Unusual Suspects

“If it comes to it, I’ll kill Jack Reacher.”

Hello mystery fans! Happy new month, hope you’re stuffed with Halloween candy and ready for pie season! I’ve got some links you may want to click, a new true crime film adaptation, and a bunch of Kindle deals–including Tana French!

From Book Riot And Around The Internet

Quiz: Which Classic Mystery Should You Read?

Carolyn Keene and the Mystery of the Real Nancy Drew Author

Rincey and Katie talk Stephen King’s writers’ retreat, get confirmation on Tana French being the best living mystery writer, and more on the latest Read or Dead!

Giveaway: THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB by Damien Angelica Walters

15 of Your Favorite Medical Thrillers

If You Loved ‘Nancy Drew’ As A Kid, You’ll Love These 15 Thrillers Now

The Crimes Never End: A Guide to Mystery’s Biggest and Longest-Lasting Book Franchises

Lee Child: ‘If it comes to it, I’ll kill Jack Reacher. No problem’


Heaven My Home cover imageCongrats to Attica Locke, winner of the Writer of the Year Award from the Texas Book Festival!

Women’s untold stories dominate Baillie Gifford prize shortlist

Doubleday (in the U.K.) acquired Hallie Rubenhold’s true crime title Bad Women for six figures. The trade publication said the book follows “the 1910 murder of Belle Elmore by her husband… and the extraordinary women caught up in these events.” Rubenhold’s The Five is on the short list for the 2019 Baillie Gifford Prize.

Ronan Farrow launching podcast offshoot of explosive book Catch and Kill

‘The Cartel’ Author Don Winslow Surprises With 5-Novella Book ‘Broken’; Reacquires Backlist To Better Control Hollywood Deals

Watch Now

For mafia fans: The Irishman, Scorsese’s adaptation of I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, is now in select theaters (Netflix on November 27). You can watch the trailer here.

Kindle Deals

A Beautiful Poison cover imageA Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang is $4.99 and a great historical mystery! (Review) (TW suicide/ pedophile–not graphic)

If you’re looking for suspense and a modern retelling of Rebecca, The Winters by Lisa Gabriele is $5.99!

The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin by Jan Stocklassa, Tara F. Chace (Translator) is $4.99 and for fans of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the author.

Faithful Place cover imageFaithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad #3) by Tana French is $1.99 and if you’re a procedural fan you should RUN to this series!! And don’t worry about #3 the books read as standalone since they rotate different members of the squad. (I don’t know the TWs, sorry.)

And if you want to start a cozy mystery series set in Ireland with ghosts (not the scary kind) Murder in G Major (A Gethsemane Brown Mystery #1) by Alexia Gordon is $4.99!

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.

If a mystery fan forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like your very own you can sign up here.

True Story

Cancelled Books, Selling Books, and Unauthorized Books

Hello and welcome to November, nonfiction nerds! I am so excited to fall back this weekend – I’ll definitely be using my extra hour to read!

Right now, I’m a few chapters into The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, “a look at how “s**t is f**ked and we have to live with it.” It sounds a little depressing, I suppose, but I’m enjoying the sort of grouchy and entirely unsubtle way the book asks us to face our fears, confront painful truths, and learn to live with discomfort.

This week’s nonfiction news is a bit of a hodge-podge of best-of lists, controversial publishing decisions, and an interview with an author I really admire. Let’s get going!

Publisher’s Weekly has released its best books of 2019 list, which still feels so dang early! In the intro to their top 10 list, the publication notes that Mira Jacob’s Good Talk is the first graphic memoir to ever make the list! The rest of the nonfiction is equally good:

A new biography of Carrie Fisher is set to come out next month, but her family has already disavowed the book. Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller has already received some starred reviews, but in a statement family members said the book was sold without their involvement.

Author Naomi Wolf, who was under fire for inaccuracies in her latest book, has split with her publisher. Last week, Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced they have mutually agreed to part ways, and that the publisher would not not be releasing Outrages. The rights to the book revert to Wolf, who told the New York Times that it would come out “in due course” in the United States.

After initially refusing to stock Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill, Amazon Australia has reversed their decision and will sell copies of the book. The bookseller initially yielded threats from lawyers for Dylan Howard, former editor of the National Enquirer.

Speaking of Ronan Farrow, the author is launching a podcast offshoot of the book. The podcast will feature new audio and interviews with the sources Farrow used for the book and “provide a deeper understanding of the plot that unravels in the book.”

