I know, I know…December is not a good month to add new mystery series to your plate but there are a number of new series starting this month that sound pretty good.
Gail Oust is beginning a new series this month with Kill ‘Em with Cayenne featuring small-town Georgia spice shop owner Piper Prescott. Spices are flying off the shelves of Spice It Up!, and Piper Prescott couldn’t be happier. It’s t time for the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Soon contestants and BBQ aficionados from all over the Southeast will converge on the town. Many of Brandywine Creek’s citizens plan to participate in the week-long festivities and are busily concocting savory rubs and sassy sauces. Among the locals vying for the grand prize are Becca Dapkins and Maybelle Humphries. The women have been arch enemies ever since Buzz Oliver dumped Maybelle after a thirteen-year courtship and started seeing Becca. When Becca’s body is found near one of the festival booths, bludgeoned by a brisket, Maybelle becomes one of Chief Wyatt McBride’s top suspects. Determined to help clear her friend’s name, Piper begins her own investigation.
The prolific team of Joyce and Jim Lavene have a new series starting this month, the Retired Witches mystery series. The first title in this delightful sounding new series is Spell Booked. In Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane for many years. But, as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package. Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook. They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves.
Tagged for Death starts the new Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series by Sherry Harris. Sarah Winston finds herself starting her life over at age thirty-eight, when her husband CJ runs off with a 19-year-old temptress named Tiffany. Sarah’s self-prescribed therapy happily involves hitting all the garage and tag sales in and around her small town of Ellington, Massachusetts. If only she could turn her love for bargain hunting into a full-time career. But after returning from a particularly successful day searching for yard sale treasures, Sarah finds a grisly surprise in one of her bags: a freshly bloodied shirt…that undoubtedly belongs to her ex, CJ, who now happens to be Ellington’s chief of police. If that’s not bad enough, it seems Tiffany has gone missing. Now it’s up to Sarah to prove that her cold-hearted ex is not a cold-blooded killer.
The new Cycle Path mystery series by Duffy Brown is beginning with Geared for the Grave. Mackinac Island is a peaceful summer resort town where everyone coasts through the streets on bicycles. Hoping to shift her chances of a promotion in her favor, Evie Bloomfield heads to Mackinac Island to assist her boss’s father. Rudy Randolph has broken his leg and operating his bike shop, Rudy’s Rides, is too much to handle by himself. After Evie’s arrival, wealthy resident Bunny Harrington dies in what looks like a freak bike accident. Upon closer inspection, Bunny’s brakes were tampered with, and now the prime suspect in her murder is also Bunny’s number one enemy: Rudy. So if Evie hopes to stay on her boss’s good side, she’ll need to steer Rudy clear of jail.
Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander is the first title in the new Bakeshop Mystery series. After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery, Torte. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder. The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…