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Unusual Suspects

Art Used To Explore Colonization & Violence Towards Women

Hello mystery fans! If you’ve been waiting to watch The Bob’s Burgers Movie, it’s now streaming on Hulu and I laughed a lot watching The Addams Family 2 streaming on Prime! Now back to the regularly scheduled mysteries: I’ve got all the mystery goodies for you this week including new releases, backlist, and something to watch.

And if you’d like to work for Book Riot we’re hiring an Editorial Operations Associate! We are committed to building an inclusive workforce and strongly encourage applications from women, individuals with disabilities, and people of color–apply by August 8th!

Bookish Goods

a bookmark of an illustrated stack of books that you can write book titles on

Book Tracker Bookmark by fureverbooked

I draw versions of this in my notebook to keep track of monthly reading and had no idea they come as bookmarks! $4

New Releases

cover image for Things We Do In The Dark

Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

This is one of those books with a setup that immediately sucked me in: Paris Peralta’s famous comedian husband has been found dead (murdered or suicide?) and Paris’ biggest concern isn’t that she’ll be accused of the murder. Her biggest concern is that her past will be revealed, something someone is already blackmailing her over… In the present we watch as she has to build a defense to prove that she did not murder her husband, and in the past we watch a girl growing up with an abusive mother.

This is my third Hillier thriller (Jar of Hearts ; Little Secrets ) and she consistently gives me page-turners. I inhaled the audiobook narrated by Carla Vega.

(TW main case thought a suicide/ talks of past suicide attempt, detail/ addiction/ domestic abuse recounted/ child abuse/ child sexual assault, predators/ past parent death with dementia)

cover image for Cold Cold Bones

Cold, Cold Bones (Temperance Brennan #21) by Kathy Reichs

If you were a fan of the TV series Bones, and miss it, the book series it was based on has continued so you can keep up with Brennan. Also, it’s got a great cold North Carolina winter setting if you want to escape the heat. Forensic anthropologist Brennan and her daughter Katy, back from the Army, are meeting up for dinner. Except they find an unwanted package on the back porch. It has an eyeball in it with GPS coordinates which leads Brennan to another crime. Soon it seems someone is copycatting Brennan’s cases from early in her career…

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

Riot Recommendations

This round we’re doing crime books that involve art: the first uses art to discuss colonization and the second uses art to explore violence towards women.

cover of Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li; photo of Asian man wearing sunglasses

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

Will Chen is a senior at Harvard when he’s hired for a job: steal Chinese sculptures from museums. So he puts together a team to accomplish the mission. While you get to follow all five of them as they try to accomplish their mission, the book is about much more than heists. It’s about colonization, the diaspora, and the Chinese American identity. Rather than just one character’s story, we get a variety showing how different the experience and views can be from within the same community. While I was invested in whether they’d pull this off, and more importantly get away with it, I think I was more invested in the characters and their lives. I’ve been really enjoying recent releases that focus on immigrant/diaspora experiences in the crime genre.

cover image for Still Lives by Maria Hummel

Still Lives by Maria Hummel

Maggie Richter and the rest of the staff at an LA museum are trying to save the museum. They are hoping to accomplish this with the current exhibit they are mounting: Kim Lord paints herself into famous crime scenes where women were murdered. But on opening night Kim Lord disappears… The setup for this book really worked for me as the first half focuses on the art world and the second half on the mystery.

Watch Now

Miss S on HBO Max: Here’s a Chinese series based on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Set in 1930s Shanghai a socialite solves mysteries with a police inspector. The fashion, duo, humor, and murder mysteries look so fun it’s next on my to-watch list. Here’s the trailer.

News and Roundups

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ Author Wanted for Questioning in Murder

This week’s Radio Times is a crime writer special

‘Only Murders in the Building’ Earns Quick Season 3 Pickup at Hulu

Planes, parachutes and armed robbery: Netflix take on the master criminal who became a folk hero

Censorship News

The Correlation Between Sundown Towns and Book Bans: Forsyth County, GA

Billboards with Quotes From LGBTQ Books Placed in Book-Banning States

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

Categories
Unusual Suspects

Too Hot? Mysteries In Freezing Temps Will Fix That

Hello mystery fans! I’ve got all the mystery goodies for you from new releases to news.

And if you haven’t heard Book Riot is hiring an Editorial Operations Associate! We are committed to building an inclusive workforce and strongly encourage applications from women, individuals with disabilities, and people of color–apply by August 8th!

