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Playing Dead | Two Mysteries Offering Cozy Drama


Finding Sophie

An electrifying triumph and a must-listen for Mahmood’s fans and for those encountering his work for the first time. Readers of twisty thrillers in the vein of Gillian Flynn and Tana French will be riveted.

The Final Act of Juliette Willoughby

Will appeal to those who enjoyed The Girls in Navy Blue by Alix Rickloff, which also uses alternating perspectives and dual timelines. Both novels deal with an apparent death and an investigation into the event.

A Lovely Lie

Hendricks (I Didn’t Do It) is definitely on the rise; hand this book to fans of Karin Slaughter’s The Good Daughter.

Joe Hustle

Lange is so adept at drawing his two main characters that readers won’t mind the relative lack of plot twists; the real suspense comes from seeing Joe Hustle skate by one more time.

A World of Hurt

Readers who enjoy crime novels that are gritty and not one-sided will want to add this to their TBR piles.

Shades of Mercy

The sequel to The Bitter Past is a little disjointed, but it’s an intense thriller capitalizing on current technology, and Borgos writes strong, capable women characters.

The Burning

The 16th Kate Burkholder mystery (following An Evil Heart) is another riveting police procedural. Despite the violence and some graphic, gruesome details, fans will be eager for the latest well-developed mystery set in Ohio’s Amish country.

Middle of the Night

Red herrings abound, and there are twists aplenty in Sager’s latest (following The House Across the Lake). His signature style will leave readers dizzyingly satisfied.

Dead Tired

Funny and engaging. Here’s hoping Ailes will return to the twisty, character-driven storytelling showcased in the first installment of this series.

There’s No Murder Like Show Murder

Playwright Greene brings his love and passion for musical theater to this new series. Theater fans will appreciate the behind-the-scenes knowledge, along with the small details so essential to the atmosphere of this cozy mystery.

Agony Hill

The author of the Maggie D’arcy mysteries (A Stolen Child) launches a historical mystery series with a compassionate, vulnerable detective and a setting so vividly described it could be a character. Julia Spencer-Fleming fans will want to try this one.

An Intrigue of Witches

Those who enjoy a little history with their magic will find this novel difficult to put down; the plot flows seamlessly from beginning to end. Readers will look forward to the next “Secret Society Mystery.”

The Murders in Great Diddling

With its focus on books and book lovers, eccentric villagers and frauds, this first mystery from the author of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a delightful traditional, filled with fascinating characters. Those who escape to Louise Penny’s Three Pines might want to check out Great Diddling.

What Have You Done?

Lapena is a master of suspense, and she doesn’t disappoint here. Her many fans and those who enjoy domestic suspense, small-town crimes, and twisty thrillers will flock to this one. Very highly recommended.

The Wrong Hands

Billingham continues his Detective Miller series in style. Wryly comic, fast-paced, and sharply observed, this excellent sequel to The Last Dance will be welcomed by the author’s fans.

Return to Wyldcliffe Heights

Goodman, author of two Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning novels, including The Night Visitors, will please readers who like a gothic mystery with a creepy setting and unreliable narrators. Suggest for fans of Jane Eyre.

The Last Line

While Lyerly’s cozy mystery debut celebrates theater, it also shines a spotlight on Tourette’s syndrome and emphasizes that some of the manifestations are different from those shown on television. Readers of cozy mysteries interested in current topics such as sexual assault, dementia, and newspaper cutbacks might want to try this book. Suggest for fans of Mia P. Manansala.

A Nest of Vipers

An interesting blend of cozy mystery and historical fiction. The real charm of this novel is found in the setting and the characters, particularly the relationship between Kaveri and Ramu.

Desperation Reef

Recommended for fans of Parker’s previous works and those interested in California’s surf culture and in characters trying to move on after a painful personal loss.

Sherlock Holmes and the Telegram from Hell

Meyer is an author, screenwriter, director, and life-long Holmes fan. In addition to editorial notes and photos of many characters, he also weaves real people into this fabulous tale, including Alice Roosevelt Longworth and a very young J. Edgar Hoover, all while keeping the game very much afoot. Baker Street Irregulars everywhere will enjoy this.