I really liked this interview with Nnedi Okorafor about writing her memoir Broken Places and Outer Spaces and recording the audiobook version of the book. She’s great.

That’s all for this week! You can find me on Twitter @kimthedork, on email at, and co-hosting the For Real podcast here at Book Riot. Happy reading! – Kim

Today In Books

Eliminated Library Fines = 240% Increase In Book Returns: Today In Books

Eliminated Library Fines = 240% Increase In Book Returns

Three weeks ago, Chicago Public Libraries did away with overdue book fines and erased outstanding debt. The results: “Library Commissioner Andrea Telli said hundreds of long-overdue books have been returned in the three weeks since Chicago became the nation’s largest major city to jump on the no-fine bandwagon.”

Star Trek Tie-In Novels And The Decline In Women Writers

Here is a deep dive look into the Star Trek tie-in novels and the very steady decline in women writing them. And by decline I mean that in the 1980s 60% were written by women and in the 2010s it dropped to 12%. This is a really detailed look at the problem that includes a brief history of Star Trek tie-in novels– and there are spreadsheets and graphs for data loving nerds like me.

Looking For A Halloween Scare?

This isn’t a friendly “boo” scare so be warned: Horror author Grady Hendrix went on Twitter to tell a story he claims happened in his childhood and it is straight up my living nightmare. Read it if you dare, but when you can’t sleep at night remember I warned you.

Check Your Shelf

What If Circulation Numbers Determined the Democratic Presidential Candidate?

Welcome to Check Your Shelf! This is your guide to help librarians like you up your game when it comes to doing your job (& rocking it).

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Cool Library Updates

Worth Reading

Book Adaptations in the News

Books & Authors in the News

Numbers & Trends

Award News

Pop Cultured

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Thanks for hanging! See everyone on Tuesday!

–Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.

Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for November 1

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, or more accurately, an Alex-sicle thanks to an extremely mean snowstorm moving through the Denver Area. Please stay warm, if it’s applicable, and enjoy some news and murderous robots to take you into the weekend!

News and Views

We have an interview with Rena Barron, author of Kingdom of Souls.

I want everyone to read this beautiful little thread from Tasha Suri about widowhood and her soon-to-be-released book Realm of Ash.

Margaret Atwood was named a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II.

That female-lead Game of Thrones HBO spinoff show isn’t happening after all. A different spinoff got green-lit.

Free audiobook download of China Miéville’s horror short story The Design.

A short story from Cory Doctorow about technical restrictions that initially target the powerless eventually come for us all.

I was remiss in not telling you that clipping. has released a new album, though this one is more horror than sci-fi: There Existed an Addiction to Blood

Lime Media will be adapting Juno Dawson’s Hollow Pike for TV.

In Seach of Afro-Solarpunk (part 1). I can’t wait for part 2.

A talk from 2001, now available for your reading pleasure: Philip Pullman on Children’s Literature and the Critics Who Disdain It

Essay: No one should be asked to prove their humanity.

Seven novels with their roots deep in folklore.

Wow, 2019 was a good year for witches in books.

Cute robots are the best: The UK’s first moon rover will be a tiny jumping spider in 2021

I’m a geologist, so I’m contractually obligated to link to this: Geologists Unearth Fully Intact Rock

The Murderous Robots (and AI) of Sci-Fi

Terminator: Dark Fate is good, y’all. Linda-Hamilton-With-a-Rocket-Launcher good. I always thought it was a shame that they didn’t make any Terminator movies after Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but the long wait was worth it! So in honor of Linda Hamilton’s sunglasses and Arnold’s return, I’m going to tell you my five favorite murderous robots.

cover of The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden5: The Alphies. The robotic underclass who serve humans in The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden, the alphies have it rough… not that they necessarily care about it, until they start becoming self-aware. At which point, they realize what a raw deal they have, and they’re getting pissed. They’re also getting their own deity and religion, which might be the only thing that saves humanity from certain doom. The alphies haven’t gone full murderbot, but you can see robo-revolution on the horizon.

 4: Breq, once part of the greater whole that was Justice of Toren. Breq is a robot in the sense that she is an ancillary, a once-human person that has been transformed into a (mostly) mindless vehicle for the AI that runs the Justice of Toren to run around in. As the AI of a military ship, Justice of Toren‘s already got a lot of blood on her hands. And after the betrayal that leaves her a lone ancillary instead of a massive ship, she’s out for some serious, galaxy-spanning, empire-rending revenge. Start with Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.

