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Unusual Suspects

10 of the Best Mystery and Horror Books for Scaredy Cats

Hello mystery fans! This week I’ve been making my way through Dead to Me‘s finale season, which is bittersweet because I love this show and it’s great balance of dark themes and humor. In the land of crime and books, I’ve got new releases, cozies for dog lovers, something new to watch, and news.

Bookish Goods

a light pink journal that says the reading journal on the cover in gold

Reading Journal (Avid Reader) by Kunitsa

If you’re looking for a new journal to keep track of your reading, I like the page layouts in this one. ($30)

New Releases

cover for The Obsession audiobook

The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto

If you wait for the audiobook format of a book to release then happy day to you because The Obsession now has an audiobook with dual narrators: Catherine Ho and David Lee Huynh.

Delilah has been having a really hard time after her father’s death and is now living with an abusive stepfather. Logan, her stalker classmate, witnesses something while secretly watching Delilah and uses it to blackmail her into dating him. The novel alternates between Logan and Delilah’s perspectives until a cornered, and fed up, Delilah is ready to fight back. I really like that this started with You vibes but then went its own way. If you’re a fan of dark YA, pick this one up!

(TW stalker/domestic abuse/past suicide attempt and suicide, detail/drugging without consent)

cover image The Forever Witness

The Forever Witness: How Genetic Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder by Edward Humes

This is my current audiobook read, narrated by the author! The book uses a 30 year cold case, solved by Jim Scharf, a cold case investigator, and CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist, to explore how far science has come with DNA. The case at the heart of the book is a young Canadian couple, Tanya Van Cuylenborg (18) and Jay Cook (20), who took a weekend trip to Seattle because Jay needed a part for a furnace. They disappeared and were later found violently murdered, Tanya raped. The murders, assumed to have been committed by a serial killer, went unsolved for 30 years until a team was sent to collect something with DNA on it from a truck driver who’d been assumed the killer and tested his DNA. The book goes into the case, and the lives of Tanya and Jay while equally exploring how much DNA technology has changed, including the ethics behind someone uploading their DNA to see their family lineage and that DNA being used by law enforcement in cold cases.

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

Riot Recommendations

Last time we did some meowing cozies, so it’s only fair we do a couple mysteries that bark!

A Spell for Trouble cover image

A Spell for Trouble (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #1) by Esme Addison

For fans of cozies with a sprinkling of magic. Alexandra Daniels visits her mother’s family in a seaside North Carolina town with her loveable German Shepherd. After her mother passed away during her childhood, she lived in New York with her father and was banned from visiting North Carolina. Now she’s going to get to know her mother’s family while working in the family herbal apothecary and discover their mermaid roots. But first she’ll have to solve a murder when her aunt is arrested for poisoning a customer…

cover image for Dog On It

Dog on It (Chet and Bernie Mystery #1) by Spencer Quinn

Here’s a mystery narrated by a dog! Chet may not have passed K-9 class but that doesn’t stop him from being the best dog detective to his human detective, Bernie. Bernie took on a case of a missing girl who reappeared with a story that doesn’t add up. So when she disappears again, Bernie and Chet dive into full investigation mode to figure out what is happening. Chet may not understand all of Bernie’s human problems and Bernie may not understand how Chet manages to find mischief so easily, but they make a great duo.

Watch Now

Bullet Train cover image

Bullet Train on Netflix (Dec 3): Based on the Japanese crime novel of the same name by Kōtarō Isaka, this dark comedy thriller takes place on a train where an assassin is trying to have one job go right for him, unlike his usual unlucky missions. But he’s not the only criminal on this train and he’s about to find out his new motto of not killing or carrying a weapon may have been the wrong decision when boarding this train. Cast includes Brad Pitt, Bad Bunny, Sandra Bullock, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Logan Lerman, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Michael Shannon. Watch the trailer here.

News and roundups

Like A Sister cover image

10 of the Best Mystery and Horror Books for Scaredy Cats

Scarlett Johansson to star in Just Cause again, but this time she’s an adult and also it’s a TV show

The Guardian: The best recent crime and thriller writing

Carrying out executions took a secret toll on workers — then changed their politics

Weinstein drama She Said and the films taking on abusive men

Where Are All The Bloody Periods In Literature?

Giveaway: Win a pair of AirPods Pro!

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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’s West End hit to make Broadway debut after 70 years

Hi mystery fans! It’s the homestretch to vote/help Reverend Raphael Warnock in the Georgia runoff election (December 6th): lots of things going on to join from textbank, phone bank, even a rally with President Obama. Now let’s end November with new releases, cozies for kitty lovers, and news and roundups.

