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Unusual Suspects

Hulu Nabs True-Crime Drama From ‘Little Fires Everywhere,’ ‘Tell Me Lies’ Producers

Hello mystery fans! I’m gonna jump right in this week with all your mystery goodies: new releases, epistolary backlist, and some news.

Bookish Goods

desktop calendar postcard size showing January with Virginia Woolf

2023 Female Authors Desk Postcard Calendar by BookishlyUK

If you’re hoping to get out of 2022 as quickly as possible, here’s a look at a bookish 2023 desktop calendar. ($12+)

New Releases

cover image for Creep

Creep: A Love Story by Lygia Day Peñaflor

The pitch for this one is You meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before which L O L talk about serial killer obsessive meets pudding pie cozy– or something. Anyhoo, Laney Villanueva and Nico Fiore are the loving IT couple at Holy Family High School. And Rafi is obsessed with them. So much so she’s determined to become their best friend…What could go wrong?

cover image for Marple

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries

If you’re a fan of Naomi Alderman, Leigh Bardugo, Alyssa Cole, Lucy Foley, Elly Griffiths, Natalie Haynes, Jean Kwok, Val McDermid, Karen M. McManus, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse, Ruth Ware AND Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple character, this collection is for you! It also makes a perfect holiday gift. It’s twelve brand new stories, starring Miss Marple, written by some of today’s great mystery authors!

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

Riot Recommendations

This round’s backlist book theme is brought to you by a word I can never remember, nor spell correctly on the first try: epistolary!

American Spy Book Cover

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

This is a character driven spy novel in which Marie Mitchell, a Black FBI intelligence officer, is writing her young sons a letter in order to explain recent events. Set in the mid ’80s, we watch Marie’s life growing up and working for the FBI, but more importantly when she’s recruited into a U.S. task force meddling in Burkina Faso’s politics. The audiobook is narrated by Bahni Turpin, who is always excellent.

(I do not remember if this one had TWs, sorry)

cover image for The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

This is a psychological thriller that is also part epistolary and I think works for horror vibe readers. Rowan Caine takes a nanny job in a dream type home that has all the “smart” new technology with the kind of family that gets the “perfect” label. So why is Rowan in prison writing a letter to her lawyer trying to explain “what really happened”?

(TW that I remember child death and sexual harassment)

News

Hulu Nabs True-Crime Drama From ‘Little Fires Everywhere,’ ‘Tell Me Lies’ Producers

Watch Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr. and more in new ‘Glass Onion’ clip

Candace Cameron Bure Finally Reveals If There Will Be More ‘Aurora Teagarden 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.

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Unusual Suspects

Family Of Jeffrey Dahmer Victim Slams Netflix For ‘Retraumatising’ Them

Hello mystery fans! I am excited that The Great British Bake Off’s recent season is on Netflix US–drown me in all the gentle reality shows, please and thank you. As for mystery content, I’ve got new releases, family drama backlist, and some news.

Bookish Goods

tons of stickers that are all bookish or about reading

5 Pack of Reading/Book Stickers by HandmadeByEllieLou

So many cute bookish stickers! $1

New Releases

cover image for Broken Summer

Broken Summer by Jung-Myung Lee, An Seon Jae (Translator)

For fans of character-driven translation! Lee Hanjo’s wife, whose entire life is meant to cater to Hanjo’s career and private life, disappears. It’s the morning of his birthday and they’d had a lovely celebration the night before. It’s baffling that the house is tidied and she’s just gone, leaving behind a manuscript for a novel that appears to center an artist a lot like Hanjo—and it’s not a great look for Hanjo. More importantly the novel will soon be published…

cover image for A Death in Door County

A Death in Door County (Monster Hunter Mystery #1) by Annelise Ryan

For fans of amateur sleuths! Morgan Carter, a bookstore owner and cryptozoologist in Wisconsin believes in plausible existability: it’s not that she is certain for example that Big Foot exists, it’s that without proof it doesn’t there’s still the chance. After some strange deaths on Lake Michigan, police chief Jon Flanders hires Carter to look into the deaths to rule out murder by creature. What Flanders didn’t count on was Carter not being the best rule follower, nor staying out of danger. Carter, dealing with trauma from her parents’ murder and having been a suspect, isn’t looking to jump into any personal relationships but she has no problem throwing herself into an adventure or mysterious case with her loving dog in tow. I enjoyed Susan Bennett’s narration of the audiobook, especially since her transition to male characters was smooth and didn’t feel exaggerated or like she was hurting her throat.