3: GCU Grey Area aka Meatf*cker. A massive ship-wearing AI that has been ostracized by its AI peers for engaging in non-consensual mindreading–which is gross enough–Grey Area is super into such fun topics as war, genocide, and pain. It has transformed the interior of its ship into a museum of torture devices that would make a Cenobite proud. Fun guy to have at cocktail parties. Find the Grey Area in Excession by Iain M. Banks.

2: The Allied Mastercomputer. Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a short story set during the height of the Cold War. China, the USSR, and the USA each decided it would be an absolutely A+ idea to create super computers to run their end of the war more efficiently. Because that’s what you want out of a war, right? Efficiency. One of these Allied Mastercomputers becomes sentient and immediately absorbs the other two, then gets down to the serious business of total human genocide.

1: Murderbot. Murderbot might not have the sheer body count of the Justice of Toren or the Allied Mastercomputer, but what it lacks in total murders, it makes up for with absolutely wry, delightful humor. Murderous robots can have social anxiety too, and make friends with total asshole ship AIs, and then maybe become heroes. Start with All Systems Red by Martha Wells–you’ll thank me.

See you, space pirates. You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me over at my personal site.

The Stack


Riot Rundown



Audiobooks – 10/31

Happy Halloween, Audiophiles! I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to October, my favorite month of the year! I’ll tell you one thing: if the universe thinks I’m going to stop reading witchy things now, it has another thing coming.

This week I’ve got some new releases, deets on my latest witchy listen, and of course audiobook news from around the web. If you’re the costume type and dress up today, send me pics of you, your pets, your tiny humans. I’ll take all the joy!

Ready? Let’s audio.

New Releases – October 29 (publisher’s descriptions in quotes)

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay, narrated by the author – I wasn’t familiar with the term “junior doctor” and thought this was going to be a Doogie Howser memoir situation. I now realize that junior doctors are more or less the British equivalent of medical residents, and that this book has already won all kinds of awards across the pond. It’s described as painful funny and feels perfect for my Grey’s Anatomy obsessed self.

Find Me by André Aciman, narrated by Michael Stuhlbarg – In this follow-up to Call Me By Your Name, Aciman revisits the characters of his 2007 bestseller decades after it left off. “In Find Me, Aciman shows us Elio’s father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman upends Sami’s plans and changes his life forever.”

  • Narrator note: Michael Stuhlbarg has narrated a lot of work for James Patterson. If you do a lot of Jimmy’s stuff on audio, you’ll recognize his building-suspense style

The In-Betweens: The Spiritualists, Mediums, and Legends of Camp Etna by Mira Ptacin, narrated by Chloe Cannon – Liberty totally sold me on this one in her latest New Books newsletter: “There have been a lot of books recently where weird things happen in the Maine woods – and with good reason. Weird things DO go on in the Maine woods. In Ptacin’s latest book she investigates Camp Etna, a community in the Maine woods started in 1848 by two sisters who claimed they could speak to the dead.” Yes, give it to me.

  • Narrator note: I enjoyed Chloe Cannon’s narration of Megan Abbott’s Give Me Your Hand, mostly; pacing was good, but there was something about her tone that sometimes sounded like a little like Siri. I’ve since sampled more of her work and really enjoy it even though I still get a little Siri at certain registers. Someone listen and tell me if it’s just me!

The Beautiful Ones by Prince, narrated by Esperanza Spalding, Adepero Oduye, Dan Piepenbring – I don’t think there’s anything to say here but, “It’s Prince.” He was in the process of writing this when he died and I wish so bad that he’d recorded some of the audio before he passed.

  • Narrator Note: Adepero Oduye did the uh-mazing audiobook of My Sister, the Serial Killer, Esperanza Spalding is a ridiculously talented singer and jazz bassist, and Dan Piepenbring is a writer for The New Yorker. That’ll work!

Latest Listens (TW for violence against women)

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay Remember when I said I was reading The Witches of New York by Ami McKay? Wow. Just… wow, and I *just* found out there’s a sequel called Half Spent Was the Night: A Witches’ Yuletide.

The book takes place in Gilded Age New New York and opens with a line from an advertisement in the paper that reads: “Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply.” Young Beatrice Dunn isn’t just not averse, she’s quite interested to learn whether magic exists. When she shows up to Tea & Sympathy, a tea shop in the city run by witches Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair, she’s unaware that she possesses “the gift” (she can see and speak with the deceased) herself.

