Unusual Suspects

Natalie Wood’s 1981 Drowning Is Now Considered A Suspicious Death

Hi fellow mystery fans! I hope you’re drowning in holiday candy and books–solving mysteries to your hearts content. Here’s to another month packed with great reads!

Sponsored by Walking The Bones by Randall Silvis

The bones of seven young girls, picked clean and carefully preserved… that’s all Sergeant Ryan DeMarco knows about the unsolved crime he has unwittingly been roped into investigating during what is supposed to be a healing road trip with his new love, Jayme.

DeMarco is still reeling from the case that led to death of his best friend months ago and wants nothing more than to lay low. Unfortunately, the small southern town of Jayme’s idyllic youth is not exactly a place that lets strangers go unnoticed—especially strangers who have a history of solving violent crimes. And if there’s anything DeMarco knows, it’s that a killer always leaves clues behind just waiting for the right person to come along and put all the pieces together.

For Fans of Get Out! (Trigger Warning: rape/ suicide)

Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith, Andre Blake (Narrator): I honestly want to tell you nothing about this book so that you get hit by every level of this story like I did! I’ll say it’s a social thriller that very smartly places the reader in super uncomfortable territory as a black lawyer jumps at the opportunity to go on a trip with influential and wealthy black men. A secret society if you will… I enjoyed the narrator, Andrew Blake, on the audiobook and spent two days with headphones on ignoring everyone–and internally freaking out.

The Sequel to The Dry is Finally Here!! (Trigger Warning: eating disorder)

Force of Nature (Aaron Falk #2) by Jane Harper: Harper yet again delivers a very satisfying mystery from beginning to end, perfect to curl up with. This time around, Federal Police Agent Falk has left the desperately dry small town elements from the first in the series to find himself in the Giralang Ranges along with partner Carmen Cooper. They’ve been called because Alice Russell has gone missing in the forest while on a work retreat. Alice who was helping with a corruption case and is now missing on land a serial killer once lived on… A great story that gives you the detailed present investigation along with flashbacks of the time leading up to the disappearance. If you’re wondering if you want the audiobook, Stephen Shanahan does an excellent narration with his calm, deep, Australian accented voice–so yes! (AND if you need a refresher on what happened in The Dry, here’s a Previously On post.)


Rincey and Katie discuss Edgar Awards nominees and books by black authors on Read or Dead!

Quiz: What Thriller Protagonist Are You?

Over on Wired:  7 True Crime Docs You Should Stream Right Now

Dennis Lehan’s Gone, Baby, Gone will get a second adaptation (the 1st being the 2017 film directed by Ben Affleck) as a television series.

The drowning death of Natalie Wood in 1981 is now considered a “suspicious death” after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened the investigation. And Robert Wagner, her husband at the time, is a person of interest in the case.

The new thriller Need to Know by Karen Cleveland is being adapted and Charlize Theron is attached as producer and star. You can read the opening excerpt on EW.

Psychological Suspense (Trigger Warning: suicide/ molestation)

Girl Unknown cover image: a dark photograph of a young woman under waterGirl Unknown by Karen Perry: Told in alternating chapters from David and Caroline’s perspective, we watch as a family reacts to a stranger being dropped into the mix when Zoey, a college student, tells David she’s his daughter from a long ago relationship. David brings her into the family (she is his daughter after all) but Caroline is hesitant–she has questions. The kids are split: one begins to bond with his new sister while the other wants her gone. This is a page-turner that slowly builds suspense one brick at a time, but will the wall be the strength of a new family or is it all going to come crashing down?

Recent Releases:

The Unforgotten by Laura Powell (Currently reading: 1950s historical mystery.)

Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama, Jonathan Lloyd-Davies (Paperback) (review)

Resurrection Bay (Caleb Zelic #1) by Emma Viskic (Currently reading: so far a must-solve-mystery-while-being-a-suspect.)

The Storm King by Brendan Duffy (Past and present small town mystery. Jon Lindstrom does a good audiobook narration.) (Trigger Warnings: child abuse/ revenge porn/ sexual assault)

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong (on my TBR and Rioter Liberty marked it as a book she loved in New Books newsletter.)

Kindle Deals:

A Negro and an Ofay by Danny Gardner is $2.99 (For fans of Walter Mosley and Attica Locke when it comes to dissecting racism.) (review)

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio is $3.99 (Especially for fans of Shakespeare.) (review)

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.