(TW mentions maternal and child death, not graphic nor detailed/ mentions death by suicide, no detail/ brief domestic abuse/ mentions past child death and accident)

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

Riot Recommendations

Let’s do some mysteries with family drama!

cover image for overturned

Overturned by Lamar Giles

Nikki Tate is a teen with way too much going on: she’s running the family casino, going to school, playing soccer, playing in illegal games to save up for college and needing to figure out what’s going on with her mom and a man that is not her dad. That’s all before her dad is released from prison, exonerated, and returns with an obsession to find out who framed him. Then people start to die…

cover image for Death in the Family

Death in the Family (Shana Merchant #1) by Tessa Wegert

When everyone is a suspect and the family is full of motive! A man goes missing form his bed leaving behind a ton of blood, and his girlfriend, in an Upstate New York private island. Now the investigators who have arrived to sort this out are stuck on said island, with the family, thanks to a storm. Bonus: you also get a remote mystery, past and present storylines, a missing or dead mystery, and a procedural.

(TW panic attack/ PTSD/ talk of statutory)

News and Roundups

Deanna Raybourn shared the cover image for the next Veronica Speedwell, A SINISTER REVENGE!

On the Latest All The Books! Liberty and Tirzah discuss new releases including The Killing Code by Ellie Marney.

Family of Jeffrey Dahmer victim slams Netflix for ‘retraumatising’ them: ‘It’s cruel’

Dan Snow’s History Hit: Agatha Christie with Lucy Worsley

Watch the latest trailer for ‘Enola Holmes 2’

Jennifer Lopez Is an Assassin Protecting Her Daughter in First ‘The Mother’ Teaser

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!)

Who Are The Groups Banning Books Near You?

City of Chicago and Chicago Public Library Declare Themselves Book Sanctuaries

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

Anna Kendrick’s True-Crime Directorial Debut, THE DATING GAME

Hello mystery fans! Abbott Elementary is back (ABC and Hulu)! And if you didn’t know Quinta Brunson has a funny essay collection: She Memes Well. Now let’s dive into the world of mystery with new releases, nonviolent true crime, and news.

Bookish Goods

a sticker of a ghost reading a book and holding coffee with the text "ghosting you for coffee & books"

Ghost Book Sticker by booksrbtrthanreality

Love this cute sticker. ($4)

New Releases

cover image for Murder out of Character

Murder Out of Character (Peach Coast Library Mystery #2) by Olivia Matthews

Looking for a cozy mystery starring a librarian? Meet librarian Marvey. While at a library fundraiser she finds a list containing four names. Not so weird. Except, one of the names is a murder victim. Okay, not 100% not-weird. Innocent list of names? Or murder list? Marvey is on the case! If you want to start at the beginning pick up Murder by Page One.

cover image for Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman by Lucy Worsley

For biography fans, here’s one on the queen of crime. We all know Agatha Christie for her very famous mystery books but not only did she have her own mystery (she disappeared for days, case was never actually solved) but also presented herself the opposite of her actual personality and passions. Why? What were all the sides of Agatha Christie? British historian Lucy Worsley took a deep dive into Agatha Christie’s life.

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

Riot Recommendations

Now for some nonviolent true crime biographies: one focuses on the numbers, (which became the state lottery) while centering a mother and the other on fraud, while centering a famous business owner.

cover image for The World According to Fannie Davis

The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers by Bridgett M. Davis

This is a memoir, biography, nonviolent true crime, history of the numbers, and a love letter to a mother. Bridgett M. Davis talks about growing up in Detroit in the ’70s and ’80s with the secret that her mom’s job was operating a numbers business from their house, which was a form of illegal gambling at the time–until the state saw the value in it and turned it into the state lottery. It’s a fascinating look at growing up with a secret, a mom who made sure the family was never in need, and how easily you can change something from illegal to legal depending on who wants to profit from it. I really enjoyed the audiobook which is narrated by the author, Fannie Davis’ daughter.

(TW brief mention of past child death, not graphic/ mentions murder suicide, detail/ parent cancer death/ historical hate crime, racism)

cover image Retail Gangster

Retail Gangster: The Insane, Real-Life Story of Crazy Eddie by Gary Weiss

There’s a good chance you know of Crazy Eddie without knowing it based on the commercials for his electronics stores that had a DJ yelling “His prices are insane!” At one point his name recognition was higher than Ronald Reagan’s, his commercials were in the movie Splash, and even SNL did a spoof. But behind the empire and money is a story wilder than his commercials, starting with fraud. Yet even though he is responsible for one of the largest SEC frauds in America, he’s still remembered fondly by many.

