Unusual Suspects

(6/14) A Con Artist, Delightful Detectives, & My New Fave Detective

Hello my fellow mystery fans! Italy is giving away free castles as long as you restore them to their original beauty and make it a tourist entity. And now I ask Does a library or book shop count? Because castle libraries for everyone!

Sponsored by A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride.

A gripping standalone thriller from the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series. DC Callum MacGregor’s career was going pretty well until he covered up a mistake to protect his pregnant crime-scene tech girlfriend. Now, Callum’s stuck on a squad with all the other misfits—the officers no one else wants, but who can’t be fired—never likely to get within reach of a decent case again. That is, until they accidentally get handed the biggest murder investigation the city of Oldcastle has ever seen. When a mummified body is found in the local garbage dump, the top-brass assume pranksters have stolen it from a museum. But as Callum and his colleagues investigate, it starts to look less like student high-jinx and more like the work of a terrifying serial killer…

My new favorite detective series!

A Rising Man A Rising Man book cover: an intricate arch with silhouette of man.(Sam Wyndham #1) by Abir Mukherjee: Wyndham was a Scotland Yard detective who has moved to Calcutta (British ruled in 1919) to escape what was left of his life, although his Opium addiction has come with. While he’s tasked with solving the murder of a British official he must also navigate around his addiction, a crush, and the many rules/laws against Indians that he doesn’t understand. Enter terrorist suspects, brothels, opium dens, and a super interesting look at early 1900s Calcutta. I really loved Wyndham (he didn’t feel like the grumpy, addicted, weighed by the past male detective trope) and Sargeant Banerjee (one of the only Indians in the CID) and that the racism of the time was shown without the main character being racist. A great start to a new series–give me more!

A little Q&A: JoAnn Chaney (I ask authors I’m excited about five questions and let them answer any three they’d like.)

What You Don't Know book cover: colorblocked red and black with woman from nose down fading into black.JoAnn Chaney’s first novel What You Don’t Know is a chilling read that kept me up all night! And it’s one of my favorite 2017 releases! If you’re a fan of serial killers, detective mysteries, and characters a few steps toward hotmesses (or already there) don’t miss this novel! You can read my love for it here and here!


And here’s Chaney!

If you were forced to live the rest of your life as one of your characters who would it be? In WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW, one of the cops is named Ralph Loren. (Yes, really.) He’s angry, he’s sarcastic, he does and says what he wants, and he constantly eats greasy takeout and he does strange, off-the-wall things just to freak people out. He’s a dark character, but he’s also got a more relatable side that you’ll see in my next book.

So if I were forced to be one of my characters, it’d be Loren. It’d be interesting to live without any sort of filter and to eat nothing but chili cheese tater tots. OH WAIT. I might already be living like Loren.

If you adapted a well-known book into a Clue mystery what would be the solve? Oh, man, this is a great game.

MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA: Sayuri, with a fan, in the teahouse.

CAT IN THE HAT: The cat, with the fishbowl, in our mother’s bedroom.

HARRY POTTER: Harry, with the Sneakoscope, in the Shrieking Shack.

I could seriously play this all night.

If you were to blurb your most recent/upcoming book (à la James Patterson): “WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW is a fantastic thrill ride that’ll either make you want to read more of my work or avoid sitting beside me at dinner parties.”


“WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW—the best debut novel I’ll ever write.”

Thanks, JoAnn! I’m excited for “my next book.” Seriously, who do I give my money to?!

*That ending!

Here Lies Daniel TateHere Lies Daniel Tate book cover: image of teen boy with multipile zoomed in boxes of his features. by Cristin Terrill: Daniel Tate is a liar and a con artist. He tells you from the beginning but you still can’t help but like him. I mean his con is technically pretending to be a few years younger than he is to get into a group home for teens just to have a roof over his head and food on the table for a couple days–it’s cold in Canada! But this time the police get involved and his too-traumatized-to-give-my-name act stops working and he’s forced to give the police his name. Or at least a name. He picks the one he remembers from a missing child from years ago that is the closest he could pass for now. And that’s when a con he’s completely unprepared for goes into full swing. Daniel Tate’s family welcome him, mostly with open arms, and suddenly he’s ridiculously rich and in California. But have they all really bought this con? Surely, Daniel’s family would know at some point that he’s not really their long lost brother/son? Or has he made a grave mistake entering into this family? I couldn’t put this one down because it just kept unraveling as you question how honest Daniel Tate is being and how honest the Tate family members–two brothers, two sisters, a checked-out mom, incarcerated father–are being? Oh, and that *ending was pretty great. I suspect there will be many readers yelling “noooooooooo”–which I love. (*I’m referring to the actual end-end not the twist.)


The World’s Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson: Ten-year-old Toby Montrose has been passed around homes ever since his parents disappeared. He’s currently staying on Detectives’ Row with his uncle and fears that if something goes wrong, as it always seems to, he’ll finally be out of options and be sent to an orphanage. Being that his uncle is having a hard time getting business, as most of the detectives on the Row are, Toby decides to lie his way into a detective competition to win a good chunk of cash and hopefully solve all his problems. Enter Ivy, a fellow child, already calling herself a detective who quite enjoys disguising and finding herself in trouble—she’s perfect! With any good mystery nothing goes as it should and Toby and Ivy find themselves partnering up which is delightful as their personalities clash and they have to prove that children are perfectly capable of being great detectives. A perfect read for fans of cozy mysteries!

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.