Unusual Suspects

August Mystery Releases Is Stacked!

Hello mystery fans! I’m here with a bunch of August releases for all the crime reading tastes from YA to Swedish Noir.

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Bullet Train by Kōtarō Isaka, Sam Malissa (Translation)

If you want a thriller set on a train that is being adapted, starring Brad Pitt, into a film releasing in 2022, this is your book! A bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka has criminals and victims on board, and a suitcase that they come to realize they are all after…

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How We Fall Apart (How We Fall Apart #1) by Katie Zhao

If you’re looking for dark academia–with a cover I’m obsessed with–here you go! After a recent death of a high school student that leaves everyone shocked, things take an even more shocking turn when a group of friends are accused of causing her death. The accuser is anonymous and will be releasing what they know about each “friend” slowly and publicly…

(The author provides TWs on her website and at the beginning of the book: “Please note that this book contains depictions of abuse, self-harm, violence, parental neglect, panic attacks, drug use, mental illness, an inappropriate student/teacher relationship, racism, and suicidal thoughts.”)

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Gone for Good (Detective Annalisa Vega #1) by Joanna Schaffhausen

I will read anything Schaffhausen writes as she always writes darkish mysteries with great lead characters that feel like the procedural shows that I love and inhale. This is the start to a new series and the first case is a serial killer that went dark until a group of amateur sleuths started poking around, Now there’s either a copycat or the real killer is back… Pick this one up if you need something that will suck you in and keep you turning pages, and then grab her first series The Vanishing Season (Review). Also, please someone adapt her two series into TV series, they are perfect for it!

(TW: parent with Parkinson’s/ mentions past rape case, not graphic/ date rape scene recounted/ discussions of domestic and partner abuse/ past murder suicide recounted, detail/ ableism)

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A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

The author of The Girl On the Train is back with a new thriller. We have a dead man on a houseboat and three women connected starting with the one-night stand. There’s gonna be so many secrets–I love secrets as much as Marie Kondo loves mess!

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The Cannonball Tree Mystery (Crown Colony #5) by Ovidia Yu

If you’re a fan of historical mysteries, this is a great series set in Syonan, Japanese-occupied Singapore, which follows an orphaned girl who survived Polio, SuLin. This time around she finds a relative who’d been blackmailing her dead, and well that’s not the only death to come that benefits her… If you want to start at the beginning pickup The Frangipani Tree Mystery (Review).

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The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Mmmmm, a new delicious Megan Abbott book about obsession, family, and not being able to find your place in the present because of the past, set in a family-owned ballet studio. (Review)

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We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

The author of The Herd is back with a mystery thriller about best friends and a trip gone horribly wrong–again! I mean how many times is too many times for a backpacker being murdered in self-defense while you’re on vacation?

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Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I’m a big fan of Moreno-Garcia and always pick up her books. I love that she writes in so many genres but especially get excited when it’s crime. Here’s her take on noir set in Mexico City in the 1970s, following a secretary looking into the suspicious disappearance of her neighbor…

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The Husbands by Chandler Baker

This reads like a Liane Moriarty mystery where you get the mystery at the beginning and then take a deep dive into character’s everyday lives before it all comes together at the end. A hanging-by-a-thread full time lawyer and full time mom decides to investigate an arson in an exclusive neighborhood she wants to move to. What could go wrong? You’re in a crime book, woman! PS: If you don’t like spoilers, stay away from the summary and comps for this one.

(TW domestic abuse)

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Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara

Here’s a historical mystery set in 1944 Chicago where Aki Ito and her parents have been resettled after being released from interment camps in the wake of Pearl Harbor. Set to reunite with her older sister Rose, Aki is shocked to discover she’d been killed and her death ruled a suicide. Knowing that isn’t the full story, Aki sets out to find out what happened to Rose.

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You Can Run by Karen Cleveland

Spy thriller! Jill Bailey is a CIA analyst who was just given a choice: save her son who has been kidnapped or do what the kidnappers want. Also involved is a journalist whose been given a career-making tip about the CIA…

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The Guide by Peter Heller

Imagine taking a job for an elite fishing lodge in Colorado to escape life and deal with grief. One would think nature could help heal, except what if things aren’t as they seem and that scream you heard in the middle of the night means danger?

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The Night Singer (Ölandsbrotten #1) by Johanna Mo, Alice Menzies (Translation)

If you’re looking for a Swedish procedural, here’s one that hits the tropes of returns-home-after-tragedy (father convicted of murder) and trying to settle into a new job with a new partner and solve a whopper of a case: a teen’s murder.

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56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

I really liked Howard’s previous novels The Liar’s Girl and The Nothing Man so I’m excited for this one. Set in Dublin, Ciara and Oliver meet at the very beginning of the pandemic and decide to move in together in order to avoid lockdown keeping them apart. Except this is not a romance novel but rather a crime novel, and at the end there’s a body discovered and a difficult case: did the lockdown provide the perfect situation to get away with a crime?

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The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #17) by Louise Penny

For Inspector Gamache fans, you have a new book! If you’re looking to sink into a great series set in the Québec village of Three Pines and want to start at the beginning of this procedural, pick up Still Life and work your way forward.

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canavés.

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