5 New Police Procedurals to Heat Up Your Winter

Read Carrie Smith's exclusive guest post about her 5 favorite upcoming police procedurals, then make sure you're signed in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of her third Claire Codella Mystery, Unholy City!

If you love to read police procedurals, you’re going to have many new titles to choose from this fall and winter. I had a chance to preview some of them, and here are five that I’m wholeheartedly recommending.

A Season to Lie

by Emily Littlejohn

Readers first met small-town Colorado police detective Gemma Monroe in Littlejohn’s acclaimed series launch, Inherit the Bones. In this stellar follow-up, the detective is a new mother who has just returned from her maternity leave. The novel opens on a cold February night. A blizzard is raging. She and her partner, Finn, are called to the local private school where someone has reported a possible prowler. What they find is the dead body of a renowned author visiting the town, an ominous message stuffed into his mouth. The ensuing plot is strong, but the talented Littlejohn doesn’t stop there. In her hands, Gemma Monroe is a complex, honest, and flawed character struggling to balance her dual identities as a new mother and a detective. I loved the moment when she arrives home late at night from the murder scene, stares into the eyes of her infant, and admits, “She scared me more than all the murderers and rapists and thieves in the whole world.” Gemma is a character you want to follow from book to book. 

Available November 14, 2017

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The Shadow District

by Arnaldur Indriðason

This author is a master of the genre. I sat down to read a chapter or two of his new series launch, and I couldn’t stop. The writing is tight and economical. The mood is tense and suspenseful. The story is immediately consuming. In 1944, a young woman’s body is found in a trash heap in the dangerous “Shadow District” of Reykjavik. Decades later, a 90-year-old man appears to have died in his sleep—until the autopsy results come in. In his bedside drawer are clippings about the wartime murder. Following this intriguing beginning, the plot moves seamlessly between past and present, immersing readers in the country’s history and culture while building to a very satisfying conclusion. You won’t be disappointed.

Available November 7, 2018

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A Cold Day in Hell

by Lissa Marie Redmond

Redmond is a retired cold-case homicide detective, and her debut novel is fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining. Lauren Riley is both a police detective and a licensed private investigator. When an 18-year-old teen is accused of murder, his uncle wants Riley’s help. This uncle is a bombastic defense attorney Riley doesn’t like, but she’s pretty sure the accused is innocent, so she agrees. Redmond brings her deep knowledge of investigative and court-room procedures to the pages. Her detective is a tough but likable 38-year-old. She has survived an abusive marriage, raised a child on her own, and takes pride in being self-sufficient and tenacious. But digging for answers in this case puts her in grave danger.  

Available February 8, 2018

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by Ragnar Jónasson

Jónasson is another immensely talented Icelandic author, and Nightblind is the second book in his Dark Iceland series. It’s definitely dark, in all the best of ways. We’re transported to a remote fishing village on the northernmost coast of the island. The sunless Arctic winter is coming. What better place could there be for noir fiction? Ari Thór is one of two police officers in the village. As the story opens, he’s a new father. His protective instincts are strong. He loves his family, but his marriage isn’t thriving. His wife is thinking of leaving him. On top of everything else, he’s sick with the flu. But when his senior officer’s wife calls to say her husband hasn’t come home, he crawls out of bed. The missing officer has been shot at point-blank range, and what follows is an engrossing murder investigation with a gripping pay off. Ari Thór is one of those crime novel characters who stick with you. He’s introspective, insecure, brooding, and compelling. This is a novel you shouldn’t pass up.

Available December 5, 2017

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Bury the Past

by James L’Etoile

In his debut novel, At What Cost, L’Etoile introduced crime readers to Sacramento detectives John Penley and Paula Newberry. The pace of his book was breathtaking. The plot was original. And the stakes were high for the upright Penley, who had to face down his temptation to compromise ethics for the sake of his dying son. L’Etoile is a former assistant prison warden, and his criminal justice expertise shines through in his writing. In his second novel in the series, the details are authentic, the interplay between his law enforcement characters is engaging, and his complex, twisting plot keeps you guessing. At the heart of this novel are dirty cops and illegal drug trafficking, and this time, Detective Paula Newberry is in the criminals’ crosshairs.

Available December 12, 2017

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Comment below for a chance to win a copy of Unholy City by Carrie Smith!

To enter, make sure you're a registered member of the site and simply leave a comment below.

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your username appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your username appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

Unholy City Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2017/11/5-new-police-procedurals-to-heat-up-your-winter-comment-sweepstakes beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) November 2, 2017. Sweepstakes ends 11:59 a.m. ET November 14, 2017. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.


To learn more or order a copy, visit:

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Carrie Smith is the author of Unholy City, the latest Detective Claire Codella mystery (November 7, 2017; Crooked Lane Books). Her previous books are Silent City, Forgotten City (Silver Falchion finalist), and the literary novel Forget Harry. She is the recipient of three Hopwood Awards from the University of Michigan, a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and Killer Nashville’s Readers’ Choice Award. Carrie is also senior vice president and publisher of Benchmark Education Company, a literacy publisher. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. You can find her online at www.carriesmith.nyc and @carriesmithnyc.


