10 Commandments of Detective Fiction
10 Cunninghams who have killed someone
1 Law-abiding Cunningham who teaches detective fiction
When a stranger is discovered dead in a snowstorm outside the resort where the Cunninghams are holding their family reunion, what are the odds it is an accident?
And if it is murder, how will our reliable narrator, Ernie, solve the case with so many killer Cunninghams to choose from?
Almost no one who has been the Master of Starling House through the centuries has been born a Starling. They became one through choice, a voice in their head, a home in their dreams, Starling House called to them all. To become Master is a contract with the house itself, to be given a home in exchange for giving their life to protect the community from the unspeakable horror that hunts Eden, KY. Now the house calls to Opal, raised in its shadow, with the promise of a home for her brother and herself. But for a new Master to assume responsibility, the old one must die, and what if HIS face also haunts her dreams and calls to her heart?
Absolutely charming! From the beautiful cover to the story within, Heather Fawcett's first adult novel is a treasure. Perfect for fans of (my favorite book!) Naomi Novik’s “Uprooted” or Hannah Whitten’s “For the Wolf,” this is the tale of intrepid and curmudgeonly Edwardian dryadologist Emily Wilde. In the wild north of Ljosland, Emily is researching the Hidden Ones who will complete the final chapter in her career-defining manuscript on faeries. Little does she know what adventures and unexpected friendship, and possibly even love, await.
I read this book over Thanksgiving and that is exactly what "Legends & Lattes" is about, being thankful for the people (or hobs, rattkins, succubi...) in your life.
Viv is a retired orc with a love of coffee, a magic stone and her life savings-enough, she hopes, to make a new life for herself. But new lives don't come easily without the help of others and it will take employees and neighbors, rivals and old friends to make Viv's dreams come true.
The Mountain in the Sea" is a mesmerizing read, like watching an octopus shift seamlessly from one camouflage to another. It is at once a hard scifi novel exploring the mapping of the human brain, a first-contact tale in which the sentient alien species we encounter comes not from the sky, but the sea. It is also an environmental thriller, complete with corporate espionage and weapons tech. But at its heart it is an elegy to the aquatic world we are on the verge of destroying, with perhaps a ray of hope at the end.
Nona broke my heart.
Like any fan of the Locked Tomb Series, my gaze was focused on Alecto, the anticipated final book of the trilogy with its shifting publication date and promise of answers to all our questions. I did not expect Nona with her enormous heart, her love of dogs (all shapes and sizes!) and her gang of school friends. Nona with her vaguely familiar features, extremely familiar “family,” disturbing dreams and shocking role to play in all this.
When I thought I could not care more about Gideon, Harrow and the others, I met Nona. And she broke my heart.
Hollow's Edge is "such a quiet place." A neighborhood of employees of the local college, the inhabitants are boringly middle-class, white, well-educated and outwardly friendly. It's a seemingly safe place until the murder of the Truetts a year and a half ago. Luckily, the security camera footage, nosy neighbors and police all agree who is the one bad apple in the bunch, Ruby Fletcher. With Ruby in jail and banished from their collective memory, life returns to normal in Hollow's Edge. Until the day Ruby reappears on their doorstep bringing vengeance only the wrongly convicted can wreak.
Lucy Clarke has taken what could be a tired thriller cliché-six friends celebrating a hen weekend on an isolated Greek island complete with simmering rivalries and secrets-and created a compelling look at women's complicated relationships and shared history.
Certainly someone will meet their end on those steep Greek cliffs, but others will find love, peace and redemption. All packaged in a perfect summer read.
I love everything Chris Pavone has written, but because he doesn’t release a new title frequently, I sometimes forget how terrific he is. Then I pick up his latest, open it, read a couple pages and I remember, this is possibly the best thriller author writing today.
“You wove a cloak with nettle thread...and built your own dog out of bones, and NOW you are concerned about what is impossible?”
