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PREMIUM

The Therapist

Paris’s fifth novel (after The Dilemma) is not on the same level as her great debut, Behind Closed Doors. Alice is overeager, insipid, and immature; she makes terrible decisions and flails willy-nilly throughout the story. Supporting characters are not fleshed out nor likable, making it hard to become invested. The big reveal is unconvincing, and the killer’s backstory isn’t particularly believable. Only for diehard Paris fans.
PREMIUM

Bone Rattle

Cameron writes with great respect for Indigenous Alaskans and builds suspense steadily in this story. Readers can pick up this installment without having read the other titles in the series. This crime fiction won’t disappoint fans of law enforcement novels and adventures set in the Alaska wilderness.
PREMIUM

Above the Rain

Readers of his previous works will welcome the author’s ambition, but fans of crime fiction may struggle with the meandering pace and abandon the story before he successfully pulls all the threads together.

Read-Alikes for ‘The Maidens’ by Alex Michaelides | LibraryReads

Read-Alikes for ‘The President’s Daughter’ by Bill Clinton and James Patterson | LibraryReads

PREMIUM

Jim Hanvey, Detective

The slow-moving detective stories, with no murder or violence, are likely to appeal to readers who enjoy classic short mysteries such as G. K. Chesterton’s “Father Brown” tales.

The Other Passenger

Sure to please readers looking for thrillers in the vein of Lisa Jewell and Aimee Molloy; a single-sitting page-turner with character and thematic depth.
PREMIUM

The Family Plot

Diehard mystery/thriller fans may be disappointed, and true crime fans will be confused as to why they were led here.

Choose Me

With deceitful characters and plenty of twists, this novel is highly recommended for fans of Gerritsen or Braver, and readers who love suspense stories.

Castle Shade

Highly recommended for historical mystery fans who have followed the series, as well as readers looking for historical heroines with agency such as Maisie Dobbs, Bess Crawford, or Phryne Fisher.

Dream Girl

Lippman (Lady in the Lake) nods at Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock in this hair-raising tale, but makes it wholly hers and completely riveting. She conveys the horror of being housebound and reliant on strangers, as well as the fear of losing one’s mind. It’s a page-turning, plot-twisting masterpiece.

The Mystic’s Accomplice

Miley (“Roaring Twenties” series) returns to the jazz age in this mystery introducing a remarkable amateur sleuth, widow, and mother. It skillfully combines the tantalizing atmosphere of a speakeasy- and mob-filled Chicago, historical figures, and an intriguing mystery.

The Art of Betrayal

Like Jane K. Cleland’s “Josie Prescott” mysteries, this novel contains details of antiquities and history. Berry’s follow-up to A Dream of Death is a meaty, traditional mystery that combines British legend with a contemporary story of crime and betrayal.

The Killing Hills

Offutt (Country Dark; Kentucky Straight) has a reflective voice and a spare use of language. Hardin is an unforgettable character trapped between his army life and the “eye-for-an-eye” culture of rural Kentucky. Readers of James Anderson will appreciate this thoughtful mystery with a strong sense of place.
PREMIUM

Dead Dead Girls

Debut author Afia’s historical series launch, while a little uneven in the writing and light on the suspense, is a character-driven mystery that will appeal to readers who enjoy Roaring Twenties mysteries such as Susanna Calkins’s “Speakeasy Murders” series.
PREMIUM

Embassy Wife

Crouch does an excellent job of bringing her characters to life and conveying the beauty and challenges of life in Namibia through their eyes. Recommended for readers who enjoy armchair travel, well-drawn characters, twisty plots, and complex relationships.
PREMIUM

Body Zoo

Like Emilee, the reader won’t know who to trust in this fast-paced, sometimes outrageous third “Sin City Investigations” novel. The complex characters, along with the voices of Bean, Emilee, and Calvin Ward, will keep readers turning the page.
PREMIUM

