Unusual Suspects

Perfect Fall Reading: September Mystery Releases

Hi mystery fans! I hope your to-do plans for fall are just reading because the new releases pile is stacked! Here are a bunch of great reads for different tastes including a few for horror fans because ’tis the season!

cover image of Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Here’s a fun revenge thriller meets murder mystery that I inhaled the audiobook of! Bonus: it did not do the “mental illness is the boogeyman” thing! A professor at a university is doing a study on sociopaths by offering them scholarships to the school if they’ll work with him. It’s a secret program and the students enrolled don’t even know who the others are. One happens to be faking being a sociopath. One is only there to murder the guy who assaulted her as a teen. And one may be killing them all?…

(TW nonconsensual drugging/ past tween rape/ adult child abuse/ briefly recounts teacher student statutory relationship, not graphic/ webcam hacking and non-consensual distribution of sexual images/ past suicide briefly mentioned, detail)

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White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

One of my favorite reads of the year, and perfect for fall reading, here’s a social-thriller meets “is the house haunted?” horror novel (not slasher or gory)! A blended family moves into a new house where strange things are happening as the teen daughter tries to get situated, leaving her past behind. But either there is something seriously wrong with this house or someone is trying to scare her…

(TW addiction/ past overdose mentions, not graphic/ obsessive thoughts/ past child murder mentioned, not graphic or detailed)

cover of Friends Like These by Kimberly McCreight, red with white font

Friends Like These by Kimberly McCreight

The author of the legal thriller A Good Marriage is back with a new thriller. This time a group of four friends who went to Vassar College have now come together for an intervention for the fifth member of their group. Years before they covered something up at school and they’re all willing to do whatever it takes to keep that a secret… For fans of multiple POV and past and present mysteries.

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The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

I think if you want Liane Moriarty, but amped up into the thriller category or more focused on the mystery, Lisa Jewell is your author. This time around we have a young mother who goes missing on a date night. Years later in the area she was last seen, someone comes across a note on a tree that says “dig here”…

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Miss Kopp Investigates (Kopp Sisters #7) by Amy Stewart

For historical mystery fans! If you’re looking to read a historical mystery set in the early 1900s that is based on a real person: Constance Kopp was the a deputy sheriff of Bergen County, New Jersey and then started a detective agency with her sisters. If you’re looking to start at the beginning pick up Girl Waits with Gun.

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My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

If you love psychological thrillers, unreliable narrators, and past and present chapters, absolutely pick this one up. Also great in audio and also did not use mental illness as the boogeyman. Paloma just found her roommate dead, but when the police arrive he’s suddenly gone. That starts the beginning of her mindfck “I swear I saw him dead but did I make it up somehow?” It doesn’t help that he was blackmailing her before he died… We get to see Paloma’s time growing up in a Sri Lankan orphanage up until she was adopted, and now as she moves back into her parents home trying to figure out what is happening…

(TW child abuse/ past child suicide attempt briefly mentioned, detail/ ableism/ colorism/ pedophile/ PTSD/ Blackout drinking)

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RedHanded: An Exploration of Criminals, Cannibals, Cults, and What Makes a Killer Tick by Suruthi Bala and Hannah Maguire

For true crime readers and true crime podcast listeners, here’s a book by the hosts of the true crime podcast RedHanded. Suruthi Bala and Hannah Maguire don’t believe that victims just happened to be at the wrong place nor that killers are monsters. They explore real cases with an exploration of society, gender, poverty, and culture.

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All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

Here’s a horror novel I think mystery fans will like, or that can be a nice step into horror if you’re curious. A family was brutally massacred and a young girl is accused–she was covered in all their blood–and will now only talk to one person: the local sheriff’s son who has agreed to interview her for an article.

(TW brief mention of possible suicide, detail/ child abuse/ mentions past teen grooming assumed assault, not graphic and not on page)

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As Good As Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3) by Holly Jackson

The trilogy conclusion to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder! This series is for fans of true crime podcasts in fiction who are looking for a series that is a limited commitment.

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The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club #2) by Richard Osman

If you’ve been anticipating the sequel to The Thursday Murder Club, it’s here! This is one of those series that has mass appeal for mystery readers as it deals with real things but never goes very graphic or dark. It also has the fun element of a group of folks in a retirement community who have a true crime club of armchair detectives.

cover of Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper, featuring oen and ink illustration of a quaint village, with a pair of shoes sticking out from behind a building

Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson, Jay Cooper (Illustrator)

If you’re looking for humorous nonfiction that is what the title says here you go. Bonus: it’s written by the author of the Truly Devious series!

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The Ninja Betrayed (Lily Wong #3) by Tori Eldridge

Here’s a thriller series that follows a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja. And if you’re looking for some armchair traveling, this time around Lily Wong travels with her mom to Hong Kong where democracy movements and business family takeovers take over (heh). If you want to start at the beginning: The Ninja Daughter.

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Personal Effects: What Recovering the Dead Teaches Me About Caring for the Living by Robert A. Jensen

I wouldn’t call this true crime, but I think it’s adjacent and a nonfiction book that crime readers would be interested in reading. As the owner of the world’s leading disaster management company, Robert A. Jensen takes you into his world.

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Whitesands by Johann Thorsson

If you like thrillers and horror and books starring homicide detectives, here’s one to read this fall! And did I mention there’s also a locked-house mystery?

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The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The sequel to The Inheritance Games (not a fantasy!) is here! I recommend starting with the first book about a young woman being left basically everything in a ridiculously rich person’s will. However she had no idea who he was or why he left her everything. But his family sure is NOT happy. Time to dig through the mystery of why and dig up all those family secrets.

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Rizzio by Denise Mina

If you’re looking for a historical crime novella that dramatizes the murder of David Rizzio, private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots, Denise Mina has got you covered!

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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