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

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

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 that keeps getting better. 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

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

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

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

Author:
Series: 12 bookish mysteries
Genre: Mystery

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

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

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.

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The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

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

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

In the second of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, which can be read in any order, 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 taut psychological thriller that keeps you guessing till the end.

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Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane

Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane

This is Sayers’ tenth Lord Peter novel, her third featuring Harriet Vane, and undoubtedly one of her finest. (They needn’t be read in order, but most of the series are on sale today.) If you love this, go back and read all the Lord Peter mysteries, beginning with Whose Body?

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The Girls in the Garden

The Girls in the Garden

The action in this new suspenseful novel centers around a beautiful private communal garden in London. Most of the neighbors have lived there for years and trust each other implicitly; one family felt lucky to find their new flat when they were displaced from their home after a tragic fire. In the prologue, one of these new neighbors, 12-year-old Grace, is found in a corner of this supposedly idyllic garden, injured and unconscious after a neighborhood party. Jewell flashes back in time to introduce us to all the neighbors, and we discover much to mistrust as we try to figure out what happened to Grace. I read this as a Summer Reading Guide contender, and while it held my attention, it wasn't a favorite. Published June 7, 2016.

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Murder Must Advertise

Murder Must Advertise

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Genre: Mystery

I just love Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels. In this installment, Wimsey goes undercover at a post London ad agency to investigate a suspicious accident.

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The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Whose Body?, Clouds of Witness, and Unnatural Death

The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Whose Body?, Clouds of Witness, and Unnatural Death

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Genre: Mystery

A special edition of the first three classic mysteries featuring British aristocrat and sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. I'm a big fan of this series.

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Bury Your Dead  (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery)

Bury Your Dead (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery)

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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The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10

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Series: Quick Lit August 2016
Genre: Mystery
Tag: Quick Lit

This twisty thriller was an August Book of the Month pick for me. I was intrigued by the premise: a travel writer takes an assignment aboard an exclusive luxury cruise ship. Shortly after arriving, she wakes in the middle of the night to the sound of something heavy being thrown overboard. She's sure it's a body ... and yet no one is missing from the boat. She's compelled to figure out what really happened, which puts more than her own life in danger. Strongly reminiscent of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (If you want to give it a try use the code 30TOTE to get 30% off your first three months + a free tote bag.)

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Pretending to Dance: A Novel

Pretending to Dance: A Novel

$18.38
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Series: Quick Lit 10/15
Genre: Mystery
Tag: Quick Lit

Chamberlain is known for writing contemporary Southern fiction featuring strong female characters and not shying away from sensitive subjects. In this novel, her thirtysomething heroine's adoption process forces her to confront secrets she's been keeping for twenty years about her family of origin. Chamberlain uses two narrative voices—that of 14-year-old Molly and 20-years-older Molly, to explore the power of the secrets we keep out of fear and shame and the pretending that can actually make us strong. This is the first book I've read by Diane Chamberlain; The Silent Sister is next on my list.

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A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel)

A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel)

Author:
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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The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1)

The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1)

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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When No One is Watching

When No One is Watching

This new thriller, described as Rear Window meets Get Out starts with a bang and never lets up; her familiar voice is put to good use in this shocking tale of history, lies, and gentrification. Sydney’s Brooklyn neighborhood is turning over fast, with longtime older tenants moving out and upstart young couples moving in. But when she accidentally discovers a sinister connection, these moves suddenly begin to look threatening. Add in a tortured past, present family challenges, a budding romance with a hot new neighbor (and heads up, f-bombs galore), and you’ve got a thrilling read.

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The Travelers

The Travelers

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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And Now She’s Gone

And Now She’s Gone

Alternating between past and present, this twisty mystery weaves two women's stories together. We follow private investigator Grayson Sykes as she searches for missing woman Isabel Lincoln. With every new clue Grayson picks up, she realizes that this isn't a simple missing persons case—and she and Isabel might have a lot in common. This thriller is full of jaw-dropping moments, and the format gripped me from the beginning. In addition to the page-turning investigation, this is a story of survival. Do be aware that this story involves domestic abuse and heavy themes.

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Flight of Dreams

Flight of Dreams

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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The Mystery of Henri Pick

The Mystery of Henri Pick

The bestselling 2016 French novel, now available in English. Imagine a library filled with unpublished manuscripts, countless novels that never came to be. In the tiny village of Crozon, a small town librarian collects and cares for these unloved manuscripts. While on holiday, a renowned French editor visits the library and stumbles upon an undiscovered masterpiece, which she and her author boyfriend soon discover was written by a small-town French pizza chef. She champions its publication and turns it into an instant bestseller. Readers everywhere swoon for the book and the story behind its publication, but one snobby literary critic questions the book’s origins, and resolves to get the real story. (Is it weird to say this plot thread reminds me of Ratatoille?) Funny and endearing, a quirky mystery for book lovers, and a great read for anyone who fancies a peek into the publishing industry. A highly discussable novel for book clubs, especially because of the sure-to-be-controversial epilogue. 

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

This international bestseller (and first book of the Millennium trilogy) was originally published in 2005 in Sweden under the title <em>Men Who Hate Women</em>, and is widely hailed as a terrific novel in translation. (Fun fact: the other major change in the English translation is the size of the protagonist's shoulder tattoo: it's large in the Swedish, but much smaller in the English.) This crime novel has been on my reading list for a few years: I've been warned that it's a little gruesome in places. From the publisher: "Murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue combine into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel."

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The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

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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City of the Lost

City of the Lost

As a homicide detective, Casey Duncan knows her secret is going to catch up with her someday. Diana, her best friend, is also on the run from an abusive husband. When he catches up with Diana and Casey is attacked soon after, Casey knows it's time for both of them to leave again. There's a town in the Canadian wilderness called Rockton. Those who are on the run from their pasts can apply for solace and residency there. Rockton is picky about its residents, and with no phones, internet, or a way to get in or out without permission, it doesn't seem like a place that would accept Casey's past deeds. And yet, Rockton just had its first murder case. They need a detective to investigate, making Casey the perfect candidate. As she investigates, she starts to wonder if Rockton is the safest place for herself and Diana after all.

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