Categories
Unusual Suspects

Middle Grade Mysteries

Hello mystery fans! I’ve been reading more picture books this year, which I highly recommend, and it’s left me wanting to read more middle grade novels. So I gabbed these two a few weekends ago and was absolutely delighted by them.

cover of The Keeper by Guadalupe García McCall; illustration of a young white boy and a young Latine girl standing in front of a spooky house

The Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

If you’re a fan of mysteries, folk horror, and grew up on Scooby-Doo, you should absolutely pick this up. I think this book is also a great way for someone who has always been too scared to read horror to dip a toe in.

Twelve-year-old James and his ten-year-old sister Ava have moved from the home where they grew up in Texas to Oregon. Their abuela died shortly before the move and James and Ava are especially missing her and working their way through the grieving process. They are also in a huge prank war between each other, supported by their abuela, which their parents aren’t really fans of. As they try to find their place in this new town, James playing baseball and Ava managing the team, strange things also start to happen. It starts with creepy notes left for James which he initially thinks is Ava pranking him, but she swears it isn’t. And then they find out that the town has a history of children going missing over the years. It also doesn’t help when they start investigating who is leaving the notes and find some people to just be creepy…

I loved the sibling relationship of them fighting and pranking but also supporting each other and helping each other grieve their abuela and solve the mystery… I would love to read more of James and Ava—especially if it flips Ava to the lead.

(TW kidnapped children/ mentions past child deaths)

the cover of Drew Leclair Gets a Clue

Drew Leclair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury

Drew Leclair is a 7th grader with a lot on her plate, including that her mom has run off with her school counselor. She’s dealing with bullies, has asthma, is trying to work out why she seems to only be romantically interested in fictional characters over real life humans, and she spends a lot of her spare time researching true crime.

That last bit is what makes her think she’s perfect to solve the school case: who is posting embarrassing secrets about other students? With her friends Shrey and Trissa and her true crime board, how can she fail?

I inhaled the audiobook, narrated by Devon Hales. I adored the friendships, Drew’s relationship with her father, the mystery solving, and watching the kids try to work their way through figuring out life. I really hope this is the start to a series and would love to see it age as we get to watch Drew grow up to work in criminal investigation as is her dream.

(TW fatshaming)

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

From The Book Riot Crime Vault

“The Game is Afoot!” 12 Books Like ENOLA HOLMES


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

Best Thriller Books to Read in 2022

Hello mystery fans! It’s a bit of a light week, which makes sense with everything that continues to happen in the world. I did still find great things to click on, including news and trailers, and have for you something to watch if you need a thriller.

From Book Riot and Around The Internet

cherish farrah book cover

Read or Dead: Nusrah and Katie talk about mystery and suspense reads by Black authors.

Best Thriller Books to Read in 2022

Why is Harriet Still Spying?

Readers’ Most Anticipated Books of March

Barry Levinson Set to Direct ‘The Missing’ Crime Drama at Peacock (I love Dror A. Mishani’s crime novels)

The 75 Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time, From Gone Girl to The Lost Daughter

Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer Break Down the ‘Killing Eve’ Final Season Premiere

Bullet Train cover image

Brad Pitt delivers an assassins-on-a-train thrill ride in the new Bullet Train trailer

New mysteries worth your time include ‘Secret Identity,’ ‘The Verifiers,’ ‘The Accomplice’

March 8th: Barnes & Noble welcomes Lan Samantha Chang for a live, virtual event to discuss THE FAMILY CHAO, our February Book Club selection!

March 14th: Barnes & Noble welcomes Clare Mackintosh for a live, virtual, Midday Mystery discussion of HOSTAGE.

Giveaway: Win a Banned Books Bundle!

Giveaway: Win an iPad Mini!

Watch Now

No Exit on Hulu: For fans of thrillers and snowed-in remote mysteries, Taylor Adams‘ novel of the same name has been adapted into a film. A young woman snowed in at a rest stop during a blizzard realizes a van in the parking lot has a kidnapped child, meaning someone she’s snowed in with is the kidnapper… Watch the trailer.

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

Just Pursuit cover image

Reading: Just Pursuit by Laura Coates / Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Streaming: Severance on Apple TV+ has a fantastic pilot and I’m here for a bit of sci-fi in our world with a mystery.

