Unusual Suspects

Back to School with 2023’s New Campus Fiction and Dark Academia Novels

Hello mystery fans! The adaptation of Red, White & Royal Blue is finally streaming on Prime and I am all the muppet arms! The world always needs more romcoms in it, especially to balance out all the crime I read.

Are you a velocireader? If so Book Riot’s New Release Index will keep you in the know about all the latest books. New books for days! Subscribe today — you won’t be able to read them all, but it’s fun to try! 

Bookish Goods

vinyl sticker designed like a "hello my name is" name tag that says "hello I'd rather be reading"

Hello Id Rather Be Reading Sticker by WBDecalsandDesigns

If you’re forced to put your book down and socialize… ($4)

New Releases

cover image for Anansi's Gold

Anansi’s Gold: The Man Who Looted the West, Outfoxed Washington, and Swindled the World by Yepoka Yeebo

For fans of true crime and con artists!

John Ackah Blay-Miezah, who died in the early ’90s, was a Ghanaian con artist. Here his life, and frauds, are detailed including the famous con of convincing people into helping him with a trust fund (that didn’t exist) and with the promise that they too could get a piece of said (fictional) riches. It’s one of those really interesting true crime books that includes things like Nixon’s former attorney general as an accomplice.

If you need the audiobook, narrated by Jude Owusu, it releases at the end of the month!

cover image for None of This Is True

None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

For fans of mysteries and “a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.”

Alix Summers hosts a podcast and is out celebrating her 45th birthday when she meets her “birthday twin”: Josie, who is also celebrating her 45th birthday. Sounds fun, except Josie wants to be the subject of Alix’s podcast and while Alix agrees, she can’t shake off an unsettling feeling…

For audiobook readers, you get a full-cast narration!

Looking for more new releases? Check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

I’m currently on the second season of Reservation Dogs (Hulu) and loving the show. So I thought I’d spotlight two great mystery books by Indigenous authors, one written by a Diné author and one by an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota Nation.

cover image for Shutter

Shutter by Ramona Emerson

For fans of procedurals, crime scene photographers, and past and present chapters.

In the present, Rita Todacheene is a crime scene photographer who is beyond overworked and also sees ghosts, helping her learn sometimes what really happened to the victims. Seeing the dead isn’t something she necessarily sees as a gift, especially since her whole life she’s been warned about the dangers the dead come with. That’s a lesson she learns firsthand when a recent victim decides she’s going to make Rita’s life hell until Rita helps her get revenge for her murder…

In the past, we watch Rita living with her grandmother on the Navajo reservation, finding her love of photography, and grappling with the realization that she sees ghosts.

(TW I’m just going with everything — not because of dark material, although it does graphically describe two crime scenes, but because so many cases and things are discussed that at some point it hits everything and this would have been a paragraph of notes.)

Winter Counts cover image

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

For fans of vigilantes and amateur sleuths!

Virgil Wounded Horse lives in South Dakota on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. He makes money as a vigilante of sorts because of the amount of criminals that go unpunished by the local police, who can’t touch the cases, and the FBI doesn’t want to take the cases. But he’s raising his nephew and that pushes him to accept a job he’d otherwise never touch: finding the person bringing drugs into the reservation. Soon things go sideways and he’s paired up with his ex-girlfriend and the FBI…

(TW addiction/ mentions suicides, one with detail/ past rapes including children mentioned, not graphic/ child death/ pedophile, crimes off page/ fat shaming)

News and Roundups

“There’s a murder mystery, and Cinderella and Little Red Riding must work together to solve it.” Once Upon a Crime release date, cast, synopsis, trailer, and more

(Guess who always wrongly thought The Fugitive was based on a book?!) The Fugitive at 30: How the Harrison Ford Thriller Took a Classic TV Concept and Made It Great

The Lincoln Lawyer Dethrones The Witcher on Netflix TV List

Angie Kim Talks Second Novels, Fifth Careers, and Happiness

Back to School with 2023’s New Campus Fiction and Dark Academia Novels

WGAStrong: Why Readers Should Care About the Writers’ Strike

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2023 releases and 2024 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 Bluesky, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Litsy — you can find me under Jamie Canavés.

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