I may not be surrounded by my usual piles of books—currently I’m surrounded by stacks of gifts, gift tags, and countless rolls of wrapping paper that refuse to stop rolling off the table—but I am still 100% about discussing books! So lets get to all the mystery, crime, and murders which I like to believe don’t get solved until we read them.
I discovered Anne Holt thanks to Rioter Leila Roy’s Queens of Crimes. I’m a big fan of Scandinavian crime novels/Nordic noir because they’re dark and morally complicated, so I had to read Holt. Her Hanne Wilhelmsen series (one of three) is now mostly translated to English. I was reading out of order since they were being translated out of order BUT if you haven’t read the series yet you’re in luck: The Lion’s Mouth (#4), Dead Joker (#5), No Echo (#6), and Beyond the Truth (#7) published in the U.S. this year so you can read the first eight novels in the series in order. If you’re a dabbler or don’t care about order, the novels 1222 and The Lion’s Mouth work as stand-alones.
So. Many. Twists.
I’m not going to say a lot about Federico Axat’s Kill the Next One because I was totally unprepared for all the sharp turns in the novel and I don’t want to take that awesome experience away from other readers. The novel starts with Ted, having been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, about to take his own life, except he’s interrupted by a stranger with a strange proposition who knows way too much about Ted. Ted complies with the stranger’s request and quickly realizes nothing is as it seems. And when I say nothing is at is seems, I mean nothing. You have no idea where this is going after the opening. Enjoy!
Megan Abbott has excellent taste! (Not that it was up for debate.)
Abbott listed her favorite thriller writers in By the Book and having never heard of Steph Cha, I knew I had to read her. In Follow Her Home, Juniper Song, a mid-twenties Korean-American with a fixation for Philip Marlowe, decides to help a close friend who fears his father is having an affair. Song may not actually be a PI but she has many similarities and I think would get listed with the best of the best—terrible smoking habit included. Song is broken from the past, dripping with sarcasm, relentless, and my new favorite main character in a noir series. Speaking of series, I need to go buy Beware Beware and Dead Soon Enough.
Sequels are coming!
A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1) by Julie McElwain: McElwain sprinkles a bit of accidental time travel to place modern day FBI agent Kendra Donovan in a British castle in 1815. Add a serial killer and Donovan’s continual forgetfulness/refusal to oblige with 1800s rules for women, and you have a great feminist mystery. The second in the series, A Twist in Time, is listed as coming April 2017!
A Front Page Affair (Kitty Weeks Mystery #1) by Radha Vatsal: This is perfect for readers who love a mystery but try to avoid graphic violence, especially towards women, and are historical fiction fans. Set in NY at the beginning of World War I, Capability “Kitty” Weeks finds herself trying to solve a murder that occurred during an event she’d attended while working as a reporter for the women’s fashion section of The Sentinel. While she is more than capable of not only solving the crime and being a newspaper reporter, she’s a woman in a time where women aren’t even allowed to vote. The second book in the series, Murder Between the Lines, is listed as coming May 2017!
The first issue has me excited for the series!
Imagine having zero interest in being a princess because you’ve already decided you want to be a detective. Now imagine you have no say in things because you’re only ten. That’s what Max is dealing with in Mega Princess #1 by Kelly Thompson, Brianne Drouhard, M. Victoria Robado. Even after a visit from her fairy godmother, who mints her with some extra princess powers, Max is undeterred from becoming a detective. She even has a sarcastic horse sidekick!
If you’re planning a murder mystery party and are a fan of cutting:
These printable murder mystery photo booth props look awesome. They even seem like fun to wear while playing Clue.
Find yourself with less time than usual during the holiday season?
Read a great mystery short story published in The Atlantic: Reply to a Dead Man by Walter Mosley
Until next time, keep investigating! And in the meantime feel free to come talk books with me on Litsy, you can find me under Jamie Canaves.
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