Hello mystery fans! I have two page-turners for you this week that will introduce you to two CIA ag...
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May 05, 2021

Sponsored by the audiobook edition of The Perfect Daughter by DJ Palmer.

A thriller that explores the truth or lies behind a teenage girl’s multiple personality disorder, from D.J. Palmer, the author of The New Husband. Meet Ruby, who speaks with a British accent. Then there’s Chloe, a perfectionist who strives for straight A’s in school. And along comes Eve, who is spiteful and vicious. All of them live inside Penny… Or do they?

Hello mystery fans! I have two page-turners for you this week that will introduce you to two CIA agents and a divorced mom who accidentally accepts a hitwoman job. Who hasn’t, am I right? Bonus: lady friendships.

Red Widow by Alma Katsu

One of my favorite reads of the year! Here we follow two CIA agents on different missions, whose paths cross and can you trust anyone in a spy novel?

CIA agent Lyndsey Duncan was basically put on timeout (suspension) after it was discovered that she was having a secret relationship with a spy from another agency, MI5–apparently that is frowned up on amongst spies. So she’s called back from her mission, and while not supposed to be active she’s called in because informants, including her first one, are dropping dead. Because the informants had no connections to each other it’s speculated that it has to be a mole and Duncan is to help find them.

Upon her return she meets, and befriends, CIA agent Theresa Warner whose husband, also CIA, was murdered. She’s been labeled the “Red Widow” because people are unsurprising and Warner is on her own mission, and that’s to find out how and why her husband was really killed…

This focused on taking readers inside the CIA headquarters and inside the two CIA agents’ current lives, which I found fascinating! So much so that I read it in a day. I especially loved how the two women are in the same field but one is a widow with a child who deeply loved her husband, and the other is single and without any deep personal connections.

(TW suicide not on page, brief detail/ side character with cancer/ briefly mentions war crimes)

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It (Finlay Donovan #1) by Elle Cosimano

If you’re looking for a fun, entertaining crime novel, and enjoy humorous inner monologue characters like Stephanie Plum, this is a must-read.

Finlay Donovan is having a hard time: Her ex-husband is a bit of a shit, she has two young kids, and is so far beyond deadline on her book manuscript, her agent is demanding she give her something. And that’s how Donovan becomes an accidental hitwoman. Okay, so more specifically, while giving her agent a story in a coffee shop a fellow patron overhears, misunderstands, and hires her to kill someone for her. Whoopsie.

Of course Donovan would never take this job. But it is a lot of money. But no. Okay, but maybe she’ll just go to the place and see who the intended hit is. And that’s how she ends up in so much more trouble than she could have imagined. Lucky for her, the fired babysitter is ready to be an entrepreneur and maybe hitwoman is in her future? No, of course not. But maybe?

I was cracking up from the opening and found myself thoroughly entertained to the finish. Just the right amount of ridiculous to make crime fun! I’m glad it’s the start to the series and look forward to future shenanigans.

(TW date raper/ stalker)

From The Book Riot Crime Vault

10 Captivating Books Like THE DA VINCI CODE

How Nancy Drew Helped Me Reject Toxic Masculinity and Gender Roles


Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2021 releases. Check out this Unusual Suspects Pinterest board and get Tailored Book Recommendations!

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

If a mystery fan forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like your very own, you can sign up here.

Celebrations, Nostalgia, and Questionable Fashion

Tune in as Katie and Nusrah celebrate the 100th episode of Read or Dead, and talk about books that shaped them as mystery readers. ...

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