Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Foul Deeds for Fair Weather

Last summer I had the rare opportunity to spend a week in the outback of Idaho, where my niece and her husband manage a wilderness research station. From the moment we landed there, I let my wife and niece know that I wished to accomplish nothing than to plow through a stack of books. I had packed along half a dozen new novels, plus one 1950s mystery, and wound up finishing--quite smugly--six of those seven during our stay, with the last of the bunch to be finished during the two-day trip home. It made a world of difference to my reading when I was cut off completely from the TV and my computer.

I haven’t yet made any similar vacation arrangements for the approaching summer, but some time away--separated from my work environment and the 24-hour news media (and maybe with a little sunshine to color my Seattle-pale skin)--could be essential, if I’m ever to make so much as a dent in the abundant book releases due between now and September 1. During the last couple of days, I have gone through catalogues and online sources, and put together a register of crime-fiction works I think will be worth investigating over the next three months. Even that selection, though, runs to 175 books. Obviously, some difficult decisions will have to be made, if I’m to engage in anything but reading in June, July, and August.

Below, you’ll find the entirety of my initial critic’s cut of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction. For still more summer 2012 reading ideas, click over to The Bloodstained Bookshelf and Euro Crime’s future releases page.

JUNE (U.S.):
The Altered Case, by Peter Turnbull
(Severn House)
A Bad Day for Mercy, by Sophie
Littlefield (Minotaur)
The Bellwether Revivals, by Benjamin
Wood (Viking)
Beneath the Shadows, by Sara
Foster (Minotaur)
Blessed Are the Dead, by Malla Nunn (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)
Blues Highway Blues, by Eyre Price (Thomas & Mercer)
Bonereapers, by Jeanne Matthews (Poisoned Pen Press)
Brenner and God, by Wolf Haas (Melville House)
Burning Midnight, by Loren D. Estleman (Forge)
Classic Calls the Shots, by Amy Myers (Severn House)
The Conviction, by Robert Dugoni (Touchstone)
Cop to Corpse, by Peter Lovesey (Soho Crime)
Curse of the Jade Lily, by David Housewright (Minotaur)
Dead Scared, by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur)
Death and Transfiguration, by Gerald Elias (Minotaur)
The Demands, by Mark Billingham (Mulholland)
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (Crown)
Ice Cap, by Chris Knopf (Minotaur)
Icon, by J. Carson Black (Thomas & Mercer)
In the Shadow of Evil, by Frank Smith (Severn House)
Into the Darkest Corner, by Elizabeth Haynes (Harper)
Kingdom of Strangers, by Zoë Ferraris (Little, Brown)
The Kings of Cool, by Don Winslow (Simon & Schuster)
The Last Kind Words, by Tom Piccirilli (Bantam)
Master and God, by Lindsey Davis (St. Martin’s Press)
Midwinter Blood, by Mons Kallentoft (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)
Mission to Paris, by Alan Furst (Random House)
Murdered by Nature, by Roderic Jeffries (Severn House)
The Namesake, by Conor Fitzgerald (Bloomsbury)
Never Tell, by Alafair Burke (Harper)
Niceville, by Carsten Stroud (Knopf)
The Paris Directive, by Gerald Jay (Nan A. Talese)
Photo Finish, by John McEvoy (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Risk Agent, by Ridley Pearson (Putnam)
The Seven Wonders, by Steven Saylor (Minotaur)
The Skeleton Box, by Bryan Gruley (Touchstone)
The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton, by Elizabeth Speller
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Sunset, by Al Lamanda (Five Star)
Target: Tinos, by Jeffrey Siger (Poisoned Pen Press)
An Unmarked Grave, by Charles Todd (Morrow)
The Wrong Man, by David Ellis (Putnam)
XO, by Jeffery Deaver (Simon & Schuster)
The Zurich Conspiracy, by Bernadette Calonego (AmazonCrossing)

