Tag: Crime

The Thrillers to Start 2020 With

As we make headway into the new year, it is time to spice up the shelves with new thrillers of 2020. Each one with its own taste of mystery, scandal and bloodthirsty crime. These five crime novels will have you turning the pages into a new world.

 

Image Via readitforward.com

 

  1. The New Husband

Image Via Goodreads

Nina Garrity thought she knew her husband, Glen. She soon finds out that the man she knew and loved, was leading a double life with another woman. But Glen has disappeared, and she has no way of finding out the truth behind his affair or anything else that he may have neglected to mention. After going a year and a half without any sign of him, Nina calls herself a widow. Caught by sudden feelings for Simon Fitch, a teacher at her daughters’ middle school, Nina finds herself in a predicament that she can not shake. She’s in love. But something is not right. The lies Nina uncovers only leads to misery and the destruction of her family.

 

 

  1. Eight Perfect Murders

Image Via Goodreads

Malcolm Kershaw, a bookseller, and mystery aficionado has put together a list of the most unsolvable murders, those that are impossible to crack. Calling them the Eight Perfect Murders. Mal is surprised one day when an FBI agent knocks on his door looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that match his list. Little did Mal know that the killer was constantly watching his every move, waiting to be revealed.

 

  1. Before Familiar Woods

Image Via Amazon

Ruth Fenn’s son was blamed for the deaths of boys and the disappearance of their fathers. For three years, Ruth has been forced to accept that her lot is a pariah. Focusing on her sick mother and the children left in her care by struggling single parents. When her husband unexpectedly passes, she is left with, as the blurb states, “no choice but to overcome the darkness or be consumed by it.” As the truth vastly approaches, she digs up secrets that would have been better off buried.

 

 

  1. The Better Liar

Image Via the public library of Cincinnati and hamilton county

 

Leslie’s sister,Robin, is dead. If Leslie would have been there earlier, she would have been able to rekindle the relationship they should have had. After Robin ran away from home as a teenager, Leslie was forced to stay home and take care of their sick father, while also creating a family of her own. Now that their father is dead, Leslie had hoped to see her sister so that they could both receive the inheritance that their father left. With Robin dead, Leslie is unable to gain her half of the money, and she needs it more than anyone would know. Leslie will do anything to get what she wants, no matter the costs.

 

  1. No Bad Deed: A Novel

Image Via Goodreads

 

While driving home on a rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man and a woman fighting on the side of the road. Without thinking too much about it, Cassie calls 911 and makes her way out of her minivan to save the woman. She chases after the violent man but is met with a decision she did not expect to make. Cassie must choose to leave the woman to die, or she will be forced to take her place.

 

 

featured image via readitforward.com


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Crawdads Sing A High Note

Published in 2018 by G.P. Putnam at Penguin Random House, Where the Crawdads Sing was not expected to have any foot traffic. Delia Owens, a retired wildlife biologist, previously published works focused more on her career work “in the deserts and valleys of Botswana and Zambia, where she studied hyenas, lions, and elephants”(Alexander Atler). Due to her previous profession, the publishing industry thought it best to only put out 28,000 copies.

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Image Via DeliaOwens.com

They soon regretted this decision, when Crawdads sold four and half million copies. These sales helped to blow away novels by John Grisham, Margaret Atwood, and Stephen King.

 

Goodreads summarizes Where the Crawdads Sing in this way:

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
Image result for delia owens author photo
Image Via DeliaOwens.com

In a world where fiction started to dwindle in sales, Crawdads’ brought fiction back to life. So much so that the book held its spot on the best seller’s list for 67 weeks. Most blockbuster novels usually last only a few weeks before dropping off the bestsellers’ list. This news leaves Crawdads’ success to be one of complete surprise. Although Reese Witherspoon has decided to produce a feature film adaption, after reading Crawdads at in her book club, the novel’s rise to fame goes beyond that.

Owens grew up in Georgia and studied zoology at the University of Georgia. She later gained her doctorate at the University of California. Owens spent most of her free time getting up close and personal with wildlife which is no surprise why she has incorporated those experiences into Crawdads.

 

Image Via Slate Magazine

Owens and her husband, Mark, “provided job training, microloans, health care and education to villagers” while working in Zambia. They also focused on the protection of wildlife, making sure that no poachers killed anything, which is described in their memoir The Eye of the Elephant.