Bookish Goods

tan cloth bag personalized with name to hold books

Personalised script book organiser by BugAndBeansCo

If you have a random stack of books on the floor, why not tuck them into a little personalized sack? ($20)

New Releases

cover image for Arya Winters and the Cupcakes of Doom

Arya Winters and the Cupcakes of Doom (Arya Winters #2) by Amita Murray

This is a quirky mystery series that uses a lot of cozy mystery tropes but also takes some sharp turns away from the genre making it feel unique. Arya Winters has social anxiety, so while she lives in a quaint English village she isn’t going out of her way to spend time with neighbors. When she’s presented with an opportunity to bake her macabre desserts at a two week retreat, she jumps at the opportunity to get away from her meddling neighbors. Except the retreat is filled with new people who want to talk to her and murder is soon to follow…If you want to start at the beginning, pick up Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death.

cover image A World of Curiosities

A World of Curiosities (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #18) by Louise Penny

If you’ve been patiently, or impatiently, awaiting the newest Gamache release, your wait has ended. Past events from Gamache’s life tie into the present: a past murder case of a mother who had two young children, Fiona and Sam; Gamache and his wife had taken Fiona under their wing; recruiting Jean-Guy Beauvoir during that case; a mass slaying in 1989 where a young Gamache was on the scene. Now there are several unsolved murders, Fiona and Sam return to Three Pines, and a long dead stone mason’s letter leads to the unbricking of an attic room filled with puzzles and hidden messages…If you want to start at the beginning of the series, pick up Still Life.

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

Riot Recommendations

For cat lovers, here are two cozy mystery series with feline friends.

Mimi Lee Gets A Clue cover image

Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (A Sassy Cat Mystery #1) by Jennifer J. Chow

For fans of big fluffy white cats that can talk and are sassy! Mimi Lee is currently trying to make her new L.A. pet grooming business successful and constantly dealing with her mom trying to fix her up. But it’s a cozy mystery so soon there is a dead body (a murdered dog breeder) and she’s the suspect because she was heard yelling at him. Maybe Josh, her cute lawyer neighbor, can help her and her cat Marshmallow clear her name!

cover image for Crime and Poetry

Crime and Poetry (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #1) by Amanda Flower

For fans of magical bookshops and tuxedo cats! Violet’s grandmother tricks her into returning to her hometown of Cascade Springs, New York from her current life in Chicago because she wants her to run the family’s bookstore. Violet has no plans to stay until a dead body makes her grandmother a suspect. Hopefully with the help of all the books in their store, and a cat named Emerson, she’ll be able to solve this case!

News and Roundups

Arsenic and Adobo cover image

20 Best Cozy Mysteries to Curl Up with Right Now

The Mousetrap: Agatha Christie’s West End hit to make Broadway debut after 70 years

Netflix Reveals First Look Images From Upcoming Luther Film (PHOTOS)

The New York Times: New Crime and Mystery Novels

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s hypnotising Cure is one of the most haunting crime dramas of all time

BBC’s Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen — viewers ‘adored’ first episode on famous author

Censorship News (Get involved in your local library and school boards/meetings, vote against book banners trying to hold these positions, and actively fight book bans!)

Book Ratings Systems Are Not a Solution

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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

42 Cold-Weather Mysteries and Snowy Suspense Novels

Hello mystery fans! I’m currently watching Hotel del Luna (I love ghosts!) and was not planning on watching Fleishman Is in Trouble until I saw Lizzy Caplan was in it, so I started it and now I’m stuck waiting for the next episode because there is a mystery element of “where did the ex-wife go?!” Now for book mysteries: new releases, backlist crime, and some news and roundups.

Bookish Goods

custom printed cards with prompts for how to pick your next book

From Your Shelf TBR Cards by TheCozyCommune

If you’re looking for a new fun way to pick your reading, here it is. ($24)

New Releases

cover image The Lost Man of Bombay

The Lost Man of Bombay (The Malabar House #3) by Vaseem Khan

For fans of historical mystery series! Set in 1950 Bombay, the story begins with a frozen man in the Himalayan foothills. Inspector Persis Wadia and Metropolitan Police criminalist Archie Blackfinch are tasked with figuring out who this man is and what happened to him, but his isn’t the only murder… If you want to start at the beginning of the series, pick up Midnight at Malabar House. And if you want a series with a baby elephant in it, pick up Khan’s other series The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra.

cover image for Flight Risk

Flight Risk (The Booking Agents #2) by Cherie Priest

For fans of psychics and fun series! Leda Foley runs a travel agency, and also has some psychic visions. A missing woman’s brother comes to her for help: the husband didn’t immediately report her missing and she has disappeared with a lot of her employer’s cash. Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt, whose life Foley technically saved, is out looking for his dog when he finds the dog with a human leg. The DNA of the leg points to Foley’s current case. Lucky for everyone who enjoys entertaining mysteries, Foley will come up with wild ideas to solve the case! If you want to start at the beginning, pick up Grave Reservations.

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

Riot Recommendations

Here are two backlist crime novels that are under-the-radar but should not be.

