Mystery

Book cover

Poison for Breakfast

By Lemony Snicket
5
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 28, 2022

A perfect little gem of a book.


A book I quickly fell in love with. It may not be a perfect book for every reader, as we all have our different preferences. Not everyone will love it as much as I. But I love it. I find it hard to imagine a book that could be more perfect.


I rarely buy books. I work in a library, so I feel almost every day I have all the books I could ever want at my fingertips for free. I don't often feel the need to buy them for myself. Plus, buying a book means I am unlikely to read it.


These are (most of) the books I currently have checked out from my library

Book cover

Poison for Breakfast

By Lemony Snicket
5
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 28, 2022

A perfect little gem of a book.


A book I quickly fell in love with. It may not be a perfect book for every reader, as we all have our different preferences. Not everyone will love it as much as I. But I love it. I find it hard to imagine a book that could be more perfect.


I rarely buy books. I work in a library, so I feel almost every day I have all the books I could ever want at my fingertips for free. I don't often feel the need to buy them for myself. Plus, buying a book means I am unlikely to read it.


These are (most of) the books I currently have checked out from my library

The cover to Slow Horses by Mick Herron

Slow Horses

By Mick Herron
5
Rated by Matt I.
Mar 28, 2022

Slough House is the dumping ground of the British Secret Services. Left a briefcase filled with state secrets on the bus, accidentally punched the Prime Minister's wife or nearly blown up a major metropolitan train station during a training exercise? Then Slough House is where you end up; doing stultifying and demeaning administrative tasks under the baleful eye of station commander Jackson Lamb (think a bitter and burned out James Bond).


The Slow Horses are only around until they can be made to quit, or get back into the good graces of their higher ups at MI6.


The first in a series of

Dec 14, 2021

It's Tuesday, and you know what that means - it's another edition of #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a quick look at a title that's hitting the shelves this week and deserves a shot at getting on your hold lists!


December is a tough time for new books, oddly enough. Most of the holiday retail push starts mid-November-ish, culminating in Black Friday. But by mid-December, the retail wave has already crested, and publishers are focused on promoting their back catalogs to coincide with all those best-of and end-of-year lists that pop up seemingly everywhere you look. However, for the dedicated

Cover of Down Range by Taylor Moore

Down Range

By Taylor Moore
4
Rated by Charles H
Nov 9, 2021

The frontier has long felt like a fixture of the collective American psyche, and literature featuring western characters facing the struggles of the rural life has been around since the late 1800s. These western novels often featured tough characters with a firm sense of moral justice and skill with a gun. This archetypical character has continued into modern writing, but in recent decades has made the leap out of the western genre and into thrillers and mysteries in the form of rural law enforcement. This can be seen in Sherriff Walt Longmire (created by Craig Johnson), Game Warden Joe

a large tree trunk

The Witch Elm

By Tana French
3
Rated by Hilary S.
Aug 25, 2021

In this stand alone mystery, Toby Hennessey suffers a severe beating during a break in to his apartment. He provides care to his dying uncle while he recuperates from his injuries, reminiscing and reliving the best parts of his salad days. The first third of the book is taken up with getting to know more about Toby & his family relationships, mainly his two cousins, Susana and Leon, and his Uncle Hugo.  The discovery of a skull inside the ancient elm tree in Hugo's garden interrupts the idyllic setting and moments of the Ivy House. Toby's head injuries makes him an unreliable narrator, trying

August Snow cover image. Skyline of Detroit, Michigan.

August Snow

By Stephen Mack Jones
4
Rated by Kari E.
Jun 2, 2021

August Snow is a former Marine, police officer, and a product of a loving Mexican/African American family. He loves his hometown of Mexicantown, Detroit and hates seeing the decay, drugs, violence and corruption running through the city.  He’s bought and renovated a number of houses on the street to bring them back to their former glory. After being fired by the police for uncovering high level corruption, August wins a $12 million lawsuit against the city for unfair termination. Traveling the world for year to regain his perspective and deal with his parents deaths, August yearns for his city

Influence by Sara Shepard

Influence

By Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham
4
Rated by Heather Mi.
Apr 1, 2021

It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead. As the other girls try to root out the killer, they are reminded again and again

Influence by Sara Shepard

Influence

By Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham
4
Rated by Heather Mi.
Apr 1, 2021

It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead. As the other girls try to root out the killer, they are reminded again and again

Influence by Sara Shepard

Influence

By Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham
4
Rated by Heather Mi.
Apr 1, 2021

It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead. As the other girls try to root out the killer, they are reminded again and again

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

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 Tiffany R
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 Kari E.
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

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

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