A third-born princess banished to a convent, a dust-wife who can speak to the dead, a disgraced knight far from home, and a godmother with just one ineffectual wish to grant; accompanied by a demonic chicken and a dog constructed of wire and bone, these are the companions tasked with the seemingly impossible quest to infiltrate the palace of the Northern Kingdom and kill the king. Along the way they will learn that not all gifts are grand or obvious until you find the people who will help you discover the hero within yourself.
I am fascinated by locked-room mysteries set in wintry locales (check out Shari Lapena's "Unwelcome Guest" or Ruth Ware's "One by One") It may be the atmospheric setting (cozy inn, high-tech chalet, or luxury hotel converted from a former sanatorium-take your pick!), the claustrophobic effect of the weather (blizzards all around!), or the enforced intimacy between characters be they coworkers, friends and family or even complete strangers. Likely it is a combination of all three that makes a terrific thriller and "The Sanatorium" is a great escape!
Wow, Melanie Gideon DID NOT say you could go! Not until you’ve read every single page, until the very conclusion, of this twisted tale of female friendship. A decade ago, Gemma and Ruth bonded as the only single mothers in their daughters’ kindergarten class. It was the four of them against the world with Ruth providing the economic stability and Gemma the emotional support. But Bee and Marley are freshmen now, and things change, people grow apart, don’t they? Not if Ruth has anything to say about it.
If you believe you've ever taken the road trip from hell, you haven't traveled cross-country with the Morgan siblings. Grandpa, now a box of ashes in the trunk, possessed a substantial estate, and in order to inherit, Eddie, Portia and Beth must recreate the family road trip he took them on 20 years ago. Complete with seedy motels, quirky landmarks, incessant bickering and more varieties of crime than you can imagine. Don't expect a nostalgic trip down memory lane from this family, "He Started It" is an outrageously entertaining battle royale to determine who will be the last Morgan standing.
Cara Black has entertained us for over twenty years with her series featuring Aimee Ledue, a young, stylish PI who knows 1990's Paris inside and out. Who better to write a World War II thriller set in Paris starring young American widow Kate Rees who has been selected by the British and trained as a sniper with one goal: to assassinate Hitler on his brief, 3 hour stop in Paris.
If you love mysteries but also enjoy The Nightingale or The Alice Network, Cara Black has written a book for you!
There is a complex web surrounding the characters in "His & Hers" stretching back twenty years to the night five sixteen year-old girls went into the woods together and two of them came out changed forever. Now the sticky strings of the we have reached out and ensnared the grown women those girls have become. Ringleader Rachel Hopkins has been killed in the very same woods and on the scene is BBC presenter Anna Andrews, one of the five original friends, as well as DCI Jack Harper who also has reasons to want Rachel dead. Told in alternating chapters, "His & Hers" will keep you guessing until the very end.
A first-rate psychological thriller whose slow-burn comes not from the “thriller” portion of its genre definition, but the “psychological,” Elizabeth Kay’s debut is a soul searching look at women’s friendship. Jane and Marnie have been best friends since they were eleven years old, through school and jobs, broken families, men and marriage, and so, so much death. Who couldn’t forgive Jane for doing everything in her power to keep her best friend close? Who wouldn’t find themselves asking what lengths they would go to for such a friendship?
Thank you, P. Djeli Clark, for writing this Victorian Egyptian steampunk novel just for me! "A Master of Djinn" melds the mysterious adventures of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody archaeological mysteries with the snarky steampunk vibe of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. Along with a dash of the inclusive romance that I've been devouring lately and a cast of multicultural characters, the result is the most entertaining book I've read this year from the most original voice I could hope to find.
In the hot summer of 1959, all but two of the 800 inhabitants of the remote mining town of Silvertjarn, Sweden disappeared without a trace. Only a crying newborn and the village outcast, stoned to death in the square, remained. Now documentary filmmaker Alice and her crew of frenemies, several with ties to the region, have come to investigate. But the evil that occupied Silvertjarn sixty years ago has not faded with time. A spooky, atmospheric Nordic thriller that will keep you turning the pages!
