Hello mystery fans! I’ve been reading more picture books this year, which I highly recommend,...
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Mar 09, 2022

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Hello mystery fans! I’ve been reading more picture books this year, which I highly recommend, and it’s left me wanting to read more middle grade novels. So I gabbed these two a few weekends ago and was absolutely delighted by them.

cover of The Keeper by Guadalupe García McCall; illustration of a young white boy and a young Latine girl standing in front of a spooky house

The Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

If you’re a fan of mysteries, folk horror, and grew up on Scooby-Doo, you should absolutely pick this up. I think this book is also a great way for someone who has always been too scared to read horror to dip a toe in.

Twelve-year-old James and his ten-year-old sister Ava have moved from the home where they grew up in Texas to Oregon. Their abuela died shortly before the move and James and Ava are especially missing her and working their way through the grieving process. They are also in a huge prank war between each other, supported by their abuela, which their parents aren’t really fans of. As they try to find their place in this new town, James playing baseball and Ava managing the team, strange things also start to happen. It starts with creepy notes left for James which he initially thinks is Ava pranking him, but she swears it isn’t. And then they find out that the town has a history of children going missing over the years. It also doesn’t help when they start investigating who is leaving the notes and find some people to just be creepy…

I loved the sibling relationship of them fighting and pranking but also supporting each other and helping each other grieve their abuela and solve the mystery… I would love to read more of James and Ava—especially if it flips Ava to the lead.

(TW kidnapped children/ mentions past child deaths)

the cover of Drew Leclair Gets a Clue

Drew Leclair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury

Drew Leclair is a 7th grader with a lot on her plate, including that her mom has run off with her school counselor. She’s dealing with bullies, has asthma, is trying to work out why she seems to only be romantically interested in fictional characters over real life humans, and she spends a lot of her spare time researching true crime.

That last bit is what makes her think she’s perfect to solve the school case: who is posting embarrassing secrets about other students? With her friends Shrey and Trissa and her true crime board, how can she fail?

I inhaled the audiobook, narrated by Devon Hales. I adored the friendships, Drew’s relationship with her father, the mystery solving, and watching the kids try to work their way through figuring out life. I really hope this is the start to a series and would love to see it age as we get to watch Drew grow up to work in criminal investigation as is her dream.

(TW fatshaming)

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

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Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See upcoming 2022 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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Mystery Reads by Black Authors

Tune in as Katie and Nusrah talk about mystery and suspense reads by Black authors in honor of Black History Month....

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