Dead by Dawn

Readers of the series may appreciate the villain reveal, but those new to the books might feel slighted. A definite purchase where other series titles circulate; a pass for libraries that don’t already own previous installments.
PREMIUM

Shutter

In this twisty thriller, Betty’s first-person narration will keep readers on their toes. Recommended for fans of thrillers with unreliable narrators, and psychologically intense plots involving movies and filmmaking.
PREMIUM

The Night Hawks

A strong addition to the series; recommended for readers who enjoy a mystery investigated by relatable characters.
PREMIUM

A Distant Grave

The second Maggie D’Arcy novel is as intricately plotted as The Mountains Wild. Clues from the past culminate in a tragic conclusion to this tense thriller.

PREMIUM

The Last Commandment

Shepherd’s first novel reflects his years as a TV writer (The Equalizer; Miami Vice.) The fast-paced story and twisted villain will appeal to fans of crime dramas.
PREMIUM

Bones of Hilo

Hawaiian history and culture and the state’s fight against development are this story’s critical elements, moreso than the mystery itself; there are maps to orient readers. Naomi Hirahara’s Iced in Paradise might also interest people reading for atmosphere.

PREMIUM

Such a Quiet Place

Another successful mystery thriller from Miranda (The Last House Guest). The perfect suburban setting; the secretive, quirky neighbors; three unsolved murders; and an Agatha Christie vibe make this whodunit an excellent beach read.
PREMIUM

Steel Fear

The combo of a military thriller and a serial killer narrative is genius, and the story sings with compelling authenticity. Readers of either genre will find much to savor in this page-turning novel. Webb and Mann dive into the world of the aircraft carrier--an enormous city on the sea that’s a character in itself. Hopefully, this is only the start of a series featuring the enigmatic Navy SEAL Finn.

PREMIUM

An Empty Grave

The seventh “Andy Hayes” mystery, following Fatal Judgment, is a satisfying, complex story for readers who enjoy hard-boiled private eyes who struggle with their personal lives.
PREMIUM

Lie Beside Me

Police procedurals can often be predictable and easy to solve for steadfast fans. Not this time. Without employing obvious red herrings or misdirection, Lodge prevents readers from becoming attached to any one theory. This plausible unpredictability is quite engaging.
PREMIUM

Last Flight to Stalingrad

Hurley is a welcome addition to the ranks of such writers as Alan Furst, Philip Kerr, and Rick Atkinson.
PREMIUM

The Maidens

Michaelides (The Silent Patient) skillfully infuses this mystery with stories of death and life from Greek mythology and motifs of darkness and light that suggest all is not as it seems; indeed, several disturbing characters cast doubt on the killer’s identity. While the tension could have been heightened, and the unforeseen conclusion tests believability, this is intriguing psychological suspense.

Moon Lake

Lansdale does it again with this evocative, moody, and earthy rendering of a small Texas town with many secrets waiting to be uncovered. Perfect for fans of Ace Atkins, Greg Iles, and Craig Johnson.
PREMIUM

The Grandmother Plot

For readers who enjoy light mysteries, and fans of Miranda James, whose books also focus on character development with a touch of mystery.
PREMIUM

Unfinished Business

Jance quickly establishes likable characters and an interesting plot; while the direction of the story is apparent from the start, getting to the conclusion with these characters is an enjoyable trip. Fans of the author will not be disappointed.
PREMIUM

The Wedding Night Affair

This first entry in a new series will immerse readers in Sharp’s historical details, while Juliana comes into her own as she and Ash track down the Raven.

Read-Alikes for ‘Legacy’ by Nora Roberts | LibraryReads

PREMIUM

The Final Twist

With its plot picking up immediately after the action of The Goodbye Man, this book will be most appreciated by those who have read the previous entries. Colter’s past and his complicated family all feature prominently, adding a rich and compelling layer in this worthy addition to the series.