The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani cover image

The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani

This is for fans of dark crime novels, including a look at humanity at its worst. Conjoined twins, Fire and Water, are bathing near a barrel that turns out to be filled with blood so naturally a desperate-to-solve-a-case detective swears they must be murderers. This is how a doctor specializing in sociopathy, Sunli, gets tasked with proving they are sociopaths. Except he does not believe they are…

(I don’t remember TWs, but this was dark so just assume many.)

cover image for The Lonely Witness

The Lonely Witness by William Boyle

Here’s a crime novel if you’re looking for an exploration of loneliness, regret, forgiveness, and whether we can make ourselves small enough to avoid the world, and our past, from hurting us again. After being left by her girlfriend, Amy has donated her time to offering communion to elderly patients at their homes in her Brooklyn neighborhood. That’s how she discovers that Mrs. Epifanio thinks her caretaker’s son murdered his mom. Amy decides to look into those claims which leads her to witness a crime and land herself in danger.

(I don’t remember TWs, sorry.)

News and Roundups

Why India’s Book-to-Screen Segment is Ripe for Development

Kumail Nanjiani Explores the Complexities of the American Dream in ‘Welcome to Chippendales’

Spine-Chilling! 42 Cold-Weather Mysteries and Snowy Suspense Novels

Joe Ide’s IQ Series to Continue in 2023

Why TikTok Is Obsessed With This 92-Year-Old Murder Mystery Novel

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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 12 best thriller and mystery novels of 2022

Hello mystery fans! I was in the middle of a rewatch of the original seasons of The Great British Bake Off on Netflix (you know, the ones with the actually good hosts) when they vanished from the streamer so I’m super thrilled to discover they are now on the Roku channel along with all the celebrity special episodes that we don’t get in the U.S. Now for all your mystery goodness: new releases, backlist, news and roundups — including a Best Of list according to The Washington Post.

Bookish Goods

advent calendar illustration with elf sitting on steps inside a library

Advent calendar Library II by yellowpapers

If you’re a fan of advent calendars, here’s one in the form of an illustration that opens up 24 windows to scenes from books! ($12)

New Releases

cover image for Witnesses for the Dead

Witnesses for the Dead: Stories edited by Gary Phillips and Gar Anthony Haywood 

Here’s a new short story collection with a really interesting theme: what would you do if you witnessed a crime? Rather than following the criminals, these 14 short stories explore how witnessing a crime can shape and alter a person and their life — and lead them to seek justice for the victims. Bonus: “with proceeds benefitting the Alliance for Safe Traffic Stops.” Contributors include: Pamela Samuels Young, Alex Segura, Cara Black, Sarah M.Chen, Teresa Dovalpage, Scott Adlerberg, Christopher Chambers, Aaron Philip Clark, Tod Goldberg, Gar Anthony Haywood, Darrell James, Richie Narvaez, Gary Phillips, SJ Rozan.

cover image for Dead and Gondola

Dead and Gondola (Christie Bookshop #1) by Ann Claire

For fans of bookstore mysteries, sisters, and Agatha Christie. Ellie returns home to Colorado to run a bookshop accessible by mountain road and ski gondola. But nothing is picturesque when a dead man is found in the gondola and a rockslide traps everyone in town. Naturally two sisters who love Agatha Christie, including naming their cat after her, will have to put all they know about sleuthing into play when their friend becomes a suspect…

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

Riot Recommendations

Thought I’d talk about some series that have new ones coming out early next year so you can get all caught up.

All That Is Secret cover image

All That Is Secret (Annalee Spain Mystery #1) by Patricia Raybon

For fans of historical fiction and theology. Set in 1923, Professor Annalee Spain is estranged from her father and working as a theologian at a Chicago Bible college. When news arrives that her father was murdered she travels back to Denver and ends up trying to solve the case while partnering up with a pastor and a child looking for his father. They’ll just have to stay out of danger’s way…The sequel, Double the Lies, will publish in February of 2023.

(TW abandoned newborn dies)

cover image for None Shall Sleep

None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney

For fans of the ’80s, FBI, and fictional serial killers. This was one of my favorite 2020 titles and I’m so glad it’s getting a sequel. The FBI decides to hire two young recruits, Emma Lewis and Travis Bell, to interview serial killers in prison in hopes of learning more about them and their behaviors. Why would these two get selected as opposed to actual veteran agents you might be wondering? Bell is a U.S. Marshal candidate whose father died in the line of duty at the hands of a serial killer and Lewis is a serial killer survivor. Why not traumatize them some more? Luckily they both realize they are being used and go rogue any chance they can in order to try and catch an active serial killer! The sequel, Some Shall Break, will publish in June 2023.

(TW mentions past child abuse/talks about serial killer cases/briefly mentions past suicide, no details/mentions past animal cruelty)

News and Roundups

cover of The Verifiers by Jane Pek

The 12 best thriller and mystery novels of 2022

Zoë Kravitz says Big Little Lies season 3 isn’t happening following Jean-Marc Vallée’s death

A Twisted Love Story: Excerpt and Cover Reveal

How To Support the HarperCollins Union During Their Strike

The Best Contemporary Mystery Books

Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison for Theranos fraud

Rian Johnson Says He’s in the Early Stages of Working on Knives Out 3

Daniel Craig explains why his James Bond had to die

Censorship News (Get involved in your local library and school boards/meetings, vote against book banners trying to hold these positions, and actively fight book bans!)

