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Unusual Suspects

All Aboard The Revenge Train

Hello mystery fans! Turns out that two of my recent page-turner reads were revenge thrillers, and since this isn’t therapy time, we’re not going to delve into what that may mean, but rather we’re going to talk about the books.

cover image of Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

There’s a study being conducted on psychopaths at a university, by one of the professors. He believes much of what has been believed and the way society treats psychopaths is wrong. The students enrolled wear specific smart watches and keep a journal along with meeting with the professor. They do not know of any other members in the study, nor does the public know of this study.

We mainly get the point of view of three students in the study: Chloe, Charles, and Andre. Chloe is very clearly in the study and at this school for only one reason: she’s going to kill the student who assaulted her when she was a tween. That’s it, get out of her way. Charles is very much using the program to learn and adapt and trying to do well in school and maintain his relationship with his girlfriend. Andre is lying about being a psychopath–what started as kind of a joke snowballed and then he couldn’t turn down a full scholarship. While they all have their own individual issues, they all end up with one shared issue: someone is killing them off!

This worked for me on a lot of levels, starting with it being thoughtfully written and not another book filled with stereotypes. I really liked how different all the characters were and following their individual stories. As for the main reasons I couldn’t put this book down: I really needed to know if Chloe would succeed and also to find out who is behind the murders! I really look forward to what Kurian writes 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)

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The Hollow Inside by Brooke Lauren Davis

I absolutely stayed up way past my bedtime reading this. I was grabbed from the very opening page as Phoenix, a seventeen-year-old, is sent to rob a home by her mother–I mean there is already so much to unpack! I will stop here for a second to say I knew NOTHING about this book when I started and loved watching how layer by layer everything past and present unfolds. Brooke Lauren Davis clearly understands that part of a good mystery/thriller can be in the way information is doled out to the reader. So with that said, I can’t remember what is revealed early vs later, so if you like the full ride, just go grab the book rather than reading below.

After that tense opening scene, you follow along as this mother duo team (Phoenix and Nina), who are living in a van and steal everything they need, make their way to a small town that Nina grew up in. They have one very clear mission: ruin the life of the man who ruined Nina’s life. It’s not going to be so easy though, because Ellis Bowman is literally the town hero. The head of the perfect and beloved family. He’s also a blockbuster author who keeps putting out memoir/self-help books based on how perfect his life is.

But Nina has a plan, and Phoenix is to carry it out. Except things immediately go wrong, and Phoenix ends up being taken in by the Bowman family. Maybe this new plan will work better? But while Bowman’s son is like a golden retriever in human form and ready to believe all of Phoenix’s lies and help her, his sister Melody is the complete opposite. Melody is certain Phoenix is there for the family’s recent misfortune and to sell information to the papers.

What starts as a straight revenge plan suddenly gets more complicated for Phoenix as she recognizes herself in Melody and starts to have difficult decisions to make in carrying out her mom’s plan.

I loved the way this unfolded, how you get to know past and present Nina, and Melody and Phoenix’s relationship. I also loved the way the points of view are shown: instead of the present story being from the revenge seekers POV, we only see in past chapters what happened to lead up to Nina wanting revenge and the rest of the book is narrated by Phoenix who doesn’t know she’s caught between it all until it’s too late.

(TW domestic abuse, not graphic nor on page but a “fleeing” scene/ statutory rape/ brief mention of past suicide, detail/ side character with terminal cancer)

From The Book Riot Crime Vault

7 Postmodern Murder Mysteries

Don’t forget to check out the limited edition Book Riot merch, celebrating our 10th birthday!


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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

Is Britney Spears Writing A Ghost Mystery?

Hi mystery fans! If you like to usher in Friday with all things mystery, I’ve got news, roundups, podcasts, adaptations, and ebook deals for you.

From Book Riot and Around The Internet

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Great Books Featuring Female Sleuths

Nusrah and Liberty talk about mystery releases you may have missed in 2020 and 2021 on the latest Read Or Dead!

Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series Coming to TV, Contradicting Author’s Wishes

I Can’t Believe No One’s Dunit: A Cozy Mystery Setting Wishlist

9 of the Best LGBTQ Thrillers

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Singaporean writer Ovidia Yu’s historical murder mysteries headed for TV

Liberty and Vanessa talk new releases including The Corpse Flower by Anne Mette Hancock and The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2021 by Steph Cha and Alafair Burke on the latest All The Books!

Old-School Thrills: The Top Historical Mysteries of the Past Five Years

Exclusive extract: Silverview, the final novel by John le Carré

CWoC Presents Edge of Your Seat Thrillers – Virtual Event

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Barnes & Noble welcomes Emmy Award-Winning TV Host and Journalist Tamron Hall for a live, virtual discussion of AS THE WICKED WATCH!

Is Britney Spears writing a ghost mystery?

Netflix’s ‘You’ Scores Early Season 4 Renewal

Giveaway: Win an Audiobook Download of ALL HER LITTLE SECRETS by Wanda M. Morris!

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite! October, 2021

Book Riot is celebrating our 10th birthday with limited edition merch!

Watch Now

Dopesick on Hulu: The series is an adaptation of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy, and takes a deep look from different angels at the opioid crisis. It stars Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson, and Peter Sarsgaard, and you can watch the trailer here.

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

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Reading: Miss Moriarty, I Presume? (Lady Sherlock #6) by Sherry Thomas / State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Louise Penny / People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dara Horn

Streaming: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark on Hulu for my yearly rewatch (and her memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, is top of my TBR).

Laughing: confused and concerned chiweenie

Helping: Sister District Project has many ways to help, including phone banking, to support “12 incredible candidates running for the House of Delegates in Virginia, and early voting has already begun.”

Upcoming: Cheryl A. Head announced her upcoming novel Time’s Undoing, a dual timeline mystery based on her family history.

Kindle Deals

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A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom by Brittany K. Barnett

Excellent memoir + true crime nonfiction that is a great comp for readers who liked Just Mercy. And it’s $4.99! (Review)

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I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara Bourland

This is “chick-lit” meets mystery and currently $1.99! (Review)


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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 New Page In Serial Killer Writing––Fiction and Nonfiction

Hello mystery fans! This week I wanted to highlight some novels and a true crime book that center a serial killer but that made an effort to move away from the genre’s problematic areas. In fiction it makes sense from a thriller perspective to set the mystery around a fictional serial killer: readers are invested in watching a fictional person chase after another fictional person with the very high stakes of having to stop them before they kill again. However true crime is problematic for a ton of reasons, from creating this idea that humans are born monsters we can’t do anything about to the way we treat victims and their loved ones while proclaiming how much we “love” true crime. Then there’s the issue of the cases people choose to focus on in the first place and what that says about which victims are worth of caring about.

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The Jigsaw Man (Inspector Anjelica Henley #1) by Nadine Matheson

Police procedural thrillers where a detective plays cat and mouse with a serial killer are historically a very white male centered category that then opened up mostly just enough to let in white women, making it rare to come across one written by and with a Black woman MC. If you like the fictional serial killer hunted by the messy-life detective who’s suddenly partnered with a rookie thing, here’s a great start to a new series set in London. Bonus Matheson is a criminal solicitor and teaches criminal law. (Review)

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Dead Dead Girls (Harlem Renaissance Mystery #1) by Nekesa Afia

Here’s a fictional serial killer story set during the Harlem Renaissance! And as much as some people love to argue that it is unrealistic for people of color and LGBTQ+ to have existed in history—as if they just magically appeared on earth the other day—they in fact did. Here we have the focus on victims who are given less focus, Black girls, and a young Black lesbian turned amateur sleuth because the police threaten her into helping them find a serial killer. (Review)

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Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke

