Unusual Suspects

Is Her Ex A Serial Killer Or Not?!

Hi mystery fans! This time around I have for you one of the year’s best crime novels, a did-he-or-didn’t-he mystery, and an interesting historical nonfiction.

One Of The Year’s Best Crime Novels

Your House Will Pay cover imageYour House Will Pay by Steph Cha: I want to start by saying that if you’re a fan of crime novels, I recommend picking this one up without knowing anything about it as I really love the way Cha unfolds everything–basically you’ll get maximum impact. For those going, “Nope, I’m gonna need to hear more,” here you go: Cha’s novel is not only built upon the turmoil and unrest from the 1992 Los Angeles riots but also based on a real case many have probably never heard of. Following a Korean-American family (mostly through Grace, the youngest dutiful daughter) and a Black family (mostly through Shawn, helping out his cousin’s family) the novel explores family, racism, the injustice system, violence, revenge, culture, forgiveness and the inability to, with excellent characters and nuance. Your House Will Pay is a truly important and great historical fiction novel that also keeps Cha’s noir writing and influences alive. It’s been a month since I read it and I still randomly find myself wondering about the characters in the novel and thinking about a lot of hard questions.

History + Murder (TW brief mention of attempted suicide with detail)

Blood & Ivy cover imageBlood & Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard by Paul Collins: This takes a look at the vanishing of the wealthy Dr. George Parkman who was last seen visiting Harvard Medical School on November 23,1849, the man accused of his murder, the infamous trial, along with some Boston and Harvard history. This is one of those nonfiction books that works well if you’re into history, seeing the justice system in different time periods along with journalism, and playing the are-they-guilty-or-not game (if you don’t already know the story). Also, there’s some bits in here that are for fans of the “body farm” and um, well, how they basically used to study what happens to dead bodies. I went with the audiobook because you know I like being told these kinds of stories, and Kevin Kenerly has a really nice voice and speaking rhythm.

Is Her Ex A Serial Killer Or Not?! (TW panic attack on page/ stalking on page)

The Liar's Girl cover imageThe Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard: This was a really good did-he-or-didn’t-he mystery perfect for fans of past and present, fictional serial killers, and Irish crime novels. Alison Smith did not get the college experience she’d wanted since her freshman year ended with her best friend being the Canal Killer’s last victim and the serial killer being her boyfriend. I know! But now, ten years later, a woman is found murdered and questions arise whether the right killer is behind bars or if he had an accomplice all along? He’ll only speak to help the police if he gets to see Smith and now she’s forced to face the past herself… Told in alternating chapters between Smith’s college days and current life, we also get a few chapters of a killer…

Recent Releases

The Art of Theft cover imageThe Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock #4) by Sherry Thomas (My favorite Sherlock is back in another fun adventure, this time with a crew of people to help! I’ll do a full review soon but if you’re a fan of this series go forth and read for more of what you already love.)

The Black Ghost #2 by Monica Gallagher, Alex Segura, Greg Lockard, Greg Smallwood, George Kambadais, Ellie Wright (2nd issue in a new comic series that blends noir and superhero as a journalist searches to unmask a vigilante!)

dead girls cover imageDead Girls by Abigail Tarttelin (I just started reading this one about an 11-year-old whose best friend is murdered and thinks she has to solve the crime.)

The Man That Got Away (Constable Twitten #2) by Lynne Truss (A huorous historical mystery series for fans of British humor.)

Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand (I’m really intrigued by the premise of this dark historical fiction: 1915 carnival setting where a young girl, teamed with an adult, is after a serial killer.)

Owl Be Home for Christmas: A Meg Langslow Mystery(Meg Langslow #26) by Donna Andrews (If you’re looking for cozy and holiday!)

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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