Pint of No Return

The first “Shake Shop Mystery” from Mentink (“Desert Justice” series) delivers all the delectable ingredients cozy mystery fans crave, including an engagingly resourceful protagonist, her too-cute-for-words canine companion Noodles, and a charming small-town setting worthy of the Hallmark Channel. This terrific series debut is certain to tempt the reading palates of fans of Cleo Coyle, Sarah Graves, and the much-missed Diane Mott Davidson.
PREMIUM

Arctic Storm Rising

Filled with detailed descriptions of weapons and aircraft, as well as Brown’s trademark action and suspense, this series starter should take off like its numerous predecessors.
PREMIUM

The Photographer

Despite the heightened emotional state and slow burn throughout the novel, readers will be disappointed by Carter’s sudden, surprisingly dull conclusion.
PREMIUM

Widespread Panic

There’s energy in this book, as in all of Ellroy’s fiction, but here it wears the reader down as much as it excites.

Read-Alikes for ‘21st Birthday’ by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro | LibraryReads

Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost

Fans of Jane Eyre who enjoyed Rachel Hawkins’s The Wife Upstairs will appreciate this equally enjoyable retelling from Marcott (The Producer’s Daughter).

City of Dark Corners

This gritty stand-alone deals with Phoenix’s rough-and-tumble past and its questionable police force in the 1930s. Talton excels at creating the ambiance of historic Phoenix. Suggest for fans of realistic historical mysteries or Phoenix Noir.
PREMIUM

The Last Thing He Told Me

For readers who like a resilient, resourceful heroine and a compelling domestic suspense story.
PREMIUM

The Plot

Fans of slow-burn, character-driven thrillers will enjoy this story of an author who has a secret he is desperately trying to keep. Recommended for fans of secrets-fueled suspense writers like Jennifer Hillier, Clare Mackintosh, and Gilly Macmillan.

The Turnout

Abbott (Give Me Your Hand) has a top-notch ability to reveal the dark undercurrents of women’s relationships and sexuality. Her taut, unsettling writing creates tension through the slightest actions and phrases, and keeps the pages turning. This is clever, chilling psychological suspense at its best.

The Lost Girls

Readers who enjoy true crime, especially podcasts, as well as thrillers featuring unreliable narrators, will appreciate Chiarella’s (And Again) haunting story of lost girls, lost women, and revenge.
PREMIUM

Thirty-One Bones

Writing as Cry, Scottish author Gordon Brown (“Craig McIntyre” series) has created a darkly humorous adventure with a cast of exaggerated characters and a heroine who is smarter than all of them. Fans of capers with twisted plots might want to try this one.
PREMIUM

The Prodigal Daughter

Harrison follows Not of This Fold with a believable story about teen runaways, violence, sexual assault, and her ongoing examination of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While the ending might not satisfy some readers, it is realistic. Readers of Betty Webb’s books may want to try this series.

The Hunting Wives

Cobb (Big Woods) writes a clever twisty plot in this alcohol-infused, sexually charged thriller. Gossipy, scandalous housewives behaving badly might make this the juiciest read of the season. For fans of Liane Moriarty.

The Russian Key

When Kate says “I was in my element, one lie following another, some good, some not so good,” she is so convincing that the author’s persona never intrudes. Spring-loaded with surprises, this debut from eightysomething Laber plumbs the depths of the USSR’s brutality, in a devious tale that matches the best of the TV series The Americans and Jason Matthews’s “Russian Sparrow” trilogy.

