Unusual Suspects

2018 Mysteries & Thrillers to Look Forward To!

Hi fellow mystery fans! I’ve started reading galleys for 2018 mysteries because they’re stacked next to my bed chanting my name and who am I to say no? So this week I’m talking 2018 titles to put on your TBR now or to pre-buy!

Sponsored by Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley believes Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of an abusive relationship.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her and tells him to get help from Emilie Wesley.

Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emilie and Reid must find the truth—and maybe a future together in the process.

cover image: black and white photo of man standing at railing staring out to sea with title in yellow letters Down the River unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (February 20th, Mulholland Books): (TW: sexual assault) I’m still making my way through Mosley’s catalog, but you better believe I dropped everything to read this ARC the day it arrived. We’re introduced to a new detective, Joe King Oliver, a former cop-turned-PI. He’s a former cop because of a rape charge he denies, and the book focuses on him trying to find out who set him up while also taking on a case to find justice for a convicted cop killer. A good read that pits law vs. justice and I loved his relationship with his assistant, his teenage daughter.

Force of NatureForce of Nature cover image: aerial view of green forest with title letters foggy through sky (Aaron Falk #2) by Jane Harper ( February 6th, Flatiron Books): The followup to The Dry is just as good, which is saying something. This time around, Federal Police Agent Falk is back home with a new case: 5 women went on a work retreat in the woods, but only 4 are accounted for. The missing woman was cooperating with a financial investigation, the woods she’s missing in once housed a serial killer, and witnesses stories aren’t adding up…Harper delivers another solid mystery from beginning to end.

Hollywood Ending cover image: young black woman on red carpet painting looking over her shoulder back at cameraHollywood Ending (A Detective by Day Mystery) by Kellye Garrett (August 8th, Midnight Ink): I’ve been looking forward to this since I finished Hollywood Homicide because I loved the characters so much. I am here for more of this cozy mystery and look forward to seeing what Dayna Anderson and her friends get into. And it looks like this time around Dayna is a P.I.’s apprentice so I’m excited to see her evolution from amateur sleuth.

Give Me Your Hand cover image: black background with yellow rose on fireGive Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (July 17th, Little, Brown and Company): Abbott has topped herself! The pages are electric as suspense builds between the “then” and “now” as one woman holds onto a secret she never wanted from her past while trying to grab the future she wants… And reminding me of my love for Abbott the “now” is mostly set in a research lab looking into PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). Already on the Best of 2018 list!

A Necessary Evil cover image: silhouette of man in coat and hat standing in a lush forestA Necessary Evil (Sam Wyndham #2) by Abir Mukherjee (April 3rd, Pegasus Crime): Another sequel for a 2017 release that I can’t wait for! The series follows a former Scotland Yard detective trying to not only solve crimes for the CID but to navigate British ruled Calcutta in the early 1900s. The sequel has him working again with Sergeant Banerjee (one of the only Indians working for the CID) and I’m excited for their new mystery in the wealthy kingdom of Sambalpore.

Sunburn cover image: partial photograph of young white woman's half face and shoulder wearing sunglassesSunburn by Laura Lippman (February 18th, William Morrow): I’ve seen a lot of authors raving about this one so I had to read it. And the buzz is warranted: It’s a great read that mixes lit fic, crime, a whudunit and the “unlikable” woman. In this case you have a woman with a past trying to secure her future–but at what cost? If you’re a fan of writers that can tap into the energy of a ruthless need for survival don’t miss this one.

A Treacherous CurseA Treacherous Curse cover image: a doodled image in browns and blacks of Victorian London with an outline of a woman with a butterfly net (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn (January 16th, Berkley): A funny, feminist, historical fiction mystery series that I love. This one had me laughing from the first page as Speedwell and Stoker find themselves solving a mystery revolving around an Egyptian archaeological dig involving Stoker’s past. If you haven’t started this series yet now’s a perfect time to get caught up!

i'll be gone in the dark cover image: an ominous black and white photograph of a house on a street with little bushes in frontI’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction), Patton Oswalt (Afterword) (February 27th, Harper): (TW: sexual assault) McNamara never forgot about an unsolved murder from her childhood neighborhood which ultimately led to her creating a website as an adult to try and solve unsolved cases. One of those, which became her obsession, was a rapist/murderer who preyed in California during the ’70s and ’80s. Her extensive research and work is this book, which sadly she won’t get to see published because she passed away while writing it. I’m almost finished and so far I’ve had nightmares, cried, and fiercely loved McNamara.

The Trauma Cleaner cover image: a yellow latex glove with a spot of blood on the tip of the index fingerThe Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein (April 10th, St. Martin’s Press): There are books I want to read solely for the title. Others because Rioter Liberty Hardy told me to. And those because I’m interest/fascinated with the subject. This book hits all 3 reasons as Sarah Krasnostein followed and wrote about Sandra Pankhurst, a trauma cleaner with a hell of a life story who “bring order and care to these, the living and the dead…”


Book Riot:

How to Set up a Mystery Book Club

Rincey and Katie dedicated a Read or Dead episode to Agatha Christie.

10 Great Mystery Books for Teens

20 Best Historical Mystery Books

Muppet arms: The mystery comic Goldie Vance is being adapted by Kerry Washington (producing) and Rashida Jones (writing)!

Michael B. Jordan to star in adaptation of Just Mercy, social justice activist Bryan Stevenson’s memoir about his first legal case.

Netflix has renewed Mindhunter (fictional adaptation of Mind Hunter) for a second season.

(TW: sexual assault)  How the Super Lawyer David Boies Turned a Young Novelist’s Sexual Past Against Her (Emma Cline, author of The Girls)

NPR’s Best Mystery picks

Kindle Deal

Caroline Carlson’s delightful The World’s Greatest Detective is $1.99 (review)

And the first in Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series Baltimore Blues is $3.49



Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. And here’s an Unusual Suspects Pinterest board.

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