Bookish Goods

tshirt with a black graphic of Basil the mouse with a magnifying glass and the text "The Great Mouse Detective Agency"

The Great Mouse Detective Agency Shirt by ThreePointSeven

Mice + mystery = eep, I love it! $14

New Releases

cover image for  Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight

Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight by Riku Onda, Alison Watts (Translator)

I went into this knowing absolutely nothing about it and was really surprised by how it starts in one place and just unfolds layer after layer, ending in a totally different place even thought the present takes place entirely over the course of one night inside an apartment. It’s character-focused and felt as if it was trying to explore human behavior and our ties to each other more than just shocking with twists. I’m going to only give you what you learn at the beginning in case, like me, you’d like to not know all the reveals: Aki and Hiro have been living in a Tokyo apartment but will no longer be rooming together. The apartment is empty but they’ve decided to have one final meal together. It appears each one believes the other is responsible for a man’s death and they have a lot to talk about… Think this will particularly work for fans of indie films.

(TW discussions of suicide, including hypotheticals)

cover image for The It Girl

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

Ware has pretty much consistently put out a mystery/thriller a year since her debut in 2015 so if you’ve yet to read her and are looking for an author with a sizeable backlist, look her up. This time we have the trope “something bad happened in Uni and it’s about to fck up everyone who was involved’s life in the present.” Six best friends at Oxford went from having a great college experience to one of them being murdered. Ten years later the convicted murderer has died in prison, but rather than bringing any kind of closure, it’s brought a reporter asking questions, because there is evidence the convicted was innocent. If so, that means one of the original six friends would be the murderer…

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

Riot Recommendations

It’s hot outside. Not like “Yay, it’s summer let’s go in the pool” hot; it’s the kind of hot that opening a door with even the intention of going outside will slam you with a wall of vapor heat (I am not a scientist this may not be a thing!) that makes you immediately slam the door. So I have freezing cold setting mysteries this time.

These Silent Woods cover image

These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant

Here’s a remote suspense novel set in the Appalachian woods, starting in the dead of winter. It has characters you’ll fiercely love and root for, suspense, and is the kind of atmospheric novel that will transport you from wherever you are straight into the pages. Cooper and his eight-year-old daughter Finch live in a cabin in the woods and only two people know this: a nosy neighbor and a friend who comes once a year to bring them the supplies they’ll need to survive the upcoming year. Except Cooper’s friend doesn’t show up this year, and the neighbor keeps making Cooper uneasy…

(TW PTSD/ fat shaming/ panic attack/ animal deaths, killings related to survival)

Murder in the Crooked House cover image

Murder in the Crooked House by Sōji Shimada, Louise Heal Kawai (Translator)

Here’s a snowed in remote mystery that’s also a locked room mystery! In 1984 a father and daughter invite guests to stay at their remote and literally crooked house (sloping floors and the building is leaning) in Hokkaido island (northern tip of Japan). It’s all fun Christmas festivities until the murders start…

(TW attempted suicide, brief detail mentioned/fatphobia)

News and Roundups

cover image for missing presumed

Crime Novelist Susie Steiner Dies at 51

The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 63: Charlie and Amanda Geard (The Midnight House) discuss buying big derelict houses, the importance of community in County Kerry, and Amanda’s stunning epilogue – which is one of Charlie’s favourites.

Cover reveal: Royal Blood (Royal Blood #1) by Aimee Carter

5 Murder Mysteries to Watch After Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?

Where The Crawdads Sing director Olivia Newman on mysteries and myth-making

Censorship News

How to Contact Your Legislators About Book Bans (And Why it Matters)

Protect Yourself Now: Book Censorship News, July 8, 2022

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

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Unusual Suspects

The Shape-Shifting Sherlock Holmes, Now Playing the Villain

Hello mystery fans! I recently mentioned how ever since reading She Rides Shotgun I regularly check to see if Jordan Harper has an upcoming release. Apparently the book gods heard me (the only explanation!) because he does! I squealed, and literally dropped everything to read the galley. And I loved it! Like excited in my bones, throw-this-book-at-everyone’s-face-so-they-read-it loved it. So here’s your first notice that Everybody Knows should be on your January 2023 reading list! My other good bit of news for the week is if you have Prime and have been wanting to watch Jennifer Lopez’s new romance Marry Me, now you can.

Also, Book Riot is hiring an Editorial Operations Associate! We are committed to building an inclusive workforce and strongly encourage applications from women, individuals with disabilities, and people of color–apply by August 8th!

Now on to all the mystery things I have for you.