News and Roundups

Silent Parade cover image

Japanese crime drama and Galileo spin-off reunites Masaharu Fukuyama and Ko Shibasaki for more outlandish criminal investigation

S. A. Cosby: Interview and Cover Reveal

The Best And Worst Agatha Christie Mysteries

ITV’s New Cold Case Detective Drama Is Giving Mare Of Easttown – But Scottish

Anna Kendrick’s True-Crime Directorial Debut, ‘The Dating Game,’ Already Got Bought Up Like Crazy At TIFF

Madeleine McCann’s parents lose court challenge over detective’s book

HBO’s ‘The Case Against Adnan Syed’ Will Get Follow-Up Episode

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!)

Overwhelming Majority of American Voters Strongly Oppose Book Banning According to National Poll

A Colorado Library Board Has Voted to Ban Book Bans

“Anita Hill Would Have to Agree with Me”: LET’S TALK ABOUT IT Removed from Oak Brook Public Library

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

Idris Elba Says ‘Luther’ Film Is Finished

Hi mystery fans! The first two episodes of The Legend of the Blue Sea (Hulu and Viki) are hilarious! And I am halfway through building LEGO’s Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night, I am in awe of how clever designers are. Now on to all the mystery: new releases, backlist starring siblings, news and roundups.

Bookish Goods

tshirt with an alien ship graphic and the text "take me to your readers"

Take Me To Your Readers T-shirt by CustomTrendyShirts

This made me snort. ($14+)

New Releases

cover image for Next of Kin

Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah

Here’s one for readers of complicated, gut-punching, legal cases and family dramas. Leila Syed was in charge of taking her young nephew and dropping him off at his nursery school. But on the way to work she’d gotten a call from her architecture firm about an “emergency” with a presentation she was giving that morning. It’s how she was so distracted that she left her nephew in the car on the hottest day of the year. It’s a complicated, more than one thinks story, told in three parts, including the court case.

cover image for The Killing Code

The Killing Code by Ellie Marney

For fans of historical mysteries, women groups, and interesting jobs. Set in Virginia, 1943, we start with a group of women working as code breakers, including one who technically was given a dead woman’s identity – which will obviously complicate things. The women are all very different from each other but come together with one goal: solve the murder of a woman. A crime scene they stumbled across when they went out to find one of their own who hadn’t come home. Soon it’s clear this is a serial killer and the women spend their days working to break codes for the war and their off hours following clues, joining with a reporter, and doing their best to catch a killer. So clearly they’re also putting themselves in danger! I really loved the women, friendship, the sapphic love story, the details of their breaking codes, and rooting for each one of them. Bonus: Natalie Naudus and Kelsey Navarro do an excellent job narrating the audiobook.

(TW date rape drug use, no assault/ murder victims raped, not on page nor detailed/ antisemitism/ attempted sexual assault)

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

Riot Recommendations

I’m currently reading a 2013 title I’m really excited about (Unnatural Ends by Christopher Huang) which focuses on siblings, so I thought I’d pick a couple books this week with siblings at the center.

Body and Soul Food cover image

Body and Soul Food (Books & Biscuits Mystery #1) by Abby Collette

Let’s start with a cozy mystery set in a bookstore cafe with twins who were separated as children and now reunited. Koby Hill and Keaton Rutledge were separated as toddlers in foster care and are now weeks away from opening a bookstore and soul food cafe. So they’re busy enough when Koby’s foster brother is murdered and Keaton, thinking this sounds like an Agatha Christie novel, decides to investigate. Time to solve a murder and open a successful business!

cover image for The Night They Vanished

The Night They Vanished by Vanessa Savage

Here’s a mystery/thriller that alternates POV between two sisters. Hanna is estranged from her family and having a bit of a crap time, seeing as she’s broken up with her boyfriend and the blind-ish date she went on turned out to have a dark tourism website with her family’s home. Her date swears his site was hacked. But when Hanna involves the police to find her family, all they have is that they’ve moved but no one can find them. Sasha, Hanna’s 14-year-old sister, lives a super restrictive life: her father never wants her to step out of line and be anything like the rebellious teen Hanna was. But she wants to learn more about why, and about her sister, so she starts breaking the rules just a bit… If you’re an audiobook listener, Lowri Walton does a great job.

(TW brief mention partner abuse/ stalking/ mentions past suicide)

News and Roundups

cover of Secret Identity by Alex Segura, showing four black and white comics panel with the following images: a hand holding a revolver; a woman standing very close to a man with her hands on his face; the Empire State Building; and a person's eye

66 New Books to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Is there something weird going on with the writer of Argylle, Henry Cavill’s new Apple spy thriller?

Mystery Loves Democracy has a bunch of auction items from great mystery/thriller writers you can bid on: “We’re crime fiction writers, fans, and friends who believe all eligible voters deserve to have their voices heard. The funds we raise will support Fair Fight Action in their nationwide efforts to combat voter suppression.”

