Mystery
Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 1)

Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 1)

$7.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

This was one of the most popular books on the blog last summer. In the idyllic small town of Three Pines, Quebec, where people don’t even lock their doors, a beloved local woman is found in the woods with an arrow shot through her heart. The locals believe it must be a hunting accident, but the police inspector senses something is off. The story is constructed as a classic whodunit but it feels like anything but, with its deliberate pacing, dry wit, and lyrical writing. A stunningly good first novel. Still Life is the first in a series (of 11 books to date) that keeps getting better. For fans of Jacqueline Winspear. Great on audio.

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Veronica Mars #2: Mr. Kiss and Tell

Veronica Mars #2: Mr. Kiss and Tell

$9.99$6.79

This second Veronica Mars novel picks up right where the movie left off, with a case that hits uncomfortably close to home for Veronica. A woman is left for dead after a brutal assault at the Neptune Grand, and rather than call in the corrupt and incompetent local sheriff, the Grand’s owners turn to Veronica to prove—or disprove—the woman’s story. This standalone mystery is filled with snarky humor, twists and turns, and cameos by old favorites (even Leo!) and oozes with the spunk and intelligence of the show. This reads just like an episode of the show. So much fun for marshmallows. (Hot tip: the audio version is read by Kristen Bell.)

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The Accident

The Accident

This literary thriller revolves around a manuscript called The Accident, which reveals a damning secret that has been successfully kept for twenty-five years. When the new manuscript mysteriously appears on a literary agent’s desk, all hell breaks loose, beginning with the murder of her assistant. The action unfolds over the course of one desperate, dangerous day, as powerful forces ruthlessly attempt to contain the damage. Featuring some of the same characters from Pavone’s first novel, The Expats. A fast-moving page-turner.

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I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

$12.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)
Author:
Series: Summer Reading Rejects
Genre: Mystery

Best thriller, best of 2014, best debut: every conversation I’ve had about this book has been laced with superlatives. It was a good book (although I wouldn’t want to burden any book with those kinds of expectations). Two problems: while I like big, thick books, there aren’t any doorstops in the reading guide (well, at least not to the tune of its 700 pages). And some of the storylines are pretty gruesome. Okay, seriously gruesome. Strong narrative drive, intriguing plot, but maybe not a crowd-pleaser. At least not this crowd.

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Case Histories

Case Histories

$6.99$3.99Audiobook: 10.99 (Whispersync)
Author:
Series: Quick Lit 6/15
Genre: Mystery
Tag: Quick Lit

In this first installment in Atkinson's detective series, Brodie investigates three cold cases that seem to be strangely related. This was an excellent detective novel, with good writing and strong characterization, and reminded me very much of Tana French. But like Tana French, some of the content was seriously disturbing. Recommended, with caution.

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A Town Like Alice

A Town Like Alice

$11.99$2.99

Nevil Shute’s best-known and most-loved novel, and one my mom has loved for as long as I can remember. I've read it once, but not for a long time. This is the story of a young Englishwoman who miraculously survived a Japanese “death march” in World War II, and of an Australian soldier who risked his life to for help her and her friends. The book's assumptions are a bit dated, but the story endures.

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The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel

The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel

$12.99$1.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

This book appeared on Modern Mrs Darcy as a <a href=https://modernmrsdarcy.com/books-worth-binge-reading/>Book Worth Binge Reading</a>. Readers love it or hate it.

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The Expats: A Novel

The Expats: A Novel

$11.99$5.99

I just finished this debut novel from my summer reading list last night. I'm not sure if it will stand the test of time (will I be recommending it in a year?) but I read it in a day because I couldn't wait to find out what happens next. (And it's possible my introvert batteries needed recharging, too.)

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The Thousand Dollar Tan Line: a Veronica Mars Mystery

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line: a Veronica Mars Mystery

$23.95
Author:
Series: Great Audiobooks
Genre: Mystery

This wasn't high literature or anything, but it was so much fun (and had such good narrative drive) I didn't want to stop until I knew how it ended. Add Audible narration for $7.49.

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The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

$7.99$4.99

If you've been waiting for the next Gone Girl, get yourself this brand new release immediately and dive in before you hear anything else about it. This tightly-drawn tale of another girl gone is told by three unreliable narrators. It reminded me of Rear Window: it's easy to imagine this on the big screen. Disclaimer: I didn't care for this one, but anyone who loved Gone Girl will disagree with me.

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Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery

Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery

This mystery from the author of The Mother Daughter Book Club came out late last year. Sarah and I are making due with this one while we wait for book #7.

