Hello mystery fans! I think I’ve succeeded in giving different types of mystery readers books ...
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Apr 22, 2020

Sponsored by Final Expense by Darrell Coleman.

It is not uncommon for thirteen-year-old girls to have regular babysitting jobs for neighbors. It is not uncommon that these business relationships become more like family connections. When Jared and Lisa Thompson’s thirteen-year-old babysitter, Nichole, concludes that Jared may be in trouble, this very smart little girl sets out to help Uncle Jared any way she can.

Hello mystery fans! I think I’ve succeeded in giving different types of mystery readers books to get sucked into immediately and lost in for a bit of time. One is a thriller, one is a locked-room mystery with time travel, and the last is a funny procedural.

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier: An intense and absorbing thriller! When starting my next round of reads I’ll read the first chapter of a handful of books/listen to the opening of a few audiobooks, and the ones that catch my attention most stay in my now-reading pile. In this case, I listened to the opening of Little Secrets and then whoops I was already halfway in and fully absorbed.

So a perfect thriller if you need something to grab your attention and let you escape for a while. You are fully up in Marin Machado’s mind and life, first on the day her four-year-old son Sebastian is taken, then a year later as there are still no answers. From the outside she’s a very successful hairdresser, wealthy, in a marriage people envy, and the mother of the abducted child no one has found. Inside, she has not moved on from that day, her husband Derek and her don’t really communicate, and she’s secretly hired a PI since the FBI stopped actively looking for Sebastian. And then the PI drops a bomb in her life: she hasn’t found her son, but she accidentally found out Derek has a mistress. And now Marin has something else to obsess about…

This is one of those great thrillers that goes beyond the good vs bad, showing everyone is capable of different degrees of behavior when pushed into situations they’d never imagined. Also, everyone’s got secrets–can you guess them? (TW child kidnapping/ mentions self harm, not detailed/ domestic, child, partner abuse/ attempted past suicide, detail/ suicidal thoughts)

the psychology of time travelThe Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas: Okay, so yes this is sci-fi but stay with me if you don’t read that genre: it’s 100% set in our world, just with the invention of time travel. Also, it’s a locked room mystery!

Four scientists invent time travel in 1967 but as they’re revealing their amazing accomplishment one of the four women, Barbara, has a mental health crisis. In response, they ostracize Barbara and continue on without her. In the present day there’s a body found in a locked-room and, since it is highly unlikely that a person would be able to shoot themselves multiple times, it is thought to be a murder. But how and why? And a year prior to the current time, we have Barbara’s granddaughter who is discovering the family secrets of who her grandmother was and what she’d contributed to time travel.

This jumps around timelines and characters as we get more and more pieces to solve the locked-room murder, but this novel also has a lot of interesting characters, relationships, and fun time travel bits: like using it to save plants; and characters can visit themselves in different ages and meet and chat. It’s fun and smart! I’d note that the audiobook is for experienced listeners because you need to be able to keep track of the time period and the character changes. (TW case suspected of suicide/ self harm/ disordered eating)

A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram #1) by Darynda Jones: This is the start to a new procedural series that is perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series, and a bit of the mother-daughter relationship in Gilmore Girls. It’s kickass women, with a dose of laughs that range from the absurd to dark humor.

Sunshine Vicram had run away from her hometown, Del Sol, New Mexico, as a teen but is back now that her parents entered her–without her knowledge–in the election for sheriff. And Sunshine won. So she’s back, with her teenage daughter, and running the police department. But before she can settle in, there’s a kidnapping, a teen girl who since childhood predicted this would happen. And Sunshine isn’t the only one on the case. Her daughter Aurora, who is struggling fitting in her new school since she’s been labeled a narc, is her own Nancy Drew–if Nancy had looked up to Lisbeth Salander.

This walks that line of dealing with real issues but staying in the fun read category because of the character’s sense of humor and some zany antics. So if you like a quirky town with secrets and are looking for an entertaining read, this is your next book. And for audiobook fans: remember how I mentioned Evanovich’s series? Same audiobook narrator for the recent releases! Lorelei King managed to voice a bunch of characters seamlessly without sounding grating or annoying with wild voice changes. (TW past child suicide thoughts and attempt, detail/ past date rape, kidnapping)

Recent Release

The Silence Of Bones by June Hur (Great historical mystery–Review.)

The Closer You Get by Mary Torjussen (Thriller where coworkers having an affair select date and place to meetup after telling their spouses but only one shows up…)

Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh (Slow-burn psychological suspense.)

Final Judgment (Samantha Brinkman #4) by Marcia Clark (Defense attorney Samantha Brinkman’s latest case is defending her current lover, and now client!)

Strike Me Down cover imageStrike Me Down by Mindy Mejia (Thriller following a forensic accountant!)

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2020 upcoming releases. An Unusual Suspects Pinterest board. Get Tailored Book Recommendations!

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

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