Hello mystery fans! If you were a fan of the setup of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty—a book that...
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Apr 06, 2022

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Hello mystery fans! If you were a fan of the setup of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty—a book that opens with a crime and then focuses on a group of women before finding out what may have happened—I’ve got two reads for you.

wahala book cover

Wahala by Nikki May

This is a great book that really sucked me into these women’s lives. It starts with “Aftermath” which is a brief opening that gives the impression that a crime has been committed, but we don’t know who or what really. And that’s it, until the end…

We follow Ronke, Boo, and Simi who have been really close friends for almost two decades, having bonded initially over all of them being Anglo-Nigerian. They’re all in very different places in their lives and trying their best, but not always succeeding. Ronke is really happy with her boyfriend Kayode and thinks she’s finally found the one but she can’t get her friends on board with this idea since she’s had really bad boyfriends in the past and they assume it’s just another repeat. Boo has the “perfect” life but is unfulfilled and frustrated and taking it out on her husband and daughter. Simi is secretly on the pill while her husband thinks they’re trying for a baby and she’s always stressed at work, while everyone thinks she’s got the perfect life/career. Then Simi brings along a childhood friend, Isobel, to one of the girls’ lunches; some take a dislike and others love how Isobel seems to make them feel freer and opens doors. Slowly each of the friends’ personal lives and friendships start to crack…

I loved the audiobook narrator, Natalie Simpson, and the dive into biracial Nigerian British women’s lives and I inhaled this one. Definitely one of my favorites of the year.

(TW recounts partner abuse, including sexual, not graphic/ stalker/ mentions cancer diagnosis, not detailed/ brief moment partner possible attempted assault/ colorism/ fatphobia/ mentions past suicide, no detail/ mentions past suicide attempt, detail/ domestic abuse)

cover image The Lying Club

The Lying Club by Annie Ward

Equally for fans of Big Little Lies and dark academia. I got sucked into this audiobook (narrated by Teri Schnaubelt) as an escape into other people’s fictional drama, and there is plenty of it. We start with a crime, a police interview, and then we’re taken six months back into time—very much follows the setup of BLL.

Three women aren’t really thriving: Natalie is taking care of her brother and working at an elite school where she does not have the financial status of everyone she’s surrounded by; Brooke’s husband left her after one too many affairs on her part and she’s trying to get him back while separately trying to keep her daughter’s boyfriend away from her daughter; Asha thinks her husband is having an affair and is trying to get her daughter into college based on her athletic abilities and is afraid to reveal she is accidentally pregnant.

In this one while you do get sucked into the women’s lives, you also never forget that there has been a crime committed and someone is under suspicion because we get some police interrogation chapters throughout.

(TW addiction/ nude photos taken and shared without consent/ use of date rape drugs/ predator/ brief mention past suicide attempt, detail/ brief suicidal ideation mention, no detail/ potential past sexual assault questioned/ brief pregnancy complication that turns out fine)

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

From Book Riot’s Crime Vault

10 New Mystery Books You Might’ve Missed in 2020

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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