Last summer, Erin from Deep South Magazine, was chatting with me about writing a post for Traveling With T about some mysteries she had been loving. I told her to go ahead, write it up and I would post it because 1. I LOVE mysteries as much as she does and 2. I knew the readers of Traveling With T would appreciate a good list.
And appreciate it ya’ll did- Ten Mysteries To Keep You On Your Toes Through Summer was pinned over 1k times on Pinterest and got quite a few comments!
So, when we were emailing a few weeks ago- a new mystery list talk came up and she suggested a mystery list for Valentine’s Day gifts (because not everyone wants roses, chocolate, and teddy bears!) Thus, the longest email, Imessage, & phone calls chain began between us as we were talking- about books we had read, books that had caught our eye and so forth.
I now present you with this list- a collaborative effort of 2 women who love a good mystery and then love to tell the other one “You MUST read this!”
7 Mysteries We Love
Ditch the chocolate and flowers this Valentine’s Day and get the significant other in your life what they really want: a deeply satisfying mystery. Breakups, cheating spouses and spying on neighbors are all fodder for a spine-tingling story—and these books have that and more. From the chemistry between detectives investigating a disappearance deep in the woods to a one-night stand soaked in blood, this list of new releases combines love with murder. We all know it’s the ones who get in the way that usually die first. And, of course, it’s always the husband.
A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love. Yes, please! This book is based on assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife. You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement—a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle. Assume nothing and read between the lies.
Why we love it: The descriptions for this book are giving nothing away. Get ready for a wild ride and more twists and turns than a remote lovers’ lane. According to Traveling With T, the authors nailed the pacing, setup and OMG moments, with a big reveal at the end.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (Out Now)
Perhaps 2018’s hottest mystery title—and written by an editor for William Morrow—The Woman in the Window had us at comparisons to Hitchcock. Dr. Anna Fox is a New York child psychologist turned recluse in her home. She spends her day drinking wine, watching old movies and spying on her neighbors. When the Russells move into the house across the way, Anna sees something she should’t one night. Her world begins to crumble as she tries to figure out what is real and who is really in danger.
Why we love it: The comparison to Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” is obvious, but author A.J. Finn also knew readers would love short chapters and the chance to tap into that “inner voyeur” in all of us. We suggest reading with the blinds closed and a bottle of Merlot on hand.
Force of Nature by Jane Harper (Out February 6)
Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Add in the Australian wilderness, competitive coworkers and a lack of food and water, and you’ve got a psychological thriller. A group of female colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat that requires them to hike and navigate to their campsite for three nights. But Alice doesn’t come out of the woods at the end, and each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen have a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes them deep into an isolated forest, they discover secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion and betrayal among the hikers.
Why we love it: The idea of camping in the wilderness for one night is terrifying, and who doesn’t love a good workplace drama? Jane Harper also keeps the suspense coming, alternating between the retreat and present-day search for Alice. You won’t be able to put this one down.
The French Girl by Lexie Elliott (Out February 20)
Megan Miranda called it a fantastic debut about the people that haunt us, and she’s exactly right about The French Girl. Six university students and friends from Oxford—and sometimes more than friends—spent a week together in an idyllic French farmhouse. It was a perfect getaway, until they met Severine, the girl living next door. A decade later, Severine’s body is found in a well on the property and a French detective starts asking questions. Kate never liked Severine and is haunted by her, but she’s not sure she can trust her friends either. What really happened that last night in the farmhouse, and did one of the six kill the French girl?
Why we love it: A picturesque setting and friends who both love and hate each other—what more could you ask for in a mystery? Lexie Elliott takes us deep into this group of friends with benefits and, even though Severine is pretty unlikeable, you’ll still be dying to know what happened to her.
The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian (Out March 13)
Already optioned by Warner Brothers for a limited series, this story has all the tawdry elements of crime fiction mixed with suspense. A flight attendant finds herself in a strange bed in a Dubai hotel room and rolls over to find her one-night stand covered in blood. Cassandra Bowden is a binge drinker and no stranger to blackouts, but she didn’t think she was capable of murder. Afraid to call the police, she flees the room and begins to lie about everything. If she didn’t kill this man, then who did?
Why we love it: If we’re being honest, most of us have probably woken up in a strange bed with not much memory of the night before. Add in some blood, and you’ve got the makings of a good thriller. Who can resist the new Chris Bohjalian anyway?
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (Out March 20)
Starting out in 1950 Vermont at Idlewild Hall, a boarding school for girls whom no one wants, the book alternates between past and present day as journalist Fiona Sheridan tries to solve her sister’s murder from 20 years ago. When Fiona discovers that the school is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But she discovers more than she bargained for: a dead body, ghost of a young girl and the four roommates who experienced Idlewild for themselves.
Why we love it: This book is so spooky and much more than just a good ghost story. The characters are compelling and the plot complex and well developed. Simone St. James’ past books have all been set in England, so we’re thrilled she traveled to the states for this one.
The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic (Out April 10)
Londoners Jack and Syd found their dream home: lots of space, a great location and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it. Everything is exactly what they hoped for when they move in—except Jack makes a disturbing discovery in the attic, and Syd begins to wonder about the girl next door. And they each keep the other in the dark. A mistake. Because someone has just been killed outside their back door, and now the police are watching them. This is their chance to prove they’re innocent—or to get away with murder.
Why we love it: Written in the form of Jack and Syd’s letters to each other, Simon Lelic’s debut thriller gets extra points for creativity. Sure, their house full of the previous owner’s taxidermy is creepy, but otherwise the reader has no idea what’s going on. It’s a fun ride and worth the wait until April.
Now that you have the seen the list-which one(s) will you be trying to read first?
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T