Agent of the State, by Roger Pearce (Coronet)
Backlash, by Lynda La Plante (Simon & Schuster)
The Baghdad Railway Club, by Andrew Martin (Faber and Faber)
Baptism, by Max Kinnings (Quercus)
Bed of Nails, by Antonin Varenne (MacLehose Press)
The Black Path, by Åsa Larsson (MacLehose Press)
Black Skies, by Arnaldur Indriðason (Harvill Secker)
Blood Tears, by Michael J. Malone (Five Leaves)
The Bull of Mithros, by Anne Zouroudi (Bloomsbury)
Dark Summer in Bordeaux, by Allan
Massie (Quartet)
Dead and Buried, by Stephen
Booth (Sphere)
Dead Men and Broken Hearts, by
Craig Russell (Quercus)
A Death in Valencia, by Jason Webster (Chatto & Windus)
Death on the Pont Noir, by Adrian Magson (Allison & Busby)
The Droitwich Deceivers, by Kerry Tombs (Robert Hale)
The Forbidden, by F.R. (Frank) Tallis (Macmillan)
Lambs to the Slaughter, by Sally Spencer (Severn House)
Mastersinger from Minsk, by Morley Torgov (Dundurn)
Murder by the Book, by Susanna Gregory (Sphere)
A Particular Eye for Villainy, by Ann Granger (Headline)
The Poison Tide, by Andrew Williams (John Murray)
Undercover, by Bill James (Creme de la Crime)
When the Devil Drives, by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood (Sphere)

JULY (U.S.):
Broken Harbor, by Tana French (Viking)
The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, by Tarquin Hall
(Simon & Schuster)
Castro’s Daughter, by David Hagberg (Forge)
A City of Broken Glass, by Rebecca Cantrell (Forge)
Creole Belle, by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
The Crowded Grave, by Martin Walker (Knopf)
Dare Me, by Megan Abbott (Reagan Arthur)
Death in August, by Marco Vichi (Pegasus)
Die a Stranger, by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur)
The Empty Glass, by J.I. Baker (Blue Rider Press)
Eye of the Law, by Cora Harrison (Severn House)
The Fear Artist, by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime)
Fire Season, by Jon Loomis (Minotaur)
Fireproof, by Alex Kava (Doubleday)
The Formula for Murder, by Carol McCleary (Forge)
Harry Lipkin, Private Eye, by Barry Fantoni (Doubleday)
Hellbox, by Bill Pronzini (Forge)
House Blood, by Michael Lawson (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Innocent Victims: Two Novellas, by Minette Walters
(Mysterious Press)
Jack 1939, by Francine Mathews (Riverhead)
The Joy Brigade, by Martin Limón (Soho Crime)
Lake Country, by Sean Doolittle (Bantam)
The Prisoner of Heaven, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Harper)
The Last Minute, by Jeff Abbott (Grand Central)
The Nightmare, by Lars Kepler (Sarah Crichton)
Parker: The Score, by Richard Stark; illustrations by Darwyn Cooke
(IDW Publishing)
The Trinity Game, by Sean Chercover (Thomas & Mercer)
The Trust, by Norb Vonnegut (Minotaur)

