8 Autumn Novels to Watch For

These mystery/thriller authors offer an array of literary treasures.

8 Autumn Novels to Watch For

We enjoy an embarrassment of writing riches in the DC/MD/VA triangle. As a crime fiction writer, enthusiastic reader, and host of the DC Noir at the Bar series, I see this firsthand. I can easily pull from a list of over 50 writers to take the stage at Noir at the Bar (next one coming up in October, stay tuned!), which is why I’m so happy that Josh Pachter started a new Noir at the Bar series in nearby Northern Virginia.

(BTW, you can read a recap from BOLO Books about last month's inaugural event here.)

There is absolutely no way to read all the great books writers in the triangle are putting out before we’re annihilated in a nuclear blast but, hey, might as well try! So, mystery and thriller fans, here’s part one of a list of crime fiction titles coming this fall from area writers. Part two, featuring November and December releases, will be next month’s column.

Shawn Reilly Simmons, Murder on the Chopping Block (Sept. 17). The award-winning and USA Today-bestselling publisher Henery Press has long specialized in giving readers the best in cozy mysteries, and Simmons is one of their stars. In Murder on the Chopping Block, the seventh title in her Red Carpet Catering series, Hollywood chef Penelope Sutherland is caught in the middle of a missing-person case and a hazardous movie set that puts everyone she cares about at risk.

Marietta Miles, After the Storm (Sept. 30). Miles established herself as a powerful new voice in dark crime fiction with her pair of novellas, Route 12. Her first full-length novel, May, delivered on that promise, and After the Storm continues the titular May’s story. A small-time weed dealer on the storm-ravaged island of Folly, May is doing her best to stay financially afloat and take care of a lost soul named Tommy. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, two siblings are heading to the island, and one of them has disturbingly violent tendencies.

Tara Laskowski, One Night Gone (Oct. 1). Laskowski’s much-anticipated debut tells the story of two women, decades apart, drawn to the wealthy town of Opal Beach. One of the women vanishes, and the other is compelled to find out what happened to her. Fans of Laskowski’s short stories — known for their gorgeous prose and vivid characters — will find much to love here. And you should absolutely plan on attending Laskowski’s launch of One Night Gone at Politics and Prose on October 7th, where she’ll be joined in conversation with Washington Post book critic Bethanne Patrick.

Ellen Butler, Diamonds & Deception (Oct. 7). From bestselling and award-winning author Butler comes the third in her Karina Cardinal mysteries. In Diamonds & Deception, DC lobbyist Karina looks into who’s setting up her friend Sadira to take a fall. But Karina soon realizes she's found more trouble than she might be able to handle.

Donna Andrews, Owl Be Home for Christmas (Oct. 15). New York Times bestseller Andrews’ 26th book in her beloved Meg Langslow’s mysteries, Owl Be Home for Christmas, finds Meg attending her grandfather’s scientific conference on owls days before Christmas. An unexpected snowstorm forces the attendees to remain at the hotel even after one of the ornithologists is murdered, and Meg is tasked with discovering the culprit before the roads clear and the killer escapes.

Cheryl Head, Judge Me When I’m Wrong (Oct. 15). The fourth book in Head’s Lammy-finalist Charlie Mack Motown mysteries finds Mack, a Detroit P.I., determined to protect a client set to testify before a grand jury. But simultaneously, Mack’s own time on a jury, and her subsequent investigation, puts her in the center of a dangerous crime boss’ trial.

Erica Wright, Famous in Cedarville (Oct. 22). There aren’t many writers who can turn seamlessly from writing poetry to crafting complex, beautiful mysteries, but Wright is one of them. In Famous in Cedarville, a retired actress dies, and her neighbor, Samson Delaware, suspects foul play. No one takes him seriously until her assistant is also killed, and Samson’s amateur sleuthing is pushed to the limits to find the murderer before anyone else is targeted.

Brianna Labuskes, Black Rock Bay (Oct. 29). In this new novel from Washington Post-bestselling author Labuskes, detective Mia Hart returns to her home on the small island of St. Lucy’s years after the double suicide of two close friends. Bringing her back is the death of a journalist, a death that Mia realizes may provide a dangerous realization about the loss of her own friends 15 years prior.

E.A. Aymar’s new novel is The Unrepentant.

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