March – cold, blowing, wintery March. This month I plan to be tucked up in a warm blanket reading all the newest titles in my favorite mystery series. How about you?
Laura Childs is releasing the seventeenth title in her Tea Shop mystery series this month, Devonshire Scream. It follows Ming Tea Murder. Catering a high-class trunk show at Heart’s Desire Jewelry is a shining achievement for Theodosia and the Indigo Tea Shop. After all, a slew of jewelers, museums, and private collectors will be there to showcase their wares and sip some of Theo’s best blends. But just as Theo settles in to enjoy the fruits of her labor, the party is crashed by a gang of masked muggers who steal the precious gems and jewels on display. The thieves disappear almost as quickly as they arrived, leaving shattered glass, scattered gemstones, and a dead body in their wake. Although the last thing Theo wants is to get involved, she can’t help but intercede when her dear friend Brooke, aunt of the victim and owner of Heart’s Desire, begs for help in figuring out who committed the brutal burglary. Though the FBI believes this daring “smash and grab” is the work of an international gang of jewel thieves, Theo is convinced that the felon is someone much closer to home.
Another favorite is Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisy Dobbs series. Journey to Munich is the twelfth title in the series and it follows A Dangerous Place. Working with the British Secret Service on an undercover mission, Maisie Dobbs is sent to Hitler’s Germany in this thrilling tale of danger and intrigue. It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie—who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter—to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich. The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help.Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved.
Another historical favorite is the Molly Murphy mystery series by Rhys Bowen. This month’s addition, Time of Fog and Fire, is the sixteenth title following Away in a Manger. Molly Murphy Sullivan’s husband Daniel, a police captain in turn-of-the-century New York City, is in a precarious position. The new police commissioner wants him off the force altogether. So when Daniel is offered an assignment from John Wilkie, head of the secret service, he’s eager to accept. Molly can’t draw any details of the assignment out of him, even where he’ll be working. But when she spots him in San Francisco during a movie news segment, she starts to wonder if he’s in even more danger than she had first believed. And then she receives a strange and cryptic letter from him, leading her to conclude that he wants her to join him in San Francisco. Molly knows that if Daniel’s turning to her rather than John Wilkie or his contacts in the police force, something must have gone terribly wrong. What can she do for him that the police can’t? Especially when she doesn’t even know what his assignment is? Embarking on a cross-country journey with her young son, Molly can’t fathom what’s in store for her, but she knows it might be dangerous―in fact, it might put all of their lives at risk.
Paige Shelton is starting a new series this month. It is the Scottish Bookshop mystery series and The Cracked Spine is the first title. In need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn’t know much about what she’s gotten herself into, other than that the work sounds exciting, and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime. Edwin has promised that she’ll be working with “a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes,” and Delaney can’t wait to get started. When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at the Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, and who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An unexpected bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his piercing eyes, and a rolling brogue — and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt. But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact — a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays — goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own, to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio, and how it’s connected to the tragic death.
Death of a Bacon Heiress is the seventh title in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series by Lee Hollis. It follows Death of a Cupcake Queen. When Hayley Powell is invited to do a cooking demo on one of daytime’s most popular talk shows, it’s a welcome distraction from her empty nest blues. And the newfound fame certainly has its perks–especially when Olivia Redmond, the posh bacon heiress of Redmond Meats, offers Hayley a writing gig with a juicy paycheck. But Hayley’s good fortune fizzles fast. The heiress is found dead with her pet pot-bellied pig, Pork Chop, squealing bloody murder beside her body, and clogged arteries aren’t to blame. It turns out Olivia’s inherited a wealth of enemies over the years, and as Hayley trims the fat off a mounting list of suspects, it’s clear that being rich and hot-tempered can be a recipe for disaster.