Hello mystery fans! I wanted to take a moment to spotlight the HarperCollins strike that has been ongoing since November. As of me writing this, employees from HC are on strike asking for incredibly reasonable things like living wage. So far HC appears to have no interest in even negotiating (I assume they are playing the ignore-them-until-they-stop game, which is gross in this case). The thing is that HC did announce a book deal with DeSantis, one of the architects of the current book banning happening across the country, which is certainly for a large sum of money since he left his $2 million dollar deal with S&S and went to HC. It seems like HC, a book publishing company, would rather pay a literal book banner a lot of money over giving their overworked employees a living wage. So if you’d like to help support the HCs union and workers or learn more, here you go.
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Bookclubbed to Death (Mystery Bookshop #8) by V.M. Burns
For fans of cozy mysteries with a lead writer, a book inside a book, and books set in a bookstore! Sam Washington runs a bookstore and is about to have her historical mystery novel publish when a local library is flooded. Sam offers her bookstore for book clubs to meet but a book club leader, also an influential reviewer, ends up threatening to tank Sam’s upcoming book and sue her over her poodle being “vicious.” Naturally, this being a cozy, the reviewer is found dead in the bookshop! Sam will have to get cracking on solving this case.
If you want to start at the beginning pick up The Plot Is Murder.
The Widowmaker (Black Harbor, #2) by Hannah Morrissey
For fans of duel mysteries: one current murder case and one past cold case! Morgan Mori is a photographer who returns home to Black Harbor and ends up witnessing a police officer being shot. The officer’s partner, not assigned the case, is determined to solve it regardless and ends up partnering with Mori. Turns out the photographer may be more than just a witness to this current case, and she may be able to help solve the town’s 20-year cold case of a wealthy mogul’s disappearance…
If you want to start at the beginning pick up Hello, Transcriber.
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All the best-of lists have me thinking about so many books I still plan to read from this year but haven’t gotten to yet, at no fault of the book. So I wanted to highlight two of those.
Broken Summer by Jung-Myung Lee, An Seon Jae (Translator)
I love translated crime novels, especially those that use a crime to explore society. An artist wakes up on his birthday to find his wife missing. In her place is an unpublished manuscript telling the story of an affair and the artist realizes it hits too close and could ruin him. Also in his past, a 19-year-old woman’s murder is still unsolved. We get different points of view of events to piece things together showing how memory is limited to perspective and muddled with fiction.
Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka
This is a crime novel with a serial killer about to be executed at the center of it but instead of focusing on his point of view, we get to know the women around him. His story is told through their eyes and their lives with their stories: his mother, Lavender; his sister-in-law, Hazel; the homicide detective tasked with his case, Saffy. I love a book that dives into the problematic obsession with real serial killers while examining our society and justice system.
News and Roundups
Crime Writers of Color podcast: The Many Lives of Delia C. Pitts
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