This time we have the tropes of the fictional serial killer thrillers—true crime podcast and all—with a huge difference: the focus is on the victims and dragging the serial killer monster myth out into the bright daylight to show the reality. This one is definitely a page turner and for anyone who nodded along to Lindy West’s essay “Ted Bundy Was Not Charming–Are You High?” in The Witches Are Coming. (Review)

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Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green

Given the problematic obsession our society has with real serial killers, you can usually place your bet on the fact that if you’ve never heard of one, it’s because the victims were from a marginalized community. Elon Green does a fantastic job in focusing on the victims of a serial killer who killed gay men in New York during the ’80s and ’90s while also bringing the city to life, the LGBTQ+ community, and the reality of the discrimination they faced.

(TW it was hard to keep track of these because much is mentioned as part of history and cases but the main ones are homophobia/ alcoholism/ hate crimes / racism)

From The Book Riot Crime Vault

10 Mystery and Thriller Books Starring Older Women


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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

Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Novel Series Being Adapted

Hi mystery fans! A little something for all the mystery lovers: news, adaptations, roundups, podcasts, and ebook deals!

From Book Riot and Around The Internet

Domestic Thrillers That Will Make You Look Over Your Shoulder

Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Book Series To Get TV Adaptation By A+E Studios (Grafton has a famous interview quoted in the article about how adamant she was for this to never happen.)

10 Frightening Facts About Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle

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13 Chilling New Mystery and Thriller Books Coming Your Way in October

12 Novels You Should Read This October

Emma Stone’s Fruit Tree, A24 to Develop ‘Flicker in the Dark’ Series at HBO Max

‘The Chestnut Man’: The Latest Danish Netflix Obsession Is Like Watching a Bestselling Mystery Novel

Best shows about cults: 9 shows that explore the weird and wacky world of religious sects

Watch virtually Oct 26th: Emmy Award Winner Tamron Hall in Conversation with Texas Writer Award Recipient Attica Locke

‘Poldark’ Star Aidan Turner Joins TV Adaptation of Crime Novel ‘The Suspect’

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Crime Writers of Color podcast: Patricia Raybon–Writer of Faith & Mystery and ALL THAT IS SECRET

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Fall New Release Stack!

Giveaway: Win an Audiobook Bundle!

Giveaway: Enter to win a year of free books from our personalized reading recommendation service, TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations!

If you want to wear your Book Riot love: To celebrate our 10 year anniversary this October, we’re running a limited-edition merch line!

Watch Now

There’s Someone Inside Your House on Netflix: The YA trope-filled horror novel by Stephanie Perkins (I found this to be light, fun horror for mystery fans) has been adapted into a film. It will appeal to fans of fictional serial killers, fun slasher films, and the mystery of who is it (even if it’s obvious). Check out the trailer!

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

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Reading: Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death by Amita Murray / The Dead Season (Shana Merchant #2) by Tessa Wegert / Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Streaming: Netflix’s final season of On My Block and a k-drama set in publishing–like the show Younger– Romance Is a Bonus Book

Laughing: movie night

Helping: Why You Should Sit on Your Library Board

Upcoming: Pamela N. Harris (When You Look Like Us) announced her upcoming novel described as “Little Fires Everywhere meets I’m Not Dying With You Tonight“: This Town Is On Fire.

Kindle Deals

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The Golden Thread: The Cold War and the Mysterious Death of Dag by Hammarskjöldby Ravi Somaiya

If you like narrative nonfiction, history, and unsolved mysteries, here’s a great read for $2.99! (Review)

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A Will to Kill (Harith Athreya Book 1) by RV Raman

If you’re looking for an Agatha Christie style mystery set in India, here’s one for $1.99. (TW ableism)

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

A rare case where I say that a crime novel is beautiful, currently $1.99. (Review)

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe

Two of Tess Sharpe’s crime novels are on sale and I absolutely love her so happy day. Barbed Wire Heart is for fans of Netflix’s Ozark and is $1.99! (Review) and Far From You is $3.49! (Review)

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Premeditated Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery 1) by Elizabeth C. Bunce

If you want a delightful read with a young British sleuth, start this series for $1.99. (Review)


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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

Dark, Twisty & Delicious Cozy

Hello mystery fans! I have two opposite spectrum crime books for you depending on your mood. One is a delicious cozy mystery set in South Florida and the other is a twisty thriller that may surprise you.

