August Snow cover image. Skyline of Detroit, Michigan.

August Snow

By Stephen Mack Jones
Rated by Kari E.
Jun 2, 2021

August Snow is a former Marine, police officer, and a product of a loving Mexican/African American family. He loves his hometown of Mexicantown, Detroit and hates seeing the decay, drugs, violence and corruption running through the city.  He’s bought and renovated a number of houses on the street to bring them back to their former glory. After being fired by the police for uncovering high level corruption, August wins a $12 million lawsuit against the city for unfair termination. Traveling the world for year to regain his perspective and deal with his parents deaths, August yearns for his city

Cover of Open Season by C. J. Box

Open Season

By C. J. Box
Rated by Charles H
Sep 15, 2020

In 2001, C.J. Box released his first novel featuring Joe Pickett, a game warden from Twelve Sleep Wyoming. Establishing Pickett as a man with a strong moral compass and fierce devotion to his friends and family, it isn’t hard to see why Box has written nineteen additional stories featuring this classic western archetype.

As an introduction to Joe Pickett, Open Season drops the reader into one of his first days on the job as the new game warden in town. Somewhat bumbling, but with a clear respect for the rule of law above all else, he is not well liked in town. This is to be expected, coming

Dec 21, 2018

This story is the legend of Sleepy Hollow from the point of view of the main female character, Katrina Van Tassel. Having grown up the only daughter to a wealthy farmer and doting mother, Katrina is strong in her opinions, desires and actions. While this strength of character gets Katrina into some mischief, it also allows her to follow her heart and find a deep love with the new school teacher, Ichabod Crane.

When Ichabod first arrives at Sleepy Hollow he stays with the Van Tassel family until he finds the first host family among his pupils. Katrina's father hires him quickly to be her

Six Wakes

By Mur Lafferty
Rated by Courtney S
Apr 27, 2017

Somewhere far away from earth, six crew members wake aboard a spaceship bound for a new colony. As clones, the crew members are accustomed to waking up in new bodies, usually with their memories intact. This time, though, decades of memories are missing. And worse, someone has murdered the old bodies of the crew members. Without any record of what happened and why, the crew must fight to solve a murder in which they are all prime suspects, even to themselves.

Six Wakes is a locked-room murder mystery that takes place on a generation starship. If that sounds awesome to you, then you will

The Trespasser

By Tana French
Rated by Hilary S.
Mar 23, 2017

An anonymous call comes in to the Stonybatter police station, instead of the emergency line in Dublin. The caller says that a woman may have fallen and hurt inside her own home. When police arrive, all the doors are locked and they find Aislinn Murray dead, but not from a fall. The case gets passed on to the Murder Squad. Detectives Conway and Moran have the case handed to them by their boss, just as they are looking to clock out and go home. Antoinette Conway is the only woman on the squad, and isn't well liked, she's brusque, confrontational, and keeps to herself. She's immediately

The Trespasser

By Tana French
Rated by Heather B.
Dec 22, 2016

Antoinette Conway and her partner, Stephen Moran, are rookies and outsiders on the Dublin Murder Squad. Just as they're about to finish up their night shift, the boss gives them another dud case: Aislinn Murray has been reported dead via an anonymous call to a local police station. It was obviously her boyfriend, with whom she had a dinner date planned. Open-and-closed. So why does the boss put a senior detective, Breslin, on the case to watch over them? And why does his help seem more like obstruction?

While mysteries, Tana French's novels defy the most basic genre conventions. For example

Wilde Lake

By Laura Lippman
Rated by Heather B.
Sep 1, 2016

In Laura Lippman's latest mystery, Wilde Lake, Luisa Brant is the newly-elected state's attorney for Howard County, Maryland, and she has some big shoes to fill. Her father held the position and was greatly admired (to the extent that any politician can be) during much of her childhood, and Luisa has just beaten out her mentor for the role in a hotly-contested election. Eager to prove herself worthy of her new position, she decides to personally act as the prosecutor in the first murder case that comes across her desk. The seemingly-straightforward killing of a single woman in her apartment by

Dial M

By William Swanson
Rated by Jackie M.
Jul 3, 2016

On the morning of May 6, 1963, Jeff Thompson and his sisters, Margaret, Patty, and Amy, departed for school. By that afternoon, their lives had irreparably changed. Their mother had been murdered, and their father soon was a suspect. Events leading up to the murder, as well as the immediate aftermath, are presented in the first half of the book, in the section titled Carol and Cotton. The relationships between family and friends following the murder provide the background for the second half of the book, Brother and Sisters, which tells of Carol and Cotton’s children’s lives after the murder. 

