Unusual Suspects

Have Horror Movies Taught Us Nothing About Cottages in Remote Areas?!

Hi fellow mystery lovers! I’m over here drowning in ARCs and library ebooks (happy as a pig in mud) so I’m gonna dive right in this week!

Have Horror Movies Taught Us Nothing About Cottages in Remote Areas?! (TW: suicide)

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return. Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated—and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter. Corey knows something is wrong. Lost is keeping secrets—chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter.

cover image: ominous silhouette of a cabin in the woods at night with full moon aboveIn A Cottage In a Wood by Cass Green: The opening starts like a wonderful British chick lit with funny Lou living in London with her sister’s family as she tries to sort out her life. Then on a strange hungover morning, Lou witnesses a suicide that changes her life even more than the traumatic event: She suddenly finds herself owning a cottage in a remote area. When her life really gets to be too much for her, she escapes to the cottage thinking it’ll give her time to sort everything out. Be less of a hot mess. Except either she’s now losing her mind, or the stranger who left her the cottage wasn’t really imagining that someone was after her… Good psychological suspense with a funny main character that builds up the fear you find in horror movies without being a horror novel. (The Kindle ebook is on sale for $1.99)

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

the-dry-by-jane-harperIf you’ve been following this newsletter for a while you know my love for Jane Harper’s debut The Dry (here, and here) and how I’ve been shouting since I got the ARC for the followup book in the series (Force of Nature) because it’s as good as her excellent debut. If you’re a fan of mysteries that grab you from the beginning, have great characters, a setting that comes to life like a character, and a solid good mystery from beginning to end this series is not to be missed. I will definitely pick up any book Harper writes and am so glad she was able to answer a few questions!

And here’s Jane Harper:

What would you like to see more/less of in the mystery genre? I would love to see more books set in exotic and far-flung locations. As much as I love reading mysteries set in the US, UK and Scandinavia, there’s something captivating about being transported to somewhere completely different. It’s interesting to see the way different landscapes, climates and social challenges impact communities and characters around the world in different ways.

If you were forced to live the rest of your life as one of your characters, who would it be? My first thought was none of them! They all have their own problems and hardships that I’d personally rather avoid. But if I had to choose, I would pick Rita Raco, the wife of Sgt Greg Raco in The Dry. She is a minor character, but I think one of the happiest. She is a smart woman, married to a good man and I think she does her best to create happiness in her life.

The last book you read that you loved? I was lucky enough to get an advance proof of The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn, which is coming out in January and is fabulous!

Thanks Jane! I can’t wait for Reese Witherspoon’s adaptation and look forward to everything else you’ll write!

French Literary Suspense Inspired by a True Crime (TW: child death/ suicide)

cover image: zoom in image from chin to chest of a white woman in a light blue blouse with peter pan white collarThe Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani: The opening is brutal, as it starts at the end with the crime. It then takes you back a bit in time so you get to know this couple who is interviewing (with no luck) nannies, now that the mother is desperate to go back to having a career. The entire novel is the how we got to that crime, how this seemingly perfect nanny became anything but. Slimani perfectly sums it up in this NPR interview: “I had the feeling that she was like a plate that you put every day on the table, and she breaks every day a little bit,” Slimani says. “And one day you put it on the table and she breaks it into pieces.”


Ever dreamed about winning a library cart? Book Riot might make your dream come true!

Rincey and Katie talk YA mystery & thrillers on Read or Dead!

Read an excerpt from Michelle McNamara’s excellent upcoming true crime I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (February 27th): Letter to the Golden State Killer

Deadpool writers and Ryan Reynold’s have teamed up for–wait for it… a Clue remake!

The Edgar Awards nominees have been announced and finally a list I can cheer for: The Dime; Bluebird, Bluebird; A Rising Man; Penance; Dark Chapter; The Hate U Give— and a bunch of books just got stacked onto my TBR list.

Rioter Ann Foster has 24 Psychological Thrillers For Fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Big Little Lies.

Leonardo Padura on a Lost Generation of Cubans, and the Arrogance of Trump: One of the Americas Great Crime Writers Talks to Dwyer Murphy

The author of Girl in Snow recommends 6 coming-of-age thrillers.

If you’re a fan of Shondaland and procedurals there’s a new courtroom drama coming March 13th! Here’s the trailer for For the People.

The trailer for the spy thriller Red Sparrow, based on Jason Matthews‘ novel, starring Jennifer Lawrence. (In theaters March 2nd.)

Kindle Deals!

goldie vanceGoldie Vance Vol 1 by Hope Larson,‎ Brittney Williams is $4.99 (For fans of Nancy Drew/Veronica Mars)

The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman #1) by Ben H. Winters is $1.99 (Apocalyptic mystery procedural)

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, Instagram, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canaves.