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

Miriam Quiñones-Smith is a food anthropologist with a lot on her plate (sorry not sorry) whose husband has just moved them from NY back to her hometown of South Florida. If her parents still lived in Miami, it would be great; but they’ve moved away and she’s left with her meddling mother-in-law who may be trying out for the role of passive aggressive queen. Her husband is being super weird, working nonstop, and not telling her what he’s doing or where all their money is suddenly coming from. It doesn’t help that her husband’s brief high school girlfriend seems thrilled to have him back in town and that her mother-in-law sure seems like she wishes they’d stayed together.

But Miriam has plenty to distract her from her sudden marital woes, including reconnecting with her best friend, hosting a food show she knows nothing about (the hosting part, she’s great at cooking), caring for her young son, and did I mention attending a luncheon where a woman drops dead in front of her? When her best friend gets accused of murder, she’ll just have to figure out who is really responsible—no matter how much the detective tells her to stop.

I love the mix of Latinx food in this book (delicious, mouth watering descriptions but also interesting history and recipes at the end), the women’s friendships, the look behind the scenes of a food show, and all the Spanglish which was music to my ears. I’m really looking forward to this series and hope it’s long-running.

(TW diet culture, eating disorder, disordered eating/ mentions past addiction/ briefly mentioned with no details: past miscarriage; past overdose; past suicide)

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We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

I got a fair amount of chores and many pieces added to a jigsaw puzzle while inhaling this audiobook. I really appreciate when an author can take a thing that’s been done a lot and still make it feel twisty. So if you really like the ride of not knowing and feeling all the twisty turns, I’d skip knowing about the book and just jump in. If you’re good with the details, read on.

Emily and Kristen are best friends traveling together and having a great time in Chile on their annual reunion trip. Emily has only just started to feel like herself again when Kristen kills a date in self defense. Now Emily is right back where she was on their last trip: having to disappear a body killed in self defense. How many times can this happen before you’re not just unlucky? With her PTSD triggered, Emily begins to spiral feeling that Kristen, who helped her get past the trauma the first time, isn’t as traumatized as she is this time. Is it that trauma looks different for different people, or does she not really know her best friend?

This is as much a page-turning what-is-really-happening thriller as it is an exploration of the long reaching arms of trauma.

(TW sexual assault/ brief partner abuse recounted/ brief past suicide, no detail/ briefly mentions history of suicide, detail/ pedophile mentioned, not detailed or graphic)

From The Book Riot Crime Vault

8 Mysteries and Thrillers by Black Authors


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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

Helena Bonham Carter to Return for ‘Enola Holmes 2’

Hi mystery fans! Let’s slide into fall with more mystery news, links, books, adaptations to watch, and ebook deals!

From Book Riot and Around The Internet

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8 Engrossing Mysteries and Thrillers About Journalists and Reporters

Tune in as Nusrah and Katie talk about reads that took them on a twisty, turn-y journey on the latest Read or Dead!

This week on the Handsell, Amanda recommends Slippery Creatures by KJ Charles.

8 Stunning Debut Novels to Read This Fall

An Acclaimed Mystery Novel Is Coming to ‘Masterpiece’

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High Plains Book Awards winner: ‘Winter Counts’ by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

‘No Time To Die’ World Premiere Kicks Off at London’s Royal Albert Hall

Liane Moriarty’s New Novel Is a Family Saga and a Mystery

Netflix spills its top-10 shows and movies by hours watched for the first time

Author Sara Gran Launches Dreamland Books

Read the first chapter of this fall’s buzziest legal thriller, All Her Little Secrets

Velvet Was the Night Book Cover

Must-Read Mysteries & Thrillers by Hispanic Authors

Exclusive: ‘The Lost Symbol’ featurette unlocks the mysteries inside Peacock’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ prequel

Channel 4’s Murder Island is set to air next month which will see eight people split into four groups of two solve a fake murder set up by Scottish author Ian Rankin.