  1. Gordon Bingham

    Having woked in law enforcement over 20 years it’s nice to see procedurals done right. Look forward to her newest novel!

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  3. James Joyce

    I’m in. Thanks, for the offer.

  4. James L'Etoile

    I’m really looking forward to UNHOLY CITY and now I need to go check out the others on this list. They sound great. Thanks for including BURY THE PAST on your recommended list of procedurals.

  5. John Smith

    The Icelandic book looks very film noir! I’ve looked at Reykjavik in detail with Google Streetview, and it certainly is, ooh, ultra-gritty! Towering skyscrapers, dark alleys, all of that stuff!

  6. Daniel Morrell

    looks like a good bunch

  7. keith brodkorb

    I love to read procedurals, but they all too often recycle past plotlines, I need to be surprised, in a good way. Red herrings are fine but a suspect from out of nowhere irritates me. If you invest 3 to 4 hundred pages to a story I need the surprise. Thank you for the contest.

  8. Becky Mason

    New to Carrie Smith!!! Can’t wait!


    thanks for chance

  10. Jane Schwarz

    Some really great recommendations. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of “Unholy City”.

  11. Linda Leonard

    Thanks for sharing your favorites and the opportunity to read
    “Unholy City”.

  12. Alice

    Detective mysteries are the best escape!

  13. pat murphy

    love to read

  14. Mary Ann Woods

    WOW! This collection sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win them.

  15. Eric starker

    Would love a chance to win this – sounds intriguing!

  16. Nicole Powley

    I’m new to Carrie Smith and I’m grateful for this giveaway! I’m hoping to dive right into this one! It sounds phenomenal!!

  17. Tad Ottman

    Some interesting books on this list. Looking forward to Unholy City!

  18. Carolyn

    Great collection and I’m always looking for new and different authors.

  19. Sue Farrell

    I wish more women wrote procedurals.

  20. Esther Whatley

    Thanks for the chance to win Unholy City.

  21. Michael Carter

    Please enter me in this sweepstakes.


    I am so grateful to the authors who keep me entertained…especially if you have had a personal disaster, house fire and mandatory evacuation from home. Even if I do not win….Thank You.

  23. Karen Mikusak

    Would love to win!

  24. Gwen Ellington

    UNHOLY CITY sounds like a wholly good read!

  25. jane

    I am going to read this series and would love to win this book.

  26. David Siegel

    I’m in.

  27. Terrie

    I haven’t read any of Carrie Smith’s books, but am ready to start!

  28. Carl

    Sounds like a great read and it’s a new author for me as well. I’d love a copy, thanks for the chance to win one.

  29. Russ Cross

    I love police procedurals.

  30. Phyllis Sinclair

    Looking forward to reading Unholy City.


    Looking forward to reading this promising book!

  32. ellie lewis

    Great books which are all fascinating and intriguing.

  33. pearl berger

    Sounds captivating.

  34. bill norris

    her books sound awesome.

  35. inga

    I like to see which books authors themselves read!

  36. Helen Allman

    Can’t wait.

  37. Lorena Keech

    I prefer cozier mysteries in the dark of winter. But several of these intrique me, so I’ll add them to my tbr pile for spring.

  38. Pearl Berger

    Great mysteries which I would enjoy.

  39. Darlene Slocum

    Always looking for a new author to follow. Detective stories I really enjoy.

  40. mprimo1

    looking forward to reading this book

  41. Karl Stenger

    I would love to read the books.

  42. Vernon Luckert

    Great package of books!

  43. Donald Forsythe

    Here’s hoping.

  44. Donald Forsythe

    Here’s hoping.

  45. vicki gordon

    The entire Claire Codella Series sounds like it will be very enjoyable. I will start reading it as soon as I finish the boxed set I’m currently reading. Thanks for the chance to win a free book!


    Thanks for the opportunity to win a free book!! Am definitely going to add to my list of new authors to read!!

  47. Lori P

    Appreciate these suggestions! Love discovering great new police procedurals, from near and far.

  48. charles j hauser jr

    Love these police procedurals- R. Jonasson is one author I was not familiar with so I’ve just put an order in on BN for his first book and maybe I’ll win his 2nd

  49. Margit Curtright

    Thanks for the reviews – I’ll be adding some books to my list!

  50. Martha LaChance

    I love police mysteries and would like the chance to try a new one.

  51. Don Maker

    These sound interesting.

  52. Martha DeMarco

    Looking for a new read, this would be great!

  53. Karen M

    Would love to win! Count me in.

  54. Lorri S

    I love a good mystery

  55. susan beamon

    This book sounds interesting. I like the title. It needs to be in my library.

  56. Laurent Latulippe

    I’d love to read her book.

  57. Jennifer Hodges

    There are so many good books TBR!!!

  58. Julie Toller

    Would love to win

  59. Richard Brandt

    It gives me a comforting feeling as soon as I read about a murder to know that the cops will be on the job.

