Mystery

Blacktop Wasteland book cover

Blacktop Wasteland

By S.A. Cosby
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
Dec 10, 2020

“There was no honor among thieves. Boys in the game only respected you in direct proportion to how much they needed you divided by how much they feared you.”


Blacktop Wasteland is full of action and suspense.  Just when you think it may let up, S.A. Cosby shifts the action into another gear.  It is a nonstop adrenaline rush (You know it’s going to be good when the book starts out with a drag race). 


We ride along with Beauregard “Bug” Montage, who is a complex character with many titles: father, husband, son, car mechanic, and getaway driver. He struggles providing an honest living for

The Right Sort of Man book cover. Woman with back to camera looking down a sunny street

The Right Sort of Man

By Allison Montclair
5
Rated by Kari E.
Dec 7, 2020

Gwendolyn Bainbridge and Iris Sparks attend a mutual friend’s wedding and hit it off immediately, both taking credit for the match. After a lovely lunch the pair decide to go into business together opening The Right Sort Marriage Bureau in Mayfair, London in 1946. Their services are much sought after and their pairings have lead to many happy marriages so far. They both have the ability to size people up and get a clear reading of personalities and secrets being withheld. 


Iris doesn’t talk about her training and time spent during the War. But she’s got a lot of particular skills useful for

Dec 4, 2020

The Night Country is the chilling sequel to Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood. After returning to New York City from the Hinterland, Alice, an ex-Story, attempts to live a normal, human life. Even though Hinterland citizens are still trickling into New York, Alice vows to leave her past behind. However, she quickly learns that escaping the Hinterland was far from the end — Hinterland characters are being slaughtered, one after another. Something sinister lies behind the murders, and Alice is running out of time to find the killer. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Can you hear the hidden clock?


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Dec 1, 2020

In the Hall with the Knife​ by Diana Peterfreund is a teen fiction mystery novel about the death of Blackbrook Academy’s Headmaster Boddy. When a vicious winter storm strikes the coast of Maine, where Blackbrook Academy is located, a group of students and staff are stranded in one of the safest buildings on the campus: the Tudor House. The crew of students is made up of Beth “Peacock” Picach (the star athlete), Scarlett Mistry (the queen bee), Finn Plum (the scientist), Orchid McKee (the wallflower), Vaughn Green (the “townie”), and Sam “Mustard” Maestor (a military academy transfer). They are

Picture of the back of a woman in a red coat sitting on a park bench with a gray sky and tree branches in the background.

The End of Her

By Lapena, Shari
4
Rated by Lisa H
Nov 10, 2020

The End of Her by Shari Lapena is a psychological, domestic suspense novel that is fast-paced and full of secrets, surprises, and twists. Patrick and Stephanie are a happily married, financially stable couple who are parents to 4-month-old colicky twin daughters. Both are sleep deprived when Erica comes into their lives. Erica is Patrick’s dead first wife’s best friend who comes to blackmail the couple by accusing Patrick of killing his first wife and threatening to go to the police to have the nine-year-old case re-opened and further investigated. Stephanie is shocked by the accusations Erica

Vase of flowers in front of a window

Still Life

By Louise Penny
4
Rated by Hilary S.
Sep 19, 2020

Louise Penny has written a heart warming mystery series set in Canada. Murder and heart warming might not seem like they go together, but it works here. The series features Inspector Armand Gamache, a charming and quiet Chief Inspector of homicide. First called to the remote village of Three Pines, we meet the main characters of the town, but also Gamache’s team. There is a lot of character development and rich descriptions of the settings, which are  the real draw of the series. There seems to be an alarming amount of murder in the quaint town of Three Pines, Quebec. We find ourselves here

Cover of Open Season by C. J. Box

Open Season

By C. J. Box
3
Rated by Charles H
Sep 15, 2020

In 2001, C.J. Box released his first novel featuring Joe Pickett, a game warden from Twelve Sleep Wyoming. Establishing Pickett as a man with a strong moral compass and fierce devotion to his friends and family, it isn’t hard to see why Box has written nineteen additional stories featuring this classic western archetype.


