September 2021 books on my list

Urban fantasy, mysteries, police procedurals, a young adult mystery and a favorite series about a K-9 working dog!


I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of as the months go by.

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I might not know about! The links to the following books will take you to the book on Goodreads.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are very expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget! I always check my library for the expensive books and I add authors to eReader IQ which then tells me when the authors’ books have gone on sale.

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I had an August book list ready to post a few weeks ago, but every ebook on the list cost at least $10 and few of the books were available as digital copies at my library. I was depressed about this situation and decided not to even post the August book list. 😦

When I was working on my September book list I discovered two August books that are Kindle Unlimited so I can get those books with my Kindle Unlimited membership. After this I will mention if I’m able to get the books from Kindle Unlimited, the library, Audible or some other source that I can afford.

I’ve been waiting for Shannon Baker to write a new Kate Fox mystery. I really like the Nebraska setting of these books. And that Kate Fox is a sheriff! (This is a Kindle Unlimited book.)

Easy Mark

by Shannon Baker

Series: Kate Fox #4

Published by Severn River Publishers

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

325 pages

Synopsis: With her ex-husband, Ted, working nearby in an adjoining county, Kate Fox is eager to prove she’s the better sheriff. And when the less-than-popular ex-foreman of a local ranch is found dead, Kate gets the opportunity she’s been looking for.

But as it turns out, the case hits a little too close to home. The dead man’s body is discovered in Kate’s brother Jeremy’s truck—and her brother is missing. Evidence left at the crime scene leads Ted to suspect the ranch’s new foreman, but Kate isn’t convinced he’s responsible for the crime.

As Kate races to eliminate suspects, a shocking realization leads her to the truth. But is she too late to prevent the next murder?

This series is so good. I love that it takes place in Tanzania. W.R. Gingell has done such a good job with the world building and Pet is such a fun character to read about. (This is a Kindle Unlimited book.)

Between Family

by W.R. Gingell

Series: The City Between #9

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: When someone tries to threaten me by telling me they know my name, I take that personally.

G’day. I’m not really a pet anymore, but you might as well keep calling me Pet. It’s not like I’m gunna tell you my name anyway. And if I sound stroppy, well, I am. First, I was threatened. Now, someone has cut off my house from the human world and left my emotional support vampire on the human side. On the inside, it’s just me and an emotionally compromised fae; outside, a closed arena in the world Behind, where everyone is out to kill us and a few of that everyone might actually be capable of it.

September 7

I enjoyed the first book in this series plus the other series Ann Cleeves has written. (My library is getting a digital edition of this book and I’ve placed it on hold.)

The Heron’s Cry

by Ann Cleeves

Series: Two Rivers #2

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

400 pages

Synopsis: North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder–Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter’s broken vases.

Dr Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He’s a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.

One of my favorite mystery series. I love Robo, the K-9, in these books plus Mattie has grown and changed a lot as a character during the course of this series. (I’m hoping the library will get a digital edition of this book.)

Striking Range

by Margaret Mizushima

Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #7

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural, K-9

288 pages

Synopsis: He was suspect number one–the man who tried to kill Deputy Mattie Cobb and may have killed her father thirty years earlier. But when Mattie and cold case detective Jim Hauck reach the Colorado state prison where they will finally get to interview him, he’s found dead in his cell. There’s only one clue: a map leading to Timber Creek and rugged Redstone Ridge.

Though she usually works with veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie’s K-9 partner Robo has just sired a litter of pups, who require special, time-consuming care at Cole’s clinic. Left to explore the map’s clue without him, Mattie and Robo journey into the burned forest surrounding Redstone Ridge. But before they can finish their search they’re called to help investigate the death of a young woman found in a campground filled with elk hunters. Identification of the deceased points to her having recently given birth, but the infant is nowhere to be found.

September 21

I haven’t read any books by J.S. Kelley, but I really like the cover of this book and the synopsis sounds interesting. (I’m hoping the library gets a digital edition of this book.)

Gutter Mage

by J.S. Kelley

Published by Gallery / Saga Press

Genre: Fantasy

336 pages

Synopsis: In a kingdom where magic fuels everything from street lamps to horseless carriages, the mage guilds of Penador wield power equal to the king himself. So when Lord Edmund’s infant son is kidnapped by the ruthless Alath Guild, he turns to the one person who’s feared by even the most magically adept: Rosalind Featherstone, a.k.a. the Gutter Mage.

