Tag Archives: Mystery

Escape Theory by Margaux Froley

Synopsis: After the apparent suicide of a popular senior, boarding school peer counselor Devon starts wondering if there was something more going on and decides to find out the truth about the boy she loved from afar. Review: Escape Theory is smart and well-written, with varied characters and an interesting setting. Devon is haunted by an encounter she had with Hutch, the suicide whose friends and girlfriend she’s now counseling, and because that one night stands out in her mind as a defining moment, she…

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Thea Gallas Always Gets Her Man by Kristen Panzer

Synopsis: Aspiring lactation consultant Thea just wants to help moms and babies breastfeed, but her knack for observation gets her in over her head when a neighbor goes missing. Review: As an international board-certified lactation consultant and La Leche League Leader myself, I instantly fell for Thea. At last, a protagonist after my own heart. I loved seeing my passion represented by such a feisty, smart woman as Thea and it was so fun to read actual facts about breastfeeding in a mystery novel. And…

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Synopsis: When his wife goes missing, an angry writer-turned-bar-owner struggles with feelings of guilt, as the circle of suspicion hones in on him. Review: Gone Girl is the kind of thriller I swoon for–a killer hook, messy interpersonal dynamics, and the kind of twists that feel inevitable and fresh at the same time. I was definitely drawn into the game in a big way, and was glad I didn’t know much about the book beyond the blurb. I am not sure it ever hit the…

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Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum (Inspector Sejer)

Synopsis: When a popular teenage girl is found dead by a mountain lake, the innocence of an idyllic town is shattered. Review: While I enjoyed Don’t Look Back, I wasn’t hooked on the series. The mystery is very well-plotted and kept me guessing to the end, but the psychological complexity wasn’t there the way I wanted it to be. And the reveal at the end had some elements that felt forced and overly dramatic. However, I loved the Norwegian setting and the mention of Sigrid…

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The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

Synopsis: On bed rest and housebound, detective Tess Monaghan gets concerned and starts an investigation when she stops seeing a stylish woman walking her dog. Review: I do love Laura Lippman, who sets her stories in Baltimore, where I was born and raised, but haven’t lived since 1991. Reading her books is at once nostalgic and fresh, and I enjoy trying to figure out the geography and have a thrill when I recognize a reference. The Girl in the Green Raincoat was a satisfying entry…

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Synopsis: A bereft Australian woman travels to Cornwall to uncover the mystery behind her grandmother’s mysterious appearance on a dock in Maryborough at the age of 4, her identity completely unknown. Review: While I had some minor quibbles with some of the stock characterizations in The Forgotten Garden, on the whole I was absolutely riveted by the storytelling. Morton expertly weaves together the stories of three women: Cassandra, a contemporary Australian woman who has received an unusual bequest from her grandmother Nell; that of Nell,…

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Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Synopsis: When Peter Pan and his Lost Boys descend on a chic Manhattan boarding school, a brother and sister become embroiled in his plan to reclaim 5 ancient mummies who hold the secret to eternal life. Review: In the interest of full disclosure, I sometimes work with Daniel Nayeri, and have even had him and his lovely wife over to my house for dinner. So please don’t expect anything resembling objectivity. I’m a big fan of Daniel and his sister Dina’s unique brand of classic…

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Faithful Place by Tana French

Synopsis: When the body of his first love is discovered 22 years after she failed to show up and elope to England, undercover detective Frank Mackey is sucked back into his dysfunctional and dangerous family. Review: Faithful Place is yet another perfect read from Tana French. As Frank navigates the crime scene, even after being ordered to stay away from the case, his grief, nostalgia, and brokenness threaten to consume him. Nobody does bittersweet regret like Tana French. My heart ached for all these poor…

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Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Synopsis: Freed from the clutches of the madman who abducted her, a broken young woman tries desperately to make sense of what happened to her. Review: I find it really strange that the New York Times gave Still Missing such a glowing review, because while I enjoyed the read I didn’t think it rose above genre expectations at all. The prose is pedestrian and the revelations contrived. Oh well. Share on Facebook

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Wolf’s Brother by Megan Lindholm

Synopsis: As a group of reindeer herdspeople approach their summer grounds, simmering tensions and unspoken accusations bubble up with murderous results. Review: Wolf’s Brother is the completion of the story begun in The Reindeer People, and I was more than satisfied with the resolution. While the book’s setting recalls Clan of the Cave Bear, the story itself focuses around what could be considered a murder mystery, and the genre-blending is what really kept me turning pages. Megan Lindholm brings the action to a thrilling climax…

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