Digging into an old box of mixed tapes leads one direction—toward nostalgia, and most likely into the tricky land of exes. Libby Cudmore's debut, The Big Rewind, is much like that box of mixtapes, with its mystery buried beneath affairs of the heart, wry jokes about hipster Brooklyn and a steady stream of The Smiths, Warren Zevon and Talking Heads.
This month's best new mysteries include an inventive debut, a humorous island romp, Nesbø’s latest Swedish thriller and a complex tale of crime in Toronto.
For all of Imogene Scott’s 17 years, her mother has been a mystery. She disappeared when Imogene was a baby, and all Imogene knows of her are the bits and pieces her father, a medical mystery author, is willing to reveal—and that isn’t much. Now Imogene’s father has gone missing, and Imogene is convinced he’s searching for her mother.
Becca, beautiful and brilliant, comes from an influential family with a predilection for law degrees. As a first-year law student at George Washington University, she feels the pressure from final exams—and from a weighted secret she’s been harboring. To get her head straight for exams, she heads to her parents’ summer home in the misty mountains of North Carolina, the perfect quiet place to collect her thoughts. She’s brutally assaulted and murdered before she ever gets the chance to take those exams.
There are precious few angels, burning or otherwise, in Tawni O’Dell’s intense psychological thriller Angels Burning, set in a bleak, backwoods Pennsylvania town where mining, money and good times have pretty much come and gone.
How many times a week do you put your life in the hands of a cook you don’t know at all? Perhaps too often to count, in our restaurant-obsessed culture. The idea of a malevolent cook hidden down in the depths of the kitchen has always struck me as a frightening one.
This month's best new mysteries include a tense psychological thriller set in Tokyo, plenty of high-stakes espionage and a long-awaited Swedish translation.
Readers who fancy top-notch crime procedurals need look no further than the latest by seasoned Brit author Ann Cleeves. Harbour Street is her sixth mystery featuring Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope and her Northumbrian detective team.
The premise of Dean Koontz’s mesmerizing new psychological thriller, Ashley Bell, is compelling but not complex: When doctors inform 22-year-old Southern California surfer girl and budding novelist Bibi Blair that inoperable brain cancer will shorten her life to a matter of months, she replies, “We’ll see.”
Read a page or three of Riot Most Uncouth and you may wonder why you’d want to stick around while young Lord Byron, author Daniel Friedman’s overwrought and outlandish protagonist, makes his eccentric, in-your-face debut. But stay on for a few more pages and you’ll find yourself intrigued and then committed to Friedman’s lavish, over-the-top plot and larger-than-life characters.