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The Lake House

The Lake House

$12.99$2.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Audible)

In 1933, a young child disappeared without a trace. In 2003, a disgraced young detective stumbles upon the cold case and soon discovers its ties to one of England's oldest and most celebrated mystery writer (think Agatha Christie). I absolutely loved reading a mystery novel about a mystery novelist: the pages are filled with fascinating references to the fictional author's writing process and working life.

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The Likeness

The Likeness

$41.975.95 (audiobook only)Audiobook: $5.95

In the second of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, detective Cassie Maddux is pulled off her current beat and sent to investigate a murder. When she arrives at the scene, she finds the victim looks just like her, and—even more creepy—she was using an alias that Cassie used in a previous case. The victim was a student, and her boss talks her into trying to crack the case by impersonating her, explaining to her friends that she survived the attempted murder. The victim lived with four other students in a strangely intimate, isolated setting, and as Cassie gets to know them, liking them almost in spite of herself, her boundaries—and loyalties—begin to blur. A taught psychological thriller that keeps you guessing till the end.

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The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling

$9.99$3.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Audible)

In this murder mystery, British detective Cormoran Strike and his trusty sidekick Robin Ellacott investigate a supermodel's suspicious suicide. I found the plot compellingly twisty, the characters interesting, the rapport between the two investigators my favorite part. For Harry Potter fans, there's good news and bad news: Rowling (under the pseudonym Galbraith) still has the touch, but there is nothing to remind you of Harry in these stories. The third (and grizzliest) book Career of Evil, published October 20, 2015, ended on a massive cliffhanger, and readers are impatiently awaiting book 4, which Rowling promises will begin right where she left us hanging. First-rate murder mysteries; highly recommended for Louise Penny fans.

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You Will Know Me

You Will Know Me

$13.99$1.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)
Author:
Series: Quick Lit 9/16
Genre: Mystery
Tag: Quick Lit

A new nail-biter from Thriller Award winner Abbott is always news. She's best known for The Fever, a book I've been meaning to read for ages. I know her by reputation, though I haven't yet read her work, and was surprised to hear her forthcoming novel is focused on an elite teen gymnast, a tragedy that rocks her training facility, and the subsequent unraveling of everything the characters thought they knew about each other. Add Audible narration for $12.99. Publication date July 26 2016.

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A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel)

A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel)

$14.99$4.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)
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Series: Quick Lit 9/16
Genre: Mystery
Tag: Quick Lit

The Washington Post called this, "Deep and grand and altogether extraordinary....Miraculous."

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Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

$7.99$2.99Audiobook: 10.99 (Whispersync)

It was supposed to be the perfect crime. But an avalanche stops the Orient Express in its tracks just before a passenger is found murdered in his berth, foiling the perpetrator's getaway, and trapping 13 potential suspects—each with an airtight alibi—in the train car with Inspector Hercule Poirot. If you've seen the movie, take note: Branagh changes Christie's ending. Hot tip: Dan Stevens's audio narration is fantastic.

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The Travelers

The Travelers

$11.99$1.99

Pavone's third novel of international intrigue picks up where The Expats left off. Kirkus calls this "a movie waiting to happen." I enjoyed this one.

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Flight of Dreams

Flight of Dreams

$11.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

I loved Lawhon's historical fiction debut The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress and was eager to read her next work. Her second novel puts an interesting spin on a tragic historical event: the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. This entertaining, suspenseful tale is told from multiple points of view and is based on the lives of real characters. The enigmatic setting—aboard the luxurious yet claustrophobic airship—captures your imagination. My husband surprised me by loving this. For fans of Agatha Christie and Kate Morton. Publication date February 23, 2016.

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A Share in Death

A Share in Death

$10.99

If you're all caught up on Penny and Galbraith novels, try this engaging series of Scotland Yard police procedurals. This first installment reminds me of Dorothy Sayers: detective Duncan Kincaid happens to be vacationing at his posh cousin's time share when a body is found in the resort pool. The local detectives rule suicide, but Kincaid is certain there's more to the story. As the series progressives, the police work is only half the content: Crombie devotes considerable ink to her detectives' personal dramas and romantic entanglements as well. Get caught up this summer so you're ready for book #17 Garden of Lamentations, though its release date has (sniff) been pushed back to February 17, 2016. Highly recommended for mystery-loving Anglophiles.