Laughing: Reading before Google

Helping: The National Center for Transgender Equality / Want to support the people in Ukraine? Here’s how you can help

Upcoming: Amina Akhtar revealed the cover for her upcoming thriller Kismet!

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


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

Class Is In Session: Campus Mysteries

Hello mystery fans! If you’ve been itching for some mysteries set on school campuses, just think of me as your dark academia fairy—plus, one has a cult.

cover image for The New Girl

The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto

I will continue to read everything Jesse Q. Sutanto puts out. I love her range from dark YA (The Obsession) to fun, comedy-of-errors adult novels (Dial A for Aunties) that feature Chinese Indonesian characters and culture. While the sequel to Dial A for Aunties, Four Aunties and a Wedding, releases soon. The New Girl is more like The Obsession, although for me personally it was less dark/obsessive.

The New Girl was an audiobook that I hit play on and immediately got invested in the main character and ended up inhaling the book. Lia Setiawan has just transferred to a prep school, Draycott Academy, thanks to a full ride track scholarship. But from the second she steps on campus things aren’t great, starting with a student being literally dragged from the school. While Lia’s instinct is to go help her, the other students are just filming and laughing.

And then the bullying starts, because she’s there to take one of the track team spots and another student isn’t going to give up her place. Plus, the teacher that dragged the student out of the school is making her life difficult. There’s blackmail, a dead student, and Lia has to figure out what is going on or she’ll lose her scholarship and any chance at college…

This hit on a lot of things I like, including dark academia, a lead I was rooting for, and the balance many Americans live between being from an immigrant family and growing up in the U.S.

(TW suicide, detail/ talks about eating disorders/ disordered eating from stress, lack of money)

cover image for Don't Breathe a word

Don’t Breathe a Word by Jordyn Taylor

Technically we get two campus mysteries for the price of one since this is set in the past and present.

In the present day, Eve has been sent by her mother and stepfather to a boarding school—her stepfather has never allowed her to feel like a part of the family. She’s the new kid and the situation isn’t great, so when she gets tapped to be a part of a secret society in school, after friending a cool girl, she doesn’t question what joining the Fives may mean.

In the past, we remain in the same school but find ourselves in the early ’60s during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the panic over nuclear war. Enter a teacher who decides to have a group of students spend four days in a nuclear fall out shelter at the school as an experiment. Not all six students will make it out alive.

And in the present, anyone who dares ask or speak about the event is immediately threatened into silence…

For fans of past and present mysteries, watch as both timelines take you into two different teen girls’ lives and time periods, waiting for it all to connect.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

From Book Riot’s Crime Vault

Community Focused Mysteries


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

The Most Successful Book Thief in American History

Hi mystery fans! I’ve got plenty of articles, podcasts, news, and even something to watch to hopefully keep you and your mystery loving heart entertained.

From Book Riot and Around The Internet

When No One Is Watching cover image

14 Best Social Thrillers That Will Change the Way You See the World

The Most Successful Book Thief in American History

Crime That Strikes a Chord: Musical Mysteries

Hey YA: She Might Have Pulled Off Minor Identity Theft

All the Books!: Patricia and Liberty chat new releases including The Verifiers by Jane Pek and Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free by Sarah Weinman.

Roselyn Sanchez & Eric Winter Ink Producing Deal With Kapital, Set ‘HSI: Puerto Rico’ Drama At CBS: “Additionally, the companies have optioned the book White Smoke by New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D Jackson for TV development.” EEP!

Hillary Clinton producing movie adaptation of her State of Terror thriller novel

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

Good Morning America’s Buzz pick: All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris

Angie Thomas, Jason Mott, and more recommend books by other Black authors

Fun: Alex Segura created a “what’s your superhero name” for his upcoming Secret Identity mystery.

5 books not to miss: Stephanie Wrobel’s twisted ‘This Might Hurt,’ new Lucy Foley mystery

Partners in crime: Dolly Parton and James Patterson team up for Run, Rose, Run novel and album

cover of The Verifiers by Jane Pek

Ten Questions for Jane Pek

Kenneth Branagh’s “Death on the Nile” forgets Agatha Christie was a master of the murder mystery

Valerie Wilson Wesley on Crime Fiction’s Pioneering Women of Color

Crime Writers of Color podcast: Akwaaba! Yasmin Angoe–Her Name is Knight

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Watch Now

The Girl Before on HBO Max: If you’re looking for psychological suspense with minimalist architecture, The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney (pseudonym of Tony Strong) was adapted into a 4 part series for HBO Max and BBC One. It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Jessica Plummer, and an extreme minimalist house. And you can watch the trailer here.