Bookish Goods

sticker of a blue dragon reading books with the text "in a world of bookworms be a book dragon"

I’m a Book Dragon sticker by rainbowpopstudio

Que cute! $4

New Releases

cover image for Death by Bubble Tea

Death by Bubble Tea (LA Night Market #1) by Jennifer J. Chow

Here’s a new mystery series starter for foodies and fans of the odd couple trope. Cousins who haven’t seen each other in decades, and are total opposites, reunite in LA. You can find Yale and Celine running an Eastwood Village Night Market food stall, until of course someone dies after drinking their bubble tea making them the prime suspects! I have the audiobook queued up and with all the food doc shows I’ve been recently watching, I’m especially excited.

cover image for Confidence

Confidence (Anna and Fin #2) by Denise Mina

If you’ve been waiting for a sequel to Conviction, it has arrived! Anna and Fin are back–having paired up in the first book to solve a true crime podcast mystery on a bit of a tense road trip. Now, with their complicated and personal baggage, they have a new mystery: an unsuccessful YouTube channel host disappears after breaking into an abandoned French Chateau and finding a priceless Roman silver casket—which later ends up on auction…

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

Riot Recommendations

A popular trope that I’m always a sucker for is the person who got out of their town returning after years to either solve a very-long-ago mystery or a happening-now mystery. I’ve got two for you this time with totally different paces: the first is a slow-burn that pulls you in and the second starts with a bang.

Nice Girls cover image

Nice Girls by Catherine Dang

Mary grew up in a small Minnesota town wanting to flee, which she finally accomplishes when she’s accepted into an Ivy League college. But more than an education, she wants to be a different person, one who isn’t bullied and unpopular, a thing she works for until she’s expelled and finds herself back in her hometown, living at home, lying to everyone about why she’s there. With her life in chaos and her childhood frenemy gone missing, she decides to start looking into missing girl cases…

(TW eating disorder/ fatphobia, bullying/ racism/ attempted suicide not completed, detail/ sharing of nude pic without permission)

Second Sight cover image

Second Sight by Aoife Clifford

This time around the woman returning home is a lawyer and we’re in Australia. Eliza Carmody is visiting her home town because of a case she’s on at her firm which is basically a case against the town. And in this town her best friend went missing when they were teens and her father/brother were/are the police. Immediately upon arriving, she witnesses a crime and from there readers are treated to a past and present timeline that will force a town’s reckoning.

(TW suicide/ rape)

News and Roundups

Like A Sister cover image

Oxygen Book Club’s July 2022 Pick Dives Into The Mysterious Death Of A Reality Star

The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 62: Charlie and Grace D Li (Portrait Of A Thief) discuss Chinese American identity, art theft and repatriation, and bonkers fun fictional heists.

A Question of Character: On James Patterson and Diversity in Crime Fiction

The Shape-Shifting Sherlock Holmes, Now Playing the Villain

cover image for In the Dark We Forget

Unlikeable Female Characters Episode 89: Kristen and Layne welcome multi-talented multi-genre author Sandra SG Wong for a chat about her new suspense novel IN THE DARK WE FORGET, the challenges of crafting a main character who has no idea who she is, and what it’s really like to road trip with a thriller writer.

Black Bird is a slick true-crime drama that will keep you hooked

Everything We Know About the Knives Out Sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

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Unusual Suspects

15 Best New Thriller & Mystery Books for Summer 2022

Hello mystery fans! It is time for your first round of all things mystery this week– from new releases to news.

Bookish Goods

pillows made to look like library cards in a variety of colors

Library Card Pillows by dirtsa studio

Wonder if washable markers work on them? $30

New Releases

cover of Bad Things Happen Here

Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow

This is actually my current read! It’s great for readers of YA mysteries where many girls have been going missing, or been murdered, over time along with delving into mental illness and grief. Luca lives on an island town and is dealing with a lot including a new family moving into her dead best friend’s home. Now, after a night out, her sister has not returned and the police show up saying they think they’ve found her body. After years of believing a curse keeps killing girls, Luca decides to find out once and for all who is behind the killings…

(The author kindly provides TWs at the opening of the book.)

cover of Acts of Violet

Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore

Easily one of my favorite books this year! First, if you listen to audiobooks, absolutely 100% go pick up that format—parts of this are interviews and a podcast and it is so good that I actually would forget this was a novel and not a podcast.

