Unusual Suspects

Charlotte Holmes is the Best Sherlock, & a Chat With Megan Abbott

Hello fellow mystery fans! People are getting excited about pumpkin-flavored things and other people are annoyed by those people so fall reading is almost here!

Sponsored by PORTRAIT OF VENGEANCE by Carrie Stuart Parks

Gwen Marcey has done a good job keeping the pain of her past boxed up, but as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details surface that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. What’s going on?

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen is an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation more difficult. Questions pile up, answers come slow—and the clock is ticking for a missing girl.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a race for the truth.

Charlotte Holmes is My Favorite Sherlock!

A Conspiracy in Belgravia cover image: a woman in a late 1800's ruffled dress running away in a foggy streetA Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2) by Sherry Thomas: I read this a few months back and have not stopped raving about it because it’s one of my favorite series and it’s my favorite Holmes and Sherlock team. Thomas has not only gender-swapped Sherlock and Holmes, but has brilliantly made it so that the quirks we’ve associated with Sherlock aren’t a random personality trait so much as a push-back to society’s treatment of women. It’s so well done. In this second novel, Charlotte and Mrs. Watson are back with a rather delicate case involving a married woman looking to find a past lover–her true love. Scandalous! Making the case super-complicated is the fact that Charlotte knows both the woman’s husband and the true love. It’s packed with mysteries, ladies not here for society’s rules, improper flirting, learning to fight, and more; and I loved every moment of this book!

A Little Q&A: Megan Abbott and Alison Gaylin (I give authors I’m excited about 5 questions and let them answer any three they’d like.)

If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while you know my love for Abbott–especially, her early noir–so you can imagine how quickly I moved to get my hands on her crime graphic novel: Normandy Gold. After inhaling the first issue, and immediately needing the next issue in the series, I realized it was a duo writing team and that I needed to get my hands on Gaylin’s work pronto! In Normandy Gold you have a detective who goes undercover as a call girl in order to find out what happened to her sister, and it’s set in the ’70s and written by two awesome mystery writers! (illustrated by Steve Scott)

And here’s Abbot and Gaylin:

What would you like to see more/less of in the mystery genre?

Less of….

Megan: Copycat books

Alison: Dead women driving plots.

More of:

Megan: Diversity, of every kind

Alison: Living women driving plots

If you were to blurb your most recent/upcoming book à la James Patterson:

Megan: “Normandy Gold: as if Brian De Palma remade Dirty Harry starring Pam Grier and with a Bernard Hermann score.”

Alison: “To paraphrase one of the characters, Normandy Gold is hotter than Satan’s g-string — and twice as lethal.”

The last book you read that you loved?

Megan: Laura Lippman’s upcoming Sunburn, note-perfect noir and not to be missed.

Alison: I haven’t read Sunburn yet, but I am so excited for it. Also Karen Ellis’ (aka Katia Lief) absolutely riveting psychological thriller, A Map of the Dark, out in January.

Thanks Megan and Alison! I look forward to more Normandy Gold and now have two more books added to my TBR list!

Add Now and Watch on September 15: Strong Island, a Netflix true crime documentary that focuses on racial injustice. Yance Ford takes an emotional and unflinching look at his family’s devastation and lingering pain after the murder of their son and brother, William Ford. Trailer here.


A Tale of Four Cities: Must Read International Thrillers via Bookish

On All The Backlist podcast Liberty talked about two very long running mystery series which now I have to read because they sounded interesting: Kinsey Millhone series (has a book for each letter of the alphabet!) and The Cat Who series (a reporter and his Siamese cats who help solve crimes!).

Rincey and Katie talk about mystery writers who have real life mysteries/crimes on Read or Dead!

Psychological Suspense (TRIGGER WARNING: Date rape)

Good Me, Bad MeGood Me Bad Me cover image: a teen girl's face layered with gold and black wash and the title lettering by Ali Land: I’m going to do this review in two parts: first, for those who like to know as little as possible beforehand so they can be surprised by as much as possible; second, a little more for those that need to know what they’re getting into.

1st: Milly is a teen temporarily living with a foster family who has not only taken her in but the father is preparing her for a court appearance. Things are awful for Milly before she arrives and seeing as her foster sister hates her on sight things aren’t going to get any better… (Told in 1st person readers get front row seats to Milly’s thoughts as she navigates this new life while trying to reconcile with the past.)

2nd: Milly’s mum is a serial killer and Milly is the reason she was finally arrested. Now Milly must testify. Between the stress of that, a foster family where the daughter is bullying her, and a new life where no one seems to understand her or know her secrets how is Milly going to come out of any of this?

More Out This Week:

To Funk and Die in LA (D Hunter #4) by Nelson George (Ex-bodyguard tries to solve the shooting of his uncle in LA.)

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions (Kopp Sisters #3) by Amy Stewart (Historical fic based on real Kopp sisters, one of America’s 1st female deputy sheriff.)

That Last Weekend by Laura DiSilverio (Group of friends reunite but is there a killer among them?)

A Murder in Music City: Corruption, Scandal, and the Framing of an Innocent Man by Michael Bishop (True crime)

March of Crime (Murder-By-Month Mystery #11) by Jess Lourey (Funny cozy mystery.)

A Legacy of Spies by John le Carré (George Smiley is back.)

I Found You More Kindle Deals!

Girl Waits with Gun and Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart (1st two in the Kopp Sisters series) are each $2.99

The Nine Mile Walk: The Nicky Welt Stories by Harry Kemelman for $1.99



Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. And if you like to put a pin in things here’s an Unusual Suspects board.

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.