A third winner by a rising star of Southern noir.

The Woman in the Garden

Published in England as Devil’s Breath, Johnson’s (The Time Before the Time To Come) novel, with its convoluted plot, might appeal to those who appreciate socially awkward, unreliable narrators.

One Perfect Couple

Ware (Zero Days) once again delivers the literary goods, with a cheeky sense of wit (including a “blink and you’ll miss it” nod to one of her own books), a propulsive sense of pacing, and a fiendishly clever conclusion.

One of Our Kind

At times unsettling, Yoon’s narrative is a thought-provoking exploration of race and identity in modern society.

The Five Year Lie

The questions mount in this techno-thriller lite that doesn’t require any heavy lifting but will have readers wondering who’s watching their doorbell cams.

The Briar Club

This powerful, unforgettable historical mystery is for fans of Mary Anna Evans’s Justine Byrne series and stories with strong women characters.

‘The Briar Club’ by Kate Quinn | Mystery Pick of the Month

Mystery | Prepub Alert, November 2024 Titles

Thrillers | Prepub Alert, November 2024 Titles


The Heiress

Highly recommended to fans of Lucy Foley and Lisa Jewell.

Daughter of Ashes

This well-paced mystery, underlaid with an implacable sense of urgency, will hold listeners’ attention throughout. Recommended for fans of Laurie Stevens, Samantha Holland, and Joanna Schaffhausen.

Last Seen in Havana

Relationship fiction wrapped in a gentle mystery. This atmospheric series entry is recommended for fans of Leah Franqui’s After the Hurricane.

California Bear

An unstoppable listen, highly recommended for those craving a thrilling break from reality.

A Corpse in the Castle

Filled with bright and sarcastic dialogue and smart plotting, this clever cozy is an excellent reintroduction to Polly Pepper.

City in Ruins

If this is truly Winslow’s valediction, one couldn’t ask for anything more fitting and rewarding.

Do What Godmother Says

Stratton delivers a tightly woven dual-timeline thriller. Elements of occult horror, historical fiction, and whodunit will intrigue readers of all stripes. Give this to fans of Alyssa Cole’s When No One Is Watching.

The Next Mrs. Parrish

With scheming worthy of the soapiest television drama, readers will enjoy watching the match of wits and wills in this entertaining beach read.

The Comfort of Ghosts

A must-buy to complete Winspear’s great series. The satisfying and emotional ending is perfect for fans.

Read-Alikes for ‘A Calamity of Souls’ by David Baldacci | LibraryReads


A Punishing Breed

Readers who like campus mysteries and intriguing, gruff detectives with a few redeeming qualities will enjoy this first book in a planned series.

The Library Thief

Shenjé shines a light on LGBTQIA+ love and people of color in Victorian England. No stone is left unturned or unexamined in this gothic mystery that offers a counterpoint to what is often a cis-het and white genre. Fans of Sarah Waters and Bridget Collins might have in Shenjé a new author to add to their TBR lists.

'Love Letters to a Serial Killer' by Tasha Coryell | Mystery Debut of the Month

Still See You Everywhere

Fans of twisted cat-and-mouse thrillers, unconventional underdog protagonists, fiendish evil-doers, and surprise “holy cow” endings will devour this unputdownable novel.

'Toxic Prey' by John Sandford | Mystery Pick of the Month

Love Letters to a Serial Killer

Witty, shocking, and wild, this is a must-have mystery.

A Pose Before Dying

While cat yoga may be an extremely cozy activity and setting for a novel, Erickson (“Bookstore Café Mystery” series) also offers a vexing murder mystery that will unsettle and intrigue readers. This series starter quickly piles up the tension and conflict and establishes a main character who’s worth rooting for.

The Queen City Detective Agency

While the historical mystery is slow-moving at times, it evokes the atmosphere and tension of the 1980s American South, emphasizing the rage and emotions of a woman of color who’s faced with the political clout of ruthless white power brokers.

The Alone Time

A steady build-up that questions the origins of a tragedy and the motives of the survivors and pits survival, ambition, and perhaps the truth against each other, leading to a finale that will surprise even the most perceptive readers. Will appeal to fans of Jennifer Hillier, Jordan Harper, and Michelle Sacks.