The Blind Goddess, by Anne Holt (Atlantic)
Blood Diamond, by Mark Keating (Hodder & Stoughton)
Dark Room, by Steve Mosby (Orion)
Death in Sardinia, by Marco Vichi (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Geneva Trap, by Stella Rimington (Bloomsbury)
Gods and Beasts, by Denise Mina (Orion)
Gone in Seconds, by A.J. Cross (Orion)
In the Darkness, by Karin Fossum (Harvill Secker)
The Labyrinth of Osiris, by Paul Sussman (Bantam Press)
The Lost Girls of Rome, by Donato Carrisi (Abacus)
A Name in Blood, by Matt (Benyon) Rees (Corvus)
Only One Life, by Sara Blaedel (Pegasus)
The Outsiders, by Gerald Seymour (Hodder & Stoughton)
Pierced, by Thomas Enger (Faber and Faber)
A Private Business, by Barbara Nadel (Quercus)
The Storm Without, by Tony Black (McNidder & Grace)
Tuesday’s Gone, by Nicci French (Michael Joseph)
Weirdo, by Cathi Unsworth (Serpent’s Tail)
The Woman Who Died a Lot, by Jasper Fforde (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Absent One, by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton)
And When She Was Good, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)
Bad Little Falls, by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
The Beautiful Mystery, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Bones Are Forever, by Kathy Reichs (Scribner)
Carnival for the Dead, by David Hewson (Thomas & Mercer)
The Crime of Julian Wells, by Thomas H. Cook (Mysterious Press)
The Exceptions, by David Cristofano (Grand Central)
The Facility, by Simon Lelic (Penguin)
Far North, by Michael Ridpath (Minotaur)
A Foreign Country, by Charles Cumming (St. Martin’s Press)
Kill You Twice, by Chelsea Cain (Minotaur)
Last Lawyer Standing, by Douglas Corleone (Minotaur)
Last to Die, by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine)
The Laughterhouse, by Paul Cleave (Atria)
The Lincoln Letter, by William Martin (Forge)
The Map of Lost Memories, by Kim Fay (Ballantine)
Monster, by Dave Zeltserman (Overlook)
Munster’s Case, by Håkan Nesser (Pantheon)
Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen, by Bill Crider (Minotaur)
Not My Blood, by Barbara Cleverly (Soho Crime)
Off the Grid, by P.J. Tracy (Putnam)
Pines, by Blake Crouch (Thomas & Mercer)
Port Vila Blues, by Garry Disher (Soho Crime)
The Prophet, by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown)
A Question of Identity, by Anthea Fraser (Severn House)
The Resistance, by Peter Steiner (Minotaur)
Season of the Witch, by Arni Thorarinsson (AmazonCrossing)
Sentinel, by Matthew Dunn (Morrow)
Shake Off, by Mischa Hiller (Mulholland)
Simple, by Kathleen George (Minotaur)
The Spy Lover, by Kiana Davenport (Thomas & Mercer)
The St. Zita Society, by Ruth Rendell (Scribner)
A Sunless Sea, by Anne Perry (Ballantine)
The Thing Itself, by Peter Guttridge (Severn House)
Trickster’s Point, by William Kent Krueger (Atria)
12.21, by Dustin Thomason (The Dial Press)
The Twenty-Year Death, by Ariel S. Winter (Hard Case Crime)
Valley of Ashes, by Cornelia Read
(Grand Central)
Vengeance, by Benjamin Black (Henry Holt)
The Viper, by Håkan Östlundh (Minotaur)

Babylon, by Camilla Ceder (Weidenfeld
& Nicolson)
Bryant & May and the Invisible Code, by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
Buckingham Palace Blues, by James Craig (Robinson)
Cold Hands, by John J. Niven (William Heinemann)
The Devil’s Cave, by Martin Walker (Quercus)
The Dream Killer of Paris, by Fabrice Bourland (Gallic)
The Eye Collector, by Sebastian Fitzek (Atlantic)
The Girl on the Stairs, by Louise Welsh (John Murray)
The Killing House, by Chris Mooney (Penguin)
The Memory of Bones, by Alex Connor (Quercus)
The Minotaur’s Head, by Marek Krajewski (MacLehose Press)
A Place of Confinement, by Anna Dean (Allison & Busby)
A Private Venus, by Giorgio Scerbanenco (Hersilia Press)
Rock Creek Park, by Simon Conway (Hodder & Stoughton)
Rush of Blood, by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
Safe House, by Chris Ewan (Faber and Faber)
The Shadow of Treason, by Edward Taylor (Robert Hale)
A Wanted Man, by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
Watching the Dark, by Peter Robinson (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Wrath of Angels, by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton)

What do you think? Have I missed anything? If you want to recommend other works in this genre due out over the coming three months, please do so in the Comments section below.


pattinase (abbott) said...


J. Kingston Pierce said...

That was my reaction exactly, Patti, when I realized how many interesting-looking works of crime fiction are to be published over the next three months. It's more than I can read, that's for sure. But there should be something on my list for almost everybody.


John said...

A Cup Full of Midnight by Jaden Terrell, a talented newcomer will be released by indie publisher The Permanent Press in August. It's Terrell's second private eye novel. I thought the first book, Racing the Devil, was quite impressive.