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

Book cover of Cold by Mariko Tamaki

Reading: Cold by Mariko Tamaki

Streaming: Because new seasons are coming, I’m rewatching Starstruck and Barry on HBO Max—both very funny in wildly different ways.

Laughing: Archibald darling

Helping: How To Fight Book Bans and Challenges: An Anti-Censorship Tool Kit / Resources for Transgender Youth In Texas, including how to become an advocate.

Upcoming: I can’t wait for this middle grade spy novel coming out this fall! Undercover Latina by Aya de León

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


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

20 February Mystery Books To Know

Hi mystery fans! Big month for new releases. Big. Huge!

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

cover of The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang

The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang

A modern reimagining of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov set in Haven, Wisconsin with the family Chao, and their restaurant Fine Chao, at the center. When the patriarch is presumed murdered, the family is on trial… You get comedy, tragedy, a multigenerational and immigrant story, and mystery.

cover of Marion Lane and the Midnight Rose by T.A. Willberg

Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose (Marion Lane #2) by T.A. Willberg

The sequel to Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder (Review)! This is set in the 1950s with a secret organization that works under the streets of London (think a little bit Get Smart) that this time has to stop a serial killer. But there’s also trouble amongst the organization when a letter arrives saying a new recruit is not to be trusted…

cover image for Murder Take Two

Murder Take Two (The Ross Agency Mysteries Book 1) Delia C. Pitts

If you’re looking to start a new PI series, here you go. SJ Rook is hired as a guard on a Hollywood shoot in Harlem thinking it’ll be an easy, just annoying job. Instead, after a week of ignoring ridiculous claims of murder threats, there’s a murder on the last night of filming—whoopsie!

cover image A Fatal Glow

A Fatal Glow (Odessa Jones #2) by Valerie Wilson Wesley

For cozy mystery fans! Odessa Jones is reluctant to ever believe any of her visions so she ignores her feeling about a wealthy businessman—who just hired her—being bad news. So naturally he drops dead after eating her food, making her and the friends who helped her cook the suspects.

The Violin Conspiracy cover image

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

A mystery, not about murder, that takes you into the world of a classical musician whose violin has just been stolen—a priceless violin that has two families fighting over it… (Review)

cover image for The New Girl

The New Girl Jesse Q. Sutanto

*Rings bell for dark academia fans* Lia Setiawan ends up with a full ride to a prep school based on her running skills, but things are immediately off from the second she steps foot on campus. By the time a student is found dead, she’ll have to figure out what is going on while also trying to avoid the wrath of fellow students trying to keep her from excelling.

(TW suicide, detail/ talks about eating disorders/ disordered eating bc of stress, finance)

Book cover of Cold by Mariko Tamaki

Cold by Mariko Tamaki

I am a huge fan of Mariko Tamaki’s graphic novels (This One Summer; Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me) so I’m really excited to read her YA novel. We have a dead boy, a cop investigating, and a girl with only questions. This character-driven mystery is told by the dead boy leading us through the events of his life that ended with him naked and frozen in a park.

cover image for Devil's Chew Toy

Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler

For a fun contemporary, follow along as Hayden McCall, a Seattle teacher, wakes up after a one-night stand with Camilo Rodriguez alone in Camilo’s home. Soon he discovers Camilo has gone missing. After realizing the case won’t be taken very seriousl,y he teams up with Camilo’s friends to find out what is going on.

cherish farrah book cover

Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow

If you like psychological mysteries/social thrillers, pick this one up. Two Black girls are best friends: Farrah has Black parents and they are currently losing their middle class financial standing; Cherish was adopted by white parents who are very wealthy. As Farrah’s home life feels like it’s crumbling around her, she starts to find a new home in Cherish’s family. But the more she tries to find a footing, the more out of control things feel…

cover of The Verifiers by Jane Pek

The Verifiers by Jane Pek

A modern PI story with a unique-ish twist: she’s an amateur sleuth working for a detective agency that only works based on referrals and investigates online dating. Want to know if that catch you just found is really a catch? In comes Claudia Lin. But it’s not that easy: she’s still learning the job, has a client die who’s not who they said they were, and her family wants her to have a totally different life. (I’m halfway through and loving it, especially Claudia Lin’s character.)