A Ruse of Shadows

Understanding this historical mystery requires thorough knowledge of the rest of the series, so it’s best for devoted fans.

An Art Lover’s Guide to Paris and Murder

Art, murder, and the Parisian atmosphere combine in a delightful, detailed mystery for Francophile fans of Rhys Bowen or Betty Webb.

Requiem for a Mouse

Charlie is on the periphery of the case in this sequel to Hiss Me Deadly, but fans of the series will be happy with the return of Charlie and Diesel, their friends and family, and preparations for a upcoming wedding.


Mukherjee approaches terrorism and terrorist actors with a view that is more nuanced than cut-and-dried.

When I Was Alice

At once frothy and dark, this book will appeal to mystery and thriller fans who loved TV’s Quantum Leap, the “Outlander” series, or the works of Susanna Kearsley.

Trouble in Queenstown

The author of the “Ross Agency Mysteries” introduces another damaged character in an intriguing private eye story that examines family and roots.

The Last Murder at the End of the World

Turton has created a complex world and characters in a page-turner centered on what it means to be human and whether those qualities are worth preserving. There is very real suspense as the clock runs down on Emory’s investigation, plus true emotional depth in the struggles she and her fellow survivors face.

A Clock Stopped Dead

The sequel to A Pen Dipped in Poison is an unhappy story of family disagreements. Readers looking for British cozy mysteries might prefer Jessica Ellicott’s Beryl and Edwina series or the novels of M.C. Beaton.

Toxic Prey

 A believable, timely, edge-of-one’s-seat thriller involving climate change and a virus. Whenever Letty Davenport is involved (as in previous outing Dark Angel), it’s disaster on a grand scale.


Radiant Heat

Collins’s claustrophobic debut is recommended for those seeking a layered psychological mystery that touches on topics such as sexual abuse, stalking, and the power of nature’s fury.

The Busy Body

This audio will appeal to listeners seeking an amusing contemporary murder mystery that channels classic detective-sidekick stories. Recommended for fans of Betty Hechtman, Richard Osman, and Nita Prose.

The Edge

Baldacci’s many fans will be pleased with this twisty follow-up to The 6:20 Man.

The Last Hope

It’s sad to see the story end, but this novel, filled with MacNeal’s signature character-centric plot and minute attention to historical details, does so magnificently.

Next of Kin

The atmospheric mystery from the Tony Hillerman Award–winning author of McIntyre series opener Pay Dirt Road is a descriptive novel featuring a young PI who analyzes her own feelings about her job and hometown as she searches for answers in the gritty pool halls, in the rundown motels, and on the dusty roads of Texas.

Ash Dark as Night

Hardboiled, gritty, and fresh, Phillips’s latest is for fans of action/detective stories.

Read-Alikes for ‘The Truth About the Devlins’ by Lisa Scottoline | LibraryReads

Mystery | Prepub Alert, October 2024 Titles

Thrillers | Prepub Alert, October 2024 Titles

Read-Alikes for ‘Still See You Everywhere’ by Lisa Gardner | LibraryReads


Close to Death

Ingenious metafiction fun from a master.

The General’s Gold

This series starter from co-authors Walker (Nichelle Clarke and “Texas Ranger Faith McClellan” series) and Coffin (“Detective Byron Mysteries”) is a fun and engaging story with extraordinary characters. It’s is a perfect read for fans of Clive Cussler, especially those who enjoy his Fargo series.

Perilous Waters

The fast-paced novel featuring a resourceful young woman will appeal to fans of McGyver.

Read-Alikes for ‘The Hunter’ by Tana French | LibraryReads

‘Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies’ by Catherine Mack | Mystery Pick of the Month

Crime Fiction Genre Preview | Forthcoming Titles for 2024

LJ Talks with Alyssa Cole, Author of ‘One of Us Knows’


Dirty Thirty

Evanovich’s many fans will love reconnecting with her likable and comic characters as the group tracks down a murderer and unravels a jewelry theft.