As an introduction to Joe Pickett, Open Season drops the reader into one of his first days on the job as the new game warden in town. Somewhat bumbling, but with a clear respect for the rule of law above all else, he is not well liked in town. This is to be expected, coming

The Widows of Malabar Hill book cover

The Widows of Malabar Hill

By Sujata Massey
4
Rated by Karyn H
Aug 13, 2020

Reading mysteries that feature smart, resourceful and bold lady detectives is one of my favorite pastimes.  I have quite a few favorites, including Phryne Fisher, Miss Jane Marple, Precious Ramotswe, Agatha Raisin, and Maisie Dobbs, to name a few.  I’m always on the lookout for more fabulous femmes of detection.  Meet Perveen Mistry, daughter of a wealthy and prominent Zorastrian family and the first woman solicitor (British for lawyer) in 1920s Bombay (modern-day Mumbai), India.  India was controlled by the British government in the 1920s.  The period of direct British rule over the Indian

English Tea Murder

By Leslie Meier
3
Rated by Josh N.
Jul 22, 2020

"In for a penny, in for a pound."


I've read a variety of mystery novels over the years, but never a cozy mystery. Which is strange because I generally prefer lighter, brighter stories to grim and gritty, and I'm not big on gore. And I love puns, and a lot of cozy mysteries have punny titles. I decided to try my first cozy mystery and chose English Tea Murder by Leslie Meier at random. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting from the genre (no punny title, for one thing) but to cut to the big reveal, I liked it.


Having never read a cozy mystery, especially one by Leslie Meier, here's what

The Broken Girls

By Simone St. James
4
Rated by Hebah A.H.
Jul 6, 2020

One of the best things about working in a library is the regular opportunity to talk about books (and other media) with people. Often, I can provide a recommendation for something else to read or try in those conversations, but it isn’t always a one-way street. Sometimes, patrons put books on my radar that I overlooked, either because the cover or description didn’t grab me, or it’s just outside my usual genre preferences. One of these books was Simone St. James’s The Broken Girls.


As a story with a historical fiction subplot and an intrigued journalist starring in the other main plotline,

Books by Karen M. McManus

By Karen M. McManus
5
Rated by admin
May 26, 2020

Mystery fans looking for a new author to binge will want to know the name Karen M. McManus, who hit the New York Times and International Bestseller Lists with her first three published mysteries One of Us is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us is Next. Haven't heard of McManus and wondering why? It could be because her novels are published under the TEEN umbrella. But don't let that stop you from picking up a copy! McManus is a gifted mystery author who crafts top notch whodunits that are tightly plotted with gasp worthy twists! Just because her protagonists are teens, doesn't mean

Jamie & Aaron - Flume - London Theatre (Topeka) 9.17.2011

The Wives

By Tarryn Fisher
4
Rated by Meghan F
Apr 29, 2020

The Wives should come with a warning. Settle in, silence your phone, and have some snacks handy. Because once you get into this story, you won't want to stop reading.


By all accounts, Thursday has a great life. A job she loves, a gorgeous apartment, and a loving, devoted husband. There's only one catch - she only sees her husband one day a week because she shares him with two other wives. Her husband is a polygamist, having been raised in an ultra conservative Mormon family. Thursday knew this when she married him, of course, but lately it seems to be bothering her more and more. None of

Once Upon a River

By Diane Setterfield
5
Rated by Meghan F
Apr 29, 2020

Fairy tales are often dismissed as stories only for children, but I've never been able to stop reading them, even as an adult.  C.S. Lewis said it best when he wrote, "Some day you will be old enough to read fairy tales again."  These types of stories are ones I turn to again and again, whether they be new tales or the dark, Grimm originals.  I especially love historical novels that incorporate fairy tale elements - which is why I was so excited when I heard about the new book by Diane Setterfield.


Set in a small English town on the river Thames, the story centers around a local inn, The

Apr 1, 2020

It wasn't until about five years ago that I became a fan of audiobooks. The tedious commute to my temp job required more than just a string of good songs, I wanted a story to elevate my journey there and back. I can't recall the first audiobook I chose, but I quickly became hooked. And then I discovered the glory of downloadable audiobooks, which enabled me to bring stories into more than just the driving parts of my life--suddenly, things like gardening or cleaning or cooking could also be times for story.