My Book, Plus 300+ Others, Is Banned in Missouri

The History of Fanny Hill and The Censoring of Women’s Pleasure

No, Books Should Not Have Content Ratings Like Movies

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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 Mystery & Thriller in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2022

Hi mystery fans! I am so happy that Mythic Quest season 3 has finally started — I need more comedies. Plus, my sneaking in 2023 titles into my end of year reading is going very well and the start of next year is going to be an explosion of great mysteries! Now for some great present mysteries: new releases, backlist that has been adapted, and some news.

Bookish Goods

stationary collection of women reading books

Bookish Stationery Set by eboniismoon

A great “one for me and one for you” gift. ($10)

New Releases

cover image for The Lies We Tell

The Lies We Tell by Katie Zhao

If you’re getting a bit of déjà vu, it’s because I told you about this title in August except the pub date got moved. So now I’m telling you about it again when you can actually go and get it!

For fans of past mystery and coming-of-age stories! Anna Xu is a university freshman so school and everything related should be taking up all her time, except seven years ago her childhood babysitter went missing as a sophomore at the same university. So naturally she’s going to solve the case, which is difficult enough but she has way more stress on her plate considering her parents’ bakery now has competition and the son of the competing bakery is also in school with her. How will he fit in with everything already going on in her life?!

cover image for Reader I Murdered Him

Reader, I Murdered Him by Betsy Cornwell

For fans of historical fiction and vigilante leads! Bonus if you’re a fan of Jane Eyre; if not, or you haven’t read it, you won’t be confused or anything. While many might find being sent away to boarding school a punishment, Adele is excited to go to a school in London. That is until a brutal attack, and the realization that the men circling her friends have malicious intent. Enter a con woman and a vigilante team is born…Come for the vengeance, stay for the empowerment, and love story.

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

Riot Recommendations

I have two backlist crime books that you can read and then watch the streaming adaptations.

cover image for Spy X Family

Spy × Family Vol. 1 by Tatsuya Endo, translated by Casey Loe

This was the first manga I read and not only do I love the series, but it led me to so many other great mangas. A spy, under the alias Loid Forger, adopts a girl, Anya, from an orphanage because he needs to go undercover in a private school and needs the cover of a child to send to the school. Problem: he has no idea that Anya is a telepath. He also gets a fake wife, Yor Briar, to complete the whole cover. Second problem: he has no idea that Yor is an assassin. So while Loid tries to complete his mission, his wife is secretly kicking ass and his daughter is the only one really aware of what everyone else is up to because she can hear their thoughts. Fun!

If you’ve never read a manga before and are hesitant, a tip: it’s popular enough that if your library carries ecomics/manga, there’s a good chance you can give it a try through your library.

You can stream the same titled adaptation on Hulu and Crunchyroll.

cover image Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told (previously titled Are You Sleeping) by Kathleen Barber

Josie Buhrman isn’t exactly who she claims to be: her mother isn’t dead and she has a twin sister. This poses a problem when her mom really dies and she has to lie to her boyfriend and say her aunt died in order to go home for the funeral. Why would someone lie about stuff like that? Even though the case was solved years ago, there is a new crime podcast on her father’s murder. Now she’ll have to talk to her estranged sister and face questions she’d rather not…

You can stream the adaptation Truth Be Told (starring Octavia Spencer, Lizzy Caplan, Aaron Paul) on Apple TV+.

(I didn’t keep TW notes back then, sorry.)

News and Roundups

Dial A For Aunties cover image

Reading Pathways: Jesse Q. Sutanto

Michigan is among the most popular American settings for mystery novels

This Killer Narrative Game From Obsidian Is A Must-Play

Watch behind the scenes clips and bloopers from Enola Holmes 2

HarperCollins union workers go on strike over pay ‘for as long as it takes’

If you want to vote in the opening round for Best Mystery & Thriller in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2022

Liberty and Tirzah chat new releases including The Lies We Tell by Katie Zhao on All The Books!

Jeff and Rebecca talk about a strike at HarperCollins, who got the future of book-selling right, a beta Kindle Rewards program, and much more on The Podcast.

Censorship News (Get involved in your local library and school boards/meetings, vote against book banners trying to hold these positions, and actively fight book bans!)

Keller Schools Ban Books About Trans and Nonbinary People

EMAIL CONGRESS: Support the Resolution Against Book Bans

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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

Elizabeth Holmes prosecutors seek 15-year sentence and $800m in restitution

Hello mystery fans! Let’s start with two unequally important things. My current obsession is The Empress on Netflix. The fashion! I would die of claustrophobia in those clothes but it’s beautiful to look at!. And if you’re looking for some volunteer opportunities: Voter Protection (ballot curing); Make Calls for Georgia Runoff!; Donate to help keep Reverend Raphael Warnock in the Senate.

Now on to the fictional crimes! I’ve got two new releases for you that I really enjoyed, backlist with journalist leads, and news and roundups!

