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mystery

Ancient Truths, Modern Evil, in Hearts of the Missing

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The spirit of Tony Hillerman hovers over every page of Carol Potenza’s debut novel Hearts of the Missing (Minotaur), so it’s no surprise that, when still unpublished, it won the 2017 Hillerman Prize for the best first mystery set in the Southwest. Hillerman’s spirit is far from the only ghost that haunts it, however. The book features Nicky Matthews, a woman police sergeant for New Mexico’s Fire-Sky Pueblo, the Tsiba’ashi D’yini. She is also a Bureau of Indian Affairs-trained federal agent often brought in as a liaison with the Office of Medical Investigation on matters of cultural sensitivity. But Nicky is not a Native. She is white, and she knows that her training is no replacement for all she has yet…

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Author Buzz Giveaway: Spice Up Holiday Shopping

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This week’s Author Buzz giveaway features quite the mix of genres to save some money and start holiday shopping with a spring. A hot romance and a story that will pull at your heartstrings, a murder mystery with recipes and a heart-pounding adventure with links to the ancient past. Don’t miss out on any of these great titles! Dear Reader, As the Kindred Players hold their dress rehearsal for A Christmas Carol, a ghost wafts onstage and murders the star of the show. Suzanne Dietz, co-owner of the Cackleberry Club, rushes after this spooky specter but loses him when he escapes into a snowstorm. Suzanne vows to solve this murder and ends up juggling multiple suspects, holiday tea parties, a second…

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“Manuscript for Murder:” The Cozy Thriller

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With Manuscript for Murder (Berkley), the second installment of the long-running Murder She Wrote series penned by Jon Land, the author pushes the series into new territory, blurring the boundary between cozy mysteries and thrillers. Or perhaps he is forming a new genre: the cozy thriller. Land took the mantle of this franchise with A Date with Murder last year after the passing of series author Donald Bain.  With his new voice for Jessica Fletcher, our mystery-writer-slash-detective is breaking out of her traditional mold as well as her traditional setting, the sleepy yet murder-prolific Cabot Cove. In Manuscript for Murder, we find Jessica in New York City, visiting local friends including a disgruntled fellow author and the publisher the two of…

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Tana French’s “The Witch Elm” Delivers Spooky Suspense

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I confess, starting to read Tana French’s new novel, The Witch Elm  (Viking), I missed the Dublin Murder Squad, a revolving cast of investigating detectives featured in her previous books. It was a fine ensemble to fall into: Rob Ryan, the tormented policeman who flared and crashed in In the Woods; Cassie Maddox, who so seamlessly blended into the riddle of The Likeness; Frank Mackey, seeking the truth of his long-lost love’s murder in Faithful Place; Antoinette Conway taking on an entire girl’s school in The Secret Place; Scorcher Kennedy turning over Ireland’s economic woes in Broken Harbor; Stephen Moran and Antoinette Conway probing their way into a neighborhood’s troubles in The Trespasser. But by page 15 of The Witch Elm,…

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Tall Poppy Review: The Tearjerker ‘You Were Always Mine’

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Equal parts tear-jerker and page-turner, Nicole Baart’s You Were Always Mine (Atria Books) entwines the heartbreak of a mother’s struggle with the urgency of a mystery that won’t let her (or you) go. At the start of You Were Always Mine, we meet mother and teacher Jessica Chamberlain on the brink of a nightmare—and a plunge into regret—when her estranged husband is found dead. Her older son, in a surly teenage phase, seems to blame her for not having tried harder to repair the marriage and thus the family, while her younger son’s developmental challenges immediately intensify in the wake of the tragedy. It would be a struggle for any mother to try to quietly deal with her own grief while pulling…

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For Novak: Romance, Mystery, Cookies & Greek Goddess

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Having written more than 50 novels, Brenda Novak is an expert at pulling our romantic heartstrings. But in addition, a mysterious disappearance forms the backdrop in Before We Were Strangers (MIRA). Inspired by a segment from a true-crime television show, her latest novel is a story of intrigue, mystery, and psychosis. Novak says she watched a show that “featured a woman whose mother went missing when she was small. As the girl grew up, she suspected her father had something to do with it, but she wasn’t sure enough to accuse him, and because there was no solid evidence… Novak couldn’t resist the pull of the question, “Did the father do it?” and wanted to explore the mystery through her…

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Author Buzz Giveaway: Romance, Mystery, and Fantasy

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This week’s Author Buzz giveaway features a mixed bag of genres including mystery, romance and fantasy! For more information on any of these great books you could win for free, read what the authors have to say. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways! Dear Reader, Tensions rise in 1936 Singapore when a dead Englishman is found covered in juice from the betel nuts chewed by locals. Afraid of Colonial backlash (and hoping for a story), Chen Su Lin plunges into the investigation against Inspector Le Froy’s advice. I based Su Lin very loosely on my grandmother who wanted to be a journalist, ended up a teacher, and loved stories. Ovidia Yu If you’d like a look at murder…

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Tall Poppy Review: “The Tiger in the House” and Kidnap

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The Tiger in the House

The Tiger in the House (Kensington Publishing) by Jacqueline Sheehan introduces Delia Lamont, who is wrapping up the last month of work at Portland, Maine’s child services agency. She’s ready to open a seaside bakery with her younger sister and start a quieter life. But first, she has one last case to deal with – a five-year-old girl was found wandering along the side of the road, partially dressed and covered in blood. Every clue leading to her family takes Delia deeper into a shadowy web of danger that includes murder, heroin trafficking, and kidnapping. Jacqueline Sheehan has crafted a story that mixes family drama with a healthy dose of suspense and takes the reader on an emotional journey they won’t…