Here are other reasons to love audiobooks:


·         If, like me, you love books

Persons Unknown

By Steiner, Susie
5
Rated by admin
Feb 21, 2020

Persons Unknown is the second police procedural following Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw, following up Missing, Presumed. Manon's character is growing and changing throughout. She is five months pregnant at the start. And she has adopted Fly Dent, a quiet teenager whose family died in the previous book. Looking for a change of pace in their hectic life and a better quality of friends for Fly, they move from London to Cambridgeshire with Manon's sister, Ellie, and her toddler son, Solly. Life is moving along well for them until a murder investigation throws everything into chaos. 


Jon

Oct 10, 2019

Delilah Dirk is about this adventurer who has to find clues to uncover a hidden city. She goes with her assistant, Selim, and a writer of the "Weekly Observer", who is up to something more mischievous. On the way she encounters many problems- for example she has to fight a ruler of a city to get a clue! The most compelling part of the book is when we (the reader) find out Van Hassel's real plan with the city. The sudden twist made the book very hard to put down.


This book has everything: mystery, adventure, a twist, some background information, and a little mythology. I can't think of a

The Family Upstairs

By Lisa Jewel
4
Rated by Lisa H
Aug 28, 2019

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewel is a well-written thriller that not only contains a mystery but is also loaded with lots of family drama.


Libby Jones, who at age 25 is happy with her simple life, working to sell kitchen remodels, finds herself pulled into discovering her past when she inherits a $7 million dollar home from her biological parents who died in a suicide pact when she was 10 months old. Told from many characters’ perspectives, we learn that the Chelsea house in London has a history that is dark and disturbing.  The book continually switches between the past and present

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens
4
Rated by Hilary S.
Jul 19, 2019

On the face of things, Where the Crawdads Sing is about murder. But this isn't your typical, fast-paced whodunit. Even when the plot moves into the investigation stage the story takes its time, much like the water Kyra lives on, winding between the present and past.  A victim of her circumstances, Kyra is alone in the world at the age of 10. As a young woman, Kyra has limited interactions with the town and its people. Her world revolves around the swamp and marsh, necessity bringing her to the edge of town and thereby society. As she grows up we see more of her inner turmoil: the desire to

Jun 24, 2019

This book had an incredible story line, and it kept me wanting to read. There were lots of elements to the novel like mystery, love, and humor which made it even more enjoyable. The characters were easy to relate to and very intriguing. I had the same sense of desire that Kira did throughout the book- I wanted to know why things happened, and what about her past led her to her current situation just as much as Kira did. I thought the cover went well with the book because it ties into elements of the novel. It has the same mysterious tone that the book does which translates well.

Before She Was Found

By Heather Gudenkauf
3
Rated by Heather C
May 8, 2019

Small town.  Urban Legends.  A gruesome stabbing.


Before She Was Found definitely felt like it could be the ripped from the headlines fictionalized retelling of the Slender Man stabbing.  For those unfamiliar, in 2014 two 12 year old girls lured their 12 year old friend into the woods and proceeded to stab her 19 times to appease the entity known as 'Slender Man'.  For the first couple of chapters I was worried that this book was going to be nothing more than a retelling of true events with the names changed.  Though the plot does concern the aftermath of a brutal stabbing involving three

Dec 21, 2018

This story is the legend of Sleepy Hollow from the point of view of the main female character, Katrina Van Tassel. Having grown up the only daughter to a wealthy farmer and doting mother, Katrina is strong in her opinions, desires and actions. While this strength of character gets Katrina into some mischief, it also allows her to follow her heart and find a deep love with the new school teacher, Ichabod Crane.


When Ichabod first arrives at Sleepy Hollow he stays with the Van Tassel family until he finds the first host family among his pupils. Katrina's father hires him quickly to be her

Lethal White

By Robert Galbraith
5
Rated by Hilary S.
Dec 12, 2018

Lethal White is the fourth book in this mystery series, featuring detectives Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott. If you're unaware, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling, and she does a great job with this adult series. 