cover image for Tripping Arcadia

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist

Calling all gothic mystery fans! Lena is desperate for work, so she overlooks a strange interview to take a job with a super wealthy family with a job offering that doesn’t actually state specifically what the job is. Then Lena learns her new employer is responsible for the current demise of her family and well…revenge must be the only thing on the menu.

cover image for An Impossible Impostor

An Impossible Impostor (Veronica Speedwell #7) by Deanna Raybourn

Another utterly delightful entry into this Victorian era series featuring the crime solving team of Veronica Speedwell, a lepidopterist, and Stoker, a natural historian. They are a grump and sunshine pairing who this time must investigate whether a missing-presumed-dead man is actually back and living or a fraud. For funskies: someone in this book never revealed a very important thing in their past and surprise! It’s back! If you want to start at the beginning, pick up A Curious Beginning.

cover image for Homicide and Halo-Halo

Homicide and Halo-Halo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #2) by Mia P. Manansala

The sequel to Arsenic and Adobo! We’re back with Lila Macapagal starting where the first book ended. She’s working on opening a coffee shop, is judging a pageant, and well it’s a cozy so she’s on murder-solving duty again. If you’re a foodie you’ll love the descriptions in this one as Lila works really hard to create new recipes and perfect old ones. If you don’t like spoilers, I’d start with the first one—but you can start here and never be lost. If you were so-so on the first one, I would still definitely give the sequel a try. If you audio, I’d pick that format. The author provides content warning at the opening of the book: “PTSD, fatphobia, fertility/pregnancy issues, predatory behavior, unresolved grief, parental death (occurred in childhood), and dismissive attitudes toward mental health.”

cover of Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano; illustration of white woman with brown hair in a bun and rose-tinted glasses peeking over a wall

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead (Finlay Donovan #2) by Elle Cosimano

Our “accidental” criminals are back! Finlay Donovan should be working on finishing her next novel which she hasn’t even started yet—she’s too busy with two young kids and trying to keep her ex-husband alive when she discovers an online post that has put out a hit on him. Enter chaos, hijinks, and fun as her and her babysitter enter the world of crime to stop crime (Review). If you want to start at the beginning, pick up Finlay Donovan Is Killing It (Review).

cover image for A Taste for Poison

A Taste for Poison: Eleven Deadly Molecules and the Killers Who Used Them by Neil Bradbury

For nonfiction, crime, history, and science fans. You’ll learn about eleven poisons by looking at murder cases where said poisons were used.

A graphic of the cover of The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

A sister arrives at her brother’s apartment where he said he’d be at waiting for her only to find he’s not. No one has seen him and no one appears helpful or concerned in this apartment building. Readers watch his sister try to figure out what happened while getting to know her brother’s neighbors, all while everyone looks equally potentially guilty. The audiobook has a multicast!

TW: diet culture, fatphobia/ brief mention past child abuse, not graphic/ potential partner abuse/ mentions past child predator, no details/ sexual harassment, flashing/ opiates/ mentions past statutory, not graphic/ date rape drug used, no assault/ stalking, obsession/ attempted suicide/ mentions past infertility/ forced prostitution/ brief mention of suicide, detail)

cover image for The Goodbye Coast

The Goodbye Coast by Joe Ide (AOC)

Joe Ide, who authored the IQ series, has taken on a giant of the mystery world: Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe. Here he has reimagined the iconic detective and placed him in current day Los Angeles. And you get not one but two cases: a Hollywood starlet’s missing daughter and a custody dispute kidnapping.

Audiobook cover of The Christie Affair

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

For Agatha Christie fans, here’s a new reimagining of what happened during the 11 days where Agatha Christie disappeared in real life (not to be confused with Marie Benedict’s The Mystery of Mrs. Christie). In this novel the focus is on Miss Nan O’Dea, Agatha Christie’s husband’s mistress…

cover image for Scoundrel

Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free by Sarah Weinman

The story of the man convicted and sentenced to death for murdering a teenager who conned his way out of prison in the ’60s only to gain fame and fortune and attempt murder again.

cover of this might hurt by stephanie wrobel

This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

From the author of Darling Rose Gold: two sisters lives split lives when one moves to an island for a sounds-like-a-cult experience that allows no contact. Six months later her sister receives an email from the “cult” threatening to expose a secret…

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


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

Agatha Christie Once Ranked Her Books

Hello mystery fans! I’ve got a dark detective adaptation to watch, roundups, podcasts, and some news.