Toni Braxton will star in movie series adaptation as an ex-con turned amateur sleuth who investigates a series of murders at her book club. (You can start reading the series below in ebook deals!)

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Netflix’s ‘Dept. H’ Movie Adaptation Moving Forward With ‘Paradise Hills’ Director Alice Waddington

Helena Bonham Carter to Return for ‘Enola Holmes 2’

HBO Max and Cartoon Network Announce First-Ever Scoobtober Lineup

Giveaway: Win a Copy of HIGH STAKES by Iris Johansen!

Giveaway: Win a Copy of THE HAWTHORNE LEGACY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes!

Watch Now

The Chestnut Man on Netflix: If you like Nordic Noir, thrillers, police procedurals and fictional serial killers this new series, adapted from Søren Sveistrup’s same titled novel, is right up your alley. Watch the trailer here.

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed cover image

Reading: An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Tursten/ The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova / Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices edited by Swapna Krishna, Jenn Northington

Streaming: The new season of Bob’s Burgers has started!

Laughing: welcome to the new york public library

Helping: Book Riot Will Match Your Donations to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas

Upcoming: Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series will have a book 8 and 9!

Kindle Deals

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The Fallen Angels Book Club (A Hollis Morgan Mystery #1) by R. Franklin James

If you like reading the book first for an adaptation comes out, this series will be a series of films starring Toni Braxton and you can start the first book for $2.99!

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A Decline in Prophets (Rowland Sinclair WWII Mysteries Book 2) by Sulari Gentill

If you’re looking for a delightful historical mystery with a wealthy Australian artist as the sleuth, pick this up for $4.95! (Review)

A Double Life by Flynn Berry cover image

A Double Life by Flynn Berry

If you’re looking for a character driven mystery on the search for innocent or monster, pick this one up for $1.99! (Review)


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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

Perfect Fall Reading: September Mystery Releases

Hi mystery fans! I hope your to-do plans for fall are just reading because the new releases pile is stacked! Here are a bunch of great reads for different tastes including a few for horror fans because ’tis the season!

cover image of Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Here’s a fun revenge thriller meets murder mystery that I inhaled the audiobook of! Bonus: it did not do the “mental illness is the boogeyman” thing! A professor at a university is doing a study on sociopaths by offering them scholarships to the school if they’ll work with him. It’s a secret program and the students enrolled don’t even know who the others are. One happens to be faking being a sociopath. One is only there to murder the guy who assaulted her as a teen. And one may be killing them all?…

(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)

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White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

One of my favorite reads of the year, and perfect for fall reading, here’s a social-thriller meets “is the house haunted?” horror novel (not slasher or gory)! A blended family moves into a new house where strange things are happening as the teen daughter tries to get situated, leaving her past behind. But either there is something seriously wrong with this house or someone is trying to scare her…

(TW addiction/ past overdose mentions, not graphic/ obsessive thoughts/ past child murder mentioned, not graphic or detailed)

cover of Friends Like These by Kimberly McCreight, red with white font

Friends Like These by Kimberly McCreight

The author of the legal thriller A Good Marriage is back with a new thriller. This time a group of four friends who went to Vassar College have now come together for an intervention for the fifth member of their group. Years before they covered something up at school and they’re all willing to do whatever it takes to keep that a secret… For fans of multiple POV and past and present mysteries.