September 28

Naomi Novik has written some of my favorite books. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and look forward to this one. (I have a digital edition of this book on hold at my library.)

The Last Graduate

by Naomi Novik

Series: The Scholomance #2

Published by Del Rey Books

Genre: YA Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: At the Scholomance, El, Orion, and the other students are faced with their final year—and the looming specter of graduation, a deadly ritual that leaves few students alive in its wake. El is determined that her chosen group will survive, but it is a prospect that is looking harder by the day as the savagery of the school ramps up. Until El realizes that sometimes winning the game means throwing out all the rules . . .

The first book in this series was one of my favorite books of 2020! (I have a digital edition of this book on hold at my library.)

The Man Who Died Twice

by Richard Osman

Series: The Thursday Murder Club #2

Published by Penguin

Genre: Mystery

336 pages

Synopsis: It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

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Which August books are you excited to read? What books did I forget?

Review: Bitter Rain by Shannon Baker

Bitter Rain by Shannon BakerBitter Rain by Shannon Baker

Series: Kate Fox #3

Genre: Mystery, police procedural

Setting: Nebraska Sandhills

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2018

313 pages

Synopsis: Old loyalties and lies collide with new secrets. Secrets someone is willing to kill to keep hidden.  

Despite Kate’s meddling family’s efforts to pair her off, she’s settling into single life as Grand County Sheriff. That is, until Deputy Kyle Red Owl’s sister disappears. Shocked by the harsh realities of rez life, and coming smack up against a Lakota-hating sheriff, end-of-world preppers, and a greedy liquor store owner, Kate fears the worst for the missing girl. 

Knowing she’ll always be an outsider when it comes to her good ‘ol boys world, Kate is more determined than ever to find the girl society has abandoned, but can she do it in time to save the girl’s life? 

My thoughts

I’ve read the books in the series and enjoyed them all. I love reading about the Nebraska Sandhills where cattle outnumber people…lol. Shannon Baker does a great job bringing that part of the country to life.

Lots has happened in this series

Lots has happened since the first book. Kate Fox is now divorced and has become sheriff. She’s slowly settling into that role though the three male sheriffs from the other counties in the Sandhills still don’t really accept her or want to recognize her as sheriff. They would rather that Ted the ex-sheriff and Kate’s ex-husband was still sheriff. One sheriff in particular seems to dislike her and tries to undermine her authority when possible.

An overturned car and a suspicious sheriff

At the beginning of this book Kate receives a late night phone call from a young woman who doesn’t identify herself. The woman indicates she needs help and is driving from the Indian reservation. Kate heads toward the reservation and just before she would leave her county she sees a stopped vehicle and a car rolled over off the road. The stopped vehicle is owned by the sheriff from the neighboring county. He’s the sheriff who seems to dislike Kate. He says he’s just gotten to the wreck and that the vehicle is abandoned. Kate thinks he’s acting suspiciously and doesn’t understand why he’s at the scene since this is in her county and nothing was dispatched about a wreck.

Each county in the Sandhills only has a sheriff and they share a part-time deputy who works on weekends. The deputy–Kyle Red Owl–is a military veteran with police experience, but he grew up on the local Lakota Indian Reservation and isn’t liked, trusted or respected by the male sheriffs. Kate hired him based on his experience and she feels he does a great job.

The reservation

The overturned car is Kyle’s sister’s car and she has disappeared. She just graduated from high school and has a college scholarship, but Kyle discovers that the last couple of months her grades were slipping and she was missing classes. Kyle and Kate investigate her disappearance and Kate learns a lot about life on the reservation she hasn’t known. Alcoholism and unemployment on the reservation; a town filled with liquor stores just two miles from the reservation; and hopeless and hostile Native Americans are just a few of Kate’s discoveries. There’s also a ranch that had been abandoned for several years, but now has a hostile and well-armed couple living on it. No one seems to know who they are, but they are close to where the overturned car was and that’s how Kate discovers them. She wonders if they’re involved in this mystery.

