Mystery Book Reviews

The best mystery book reviews. Mysteries are typically crime stories in which readers follows a detective or amateur sleuth attempting to solve a criminal puzzle. Compared with “crime thrillers,” mysteries often feature less graphic violence and shocking subject matter.

Bloody Pages, a Fast-Paced Crime Thriller by Bruce Lewis

The Bottom Line: A fast-paced and relentlessly ominous crime thriller that readers can devour on a long flight.  Bruce Lewis, author of the terrific thriller Bloody Paws, returns with his second Kim Jansen novel. Like its predecessor, Bloody Pages is largely set in Oregon and is centered around one of society’s most troubling social ills. Here Lewis explores the theme of intergenerational violence, and he …

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Justice for Loretta, a Twisty, Cinematic Murder Mystery by LeeAnne James 

The Bottom Line: A methodical murder mystery with a shocking twist.  Loretta Sampson Mills was no stranger to death. She saw her first death at age 13 when Timmy Rafferty was fatally injured on the playground. And when Loretta’s grandma came to live with them after falling ill to cancer, she moves into Loretta’s room. Then, Loretta is asked to do the unthinkable: end her suffering with a fatal dose of …

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Kill Romeo, a First-Rate Murder Mystery by Andrew Diamond

The Bottom Line: A fast-paced, first-rate murder mystery that crackles with sexual tension. Private detective Freddy Ferguson is back in Andrew Diamond’s long-awaited follow-up to Gate 76 (one of our Best Thrillers of 2018). The book’s spectacular opening chapter is one that will burn in readers’ memories long after finishing the book. While in rural Virginia doing a background check on a rising politician, Freddy …

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The RX for Murder, a Poignant Mystery by Sue Hinkin

The Bottom Line: Lovable amateur sleuths take on Big Pharma in a highly personal and poignant mystery about corporate greed and friendship. After the murder of a veteran reporter David Pine, amateteur sleuths Bea Middleton and Lucy Vega are drawn into the likely reason for his death: an in-progress story about big pharma selling generic medicine with little or no active ingredients to the poorest …

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When You Leave Me, an Irresistible Small Town Murder Mystery by Susan Wingate

The Bottom Line: An intense, irresistible small town murder mystery that crackles with twists.  When You Leave Me dangles its delicious first clue in the opening sentence: a shoe containing a human foot, one of several that have washed ashore on the San Juan Islands over the past year. Does it belong to Larry Michaels, whose footless body was found months earlier?  Susan Wingate’s fifth Friday Harbor novel – which …

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Gottiguard, a Painfully Funny, Can’t-Miss Mystery by Rich Leder

The Bottom Line: Witty Sleuth Kate McCall returns to solve her father’s murder in this supremely satisfying and painfully funny mystery.  When readers first fell in love with Kate McCall, Rich Leder’s Workman’s Complication introduced us to the clever way-off-Broadway actress who walked dogs for a living. After her father’s brutal murder, she inherited his PI firm and reluctantly took over his cases. Gottiguard takes …

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Woman Over the Edge, a Smoldering Small Town Romantic Suspense Thriller

The Bottom Line: A provocative, smoldering small town romantic suspense thriller that fans of Big Little Lies will love. Each summer, high school sisters Bella and Mia Hughes work in their family’s lakeside resort in Minnesota. After hours, they spend their time hanging out with a close circle of friends and flirting with boys on the lake. But their idyllic summer existence comes to an …

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Gag Me, a Must-Read Whodunnit by Susan Wingate

The Bottom Line: A must-read whodunnit that is fresh, funny and truly innovative. Gag Me transports readers into the fragile psyche of a small-town waitress whose best friend, Winsey, is murdered. She works at a diner in tiny Friday Harbor, Washington, and had the misfortune of being the last person seen with Winsey. As such, she’s called in for questioning, and soon after, taken to …

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The Lincoln Highway, an All-American Mystery by Amor Towles

The Bottom Line: The cross-country quest at the heart of the novel defies genre, but will delight fans of unconventional crime thrillers. In 1954, Emmett Watson is releases from a juvenile work farm after accidentally killing another boy. His father has died, and the family ranch is being repossessed. His young brother Billy urges him to take them west in search of the mother who …

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The Pine Barrens Stratagem, a Smoldering and Timely Crime Thriller by Ken Harris

The Bottom Line: A contemporary crime thriller that works on every level, from the smoldering investigation to the whipsaw banter between characters you’re bound to love. Ken Harris’ The Pine Barrens Stratagem centers around Steve Rockfish, a private detective hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic that he’s on the verge of losing everything. Creditors are even threatening to repossess his car, a 2015 Dodge …

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