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The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

I think if you want Liane Moriarty, but amped up into the thriller category or more focused on the mystery, Lisa Jewell is your author. This time around we have a young mother who goes missing on a date night. Years later in the area she was last seen, someone comes across a note on a tree that says “dig here”…

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Miss Kopp Investigates (Kopp Sisters #7) by Amy Stewart

For historical mystery fans! If you’re looking to read a historical mystery set in the early 1900s that is based on a real person: Constance Kopp was the a deputy sheriff of Bergen County, New Jersey and then started a detective agency with her sisters. If you’re looking to start at the beginning pick up Girl Waits with Gun.

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My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

If you love psychological thrillers, unreliable narrators, and past and present chapters, absolutely pick this one up. Also great in audio and also did not use mental illness as the boogeyman. Paloma just found her roommate dead, but when the police arrive he’s suddenly gone. That starts the beginning of her mindfck “I swear I saw him dead but did I make it up somehow?” It doesn’t help that he was blackmailing her before he died… We get to see Paloma’s time growing up in a Sri Lankan orphanage up until she was adopted, and now as she moves back into her parents home trying to figure out what is happening…

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

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RedHanded: An Exploration of Criminals, Cannibals, Cults, and What Makes a Killer Tick by Suruthi Bala and Hannah Maguire

For true crime readers and true crime podcast listeners, here’s a book by the hosts of the true crime podcast RedHanded. Suruthi Bala and Hannah Maguire don’t believe that victims just happened to be at the wrong place nor that killers are monsters. They explore real cases with an exploration of society, gender, poverty, and culture.

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All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

Here’s a horror novel I think mystery fans will like, or that can be a nice step into horror if you’re curious. A family was brutally massacred and a young girl is accused–she was covered in all their blood–and will now only talk to one person: the local sheriff’s son who has agreed to interview her for an article.

(TW brief mention of possible suicide, detail/ child abuse/ mentions past teen grooming assumed assault, not graphic and not on page)

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As Good As Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3) by Holly Jackson

The trilogy conclusion to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder! This series is for fans of true crime podcasts in fiction who are looking for a series that is a limited commitment.

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The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club #2) by Richard Osman

If you’ve been anticipating the sequel to The Thursday Murder Club, it’s here! This is one of those series that has mass appeal for mystery readers as it deals with real things but never goes very graphic or dark. It also has the fun element of a group of folks in a retirement community who have a true crime club of armchair detectives.

cover of Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper, featuring oen and ink illustration of a quaint village, with a pair of shoes sticking out from behind a building

Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson, Jay Cooper (Illustrator)

If you’re looking for humorous nonfiction that is what the title says here you go. Bonus: it’s written by the author of the Truly Devious series!

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The Ninja Betrayed (Lily Wong #3) by Tori Eldridge

Here’s a thriller series that follows a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja. And if you’re looking for some armchair traveling, this time around Lily Wong travels with her mom to Hong Kong where democracy movements and business family takeovers take over (heh). If you want to start at the beginning: The Ninja Daughter.

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Personal Effects: What Recovering the Dead Teaches Me About Caring for the Living by Robert A. Jensen

I wouldn’t call this true crime, but I think it’s adjacent and a nonfiction book that crime readers would be interested in reading. As the owner of the world’s leading disaster management company, Robert A. Jensen takes you into his world.

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Whitesands by Johann Thorsson

If you like thrillers and horror and books starring homicide detectives, here’s one to read this fall! And did I mention there’s also a locked-house mystery?

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The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The sequel to The Inheritance Games (not a fantasy!) is here! I recommend starting with the first book about a young woman being left basically everything in a ridiculously rich person’s will. However she had no idea who he was or why he left her everything. But his family sure is NOT happy. Time to dig through the mystery of why and dig up all those family secrets.

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Rizzio by Denise Mina

If you’re looking for a historical crime novella that dramatizes the murder of David Rizzio, private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots, Denise Mina has got you covered!


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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 Dark Reality Behind ‘Cozy Mysteries’

Hi mystery fans! This train is still on the tracks and it’s once again arrived with more mystery news, things to listen to, read, watch, and ebook deals!