Find You First

Barclay (Elevator Pitch) deftly twists and turns all these characters into a taut and engrossing thriller that will keep readers guessing until the end. A definite must-read for fans of Harlan Coben, Jason Pinter, or Christopher Swann.
PREMIUM

One Half Truth

After Between Two Evils, this sixth police procedural in Dolan’s award-winning series combines current British social issues with a step-by-step investigation. Readers of Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James books may want to try this carefully plotted series.
PREMIUM

I Don’t Forgive You

In crime reporter Thompson’s gripping fiction debut, Allie is welcomed to her wealthy new neighborhood by being framed for murder. The spot-on depictions of modern parenthood and suburban life make this story even more suspenseful, as Allie tries to find the real murderer before her entire life is destroyed.
PREMIUM

The Fiancée

White (The Secrets You Keep) creates a twisty family drama that maintains subdued tension as Summer seeks answers. While the novel is not exceptional, and the conclusion takes too long to wrap up dangling details, it is a welcome addition to popular fiction collections.
PREMIUM

Nantucket Penny

Kennis is hard on himself in this follow-up to Nantucket Counterfeit. The mystery has a nail-biter of a climax that will appeal to most audiences, but its many story lines and large cast will be appreciated only by regular readers of the series.

Falling

Newman keeps up an extreme pace from the first page—a near-impossible task, considering that the hero is locked in a cockpit, unable to take action himself. This novel is like the films Die Hard and Speed on steroids, creating one of the year’s best thrillers.
PREMIUM

Bath Haus

A sleek, sexy queer thriller for fans of B. A. Paris’s Behind Closed Doors.
PREMIUM

City on the Edge

Because Swinson’s (“Frank Marr” series) father served in the U.S. Foreign Service and his family lived all over the world, this book has a particular realism and an almost autobiographical perspective. Readers who enjoy international intrigue, spies, and mystery, or coming-of-age stories, will enjoy this book.
PREMIUM

Gone Missing in Harlem

Holloway’s impeccable mystery gives voice to the experiences of some Black American families during the early 20th century. Readers who enjoyed A Death in Harlem or Justina Ireland’s “Dread Nation” series will appreciate this book.
PREMIUM

The Siren

St. John’s (The Lion’s Den) latest will please fans of Hollywood tales full of broken dreams and runaway egos more than traditional thriller readers. Hand it to devotees of quintessential beach reads and those looking to escape into the darker and steamier side of all things Tinseltown.
PREMIUM

Breakout

The combination of vengeance quest and disaster epic make for a compelling and adrenaline-filled thriller. TV and game writer Herron’s debut stands apart with its strong characterization and assured pacing, though at times the violence does skew toward the gratuitous.

The Reincarnationist Papers

Already slated to be a motion picture, this is a fascinating and fast-paced story that will keep readers engaged until the very end.
PREMIUM

A Wicked Conceit

The book’s many ahistorical references impede the willing suspension of disbelief necessary to enjoy a historical mystery. It’s a Georgian Scotland with a 21st-century mindset. However, like the other books in Huber’s popular series, it is a well-plotted mystery that deepens even as the twists keep coming.

PREMIUM

The Dancing Girls

This novel is not only a police procedural, but a psychological study of a serial killer. However, the many continuous chapters focused on the killer and the victims disrupt the flow of the investigative plot. Readers will be pleased with a clever twist at the end. Future books in the series would benefit from more focus on the character development of Jo and her team.

Read-Alikes for ‘A Gambling Man’ by David Baldacci | LibraryReads

Wolf Kill

Originally published in 2013, the book was reedited by author Mary Logue, and is now the first in a proposed four-book series featuring Sam Rivers. Fans of Paul Doiron’s The Poacher’s Son or the Joe Pickett books will appreciate this descriptive novel with an intriguing plot and well-written characters.

PREMIUM

The Last Thing To Burn

Dean (Red Snow) has written a horrific tale of human trafficking in this gripping and powerful novel. Recommended to fans of stories that explore the sheer human will and determination to escape unimaginable situations.

PREMIUM

The Next Wife

Bring the popcorn for this high-noon of a novel, replete with deliciously snarky dialogue and a satisfying twist.