Bookish Goods

a pouch with a screenprint image of a black woman with red glasses reading a book

Reading Woman Accessory Pouch by Trini Gee

She absolutely looks like she’s reading a thriller! ($21)

New Releases

cover image for Never Name The Dead

Never Name the Dead by D.M. Rowell

For fans of returning-home-to-solve-a-mystery-fight-for-your-home reads. Mud left her Kiowa tribe behind in Oklahoma and now works at an agency in Silicon Valley. She has a huge project at the moment that could change everything for the agency when she gets a message from her grandfather back home: “I have a bad feeling. Come now.” And so she does, trying her best to manage what is needed from work over the phone while trying to help her grandfather. Except it’s not a happy homecoming when she returns to the Plains Indian tribe. Her grandfather is missing, she finds a dead man in his workroom, and he’s accused of having stolen a Jefferson Peace Medal. It’s up to her, and her cousin, to clear her grandfather’s name.

I have about 10% left of the book and am really enjoying it, especially the look at history (artifacts and the history behind them) and Mud’s character. Her grandfather is a storyteller and she is supposed to be too but some members of the tribe treated her like she wasn’t Kiowa enough because of her curly hair, so she left instead of taking her place in the tribe. Something she has to deal with now that she’s back and faced with what she’s left, lost, and forgotten. And she also has to deal with seeing the ex-girlfriend she left behind, which did not end on good terms. It appears to be the start of a series and I am absolutely here for the second book.

cover image for Bleeding Heart Yard

Bleeding Heart Yard (Harbinder Kaur #3) by Elly Griffiths

This is a great series with tons of nods to the mystery genre where each book reads as a standalone — they are all multiple points of view with just one detective character connecting all the books. The first was for fans of a book within a book (short story) and a nod to Gothic stories: The Stranger Diaries. The second one is for fans of not-dark murder mysteries with found family: The Postscript Murders. And this one is for fans of “a group of friends did something bad a long time ago and now someone is killing them off, maybe.”

Harbinder Kaur has taken a new position in London and is getting to know her officers, her roommates, and a new city. She has also just landed her first case: an MP is found dead at his school reunion. What Harbinder doesn’t know is that one of her new officers, who is also at the reunion, was part of a group of high school students who got away with murder once…

This is a good read if you like murder mysteries, friend groups, past and present, multiple points of view, and a few “say what now?” reveals.

(TW parent with terminal cancer, death/mentions death recorded as suicide, no detail/recounts sexual assault, and attempted assault, with some details)

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

Riot Recommendations

Here’s a couple books with a journalist/reporter main character.

cover of As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall, featuring a hose seen through the leaves on a tree

As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall

This one is for fans of going into every aspect of a character’s life, and detailed writing. Jordan Manning is a Chicago reporter who starts off by looking into a missing girl case. But when a body is found and suspects named, Manning goes into overdrive to uncover the truth of what happened. Not only do you get a behind-the-scenes of a reporter’s life, but you get taken into community activism, politics, and you watch a case play out in its entirety.

(TW teen murder sexual assault not on page, recounted by medical examiner/discussions of sexual assault cases; predators and groomers, not graphic/brief suicide on page/mentions past murders by domestic abuse partners)

lady in the lake by laura lippman

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

This one is for fans of recent historical fiction. Maddie Schwartz leaves her husband to become a journalist in 1966 Baltimore. But newspapers aren’t excited about a woman journalist and Maddie has to fight for a case no one seems to care about: the case of Cleo Sherwood. The time period and community come to life through inserted chapters which follow random characters who were just in contact with Maddie. Bonus: it’s being adapted into a series for Apple TV+

News and Roundups

cover image for The Missing File

D. A. Mishani adaptation!: The Calling producers on crafting a unique crime drama with David E. Kelley

5 new thrillers and mysteries deliver the best kind of tension

The new Scoob! holiday movie from Warner Bros. is now completely finished, but still canceled

Ausma Zehanat Khan Introduces Detective Inaya Rahman

The cover for Megan Abbott’s upcoming novel Beware the Woman

There’s an apple music playlist for Deanna Raybourn’s Killers of a Certain Age

Elizabeth Holmes prosecutors seek 15-year sentence and $800m in restitution

Tirzah and Erica have a (spoiler-y!) discussion of their buddy read of The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson!

Censorship News (Get involved in your local library and school boards/meetings, vote against book banners trying to hold these positions, and actively fight book bans!)

There Are Not Two Sides to the Holocaust

Why Read a Book When You Can Ban It Instead

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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

A Lot Of What Happened In ENOLA HOLMES 2 Is Totally Real

Hello mystery fans! Let’s dive into this week’s new releases, some under radar backlist crime novels, something new to watch, and news and roundups.