Beatrice gets the job and shadows Eleanor as she gets more familiar with her powers, observing as Adelaide and Eleanor assist the many women who seek out their services: help with illness, getting pregnant, not getting pregnant, matters of the heart. Enter some seriously angry men, including one very deranged priest, each hell-bent on rooting witchcraft out root & stem and watching these women perish at all costs.

I love the three protagonists so hard. They’re smart, witty, talented, strong, and unwilling to take anybody’s sh*t even in the face of danger. Julia Whelan gets the pacing of the plot just right in her narration and does accents that don’t feel forced, and the dialogue feels so natural that I almost forgot it was just one person doing all the work.

If you’re in the mood for a magical listen, some witchy feminism, and a plot that will suck you in, I recommend.

Listens on Deck

Because I don’t want Managing Editor Sharifah to stop being my friend, I’m finally going to remedy a giant hole in my reading life and read some Terry Pratchett (stop gasping, I hear you! I know!). Small Gods is where I’ll start as soon as I can get the audiobook from Libby. In the meantime, I’m thinking it’s time for a spooky listen that isn’t necessarily about witches. Hmm… possibilities…

From the Internets

Esquire has a list of audiobooks for readers on the move.

I know today is Halloween, but here are some audiobooks for kiddos who like their spooky listens all year round.

Over at the Riot

Do you Libby? Because I Libby (a lot). Here are some handy hacks for doing the audiobook thang on the Libby app.

That’s all I got today! Shoot me an email at with audiobook feedback & questions or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the In The Club newsletter, peep the Read Harder podcast, and watch me booktube every Friday too!

Stay bad & bookish, my friends.

Kissing Books

Last Day of Romance Deals and a Bombardment of Riches

Hey, it’s Halloween! Enjoy the evening in whichever way you prefer—out and about trick or treating or hiding in the dark with your own bowl of candy goodness—and if you’re in a place that has celebrations for All Saints and All Souls, enjoy those the same way.

Over on Book Riot

We at Book Riot love our reading pathways! Check out the Christina Lauren one if you missed it last week, and now we’ve got one for Tessa Dare!

In search of new ways to read and eat at the same time? Here are some tips!

Dana dropped some knowledge about preorders and why they’re important. I know I don’t often mention books that far in advance, if at all, but it’s definitely something worth reading up on.

Do you use Libby to listen to audiobooks through your library? Check out these hacks to up your listening game.


Today’s the last day of a lot of deals, so I’ll drop a couple that you should definitely check out before the clock strikes twelve.

cover of act like it by lucy parkerHave you read any Lucy Parker? If not, you’re in luck, because Act Like It is 1.99. It’s the first in a delightful series, the fifth of which (Headliners) comes out in January. So now is the perfect time to pick it up and see if you want the rest. This one is a delightful enemies-to-fake-relationship-to-lovers story between two actors who are both in hot water. Lainie is the respectable one, though, and if people think she’s taming the ultimate bad boy, it’s good press for both of them and the play they’re in.

If you haven’t yet read Cat Sebastian’s first m/f romance (though it’s no less queer than her others) A Duke In Disguise is 99 cents. Verity runs a bookshop that keeps in the black by publishing some stuff that they probably shouldn’t, especially since her brother is an outspoken radical. Her BFF is an illustrator who’s basically been in love with her since they were kids, and also, it turns out to everyone’s surprise (including his)…the heir to a duke. So that’s always fun.

New Books!

So I jumped the gun a little bit this past weekend and did some reading ahead. You all know how I don’t like doing it. But I finally decided that I wasn’t going to torture myself anymore waiting to read this book, even though it doesn’t come out until next week. Go ahead and preorder it now, and you’ll be happy it’s in your hands on Tuesday.

cover of The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay AdamsThe Bromance Book Club
Lyssa Kay Adams

If you feel like you’ve been hearing a lot about this book, it’s because you have. It’s been inspiring a lot of excited squeeing since well before summer, and I’ve just been trying to hold off on reading it too far in advance. I just…couldn’t wait any longer.

When we meet Gavin, he’s drunk out of his mind. His wife, Thea, wants a divorce, and he’s living in a hotel room. His friends—and some other guy he’s not even friendly with—decide that they need to help him, and bring him into the fold. The first rule of book club is you don’t talk about book club and all that. Using romance novels, these men have all found their way to the right language and clear understanding of how their lovers want to be treated, both in and out of the bedroom. They invite Gavin to do the same, and give him some assigned reading.

