Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Series-ously Good New Mysteries - September Edition

September - that back to school time, actually, make that back to routine time. After a summer of little or no structure, it's time to get revved back up for whatever life is going to throw at you. That doesn't mean, though, that you can't take a little bit of time for yourself and dive into the great new series mysteries that are being published this month!

Shadows on a Maine Christmas by Lea Wait is the seventh title in the Antique Print mystery series, following "Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding". Antique print dealer Maggie Summer has come to Maine for a storybook Christmas with her beloved Will Brewer and his Great-Aunt Nettie, who has gathered together her longtime friends for holiday celebrations. Maggie and Will love each other, although Maggie is determined to adopt children and Will has misgivings. But this problem is put on hold when Maggie hears cryptic references by Aunt Nettie’s old friends to buried secrets from their youth. One elderly woman suffers from dementia, remembering those past events better than the gifts she just opened. Will she blurt out information about an old crime so dangerous that someone would commit murder to prevent its being revealed? Blackmail and murder are only the beginning. It may be a Merry Christmas—but who will still be around to see in a Happy New Year?

The fifteenth title in Jeanne M. Dams' Dorothy Martin mysteries is being published this month. Day of Vengeance follows Murder at the Castle. This time out, Dorothy's husband, Alan Nesbitt (retired Chief Constable) is heavily involved in choosing the new bishop for their local Sherebury Cathedral. On the very day the short list is announced publicly, one of the candidates is found murdered in his own church. Dorothy and Alan start to look into the history of the victim, hoping to find a motive for the murder. When a second candidate is found dead, the case becomes very complicated.

Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry is a first title in a new mystery series set in Salem, Massachusetts. This October, Lee Barrett returns home to interview for a job as reporter with WICH-TV and to live with her beloved Aunt Ibby. But the only opening at WICH-TV is for a call-in psychic to host the last night horror movies. The previous host, Ariel Constellation, was just recently murdered. Lee reluctantly take the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she is using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. Lee and her aunt have inherited Ariel's cat O'Ryan and he seems to have some strange powers of his own. Was Ariel an actual practicing witch? With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must unmask a killer to keep from being the next victim.

Another new series debuting this month is Death is Like a Box of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons. Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell open a combination bookstore and chocolate shop called Chocolates and Chapers in West Riverdale, Maryland. To celebrate, they host the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town's Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. Unfortunately, Main Street's portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle's signature truffles. To sales fall off, Michelle, with Erica's help must pick through the suspects to solve the murder before their business crumbles.

This month brings back the second installment of a series that started last year that I thoroughly enjoyed. Leigh Perry is publishing
Skeleton Takes a Bow which follows A Skeleton in the Family. This series follows Sid the skeleton who lives in Georgia Thackery's family home. After years of hiding, Sid is delighted to venture out as a prop in the high school production of Hamlet. Well, his head is venturing out. Georgia's daughter, Madison, who is also in the play, takes his skull to school each day and every night, she brings him home. One night he is accidentally left behind and he hears the sounds of someone being murdered. But, the next day, there is not a body and no one seems missing. Georgia thinks he imagined it but a week later a body is found. Now Georgia and Sid are off to catch the killer.

Of Merlot and Murder by Joni Folger is the second title in the Tangled Vines mystery series following "Grapes of Death". When her family's winery becomes one of the sponsors at the Lost Pines Food and Wine Festival, Elise Beckett is thrilled. But, as the festival gets under, a rival vintner, Divia Larson is found dead. All the clues point to Elise's grandmother as the culprit so Elise and her deputy sheriff boyfriend, Jackson team up to clear her name.

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