Unusual Suspects

9 Crimes Linked to Books

Hi mystery fans! Apparently there is some nonsense about today already being September(?!), which means that this whole year has equally felt like the longest year and also that it has (so far) passed in a blink? In good news my usual craving for brujas and fall things is now closer to Halloween.

Newish newsletter + a chance to win books!: Book Riot’s editorial team is writing for casual and power readers alike over at The Deep Dive! During the month of September, all new free subscribers will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler plus 5 mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Bookish Goods

6 tarot cards with graphic illustrations of the golden girls that have turned into bookmarks

Golden Girls Tarot card bookmark by ColorfulNostalgia

It’s a mystery which one you get–which is fun–but while I like them all, “the devil” is a work of art. ($4)

New Releases

cover image for Redemption

Redemption (Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran #1) by Deborah J. Ledford

For fans of missing persons cases with the investigator tied to one of the cases, procedurals, and Native American leads.

Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran is a sheriff’s deputy whose best friend, Paloma, is one of four women who have gone missing from Taos Pueblo reservation. Because Duran doesn’t feel like her own department is doing enough, she teams up with Cruz “Wolf Song” Romero, a friend and tribal police officer. They’re up against a lot, including time, when the missing women begin to turn up dead. Can Duran save Paloma in time?

cover image for Where The Dead Sleep

Where the Dead Sleep (Ben Packard #2) by Joshua Moehling

For fans of small town procedurals, family drama, and murder mysteries.

There are days where I randomly grab a book and see where the journey takes me, which I did with this one. It’s why I didn’t realize it was a sequel (it gives you the info you need from the first book, I was never lost) and am now planning on reading the first since I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Deputy Ben Packard recently moved to a small Minnesota town and took on the role of active Sheriff due to the Sheriff being diagnosed with cancer. He’s not thrilled about the Sheriff part, because of politics and he feels like he has a social target on his back as an openly gay deputy. But soon he has to decide, while being begged by others, if he’s willing to run for Sheriff to take the job full-time. It’s all going on while he has a complicated murder investigation that is full of family drama—like you could put this family on a reality show!

Bill Sandersen was murdered in his home while his wife slept in her separate room. His wife was his first real girlfriend, who he broke up with years ago to marry her sister instead. Bill was divorced from the sister and married to the original sister (I know!). Obviously the sisters don’t like each other, neither does the third sister who wants nothing to do with these two–or the emotionally abusive mom they blame for all their problems. As you can imagine, Bill had plenty of people who wanted him dead, including a business partner he stole money from. So Packard has plenty of work between his professional life of deciding if he wants to be Sheriff and this case with a long list of suspects…

I did the audioook format and enjoyed Linda Jones’ narration, even if at first I briefly wondered why a male narrator wasn’t picked since the lead is a dude. Maybe because there were a lot of supporting characters that are women? Anyhoo, if you’re an audiobook listener, it’s a good pick!

(TW talk of past suicide, detail/ alcoholism/ former Sheriff dies of cancer/ mentions past overdose, not deadly/ parent with dementia/ past child abuse case recounted, emotional child abuse/ fatphobia)

Riot Recommendations

If you’ve unfortunately ever been in a natural disaster, you are aware that the recovery is not fast and that while the news focuses on the time during the disaster and the immediate time afterwards, it then generally moves on. So I thought I’d point out two mysteries set in Hawai’i and also these five ways to help victims of the Maui wildfires.

cover image for Murder Casts a Shadow

Murder Casts a Shadow: A Hawai’i Mystery by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl

For fans of historical mysteries with a newspaper reporter as an amateur sleuth!

In Honolulu you’ll ring in the new year of 1934! But it’s not all fun and celebration: what starts as a museum theft quickly leads to a string of murders. Enter Mina Beckwith, a reporter who finds herself in the unlikely role of partnering with playwright Ned Manusia. Can they locate the stolen painting and unmask the killer?

If you want to continue with the series, pick up the sequel, Murder Leaves Its Mark.

Iced in Paradise cover image

Iced in Paradise (A Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mystery #1) by Naomi Hirahara

For fans of characters returning home and cozy mysteries!

Leilani Santiago had started a new life in San Francisco but returned to Hawai’i to help out her family, specifically working in their shave ice shack. While trying to find her way and figure out what she wants to do with her life, the position of amateur sleuth is presented when her father is accused of murdering the man found dead in their family business!

If you’ve already read this one, you can continue with the sequel, An Eternal Lei.

News and Roundups

9 Crimes Linked to Books

The First App to “Help” Libraries and Schools with Book Bans Has Arrived–It’s Not What It Seems

Library Bomb Threats Continue to Increase

Liberty and Patricia recently chatted on All The Books! about Board to Death by CJ Connor and I’m Not Done with You Yet by Jesse Q. Sutanto–two great releases this year that are on opposite ends of the mystery spectrum.

September 17th at 4pm: Adam Sass will be at The Ripped Bodice (LA location) to chat about his new book Your Lonely Nights Are Over!

You can hear Lisa Jewell and Emma Donoghue chat on a recent episode of The Shit No One Tells You About Writing.

13 Shows Like ‘Only Murders in the Building’ That’ll Tickle Your Funny and Mystery Bones After Season 3

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2023 releases and upcoming 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.

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