You get a mystery and a family drama in one! Famous magician Violet Volk disappeared a decade ago causing all kinds of speculation. Now for the ten year anniversary of the disappearance, a podcast is focusing on interviewing everyone who knew her, looking at the news reports, and digging into all the fan theories. But Violet’s sister, Sasha, doesn’t want anything to do with the podcast—no matter how much she’s hounded—or any of the theories, especially since she’s always been part of some of the theories. Between Sasha’s current life and the podcast transcripts, we get to know both sisters in a collision course of who they were and possibly what may have happened.

(TW mentions past teacher physical abuse of child/ brief recount gropping assault/ brief mention domestic abuse case/ brief mention past suicide attempt, detail/ past mother with terminal illness, not graphic)

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

Riot Recommendations

I thought I’d mention two sequels coming out this fall so if you haven’t read the first book you can get to that.

Mango Mambo and Murder cover image, featuring an illustration of a table in a sunny room with two fancy red drinks, one of which has fallen over and smashed, and a kitten sitting on a desk behind it

Mango, Mambo, and Murder (A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery #1) by Raquel V. Reyes

If you’re in the mood for a cozy mystery set in South Florida and love food, here’s a new series for you. Miriam Quinones-Smith has just moved back home for her husband’s work but is finding it more of an adjustment than she’d thought. Her parents have since moved away, her mother-in-law is passive aggressive, her husband is always working, and someone has been murdered in the same room as her. So as she puts her degree in food anthropology to work by hosting a food show she’s also poking around in a murder plot. The sequel, Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking, comes out in November giving you plenty of time to read the first in the series.

cover image for Lady Joker

Lady Joker, Volume One by Kaoru Takamura, Allison Markin Powell (Translator), Marie Iida (Translator)

If you like big books and you cannot lie (not sorry), have I got a massive two-volume translated work for you. This is inspired by a true unsolved kidnapping case in Japan. The novel follows five men in 1995 Tokyo who are upset with the state of their lives and come together to kidnap Japan’s largest beer conglomerate’s CEO for blood money… The sequel, Lady Joker Volume Two, will be out in October.

News and Roundups

Cover reveal for On Air with Zoe Washington, the sequel to From the Desk of Zoe Washington!

“Endeavour” creator on drying out the “heroic drunk” detective myth and plans for the series’ end

15 Best New Thriller & Mystery Books for Summer 2022

8 Murder Mysteries To Watch As You Wait For The Next ‘Only Murders In The Building’ Episode

Censorship News

How To Directly Impact Democracy: Book Censorship News, July 1, 2022

Librarian Vandalizes 2 Public Libraries, Spray Painting “Groomers”

Canadian Librarian Responds To Threats Against Drag Story Hour by Adding Second Event

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

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Unusual Suspects

The Best True Crime Dramas of 2022 Ranked

Hi mystery fans! I’ve found writing these intros increasingly more difficult since 2016 in that it’s hard to be jokey with all the very real and dangerous things happening, including watching our democracy be dismantled. But as more time gets added onto us living in this hellscape, it also seems more and more important to find your moments of escape in order to recharge. So in Friday’s send, I’m going to at least include the things that helped get me through the week. My current TV escapes are Gordita Chronicles (hilarious) on HBO Max and Ms. Marvel (awesome!) on Disney+. I donated once again to ARC Southeast. And I made, and inhaled, the purple plum torte (with peaches and blueberries) twice. Yes, twice. It’s delicious. As for escaping into the mystery world: I’ve got new releases, backlist legal adjacent reads, and some news and roundups for you.

enamel bookmark of a Black woman from behind in a swimsuit and hat holding a book

Black girl magic bookmark by MelaninMagicKits

Perfect summer bookmark. $18

New Releases

cover image for Take No Names

Take No Names by Daniel Nieh

This is labeled as a standalone, but is a continuation with the character from Beijing Payback. Victor Li is a wanted man who has taken on a job of breaking into storage units that belong to recently deported people. That’s where he finds a rare gem that to him can change his life with its value. But this is a crime book, so really he’s about to find a lot of trouble.

book cover Rogues by patrick radden keefe

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe

Patrick Radden Keefe has two fantastic true crime books: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland and Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty. Now he’s put out a collection of his writings, 12 articles previously published in The New Yorker, that tell a range of crime stories. We start with The Jefferson Bottles–which I have renamed The 1% Are Insufferable–which takes a look at rare wine, collectors, and the elaborate con of selling Thomas Jefferson’s wine bottles. There are stories on international arms brokers, a sister who lives in hiding after testifying against her brother, financial scams, an unsolved plane bombing, mass shooting, El Chapo and more. The stories will take you around the world and into very different criminal activity. It’s a great collection you can pick up and put down easily depending on your reading mood and that allows you to bounce around depending on the crime you’re interested in. Also great if you like reading books that will have you playing the “Hey, did you know?” game. Bonus: the audiobook is read by the author.