From Book Riot And Around The Internet

The Aosawa Murders cover image

Amanda and Jenn discuss books that challenge stereotypes, romances with nice guys, extra murdery mysteries, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

On 10/13 at 11AM ET you can watch for free Edelweiss’s Murder, Mystery & Mayhem: Award-winning authors Walter Mosley (Blood Grove) and Kellye Garrett (Like a Sister) join moderator Gabino Iglesias (The Devil Takes You Home) for a ground-breaking conversation about crime, justice, and the search for truth.

Don Winslow’s September Book Club picks!

The Dark Reality Behind ‘Cozy Mysteries’

Lena Waithe, Gillian Flynn to Start Book Imprints

My Sweet Girl cover image

September’s Twisty New Mysteries and Thrillers

Dan Brown’s ex-wife cites new Peacock series in bitter divorce fight

On the latest Queries, Qualms, & Quirks: Mystery Author Kellye Garrett and Kicking the Door Open

I Know What You Did Last Summer: Everything you need to know about Amazon’s new thriller

The 22 best Agatha Christie books, according to Goodreads members

Daniel Craig Thinks Women Should Have Their Own Action Franchise—Outside of James Bond—But He May Be Missing the Point

The Best Scooby Doo Movies And How To Watch Them

Giveaway: Win a Copy of THE ROBBER GIRL by Franny Billingsley!

Giveaway: Win a Copy of THE HAWTHORNE LEGACY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes!

Giveaway: Win a copy of Never Saw me coming plus $100 to Bookshop.org!

Watch Now

Agatha Christie’s Crooked House: Based on the same titled 1949 novel and with a hell of a cast, follow along as a detective tries to solve the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s grandfather only to find out there is a whole family full of secrets he’s up against! The cast includes Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, and Christina Hendricks. Watch the trailer here!

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

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Reading: The Shadows of Men (Sam Wyndham #5) by Abir Mukherjee / The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher / Silence in the Library (Lily Adler Mystery #2) by Katharine Schellman

Streaming: Sex Education s3 and The Great British Bake Off‘s new season on Netflix!

Laughing: I am forever 5.

Helping: NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund: Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are matching all gifts up to $1,000,000 split between LDF and ACLU through October 8.

Upcoming: The sequel to Arsenic and Adobo is coming in 2022 and has a gorgeous cover: Homicide and Halo-Halo

Kindle Deals

TWs in reviews.

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Broken Places (A Chicago Mystery Book 1) by Tracy Clark

Love PI stories? Want to spend some time in Chicago? Looking to start a great new series with solid mysteries in every book? Start here for $2.99! (Review)

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Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

If Annie Wilkes and Norman Bates birthed something, it would be this thriller that years later I still shudder thinking about two scenes. And you can read it for $4.99! (This has all the TWs you can imagine related to kidnapping a woman into making her your girlfriend.)

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The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

If you’re a fan of Orphan Black and want a crime novel set in our world but with some sci-fi (clones!), pick this one up for $2.99! (Review)


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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

Fast-Paced Cozies

Hello mystery fans! I’ve found that I often hear people say they don’t like cozies because they are too slow in pacing. I feel that like all subgenres and genres, as long as the thing you don’t like about a book isn’t the rule of the genre (if you don’t like a happily ever after, you probably shouldn’t read romance), there is going to be a huge range of types to chose from within that genre. So I have two fast-paced cozies for you. They exist!

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

This is the start to a cozy mystery series that has a sprinkling of magic. While it’s perfect to read at any time, if you’re looking for a cozy to slide into fall with, here you go.

After her mother passed, Alexandra Daniels was raised by her father in NY and was forbidden from visiting her family in a seaside North Carolina town. Now that her father has passed, she decides to finally visit them. Not only is she going to learn about her family–descendants from mermaids that are now human with some magical powers!–and work in their herbal apothecary, but she’s also going to learn how to investigate a murder. I mean what else would you do when your aunt is arrested for the poisoning murder of a customer who she JUST fought with?!