Bookish Goods

double sided bookmark with skeleton reading on one side and a book tracker on the other shaped like a coffin

Skeleton Coffin Bookmark Tracker double sided by LeWillowbean

I love that this is double-sided and has one side for book tracking! ($6)

New Releases

cover image for The Perfect Crime

The Perfect Crime edited by Vaseem Khan and Maxim Jakubowski

Collections like this are a fantastic way to get a lot of mysteries at once and find new authors! It’s also a great way to sneak in reading, especially when you’re having trouble finding the time or staying focused, because short stories work so well as a one sitting read. Here you’ll find 22 crime stories set around the world. And this collection is literally filled with fantastic crime writers and so many of my favorites: Oyinkan Braithwaite, Abir Mukherjee, S.A. Cosby, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, J.P. Pomare, Sheena Kamal, Vaseem Khan, Sulari Gentill, Nelson George, Rachel Howzell Hall, John Vercher, Sanjida Kay, Amer Anwar, Henry Chang, Nadine Matheson, Mike Phillips, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Felicia Yap, Thomas King, Imran Mahmood, David Heska Wanbli Weiden and Walter Mosley.

cover image for The Resemblance

The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett

For fans of dark academia! Detective Marlitt Kaplan is assigned a hit-and-run case on the university campus where her mom is a professor. The victim is in a fraternity, and witnesses swear the person who killed him smiled. Not only will Kaplan have to dive into campus Greek life and fight against those trying to stop the investigation, but she’ll also have to wrestle with her own issues after losing a friend years before to a fraternity…

The audiobook is narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, who has a huge list of narrated books including The Impossible Girl.

(TW brief mention past suicide, detail/brief mention of handful of headlines with cases from sexual assault to animal cruelty/mentions open sexual assault case/briefly recounts past murder suicide, mass shooting/panic attack/past baby death from illness)

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

Riot Recommendations

Here’s a couple backlist crime novels that are under radar.

cover image for Dragonfish

Dragonfish by Vu Tran

For fans of dark literary books, past and present storylines, and neo-Noir. Past: in a series of letters, a woman recounts her immigration from Vietnam. Present: a cop obsessed with this ex-wife drives to Vegas to confront her current husband, but nothing goes as planned and instead we watch the characters navigate through criminal worlds.

(TW domestic abuse/rape/suicide)

neverworld wake cover image

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

This is for fans of past mysteries and speculative fiction (there’s a time loop in our world). A year ago Beatrice’s boyfriend Jim died by suicide. But it’s always felt like something didn’t add up. She hasn’t seen her group of friends since the death, but now they get together for a night of partying only to discover that their lives will forever be “stuck” unless they are able to solve what really happened to Jim…

(TW suicide)

Watch Now

See How They Run on HBO: Okay, so this isn’t an adaptation but it is set in 1950s London as a director is working on turning a hit theater production of Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap into a film. But the adaptation doesn’t go so well since he’s found murdered. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, Reece Shearsmith, Harris Dickinson and David Oyelowo. Watch the trailer!

News and Roundups

Promise Boys book cover

Nick Brooks in conversation about Promise Boys, his new YA thriller tackling racism in Charter Schools

Jordan Harper Levels Up with Everybody Knows

A Lot Of What Happened In Enola Holmes 2 Is Totally Real

And then there were more: Knives Out, Agatha Christie and nonstop murder mystery boom

How a Japanese island mystery novel replicated the Ellery Queen and Sherlock Holmes brand of mystery

51 New Books to Read for Native American Heritage Month

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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

48 New and Upcoming Mysteries & Thrillers

Hi mystery fans! Just a heads up that today and Friday’s newsletters were written and handed in before the election results in the U.S., in case the tone of the newsletters are way off. I’ve got new releases, teen sleuths, news and roundups for you in all things mysteries.

Bookish Goods

a wall decal of a mouse reading a book inside a wall nook

Mouse Reading Book in Mouse Hole Wall Decal by GiftsForEarthlings

The squeal that I just let out! ($7)

New Releases

cover image for Blackwater Falls

Blackwater Falls by Ausma Zehanat Khan

If you’re looking to start a new procedural series, this is your book. I’m a huge fan of Zehanat Khan’s Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak detective series so I was thrilled to see that she had a new series and devoured this book. Set in a Colorado town, a teen from a Syrian Muslim refugee family is murdered and her body positioned in the mosque. Assigned to the case are Detective Inaya Rahman and Lieutenant Waqas Seif, two very different people who may have more in common than they think, which they’d realize if Seif were to stop keeping his personal life so close to the vest. You get the detectives’ personal lives, and past lives, as they focus on trying to solve a difficult case made even more difficult by a town unwelcoming to immigrants, unsolved missing girls cases, and a motorcycle gang.

(TW teen boys attack teen girl to rip her hijab off/racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia/police brutality stories/brief mention of past mother death from cancer/brief mention of past domestic abuse, not graphic/brief recount of groping, not graphic/mentions stalking/scene inside a meat packing plant)

cover image for The Last Party

The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh

For fans of procedurals, multiple POV, plenty of suspects, and a forced detective pairing. This is one of my favorites this year, and it reminded me of Bad Sisters in that the dead dude was a crappy person so there are plenty of suspects in people who wished him dead. Rhys Lloyd is found dead on New Year’s Day and being an ex-celebrity and current developer selling to wealthy outsiders, he has a fair bit of enemies in his small town. DC Leo Brady of Cheshire Major Crimes and Ffion Morgan who is with the North Wales Police are forced to work together to solve the murder as we also get to see the lives of various community members leading up to the murder.