An absolutely delightful read for fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Alan Bradley, where Queen Elizabeth must step in to solve a mysterious death at Windsor Castle when England's top investigators have failed. On the eve of the Queen's 90th birthday celebration, the Castle is full of guests, including a dashing young Russian pianist found dead in his guest room. Is it an accident, suicide, a jealous husband or Putin's secret agents? Only Her Majesty can solve this puzzling case!
Meet orphan, Jane, whose hardscrabble life has amazingly led her to the steps of the palatial Thornfield Estates and the arms of broodingly handsome Eddie Rochester (who may have his previous wife imprisoned upstairs!). If this sounds vaguely familiar, don't worry if it's been a while since you read "Jane Eyre." You can enjoy this clever, fast-paced thriller and review the classic when you're finished. Then you can truly delight in Rachel Hawkins' witty nod to Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece.
This book sat on my pile for a long time while I worked up the courage to read it. Like the main character, I have a teenage daughter and the thought that she could be abducted and I, in turn, would be forced to abduct someone else's child to take her place was almost unimagiable. But fear not, this is a thriller through and through with breakneck pacing and resourceful characters who care deeply for one another and who will work together to break the Chain. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down!
Iris Carmichael has spent her life feeling second best to her twin, Summer. Born moments apart and identical to the naked eye, Summer nonetheless has always been the beloved golden child while Iris is the prickly black sheep. But the race to be the sole heir of their father's massive estate is the one time Iris is determined to be the "first" twin.
Expensive lifestyles, backstabbing siblings and gorgeous Australian and island settings make this the ideal escape, dive in and enjoy!
Open this exquisite cover and enter a world equally dark and beautiful, a world where every captivating character is both hero and villain of their own story, their fellow characters' stories and the novel as a whole. And make no mistake, this is a sweeping #ownvoices fantasy. Epic in scope and using as it's foundation the mythology of the pre-Columbian Americas, the first book of the Between Earth and Sky series introduces a cast of incredibly diverse characters within a gripping political and religious plot that I could not put down.
Did Harry Potter make you long to go to Hogwarts? Could you see yourself as part of a House, making lifelong friends, wearing knitted scarves, enjoying feasts and holidays, and maybe even rubbing elbows with the Chosen One? Be warned, the Scholomance is Hogwarts deadlier cousin. A wizarding high school where every day is a battle with lethal creatures, a murderous building and 4000 other teenagers who will do anything to make it to graduation where, if they're lucky, the alliances they've made will allow them to pass the final exam and survive.
Ruth Ware is the master of the contemporary locked room mystery and I would follow her anywhere. Murder amongst frenemies in an isolated cabin? Check. Disappearing woman overboard on a luxury yacht? Check. Mysterious happenings at a secluded Highland manor house? Check. So when she packed her bags to join a corporate retreat in the Alps, I threw warm clothes and my deductive reasoning in my suitcase to join her. Since we can’t travel in real life, it’s the next best thing. Just watch your back!
Popular opinion traces the dawn of the age of the psychological thriller to “Gone Girl” in June 2012, however, for me it began with S.J. Watson’s “Before I Go to Sleep” published a year earlier. A tale with a narrator so unreliable she herself doesn’t remember the facts of her life from day to day, coupled with a truly suspect domestic relationship, Watson’s debut lacked only the titular “girl” in it’s heralding of a new era. Now he returns with his third effort, the story of a small village with an inordinate number of missing girls and a filmmaker with a missing past who is as desperate to solve both puzzles as someone else is to keep both her and the dead quiet. Welcome back, S.J. Watson.
The fake boyfriend trope is a classic in romantic fiction, and when it’s done as wonderfully as it is in “Boyfriend Material,” you can see why. There is nothing more satisfying than learning to love two very different characters despite their quirks and flaws, knowing all the while that they are meant to be together. And if the journey to happily ever after involves the dung beetle, ridiculous puns and the craziest, most wonderful cast of supporting characters ever assembled, all the better. Luc and Oliver will steal your heart.
Swedish husband and wife Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril are the authors of the internationally bestselling Joona Linna series. It's been five years since we've had the pleasure of new novel in the US and "The Sandman" was well worth the wait. Gut-clenching Nordic crime at its best, atmospheric and populated with complex, compelling characters.