Richard Osman: ‘The Bullet That Missed isn’t the end for the Thursday Murder Club’

12 Contemporary Writers Take on Agatha Christie’s Iconic Miss Marple

Idris Elba says ‘Luther’ film is finished

cover image for Adnan's Story

A judge on Monday will consider whether to vacate Adnan Syed’s murder conviction

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 Bans Impact Over 4 Million Students: PEN America’s Sobering New Report

American Library Association’s New Book Censorship Data Released in Advance of Banned Books Week

A Banned Books Week Action List

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

Why Do Kids Love Thrillers?

Hello mystery fans! This week I made the super brilliant decision to start watching The Patient (Hulu) before falling asleep because who doesn’t need more serial killer nightmares? Anyhoo, my joy this week has been coming from Justina Ireland sharing her promo videos for Rust in the Root which have taken a wonderful ’80s turn. And now for all the mystery: new releases, backlist page-turners, news, and I have something new to watch!

Bookish Goods

large black blanket with a white screenprinting of a skeleton reading and text "go away I'm reading"

Go Away I’m Reading by EverythingAfterCo

Fitting all year round but especially now that ’tis the season! ($80)

New Releases

cover image for All That's Left Unsaid

All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien

For fans of emotional literary mysteries, Celeste Ng, and Steph Cha (me!). This is a family drama and murder mystery as guilt propels our MC to search for answers. Ky is a Vietnamese Australian reporter whose 17-year-old brother was murdered after she’d told their parents he should be allowed to go out and celebrate graduation with his friends. But how could he have died in a busy restaurant without a single witness to come forward and say what happened?

cover image for I'm the Girl

I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers

Here’s a gritty YA for fans of being fully absorbed in a ripped-from-the-headlines ominous story that focuses on the emotional toll over the “thrills.” Georgia Avis’ life is in no way going the way she’d like. Her brother is her guardian after their mother passed, she’s just lost money she stole from him, and found a dead body before being hit by a car. And yet her obsession remains clear: she wants to be an Aspera girl, a job at the members-only resort her mother used to work at. As she begins to look into who murdered the teen girl she found, she finally gets a different job at the resort. She’s so close to what she wants.

(TW rape and murder of young teen case, not graphic/ past parent cancer death, not graphic/ teen sexual assault by adult on page/ brief suicide mention, detail/ predators)

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

Riot Recommendations

Let’s do some backlist page-turning thrillers for some good reading escape.

cover image of Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

For fans of revenge fantasy, unreliable narrators, and a who-is-murdering-us mystery! We follow three college students who are secretly enrolled in a program for psychopaths at the school: Chloe, Charles, and Andre. Chloe has zero interest in school nor the program but is there to murder the guy who assaulted her. Charles is working hard in the program so that he can maintain healthy relationships and do well in school. Andre is pretending to be a psychopath for the full scholarship. They’re all minding their own business when someone murders a fellow student in the program. Naturally the fingers point to someone in the program but who and why? I will absolutely read whatever Vera Kurian writers next.

(TW nonconsensual drugging/ past tween rape/ adult child abuse/ briefly recounts teacher student statutory relationship, not graphic/ webcam hacking and non-consensual distribution of sexual images/ past suicide briefly mentioned, detail)

The Banker's Wife by Cristina Alger cover image

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger

For fans of relentless journalists! This was one of those audiobooks that I pressed play on with no expectations but just to check out the opening and ended up inhaling it. We follow two women’s lives. Annabel is a former socialite now living in Switzerland as an expat. Her husband was on a plane that crashed in the Alps and she’s starting to think that maybe her husband’s job with Swiss United wasn’t what she thought. Marina Tourneau is a journalist marrying into a political family who expect her to quit her job–as if!

(TW: rape/ suicide)

Watch Now

Little Women on Netflix: STAY WITH ME! Okay, so this South Korean series adaptation of Little Women adds more to the story including murder and embezzlement putting it in the crime/mystery genre. Exciting, and apparently the only way to get me to watch anything Little Women (sorry, not sorry). It stars Kim Go-eun, Nam Ji-hyun, Park Ji-hu. Watch the trailer!

News and Roundups

cover image for Reprieve

James Han Mattson, Reprieve, sold his next novel The Grand Impostors which has a paranormal investigator!

Ellie Marney’s None Shall Sleep is getting a sequel, Some Shall Break, and Marney just revealed the cover!

Why Do Kids Love Thrillers?

‘Confess, Fletch’ Delivers a Fun, Airy Mystery That Effortlessly Entertains

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

How Librarians Can Counter Lies from Book Banners

John Green’s First Novel May Be Banned At His Old School

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

Winners of the 2022 Anthony Awards

Hi mystery fans! I currently have a kdrama hangover from Healer, so thankfully I started an exceptional audiobook: How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz. And now for your new releases, paperback releases, news and roundups!