Kate’s family

The mystery was good in this book and didn’t turn out quite the way I expected. However, I didn’t like the distraction and irritation from Kate’s large family in this book. I felt they didn’t respect her as much as they should have. And though some of this is supposed to be funny I was more irritated than amused. I hope in the next book that they realize that Kate is a grown woman who is doing a hard job in a man’s world and that they give her more respect.


I still recommend this book though you should read the earlier books first. I plan to read the next book and am looking forward to it.

My Rating: B-

Have you read any books by this author?

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Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!


Close Enough by Shannon Baker

Kate Fox #1.5

69 pages

This is a short story and it is short! It gives some background between book 1 and book 2. The first part is mostly background so we understand Kate’s feelings. The second half deals with the disappearance of a 10-year-old boy. It’s winter and snow is coming so searchers quickly assemble to try to find him. The wrinkle in the story is that Kate is running for sheriff against the current sheriff who is also her ex-husband. Election Day is close and the sheriff is getting points for quickly gathering the search party.

I like Kate and this series. The third book in the series was published recently and I found this short story when I searched for the new book which I bought at the same time as this short story. It’s not necessary to read the short story to understand the series, but it’s always fun to revisit this series.

Stripped Bare by Shannon Baker

stripped-bareStripped Bare by Shannon Baker
Series: Kate Fox #1
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Setting: Grand County, Nebraska (Nebraska Sandhills)
Published by Forge Books
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: September 6)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
288 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Kate Fox is living the dream. She’s married to Grand County Sheriff Ted Conner, the heir to her beloved Nebraska Sandhills cattle ranch, where they live with Kate’s orphaned teenage niece, Carly. With the support of the well-connected Fox Clan, which includes Kate’s eight boisterous and interfering siblings, Ted’s reelection as Grand County Sheriff is virtually assured. That leaves Kate to the solitude and satisfaction of Frog Creek, her own slice of heaven.

One night Kate answers a shattering phone call from Roxy at the Bar J. Carly’s granddad Eldon, owner of the ranch, is dead and Ted has been shot and may never walk again. Kate vows to find the killer. She soon discovers Ted responded so quickly to the scene because he was already at the Bar J . . . in Roxy’s bed. And to add to her woes, Carly has gone missing.

Kate finds out that Eldon was considering selling his ranch to an obscenely rich environmentalist. Some in town hate the idea of an outsider buying up land, others are desperate to sell . . . and some might kill to get their way. As she becomes the victim of several “accidents,” Kate knows she must find the killer before it’s too late. . . .

Initial impressions

  • I like this book a lot. A good first book in a series.


  • Lots goes on in Kate’s personal life during this book. There’s a mystery, but also a personal journey for Kate. She has to make decisions and decide what she really wants.
  • I really like Kate and can understand all the emotions she goes through. It’s a rough ride for her, but once she begins figuring out what’s going on she doesn’t flinch.
  • I like the way her family–especially her siblings are portrayed. I felt that was pretty true-to-life.
  • The mystery was puzzling especially at first as Kate and the reader don’t get all the information.
  • There are lots of suspects.
  • I love the setting of the book. I feel the author must really understand the Nebraska Sandhills country.
  • The mystery is solved at the end, but there are lots of loose ends to find out about in future books.


  • It was hard to keep track of some of the characters in the book. Kate has eight brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. Lots of names at first. However, I think the author made the right decision to leap right into the story.
  • After reading the synopsis I was impatient for Kate to find out some of the circumstances for the  shootings at the Bar J–such as her husband’s infidelity!

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Shannon Baker announces the Kate Fox mystery series, to debut with Stripped Bare, releasing September 2016 from Tor/Forge. A modern western described as Longmire meets The Good Wife.  Now a resident of Tucson, Baker spent 20 years in the Nebraska Sandhills, where cattle outnumber people by more than 50:1. 
  • She is also the author of the Nora Abbott mystery series from Midnight Ink. A fast-paced mix of Hopi Indian mysticism, environmental issues, and murder. Shannon is an itinerant writer, which is a nice way of saying she’s confused. She never knows what time zone she’s in, Timbuck-Three, Nebraska, Denver, or Tucson. Nora Abbott has picked up that location schizophrenia and travels from Flagstaff in Tainted Mountain, to Boulder in Broken Trust and then to Moab in Tattered Legacy. Shannon is proud to have been chosen Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2014 Writer of the Year.

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