Hi mystery fans! Anybody else accidentally writing the new year as 2003? I did see someone go for 2223. In good news, whatever actual date it is, I’m still here with your mystery goodies of new releases, backlist, something new to watch (my viewing this week), and some news.
African American Woman Journal – Ruled Line by MadeBeyoutiful
I am a strong believer that you can not have enough journals (just ask the giant drawer under my bed filled with journals) and I love the art on this cover. ($25)
City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita
Great read if you’re looking for a procedural, multiple POV, and remote mystery — will be on my end of year Best Of list. Cara Kennedy is a detective in Anchorage dealing with the loss of her husband and son, who died a year earlier while hiking. When a teenager finds severed body parts in the remote Point Mettier, Kennedy ends up on the case. She’s partnered with local officer Joe Barkowski, and also stranded there thanks to a blizzard. It’s a place where all 205 residents live in the same high-rise building so certainly someone must know something, but as small communities go, this one isn’t looking to talk. I loved the town characters — including a teen girl struggling with the life her mother has laid out for her and the one she wants to carve for herself — and how we get to know some of them as the POV rotates between residents and the officers. Plus, the unique setting. Count me in for whatever Iris Yamashita writes next.
The audiobook has a great multicast: Aspen Vincent, Shannon Tyo, and Anna Caputo.
(TW questions suicide as cause for case/ past child deaths/ recounts domestic abuse, murder/ recounts child abuse)
Regrets Only by Kieran Scott
For fans of school mom mysteries (think Big Little Lies) and amateur sleuths returning home. Paige Lancaster was a successful Hollywood writer, until she was passed up for a promotion and cheated on by her husband so she vandalized some stuff. Now a single mom, she’s back in her hometown in Connecticut living with her mom after her father, who’d been police, passed away. She enrolls her 8-year-old daughter in a new school and quickly finds out that some of the moms are a bit intense about the Parent’s Booster Association, which has always had 100% parent involvement and they are not going to let Paige mess that up. Then one of them is found dead — a death thought to be an accident — but she was married to Paige’s high school boyfriend and, well, Paige may have gotten into a fight with the wife the night before… We watch as Paige tries to figure out this new life, and investigate what really happened, while also getting to know some of the PBA members — including Nina, an on-the-outs mom who just wants people to listen to her about an accounting program having an issue. If you’re looking to get sucked into a town’s gossip while watching a murder mystery play out, grab this one.
The audiobook has a great multicast: Amanda Dolan, Sura Siu, and Lanna Joffrey.
(TW mentions past miscarriage/ mentions past alcoholism/ mentions past rape, no details)
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Let’s pair some nonfiction with fiction, based on one event/time period: 1979, Atlanta.
No Place Safe: A Family Memoir by Kim Reid
Kim Reid was the daughter of a single mother who was a police officer in 1979, Atlanta — the summer that the Atlanta murders began. She looks back at her childhood as a Black child attending a wealthy white school as her city became increasingly unsafe while a serial killer preyed and Kim was trying to figure out being a teen.
Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones
And now some historical fiction also set in 1979 Atlanta with the same serial killer backdrop. We follow three middle school children that are dealing with issues in their family, home, and social lives. As they try and deal with growing up they’re also suddenly increasingly aware of what is going on around them: the community is going into high alert as a serial killer is preying on the community, many children. Bonus: if you’ve never read Jones’ Silver Sparrow and are a fan of literary work it’s one of my all time favorite novels.
(TW child abuse/ child murders)
Will Trent on Hulu, after ABC weekly airing: This is a new procedural series based on Karin Slaughter’s series, which starts with Triptych. Will Trent, played by Ramón Rodriguez, works for the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation). He had a difficult childhood in the foster care system, is dyslexic, and while brilliant at solving crimes is treated by many as either quirky or difficult. The series starts with a murdered teen, kidnapping, and Trent having to face a childhood bully (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) while dealing with fallout from a recent issue at work. The show also opens up side characters and subplots to give mystery and procedural fans plenty of stories to be invested in. If you’ve been craving a new procedural, definitely give this one a try. Watch the trailer here. (The show is airing on ABC so you can expect 10pm level violence, but Slaughter’s books are cranked up in the graphic violence department.)
News and Roundups
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!)
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