The Wild Between Us

A gripping suspense, recommended for listeners of Lisa Unger, Ruth Ware, or Gillian Flynn.

Kill Show: A True Crime Novel

This audio will appeal to listeners seeking a suspenseful, fast-paced mockumentary that preys on society’s obsession with true crime. Recommended for fans of Michael Robotham, Karin Slaughter, and Lisa Jewell.

The Buried Hours

Though some listeners may be intrigued by the story’s many twists, others may be exasperated by the cartoonishly evil bad guys and a heroine who allows attraction to overrule common sense.

Death by Demo

Cozy mystery readers should enjoy Carpenter’s debut, the first installment in her “Home Renovation Mysteries” series. Recommended for fans of mysteries with a home-improvement bent, including Kate Carlisle’s “Fixer-Upper” novels, Jennie Bentley’s “Do-It-Yourself” books, and Sarah Graves’s “Home Repair Is Homicide” series.

Unnatural Death

Cornwell’s fans will be captivated by Scarpetta’s detailed description of the retrieval and autopsies of two battered bodies. A grisly but intriguing entry in a long-running crime fiction series.

This Is How We End Things

A deserted campus and surprise snowstorm create the perfect setting for Jacobs’s (Always the First To Die) exciting new suspense novel, with a wild and deadly chase and plenty of red herrings. Recommended for fans of Ruth Ware, Alex Michaelides, and Riley Sager.

Kamogawa Food Detectives

A heartwarming feast for the senses, for fans of Kim Fay’s Love and Saffron, Michiko Aoyama’s What You Are Looking for Is Inside the Library, and Hiro Arikawa’s The Goodbye Cat.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels

Hallett’s well-thought-out, inventive thriller will keep listeners hooked.

The Mystery Guest

Share with listeners seeking a lively, lighthearted mystery with an always-surprising amateur sleuth.

First Lie Wins

Perfect for fans of thrillers with unexpected twists and ambiguous endings. Pair with Ren DeStefano’s How I’ll Kill You.

Edge of the Grave

A chilling, blood-soaked gangster noir, set on the historic streets of Glasgow. Fans of the Netflix series Peaky Blinders will want to take note.

The Fury

Recommended for all thriller audio collections. Listeners who enjoy whodunits and closed-circle mysteries will want to pick this one up.

Silence in Her Eyes

Will appeal to listeners seeking a fast-paced, frightening psychological novel, full of tension and twists. Recommended for fans of Rachel Hawkins, Ruth Ware, and Alice Feeney.

Resurrection Walk

Haller and Bosch fans will not be able to stop listening to this expertly narrated, suspenseful courtroom drama.


Carpenter (Eleven Days) offers a literary thriller that is poignant, delicately dramatic, and lyrical. Share with listeners seeking a nuanced espionage story like Rebecca Starford’s An Unlikely Spy.


Recommend Clark’s series to fans of police detective procedurals and domestic suspense.

The Other Half

A good fit for listeners seeking a mash-up of mystery and suspenseful satire about entitled, irreverent English aristocrats. Recommended for fans of Gillian McAllister, Cate Ray, and Jillian Medoff.

Baking Spirits Bright

Bursting with picture-perfect holiday charm, plenty of red herrings, and even a little romance, Fox’s latest cozy mystery is great fun.

The Other Mothers

An excellent addition to any mystery/thriller collection and a great recommendation for listeners seeking a gripping and increasingly claustrophobic story set among the polished elite.

Sniffing Out Murder

This cozy mystery is a quick and easy listen that will leave audiences begging for the next in the series.

The Lies You Wrote

This series opener shows potential to join the ranks of Patricia Cornwell in terms of creating compelling characters, a surprising story, and satisfyingly complicated motivations.

The Guests

Will appeal to listeners seeking a fast-paced, family-centered suspense. Recommended for fans of Joy Fielding, Robyn Harding, and Adrian McKinty.

The Last Devil To Die

Osman doesn’t miss a beat with this mystery that is equal parts funny, clever, and heartbreaking. Listeners will relish another visit with the members of the Thursday Murder Club.

The Search Party

A perfect fit for those who enjoy untangling the threads in a closed-circle mystery. Recommended for fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley.

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