allow anyone to submit DNA, and privacy laws. What if all of the DNA submitted could solve a chunk of unsolved crimes that have evidence in storage awaiting DNA to compare to? What are the ethics behind this?
Flight Risk (The Booking Agents #2) by Cherie Priest
For fans of psychics and civilians paired with police officers! Leda Foley is a psychic travel agent who ends up with a missing woman case which turns out to somehow connect to detective Grady Merritt’s dog showing up with a human leg in its mouth (ewww). With the police not coming up with any leads, it’s up to Foley to think outside the box to shake some clues loose…If you want to start at the beginning of this fun series, pick up Grave Reservations.
A World of Curiosities (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #18) by Louise Penny
If you wait for your yearly reading snuggle with Inspector Gamache, your time has come! Three Pines is enjoying spring and preparing for a celebration but things will take a turn — because it’s a mystery book! The now adult children of a murdered woman have returned to Three Pines, there’s a letter leading to a bricked up secret room, and many puzzles and mysteries to be solved…
Need some more mystery and thrillers in your life? As you wish!