Hi my fellow mystery fans! The Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center in Oregon lets you have a sleepover with sloths and this is where I want to spend the rest of my life reading all my books! Who’s coming with me?
This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Marlena by Julie Buntin.
An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades
Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat is quickly lured into Marlena’s orbit, and as she catalogues a litany of firsts—first drink, first cigarette, first kiss, first pill—Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods. When a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past.
Kendra Donovan is back!
A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan Mysteries, #2) by Julie McElwain: Kendra Donovan is still stuck in 1815 England after a mysterious wormhole that seems to have moved her from being a modern FBI agent to being in an English castle. But as much as she still wants to find a way to return to her home–and time period–just as in the first book, she’s got more pressing matters in the form of solving a murder. Lady Dover has been murdered and there are plenty of suspects, considering she had quite a few lovers–and no qualms about pissing people off. Speaking of lovers, Donovan’s current love interest is a suspect since he was a former lover of Ms. Dover–juicy stuff, filled with plenty of society gossip! If you’re looking for a fun, feminist, historical fiction mystery here you go. I love watching Donovan fight sexism while also trying to remember the things she can’t reveal because they happen in the future.
Japanese crime fiction always delivers for me!
Penance by Kanae Minato, Philip Gabriel (Translation): This is a dark, character driven crime novel that unfurls from one event: a group of girls are tricked into letting one of the girls help a stranger and that girl is later found dead. The four surviving girls from that day find themselves threatened by the murdered girl’s mother and it changes the course of their lives along with the actual event. I love the construction of the novel where each of the surviving girls (Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuko) tells a part of that fateful day from their perspective, along with how their life has turned out, now 15 years after the crime. Running throughout the novel is also the mystery of who that stranger was and whether he’ll ever be caught… If you’re a fan of dark, character-driven novels get thee this book!
Lambda literary award finalist have been announced and I just added all the books from the mystery categories to my TBR list.
I kind of love that James Patterson blurbed his own book: Like was Dan Brown too busy so Patterson said “I got this!”? Also, it’s kind of working–I mean I haven’t read a Patterson novel in a bazillion years but now I’m debating that maybe I should read The Black Book. I mean if it is the best one in 20 years!
Watch the always delightful Kristen Bell read the original proposal for Veronica Mars—which was originally meant to be a novel, and was very different from the show we came to know. (I still want more Veronica Mars novels, please!)
When everyone is potentially shady!
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda: Leah Stevens was a journalist who refused to name a source and also had a restraining order taken out on her so when her friend Emmy offers for them to room together in a small Pennsylvania town Leah thinks the move will be a new life start. But it seems her new life comes with its own new problems: a woman is attacked and left in a coma unable to say who her attacker was, and the victim looks an awful lot like Leah! That’s frightening enough, but now Leah is wondering if the guy who’s been harassing her is responsible? Is she in danger? And then Emmy disappears… Seriously what is happening in this town?! This was a page-turner for me with an ending with bite!–which I love.
I have to go shopping now:
Why yes we have earned ourselves mystery solver patches–and they glow in the dark!