Writing Tips From Famous Authors

Unraveling Twists A List of Mysterious Reads

Are you a lover of great mystery reading, or are you someone looking to read more mysteries? Fear not, you’ve come to the right place! If you haven’t read these books, you need to because I promise you, you are in for a treat!

I Need You To Read This is Jessa Maxwell’s second novel coming out on August 13th of this year. I was fortunate to read an early copy from netgalley & send Jessa’s husband Tim, her Behind The Book Q&A to answer. Alex Marks moves to New York City for a fresh start. Alex lives a lonely life as a copywriter. Things change for her when her idol Francis Keen, the writer behind the Dear Constance advice column, is murdered. Alex applies for the job not thinking she’d get it until she does. The job is a dream come true until it doesn’t… Alex almost immediately gets threatening letters, & she wonders if Howard Dimitri was somehow involved with Francis’s death. Alex must find out who Francis’s killer is before the killer comes for her. Jessa is a master at her craft. If you thought her debut novel The Golden Spoon was a masterpiece, you will enjoy I Need You To Read This. If you don’t have an early copy, you should preorder the book!

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins came out in the fall of 2021. A young man named Daniel “Will” Sutherland has been found dead on a houseboat. Three women are suspects. Leaving the scene of the boat is Laura, the one-night stand. The other suspect is Carla, the grief-stricken aunt who’s already mourning the death of Daniel’s mother & Miriam who’s a nosy neighbor keeping secrets from the police. While I was able to figure out who the killer was, (maybe it’s because I’ve read so many mystery books) I loved that I couldn’t figure out the why. The reason why was what was so shocking. I also enjoyed how Paula Hawkins poked fun at the mystery genre with how the ending to a lot of the mystery books have an unrealistic ending & an unreliable narrator. I also enjoyed the fact that the setting of the novel is in North London.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides also came out in 2021 & I was delighted to do a Q&A with him a year later in 2022 https://booknotions.com/qa-with-alex-michaelides/. Therapist Mariana Andros has a niece Zoe, who is attending Cambridge University. Mariana is certain that Zoe’s professor Edward Fosca, murdered Zoe’s friend. Edward is charming, handsome, and charismatic and he and his students practice a strange cult like practice called the Rite of Persephone. Another student ends up dead, making Mariana more determined than ever to find the murderer, even if it costs her own life. I love the setting of Cambridge College in England and that Greek Mythology is referenced a lot. I was able to figure out who the murderer was, but the motive threw me for a loop.

The House Across The Lake by Riley Sager was the first time I read any murder mystery from him. To say that Casey Fletcher is going through a rough time is an understatement. Casey has recently been widowed and been drinking too much bourbon. To flee the bad press Casey retreats to her family’s home in Vermont. Casey uses her binoculars to spy on the new neighbors Katherine & Tom Royce, Katherine is a former supermodel & Tom is a tech innovator. After saving Katherine from drowning, Casey finds that their marriage is not as perfect as it is being portrayed. When Katherine disappears one day, she of course suspects Tom. Little does Casey know, there are secrets beneath the lake, secrets from beyond the grave. There are so many twists and turns and there’s a bit of the paranormal in there. Think of this book as a darker version of the film What Lies Beneath with Michelle Pfeiffer & Harrison Ford.

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney is about Daisy Darker & her dysfunctional family. They are used to avoiding one another till Daisy’s grandmother’s 80th birthday. Daisy’s grandmother reads the will upsetting Daisy’s selfish family. During the high tide, the family is stuck together for eight hours. One by one, each family member drops dead, meaning one of them is a murderer. I love the setting of Cornwall England & that it was a nod to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, only it was much darker. (Yes, the pun is intended). I also thought it was excellent that the story alternated between the 1980s to 2004. Each time I thought I knew who the murderer was I was thrown a curve ball. If you’re a fan of mysteries, Alice Feeney, or stories like And Then There Were None, I recommend Daisy Darker.

The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudankauf is about Wylie Lark a true crime author who’s recently divorced and her relationship with her son Seth has also been strained. Taking some time to write her next book, Wyle is isolated to a farmhouse in Iowa during a snowstorm. In this farmhouse two people were murdered in cold blood & a girl disappeared without a trace. As the storm rages on Wylie brings a small child in and gives them warmth. Though, someone else is out there in the storm. Someone is determined to find them and end them. The book has three different timelines the present, the year 2000 & the little girl & her mother storyline. At first you don’t understand how these timelines are related but when you do, the dots are connected. I love the twists and turns in the novel.