Bookish Goods

books cut and painted to look like 3D pumpkins

Book Pumpkins for Fall and Halloween

Fall decorations but make them bookish. ($46)

New Releases

cover image for We Lie Here

We Lie Here by Rachel Howzell Hall

For fans of family secrets, MCs returning home, and MCs that are writers! Yara Gibson comes home to Palmdale, California to host the party for her parent’s wedding anniversary. Things take a strange turn when Yara’s mom’s estranged friend suddenly starts texting Yara that there is something important she has to tell her. Except before she does, she’s found dead! Now there’s a key to a cabin with an unsolved mystery from the ’80s…

cover image The Rising Tide

The Rising Tide (Vera Stanhope #10) by Ann Cleeves

For fans of procedurals, North England, and the show Vera! Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is tasked with investigating a group of friends. Decades ago one of them died and the remaining friends have gotten together since on Holy Island, where they met 50 years ago. And now one of the friends is dead and even though it is presumed a suicide at first, Vera quickly goes into murder investigation mode. Secrets and suspects there are plenty… If you’d like to start at the beginning, pick up The Crow Trap.

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

Riot Recommendations

Let’s do some recent paperback releases for those who prefer the format and have to wait a year-ish (in many cases) for the paperback to release after the hardcover.

My Sweet Girl cover image

My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

For fans of past and present stories, unreliable narrators, and psychological thrillers! Past chapters: we watch Paloma growing up in a Sri Lankan orphanage up until she was adopted by Americans. Present chapters: Paloma finds her roommate, who was blackmailing her, dead but when the police show up, the body is gone. Talk about a mind fck…

(TW child abuse/ past child suicide attempt briefly mentioned, detail/ ableism/ colorism/ pedophile/ PTSD/ blackout drinking)

cover image for Friends Like These

Friends Like These by Kimberly McCreight

For fans of friend groups, secrets, and multiple POV. A decade after a fatal accident, six friends have gotten together in the Catskills to try and help one of them struggling with addiction. Instead one person goes missing and one is found dead… Who needs enemies with friends like these, I’m assuming.

News and Roundups

cover image for The Perfect Crime

20 New Mystery And Thriller Novels Coming Out This Fall

(Congrats!) Winners of the 2022 Anthony Awards Are Revealed

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery trailer

Is See How They Run based on an Agatha Christie book?

51 Books for the Four Hottest New Mystery & Thriller Trends

10 Awesome Whodunnit TV Shows And How To Watch Them

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

How to Run for School Board: Book Censorship News

Celebrating Banned Books Week 2022

And if you wanted to help out a classroom with a focus on banned books here is a Donors Choose project: Banned Books Reading Corner

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

23 True-Crime TV Shows That Prove Fact Is Stranger Than Fiction

Hi mystery fans! Getting me through this week is the chaotic messy press of Don’t Worry Darling and Chris Pine amazingly keeping it together, disposable camera and all. And loving Gemma Chan’s red carpet dress. Now for the books! Here are some new releases, backlist, news and roundups!

Bookish Goods

tshirt with graphic design of ghost holding book and pumpkin with "boooooks" text graphic as background

Books Halloween Ghost Shirt by Lisasavagem

My body is ready. $14 (on sale as of me writing this for $10)

New Releases

cover image for South Central Noir

South Central Noir (Akashic Noir Series) edited by Gary Phillips

Akashic’s noir series are great for readers looking to be immersed in a place and looking to discover new crime authors. The latest collection is edited by Gary Phillips with fourteen stories set in South Central Los Angeles. Some of my favorite authors included in the anthology are Steph Cha, Tananarive Due, and Naomi Hirahara–and I look forward to discovering more new-to-me writers!

cover image for Back to the Garden

Back to the Garden by Laurie R. King

For fans of Laurie R. King (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes / Kate Martinelli series) she’s back with a new standalone! An estate in California is being renovated when a skull is found–dundundun. But it’s far from an easy case for Inspector Raquel Laing being that 50 years ago the estate was a counterculture commune filled with people. And looking at the past brings up that at least three people disappeared from the commune…

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

Riot Recommendations

Now for some backlist crime books blended with a coming-of-age feeling.

cover image for East of Hounslow

East of Hounslow (Jay Qasim #1) by Khurrum Rahman

This is a fun thriller series starring the most reluctant spy ever. Javid Qasim is a British Muslim who lives with his mom, sells pot, and thinks his new car is the world. Then MI5, in need of someone like Qasim to infiltrate a terrorist group, comes to mess-up his life. Literally, they basically give him little choice but to become a spy and accept this mission, even though Qasim is really not interested in politics. Who he is and what he believes are all about to be challenged as he’s forced to grow up pretty quickly. Highly recommend the audiobook narrated by Waleed Akhtar.