From Book Riot and Around The Internet

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

Read or Dead: Nusrah and Katie talk about cozy mysteries to stay in with.

8 Audiobooks Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White

10 Bone-Chilling Horror Thrillers

All the Books: Liberty and Tirzah chat about new releases including The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley and The Keeper by Guadalupe García McCall.

Ta-da! Magicians In Mysteries

(Tess) Gerritsens’ new documentary airs Feb. 24

Blacktop Wasteland cover image

S.A. Cosby on The Roxane Gay Agenda

‘Recipes’ Serves Up a Quirky, South African Murder Mystery at Berlinale Series Market

The Best Agatha Christie Books, According to Agatha Christie

Mia Manansala on The Cozy Corner with Alexia Gordon

LIVE ON CROWDCAST: SARA GRAN in conversation with LIBERTY HARDY

Sandra Oh & Jodie Comer Talk The “Tremendous Gift” That Is ‘Killing Eve’ Ahead Of Drama’s Fourth & Final Season

Pieces of Her trailer (Karin Slaughter adaptation starring Toni Collette)

First look at Mad Men stars’ reunion in new movie

Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls adaptation for Apple TV+ starring Elisabeth Moss has a trailer.

A reissue helps revive Joseph Hansen’s series about a tough, gay detective

How is Magpie Murders TV series different from the book?

Want new bookish swag? We have Wordle-inspired merch!

Giveaway: Win a $50 Gift Card to Your Favorite Independent Bookstore!

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Watch Now

Smaller and Smaller Circles on Netflix: Adapted from the F. H. Batacan‘s Philippine detective novel, which follows two Jesuit priests trying to catch a serial killer preying on young boys in an impoverished community. Watch the trailer here.

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

cover image for As You Look

Reading: As You Look by Veronica Gutierrez / The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang

Streaming: Selena + Chef (HBO Max)

Laughing: Accurate

Helping: A great newsletter to subscribe to is ARD (Anti-Racism Daily) which along with great information also has a regular “take action” section.

Upcoming: 13 Deadly Cozy Mysteries for the First Half of 2022

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


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

Musical Mysteries

Hello mystery fans! I love when a theme presents itself in my reading life, like last week’s magicians in mysteries. So I was especially delighted when it happened again, this time with music. All these books either star a musician or take a dive into the world of music—and sometimes both!

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

The Violin Conspiracy cover image

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

Here’s a mystery book that isn’t about murder, has a fantastic narrator for the audiobook (JD Jackson), and takes you into the world of a classical musician.

I enjoyed this book so much! First, because I loved going into Ray McMillian’s life and world as a Black classical musician. Secondly, because I love JD Jackson’s voice and the audiobook plays little bits of music between the sections that were just lovely and the right amount to give a taste without making you feel like you wanted to fast forward.

We start with Ray McMillian having his violin stolen before the international Tchaikovsky Competition—a massive deal!—and not just any violin but a priceless Stradivarius. Ray immediately thinks one of two families must be responsible for the theft, one of the families being his own (I know!). From there we watch as Ray in the present has to find a way to continue practicing for this life-changing opportunity while also helping investigators and doing his own sleuthing to get back his violin. We also watch in the past how he acquires the violin and has to face immeasurable obstacles in order to continue on his path of wanting to become a professional musician.

I loved Ray, and he is a much better person than I’d have been in many situations, and greatly enjoyed getting to know him. If you’re looking for something that isn’t violent (except for a historical letter that depicts slavery), and want to get taken into the world of classical music, pick this one up. Bonus: that the author is writing from experience and I recommend reading the author’s note at the end.