Little Pretty Things

By Lori Rader-Day
Rated by Katie S.
Apr 7, 2016

Imagine always being in second place - one step behind the same person over and over again. Juliet Townsend was that second place person to friend Madeleine Bell all throughout high school. They ran track together and Maddy was always the star while Juliet stood to the side. Ten years later, she is still second place to Maddy, although she doesn't realize it until Maddy comes waltzing into the Mid-Night Inn looking as beautiful and pristine as ever. Embarrassed, Juliet agrees to meet with her to talk through some issues from their past. Juliet, however, can't seem to figure out why Maddy has

If I Run

By Terri Blackstock
Rated by Lisa J.
Feb 10, 2016

Casey Cox was twelve years old when she came home from school and found her father hanging in the garage. While the police investigators officially ruled her father’s death a suicide, Casey never believed that her father would kill himself, knowing she would be the one to find him.  Now, ten years later, Casey walks in to find her best friend murdered just inside his front door. Brent, a journalist, had been investigating her father’s death and the circumstances surrounding it in an effort to help her find peace and move on with her life.

Feeling that she won’t get a fair shake from local


By Joe Hill
Rated by Diane H.
Dec 4, 2015

Don’t watch Horns if you can’t, or don’t want to, imagine Daniel Radcliffe as anyone but Harry Potter. Admittedly Horns has supernatural elements. And it does deal with moral issues – doing what’s right even if it means a personal sacrifice. But there the similarities end. Horns is a murder-mystery/dark fantasy/horror/revenge/love story.

The protagonist in Horns, Ig Perrish (brilliantly portrayed by Radcliffe), is accused of killing his girlfriend. Despite repeatedly and passionately denying the accusation, everyone around him, including his family, believes he did it. They see him as evil

Small Wars

By Lee Child
Rated by Hilary S.
Oct 29, 2015

In this ebook exclusive, we go back to Georgia in 1989. An officer is shot on a deserted road, and while local police have a suspect in custody, MP Jack Reacher is assigned the case. Newly assigned to his post the same day, this case will be a test for Reacher. The murdered officer, Army Lt. Colonel Caroline Crawford, is an up-and-coming young woman, a hotshot in military circles. Reacher wonders how he'll accomplish anything with the staff he's tasked to oversee, so he calls in Frances Neagley to assist his investigation. Reacher and Neagley will have to work with local Georgia police, the

In a Dark, Dark Wood

By Ruth Ware
Rated by Debbie F.
Oct 22, 2015

Not having seen her childhood friend Clare Cavendish for over 10 years, Nora Shaw is surprised to receive an email invite for Clare's bachelorette party. Nora calls Nina, a mutual college friend, and they reluctantly decide to go to the party together. When they arrive they are shocked to find a modern house, virtually a glass castle in the woods. Nora is disturbed right away by the chilly landscape and isolated location. Clare has not yet arrived, so Nora decides to take a quick run to clear her head, and is surprised to find that dark falls quickly in the woods. On her way back to the house

Jubilee Manor

By Bethany Hagen
Rated by Katie S.
Oct 14, 2015

Madeline Landry's life has not gotten any easier since we last saw her in Landry Park. Her parents are still exiled; the Rootless are still angry with the Gentry, even though she and her uncle Jack are trying hard to reconcile the differences between the two classes; and now Uprisen heirs are being found dead on her estate. Madeline worries that these deaths are a sign from the Rootless that they will never work peacefully with the Gentry and that the future of Kansas City will be one of despair and not prosperity. As leader in the Uprisen community she is forced to work with the police and

In a Dark, Dark Wood

By Ruth Ware
Rated by Katie S.
Oct 5, 2015

Leonora (Nora/Lee/Leo) Shaw's past has come back to visit her. With a mysterious invitation to a hen-do (British bachelorette party) in the English countryside for a friend she hasn't seen or spoken to in years, she is forced to get out of her apartment and shed her closed-off personality for a weekend. She doesn't, however, quite know why she is invited and when she begins to ask around, no one else seems to know why they have been invited either. The hostess, Flo, is crazy about the bride, Clare, and puts all of the guests ill-at-ease. The Glass House where they stay is freaky as well with

