Shirley: A Novel by Susan Scarf Merrell

Synopsis: A young couple spends a year at Bennington College living with gothic writer Shirley Jackson and her philandering husband. Review: George and Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? have nothing on Shirley and Stanley, in real life (as chronicled in the wonderful biography Private Demons), and Shirley: A Novel delivers every ounce of…

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Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor

Synopsis: When her daughter falls into a coma, a politician’s wife goes searching for the truth, even as a past abusive relationship and her own mental instability come back to haunt her. Review: Before I Wake was a wild enough ride. It had enough juicy backstory to keep me engaged even though the present-day mystery…

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Ann Rule Presents- Final Exams: True Crime Cases by Cyril Wecht and Dawna Kaufmann

Synopsis: An analysis of four notable cases by famed forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht. Review: While the cases in Final Exams aren’t as twisty and turny or psychologically intricate as the cases that Ann Rule chooses for her books, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interesting on their own terms. As a forensic pathologist, Cyril Wecht…

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Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy)

Synopsis: An operative is assigned to investigate an anomaly in the latest investigation into dangerous, mysterious, paradoxical Area X, but the truth seems to lie on the other side of insanity. Review: Authority is the second in the trilogy that began with Annihilation, a story that promises the kind of enigmatic secrets that make your…

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Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Synopsis: When her wealthy college roommate invites her for an idyllic summer at her family’s rustic compound, shy Mabel fears that the secret she’s hiding will destroy all her hopes for a lifetime of happiness and security. Review: Bittersweet was a thoroughly engrossing read and it just swept me away. The descriptive passages were so…

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Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb (Fitz and the Fool, Book 1)

Synopsis: After bringing dragons back to the world in the thrilling conclusion of the Tawny Man trilogy, past-haunted bastard Catalyst Fitz has now retired to a quiet life under an assumed name, but when his post-menopausal wife claims she is pregnant, and a pale messenger with an ominous message dies in his holdfast, Fitz wonders…

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Synopsis: Bernadette doesn’t fit in with the other private school moms, but when her life falls apart while planning a family trip to Antarctica, her daughter learns that her mom is basically a mad genius, and hopefully it’s not too late to save her from herself. Review: Where’d You Go Bernadette is the next book…

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