Jan 31, 2018

Hello mystery fans! I’ve got delightful, noir, and morbid for you this week thanks to my reading being all over the place. Hope you’re well, reading tons, and ready for February! And if you’re feeling lucky don’t forget to enter to win a library cart!

Sponsored by Page Street Publishing

Living in her sister’s shadow has never been more dangerous.

Five months ago, Clara Seibert’s twin sister was murdered. Struggling under the weight of newfound and unwanted attention, the only thing that makes Clara feel normal is ghostwriting an advice column for her school’s newspaper—until she starts receiving threatening emails in her staff inbox.

“It should have been you…but soon.”

Neo-Noir! (Trigger Warning: domestic abuse/ rape/ suicide)

Dragonfish by Vu Tran: If you’re looking for noir that explores modern issues and/or are a fan of dark literary works, this was a great read. There are two running stories at once, past and present: one of a woman explaining her immigration from Vietnam through a series of letters, and the other is Robert, a cop obsessed with his ex-wife Suzy. He’s obsessed enough to drive to Vegas to threaten her current husband, but nothing goes as planned and soon the reader is plunged into the dark world these characters navigate in. The exploration of Suzy through the eyes of the men in her life who never quite understand her is one of those things I’ve been unable to shake since reading this novel.


*Oprah you-get-a-car voice* Meryl Streep joins Big Little Lies season 2! Dying to find out what kind of mother-in-law she’ll be… (If you haven’t seen the show or read the book probably stay away from news for spoiler reasons.)

Rioter Tirzah Price has 10 Short Mystery Audiobooks for you.

I added to my Feminist Historical Mysteries list.

Sabella Nitti was saved from the death penalty in the 1920s thanks in part to a bob haircut. And if you didn’t know that characters in Chicago were based on real women–including Nitti–here’s another read. If Nitti’s story interests you: Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence That Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago by Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi

Stana Katic talks about her exit from Castle and her new Amazon show Absentia.

Bridget Lawless has created the Staunch Book Prize to award a thriller novel “in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.” (That may leave a real small pool of entries!) In related news author Amy Bloom seems to be writing a thriller next.

The drama/thriller Killing Eve, based on Luke Jennings’ novellas and starring Sandra Oh, will be premiering in April on BBC America. Here are the first look photos.

See the trailer for the graphic novel Babylon Berlin by Arne Jysch, Volker Kutscher (adaptation of the novel Babylon Berlin) AND THEN watch the trailer for the European television series adaptation that is now streaming on Netflix. (1930s Noir detective)

For fans of ’70s detectives, Megan Abbott, and/or Alison Gaylin here’s the trailer for the graphic novel Normandy Gold. (A Little Q&A with the authors)

Modern Mystery Nodding at the Old School Mysteries:

Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) by Maureen Johnson:  Set in an elite school, Ellingham Academy, where the brightest and most creative students are invited to learn. Stevie Bell is thrilled to attend her first year. She’s there to escape the family she has nothing in common with and, most importantly, to put her mystery solving passion to work by solving the case from the ’30s where the school’s founder’s wife and daughter were kidnapped. Except, Bell may have gotten in over her head seeing as she’s now got a recent death at the school to also solve! Entertaining while cleverly nodding at old school mysteries– but be forewarned–you’ll be left standing on a cliff until the next in the series releases. (If you like video reviews here’s Rincey on Rincey Reads)

If Your Favorite Scenes in Procedurals Is The Morgue and You Enjoy Morbid Things (Trigger Warning: suicide/ child death)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty: After witnessing a traumatic event at the age of eight, Doughty became terrified of death which manifested into OCD as she tried to ensure her and her family would never die. This eventually lead to her path of working in a crematorium and trying to change the way we talk about, and fear, death. Her dark humor, frankness, curiosity, and facts of death throughout history and different cultures makes this morbid topic eye opening, fascinating, and interesting. And she does a fantastic job narrating the audiobook.

Recent Releases:

Among the Ruins (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak #3) by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Paperback) (review)

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (Paperback) (review)

August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones (Paperback) (review)

Final Girls by Riley Sager (pseudonym for Todd Ritter) (Paperback) (review)

The Thirst (Harry Hole #11) by Jo Nesbø (Paperback)

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (Paperback) (Literary Mystery)

Abbott #1 by Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivelä (Awesome start to a new series about a journalist in ’70s Detroit fighting sexism and racism to get the truth reported.)

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Paperback) (Author of the books Bones was adapted from.)

Spy Seal Vol 1 by Rich Tommaso (MI5 but with anthropomorphic animals)

The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce #9) by Alan Bradley (Great series starring a smart, precocious girl who loves chemistry and doesn’t fear dead things.)

Killer Choice by Tom Hunt (Currently reading: would you kill a “bad guy” for a stranger offering you the money you need to save your wife’s life?)

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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