Unusual Suspects

Tess Gerritsen Q&A, International Crime Thrillers, & More

Hello again my fellow mystery fans! I say if we can train a cat to ring a bell for food, we can train them to turn our book pages for us!

Sponsored by Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf.

When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters—her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

Just one more chapter!

Milena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World by Jorge Zepeda Patterson, Adrian Nathan West (Translation): A Mexican newspaper owner dies while in the throws of passion, leaving his lover, Milena, with no choice but to go on the run since the men who’d once kept her in sex slavery will now be after her. This has a lot of interesting characters that get involved in finding Milena—starting with a trio of childhood friends, now adults with complicated relationships. And like any good crime novel/thriller, you wonder who amongst the “good guys” actually are good guys? For me, Milena’s character unfolded into a very nice surprise and I loved how the chapters were structured: the group of characters currently working together; how Milena was sold into sex slavery, got to where she currently is, and why people are after her; the characters scheming behind the other character’s backs; the johns. If you’re looking for an international crime thriller, I really enjoyed this one.

A Little Q&A: Tess Gerritsen (I give authors I’m excited about five questions and let them answer any three they’d like.)

Looking for an author with a hefty catalog you can take a deep dive into? Meet Tess Gerritsen! Not only is she the author of the Rizzoli & Isles series but she also has a lot of great stand-alone novels ranging in genre from romantic suspense to medical thrillers–and since Gerritsen is a physician that means readers can count on accuracy! I’m super *excited for I Know A Secret (Ballantine Books, August 15), a new installment in the Rizzoli & Isles series, so I thought a little Q&A was in order. (*Already read it and it’s soooo good!)

Here’s Tess Gerritsen!

What would you like to see less/more of in the mystery genre?  I’d like to see more mysteries set in unusual settings and occupations. For example, I’ve just read a mystery by Danish writer Sara Blaedel about the world of undertakers, and it was both grim and utterly refreshing. I’d also love to read contemporary mysteries set in countries such as Egypt or Turkey, because those cultures are so seldom featured in books available to Americans.

If you were forced to live the rest of your life as one of your characters, who would it be? I feel I already am living the life of one of my characters. Maura Isles is very much modeled after my own personality. We both have scientific backgrounds, we like to think we’re logical, and we tend to seek out the dark side of the story.

The last book you read that you loved? It’s a new suspense novel coming out early next year called THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn. Don’t miss it!

Thanks, Tess! *Adds The Woman in The Window to TBR and glares at publishers until they give us mysteries from Turkey and Egypt.

Great read for fans of Who Do You Think You Are? (Genealogy shows):

Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy by Helene Stapinski: A true crime/memoir that takes you to Italy in the 1800s and modern day as Stapinski tries to unravel a family mystery. Stapinski had grown up hearing a story about her great-great-grandmother Vita that ended with her committing murder and immigrating to the U.S. Stapinski had always worried that somehow this one person in her family had passed down something that created criminals throughout the generations, but she really didn’t know enough about Vita because the story had been told word-of-mouth. So Stapinski sets off to uncover the true story of who her great-great-grandmother really was. Told in parts as memoir as Stapinski travels to Italy to uncover the truth, and in parts as an imagining of Vita’s life (by Stapinski, based on research and how she would have felt), this is a really interesting read from the look at Southern Italy in the 1800s to the truth uncovered about Vita’s life.

Crime fiction for fans of true crime:

The Long Drop by Denise Mina: While this a fictional crime novel, it is based on true events of a serial killer. The narration reminded me almost of a distant historian, which gave it a true crime feeling. Basically, it’s the merging of a novel and true crime, which follows one case from beginning to end in 1950s Glasgow. Peter Manuel is on trial for eight murders, but he’s not confessing. Actually, he’s telling his own stories of how three of the victims, women in William Watt’s family–William being a suspect of murdering his own family–must have been killed. Oddly enough, Watt actually turned to Manuel to help him clear his name, which are the chapters between the trial taking you into a night of drinking, storytelling, and trying to figure out who is actually telling the truth?! As for the title of the novel, well that’s a method of execution…

Recent paperback releases:

Charcoal Joe (Easy Rawlins #14) by Walter Mosley

Lady Cop Makes Trouble (Kopp Sisters #2) by Amy Stewart

A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #12) by Louise Penny

Murder Between the Lines (Kitty Weeks Mystery #2) by Radha Vatsal

I have to go shopping now:

Lovely J.B. Fletcher Murder, She Wrote print.

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf.

Until next time, keep investigating! And in the meantime come talk books with me on Twitter and Litsy— you can find me under Jamie Canaves.