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Top 2021 Reads from the Librarians - Part 4: Mysteries and Suspense

Mystery fiction

Check out this list of titles for a relaxing, page-turning read. Click on the titles for a link to the catalogue.

The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves: This atmospheric murder mystery, the second in the DI Matthew Venn series, is set on the Devon coast. Matthew investigates an elaborately staged murder at the home of a group of artists. The murder seems to be without a motive, until another body is discovered and festering lies start to rise to the surface. (Chosen by Kristen)

The Appeal by Janice Hallett:  A stunning debut crime novel told in emails, texts and police reports as two law clerks re-evaluate the evidence to examine a possible miscarriage of justice. A clever whodunit that invites the reader to follow the clues to uncover the murderer as well as the victim. Original and mesmerising. (From JAM)

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas: This one was a different choice from my usual, and it was really good. It filled a “dark academia” prompt for me on a reading challenge. It’s dark and a little bit creepy, but certainly not horror or scary. Catherine House, a prestigious boarding school, is cult-like. It is immediately clear that something is not quite right here, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what. (From Lara)

Blacktop Wasteland by S A Cosby: Ex-criminal Beauregard “Bug” Montage has turned his life around, with wife and family, and steady work as a mechanic. When an old buddy turns up with an offer to get involved in a diamond heist, Bug is set to lose all he holds dear.  (Chosen by Christine)

Chris Hammer’s series follows journalist Martin Scarsden, a reporter who gets caught up in the darker side of life in small-town Australia. First up is Scrublands, with Martin arriving in Riversend to report on the anniversary of the day the local priest opened fire on his parishioners. The book is loaded with the atmosphere and tension with a setting of drought and quiet desperation. (Chosen by Fiona)

Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee: Sam Wyndham, a captain in Calcutta’s police force is on a retreat to cure his opium addiction when he sees a figure from his past. The story flips back to Sam’s early days as a policeman in London’s East End and the murder of an old flame. The fourth in this thrilling series which brings 1920s India to life. (From JAM)

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins: Lydia’s life is not what it was. Gone is her bookshop, her marriage, her loved ones. Now on the run from Mexico with her eight-year-old son, American Dirt is a novel about survival, organised crime and the ordinary people caught up in the crossfire. (Chosen by Christine)

A Famished Heart by Nicola White: Two things stand out about this murder mystery. The first is the originality of the storyline and the second is the brilliant storytelling. Set in 1980s Dublin, this is the first in a series featuring DI Vincent Swan. It’s a slow-burner that is full of great characters, psychological drama and a plot that packs in plenty of pace towards the end. (From JAM)

22 December 2021

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