Hi mystery fans! These two books could not be more different from each other in tone, story, and ch...
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May 19, 2021

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Memories of a horrific crime echo through her family home, and Rose, grieving her husband and suspected of his murder, soon learns that she can’t trust anyone. Start The Dead Husband by listening to chapter one from the audiobook.

Hi mystery fans! These two books could not be more different from each other in tone, story, and character but they are both rooted in revenge. One, a little bit; and one, drenched in it.

Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland

This is one of my favorite books of the year and one of my favorite all-time characters–I’ll be carrying Ophie around with me from now on, randomly wondering how she is and what she’s up to.

Saved by what she’s about to learn is her ability to see ghosts, Ophie and her mother are forced to flee their Georgia home in 1922 when her father is murdered. Trying to settle in Pittsburgh, Ophie can no longer go to school and must instead join her mother working in a mansion, since they need to move out of the home they’re sharing with family that is not fully inviting. While working at the beck and call of an elderly woman, Ophie makes friends with a ghost, and soon realizes that there is a mystery surrounding not only how she died but who she is. As Ophie navigates her new life, restricted freedoms, grief, and her aunt’s guidance with the rules of being a person that can see ghosts, she finds that she must figure out who her new friend is and why they died.

As much as Ophie is expected to behave as an adult, she is a child and continues to sneak off to do what she’s not supposed to, drawn by the allure of her new friend ghost and the need to solve the mystery. She’s a character you’ll root for from start to finish, in every aspect. And if you don’t read middle grade because you think it’s too juvenile, I urge you to try this book: you can read a sample here, and you can always check it out from your library and give it a go. Bonus, if you’re doing the Read Harder challenge: here’s your #9. What I’m saying is, go read this book! The characters are fantastic, it’ll sink you into the time period, and the writing is excellent–what more can you ask for?

(TW hate crime off page, not detailed)

The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis

If you’re looking for a dark read all about revenge have I got your next book! I listened to the multivoice audiobook while working on a relaxing puzzle, which was a hell of a “these two things do not go together” situation.

Ever since her parents disappeared seven years ago, Tress Montor lives and works with her grandfather at an animal attraction with dangerous wild animals. She’s basically shunned by the entire town and she’s reached her tipping point of anger, thinking her previous best friend graffitied her home and fed her dog to the alligator.

Yup. And that’s not all that’s between these two former friends: Tess is convinced that “has it all” Felicity Turnado knows what happened to her parents. So she’s going to make her confess by slowly bricking her in à la Edgar Allan Poe (The Cask of Amontillado). This was wild, dark, fckd up, and with serious bite as it explored a lot of things from class to family secrets.

The only thing that didn’t work for me were the panther voice chapters, which I only mention in case you feel the same way–no need to stop reading as there are only a few, very short instances. I saw that this is listed as a first in a series; I am beyond curious as to how this will continue, and I am definitely signed up for more.

(TW animal cruelty/ seizures/ it feels like a date rape scene is going to happen but that’s not what it is or what happens/ fat shaming/ briefly mentions past domestic abuse)

From the Book Riot Crime Vault

Great Noir By Women

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.

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Dinner With A Side Of Death

Tune in as Katie and Nusrah talk about reads that feature dinner parties gone wrong. ...

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