Both Owens and her husband were accused of killing one of the poachers, but nothing could ever be proven. This becomes no surprise when Kya is faced with similar issues of harsh rumors and name-calling. Owens’s ability to share her experiences with wildlife in the novel has allowed readers to become more enthralled.

 

 

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The Game Is Afoot! Celebrate the Publication of A ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Book Today!

You know the name. Sherlock Holmes is a pop culture icon, someone who everyone knows even if they haven’t read his books, seen his movies, or watched his numerous tv shows. He’s a focal point of British history and literature, having influenced dozens of fictional and even real detectives throughout his literary life. On this day (Oct. 14th), one of the seminal Holmes collections was published, entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmesa collection of twelve short stories.

image via wikipedia

First featured in The Strand magazine, the stories were very popular and boosted the subscriptions to the magazine, allowing Sherlock Holme’s author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to demand increased payment with each story published. Sidney Paget illustrated all twelve of the stories that came to be featured in the Adventures collection, in time coming to best known for his artwork accompanying the series. The collection includes numerous famous Sherlock Holmes tales, such as A Case of Identity, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure with the Speckled Band, and A Scandal in Bohemia. The last one was especially notable for featuring the character of Irene Adler, who although only made on appearance in the Holmes canon nevertheless became a feature of numerous adaptations, such as the BBC show Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Image via Wikipedia

The stories were well received upon their serialization, with critics describing them holding a ‘unique power’ and some even saying Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the best short story writer since Edgar Allen Poe. The stories themselves had been adapted frequently in other media, with many of the stories being featured in the Granda Television adaptation of the Holmes canon, which ran from 1984 to 1995. They were also adapted on the BBC Radio 4 program, which ran from 1990 to 1991. Elements, such as the previously noted Irene Adler, have of course being taken out and used as an overall influenced over numerous Holmes adaptations as well without specifically adapting a single story.

Image via Wikipedia

Happy birthday to this seminal collection of Sherlock Holmes tales! Crack open your volume if you own one and give these stories another read together. What’s your favorite short story featured here? Tell us in the comments!

Featured Image Via BBC

Why We Love Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery

If there’s one writer that any fan of mystery or crime has read, it’s the one and only Agatha Christie. The creator of the red herring has written at least seventy-two books, some featuring recurring and popular characters like Hercule Poirot, the detective with an unforgettable mustache. Yet surprisingly, Christie kept much of her personal life as mysterious as her novels. In celebration of her 129th birthday, let’s look at some of the reasons why we love the Queen of Mystery.

 

1. Hercule Poirot was based on a real person

 

Image result for hercule poirot murder on the orient express

image by the federalist

 

Hercule Poirot, the detective from Murder on the Orient Express, might seem like an odd fellow and he was just as odd in real life. Christie based Poirot off a Belgian man that she spotted on a bus in the early 1910s. The man had a memorable style of facial hair and an interesting expression that stuck with Christie long enough for her to write thirty-nine books featuring the character.

 

2. those she didn’t like became victims in her books

 

Image result for murder in mesopotamia

image by flickr.com

 

If you got on Agatha Christie’s bad side, you might end up as a victim in her books. For instance, Agatha Christie’s husband archaeologist Max Mallowan worked with an archeologist named Sir Leonard Woolley. Woolley’s wife didn’t like Christie and forced her to stay off the digging site so Mallowan had to visit her by train every day. Shortly after the incident, Christie composed Murder in Mesopotamia, in which an archeology field director’s wife was killed by bludgeoning. She even dedicated the book to the Woolleys.

 

3. she dabbled in romance

 

image by the blank garden

 

The Queen of Mystery could also write romance when she so desired. In 1930, she began writing under the pen name of Mary Westmacott. She wrote six fairly successful romance novels: Giant’s Bread, Unfinished Portrait, Absent in the Spring, The Rose and the Yew Tree, A Daughter’s a Daughter and The Burden. Christie wrote her famous mystery novels and romance novels simultaneously—a woman of good balance. In her autobiography, she said that Absent in the Spring was “the picture of a woman with a complete image of herself, of what she was, but about which she was completely mistaken. Through her own actions, her own feelings and thoughts, this would be revealed to the reader.” So not only was she mysterious, Christie was a strong female who wrote the stories of other strong females in her fiction.