Read-Alikes for ‘Ocean Prey’ by John Sandford | LibraryReads

What the Devil Knows

The St. Cyr series, and this entry in particular (following Who Speaks for the Damned), is highly recommended for readers who want their history appropriately dark and gritty, their politics dirty and corrupt, and their mystery fascinating, convoluted, and just as relevant now as it was then. Sebastian St. Cyr, with his foot in the aristocracy and his eye on justice, is a hero to be followed into whatever dark corner he investigates.
PREMIUM

The Company

Spencer, author of various series featuring police officers (“Jennie Redhead”; “Monika Paniatowski”) offers an intense, convoluted stand-alone. It’s not always easy to piece together Rob’s twisted thoughts and the police investigation, but readers who enjoy Spencer’s works might want to try.
PREMIUM

A Fatal First Night

Readers who enjoy historical mysteries with a touch of romance will enjoy the period details and strong female characters, as well as Ella’s colorful parrot, Montezuma.

You Love Me

Fans of the series will want to read this book in one sitting. It’s wickedly full of twists, turns, and a dizzying array of pop culture references and witticisms.
PREMIUM

Five Ways To Disappear

This mystery has dark elements that contrast with the beautiful locale; it will please fans of the series, as well as those who appreciate noir novels in general. The characters are well developed, with their faults laid out for readers. The several strands of the plot are all brought together quite acceptably in the denouement, except for Cal’s earlier crime, which is left to readers’ imagination; the author intends this to be the last book in the series.
PREMIUM

Death with a Double Edge

This atmospheric and fast-paced novel is a welcome addition to the series. Those who enjoy the interaction between Daniel and Miriam fford Croft may be disappointed since she only makes a brief appearance in this novel. Recommended to fans of historical British mysteries, such as those by Charles Finch and Charles Todd, as well as fans of Perry’s other series.
PREMIUM

Hour of the Witch

Bohjalian’s (Midwives) historical novel is full of twists and turns. Though not a typical suspense novel, the story has many of the page-turning plot lines of a thriller, and is sure to keep readers enthralled. Though it’s set in the 1600s, Mary’s story resonates today, as it addresses the role religious and societal expectations can play in the lives of individuals. A must-read and highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Transient Desires

Brunetti continues to delight, and this will do well in libraries where the series has proved popular.
PREMIUM

Local Woman Missing

The latest from Kubica (The Good Girl; The Other Mrs.) will appeal to fans of Lisa Jackson and Gregg Olsen and readers who enjoy missing-persons novels. The twists, turns, and an unpredictable ending make it irresistible.

The Anatomy of Desire

For fans of true crime and podcasts such as Serial, this riveting mock podcast docudrama ratchets up the suspense as readers glimpse every angle of the story from a 360–degree view.
PREMIUM

The Watcher Girl

Kent’s (When I Was You) psychological suspense thriller delivers with an interesting premise, captivating characters, and unexpected twists.
PREMIUM

When the Stars Go Dark

This melancholy but gripping tale uses backstory and flashbacks to propel the mystery forward. Part suspense, part self-discovery tale, this first attempt at crime fiction from historical fiction author McLain (The Paris Wife) is hard to resist. Fans of the author’s other works will not be disappointed.
PREMIUM

Secret Mischief

Blake’s seventh “Fidelis & Cragg” mystery (following Death and the Chevalier) is slow-paced, with a startling conclusion. Readers who enjoy historical and legal perspectives will appreciate the careful attention to detail in a story showing how the accused had to prove their innocence.
PREMIUM

Bad Moon Rising

The third “Bad Axe County” mystery, following Dead Man Dancing, is a grim, atmospheric story set in a bleak territory. Fans of Tricia Fields’s gritty Josie Gray mysteries or Chris Harding Thornton’s dark Pickard County Atlas may appreciate the bizarre cast of characters and the harsh setting of this book.
PREMIUM

Independent Bones

Haines follows A Garland of Bones with an issue-oriented mystery that delves into the stories of women who fought for their independence, alongside accounts of domestic abuse. Despite the heavy overtones, there’s room for humor as dogs and cats assist with the investigation. Fans of the series will enjoy the depth of the story, along with the characters’ personal development.
PREMIUM

While Justice Sleeps

Although it’s not successful as a thriller, the book’s plethora of women role models, including a chief justice, and its “inside DC” look at political skullduggery make Abrams’s novel a well-informed political and legal narrative.

