Unusual Suspects

An Ocean Floor Rescue, Mysterious Manors, and More!

Hello, mystery fans! It’s Liberty here with you again today. I’m spinning the mystery records while DJ Jamie is out. Mystery was my first genre love, and might still be my favorite, so I enjoy filling in now and then. Just for you today, I have a depth-defying locked cabin thriller, a Chicago private investigator crime novel, middle grade mysteries, and more!

Before we begin, be sure to check out First Edition! co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the wide bookish world. Interviews, lists, rankings, retrospectives, recommendations, and much more, featuring people who know and love books. Subscribe to First Edition on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or your podcatcher of choice.

Bookish Goods

agatha christie jigsaw puzzle

The World of Agatha Christie 1000-Piece Jigsaw: 1000-Piece Jigsaw with 90 Clues to Spot

It is only fitting that a puzzle about Agatha Christie, illustrated by Ilya Milstein, also contains mysteries? ($22)

New Releases

cover of Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 by T. J. Newman; image of a plane facing straight down

Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 by T. J. Newman 

Six minutes after taking off from Hawai’i, Flight 1421 crashes into the ocean. A few minutes later, it has sunk to the bottom of the ocean, taking a dozen passengers with it. Can help get to them in time? I promise it’s a lot more than just people screaming “OMG WE’RE GONNA DIE” for 320 pages. (*Sings* We found glub-glub-glub in a hopeless place.) This is a fast-paced, intense thriller that is buoyed (unlike the plane) by Newman’s first-hand knowledge of planes from her time as a flight attendant. If you are looking for a summer blockbustery-type read for the beach, or vacation, or just because, this is it. Unless you are afraid of planes crashing, the ocean, etc. Like I said, it is INTENSE. (CW include sexism, trauma, mass death, fire, drowning, loss of loved ones, and death of children and adults.)

cover of The Overnights: An Ashe Cayne Novel; illustration of a man walking under a city overpass

The Overnights: An Ashe Cayne Novel by Ian K. Smith

And I haven’t read this one yet, but I know several people who enjoy this series. It’s about a Chicago police officer who quits the force after refusing to participate in a cover-up, and becomes a private investigator instead. In this installation, after The Unspoken and Wolf Point, Ashe must save the life of a news anchor looking into the murder of a Black teen killed by a white police officer. Can Ashe keep her safe and solve the case? Bestselling author Harlen Coben says, “Chicago PI Ashe Cayne is the perfect hero for our times.”

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

Riot Recommendations

Middle grade books only account for a very small percentage of my reading each year, so this year I have leaned hard into them. I have been reading MG mysteries or graphic novels after every few adult titles I read in 2023, and it has been great fun. Here are two mysteries I have enjoyed recently!

cover of Nightmare Island by Shakirah Bourne; illustration of a young Black girl and boy walking through the woods at night, surrounded by glowing white moths

Nightmare Island by Shakirah Bourne

This one is out next week! It’s perfect for fans of The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. In this supernatural mystery, 12-year-old Serenity Noah’s younger brother Peace is sent away to Duppy Island for help with his sleep issues. But Serenity has a bad feeling about the treatment center and its head doctor, which is confirmed when she sees something from her recurring nightmares in the woods on the island. Serenity will have to face her fears and use her smarts to save Peace before he joins the ranks of faceless children who haunt the island!

cover of Menacing Manor (The Sinister Summer Series) by Kiersten White; illustration of two kids standing at the door of a mansion with a monster in the doorway

Menacing Manor (The Sinister Summer Series) by Kiersten White

And I have been enjoying this series of middle grade mysteries, which I picked up after reading Hide, White’s scary first horror novel for adults. This is the fourth book in this series. In the past, the Sinister-Winterbottom twins have escaped waterparks, camps, and castles. And as they continue to search for their missing parents, this time they must face the scary home of Mr. Frank and Dr. Stein! These books are a little Scooby-Doo and a whole lot of fun.

I’m also in the middle of The Winterton Deception 1: Final Word by Janet Sumner Johnson, which comes out October 24. So far, so good. It’s a bit like The Westing Game, in that it is several teams in one hotel who are competing to win a spelling bee in order to acquire the late benefactor’s money. But of course, there are other mysteries, alliances, and double-dealings going on.

News and Roundups

cover of The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman by Mari Lowe; illustration of a young girl with brown hair in a pony tail, wearing a blue shirt, a long skirt, and roller skates

Mari Lowe has an Orthodox Jewish middle-grade mystery coming in November: The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman!

Here’s the cover reveal for These Deadly Prophecies by Andrea Tang.

Check out these new mystery/thrillers to add to your TBR if you loved these movies.

I lost a lot of time to the digital puzzles available on the official Agatha Christie site.

I have also discovered the joy that is Murdle. There are three volumes of puzzles coming in the next year, starting with Murdle: Volume 1: 100 Elementary to Impossible Mysteries to Solve Using Logic, Skill, and the Power of Deduction by G. T. Karber on June 13.

Open Letter is publishing an English translation of the award-winning Polish true crime book Did This Hand Kill? by Cezary Lazarewicz, translated by Sean Bye.

The New York Times shared new crime books for the summer.

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 Jamie on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Litsy — you can find her under Jamie Canavés. (You can find Liberty on Instagram and All the Books!)

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