Hello mystery fans! I have a psychopath in fashion, an excellent amateur sleuth, and true crime meets literary criticism for you this week. AND a reminder for those who like to have books in your hot little hands as soon as they publish: J.K. Rowling’s 4th Cormoran Strike novel releases next week, so you may want to preorder now and then camp beside your mailbox. Or get on that library hold list STAT!
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Serial Mom Meets The Devil Wears Prada Is As Awesome As It Sounds! (TW suicide attempt)
#FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar: Basically, there is a psychopath working at a fashion magazine and people are dropping like flies! Anya St. Clair is up for a promotion but there’s a catch: she’s in competition with Sarah Taft, the woman she obsesses over being best friends with. Making things even more difficult is her boss constantly changing the “rules” for the promotion, forcing her into a dangerous diet–oh, and this tiny little thing I mentioned earlier about Anya being a psychopath! She literally sees red when she’s disrespected, taunted, or treated unfairly and then suddenly there’s a body to deal with. This is not your Gillian Flynn’s dark exploration of a female psychopath, but rather closer to John Waters’ satire: except, instead of suburban housewife suppression, welcome to the cruel world of fashion where women’s looks, weight, and youth is the only thing to value.
Excellent Amateur Sleuth Mystery (TW drug addiction/ statutory rape)
Far From You by Tess Sharpe: Sophie Winters’ best friend, Mina, was murdered in front of her. But Sophie is a recovering drug addict and the only witness so no one believes her that it wasn’t a drug deal gone wrong. Tough, unrelenting, and sick of her family and friends not believing she’s no longer using drugs she decides to find Mina’s killer herself. Told in alternating timeline, you get to know Sophie and Mina as best friends, slowly watch secrets revealed, and why Mina was out in the woods the night she was murdered… Sophie is a fantastic character who is allowed to fight, fail, love, and struggle in a way that felt really genuine. Highly recommend.
True Crime Meets Literary Criticism (TW suicide/ pedophilia/ rape)
The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman: If you’re a fan of true crime and literary theory/criticism, this investigation into how Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was most likely based on a real life case is really interesting. It’s a heartbreaking look into the real kidnapping and sexual abuse that eleven-year-old Sally Horner experienced in the late 1940s but her chapters are written with care by Weinman who focused on the facts that she was able to acquire through research and interviews while focusing on Sally and her family. Nabokov’s chapters take you into his life as he immigrated to America, worked on writing Lolita, and the serious overlap between the fictional novel and Sally Horner’s case.
The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams (Currently reading: So far it feels like a perfect read if you loved The Feather Thief, but this one is about the selling of dinosaur skeletons! Also, I’m going to bug everyone with “hey did you know…” facts.)
Hitting the Books (Library Lover’s Mystery #9) by Jenn McKinlay (Cozy mystery for library lovers.)
The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman (TBR: 3 women + 1 dude = revenge.)
Nancy Drew #4 by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St-Onge (Nancy Drew is back in this awesome new comic series.)
The Frangipani Tree Mystery (Crown Colony #1) by Ovidia Yu (TBR: I’m looking forward to getting this historical mystery. Set in 1930’s Singapore it follows SuLin, a nanny for the Acting Governor, who will be helping a British-born Chief Inspector figure out who is the murderer in the Government House.)
A Borrowing of Bones (Mercy & Elvis Mysteries #1) by Paula Munier (TBR: A mystery starring a retired soldier and her bomb sniffing dog.)
The Guilty Dead (Monkeewrench #9) by P.J. Tracy (Just started reading: A police procedural set in Minnesota.) (TW suicide/ drug addiction)
Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit (Kopp Sisters #4) by Amy Stewart (Historical crime series based on real life people including one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs.)
A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo (Paperback) (YA murder mystery + obsession + in love with your best friend!)
The Scarred Woman (Afdeling Q #7) by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Paperback) (Scandinavian crime procedural.)
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