Tag Archives: Mystery

The Lake House by Kate Morton

I really, really wanted to love The Lake House by Kate Morton the way I loved the first book of hers I ever read, The Forgotten Garden, which still stands as one of the finest contemporary Gothic mysteries I’ve ever read. I wasn’t as thrilled by The Distant Hours (which I couldn’t finish) or The House at Riverton (which I don’t really remember), but her skill with structure will always keep me coming back. The Lake House definitely kept me turning pages, but overall I…

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The Handmaid’s Tale, Academy Girls, and the Worst Bachelorette Party Ever

I have read The Handmaid’s Tale maybe 4 times since college, so when my book club picked it for our December meeting, I thought I’d see if the audiobook version was any good. Oh my my, oh hell yes, time to put on that Handmaid’s Dress because Claire Danes simply kills it. As Offred, trapped in a bizarre patriarchal system where she has to bear children for wealthy men or else risk exile or worse, Danes finds a beautiful balance between the handmaid’s naiveté and…

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Uglies Trilogy and Detectives in Togas

I had mad love for Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy back when I first read it. Imagine a dystopia where until age 16, you are “ugly.” Then you get a whole bunch of surgery to become beautiful, and then live in paradise until you die. All parties, no war. Everything is beautiful, and Tally Youngblood can’t wait until her birthday–until she meets Shay, who tells her about the world outside, and asks Tally to escape with her. Tally is a great character–I think she’s more awesome…

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The Secret Place by Tana French

Synopsis: When the daughter of a detective brings in an anonymous tip for an unsolved murder at her boarding school, a young officer sees his chance to escape Cold Cases and break into Dublin’s elite Murder Squad. Review: Oh, Tana French, I love you so much! The Secret Place is every bit as good as her first four books. And while I can’t imagine loving anyone the way I love Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, I thought French did a masterful job with the two new characters…

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis: When Alice falls off a bike during spin class, she hits her head and promptly forgets the last 10 years–including her three kids and her ongoing divorce from the husband she believes she still madly loves. Review: I loved the premise of What Alice Forgot but unfortunately didn’t enjoy Alice. I found myself getting annoyed with amnesiac Alice, who seemed like a bit of a drip, and wanting to see more of the bitch she supposedly turned into. Share on Facebook

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No Book but the World by Leah Hager Cohen

Synopsis: When Ava discovers that her autistic brother has been arrested for an unspeakable crime, she delves into her memories of their unusual upbringing by their father, an educator dedicated to radical unschooling. Review: No Book but the World had me flipping pages like a madwoman, even as I couldn’t shake the sneaking feeling that something was really hinky. The book was so well-written that the lapses really stood out, and when they culminated in a twist ending I didn’t feel surprise or relief, just…

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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Synopsis: When a childhood friend asks PI Cormoran Strike to investigate the suspicious-looking suicide of his supermodel sister, Strike battles personal demons in order to revive his career and prevent the killer from striking again. Review: I am really, really picky when it comes to crime novels. I don’t love the genre in its own right, and I’m not generally a fan of recurring detectives. However, I’m desperately hoping that JK Rowling is planning to write more murder mysteries featuring Cormoran Strike because I just…

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Cartwheel by Jennifer DuBois

Synopsis: When exchange student Lily Hayes is accused of murdering her roommate in suburban Buenos Aires, her every move falls under scrutiny from her father and the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, and what seemed like childish impulsivity now appears sociopathic, even to those who loved her. Review: I devoured Cartwheel in almost on sitting. I haven’t been one to follow any of the high-profile cases the book is based on, such as Amanda Knox, but I find Lily Hayes to be the kind…

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A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George

Synopsis: When a young woman is suspected of murdering her father, a mismatched team of detectives, both haunted by their own ghosts, seek out the truth and risk losing themselves. Review: I am very picky about the detective novels I will read, and A Great Deliverance had everything I look for–emphasis on character over procedure, excellent sense of place, and complicated interpersonal dynamics. The story was definitely dark but not edgy, which I also like, and I fell in love with the partnership between public…

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The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

Synopsis: After a car accident, Jenna’s stoner older brother starts acting really weird, like all perfect and helpful and otherworldly–and then announces that someone is trying to poison her. Review: The plot mechanism behind The Sweet Dead Life was a little clunky in parts, but the voice that Joy Preble came up with for Jenna absolutely won me over. I also loved that the story was set in Houston, not just because my mother-in-law lives there but more because it gave the book a great…

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