 

4. She was against violence

 

Strychnine sulphate in a poison bottle

 

Agatha Christie’s murder technique of choice is often poison or her victim getting hit on the head. She avoids violent methods of murder when possible, rarely involving a gun. Hercule Poirot is also a pacifist who doesn’t carry a gun, and bystanders to crimes never shoot the attacker but may tackle him to the ground instead.

 

5. she was prone to sudden disappearances

 

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image by anomalien

 

For ten days in 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared from her home in London. Her sudden vanishing made the newspapers, and police found her abandoned car an hour away from London. Police had to hunt for her on foot and eventually found her listening to a band at a hotel. Christie never mentioned why she had disappeared, but there are plenty of theories ranging from her need to escape her home life, a bout of amnesia, or even an attempt to boost sales.

 

6. she was dared to become a novelist

 

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image by thoughtco.

 

Agatha Christie’s older sister Madge dared Christie, an avid reader and writer, to try writing her own novel. Clearly Christie took that dare to the extreme. Christie’s first novel was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written during World War I. It was accepted by John Lane in 1920 after being rejected by six publishing companies. Christie was certainly determined and talented enough to become a writer, and us readers are totally grateful for her perseverance.

 

Featured image by Goalcast

Continue Your Bookshelf Expansion with Our Nonfiction Picks of the Week!

 

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks are bestsellers, and showcase what’s resonating with audiences right now! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!

 

 

Image via Amazon

5. The edge of every day by Marin Sardy 

The Edge of Every Day by Marin Sardy is a memoir-in-essays book about her mother’s and brother’s struggles with schizophrenia. Their stories contrast each other: the mother remaining undiagnosed while her brother did receive treatment but unfortunately committed suicide. Sardy offers no easy answers but instead shines a spotlight on the gray areas of showcasing struggles with mental health and how the system often fails those who do. She crafts something incredibly moving and although painful, it is a must read.

 

 

Image Via Amazon

4. High Heel by Summer Brennan

High Heel by Summer Brennan is a book about, well, you guessed it: high heels. But this is more than a fashion guide, and combines beautiful prose and insightful analysis to create a unique work of text that interrogates gender, fashion, and history. Brennan’s book challenges the reader to think about what a high heel truly is: painful and empowering, beautiful and restrictive, to create a complicated narrative that showcases heels in all their glory.

 

 

image via Amazon

3. Too much is not enough by Andrew Rannells

Too Much Is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells takes us on the journey of a twenty-something-year-old hungry to experience everything New York has to offer: new friends, wild nights, great art, standing ovations. At the heart of his hunger lies a powerful drive to reconcile the boy he was when he left Omaha with the man he desperately wants to be. As Rannells fumbles his way towards the Great White Way, he also shares the drama of failed auditions and behind-the-curtain romances, the heartbreak of losing his father at the height of his struggle, and the exhilaration of making his Broadway debut in Hairspray at the age of twenty-six. Along the way, he learns that you never really leave your past—or your family—behind; that the most painful, and perversely motivating jobs are the ones you almost get; and that sometimes the most memorable nights with friends are marked not by the trendy club you danced at but by the recap over diner food afterward.

 

 

image via Amazon

2. Me Elton John by Elton John

Me Elton John by the iconic singer tells the story of his drama filled, rocky, and yet uplifting life, chronicling his early days as a young boy who grew up in London and dreams of being a pop star. From there, the autobiography details his early singing gigs, the motivations behind his outlandish outfits, to his life spiraling out of control when he hit it big, his suicide attempt, and his recovery that led him to create music for Broadway. The autobiography isn’t just about Elton John’s fascinating life but the road to success, getting clean, and finding love in the simplest things even when you’re the loudest voice on stage.

 

 

Image via Amazon

1. Notorious San Francisco by Paul Drexler 

Notorious San Francisco by Paul Drexler is a collection of true stories detailing the darkness beneath San Francisco’s idyllic streets. From serial killers, to organized crime, and bank robberies, this collection has it all, appealing to fans of true crime, noir, and good old fashioned murder thrillers, but with the added excitement that these crimes really happened. Most of these unusual cases are largely unknown and have never appeared in book form. Included are cases that are still unsolved today, including the mysterious tale of the Zodiac Killer, complete with a new analysis and a startling new theory on the murder.

 

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