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

Riot Recommendations

This week I have two books adjacent to legal thrillers.

Book Cover for All her little secrets by wanda morris, red-tinted photo close up of a Black woman wearing sunglasses

All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris

While this book isn’t focused on a legal case, it has a corporate lawyer lead and is full of corporate intrigue. It’s also a great read for fans of past and present chapters–which I love. Ellice Littlejohn already has a lot on her plate, including putting the woman who raised her in a home and worrying about her brother, when she walks into work and finds a partner dead by apparent suicide. Rather than calling it in, she leaves and lets someone else find him, opening the door for her to become the prime suspect as the firm she works for decides to promote her. Everything quickly is spiraling out of control and she needs to figure out what is happening…

(TW main case questioned as suicide/ alcoholic parent/ dementia/ teen sexual assault recounted, not graphic/ child abuse/ brief mention partner abuse/ fatshaming)

The Appeal cover image

The Appeal by Janice Hallett

This follows an actual case but in a very clever and unique way–the format is different from what you’re used to. It’s the kind of book where going into it knowing nothing or as little as possible is the funnest way, but I know some readers want to know as much as possible so I’m splitting this review first with the bare bones and then with more info.

We start with law students being given case files of a real case to go through. All of the files are email exchanges and text messages between a group of people who overlap being in a play together and working at a hospital. You are provided with all the information to “play along” and solve the case.

Law students are given evidence from a real trial to go through which consists of email exchanges and text messages. There is a community play being put together by a wealthy family known for this and the toddler granddaughter has just been diagnosed with cancer. Quickly the community comes together to help raise a large sum of money to try and get her experimental drugs from America which have not yet been approved in the UK. We get to know all the characters involved through their messages to each other: from the play being cast, organized, practiced and performed, to the fundraising efforts that go into full effect. The students are tasked with reading everything in order to help with an appeal in the hopes that they will spot what was missed in the original murder trial. As the students are prompted to solve certain things, you as the reader also get to play detective/lawyer and try to answer the questions.

This book had me longing for the days that we used to have full conversations over email and I loved how much you could get to know the characters solely through their digital correspondence. There’s the busy body who emails one person one thing and then has a slightly different story in a different email exchange; the married couple trying to settle into a new place after working with a group like Doctors without Borders; the oncologist awaiting the money for the drugs ordered; the family trying to raise the money; and the woman in charge of all the fundraising. I was completely sucked into everyone’s life and rather impressed with how well this book works even though it’s all just digital correspondence. If you’re looking for a page-turner that is formatted differently from other books, and want to participate in the puzzle solving, pick this one up.

(TW child cancer/ past child deaths from illness/ pregnancy complications/ addiction/ mentions sexual assaults, not graphic)

News and Roundups

Judges For the ‘Sisters in Crime Pride Award’ Talk LGBTQIA+ Issues in Crime Publishing

Cult Classics: 32 Fascinating Books About Cults

From The Staircase to The Dropout, the Best True Crime Dramas of 2022 Ranked

The best new books of June 2022

Murder, mystery and the mafia: Audible hit uses 1980’s Providence to tell thrilling story

How Does Goodreads Make Money?

‘Only Murders in the Building’ Is Even Better in Its Second Season

True Detective Season 4: Kali Reis to Help Jodie Foster Solve Alaska Mystery

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

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Unusual Suspects

Ruth Galloway Returns

Hello mystery fans! It’s time for new releases, news, roundups, and all the things crime related I think may be of interest to you.

enamel pin of open book with rainbow that says Libraries are for Everyone

Libraries Are for Everyone Enamel Pin by GoodGoodCat

Bring back jean jackets covered in pins. $9

New Releases

cover image for Death on Gokumon Island

Death on Gokumon Island (Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #2) by Seishi Yokomizo, Louise Heal Kawai (Translator)

I love translated mysteries. I love Japanese mysteries. I love seeing the classics from other countries. I love mysteries set on remote islands. All those reasons, and more, make me so glad that Pushkin Vertigo is translating this series–don’t worry about the series number, they read as standalones and have actually been translated out of order. Detective Kosuke Kindaichi not only comes to Gokumon Island with news of a man’s death, but also that his dying words were a warning that his three step-sisters were now in danger.