Coming off the success of catching the Shacklewell Ripper, Cormoran Strike is busier and more famous than ever. With Robin having been fired, Strike must hire contract workers to help provide surveillance on his cases. One of his hires, Barclay, is a likable character who gets decent coverage in this book, and hopefully future books. Thankfully, we pick up

Safe Houses

By Dan Fesperman
4
Rated by Kari E.
Oct 1, 2018

Helen Abell runs four CIA safe houses for the Berlin Station in 1979. While performing routine microphone inspections she captures two important conversations that will change the course of her life. Helen knows her clearance does not allow her to investigate these agents, however a series of events leads her to uncover sinister cover ups within the CIA. In 2014, Helen and her husband are murdered in their Maryland farmhouse by their son. Anna goes home to bury her parents and discover what lead her brother to this horrific act. She enlists the help of a private investigator new to town, Henry

Cop Town

By Karin Slaughter
4
Rated by Hilary S.
Sep 4, 2018

Cop Town is set in 1974 Atlanta. There aren't a lot of women on the police force, and for those that are, things aren't always what they hoped. The only female detectives are used as under-cover prostitutes to catch perps, and the rest of the women are denigrated and harassed to no end.


We meet Kate Murphy on her first day on the job, unexpectedly forced into the working world after the death of her husband. There's a cop killer in the city, and the Atlanta Police Department is in turmoil. Kate is shuffled around because no one wants her, and eventually gets paired with Maggie Lawson for

I See You

By Clare Mackintosh
3
Rated by Jackie S.
Aug 31, 2018

I See You is a psychological thriller about Zoe Walker, who, while commuting to work on the train, sees a picture of herself in a classified ad in a newspaper. Knowing she did not place the ad, Zoe becomes paranoid and hyper-vigilant on her way to and from work. After noticing her own picture, Zoe begins looking at the ads more closely, and believes there is a connection between the women featured and the same women being victims of recent crimes. Fearing that she will come to the same fate as the strangers whose faces she now finds so familiar, Zoe begins to view everyone she encounters as a

Aug 20, 2018

Unforgotten opens with a series of scenes depicting perfectly ordinary people going about their lives and interacting with other perfectly ordinary people. At the same time, a body is discovered in the basement of a building that's over a century old, and DCI Cassie Stuart and her partner DI Sunny Khan must figure out not only what happened to the deceased, but when, in the long history of that building, he died. This mystery series is smart, engaging, thoughtful, and empathetic, and the story's interplay between ordinary people and the crime that's almost certainly been committed by one of

Jun 19, 2018

Violet has a strange secret ability. She can sense dead bodies, or at least those that were murdered. She can also feel the imprints the dead leave behind, and the imprints that attach to their killers. And now that a serial killer is terrorizing her town, she is swept up into the investigation. But can she help hunt down the killer before she becomes a target?


This book was so good and so suspenseful, that I couldn't put it down. I loved the author's writing style and how the characters were so well developed. I was captivated from page one. I could definitely see this being a movie in the

The French Girl

By Lexie Elliott
3
Rated by Hilary S.
Jun 18, 2018

As and initial suspense thriller from this author, The French Girl is pretty well done. It follows the typical plot points used by many others: there's been a murder and our main character can't remember exactly what happened. Or she thinks she might remember, but she is constantly questioning herself and her memories based on what other 'friends' tell her and say. 


Back when Kate was a student at Oxford, she and five friends spent a week at a French farmhouse. The neighbor, Severine, had gone missing, but Kate didn't dwell much on the news. Now, ten years later, it turns out that Severine

Jun 15, 2018

Esther is one of the Special Ones, four spiritual guides who provide leadership to eager followers on the outside. She lives under his protection in a remote farmhouse. But what the followers don’t know is that if she stops being special, he will renew her and replace her with another Esther. She is sure that renewing means certain death, so she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape. Because Esther also knows she is a fake, she has no ancient wisdom and needs help to leave behind her life in captivity.


This was one creepy book. Much creepier than I