Unusual Suspects

Puzzles, Mysteries, and Puzzle Mysteries

Hello, mystery fans! It’s Liberty here with you again today. While Jamie is away, I’m steering this mystery book boat to the Isles of TBR. (Wow, I am cheesy, lol.) I have had a wonderful time finding more mystery-related information to put in your brain pans. Just for you today, I have an intense crime novel about a police-involved shooting, a YA anthology about a murder on a magical campus, and a puzzle quest from a Bostonian billionaire!

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Bookish Goods

Murder Most Puzzling The Missing Will 500-Piece Puzzle

Murder Most Puzzling: The Missing Will (500-Piece Puzzle) by Stephanie von Reiswitz

It’s a puzzle within a puzzle! Like a turducken, but completely different. First, you read the story, then you complete the jigsaw puzzle. The image provides you with the clues you need to solve the mystery! ($19)

New Releases

cover of All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby; blood red moon seen through tree branches

All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby (out June 6)

Here’s another intense crime read from the author of Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland! But I kind of feel the publisher’s description spoils a bit of the surprise, so I’m going to give you brief basics. Titus Crown made history as the first Black sheriff in Charon County, Virginia. It hasn’t been an easy year since he took on the role, but he feels he’s making progress. Then the son of a friend is shot by his deputies after murdering a beloved high school teacher. Suddenly, Charon County is on the verge of exploding as many residents wonder how a Black sheriff could be involved in the shooting of a young Black man. Meanwhile, the incident has uncovered something horrible hiding in the shadows of his town, and as Titus searches for one demon, he has to wrestle with the demons of his past. Is that vague enough for you, lol? It is brutal, it is fast-paced, and it is a knockout. Just ready yourself for a lot of content warnings, including racism, police violence, murder, gore, suicide, and death of children and adults.

cover of The Grimoire of Grave Fates; illustration of a magic book on the cover

The Grimoire of Grave Fates created by Hanna Alkaf, and Margaret Owen (out June 6)

On the lighter side, here’s a fun YA anthology of tales that all lead the reader to solving a murder at the Galileo Academy for the Extraordinary. At this magic school, 18 authors have penned the adventures of 18 students as they search for the murderer of an unpopular professor. Can you figure it out before the end? The amazing list of contributors includes Darcie Little Badger, Hafsah Faizal, Kat Cho, Kayla Whaley, L. L. McKinney, Marieke Nijkamp, Preeti Chhibber, Tehlor Kay Mejia, and Victoria Lee. More puzzle books like this, please!

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

Riot Recommendations

As you may have noticed in these last few newsletters I’ve written, I am a big fan of puzzle mysteries. Probably because The Westing Game was my first mystery love. (Turtle Wexler forever!) So I thought today I would spotlight two books by author Kate Racculia, who is herself a self-professed Westing Game and Agatha Christie aficionado. And it shows in her novels — thank goodness for fun adult mysteries! I loved these books. These are fun reads that are perfect as we head into the warmer weather of summer.

cover image of Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia; illustration of a giant hotel in the snow, with a piano in the foreground

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Fifteen years ago, a wedding at the grand Bellweather Hotel was disrupted by a gory crime. The hotel is now said to be haunted, but it doesn’t keep the guests away. But when a high school student at a music festival disappears from the very room where the crime occurred 15 years ago, people are beginning to wonder if the stories are true. They will have to hang in there until help arrives because of course a giant blizzard has descended on the hotel, stranding them all together. As they search for the missing student, what they don’t know is that someone who was at that wedding all those years ago is locked in the hotel with them…This is delicious, spine-tingling fun!

cover image for Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts; illustration of a woman running in a spiral around the outline of a city

Tuesday Mooney Talks To Ghosts by Kate Racculia

And for a read more on the puzzle-solving side of things, check out this mystery, which is part of the fun mystery sub-genre “stranger’s fortune is up for grabs.” In Boston, famed billionaire Vincent Pryce has died. The city is abuzz with the news because Pryce created a treasure hunt around Boston and invites the city to participate. Whoever can find all the clues and solve the mystery first will get his fortune. And Tuesday Mooney thinks she might just be the person for the job. A puzzle-loving loner, Tuesday didn’t realize she has been training for this challenge her whole life! But getting the money isn’t going to be easy. Pryce had a clever, dark sense of humor. And when finding clues proves challenging, Tuesday joins up with a motley crew of fortune seekers, including her best friend, Dex. Together they will hopefully sniff out the riches, while also facing up to their fears and learning about themselves. It’s The Westing Game for grownups! (I also have a UK edition of this novel, titled Tuesday Mooney Wore Black, which is also cool.)

News and Roundups

cover of The Undetectables by Courtney Smyth; shadows of four individuals in front of a purple pentagram

The tagline “Be gay. Solve crimes. Take naps” has moved this fantasy-mystery to the top of my TBR. The Undetectables by Courtney Smyth is out September 26.

12 Must-Read True Crime Classics.

13 New Mystery Books You Won’t Stop Thinking About This Summer.

Check out Threads That Bind, the new Greek mythology-inspired YA novel.

5 mystery TV shows like Nancy Drew.

Here’s PW’s Fall 2023 Adult Announcements: Mysteries & Thrillers.

The New Yorker on author Alice Sebold and the man wrongly convicted of her assault.

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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