cover image for The Locked Room

The Locked Room (Ruth Galloway #14) by Elly Griffiths

Ruth Galloway fans can cheer for a new entry in this long running mystery series! Ruth is clearing out her mother’s London home a few years after her mom passed away and discovers a photo that opens a mystery she must solve. Now back in Norfolk, she finds new roadblocks to her detecting as COVID-19 lockdowns have begun. Add to that a possible serial killer plot that DCI Harry Nelson is investigating…

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

Riot Recommendations

This week I have a very real case that inspired a literary novel and now a true crime book: Florida’s Dozier School for Boys was meant to be a place boys were sent to for reform but instead housed cruelties and horrors.

cover image for the nickel boys

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

In this historical fiction novel, Whitehead delves into the human cruelty of the very real Florida school presented as a reform school for boys. Elwood Curtis ends up there as an idealist who holds onto Dr Martin Luther King’s words “Throw us in jail, and we will still love you,” but his views will quickly be tested by cruelty and those who believe you have to be as cruel as your oppressors to survive, especially when no one is coming to help.

cover image for We Carry Their Bones

We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier School for Boys by Erin Kimmerle

This is a true crime book written by the forensic anthropologist who worked to locate the graveyard and graves of the boys who “disappeared” at a Florida reform school. The school was able to operate for more than 100 years as it wasn’t until the reports of cruelty and mysterious deaths finally got the attention they should have always had that the school was closed in 2011. Erin Kimmerle and her team worked to find the bodies and through DNA testing let their families know their children’s bodies had finally been found.

News and Roundups

book cover for The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra

Crime Writers of Color Podcast: Vaseem Khan, author of the Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation and Malabar House series, is interviewed by Robert Justice.

Paula Hawkins’ ‘Blind Spot’ Gets Blumhouse TV Adaptation

Miami New Times names Alex Segura Best Author of 2022

Ruth Ware, for It Girl, Virtual Barnes & Noble event Wednesday, July 13, 2022 3:00 PM ET

Trial & Error: A Great True Crime Parody Show That Needs a New Home

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

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Unusual Suspects

Standalone Mysteries I’d Like A Sequel To

Hello mystery fans! Let’s dive into new releases (historical mystery and nonfiction spy), backlist standalones that I’d like a sequel to, and the latest in news and roundups.

art print poster of Jessica Fletcher's outfits on Murder She Wrote

Murder She Wrote A3 Wall Art Print by fromintheshed

Murder She Wrote but make it fashion. $26

New Releases

cover image for Harlem Sunset

Harlem Sunset (Harlem Renaissance Mystery #2) by Nekesa Afia

Louise Lloyd is back in the sequel to Dead Dead Girls, a great historical mystery series set during the Harlem Renaissance. Starting after the events of the first book’s conclusion (no spoilers here) we’re in Harlem, 1927 and Louise has a visitor from her past: one of the girl’s who had been kidnapped with her when she was a teen. But their reunion is cut short when she’s found dead and Louise’s girlfriend becomes the suspect…

cover image for The Spy Who Knew Too Much

The Spy Who Knew Too Much: An Ex-CIA Officer’s Quest Through a Legacy of Betrayal by Howard Blum

I’m currently listening to this audiobook and if you’re a fan of John le Carré, spy thrillers, moles, and people who won’t let go of an investigation, this is narrative nonfiction you’ll like. It starts with a boat found out in the water with no owner on board. But things pointing to the CIA are found, just not the CIA officer they belong to. From there things begin to unravel, things don’t line up, things are questioned, accused–what exactly is going on?

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

Riot Recommendations

I am a big fan of both series and standalone books, but sometimes I read a standalone and love a character so much that I hope there will be another book. Here are two examples.

ophie's ghost book cover

Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland

This is such a great read as a standalone book with a completed mystery plot, but it also has one of my all time favorite child characters and I’d love to get to continue following Ophie in her life—it doesn’t even have to be a mystery. In 1922 Ophie is uprooted after her father’s murder from Georgia to Pittsburgh and in the process she learns she sees ghosts, something that can place her in danger, but also puts her in the position to see someone in the house she’s working in who may need their murder solved. It’s been some time since I read this and I still find myself randomly thinking about Ophie, how she’s doing, what she’s doing, where she’s going in life.

cover image for Tell The Truth Shame The Devil

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

This hit so many things I like: a blend of adult and child characters, being nuanced and not falling into tragedy porn, and having the balance of humor. After a bombing on a school trip, a suspended MET officer has to find the kids who ran away while also figuring out the culprit. When I read this in 2017 I wrote “I can only hope I will one day get to meet Bish, his daughter Bee, ex-wife Rachel, Violette and her family again in a future book.” and I still feel exactly the same way.