If you’re in the mood for a good murder mystery that sinks you into a small town, pick this one up. I’m super glad it’s apparently going to be the start of a series.

(TW mentions past overdose/mentions violence towards sex workers/sexual harassment/misgendering/teen sexual assault by adult/past father cancer death, not detailed/mentions miscarriages, no details/attempted rape/lesbophobia/secretly drugging child to sleep at night)

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

Riot Recommendations

And now for some teen sleuths!

Trouble Is a Friend of Mine cover image

Trouble Is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

If you’re looking for a trilogy and liked how annoying Logan Echolls was as a teen on Veronica Mars, here’s a fun series for you. Zoe is in a new town and school and just trying to survive all the changes in her life. When Digby crashes into her life she realizes she’ll have to survive him too: he involves her in illegal-ish activity while trying to solve a kidnapping which he hopes will lead him to answers to what happened to his sister years ago.

cover image for Last Seen Leaving

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

I’m a fan of Roehrig’s novels, including Death Prefers Blondes and White Rabbit, and love the heart he writes into his work. January McConville is missing and with the cops getting unhelpful stories from her friends and boyfriend, Flynn Doherty, all eyes turn to Flynn as a suspect. Unable to tell the cops the truth about his last time seeing January, Flynn decides he has to find answers to what happened to January himself. But while everyone is watching him, he’s also forced to come to terms with his sexuality and who he is.

News and Roundups

cover image for Shutter

Shutter author was inspired by her own experiences as a crime scene photographer

Jenna Bush Hager says her November 2022 Read With Jenna pick is ‘the perfect mystery’

How to write the perfect crime, according to Agatha Christie

Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus Set for Major Reimagining From Viaplay and Eleventh Hour

48 New and Upcoming Mysteries & Thrillers

Censorship News (Get involved in your local library and school boards/meetings, vote against book banners trying to hold these positions, and actively fight book bans!)

Prison Memoir Banned from Florida Prisons

Are National ‘Parental Rights’ Agendas Destroying Public Education? Here’s What Parents Need to Know

The Biased Online Book Ratings Systems Undermining Professional Review Sources

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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

My Eight Deranged Days on the GONE GIRL Cruise

Hi mystery fans! It’s November and time for one of my favorite pies ever: pumpkin pie with chocolate crust! I’ve been making it for years and it’s always a hit. As for the mystery world I have for you new releases, backlist PI series you should definitely read if you haven’t already, something to watch, and news and roundups.

Bookish Goods

poster of a painting of a white woman reading a book with text that says "Reading because murder is wrong"

Reading Because Murder Is Wrong Poster by DarrenArtGallery

Feels wrong to disagree. ($14+)

New Releases

cover image for The Confessions of Matthew Strong

The Confessions of Matthew Strong by Ousmane K. Power-Greene

For fans of social thrillers and dark academia. Allie Douglass becomes Chair of Philosophy at a NY university while other crucial things happen: she learns from the police that one of her grad students has gone missing, her grandmother dies, and she meets the man who will kidnap her…

cover image for Deliberate Cruelty

Deliberate Cruelty: Truman Capote, the Millionaire’s Wife, and the Murder of the Century by Roseanne Montillo

This made me think of Casey Cep’s Furious Hours, as both take a true crime case and an author digging into the story hoping for it to be their huge true crime book. In Furious Hours it was Harper Lee and in Deliberate Cruelty it’s Truman Capote. In 1955 Ann Woodward shot her husband, claiming she thought he was an intruder. Having been a showgirl turned socialite married to a banking heir, the story played out like a scandal amongst many elite circles and Truman Capote became obsessed with the Woodwards. He decided it would be his next hit after In Cold Blood had been a bestseller. Instead Ann Woodward died by suicide and Capote faced his own downfall.

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

Riot Recommendations

Here are two excellent PI series with enough books out to marathon, but not so many out that you feel overwhelmed trying to catch up.

Broken Places cover image

Broken Places (Cass Raines #1) by Tracy Clark

This is a great series if you like quirky side characters, ex-partner friendships, ex-police leads, and found family. Cass Raines quits the police force and starts her own PI business in Chicago. And her current case is personal: the priest who helped raise her has been murdered. Clearly she will stop at nothing to solve this case…

(TW suicide)

The Last Place You Look cover image

The Last Place You Look (Roxane Weary #1) by Kristen Lepionka

This is a great series if you like messy leads (who get their lives together), and mysteries that have thriller endings. The series starts with Roxane Weary in a low place after her father has died, her current on-again-off-again relationship isn’t good, and she’s drinking too much. But she’s always trying, including with any case that comes her way: the sister of a man on death row asks Weary to look into his case, certain that he never murdered his girlfriend and her parents. A difficult enough case on top of all of Weary’s personal problems…

(TWs I didn’t keep notes at the time but from memory alcoholism and sexual assault)

Watch Now

Enola Holmes 2 on Netflix: If you’ve been patiently waiting for the return of Millie Bobby Brown as Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister — and Henry Cavill’s muscles stuffed into period costumes — rejoice, the sequel to the first film (based on Nancy Springer series) is finally here. We get to follow Miss Holmes in her first official, detective-for-hire, case involving a missing girl. Watch the trailer.

