Kensington Publishing’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Mystery & Suspense Readers

Gifts for Holiday Lovers

(September 27, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover / Cozy Mystery / $20.00)
Joanne Fluke, the New York Times bestselling author known as the the Queen of Culinary Suspense, cooks up the most delicious Christmas gift of all – a recipe-filled holiday mystery from her Hannah Swensen series, now a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries original TV movie franchise…

When a naughty Mrs. Claus turns up dead before Lake Eden’s annual production of A Christmas Carol, the suspects start piling up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard. Can Hannah catch the merry murderer in time for a happy holiday? Includes 12 original recipes!



images-2EGGNOG MURDER by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis & Barbara Ross
(September 27, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover / Cozy Mystery / $25)
With the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog…

“This anthology boasts three terrific tales of yuletide murder in coastal Maine…It’s not just the nog: sparkly writing, and emotional depth link this trio of holiday cozies.” – Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

Gifts for History Buffs

images-3MURDER AT ROUGH POINT by Alyssa Maxwell
(August 30th, 2016 / $25 / Kensington Hardcover / Historical Mystery)

Alyssa Maxwell’s Gilded Newport Series has been called “Absorbing… An appealing puzzle enhanced by a blend of fiction and history” by Publishers Weekly. It’s not hard to see why, because when you read the work of Alyssa Maxwell you fall in love with the city of Newport, and its historic homes.

The series is set in glittering Newport, Rhode Island, at the close of the nineteenth century, and here status is everything. But despite being a poorer relation to the venerable Vanderbilts, protagonist Emma Cross has shaped her own identity—as a reporter and a sleuth. This is the perfect gift for yourself, or for any historical mystery fans on your list.


images-4THE BABE RUTH DECEPTION by David O. Stewart
(September 27, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover / Historical Mystery)
David O. Stewart is the author of the nonfiction books Madison’s Gift, American Emperor, Impeached, and The Summer of 1787 (all Simon & Schuster).  His debut historical mystery novel from Kensington, THE LINCOLN DECEPTION, was named one of the “6 Best Books of 2013” by Bloomberg News, and his second historical mystery, THE WILSON DECEPTION (Kensington, 2015), was praised by The Washington Post as “Terrific…The book’s fun part is its name game, as familiar historic figures mingle with made-up characters…threads are braided into a tight, clever finish, worthy of a vintage spy caper or 007’s own playbook.” 

This year, THE BABE RUTH DECEPTION again combines historical and fictional characters as the unlikely detective team of Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook gets swept up in the maelstrom of the Roaring Twenties, when corruption seems everywhere—from the bootleggers flouting Prohibition to the cherished heroes of the American Pastime now tarnished by scandal.


images-5BRIGHTON BELLE by Sara Sheridan
(March 29th, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover /Historical Mystery/ $25)
BRIGHTON BELLE (Kensington, 2016) follows Mirabelle Bevins in 1951, a retired secret service agent who returns home after the war to seek a new life for herself as a debt collector. But when the case of Romana Laszlo – a pregnant Hungarian refugee – comes in, Mirabelle soon discovers that her specialist knowledge is vital.

With enthusiastic assistance from insurance clerk Vesta Churchill, they follow a mysterious trail of gold sovereigns and corpses to unravel a mystery only they can solve.

Gifts for Suspense Fans

images-6SUMMIT LAKE by Charlie Donlea
(January 26th, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover / Suspense / $25 )
If you missed this stunning debut earlier this year, make it the top pick on your list! Charlie Donlea delivers the suspense in a story that follows a reporter as she investigates the unsolved death of law student Becca Eckersley.

It’s a suspense driven story that focuses on the intimate connection that comes when the living walk in the footsteps of the dead. Library Journal praised it saying, “So clever and compelling . . . For fans of nonstop mysteries with a twist.”



images-7THE BEAUTY OF THE END by Debbie Howells
(July 26th, 2016 /Kensington Hardcover / Suspense $25)
This is the second book from international best-selling author Debbie Howells. Her debut novel THE BONES OF YOU (Kensington, 2015) was met with acclaim, and THE BEAUTY OF THE END (Kensington, 2016) was met with just as much, with InTouch magazine saying, “This mesmerizing mystery will rivet fans of thrillers like The Girl on the Train.”

The story follows Noah Calaway, his former fiancé April is in a coma, and she’s also a murder suspect. It’s up to him to clear her name, but as he uncovers what exactly caused April to end up in coma, he’s forced to question, “can you ever really know someone?” This is the perfect gift for anyone on your list who enjoys British suspense novels, with a twist.


images-8THAT DARKNESS by Lisa Black
(April 26th, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover / Mystery /$25)
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black has a day job as a crime scene investigator, her real-life experience brings a layer of honestly and brilliance to her hard-hitting homicide novels.

This is the first in a new series that follows forensic investigator Maggie Gardiner, who works for the Cleveland Police Department. Maggie begins to suspect that someone out there is murdering the worst-of-the-worst, and enacting their own form of justice. As she examines the evidence though, Maggie is forced to confront the idea that this murderer may be more familiar to her than she ever could have expected, and she’ll be forced to make the ultimate decision.
This is perfect for fans of the TV series Dexter or fans of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
1074b09ae0960d1064753f916442e092NO WITNESS BUT THE MOON by Suzanne Chazin
(October 25th, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover / Mystery / $25 )
With soaring prose, and a story that doesn’t quit, NO WITNESS BUT THE MOON (Kensington, 2016) may be Suzanne Chazin’s most powerful novel to date. Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review, and said “Chazin’s exceptionally well-written third Jimmy Vega mystery should be required reading.”