Johan Friedrich von Allmen, well-educated, heir to a vast fortune, never employed, has found himself in reduced circumstances. Forced to relocate to the gardenhouse of his Swiss estate with only his resourceful Guatemalan butler, Carlos, for company, Allmen is in desperate need of funds. When an opportunity to pilfer Art Nouveau glass bowls from a neighbor arises, Allmen becomes first thief then detective in this delightful crime caper.
Meet Amber. She's immobilized in a hospital bed, unable to move or speak but capable of hearing all that goes on around her. How she got here is the one thing she doesn't know. What don't we know about Amber? Everything.
And you'll have to read to the very end to find out if she's lying.
"Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age. However long you think it takes, double that."
Have you ever wondered what you will read this summer? Wonder no longer. This is the thriller of the year, it deserves to accompany you to the beach, the mountains, the airport. Put it in your travel bag and ENJOY.
Anthony Horowitz is the best-selling author of the Alex Rider children's novels. He is also the man chosen by the estates of both Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming to continue the iconic Sherlock Holmes and James Bond series. Additionally, he is the author of my favorite book of 2017, The Magpie Murders, an homage to the great Agatha Christie. But in The Word is Murder, Anthony Horowitz is more than just an author of popular fiction; he is a character in his own book. Approached by disgraced detective inspector Daniel Hawthorne to write a true crime book detailing the murder investigation of Diana Cowper, Anthony finds himself visiting the scene of the crime, interviewing suspects, sparring with Hawthorne and possibly even solving the case himself. Delightfully inventive, the word is entertaining!
The first death could have been an accident, a fall down unfamiliar stairs on a dark night, but there's no mistaking the following deaths are murder. In this contemporary take on Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None," a dozen visitors and their hosts find themselves stranded by a blizzard at a picture-perfect Catskills' inn with a most unwanted guest - murder.
We all know how this fairytale is supposed to go: in exchange for his protection, the dragon in the tower takes the most beautiful maiden in the village to serve him every 10 years. But sometimes the dragon isn't an actual dragon and he girl he chooses isn't the fairest of them all, but a feisty tomboy with special gifts. Sometimes, everything you thought you knew is uprooted.
Tom Barren is a screw-up. He knows this because he's lived two difference lives in 2016 and he's incompetent in both. In fact, if he hadn't tolen his father's time machine and traveled back to 1965, we would all be driving hover cars and wearing biodegradable clothing. Instead, he corrupted the timeline, killed billion of people and caused the utopian version of 2016 to never exist.
He did, however, create a new loving family for himself and discover his soulmate. Now the Tom's of ever possible today must decide which yesterday to save and which tomorrow they'll create.
Four years ago, young Bella Elliott was abducted from her front yard and never seen again. Now, the main suspect in her disappearance has been struck and killed by a bus. It may just be the break veteran detective Bob Sparkes and dogged journalist Kate Waters need to solve the mystery, but only if the widow will talk...
Will Rhodes has never had to work too hard for anything in his seemingly charmed life. He has boyish good looks, and incredible wife, the perfect Victorian fixer-upper and a cushy job traveling the world as a travel journalist. But then he had a one night stand with Elle, who may be a fellow journalist, or a CIA agent, or something much more dangerous. And now Will Rhodes ha the biggest assignment of his life: become a spy or die trying.
All of the women in "Someone Else's Skin" have scars, emotional and/or physical. Including Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. But not all of those women are victims and it will be up to DI Rome and her team to sort out who is who before more lives are ruined.
Much to his dismay, Det. Carl Morck has found himself Denmark's "Keeper of Lost Causes." Relegated to the basement of police HQ following a horrific ambush, Carl is handed the coldest of the cold cases and an assistant of questionable origins. This is Department Q born.
A deliciously wicked crime novel from the author of the Harry Hole series. Roger Brown is Oslo's top headhunter, when he recruits you for a job, you're as good as hired. But Roger Brown is also Oslo's most prolific art thief and he's about to learn what it's like when the hunter becomes the hunted.