Suspect (Audio)

By Robert Crais
Rated by Rachel N.
Sep 4, 2015

Maggie is a military canine who is injured and loses her handler in combat. Scott is a cop in Los Angeles who is injured and loses his partner in an unexpected shooting. Both are struggling with the trauma they have experienced and are working together to overcome these past tragedies. Suspect is told using multiple perspectives, which sometimes bothers me, but it’s well done here. Maggie's perspective is not cheesy, and seems realistic. The reader is able to understand Maggie better as she navigates her confusion and adjusts to new members of her pack. As the action moves along we learn about

Those Girls

By Chevy Stevens
Rated by Lisa J.
Sep 3, 2015

Growing up in a rural British Columbia is difficult enough for Jess, Courtney and Dani Campbell before their mother dies.  But after their mother passes things really get difficult. One night things get really bad; Jess grabs the shotgun and accidentally shoots and kills their dad.  Afraid of what will happen, the girls hide the body and take off for Vancouver before anyone can realize what has happened. When the truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere they reluctantly accept help from two young men who are passing by and things go unbelievably downhill from there.  Because they fear a

Freedom's Child

By Jax Miller
Rated by Katie S.
Jul 28, 2015

Freedom Oliver's past has caught up with her - or at least Nessa Delaney's past has finally found her. When Nessa's husband Mark is shot to death in their home, she is quickly convicted of the crime. Forced to choose between leaving her son and unborn daughter with her horrible in-laws or giving them up completely, she chooses the latter. After two very long years she is released and her brother-in-law is found guilty. Under the Witness Protection Program, Nessa has been Freedom Oliver for nearly twenty years. Living in Oregon, she works at a small biker bar, is the town drunk, and is always

Big Little Lies

By Liane Moriarty
Rated by Jed D.
Jul 23, 2015

“Oh, calamity!”  This phrase is used often in response to the various annoyances, surprises and disasters that happen to the parents of the Pirriwee Public School kindergarten class.  Something horrible happens during the parent trivia night event at the school, and Moriarty keeps this information secret right up until the end.  Each chapter brings the reader another step closer to finding out who was killed and how, and there are plenty of suspects.  In fact, there are several characters you will probably wish will be killed in some gruesome way!   Big Little Lies really is a clever title, as

The Girl on the Train

By Paula Hawkins
Rated by Katie S.
Apr 3, 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a fast-paced murder mystery with lots of twists and turns throughout. It is July 2013 and Rachel, a middle-aged single woman, commutes by train to London every day. She has memorized everything about the trip, from the stops to the landscape, and has become particularly fascinated by a happy couple she sees almost everyday. But then one day she sees something new and she cannot let it go. And then the rug is pulled out from underneath her when her dreamy couple becomes one of London's most intriguing headlines.

The similarities between this novel to

The Innocent

By Ian McEwan
Rated by Heather B.
Dec 20, 2014

Leonard Marnham, an engineer employed by the British post office, has lived an extraordinarily sheltered life when he arrives in 1950s Berlin to work on a collaborative project between the British and Americans to tap into Soviet phone lines. His new job and colleagues, and living on his own for the first time, open him up to a wide variety of new tastes and experiences. As befits the Cold War setting,both his work and personal lives also consist of complex webs of secrecy, fear, mistrust, and paranoia. A British scientist even convinces him to try his hand at spying on their American partners

Serena: A Novel

By Ron Rash
Rated by Katie S.
Nov 20, 2014

Power, lust, fear, and destruction are all words that could describe the story of Serena by Ron Rash. The novel's namesake, Serena, is an eerily beautiful woman who is obsessed with money and the destruction of both nature and her enemies. She is married to George Pemberton, the owner of a timber company responsible for clearing a large portion of the North Carolina landscape in 1929. One side of the story describes Serena's push to rid the landscape of trees and beasts alike. She captures the minds of every man working for their company as well as her competitors who would like to stop her so