(TW mass shootings, terrorist attacks/ child deaths/ past attempted suicides mentioned)

Dare Me cover image

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

I love that Megan Abbott writes these quietly intense stories that are always focused on some kind of sport/work obsession. In this case we have high school cheerleading. The school hierarchy has been set and Addy Hanlon and Beth Cassidy, best friends and cheerleaders, are at the top. Until a new cheerleading coach shows up, there’s a death, and an investigation… You can watch the adaptation on Netflix.

(I do not remember TWs, sorry.)

News and Roundups

The best recent crime and thriller writing – review roundup

Deanna Raybourn in conversation with Liberty Hardy

Courtney Summers in conversation with Nina LaCour

23 True-Crime TV Shows That Prove Fact Is Stranger Than Fiction

Ellen Hart to be honored at upcoming world mystery book convention in Minneapolis

How One Modernist Building in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest Changed Cinema Forever

Fans Of Gone Girl Will Love The Ex-Wife

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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BBC Adapting Holly Jackson’s ‘Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ As A Series

Hi mystery fans! My good news for this week is I just finished two books I was highly anticipating that I really enjoyed: Undercover Latina by Aya de León (great audiobook narrator!) and Exiles by Jane Harper. And Liberty Hardy started a patreon newsletter about books which will certainly murder everyone’s TBR. Now let’s chat new releases, fictional true crime podcasts, news and roundups!

Bookish Goods

a book sleeve made of halloween printed fabric with a stack of 6 other fabric choices

Halloween Book Sleeve by Bellandthreads

Keep your book snuggly with Halloween vibes (6 fabric choices). $17

New Releases

the darkness of others book cover

The Darkness of Others by Cate Holahan

Here’s a pandemic lockdown mystery for readers who did not just yell “too soon!” and are looking for a psychological thriller. Imani and Philip Banks’s family live in Brooklyn Heights and have a great life when the pandemic lockdown begins and Philip’s restaurant closes. Their temporary solution is to rent out the extra room in their townhouse. It seems like a win for all, especially the new tenant Tonya Sayre. Tonya is a struggling actress, mother of a teen, and afraid of her child’s father. But as soon as Tonya is late on payment, the Banks start thinking she must be a con artist and soon Imani is even convinced she killed a neighborhood family…

cover image of Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn; illustration of a hand holding a big knife, with a bracelet on the wrist

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

If you want a fun crime book, run to this one. Deanna Raybourn is an automatic read for me since I adore her Veronica Speedwell series and I love seeing her create something totally different while also keeping her fantastic humor. This is the story about a group of women assassins that were trained in the ’70s. You get their past stories along with their current story: now in their 60s, they are taking a cruise together only to discover there is a hit out to kill them — rude! Naturally a group of smart and trained assassins are going to fight back! This is smart, fun, and funny and a great book to curl up with if you love cheering for a group of women to kick ass.

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

Riot Recommendations

And now for fans of fictional true crime podcasts in books!

book cover for the weight of blood

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson

This is a horror book with mass appeal for fans of mysteries — especially since the format has a true crime podcast in the present trying to figure out how and why mostly an entire town was murdered the night of its first integrated prom. And no, this is not a historical fiction — segregated proms existed in the 21st century by having them hosted privately off campus by parents and students. So the reader gets the podcast, articles, and interviews of those who survived in the present while also taking us back to 2014 where we meet Maddy Washington attending high school in a small town in Georgia. Forced to do so by her white father, she’s been passing for white all her life until recently after an incident that goes viral placing an even bigger target on her back… I loved this book, which is a perfect fall read if you’re a mood reader, and as a retelling of Carrie, I found it better than the original source. I said what I said 🙂

Bonus: The audiobook has a multicast narration by JD Jackson, Sarah Mollo-Christensen, Joy Nash, Christopher Salazar, Karen Malina White.

(TW child abuse/ brief mention past parent cancer death/ bullying/ racism/ police brutality/ brief suicide, detail)

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Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke

For fans of thrillers, fictional serial killers, and author Michelle McNamara. Elle Castillo went from being a social worker to a very popular true crime podcast host. For her current season, she chooses a case that has haunted her: a serial killer who murders using a numeral pattern that starts with the first victim being 21 and moves younger in age with every killing. She goes to meet up with a listener who has a tip only to find him dead… This was an under-the-radar book from last year that I think would be a huge hit for many readers, especially if you’re up for a page-turner that will keep you up late at night.