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Faithful Place

Faithful Place

$12.99$2.99
Author:
Series: Great Audiobooks
Genre: Mystery

When he was 19, Frank Mackey planned to run off with his girlfriend Rosie Daly: they would cut ties to home, get married, and start a new life in England. When Rosie didn't show, Frank assumed she changed her mind and left without him. But 22 years later, Rosie's suitcase is found hidden in their planned meeting spot. Frank never got over her, and he'll do whatever it takes to uncover what happened. Frank's qualities make him a first-class detective: he's painfully honest and willing to deal with unpleasant truths. He knows his weak spots, expects the sucker punch. He believes the most important thing every man should know is what he would die for. Depressing, but French tells a great story. This is the third book in her Dublin Murder Squad series, which can be read in any order. Add Audible narration for $12.99.

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The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

$8.99$1.99Audiobook: 8.49 (Whispersync)

Fans adore this series, and in each book they accompany Mma Ramotswe as she meets her interesting clients, always with very interesting problems. Readers can't help rooting for Mma Ramtoswe as she solves her mysteries; she's funny, smart, and loves to buck convention—very, very tactfully. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel: the tone of this novel wasn't quite like anything I'd ever read, and it was easy to read, in the best sense. I'm looking forward to getting to know these characters better in the series' subsequent installments.

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

$5.99$4.99

From the publisher: "Murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue combine into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel." Add Audible narration for $8.49.

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No One Knows

No One Knows

$13.99$1.99Audiobook: 6.59 (Whispersync)

If you love a good edge-of-your-seat thriller, this one's for you. Five years after Aubrey Hamilton's husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee, she glimpses someone that makes her wonder if he might be still alive, and if she ever knew him at all. Ellison flips back and forth between the past and present to slowly reveal what went wrong, and what might happen next. The real fun is in puzzling out who's lying, and why. It's not a perfect novel but it's such a good ride. A real brain bender, perfect for Mary Kubica fans. Take note: this is one of the books I wanted to give the 8-line edit treatment. Published March 22 2016.

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A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 7)

A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 7)

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 11.99 (Whispersync)
Author:
Series: Best novels of 2015
Genre: Mystery
Tag: Quick Lit

Penny's mysteries are alternately centered in the cozy village of Three Pines and the wider world. For this excellent follow-up to the game-changing Bury Your Dead, Inspector Gamache returns to Three Pines to solve a murder that's intimately tied to the world of fine art. The story is built around the concept of chiaroscuro—the contrast between dark and light that's significant in some artists' works, and in all our natures. It may sound obtuse, but Penny probes with a light hand. It works.

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I Let You Go

I Let You Go

$11.99$1.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Audible)

In a season where every suspense novel is expected to have a "shocking plot twist!" this tightly-crafted novel makes your jaw drop time and again, without feeling gimmicky or manipulative. I was stunned as I slowly came to see that the story wasn't about what I thought it was about at all. On a dark, rainy night, a mother lets go of her son's hand for just an instant. The devastating accident sets the plot in motion. Part police procedural, part domestic suspense, with the ring of authenticity, no doubt thanks to Mackintosh's own 12 years as a police officer. This is an emotional roller coaster of a book. (Sensitive themes ahead, so mind your triggers.)

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Jane Steele

Jane Steele

Jane Eyre lovers, you can relax: while Faye—and her heroine, Jane Steele—draw serious inspiration from Jane Eyre, It draws serious inspiration from Brontë's classic, it's not a retelling. Instead, it's delightfully meta: our titular narrator tells us the inspiration to write down her story came from "the most riveting book titled Jane Eyre." This Jane is a wise-cracking, whipsmart, unconventional young woman who rebels against Victorian convention, but she has a heart of gold. Though not a retelling, there are numerous winks to the original novel: Jane becomes a governess, there's a stand-in for Mr. Rochester, and of course, something important is locked away in an attic. Perfect for readers who love plucky Victorian heroines, like you'd find in Deanna Raybourn novels. Published March 22 2016.

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Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs

$9.99

Apparently I like to binge-read mysteries.

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Bury Your Dead  (A Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mystery)

Bury Your Dead (A Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mystery)

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 11.99 (Whispersync)

There was never a question I'd continue with the Inspector Gamache series (although I will say that book 3 wasn't my favorite) but the series moves to the next level in this sixth installment, in which Penny finally brings a plotline she's only hinted at in previous books front and center, and it is riveting.

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Don’t You Cry

Don’t You Cry

$11.99$3.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

Kubica has earned quite the reputation for edge-of-your-seat thrillers with her bestsellers The Good Girl and Pretty Baby, but this is the first of hers I've read. When her ever-reliable roommate goes missing, Quinn starts to investigate, and quickly discovers she may not have known her friend at all. Warning: the flap copy is deliberately misleading. I liked this well enough, even though it didn't make the cut for the Summer Reading Guide. Publication date May 17 2016.

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