You get family, folklore, some magic, town secrets, rivalries, a very good doggo, and a murder-mystery! And the sequel, A Hex For Danger, is already out.

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Much Ado about Nauticaling (Whit and Whiskers Mystery #1) by Gabby Allan

Whitney Dagner spent summers in Santa Catalina Island with her grandparents as a child and has just moved to the island to join her brother Nick in running the family tourism business. And she’s greeted by two things: the discovery of the dead body of Catalina’s Person of the Year award recipient and her brother being the number one suspect.

When Nick runs from the police and hides, Whitney decides it’s up to her to figure out who is responsible–surely, don’t call me Shirley, her brother can’t be responsible–in order to clear his name. But between the business of their tourist boat, running the gift shop, her grandmother’s shenanigans, her ex-boyfriend, and a town filled with lively characters and tourists, many things are sure to get in her way.

If you like a bit of humor, family, misdirection, non-talking animal friends that sometimes go along for the fun, pick up this new cozy series starter.

From The Book Riot Crime Vault

Thriller vs. Horror: Your Guide


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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

Idris Elba To Return As Luther For Netflix Film

Hello mystery fans! I’ve got something to watch, things to read, so many books for your TBR, and ebook deals!

From Book Riot And Around The Internet

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins cover image

10 Chilling Historical Thrillers

Nusrah and Katie talk about books featuring cults and people who become a part of them on the latest Read Or Dead.

Agatha Christie’s CROOKED HOUSE and The Thrill of Guessing The Killer

Liberty and Vanessa discuss new releases including Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead, Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, White Smoke by Tiffany D Jackson, and Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper on the latest All The Books!

Clue Attitude: Agatha Christie in Contemporary Literature and Pop Culture

Idris Elba To Return As Luther For Netflix Film

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Nadine Matheson—author of The Jigsaw Man—is interviewed by Robert Justice on the latest Crime Writers of Color podcast!

Tiffany D. Jackson on the real-life horror stories that inspired her novel White Smoke

Colson Whitehead on Why He Wrote a Heist Novel to Tell the Story of New York

Rebecca & Lucie in the Case of the Missing Neighbor by Pascal Girard review – postpartum PI

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s HiddenLight Options Maisie Dobbs Series of Novels

‘We Were Never Here’ Adaptation in the Works at Netflix (Exclusive)

Giveaway: Win a copy of Never Saw me coming plus $100 to Bookshop.org!

Giveaway: Enter to Win a QWERKY Keyboard: September, 2021

Watch Now

The Lost Symbol streaming on Peacock: If you’re a fan of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series, most famous for The Da Vinci Code, there is now a new adaptation. Tom Hanks played Langdon in the series of films adapted from the books, but the films never did The Lost Symbol book. Now Peacock is once again bringing us Robert Langdon, a symbologist, helping the police decipher clues in a mystery but this time around Langdon is younger and played by Ashley Zukerman. Check out the trailer.

Recent Interests That May Also Interest You + My Reading Life

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Reading: As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall / Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes by Phoebe Robinson / A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome by Emma Southon

Streaming: I really like docuseries and things where people can’t stop talking about how bananapants something is so I am running to LuLaRich on Prime Video with the biggest bowl of popcorn.

Laughing: Respect.

Helping: 9 Places to Volunteer Online (And Make a Real Impact)

Upcoming: Vanessa Riley (Island Queen; A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby) announced her upcoming Regency-era mystery Murder in Westminster!

Kindle Deals

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Deacon King Kong by James McBride

I loved this book and if you enjoyed Harlem Shuffle, or have it on your TBR list, totally pick this one up too which is currently $2.99! (Review)

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Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

For the ridiculous price of less than a dolla,r you can read this historical mystery from an author whose entire catalog I’ve enjoyed. (Review)

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56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

Here’s a great brand new murder mystery release for $5.99! (Review)


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 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.