Gavin and Thea are in more trouble than he ever knew, and this is the story of them falling back in love—and doing so to a much deeper level. There’s also a bonus for the reader: we get to see a few chapters of the book Gavin is reading. It’s being touted as a romcom, but it’s definitely more serious leaning, as funny as some parts (and the whole premise) are.

Do you know what this book did? It made me decide that marriage-in-trouble stories are the only kind of second chance romance I’m really drawn to. I don’t mind a story of lost love reuniting a decade later, but there needs to be a huge draw for a story about someone who did something very bad and is trying to redeem themselves. I want the protagonists to have not quite reached that point, and The Bromance Book Club is that kind of story.

CW for discussion of parental neglect, marriage trouble, verbal insults of a person with a speech impediment, and a very heterosexual universe.

I’m also excited to pick up some amazing-looking new books:

Cover of Jinx by Phyllis BourneJinx by Phyllis Bourne
The Earl’s Christmas Pearl by Megan Frampton
Someone Seeking Someone Else by Nicole Falls
Learn My Lesson by Katee Robert
The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan
Stocking Stuffers by Erin McLellan (You’re going to hear plenty from me about this one!)
Awaken The Dragon by AC Arthur (November 4)
Beard Necessities by Penny Reid (November 4)
Prose Before Bros by Cathy Yardley (November 4)
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (November 5)

This next week is just a bombardment of riches. And this isn’t even everything coming out.

As usual, catch me on Twitter @jessisreading or Instagram @jess_is_reading, or send me an email at if you’ve got feedback, bookrecs, or just want to say hi!

Book Radar

Marie Kondo Will Organize Your Workspace and More Book Radar!

It’s Thursday! Congratulations, you’ve made it halfway through the week. And it’s Halloween!!!! I have no plans to go out, but I may still paint my face like Gideon the Ninth just for sitting around the house. And don’t forget we turn the clocks back an hour this weekend – it’s my favorite day of the year. An extra hour of reading time!

Anyhoo, I have some fun stuff to tell you about today. I hope you’re reading something wonderful right now, and that you get full-size candy bars when you go trick-or-treating. And remember to be kind to yourself and others.  I’ll see you again on Monday! – xoxo, Liberty

Trivia question time! What happens in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens when Peggotty laughs or gets too emotional? (Scroll to the bottom for the answer.)

Deals, Reals, and Squeals!

Patrick Schwarzenegger has received a lead role in Amy Poehler’s adaptation of Moxie.

Marie Kondo has a new book about cleaning up at work coming out next year.

HBO has pulled the plug on the first of its planned Game of Thrones spinoffs.

Here’s the trailer for DC’s new Hill House Comics.

Europa Editions announced the new Elena Ferrante novel, The Lying Life of Adults, which will publish next year and is translated by Ann Goldstein.

This Twitter thread about reading Dracula for the first time is to be applauded. (Head up: NSFW.)

Here’s the star-studded trailer for The Personal History of David Copperfield.

Mackenzi Lee announced a third Montague siblings book: The Nobelman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks.

Mat Johnson is writing a Spider-Man comic.

Book Riot Recommends 

At Book Riot, I work on the New Books! email, the All the Books! podcast about new releases, and the Book Riot Insiders New Release Index. I am very fortunate to get to read a lot of upcoming titles, and learn about a lot of upcoming titles, and I’m delighted to share a couple with you each week so you can add them to your TBR! (It will now be books I loved on Mondays and books I’m excited to read on Thursdays. YAY, BOOKS!)

Excited to read:

actressActress by Anne Enright (W. W. Norton & Company, March 3, 2020)

I am a huge fan of Enright’s Man Booker-winning novel The Gathering, even though, GAH, is it sad. And The Green Road is also magnificent! So I am so thrilled to learn this week that she has a new novel on the way next year! It’s about the daughter of a famous Irish stage actress looking to learn the truth about her mother.

What I’m reading this week.

lobizonaLobizona: A Novel (Wolves of No World Book 1) by Romina Garber

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Queen of the Conquered (Islands of Blood and Storm) by Kacen Callender

On Swift Horses: A Novel by Shannon Pufahl

A Rip in Heaven by Jeanine Cummins

And this is funny.

The Cats movie is only following one account on Twitter.

Song stuck in my head:

Frank Sinatra by Cake. (Why, yes, I did just start watching The Sopranos for the first time.)

Trivia answer: Her buttons pop off.

You made it to the bottom! High five. Thanks for reading! – xo, L