Callander Square

By Anne Perry
Rated by Katie S.
Sep 15, 2014

Callander Square is the second book in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series by Anne Perry. Set in the late 1800s, this novel tells the story of multiple mysterious deaths in a posh area of London. Thomas, a police inspector, is called to the central garden of the high-society Callander Square after two baby corpses are found buried among the flowers. Immediately suspecting a poor servant girl, Pitt begins to investigate each household, causing an uncomfortable mood to hang over the residents of the square. The heads of household wish to be left alone, leaving Pitt with several hurdles to

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Rated by Bethany T.
Apr 1, 2013

Hannah is haunted.  Her best friend Lillian—still thin and wasted from the anorexia that killed her—follows Hannah around, commenting on her fake friends, her occasionally grisly job processing police photographs, and especially Finny Boone, a seemingly dangerous boy with a kind heart that Hannah can’t help but be drawn to.

Lillian is especially fascinated by the string of recent murders around town; dead girls are being found in the local park holding homemade paper hearts, surrounded by delicate arrangements of cheap toys, tacky decorations and throwaway party favors.  Together, the

Mar 6, 2013

A modern English cozy, Wicked Autumn is set in the village of Nether Monkslip. Everyone you expect is there along with some new friends: There’s the retired Major; the flamboyant owner of the antique store; a New Age wiccan; the village doctor and his sexy sister; a restaurateur with a Continental background; and a woman who spins her own yarn before knitting it into expensive garments. Of course a peaceful English village would be incomplete without the village’s social tyrant, Wanda Batton-Smythe. The new vicar just happens to be a retired MI5 agent turned Anglican priest, but those skills

Feb 12, 2013

In Dare Me, Megan Abbot delivers a dark insider’s peek into high school cheerleading. But more than cheers and stunts, the real story is in the relationships developed, manipulated, and reconciled as the characters vie for control. For the most part, males play only a secondary role while the females steer the storyline.

It’s through cheerleader Addy Hanlon, right hand to frenemy Beth Cassidy, whom we experience these girls’ lives, cast in a fairly adult plot. If you liked Amy in Gone Girl, Beth could be her protégé. She’s a character you love to hate, but Addy’s insight compels you to give

Nov 26, 2012

This rambling mystery moves from Berlin to Prague as Bernie Gunther, recently on the Eastern Front with the German army, resumes his work as detective.  While investigating the death of a Dutch railway worker he becomes involved with a local girl he assumes to be a prostitute.  When he is ordered by the Nazis to go to Prague, she accompanies him and stays in a hotel while he goes to the “country house” for orders.  The day after his arrival an adjutant to the general is found dead in his bed and Gunther is assigned the job of finding the murderer.  This book would appeal to die-hard World War

Oct 29, 2012

Some kids are identified by their parent's profession: the preacher's kid, the doctor's kid, the principal's kid, the mayor's kid. Jazz is defined by his father's profession: serial killer. Billy Dent is the most notorious super-serial, claiming 123 victims in his decades long spree. Worse than being the serial killer's kid was that every day was take-your-kid-to-work day for Billy. Jazz learned how to separate a hand from it's fingers, how to stalk a victim, and how to commit the perfect crime without getting caught. Billy was convinced that Jazz would be the first of a new breed of serial

Oct 5, 2012

“Scorcher” Kennedy, top detective in Dublin’s Murder Squad, has been assigned a high priority, high profile case.  His bright and innovative partner is a rookie to the squad and eager to prove he is worthy.  Broken Harbor, now known as Brainstown, is a housing development hit hard by the recession.  Most of the half-built new homes have been abandoned with only a few occupied.  The residents of one home are struck by tragedy when the father and two young children are murdered and the wife is critically wounded.  But things don’t add up—a large animal trap is found in the opening to the attic

Mar 24, 2012

Dominance, by Will Lavender is a quintessential mystery through and through. The novel takes place in two different time periods, 1994 and the present day, and Lavender is able to carefully keep both narratives exciting in this literary mystery novel. The premise of the novel focuses on Alex Shipley, who was involved in an infamous night class in 1994 taught by the convicted murder Professor Richard Aldiss. In 1994 Aldiss, who is serving time for murdering two students with an axe, has been given permission to teach the brightest English students about the mysterious author Paul Fellows