Unusual Suspects

Amazon Bets Big on ‘Bosch’ with 2 New Spinoff Series

Hello mystery fans! 2023 feeling like a super weird year to anyone else? I’m trying to hold judgement since it is only February but it really needs to get its act together, please. Anyhoo, I stumbled across Extraordinary on Hulu, which was a very good laugh. And before we jump into all the mystery goodness, if you were looking for ways to help with the Turkey and Syria earthquake relief and recovery efforts, USA Today compiled a list of places to donate to.

Bookish Goods

a mug with rainbow in space that says "I've spent my whole adult life chasing the high of a scholastic book fair"

Retro Book Fair Mug by fuglybarbie

This is just true. ($14)

New Releases

cover image for No Home For Killers

No Home for Killers by E.A. Aymar

For fans of murder mysteries, past secrets, and family dramas. Markus Peña is an activist and musician with plenty of enemies when he’s murdered. His estranged sisters, Melinda and Emily, know Markus wasn’t a good person but they still need to find out who killed him and why. The problem is they’re not without their own problems and secrets, including one being a vigilante…

cover image for A Good Day to Pie

A Good Day to Pie (Pies Before Guys Mystery, #2) by Misha Popp

The series is called “pie before guys” and that makes this an automatic win for me. Also, I enjoyed the first book in the series: Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies. You get a lady assassin, with a smidge of magic, on the cozy mystery line. This time around Daisy Ellery — who bakes special deadly pies for awful men — has entered a baking contest like GBBO. That means her secret murder life will meet her public baking life when the man she’s going to deliver a deadly pie to ends up dead before she feeds him — and he turns out to be one of the baking contest’s judges. Oh my!

I have the audiobook, narrated by Tanya Eby, high on my TBR for when I need a fun book.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

A thing I learned early on when I started writing about books was that rating/popularity aren’t necessarily proof of a book being good or not. A lot — A LOT — comes down to things like advertising and money put behind a book, among a ton of other factors that leave a lot of great books without an audience. So I wanted to give options for #14 on this year’s Read Harder Challenge: “Read a book with under 500 Goodreads ratings.”

cover image for Mighty Mighty

Mighty, Mighty by Wally Rudolph

Here’s a crime book set in Chicago that explores the power of hate, love, vengeance and family ties. You follow a cast of characters whose lives will collide: a priest running a shelter; a cop dealing with grief and retirement; a tattoo artist who does free work to cover up prison tattoos; two sisters trying to find their place in the world. It’s violent and dark but leaves you believing in redemption.

(I didn’t keep TW notes when I read this, sorry.)

My Midnight Years by Ronald Kitchen cover image

My Midnight Years: Surviving Jon Burge’s Police Torture Ring and Death Row by Ronald Kitchen, Thai Jones, Logan McBride

Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy was a popular book — with an adaptation! — and I always say fans of Just Mercy should read My Midnight Years and A Knock At Midnight. Bonus: Prentice Onayemi, who is a top tier narrator, narrates the audiobook.

(TW torture/ suicide)

Some Die Nameless by Wallace Stroby cover

Some Die Nameless by Wallace Stroby

Here’s a great thriller for fans of action films where a group of former friends find themselves in the present being killed off one by one! And toss in my other favorite trope: a journalist struggling at a downsizing newspaper accidentally discovering what’s going on and thus stepping into danger…

(TW: PTSD/ suicide)

Bury Me When I'm Dead by Cheryl A Head cover

Bury Me When I’m Dead by Cheryl A. Head

Fans of procedural shows with teams of investigators should 100% be reading this series! It’s about a PI agency with a team of four PIs — with very different personalities–and their office manager who loves to quote show tunes to annoy one of the PIs. And you get walked through entire cases, with clues and puzzles to solve.

The books now have audiobooks narrated by the actress Stephanie Weeks.

(TW parent early stage Alzheimer’s/ ableism/ forced vasectomy on teen)

News and Roundups

The Bandit Queens cover

Two novels take a closer look at class and gender in Indian society

Amazon Bets Big on ‘Bosch’ with 2 New Spinoff Series

Why Some Florida Schools Are Removing Books from Their Libraries

10 Clues You May Have Missed in The Pale Blue Eye

I am SO excited for this book! Cover reveal! Scream meets Clueless in this YA horror from Adam Sass in which two gay teen BFFs find their friendship tested when a serial killer starts targeting their school’s Queer Club.

Paul Rudd Spills On ‘Only Murders’ Role, Working With Selena Gomez

‘The Dry completely changed my life’: Jane Harper, Australia’s queen of crime

Cooking the Books: Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews

Facing pressure to ban books, suburban libraries ‘becoming a battlefield for the First Amendment’

Walter Mosley Thinks America Is Getting Dumber

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 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.

If a mystery fan forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like your very own, you can sign up here.