Unusual Suspects

Who Was Murdered And Why?

Hi mystery fans! I have a modern Japanese noir, a puzzle mystery, and a neighborhood murder mystery that doesn’t tell you who was murdered until the end!

Sponsored by The Truth About Archie and Pye by Jonathan Pinnock

After a disastrous day at work, Tom Winscombe finds himself sharing a train carriage and a dodgy Merlot with George Burgess, biographer of the Vavasor twins, mathematicians Archimedes and Pythagoras, who died in curious circumstances a decade ago. Burgess himself will die tonight in an equally odd manner, leaving Tom with a locked case and a lot of unanswered questions. Join Tom and a cast of disreputable and downright dangerous characters in this witty thriller involving internet conspiracy theorists, hedge fund managers, the Belarusian mafia and a cat called µ.

Modern Japanese Noir (TW child abuse mentions/ public groping)

The Thief cover imageThe Thief by Fuminori Nakamura, Satoko Izumo (Translator), Stephen Coates (Translator): It had been a while since I read neo-noir or a crime novel that had no mystery element and I really enjoyed this one. It’s a rather quick read about a thief–masterful pickpocket–who has a past partner/friend show up in his life with a too-good-to-pass-up job opportunity. As you can imagine, that job opportunity puts our thief in danger. He also finds himself tangled with a woman and her young son after helping the kid who he catches shoplifting, and soon becomes something of a mentor to the boy. My favorite aspect though was certainly the details of how each pickpocket scene was written, really taking you into how it’s done.

Past and Present Puzzle Mystery! (TW anxiety attacks/ mentions suicide)

The Vanishing Stair cover imageThe Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson: I’m going to say something I never say around here–you have to read the first book in the series before reading this one. It starts basically on the edge of the cliff that Truly Devious left us on because Maureen Johnson is both evil and a genius and this is why she’s now my enemy. The series follows Stevie, a mystery/true crime obsessed teen who is selected to attend Ellingham Academy, a rather unique school. She’s there determined to solve the 1936 kidnapping of the creator’s wife and daughter. But she also ends up on the mystery of who killed a current student. I’m going to be vague on the mysteries this round since it gives away a lot of the first book, but I will say the present mystery does move along some and we get more information. As per the past mystery we get a good chunk of answers and reveals! I love that this book is both set in the ’30s and in modern time, has dual mysteries, is a major nod to old school mysteries that give you all the clues along the way for solving, and has a wonderful teen girl sleuth dealing with anxiety attacks. The next in the series can’t come soon enough because my new enemy once again left me on the edge of a cliff!

Who Was Murdered And Why? (TW suicide/ stalking/ domestic violence/ statutory rape discussed throughout)

Watching You cover imageWatching You by Lisa Jewell: I feel like Jewell always delivers for me in great characters and immersing me in stories I can’t put down. This time around we get a neighborhood in Bristol, England and follow a bunch of residents. The thing is someone has been brutally murdered in their kitchen. This we know, but who? And why? We follow Joey, a woman living with her brother and sister-in-law who is struggling on a few fronts including finding happiness. There’s a school headmaster and his wife and son, the son who spends his time at his window spying/stalking the neighbors. We meet two school girl best friends, one with a crush on the headmaster, and the other who thinks he’s overstepping a line. And there’s the mother who is convinced there is an organization stalking her… As we get to know each character we also get scenes of police questionings related to the murdered person as slowly we wait for everything to get stitched together into the solve of what happened! I love that Jewell gives me a variety of characters and struggles in daily life while always weaving a solid mystery throughout. I went with the audiobook on this one, and so long as you can pay attention to the dates, I recommend it.

Recent Releases

Blood Orange cover imageBlood Orange by Harriet Tyce (Thriller starring a lawyer.)

The Next To Die by Sophie Hannah (Mystery about a serial killer targeting best friends that follows the police and also extreme personalities like only-kindness-will-solve-a-problem and foaming-at-the-mouth feminist.) (TW child abuse and suicide mentioned)

Death in Provence by Serena Kent (Cozy mystery set in France)

Hunting LeRoux: The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire by Elaine Shannon (True crime)

the birds that stay cover imageThe Birds That Stay (A Russell and Leduc Mystery #1) by Ann Lambert (Police procedural set outside of Montreal.)

The Vanishing Man: A Prequel to the Charles Lenox Series by Charles Finch (Historical fiction London, 1853.)

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 in the meantime, come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canavés.

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