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Unwinding “The Labyrinth of the Spirits”

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Stories have no beginning and no end, only doors through which we may enter them. Internationally acclaimed author Carlos Ruiz Zafón has presented us with many dark and dazzling doors in his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. In the grand finale of this saga, The Labyrinth of the Spirits (Harper) Ruiz Zafón deftly ties together the many winding plots of his other stories and gives long-awaited closure on past mysteries. As with Ruiz Zafón’s bittersweet writing style, fans will be fully satisfied with his grand hulking conclusion (around 800 pages), and yet saddened to see their favorite characters join on page for the last time. The novel is set in the late 1950s Barcelona when Franco is in power, and follows the alluring…

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Stuart Turton’s Intricate Plot Bends Minds and Genres

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This may very well be the twistiest, most intricate crime novel you’ll read this year. A tall order, I know, given the competition, but trust me on this. The author, Stuart Turton, calls it “an Agatha Christie mystery in a Groundhog Day loop, with a bit of Quantum Leap.” Others have invoked Gosford Park, Inception, and “Downton Abbey with a body count.” They are all correct. The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Sourcebooks Landmark) opens with the narrator waking up in a remote forest, wearing someone else’s dinner jacket and, he realizes, someone else’s body. Making his way to a large country house, he discovers a party in full swing, and a masked figure who informs him that a murder…

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AuthorBuzz Giveaway: Suspenseful Stories

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An intriguing mystery, a heart-thumping thriller, and a thought-provoking novel are all excellent selections for this week’s AuthorBuzz giveaway. Dear Reader, I’m very excited The Frangipani Tree Mystery is coming out in paperback. The smart, unconventional Su Lin is very loosely based on my grandmother who was the first girl in her province to go to university. She loved trees and stories and I’m sure she would have loved the chance to investigate a dead woman found under a frangipani tree. I based Inspector Le Froy on her hero, Inspector Rene Onraet, who set up Singapore’s Special Branch. Please email [email protected] to win one of five copies. Ovidia Yu https://www.ovidiayu.com/   Dear Reader, Tanzanite. This rare blue-violet gemstone piqued my curiosity and inspired the second Alex Graham thriller, Blue Fire. A daring act reveals an incredible…

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From Shore to Fiction: “Beneath the Lighthouse”

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Julieanne Lynch is the author of Beneath the Lighthouse, an eerie story on ghosts and family tragedy. Today we have the pleasure of learning about her creative process and the inspiration behind her chilling story. But first, here is a taste of her story: Sixteen-year-old Jamie McGuiness’s sister is dead. Sinking into a deep depression, he frequents the lighthouse where her body was discovered, unaware of the sinister forces surrounding him. When an angry spirit latches onto Jamie, he’s led down a dark and twisted path, one that uncovers old family secrets, destroying everything Jamie ever believed in. Caught between the world of the living and the vengeful dead, Jamie fights the pull of the other side. It’s up to Jamie to…

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AuthorBuzz Giveaways: Recovery, Mystery, and Luxury

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Dear Reader, In my forties, I woke up one day and realized I had a drinking problem. In Lush, I examine this struggle I had with alcohol, a struggle many middle-aged women face. But, I didn’t get sober. I dealt with the problems behind the drinking and found I could moderate. Called “Beautifully poignant, fiercely funny, and infinitely relatable,” Lush follows my story as I attempted to rediscover awe in my life and leave my regrets—and the bottle—behind. Write me at [email protected] for a chance to win 1 of 5 copies of the book! http://www.kerry-cohen.com Dear reader, Fans of Louise Penny and her Three Pines residents will feel at home with my whip-smart, quirky, ethical characters who value the strength of their community…

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The Ruinous Sweep: From “Fraggle Rock” to Twisting Thriller

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Tim Wynne-Jones is an author with projects spanning across a diverse array of entertainment, from writing songs for the children’s program Fraggle Rock to writing mind boggling thrillers for adults and young adults. The Ruinous Sweep is a twisting tale split between two perspectives and two worlds. The protagonist Donovan is stuck in a world resembling purgatory with little memory while his girlfriend Bee tries to find answers in reality. When Donovan is charged as a primary suspect for his father’s murder, readers must follow the fragmented path of Donovan’s memories and Bee’s dedicated detective work to find out the truth behind the hazy blur of one fateful night. Though Wynne-Jones is accustomed to working on various forms of entertainment, he…

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4 Indie Bookstores Offer Their Top Suspense Reads

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Sunscreen? Check. Swim suit? Check. Summer suspense? Grab some of these. There’s nothing like a good, gripping tale to help you unwind. We randomly polled four independent bookstores that specialize in murder and mayhem about new bestsellers in the suspense category. Surprisingly, there were no overlaps as each store named four titles selling well, in no particular order: Murder on the Beach Mystery Book Store, Delray Beach, Florida: Cheryl Kravetz, a bookseller at the Murder on the Beach Mystery Book Store, named the following four as her top sellers: 1.) The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn (William Morrow). A woman returns to her home after a 10-month absence, too terrified to step outside. Shades of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear…

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“Ohio” by Stephen Markley Introduces New Voice(s) in American Fiction

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Ohio by Stephen Markley (Simon & Schuster) deserves to be only the first of a series because its characters are worth more than one book, and the story of their America is worth more than one look. This sprawling, spiraling novel begins one summer night in 2013, as four former high school classmates are about to meet again in New Canaan, their Rust Belt Ohio town. Each is traveling from far corners, each bearing memories that must be obeyed and secrets that will be revealed. The book is narrated from each of their viewpoints in a gripping saga that slowly builds into a symphony that hits all the right notes. New Canaan is a snapshot of so many places in…

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