News and Roundups

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

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Book Within A Book Mysteries

Hello mystery fans! Hope you’re in the need for some new releases, love books within books, and mystery news and roundups, because that’s what I have for you.

a white vinal sticker that says Basically A Detective below a doodled fingerprint

Basically a Detective Vinyl Sticker by JennyVstickers

It’s true if you read a lot of mysteries: $3+

New Releases

cover image for The Black Girls Left Standing

The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman

For fans of contemporary social mysteries! Katia Willet is killed by an off-duty police officer who claims she was breaking and entering but her younger sister Beau knows that can’t be true. She’s certain she can prove it since Katia’s boyfriend was a witness, but he’s gone missing. So she and a friend use social media to get anonymous tips and start trying to solve what really happened to her sister…

cover image for Vera Kelly Lost and Found

Vera Kelly: Lost and Found (Vera Kelly #3) by Rosalie Knecht

For historical mystery fans (recent, under-the-radar history) this is a great series that has followed Vera Kelly from her start as a government spy to a private investigator. Now she may have her most important case: after visiting her girlfriend Max’s estranged family in LA, Max goes missing. Will Vera find the answers she needs traveling across California to find her? If you’d like to start at the beginning pick up Who Is Vera Kelly?

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

Riot Recommendations

This week I’m going for main characters who are writing a book, while you read a book about them.

cover image for After She Wrote Him

After She Wrote Him by Sulari Gentill

This is a twisty tale about Madeleine d’Leon who is writing about another author, Patrick McGinnity, who is a murder suspect. But as she gets more into her writing process and interacting with her fictional character, we see that Patrick McGinnity is also writing a book, and his main character is named Madeleine d’Leon. So who is real and who is the fictional character?..

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths cover image

The Stranger Diaries (Harbinder Kaur #1) by Elly Griffiths

This is for fans of books within a book—in this case a gothic short story. We start with Clare Cassidy who is writing about a fictional Gothic author who once lived in the school she works at when her friend and coworker is murdered. And then strange things begin to happen… The book follows Cassidy, her teenage daughter, police detective Harbinder Kaur, and weaves in R. M. Holland’s short story. And there is a “sequel” book that is unrelated to this book but does follow Harbinder Kaur and a slew of new characters which is also great: The Postscript Murders .

Upcoming and Roundups

“Once the Books Start Coming Off the Shelves, We’ll See You In Court.”: Book Censorship News, June 17, 2022

The Spy And I by Tiana Smith was purchased by Berkley Romance and is an action-packed romance about a woman confused for her spy sister! I am SO excited for this!

cover reveal: A Cozy Gaslamp Mystery and Sapphic Romance in The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

Decades After Vincent Chin’s Death, Recent Attacks Haunt Asian Americans

7 thrilling books by Black authors you need to read now

Suddenly Many New Fictional Detectives Are Sniffing for Clues on the Streets of Bombay 

Al Pacino Wants Timothée Chalamet to Star in ‘Heat’ Prequel Based on New Novel

A murder-mystery set in Gaza, with a bookish bent

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

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Unusual Suspects

Wait For It Crime

Hello mystery fans! Let’s slide into the weekend with a Bond film to watch, new releases, backlist in countries outside of the US, and a roundup of news.

beige tote bag with "booktrovert" printed three times in muted purple, pink, orange

Booktrovert Tote Bag by Saguaro Threads

When you need to carry all your mystery books with you. $15

New Releases

cover image for In the Dark We Forget

In the Dark We Forget by Sandra S.G. Wong

Here’s a new release for fans of psychological suspense. Cleo Li wakes up with amnesia having no idea why she’s on the side of the highway in British Columbia. Her parents are also missing, with the added WTF that her mother had just won millions in the lottery…

cover image for Local Gone Missing

Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton

This is for fans of small communities and past-and-present mysteries. D.I. Elise King has just finished treatment for breast cancer and is desperate to get back to work. So when a mystery of a missing man presents itself, she can’t help but look into it. Told from the point of view of various characters in a small community, it’s the kind of book that has you invested in everyone’s lives as you wait for all the secrets to start coming out. For fans of multicast audiobooks, you’ll want to pick up that format narrated by Gabrielle Glaister, Jayne Entwistle, Nicholas Guy Smith.