Winter may be a distant memory, but Jo Nesbo's "The Snowman" will chill you to the core. Oslo detective Harry Hole has battled demons both personal and professional throughout his career, but the emergence of Norway's first serial killer may be the greatest challenge he has faced. Dubbed 'The Snowman' after his calling card left at the scene of grisly murders, this evil and cunning killer has very carefully planned his finale and the role Harry Hole will play in it. Suspenseful and thrilling!
John Hart returns to the geographical and familial terrain that made "Down River" an Edgar winner and one of my favorite mystery recommendations. Orphaned brothers Michael and Julian survived the brutality of Iron House, a North Carolina orphanage. Now, as adults, they must face the past before they can claim their future.
Christmas has come to Buckshaw and with it, film star Phyllis Wyvern and her crew and, eventually, the whole of Bishop's Lacey. But not everyone stranded in the blizzard is in a holiday mood. And in setting out to capture Santa Claus, Flavia may just find herself catching a killer.
Just when it seems the impending birth of the "infant inconvenience" is bringing the supernaturals of London to greater accord than in any time past (Lord and Lady Maccon living in Lord Akeldama's second-best closet?!), a plot against the Queen erupts and all is thrown into chaos. A woman's work is never done...
A charming steampunk novel in which our heroine, Ministry Agent Eliza D. Braun ("the brawn") and hero, Archivist Wellington Thornhill Books ("the brains") battle nefarious secret societies bent on world domination all the while engaging in witty repartee and upholding staunch British values.
As befits a steampunk novel set in Victorian London, "Soulless" combines the humor and romance of a Julia Quinn novel with a heroine who wields a parasol as effectively as Amelia Peabody. Throw in some vampires, werewolves and, of course, dirigibles, and you have a most original, highly entertaining creation.
Cal Cunningham has written the latest Great American Novel; too bad he stole the manuscript from his dead roommate. Now if he can only keep his beautiful new wife, high-powered literary agent and the rest of America from finding out. What should be a morality tale will have you rooting for the villain all the way.
Covert government organizations, historical mysteries, exotic locales; What more could you ask for in a thriller? Steve Berry writes for those of us who have grown tired of waiting for the next Dan Brown and Indiana Jones; and he just keeps getting better.
Award-winning author Deborah Crombie has elevated the modern mystery novel to new heights of human drama and multilayered suspense with her critically acclaimed tales of intrigue featuring Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James.
Pick up "Shutter Island" and be prepared to fall down the rabbit hole with this tale of two U.S. Marshals investigating the disappearance of a mental patient on a secluded island in the midst of a hurricane. Or maybe none of what I've just written is true...
Laura Lippman's novels are as much about the mysteries of human nature as those of crime and circumstance. At best, she makes you want to go home and hold your family close; at worst, she may cause you to view them with unease and suspicion.
Cotton Malone embarks on his most personal quest yet: discovering the truth behind the secret Navy submarine mission that claimed his father's life. From the time of Charlemagne, to the Nazi era and into present-day Antarctica, Steve Berry delivers another fast-paced historical thriller.
In the duo's latest thriller, FBI Special agent Pendergast is pursuing the theft of an ancient Tibetan relic across the high seas on board the maiden voyage of the world's largest ocean liner. It is the perfect setting for a homicidal maniac on the loose, and for Pendergast to use his unique investigatory skills.
A Greek tragedy in a Northern European is the case that will forever haunt Inspector Van Veeteren in his first novel, although it is the 3rd to be published in the U.S. Rich in philosophical musings, dry wit and top-rate mysteries, Nesser is at teh forefront of the current Swedish crime invasion.
A diabolical chess match is underway between the venerable St. Oswald's school for boys and a ghost from its past bent on revenge. At stake is not only the reputation of the school, but the very lives of its staff and students. This is a quintessential British psychological thriller from a very unexpected source.
Small town Southern waitress Sookie Stackhouse has come to terms with being a mind reader. She's even getting comfortable with dating a vampire. But there are far more otherworldly things in rural Louisiana (and big city Dallas) than she ever imagined!