People of Abandoned Character

This debut historical mystery contains echoes of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Jack the Ripper. The unreliable narration combines with richly detailed writing in a mystery with a shocking conclusion.
PREMIUM

A Peculiar Combination

Louisiana librarian Weaver (Murder at Brightwell) launches an engaging new series that sparkles. Infused with witty romantic conflict, this historical mystery with convincing period details concludes with enticing story threads for future entries. For fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Allison Montclair.
PREMIUM

Last Seen

The book’s gritty and violent realism reads like the San Francisco cousin to James Lee Burke’s “Dave Robicheaux” series, but with plot convolutions that feel like melodrama. (Cassie’s story line moves quickly from unlikely into the realm of unbelievable.) The lead character, O’Higgins, never develops beyond his collection of personal issues, leaving the book without a captivating core. While Harrington (The Good Physician) is an author to watch, this ambitious police procedural is ultimately unsuccessful.
PREMIUM

Death Washes Ashore

The sequel to Death by the Bay is a descriptive mystery with a strong sense of place. Readers who enjoy well-plotted atmospheric stories featuring small-town sheriffs, such as Victoria Houston’s “Loon Lake” mysteries, should enjoy this book.
PREMIUM

The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral

The ninth in the series (after A Noël Killing) continues the author’s focus on ambiance and the good life in Provence: the food, the wine, the art. Foodies who enjoy mysteries like David P. Wagner’s Italy-set “Rick Montoya” titles will appreciate the emphasis on gourmet meals in this police procedural.
PREMIUM

In the Company of Killers

Christy’s credentials are excellent—National Geographic’s former head of special investigations; his earlier nonfiction title The Lizard King—but Company doesn’t quite make it, with a cookie-cutter plot and weak characterization.

The North Face of the Heart

The mysteries are dark and twisty, and the moments of danger are plentiful. Amaia’s experience with trauma gives her insight into people’s thinking; she uses this knowledge to hunt down new demons. Fans of noir fiction will devour this book.

The Keepers

The follow-up to The Finders sets a relentless pace. Corrupt politicians, the mob, a brutal killer, and a shocking death combine in a fast-paced story of an ordinary man and his extraordinary dogs. For fans of Paula Munier’s or Susan Furlong’s books featuring dogs.

When a Stranger Comes to Town

These stories by well-known authors span a wide range under the umbrella of “mystery.” Mystery enthusiasts will be hard-pressed to find a story they don’t like. Recommended for readers interested in all facets of mystery, suspense, crime, or detective fiction.

The Windsor Knot

A veritable love letter to England’s current monarch, this adult debut by children’s author Bennett (The Look) is a triumph full of royal tidbits and international high jinks. The pivotal character of Rozie adds just the right note of modernity, and readers will be thrilled to know that the second book in the series is due later this year. Strongly recommended for purchase.
PREMIUM

Bitterroot Lake

Beckman paints a gorgeous picture of an idyllic small town. With some paranormal aspects, secrets past and present, and a multitude of murder suspects, this suspense debut is sure to attract readers.

Mystery Best Sellers, Mar. 2021 | Most In-Demand in Libraries & Bookstores

PREMIUM

The Secret Lives of Dentists

This solid procedural will appeal to discerning mystery lovers.

Death of a Showman

With a spirited, intelligent heroine; pitch-perfect descriptions of pre–World War I New York; and believable characters, Fredericks’s latest historical mystery is a delight.

Read-Alikes for ‘Win’ by Harlan Coben | LibraryReads

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