  60. Andrea

    I’d love to win this.

  61. Diane Pollock

    Lovely Christmas contest prizes!

  62. Diane Pollock

    Lovely Christmas contest prizes!

  63. Desmond Warzel

    Count me in, please!

  64. Carol Lawman

    I love police proceedurals. Unholy City sounds so interesting.

  65. Janet Gould

    all of these books look great

  66. Janet Gould

    all of these books look great

  67. elsie321

    Sounds like a good read.

  68. Polly Barlow

    You have presented a list of great recommendations of police procedurals that I would like to read. “Unholy City” sounds like one too.

  69. Peter W. Horton Jr.

    Me! Yes!

  70. Helen Williams

    Thank you for these reviews and recommendations. There are few gifts as great as good stories and good books.

  71. Joyce Redman

    Wow! The selections for this genre just keep getting better and better.

  72. Joyce Redman

    Wow! The selections for this genre just keep getting better and better.

  73. Susan Morris

    Unholy City looks like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  74. Jackie

    I’d love to read this book Unholy City

  75. Jackie

    I’d love to read this book Unholy City

  76. Catherine Winslow

    This is so cool, would love to win.

  77. Kathryn Baxter

    I’ve been hoping to get hold of a copy of “Unholy City” and welcome the opportunity to receive a copy from you. Thank you offering the chance.

  78. Kathryn Baxter

    I’ve been hoping to get hold of a copy of “Unholy City” and welcome the opportunity to receive a copy from you. Thank you offering the chance.

  79. Marisa Young

    More interesting books to add to my To Read list.

  80. vicki wurgler

    book sounds good

  81. Alicia Sargant

    can’t wait to read the latest

  82. Suzanne Timmsen

    Ready for some crime.

  83. Kristi Beard

    I love all police stories! Hoping to win! Thanks 🙂

  84. Kristi Beard

    I love all police stories! Hoping to win! Thanks 🙂

  85. Pat Murphy

    Such a wide range of police stories. Will fill a void in my reading list.

  86. Patricia

    Looking forward, especially, to A Season to Lie. I’ve put Unholy City on my wish list. Thanks for a chance to win.

  87. Barbara Bates

    Thank you for the chance to win this great book!

  88. Barbara Bibel

    This sounds like a great new series. I would love to read it.

  89. Jeffrey Raiffe

    Sounds like a great crime novel to read.

  90. L

    Some good sounding books. Thanks for the recomendations!

  91. Steven Levitsky

    I’d love to win a copy of the book and start a new series!

  92. Shannon Baas

    I would like this.

  93. Sandy Klocinski

    I love police procedurals. Thanks for the opportunity to win. Bury the Past is one of my favorites

  94. Tawney Mazek

    I really enjoy procedurals and Carrie Smith has me adding to my To Read list – including her own books. Thanks.

  95. Andrew Gordon

    great reads

  96. Susan Smoaks

    thank you for the chance to win


    I’m on board!

  98. Helen Martin

    Sound like some great reading!

  99. Sandra Slack

    Oh this one sounds good!


    Snow is here already. I need great books like this to pass the time.
    Plus a large Irish Coffee)

  101. Lori Walker


  102. Mallory Bailey

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  103. Patricia Nicklas

    I’m looking forward to another book in the series

  104. Veronica Sandberg

    looks like good read

  105. Veronica Sandberg

    looks like good read

  106. Sab Edwards

    looks like a very good read …the iceland book and even the fact of no sun sorta is scary enough lol

  107. Susan Mahaffey

    Great collection of books! Hope I win!

  108. Leslie Mcewan

    sounds good

  109. Ann Muth


  110. julie hawkins

    I want to read these.

  111. Kris Kaminski

    Winter comming, need some good books to get through!

  112. Kris Kaminski

    Winter comming, need some good books to get through!

  113. Christal Mormann

    thank you for the chance

  114. Ed Nemmers

    I would like to read the work of Carrie Smith.

  115. Lisa Pecora

    Ohh! I would love to read this!

  116. Tricha Leary

    Oh My sounds great

  117. Christian Alejandro

    I could use a new book to read.

  118. Leela

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  119. Kim Keithline

    sounds great sign me up

  120. Richard Hicks

    Looks like fun reading!

  121. Kimberly Dull

    I love a good mystery!

  122. Linda Peters

    always love to find new authors, thanks

  123. Stephanie Liske

    Thank you.

  124. Terry Hodges

    I loved Carrie Smith’s first two books and would love to read this book also.

  125. Terry Hodges

    I loved Carrie Smith’s first two books and would love to read this book also.

  126. Carl White

    [b]Just the facts, ma’am…[/b]

  127. Buddy Garrett

    They sound great. Thanks.

  128. Jodi Hassel

    Thank you for the chance to win!

  129. Philip Lawrence

    An Unholy City sounds eerie …which I like!

  130. Karen Hester

    Thanks for the chance to win

Comments are closed.

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