(TW cancer death/ recounts cruel violence against enslaved people)

Run Rose Run cover image

Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton, James Patterson (March 7th)

Speaking of author’s writing from experience: Dolly Parton takes us into the world of country music as AnnieLee Keyes, a spitfire young woman who is determined to make it in the industry. But she’s going to need a lot more than talent—something she has plenty of—not only because the industry is difficult but because danger keeps finding her at every turn… We get to watch the country music industry through the eyes of AnnieLee Keyes as she tries to make it and through Ruthanna Ryder, an established queen of country. We also get Dolly Parton’s humor and music as the book is filled with songs written just for the novel—and Parton will release an album to go with the book!

(TW attempted sexual assault/ brief recounting of unknown suicide or accidental overdose/ mentions of child abuse/ panic attack/ human trafficking, not graphic/ recounts domestic abuse without graphic details)

cover image for The Plot Against Hip Hop

The Plot Against Hip Hop (D Hunter #2) by Nelson George

We’ve done classical music and country music, and now it’s time for the world of hip hop! I went with the audiobook for this one which had a great narrator, Shayna Small, and was a one day listen for me at just under seven hours.

It’s funny that the book starts with a legal author’s note about it being completely fictitious since it name drops a lot of hip hop stars and events, which I found fun and a bit of a trip down memory lane.

D Hunter watches journalist Dwayne Robinson die in SoHo, clutching a tape. Not certain the police are doing their job, he decides to look into the murder himself, especially after finding out that Robinson was working on a book and maybe that is what got him killed. From there Hunter follows the trail and listens as people point him in the direction of conspiracy theories of the government wanting to contain hip hop…

(TW death questioned as suicide)

Let Me Hear a Rhyme cover image

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

I have read, and will continue to read, every single book by Tiffany D Jackson and I’m thrilled to say she has two entries into this theme. In Let Me Hear A Rhyme, Jackson basically writes a love letter to Brooklyn while taking readers into the ’90s music scene. When Jasmine’s older brother Steph is murdered, she comes up with a plan with his two best friends to pretend Steph is still alive in order to get the record contract he was about to sign. Jasmine’s plan is to use the money to hire a PI to solve who murdered her brother, but grief, reality, and danger aren’t going to make this easy.

In Grown, Jackson takes readers into the world of R&B highlighting the dangers for young stars when they meet predators in the industry out to groom them–if this sounds like a ripped-from-the-headlines case, it is, and it’s really well done. (TW sexual assault and attempted, on page/ partner abuse/ emotional abuse, manipulation)

Murder in G Major cover image

Murder in G Major (Gethsemane Brown Mysteries #1) by Alexia Gordon

This cozy mystery series is mixed in with a few things to create a delightful reading experience. We get the American living in an Irish countryside. We have a ghost. Murders that need solving. And music, of course: Gethsemane Brown is a classical musician hired to turn a group of schoolboys into a professional orchestra. But she’s going to have her hands full with this pesky ghost—the original owner of the cottage she’s living in—who needs her to clear his name from accusations that he killed his wife and himself. This is completely set in our world with just the sprinkling of a ghost, who becomes a friend to Brown and makes for fun scenes when she needs to talk to him in public while appearing to not be talking to herself.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

From Book Riot’s Crime Vault

The (Legal) Thrill Is On: 14 Authors Like John Grisham


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

BritBox To Produce Three Agatha Christie Adaptations

Hi mystery fans! Lots of round-ups, news, and adaptations this week!

From Book Riot and Around The Internet

Book Cover for The Little Death

15 of the Best Mystery Books of All Time

Liberty and Vanessa discuss Homicide and Halo-Halo, Catch the Sparrow: A Search for a Sister and the Truth of Her Murder, and more new releases on the latest All The Books!

“Anna Sorokin, otherwise known as Anna Delvey, left Rachel DeLoache Williams $60,000 in debt after a now-infamous trip to Morocco. Though Williams wrote a book on what happened between them—My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress—she was not involved in the making of Shonda Rhimes’s upcoming show about the grifter, Inventing Anna, starring Julia Garner as Delvey and Scandal’s Katie Lowes as Williams.” Anna Delvey’s Ex-Friend Rachel DeLoache Williams Accuses Netflix of “Running a Con Woman’s P.R.”

