Hey ya’ll! Today we’re in for a special treat at Traveling With T because one of my best book friends, Erin from Deep South Magazine, is stopping by to talk about her other type of fave books- mysteries! You might know Erin from her #SouthernLit Twitter parties, or from Reading Lists that she posts with great Southern Lit recommendations. Heck, you may have seen us chit chatting about books or Big Little Lies on Twitter!
Anyway, Erin and I go way back to basically the beginning of my blog and when she pitched me this idea- I was ALL for it. I was like “Go forth and get your mystery on!”
So, now I hand it over to Erin who can tell you what mysteries you need to check out in her post Ten Mysteries To Keep You On Your Toes Through Summer. Take it away, Erin!
10 Mysteries to Keep You on Your Toes Through Summer
by Erin Z. Bass
As editor of Deep South Magazine, I get to read and review a lot of books, but I don’t always get to indulge my love of mysteries and thrillers. Sometimes, all I want is to curl up with a good whodunit, get a little bit scared and imagine “what if”? This time it began with The Girl Before by JP Delaney, worth reading for the ultramodern house alone that seems to trap vulnerable young women in its snares. But when I saw that Paula Hawkins, Elizabeth Kostova and Shari Lapena also had new books coming out, the makings of a list were formed.
These 10 books kept me on my toes and drew me in until the last page. Some of them are out now, with others being released through July, so you’ll have plenty of fodder for beach reading and those hot, summer nights when you find yourself alone and feeling brave. Just remember to read with the door locked and the lights on.
Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens (Out now )
Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties, but she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?
Thoughts: A mystery in a mystery in a mystery, it’s not easy to spot the danger (from Traveling With T’s #FuturisticFriday review).
The Girl Before by JP Delaney (Out now)
Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating. Emma is reeling from a traumatic break-in and wants a new place to live. Jane needs a fresh start while recovering from a personal tragedy. Architectural masterpiece One Folgate Street seems to be the answer for each woman, but Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant. As she tries to untangle the truth, Jane unwittingly makes the same choices and experiences the same terror—as the girl before. You’ll want to read this one before it becomes a major motion picture by Ron Howard!
Thoughts: The architectural aspect is intriguing by itself, but you’ll also have fun untangling this mystery along with Jane, who really needs to get out of that house.
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda (Out now)
Another anticipated second novel of the spring, Megan Miranda’s followup to All The Missing Girls doesn’t disappoint. Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later. As Leah and a handsome young police officer investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she really know Emmy at all? Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself.
Thoughts: Megan is a master at creating suspense through setting. This book might be better than her first and will have you even more terrified of going into the woods.
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova (out now)
If you read The Historian, then you’ll know that Elizabeth Kostova is the Donna Tartt of European intrigue. Her latest features Alexandra Boyd, a young woman who has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving, she comes across an urn filled with human ashes. As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by political oppression—and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger. As Ron Rash says, “what appears at first a minor mystery quickly becomes emblematic of a whole country’s hidden history.”
Thoughts: If you can’t afford to book an exotic summer vacation, just read this book.
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (May 2)
As if you need a description to read Paula Hawkins’ followup to The Girl on the Train, but here goes. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely 15-year-old girl who finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from.
Thoughts: Paula had a lot to live up to, but early reviews from readers were positive and some enjoyed this book more than The Girl on the Train.
It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell (May 16)
Mystery readers know that the husband is usually a prime suspect, but in this case, the murderer could be the best friend. College roommates Kate, Aubrey and Jenny are inseparable. A terrible tragedy at the end of freshman year leaves these three young women with a dangerous secret. When they return to the scene of the crime 20 years later, one of them winds up dead. It could be suicide or it could be murder. If it was murder, was it the husband—like the cops think—or was it the best friend? Campbell promises to have readers guessing until the last page.
Thoughts: This book pulls you in with the promise of deep friendship, but looks can be deceiving.
Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica (June 27)
Megan Abbott calls Every Last Lie “an utterly mesmerizing tale of marriage and secrets,” but that’s what we’ve come to expect from Mary Kubica. In her latest, Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident, until Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why?
Thoughts: I’m still recovering from Pretty Baby, but Mary Kubica is like a train wreck. You can’t turn away.
Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown (July 10)
With the tagline “Who you want people to be makes you blind to who they really are,” Watch Me Disappear is a page-turning did she or didn’t she type of novel. Billie Flanagan was a beautiful and charismatic Berkeley, California, mom who never returned from a hike alone. Only her hiking boot was found. Now it’s been a year since she vanished, and her husband Jonathan and teenage daughter Olive are still trying to cope with her supposed death as best they can. When Olive starts having waking dreams that her mother is still alive, Jonathan begins unearthing secrets from his wife’s past. Is it possible that Billie isn’t dead after all?
Thoughts: I thought I knew what was going on and then I didn’t. Janelle will have you wondering about Billie until the very last page and even then you won’t be entirely sure if she’s a bad mom or not.
The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond (July 25)
More psychological suspense than murder, The Marriage Pact asks how far would you go to protect your marriage? Newlyweds Alice and Jake receive an intriguing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients. It’s an offer to join an exclusive and mysterious group known as “The Pact.” At first, the goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. Alice and Jake are seduced by the glamorous parties and sense of community, until one of them breaks the rules. For these young lovers, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.
Thoughts: You know how sometimes you sign things without really reading them …
A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena (July 27)
The Couple Next Door author is back with another novel that proves danger lies close to home. Imagine you’re home making dinner for your husband. You expect him any second. The phone rings—it’s the call you hoped you’d never get. You jump in your car and race to a neighborhood you thought you’d never visit. You peer into the dark, deserted building. You brace yourself for the worst. And then, you remember nothing else. They tell your husband you’ve been in an accident. You lost control of your car as you sped through the worst side of town. The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend is not so sure. And even you don’t know what to believe…
Thoughts: The Couple Next Door scared the living daylights out of me, and this book will make you trust the people around you even less.
About Erin Bass of Deep South Magazine:
Erin Bass is the brains and heart behind Deep South Magazine. When she is not reading, writing, hosting Twitter chats or creating book lists- she dreams away about her next beach trip (and what she is going to read while there!)
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Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T