News and Roundups

cover of White Horse by Erika T. Wurth; photo of a woman with dark hair wearing red-tinted sunglasses, surrounded by wisps of smoke

Liberty and Danika discuss White Horse by Erika T. Wurth, The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022 by Jess Walter, Steph Cha, Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet and more new releases on All The Books!

My Eight Deranged Days on the Gone Girl Cruise

Bad Sisters Captures the Intensity of Having and Being a Sister

Millie Bobby Brown says Enola Holmes 2 made her afraid of returning to Stranger Things

Censorship News (Get involved in your local library and school boards/meetings, vote against book banners trying to hold these positions, and actively fight book bans!)

School Librarian Continues Defamation Lawsuit; Champions First Amendment Rights of All

LGBTQ+ book ban at Bay City Western High school denied by school board

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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

Iceland’s Prime Minister Releases Her First Crime Thriller

Hello mystery fans! My local election website finally showed my ballot as received and officially counted so one vote down for a less shitty world. And I was so excited that Abbott Elementary did a Halloween episode! In the world of mysteries I’m trying to equally inhale as many 2022 titles as I can while sneaking in 2023 titles I am too impatient to wait for. And below we’ve got two new releases, classics, and news and roundups.

Bookish Goods

notebook with Angela Lansbury face doodle and typewriters on cover

Angela Lansbury A5 Notebook by AngieBealDesigns

This is a great gift where you also are like “and one for me!” ($11)

New Releases

Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris cover

Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris

I am at least halfway through the audiobook and it is fantastic! The only reason I wasn’t able to finish it in time for writing this is because life thinks it has the right to interrupt my reading time.

This is a historical crime story that follows two sisters and the man hired to find one of them. It has a super strong voice from the opening and really immerses you in the character’s lives and the time period. After Violet Richards is sexually assaulted (so far not graphic) she tries to file a report with the police, but their response is to ask why a white man would want to touch a Black woman. So she kills him and uses a white man in love with her to get her out of Mississippi, but when she steals his wallet and peaces out, he hires someone to find her. Violet running away puts a target on her sister Marigold’s back, who is already a bit backed into a corner: she’s unwed, pregnant, and the father just hightailed it out. And she’s been working to help secure Black voters’ right to vote. Now Marigold finds herself also with no choice but to flee. With their past coming for them, Violet accidentally taking a job in the Sheriff’s house, and a man hired to find Violet, how long can they run?

The audiobook narrators do an exceptional job bringing the characters to life: Janina Edwards, Shayna Small, and Adam Lazarre-White.

cover image for Vanishing Hour

Vanishing Hour by Laura Griffin

For fans of romantic thrillers, lawyer leads, and missing persons cases. Ava Burch left her city life as a corporate lawyer and moved back to Texas where she grew up. She comes across an abandoned campsite that she photographs which makes Detective Grant Wyoff think of a missing person’s case. When another person disappears, it forces Ava and Grant to work together, even if Grant thinks she isn’t cut out for the wilderness…

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

Riot Recommendations

Let’s do some way back backlist with a focus on classics. One is under the radar and the other is popular, but I assume many people skip reading it thinking they already know it, but should read it anyways.

The Conjure-Man Dies cover image

The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher

This is a great murder-mystery for fans of amateur sleuthing paired with the police, and forensics. Frimbo is an African immigrant mystic living and working in Harlem in the 1930s when he is found dead by two local friends. They call a doctor they know, who ends up assisting the Harlem detective Perry Dart. It was not only interesting to get a written-at-the-time point of view of Harlem in the ’30s, but also where medicine and forensics were at the time.

(TW: brief mentions of domestic abuse/ colorism and ableism in banter between two characters throughout)

Strangers On A Train cover image

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

This classic has certainly inspired many other works — including the recent Netflix film Do Revenge. It’s a chance encounter between two men, Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno, while on a train. They each express hatred towards someone in their lives and it comes up “I’ll kill yours if you kill mine.” The problem is one of them takes this seriously and things are set in motion…Great read if you’re a fan of tension and suspense.

News and Roundups

Secret Identity cover image

Reading Pathways: Alex Segura

Our Book Cover Reveal of Colson Whitehead’s Crook Manifesto (Harlem Shuffle sequel!)

The Enduring Mystery of Agatha Christie’s Disappearance

20 Best Cozy Mysteries to Curl Up with Right Now

Iceland’s Prime Minister Releases Her First Crime Thriller

The best recent crime and thriller writing — review roundup

From Poirot to Pünd: How Magpie Murders evolved its outsider detective

Censorship News (Get involved in your local library and school boards/meetings, vote against book banners trying to hold these positions, and actively fight book bans!)

Book Banners are Weaponizing Legitimate Resources

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2022 releases and upcoming 2023 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with 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.