Kevin Hart, Charlamagne Tha God Unveil Five Exclusive Audible Original Series (SA Cosby has an SBH projects coming to Audible)

cover image for Homicide and Halo-Halo

‘Arsenic And Adobo’ Author And Hermosa Native Mia Manansala Releasing Book 2 As Her Mystery Series Takes Off

‘Reacher’ Scores Quick Season 2 Renewal at Amazon

Gerard Butler & ‘John Wick’ Creator Derek Kolstad Team For ‘Just Watch Me’ Based On Books By ‘Dexter’ Scribe

The Dropout trailer for the limited Hulu series about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos starring Amanda Seyfried.

The Violin Conspiracy cover image

Thriller ‘The Violin Conspiracy’ addresses racism in classical music

Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to play Jonestown cult leader in thriller White Night

Readers’ Most Anticipated Books of February

Check out the Crime Wave lineup at the 2022 Virginia Festival Of Books

Loyalty can’t wait to host Jane Pek and Liberty Hardy for The Verifiers! This event will be held digitally via Crowdcast: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 – 8:00pm

Apple TV+ Orders ‘Presumed Innocent’ TV Series From J.J. Abrams, David E. Kelley

‘Woman in the House’ writers on Season 2: “We haven’t figured it out yet”

(This was a great listen!) Adaptation Nation: Jeff O’Neal, Rebecca Schinsky, and Amanda Nelson mark the 10th Anniversary of the publication of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn with a deep dive into the book, the movie, and legacy of this hugely influential work.

Anthony Horowitz On PBS/BritBox’s ‘Magpie Murders’: “It’s The First Time I’ve Really Got A TV Adaptation Right”

BritBox To Produce Three Agatha Christie Adaptations As Streamer Doubles Creative & Investment Output–also “revealed BritBox is co-producer on ITV’s The Confessions of Frannie Langton”

Giveaway: Win a Year of Tailored Book Recommendations!

Bookish merch: Check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

cover of The Verifiers by Jane Pek

Reading: The Verifiers by Jane Pek / The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman

Streaming: Single Drunk Female (playing on Freeform, streaming on Hulu)

Laughing: “I hope this email finds you well.”

Helping: You can donate, volunteer, and buy cookies to help Troop 6000TM, a Girl Scout program specially designed to serve girls in the New York City Shelter System.

Upcoming: (whole mystery section!) There Are A Lot Of Books Releasing In February — Here’s What We Read, Loved, And Recommend

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


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

Ta-da: Magicians In Mysteries

Hello mystery fans! I’ve got mysteries this week that are not fantasy but have magicians and illusionists in them. Two are murder mysteries with the leads being magicians, and one is thievery during a magician’s convention.

Under Lock & Skeleton Key cover image

Under Lock & Skeleton Key (Secret Staircase Mystery #1) by Gigi Pandian

This is one of those books that is not fantasy nor magical but it feels like it is because there are so many fun elements, like hidden staircases and living in a treehouse.

Tempest Raj was a great magician with her own Las Vegas show until an accident happened, followed by accusations, and now she’s back home living with her dad and grandparents and trying to figure out what to do next. In the meantime her father has offered her a job on his crew, which builds fun magical things in homes like walls that move when you pull on a certain book on the bookshelf and hidden rooms. And that’s how she discovers a dead body in a wall that looks just like her! Turns out it’s her assistant/body double from her Vegas act and that just opens up a whole lot of questions… starting with: is the family curse that supposedly claimed her mother and aunt’s lives now after Tempest? Or is someone out to get her? Tempest will have to use her stage knowledge and magic to figure out how the body got there, and more importantly who is behind it.

This is filled with a loving blended Scottish and Indian family, delicious food, secret hideaways, magic, a second chance friendship, and “locked room” mystery solving. If you want to get lost into a book and envy homes with treehouses and secret reading nooks, curl up with this one.

(TW brief mention of past suicide assumption, detail/ past domestic violence mentions/ stalker)

cover image for The Magician's Lie

The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

This starts with a woman telling the reader she is going to kill her husband (the exact moment I was all in) and then proceeds with a past and present timeline to reveal all.

The Amazing Arden is a female illusionist in the early 1900s known for such amazing acts as sawing a man in half, until one night her husband is found murdered on stage and she’s disappeared. Depending on who you’re rooting for, lucky/unlucky for her, police officer Virgil Holt captures her. Holt is hiding a recent disability, terrified that he’ll be fired because of it, and views catching Arden as his ticket to keeping his job. But Arden swears up and down on everything that she is innocent and did not kill her husband. So while handcuffed to a chair, Arden tells Holt the story of her life, including how she became an illusionist, and how she came to be running away from the murder of her husband.

