Hi mystery fans! This week I have for you one of my favorite memoirs (yes, you’re in the crime...
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May 13, 2020

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Hi mystery fans! This week I have for you one of my favorite memoirs (yes, you’re in the crime newsletter), a cold case murder mystery, and a past and present psychological suspense. Hopefully, I hit at least three different reading moods and tastes.

Diamond Doris cover imageDiamond Doris: The True Story of the World’s Most Notorious Jewel Thief by Doris Payne: I absolutely adore Doris Payne. ADORE. This is her story of growing up the daughter of a coal-miner who was abusive to her mother, and how, from a young age, she just decided she was going to be a jewel thief. And then made a literal lifelong career with her con of walking into jewelry stores all over the world and walking back out with at least one jewel. Some of the stories in here (her fight with a cow; what she did after not understanding what sex was as a child) are ridiculously hilarious. She’s smart, cunning, unapologetic, brave, and literally was arrested with her stolen jewel on her, and they couldn’t figure out how to charge her because they couldn’t find it!

I highly recommend the audiobook, narrated by Robin Miles, which really makes you feel as if you’re at lunch with Payne as she recounts her life for you. Also, someone needs to make this a film! (TW domestic abuse/ elder abuse)

This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf: This is the second Gudenkauf mystery I’ve read (Before She Was Found) and they both checked a bunch of boxes I enjoy: past mystery; small community; multiple point of view that incorporates both teenagers and adults. Maggie and Eve grew up best friends in a small Iowa town until Eve was found murdered in a cave at sixteen by her sister and Maggie. Now, 25 years later, Maggie is a heavily pregnant police officer who gets assigned Eve’s cold case murder. The case Maggie’s father had been in charge of at the time, and where he was unable to make any arrests–even though there was plenty of suspects, starting with Eve’s abusive boyfriend and her own sister who the entire town thinks is “psycho.” The chapters alternate between Eve back then, and Maggie and Eve’s sister now, as you start to think everyone is a suspect! (TW partner abuse/ statutory and sexual assault recounted/ suicidal thoughts/ animal deaths/ child abuse/ parent with dementia)

The Split by Sharon J. Bolton: I read and loved Bolton’s super creepy procedural The Craftsman, so when I saw her name on this book I instantly grabbed it. This is not at all like her serial killer procedural, which I don’t say as a complaint but, rather, so readers don’t pick this up as a “read alike” and end up disappointed with a book they would have enjoyed had they known it was different.

Okay, with that said here we have the kind of book where most readers will spend the experience trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It’s told in parts and follows Felicity, now living on a remote Antarctic island in hiding from her husband, and a year in the past when she was seeing a therapist right before fleeing into hiding. In the now, her ex has been released from prison and has shown up on the island to see her. In the past, her therapist is trying to help her while his police mother is concerned for him after the trouble he had with his last patient…

That is all I’m giving you. If you want out of your head for a while and into a story you won’t ever feel you have footing in, here’s your next read. And for extra in your head (literally) psychological thrills, go with the audiobook narrated by Katie Scarfe. (TW mentions child suicides, brief detail/ past child murders, not graphic/ stalking/ discussion of rape, past rape, including child/ child harm in past/ domestic abuse discussions/ past murder suicide/ past domestic abuse)

Recent Release

A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery #1) by Abby Collette: A return home to run family business (ice cream shop!) cozy!

The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert: Historical mystery set in the 1920s at a speakeasy in the French Quarter!

Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global Manhunt, and the Most Mysterious Market Crash in History by Liam Vaughan: This sounds to be a nonviolent true crime so you know I’m in!

catherine houseCatherine House by Elisabeth Thomas: A gothic literary suspense set at a unique school deep in the woods…

The Last Trial (Kindle County Legal Thriller #11) by Scott Turow: A legal thriller with a case at the end of a criminal defense lawyer’s long career that will test everything.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (Paperback): A gothic vibe set in a modern smart home where the nanny is now in jail and we start at the beginning to find out why… (TW child death/ sexual harassment)

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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