(TW infertility briefly recounted/ child murders/ child abuse/ sex offender investigated, crime not on page/ panic attacks/ past murder faked as suicide recounted, detail)

News and Roundups

cover image for Blackmail and Bibingka

Lovely art print available for those who preorder Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala.

BBC adapting Holly Jackson’s ‘Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ as a series

Liberty and Kelly chat new releases including Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney on All The Books!

Christian Bale is a Gothic Detective in First Look at Netflix’s The Pale Blue Eye

Zoinks! The 10 Best ‘Scooby-Doo’ Films, From ‘Monsters Unleashed’ to ‘Zombie Island’

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

How To Create A Good Banned Books Display

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

Mila Kunis Leads Netflix’s Mystery Adaptation of “Luckiest Girl Alive”

Hello mystery fans! Apple TV+ is not giving me episodes of Bad Sisters fast enough! I need more dark humor women shows, especially now that we probably won’t be getting them from HBO Max anymore. Now on to the books: new releases, backlist noir, and a bunch of news!

Bookish Goods

holographic magnetic book mark that says "read all night book club"

Holographic Read All Night Book Club Magnetic Bookmark by mysecretcopy

When you stay up all night because you need to know how the mystery is solved! $5

New Releases

cover image for Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder

Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder (Baker Street Mystery #1) by Valerie Burns

If you’re looking to start a new cozy mystery series, here you go! Madison Montgomery comes into a three-part inheritance from her great aunt: a house, a bakery, and a giant English Mastiff. She’ll just have to move to New Bison, Michigan, which she’s down for considering she just had a public disaster she’d like to forget. What she doesn’t realize is she’ll not only need to get to know this small town, a new business, and taking care of a dog, but also solve a murder when the Mayor is murdered and the knife has Madison’s fingerprints on it…

cover image for The Fishermen and the Dragon

The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast by Kirk W. Johnson

The author of The Feather Thief is back with another work of narrative nonfiction! What culminates in the largest settlement in U.S. history from a citizen environmental suit started in Seadrift, Texas in the late 1970s. Vietnamese refugees arrival in the small fishing town angered the white fisherman which escalated into a self-defense shooting that put an even bigger target on the Vietnamese community, including from the KKK which promised violence if they didn’t all leave. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s all intersected with water pollution from companies and the ties of environmental justice and racial justice.

Johnson’s The Feather Thief was my first narrative nonfic that I was like “this can’t possibly be as interesting as it sells itself to be” and let me tell you it was super interesting. That book put me on the path of true crime books that were fascinating and led me to Patrick Radden Keefe‘s nonfiction so The Fisherman And The Dragon‘s audiobook (narrated by David Lee Huynh) is high on my TBR list. Especially since I love reading and watching docuseries about events in history that were never given the attention they deserved.

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

Riot Recommendations

Here are two backlist titles that deal with espionage: one fiction, CIA, contemporary and the other WWII narrative nonfiction.

Red Widow cover image

Red Widow (Red Widow #1) by Alma Katsu

This is a character-driven mystery that follows not one but two CIA agents. CIA agent Lyndsey Duncan was on suspension because having an affair with an MI5 agent is a no-no. But with CIA informants dropping dead, she’s brought back in which is when she meets and gets to know CIA agent Theresa Warner, who people call “Red Widow” because her husband was murdered and she’s determined to find the killer. Clearly there is a mole in the department, but will they figure it out in time?

(TW suicide not on page, brief detail/ side character with cancer/ briefly mentions war crimes)

A Woman Of No Importance over image

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell

This is a true story that reads like a spy thriller. American Virginia Hall was initially sidelined from participating in the war because she was a woman and had a prosthetic leg but she ended up becoming one of the spies that helped win the war–starting with her being dropped into Nazi-occupied France. This is a great biography about a woman whose story should be told and a great read for fans of secret agencies, untold stories, and fantastic audiobooks.

(TW past attempted suicide, detail/ mentions types of tortures used, details, including rape/ alcoholism)

News and Roundups

cover image for Shutter

Crime, Character, the Supernatural – a Navajo Takes Back Her Story

‘Inventing Anna’ Ignites Defamation Suit Against Netflix

Val McDermid reveals ‘Queen of Crime’ legal threat from Agatha Christie estate

Onyx Collective’s New Legal Drama ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Is Bringing the Heat

Mila Kunis Leads Netflix’s Mystery Adaptation of “Luckiest Girl Alive”

The podcast You’re Wrong About did a 3 part series about Go Ask Alice with Carmen Maria Machado (love her books) and the third part with the author of Unmask Alice, Rick Emerson.