In this powerful novel, a tense stand-off between a Hispanic police officer and an undocumented immigrant leads to the shooting death of one, the shattered life of the other, and the shocking connection between them. It’s a stunning story you can’t put down once you start reading.

the-last-time-she-saw-him-revise-comp1-e1455669477645THE LAST TIME SHE SAW HIM by Jane Haseldine
(June 28th, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover / Suspense / $25)
In Jane Haseldine’s debut THE LAST TIME SHE SAW HIM (Kensington, 2016), crime reporter Julia Gooden is forced to relive the worst night of her life, 30 years ago, her brother was taken out of the room they shared, never to be seen again. Now, Julia’s son Will has been taken on the anniversary of her brother’s disappearance. Are the two cases related, or merely a coincidence?

Julia is forced to try the piece together clues from both nights, but the deeper she digs, the more personal and terrifying the battle becomes, and an undying promise may be her only hope of saving herself and her son.


51d51gnuk2lINDEFENSIBLE: The Missing Truth about Steven Avery, Teresa Halbach, and Making a Murderer by Michael Griesbach
(August 30, 2016 / Kensington Hardcover / Nonfiction-True Crime / $26)
Wisconsin prosecuting attorney Michael Griesbach provides newsworthy new insights into the Steven Avery case, the murder of Teresa Halbach, and the Netflix series Making a Murderer.

With Season 2 of Making a Murderer set to start soon, and new information about the case coming to light, this is a must-read for the true crime fan on your list.


Stocking Stuffers Under $10

51lesm4mjel-_sx273_bo1204203200_YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE Kevin O’Brien (July 28th, 2016 / $9.99 / Pinnacle Mass Market/ Thriller / $9.99)
New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien is known for delivering a story packed with must-read characters, and non-stop action. YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE (Pinnacle, 2016) focuses on bullying, and the deadly consequences it can have to those who least expect it.

Kevin O’Brien is highly-praised for his work, with Press & Guide saying “If Alfred Hitchcock was alive today and writing novels, his name would be Kevin O’Brien.” This is a great stocking stuffer for the thriller fan on your list.



death-among-the-doilies-626x1024DEATH AMONG THE DOILIES by Mollie Cox Bryan
(August 30th, 2016 / Kensington Mass Market/ Cozy Mystery / $7.99)
First in a brand new series from author Mollie Cox Bryan, DEATH AMONG THE DOILIES (Kensington, 2016) is set at a craft retreat resort.

Thirty-something blogger Cora Chevalier transforms her Victorian estate into a crafter’s paradise, with the goal of starting a craft retreat. But the murder of a local librarian puts a pause on her plans, and when a close friend is connected to the murder Cora has to stop crafting and start sleuthing. This is a charming read for fans of the TV show Murder She Wrote or for the crafter in your life!




SHARDS OF MURDER by Cheryl Hollon

(February 23rd, 2016 / Kensington Mass Market/ Cozy Mystery / $7.99)
This cozy mystery will shatter your expectations! This Floridian series follows Savannah Webb, owner of Webb’s Glass Shop, as she creates wonderful works of art – while also solving the occasional murder.

SHARDS OF MURDER (Kensington, 2016) focuses on the winner of a local festival, who winds up dead before she can collect her prize money. Savannah was the last person to see her alive, and was the one to find the body, so she ends up in the chilling role of prime suspect. It’s up to her to get crafty and creative to clear her name.

semi-sweet_hereafterTHE SEMI-SWEET HEREAFTER by Colette London
(September 27, 2016 / Kensington Mass Market/ Cozy Mystery / $7.99)
As an authority on all things chocolate, Hayden Mundy Moore is traveling across the pond to lend her expertise to the owner of a posh London chocolaterie-pâtisserie. From coconut truffles to chocolate flapjacks, Hayden’s mouthwatering creations quickly impress her client. But her knowledge doesn’t end there. The detective constable is taken by surprise when she identifies an exotic murder weapon: a stone metlapil, used to grind cacao beans—and apparently to bludgeon someone to death—in Hayden’s own lodgings, no less…The talented chocolate whisperer will have to find out what sort of nutter clobbered the famous cook—or her career may come to a bitter end…


51najobtlplDEATH BY PUMPKIN SPICE by Alex Erickson
(September 27, 2016 / Kensington Mass Market/ Cozy Mystery / $7.99)
As if a run-in with an old flame and a failed marriage proposal weren’t enough to horrify Krissy for one night, a woman is found strangled to death in a room filled with ominous jack-o’-lanterns. All signs suggest a crime of passion—but when the hostess’s jewelry disappears, malevolent intentions seem way more likely . . .

With the estate on lockdown and a killer roaming the halls, Krissy must help Officer Paul Dalton investigate each nook, cranny, and guest for answers—while also confronting a few demons of her own. Someone has lots of skeletons in the closet, and Krissy better tread lightly to expose them . . .