Unusual Suspects

A Mystery Master Picks Her Favorite Reads of 2022

Hello mystery fans! I have been enjoying the new podcast If Books Could Kill so much! Bonus: you don’t have to have read the books to enjoy it, and it’s hilarious. Now, ready for some mystery? I’ve got new releases, more audiobooks from this year that I loved, and news and roundups.

And don’t forget: if you want to join the Read Harder challenge in the new year, find the tasks and subscribe to our newsletter for tips and recommendations here!

Bookish Goods

pink paper origami butterfly bookmark page corner

Paper Origami Butterfly Corner Bookmark by TheGoblinGateway

If you love butterflies, origami, and page corner bookmarks here you go! ($7)

New Releases

A Million to One Book Cover

A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar

Calling all heist and historical mystery fans! There’s a jewel-encrusted book aboard the Titanic. Also on board the ship: Josefa, Emilie, Hinnah, and Violet. There skills of being a thief, an artist, an acrobat and an actress will come into play as they are there with one mission: steal the book. Problem, aside from being on the Titanic (!): grudges amongst the team, a new romance, and mistakes could cost them everything.

cover for Secrets Typed in Blood

Secrets Typed in Blood (Pentecost and Parker #3) by Stephen Spotswood

For fans of fun historical mysteries, duo sleuths, and great character voice, plus humor!

Lillian Pentecost, the most famous PI woman in the U.S., has multiple sclerosis so she brought on Willowjean “Will” Parker, a runaway working at the circus, to help her. That’s how the story begins in the first book, Fortune Favors the Dead. Will is narrating for us the story and recounting their cases. This time there are three murders, seemingly bringing pulp detective magazines murders to life, which they must solve without alerting the press or cops that they are connected. Why? Because the writer of these stories writes under a pseudonym and wants to keep her private life private. Enter some undercover work, the fandom of crime memorabilia, and danger…

I inhaled this audiobook narrated by Kirsten Potter!

(TW child harm/ mentions child murder case/ brief suicide mention and past case, detail/ questions child abuse/ recounts domestic murder)

Looking for more new releases? Check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Let’s continue with great audiobooks from this year!

The Violin Conspiracy cover image

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

I’m a big fan of JD Jackson as a narrator (A Little Devil in America; Reprieve; Pleasentville; They Can’t Take Your Name and many more) and the audio of this novel has the bonus of little bits of lovely music played between the sections.

This is a theft mystery told in past and present. In the present, Ray McMillian is practicing for the international Tchaikovsky Competition when his violin, a priceless Stradivarius, is stolen. In the past we watch how Ray came to become a musician, against many obstacles, and in possession of the priceless violin. Did I mention that he’s certain one of two families must be behind this theft, and one is his own family?! I really loved Ray’s character and if you like your books to have a lead you root for and the mystery not centered on murder, here you go.

(TW cancer death/ recounts cruel violence against enslaved people)

cover image for More Than You'll Ever Know

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

Inés del Castillo and Yareli Arizmendi do an excellent job of narrating the two women we follow, one mostly in the present and one mostly in the past.

Cassie Bowman has a true crime blog that isn’t really paying the bills so she decides she’s going to write a true crime book on a case from the ’80s. At the heart of that case is Lore Rivera, a woman who was secretly married to two men–one in Laredo, Texas and the other in Mexico City — until one shot the other dead. I especially loved sinking into Lore’s life and the exploration of the effects of economic crisis, motherhood, marriage, family, having a foot in two countries, and what we owe others. Also, I enjoyed how the book used the mystery and fictional true crime writer to explore the ethics of crime journalism.

(TW domestic abuse/ maternal mortality / mentions miscarriages, infertility/ ableism/ earthquake that killed many/ alcoholism)

News and Roundup

book cover for the woman in the library

A Mystery Master Picks Her Favorite Reads of 2022

Liberty and Danika talk new releases including Vinyl Resting Place by Olivia Blacke and My Darkest Prayer by S. A. Cosby on All The Books!.

Penguin Random House CEO steps down weeks after judge blocked Simon & Schuster merger

Print Run: ep 157 — Fresh Off the Picket Line with Rachel Kambury — “This week we were lucky enough to have HarperCollins associate editor Rachel Kambury on the show, and we talked to her all about her union’s strike, what about their working conditions led them to this historic moment, and how the industry might change in light of this watershed moment in publishing-worker solidarity. We thought it was important for folks to hear directly from the HarperCollins workers, and we’re very grateful for Rachel joining us to talk about her experience firsthand.”

Hundreds of authors give support to striking workers at HarperCollins

cover image of Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani is sentenced to nearly 13 years for his role in Theranos fraud

Louise Penny is beloved. Her latest novel reminds us why.

Censorship News (Get involved in your local library and school boards/meetings, vote against book banners trying to hold these positions, and actively fight book bans!)

What Are Mis-, Dis-, and Mal- Information?

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 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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