Jan 10, 2018

Hello fellow mystery fans! I hope you’re buried under the fluffiest and warmest blankets reading!

Feminist Historical Mystery for the Win!

The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry, #1) by Sujata Massey: Oh, I so loved this one. Perveen is a solicitor working with her father in Bombay in the early 1920s. Her father has a case involving a will where the three widows have signed a piece of paper, but Perveen thinks there is something off with the signatures. She wants to speak to the widows. And so Perveen finds herself caught in the mystery of what is actually happening in the house the widows and their children live in… Adding another layer to this book are the chapters that take you into Perveen’s recent past where (against her parent’s wishes) she wanted to put love before education. Perveen is a determined, smart, delightful character with progressive parents, a lesbian best friend, and a moral compass that points to helping others at all costs. The next book in the series can’t come fast enough.


Sponsored by Coldwater by Samuel Parker

Having forfeited his youth to the state prison system, Michael moved back to the still vacant house of his parents in a town with one stoplight. A town that hated him. Had always hated him. And was ready to pick up where the prison system had left off.

Now he’s on the run from men who’ve tried to kill him once; but Michael is more than an ex-con. A powerful, sinister force skulks within him, threatening and destructive. What—and who—it will destroy next is the only real question.


A Sad Graphic Novel that is a Slice of Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s Teen Years (Trigger Warning: animal cruelty/ suicide/ mocking disabilities)

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf: I’m always bothered by the fascination with serial killers that focuses on the actual murders while acting as if the victims/families weren’t real people destroyed by tragedy. Instead, I gravitate towards writing (and art in this case) that takes a look at society and a person’s environment and how or why that may have shaped them. In this case, Backderf grew up with Jeffrey Dahmer in the ’70s in a small Ohio town and takes the reader back to show a time before the internet offered communities to those who felt lost, no one came out in high school, and drug and alcohol use were largely ignored. Regardless of whether one believes people are born “evil” or not, it is frustrating to see the amount of adults who ignored situations, were unaware of what was right in front of them, or were unable to help because they were drowning themselves. It did what good writing does in my opinion: leaves the reader thinking and questioning where and how we can do better.

Links:

Last chance to enter to win TWENTY of our favorite books from 2017!

Rincey and Katie discuss their most anticipated mysteries coming out this year on Read of Dead.

Reese Witherspoon has yet another book adaptation she’s working on: Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber will be adapted into a TV series for Apple. Okay, so I personally would prefer Netflix or Hulu (cause I already have those!) but I will watch anything with Octavia Spencer, who has been cast to star in the show! (my review of the book)

For fans of Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series there’s a t-shirt: She flies with her own wings

Contrary but Compatible Bounty Hunter and PI Search for Missing Girls (Trigger Warnings: child cruelty/ pedophilia/ suicidal thoughts)

Two Girls Down cover image: a forest of trees in blue, yellow and orange hues Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna: This was a good mystery/thriller that is a hunt for two missing young girls, but what I loved was the partnership that forms between a disgraced ex-cop, (now PI) and an out of town bounty hunter hired by the missing girl’s family. It pits police against an outsider (Alice Vega, who breaks all kinds of norms) and a former employee (Cap, a good father just getting out from the fallout of losing his job and a divorce). Vega’s character is a wildcard that surprised at every turn, and as soon as I finished this book I was left with a feeling of wanting to follow Vega and Cap through more cases.

Recent Releases:

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan (In Paperback) (Interview with Boylan)

Ill Will by Dan Chaon (In Paperback) (My review)

A Mortal Likeness (Victorian Mystery #2) by Laura Joh Rowland (currently reading, historical mystery, female photographer turned sleuth with her gay, shunned by society, working partner.)

The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani, Sam Taylor (translation) (currently reading, French, suspense) (Trigger Warnings: suicide/ child murder/ transphobia)

Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake (just started, plot reminds me so far of Big Little Lies) (Trigger Warnings: domestic abuse)

Kindle Deals:

The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee is $1.99 (nonviolent true crime, my review)

The Dime by Kathleen Kent is $2.99 (a favorite of 2017)

If you’ve been meaning to start at the beginning of the Rizzoli & Isles series Tess Gerritsen’s The Surgeon is $3.99 (A Little Q&A with Gerritsen)

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. And if you like to put a pin in things here’s an Unusual Suspects board.

Until next time, keep investigating! And in the meantime come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canaves.

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