Past and present timelines only work for me when both timelines offer me enough interesting stories that I don’t feel like it needs to hurry up already so we can get back to the mystery. I was always interested in Arden’s story, from childhood to present, but especially when she first stepped into a traveling performance and how she worked her way up. Learning about all the tricks and illusions in the 1800s was fun, and I loved the did-she-or-didn’t-she running element.

(TW cutting/ attempted child sexual assault/ animal cruelty/ brief mention murder suicide headline/ mentions sexual assault/ stalking/ kidnapping)

cover image for Goldie Vance The Hocus-Pocus Hoax

Goldie Vance: The Hocus-Pocus Hoax (Goldie Vance #2) by Lilliam Rivera

This is the middle grade series adaptation of the graphic novel series that follows the fantastic character Goldie Vance. Goldie works as a valet at a Florida beach resort that her father works at and her best friend. Also, the resort has a PI on staff—this would make me not want to stay there? Like how much crime goes on here that you need a PI on staff?! But for story purposes, excellent! And of course Goldie wants to be the PI, which she technically is since she always inserts herself into investigations to figure out what is really going on.

In this case a magician’s convention comes to the resort and Goldie not only has to solve the mystery of who is stealing the magicians’ set items, but there’s also someone trying to solve the mystery away from Goldie—like she always does to the in-house detective. This is a fun book with a lot of magicians, mystery, crime solving, a first date, friendship, magic tricks, and chaos.

If you want full character development (and don’t mind mysteries starting halfway into the book) pick up Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit, but you can totally start with this book if you want the mystery from the start and a hotel crawling with magicians.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

From Book Riot’s Crime Vault

10 Murder Mystery Comics


Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

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

Roxane Gay Adapting THE BANKS

Hi mystery fans! Lots of adaptation news this week, plus roundups, and something to watch if you’re in the mood to marathon a series.

From Book Riot and Around The Internet

The Violin Conspiracy cover image

All the Books!: Liberty and Danika discuss The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb and more new releases!

Read or Dead: Nusrah and Katie talk about books featuring women who kill and the nuance that comes with it.

The Bizarre, Unsolved Mystery of Filippo Bernardini and the Stolen Book Manuscripts

The Afterparty: The reinvention of the murder mystery

No Exit: Chilling First Trailer Released by 20th Century and Hulu

Reacher Review: Alan Ritchson Brings His Best in Amazon’s Breezy Crime Thriller

See first photos of Sienna Miller starring in David E. Kelly’s Anatomy of a Scandal adaptation for Netflix

cover image of The Banks

‘The Banks’ Roxane Gay Adapting Graphic Novel As TV Series For New Regency & TKO Studios

Killing Eve: Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer Are Back as Eve and Villanelle in Season 4 Trailer

The 110 Best Thriller, Crime and Suspense Novels of All Time

55 Thrillers and Mystery Books to Keep You Chasing Clues in 2022

Giveaway: Like A Sister by Kellye Garrett audiobook.

Giveaway: Win a $50 Gift Card to Your Favorite Independent Bookstore!

Giveaway: Win a Year of Tailored Book Recommendations!

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Watch Now

The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window on Netflix: I’m halfway through this series and I had zero expectations for this because I thought it was going to be an obnoxious forced kind of humor that I’m personally not a fan of, but to be honest I think this follows very much the thread of a very real domestic thriller while just exaggerating some things and I’m totally into it. A woman living alone becomes obsessed with her new neighbors when she swears she saw the father kill his girlfriend, but she’s grieving and an alcoholic so no one believes her. Naturally she sets out to prove she’s correct, while making some RULL bad decisions. It stars Kristen Bell who has nailed her role. You can watch the trailer here. (TWs so far: alcoholism/ child murder)

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

cherish farrah book cover

Reading: Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow / Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler

Streaming: The Righteous Gemstones on HBO Max is just the right amount of bananapants.

Laughing: Totally makes sense.

Helping: Celebrate Black Children’s Book Week February 27 – March 5!

Upcoming: Raquel V. Reyes’s shared she sold two more books (book 3 and 4) in the Caribbean Kitchen Mystery series which started with Mango, Mambo, and Murder.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


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.