Best Books of 2021: Series and Author Debut

We saw a lot of series and author debut this year. Some of the first in the series have made it to the longlist: Best Books of 2021

List of best series and author debuts in the order of publication are:

Colony by Benjamin Cross (Author Debut)

Archeology professor Callum Ross is at Harmsworth, a remote mist-filled island in the Russian Arctic. He discovers a prehistoric ice mummy preserved for thousands of years in the sub-zero arctic temperature. The mummy’s limbs seems to be torn apart, as if by force.

Callum, with the help of Darya(scientist) and Lungkaju(guide), learns they are not alone on the island. Something is stalking them. Hiding in the mist, observing their every movement. Death toll rises and the mist intensifies, leaving Callum and his mates fighting for survival.

Read my review of Colony by Benjamin Cross

Fatal Intent by Tammy Euliano (Author Debut)

End-of-life care-or assisted death? When her elderly patients start dying at home days after minor surgery, anesthesiologist Dr. Kate Downey wants to know why. The surgeon, not so much. “Old people die, that’s what they do,” is his response. When Kate presses, surgeon Charles Ricken places the blame squarely on her shoulders. Kate is currently on probation, and the chief of staff sides with the surgeon, leaving Kate to prove her innocence and save her own career.

With her husband in a prolonged coma, it’s all she has left. Aided by her eccentric Great Aunt Irm, a precocious medical student, and the lawyer son of a victim, Kate launches her own unorthodox investigation of these unexpected deaths. As she comes closer to exposing the culprit’s identity, she faces professional intimidation, threats to her life, a home invasion, and, tragically, the suspicious death of someone close to her. The stakes escalate to the breaking point when Kate, under violent duress, is forced to choose which of her loved ones to save-and which must be sacrificed.

Read my review of Fatal Intent by Tammy Euliano.

Changing the Rules by Catherine Bybee (Series Debut)

Teenage girls start disappearing from local schools – most of them drop out unannounced and are never to be found again. Neil’s team is hired to investigate. Claire and Jax go as undercover school girls while Cooper goes as an undercover teacher. Will the trio unearth the sex trafficking ring before Claire or Jax is hunted by the bad guys?

Read my review of Changing the Rules by Catherine Bybee.

The House of Killers by Samantha Lee Howe (Series Debut)

Serial killer Neva has been conditioned not to ask questions of the mysterious Network, to remain perfectly incurious and perennially cold-blooded. She must simply execute the targets they text her and live to bury the tale.

But then she’s tasked with terminating a fellow assassin and glimpses her own future in her colleague’s fate. When she leaves flowers on the gravesite, someone notices.

Agent Michael Kensington knows he’ll have his work cut out for him when he’s recruited by MI5 onto operation Archive to piece together patterns in cold cases.

Nothing could ever have prepared him for Neva…

Read my review of The House of Killers by Samantha Lee Howe.

Coffin Cove by Jackie Elliot (Series Debut)

Andi Silvers moves to Coffin Cove, a sleepy little fishing village in Vancouver Island, Canada. She gets a job as a reporter at the local newspaper – Gazette. A ‘crime’ – two dead sea lions – takes the village by storm. The environmental activists stage a protest – Andi learns the last time one of the activists visited town, a young girl went missing and her body washed up on the shore few days later.

Local fishermen are blamed for killing the sea lions. But when a dead body is found in one of the fishing plants, things take a turn for worse. The murder manages to capture the attention of a local newspaper – the one that Andi worked for, previously. Will Andi’s investigative journalist instincts kick-in? Will she solve the crimes and bring the killer to justice?

Read my review of Coffin Cove by Jackie Elliott.

A Long Shadow by H L Marsay (Series and Author Debut)

Chief Inspector John Shadow and his sidekick Jimmy Chang investigate the death of a homeless teenager. Jimmy was the first officer to respond to the scene of crime – he was out on his morning run in the area when two homeless men discovered the body. The victim had spent most of her nights sleeping at the homeless shelter run by a popstar of yesteryears.

Shadow and Chang learn of a tiff between the victim and her best friends hours before her death. The body is sent for autopsy and the policemen learn the victim was poisoned. The same day, another body is found. Or rather, skeletal remains are found. The residents of North Yorkshire are shocked – two bodies in a day; the reporters will surely have a field day!

Read my review of A Long Shadow by H L Marsay.

Forecast Murder by Linda Mather (Series Debut / Reprint)

Jo has always dreamed of making it as a professional astrologer but she has bills to pay too. When she hears about a part-time job with Macy and Wilson, a private investigation agency, she is more than a little bit curious.

Her new boss starts her off with some routine telephone traces. Jo is sure she can make this work alongside her true passion – astrology. But then a man is shot dead, and his sometime lover is found dead in a bath in the Wellington Hotel.

Now Jo is really in over her head . . . Will the victim’s horoscope help unravel what happened at the hour of his death?

Read my review of Forecast Murder by Linda Mather.

The Thames Path Killer by Biba Pearce (Series Debut/ Reprint)

A young woman is brutally attacked on her way home. It looks like she was the victim of a jilted ex-lover. But then two more women, also engaged to be married, are found dead.

The press call the killer the ‘Surrey Stalker’. And there’s a stack of similar cold case files. The pressure is on for young, ambitious DI Rob Miller. But when someone close to Miller is the killer’s next target, clock’s ticking… Miller must catch the killer before it is too late.

Read my review of The Thames Path Killer by Biba Pearce.

The Uniform by Jodie Lawrance (Series and Author Debut)

Sergeant Helen Carter is transferred to the CID temporarily. Her boss DI Jack Craven is known for his short temper and is difficult to work with. In a male-dominated Edinburgh CID, Helen is not welcome. Her first case involves a murder in an old and abandoned picture house. The man is brutally murdered and a card of a Private Investigator is found near the body. The killer has left behind a clock-like symbol drawn in blood on the wall.

Soon, two more bodies are found – there is only one link connecting them – the mysterious calling card and symbol. Can Helen prove herself and catch the killer red-handed before it is too late? Only time will tell…

Read my review of The Uniform by Jodie Lawrance

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