(TW character is recovering from cancer treatment/ teen drug overdoses/ past work sexual assault attempt recounted/ recounts parent with drug addiction/ alcoholism, death)

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

Riot Recommendations

For those in the US here are some mysteries set in other countries for a little travel and mystery.

The Things She's Seen cover image

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina, Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Here’s a beautiful Australian crime novel about grief, family, and friendship, that manages to feel uplifting. Beth Teller, an Aboriginal girl who died at 15, is now a ghost following her father, a detective, around. Since he can see and hear her, she’s helping him solve a case—a children’s home fire that left an unidentified body and a missing person—while also trying to help him grieve her death. I read this three years ago and still randomly think about it and Beth.

Book cover for Three by D.A.Mishani

Three by D.A. Mishani, Jessica Cohen (Translation)

This is a great wait-for-it crime novel that is set in Tel Aviv. It follows three completely different women, each story being one of three parts of the book. It starts with Orla: a recently divorced single mother who is struggling financially and emotionally and has slowly started dating. And if you’re in the mood for a police procedural series, Mishani has an Israeli procedural series that starts with The Missing File.

(TW talk of suicide as a cover for murder/ briefly mentions past loss of pregnancy)

Watch Now

No Time To Die on Prime Video: If you’ve been wanting to see Daniel Craig’s last mission as James Bond, it is now streaming. The cast also includes Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, and Ralph Fiennes, and you can watch the trailer here.

News and Roundups

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.

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Unusual Suspects

True Crime Books With Historic Cases

Hi mystery fans! Let’s look at some new releases, backlist true crime, and a little bit of news and roundups.

an enamel pin of a hedgehog sitting on a book reading a book with the spine saying "Just one more page"

Hedgehog Book Pin by The Clever Cove

That hedgehog is clearly reading a mystery. ($12)

New Releases

cover image for The Half-Life of Ruby Fielding

The Half-Life of Ruby Fielding by Lydia Kang

I’ve really enjoyed all of Lydia Kang‘s novels and am so glad she has a new release. It’s a historical mystery set in 1942 Brooklyn, and follows brother and sister Maggie and Will Scripps. They find a mysterious woman hiding beneath their back stairs but with the war raging in Europe, the first atomic bomb being created, and the mystery woman’s obsession with poisons, should Maggie and Will fear this woman?

cover image for More Than You'll Ever Know

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

I inhaled this audiobook, which has an excellent narration by Inés del Castillo and Yareli Arizmendi. In present day, Cassie Bowman has a true crime blog but wants to finally stop struggling to pay the bills. She decides to write a true crime book on a case from the ’80s by interviewing the woman at the center: Lore Rivera was married in Laredo, Texas to one man and in Mexico City to another until one husband was arrested for murdering the other.

This book tackles a lot (the ethics of true crime journalism, the effects of economic crisis, motherhood, marriage, family, one foot in two countries, what we owe others, can we ever really know a person…) while keeping the reader hooked not only in each woman’s life now and then, but also in their tug and pull with each other and their families.

(TW domestic abuse/ maternal mortality / mentions miscarriages, infertility/ ableism/ earthquake that killed many/ alcoholism)

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

Riot Recommendations

This week I have two true crime books with historic cases with the sad reminder that history repeats itself if we allow it to.

cover image for From a Whisper To a Rallying Cry

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo

In Detroit in 1982 Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American was beaten to death by two white Americans. The fight started in a bar and the men then went searching for Chin and killed him outside of a McDonald’s. The court case rightfully enraged the Asian community when the men only received three years of probation and a $3,000 dollar fine. This book goes into the events the night Chin was killed, the court case, the protests, the following federal civil rights trial and the Asian American movement, through interviews, court transcripts, and news.

(TW mentions past suicidal thoughts, not detailed/ xenophobia, racism)

Columbine cover image

Columbine by Dave Cullen

I think the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado on April 20th 1999 remains to this day a horrific moment that most people still have wrong information about. It’s as much about the massacre as it is damning evidence against when the media gets it wrong and how it feels impossible to ever correct the information. And also how a select few in power have allowed this to continue happening in the US unlike comparable countries around the world.

(TW mass shooting/ homophobia/ ableism/ suicide, suicidal thoughts/ PTSD and survival guilt discussed)

News and Roundups

Rian Johnson Reveals ‘Knives Out 2’ Title

Novelist James Patterson says older white men experience ‘another form of racism’

Screen After Reading: Go behind the scenes of book adaptations like Anatomy of a Scandal

Tirzah Price revealed the cover for the third book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries: Manslaughter Park

This Summer’s Hottest Mystery Authors Tell (Almost) All

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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.