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

Gender Queer cover

Few Parents Actually Opt Students Out of Florida School Library Books

Missouri Schools are Pulling Books From Libraries After New Law Criminalizing “Sexually Explicit” Material

Gender Queer Obscenity Case Dismissed in Virginia

Nora Roberts Donates 50k To Library Defunded for LGBTQ Books

The List of 300+ Books Pulled and Ranked on Queer Content in Collierville, Tennessee

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

Natalie Portman’s ‘Lady in the Lake’ Hits Pause After Extortion Threat

Hello mystery fans! Welcome (almost) to September and hopefully less can’t-breathe-in-this-heat weather. This week I’ve been enjoying the new podcast Vibe Check and cannot wait for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story after watching the trailer which is parody of parody. Now on to the new releases in crime, backlist that may be new to you, and news.

Bookish Goods

sticker of a Black woman witch with a purple witch hat and holding a purple book open

Black Witch Sticker by thetrinigee

‘Tis the season! $10

New Releases

cover image for Are You Sara?

Are You Sara? by S.C. Lalli

These types of setups always get my full attention: Sarah Ellis passes out in a bar bathroom so Saraswati “Sara” Bhaduri, who works in the bar, helps her into a rideshare only to discover later that they got into the wrong cars and were taken to the other’s home. Which would be an annoying drunk inconvenience but this is a crime book, so Sarah Ellis ends up murdered where Sara Bhaduri lives and that’s gotta put Bhaduri on edge…

cover image for Daisy Darker

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

I love remote mysteries! And this one is a whole family meeting up for Nana’s 80th birthday, stuck on an island, and one by one they start to die– mwahahaha. For me remote mysteries need a good balance of being invested enough in the characters to want to read and not enough that you “care” that they’re gonna probably all die, and Feeney pulled that off. We get to watch the family and all their drama and secrets as someone is murdering them–can you figure out who and why before there possibly isn’t anyone left? I found this fun, and also love that I think half of readers are going to enjoy the ending and the other half are going to be mad (not for problematic reasons). Stephanie Racine does a great narration if you need an audiobook to get sucked into.

(TW brief fatphobia/ past child abuse/ drugging without consent/ vet mentions stories of animals in cruel conditions/ statutory kiss, gropping/ mentions past suicide/ mentions past accidental child death/ suicide)

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

Riot Recommendations

Here are two police procedural series set outside of the U.S. One is still an ongoing series and the other is completed.

Wife of the Gods cover image

Wife of the Gods (Darko Dawson #1) by Kwei Quartey

This series is set in Ghana and is completed with 5 books, if you’re looking for a marathon. In the start of the series Detective Inspector Darko Dawson is sent away from his family in Accra to work on a case in small town Ketanu. Not only is Dawson up against a tough case—AIDS activist and medical student Gladys Mensah was murdered—but the local police are super not thrilled to have his help even if he does speak their language. Dawson also has personal ties to the town: his mother was last seen alive there…

(don’t remember TWs, sorry)

cover image for The Keeper of Lost Causes

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Afdeling Q #1) by Jussi Adler-Olsen, Lisa Hartford (Translator)

Set in Copenhagen and for fans of unsolved cases, and dual POV. Carl Mørck isn’t winning popularity contests with his personality so when his boss is given the idea to create a unit to banish Carl to work on cold cases he pretends to be giving Carl a promotion. Carl, who was recently ambushed with his colleagues on a case, isn’t falling for it but is happy to be left alone. But there’s a case he tries to solve about a missing politician who disappeared without a trace years ago so he gets an assistant to his department, an issued car, and begins to put the pieces together– all while dealing with his estranged wife, teen stepson, the surviving colleague of the ambush, and his own PTSD from the event.

(TW mentions suicide attempts, detail/ suicidal ideation/ islamophobia/ ableism/ brief mention past death during child birth/ panic attack/ fatphobia)

News and Roundups

Five great cozy mystery novels

Natalie Portman’s ‘Lady in the Lake’ hits pause after extortion threat

‘Confess, Fletch’ Trailer: Jon Hamm and John Slattery Set a ‘Mad Men’ Reunion in Maddening Mystery

If you’re looking for “an examination of all things Louise Penny and Inspector Gamache” there’s a new newsletter by fans: Notes from Three Pines

Deanna Raybourn was asked on Twitter if it were possible that Killers of a Certain Age would start a series and Raybourn responded “I can only say that people are talking. 🔪

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

States That Have Enacted Book Ban Laws

Libraries Under Attack (Again): The Backlash Against Drag Queen Story Hour in the UK

Texas School Board Bans the Word “Transgender” from District

Duval County Public Schools Bought Dozens of New Books. They’re Sitting Indefinitely in Storage.

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.