Jun 12, 2019

Hello mystery fans! This week I have for you a missing woman surrounded by secrets, a past camp mystery that must be solved, and a thriller!


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Mystery + Family Drama (TW suicide/ mentions past domestic abuse/ statutory rape discussed)

Searching for Sylvie Lee cover imageSearching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok: This is a beautiful and sad mystery about sacrifices, family, belonging, and the weight of secrets. Sylvie Lee traveled to the Netherlands to visit her dying grandmother, a place where she was raised as a young child by relatives. And now no one has heard from her or knows where she is. Her relatives are certain she returned to the U.S. but her sister and parents were unaware of this and are unable to locate her. The mystery unfolds as we watch Amy Lee, Sylvie’s younger sister, search for her, along with chapters about Sylvie’s life just before she disappeared; we also get a few chapters from their mother’s perspective, along with news articles. The novel does a great job of balancing the family’s history, Sylvie’s childhood, and the present mystery making this a great read for fans of mystery and family dramas.

Indian Summer Meets Agatha Christie (TW suicide)

I'll Never Tell cover imageI’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie: This reminded me of the film Indian Summer had it been siblings and wrapped in a mystery. The five MacAllister children return to the summer camp their family ran to listen to their parents will. They’re already expecting to have to make a decision on what to do with the camp and ready for that fight. What they’re not expecting, nor prepared for, is to be thrown into a mystery where the camp’s fate, and their futures, hinges on them solving a twenty-year mystery involving what happened to Amanda Holmes–one of the daughter’s best friends. And by solve the mystery I mean one of them is literally accused, and it’s made clear if they didn’t do it then one of the other siblings must have… Told in present day following the siblings, and their current life dramas, we also get to know Amanda, twenty years before, on the night of the mystery… This hit that perfect level of entertainment for me, while giving me family drama, and a summer camp setting.

Thriller!

If She Wakes cover imageIf She Wakes by Michael Koryta: It had definitely been a while since I read a fast-paced thriller that I couldn’t put down–I listened to the audiobook in two sittings. And by sittings I mean I finally got around to a ton of spring cleaning. Tara Beckley is in the hospital believed to be in a vegetative state but is really in locked-in syndrome–she can hear, see, think, she just can’t move or speak. And Abby Kaplan is investigating the car accident that put Tara in the hospital. The problem is nothing was an accident and now Abby is in danger, as is Tara, but they don’t know each other and no one even knows Tara is alert! What I really enjoyed was that the plot moved quickly; you got to follow Tara, Abby, and a teen assassin (!); Abby’s past story was interesting and neither of the women’s stories were based on past violence. A good thriller to kick up your feet and read.

Recent Releases

Grab a Snake by the Tail cover imageGrab a Snake by the Tail: A Murder in Havana’s Chinatown (Mario Conde #5) by Leonardo Padura, Peter Bush (Translator) (Cuban detective series the Netflix adaptation Four Seasons in Havana is based on.)

Those People by Louise Candlish (Currently reading: A murder in the suburbs and everyone points fingers as they protect their own secrets.)

Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith pseudonym for J.K. Rowling (Paperback) (Great series for British P.I. fans.)

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. And here’s an Unusual Suspects Pinterest 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 Canavés.

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