Hello mystery fans! This week I have two totally different mystery books for you but both are chara...
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Apr 13, 2022

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Hello mystery fans! This week I have two totally different mystery books for you but both are character driven: one exploring tech, dating apps, and immigrant families and the other exploring feminist wellness cults, child fame, and sisterhood.

cover of The Verifiers by Jane Pek

The Verifiers by Jane Pek

Veracity is a business people on dating apps go to when they want to verify a match, meaning you want to make sure they aren’t really married, are telling you the truth about things, etc. This is where Claudia Lin has started working, a secret she’s keeping from her family.
But her first case immediately goes sideways and Claudia basically goes rogue continuing to investigate, breaking all kinds of protocols. But what else would a young woman who grew up reading mysteries do in this situation? Especially one who constantly thinks of the fictional Inspector Yuan, and how he solves cases.

That’s not all she’s dealing with though, as we get to see a lot of her interactions with her Chinese-American family and how they play a huge role in her decisions whether because of or against them. She’s her mom’s favorite, through no fault of her own, and that causes tension with her siblings. Her brother wants to get her the kind of job he thinks she should have and so she tells no one about her real job. The book explores the roles expected of us in families and the push and pull through them even when there is love.

(TW case revolves around whether a death ir suicide or not, detail/ brief mentions of past domestic and child abuse)

cover image of I'll Be You

I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown

I’d place this book in the mystery category because the first half is solving a mystery, but I’d also gently move it into the crime category.

Sam and Elli are twins who grew up working in television. The problem was that only Sam wanted to act, not Elli, so they learned how to switch places whenever one didn’t want to do something the other did. Cut to Sam as a child star addict and Elli desperately wanting to go back to just being a regular kid.

Now Sam is a year sober, and a year into not having seen or spoken to Elli when Sam gets called home by her parents because Elli hasn’t returned home from a retreat. Turns out her parents can no longer watch Elli’s toddler, a toddler that Sam had no idea even existed. Wanting to make up for years of being viewed as a disappointment, she decides to care for her niece and continue to work on her sobriety. But where exactly is her sister and what kind of retreat is it?…

The book is sectioned into three parts, taking us into each sister’s life then and now through their perspective of how they got to where they are. There’s the current crime, the predicament, and what exactly happened to Elli. The book dives into identity, child acting, what we owe other people and ourselves, and feminist wellness cults.

I definitely got sucked into these women’s lives with the audiobook, which gives each sister a narrator: Julia Whelan and Kate Rudd.

(TW infertility/ addiction/ brief biphobia/ brief fatphobia, diet culture/ emotional cult abuse)

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

From Book Riot Crime Vault

The Best Detective Books to Keep You Up Late at Night

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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