Feature Image Credit: @vanessalillie
Here are ten books, from missing siblings to historical crime thrillers and psychological page-turners, that you’ll want on your need-to-order pile.
The Maid by Nita Prose (January 4, 2022)
Molly Gray’s gran is gone — the one person who made the world feel right. Now Molly, who sees everything in her life a bit differently, has to remember those simple social rules she learned. It could be her saving grace. Working as a hotel maid, she puts her all into her work, following proper etiquette no matter what. That all soon changes when Molly enters the room of Charles Black only to find him dead. Her reaction and behavior when the police arrive puts her on their suspect list. Molly tells one lie which spirals into a web of deception, creating more tension for her and the police. Soon Molly and some unexpected friends go on the hunt to clear her name and unmask the real killer behind Mr. Black’s death.
One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner (January 18, 2022)
The second installment in the Frankie Elkin series finds Elkin, a bounty hunter, on an assignment in Wyoming looking for a missing young man. Elkin, a recovering alcoholic, spends her life searching for those who can’t be found. When everyone stops looking, she doesn’t. Her new target vanished without a trace, requiring a search team to scour the national forest. Yet when everyone enters, threats happen, and the team risks their survival at each turn. Elkin knows this is one dark situation, but she’s determined even as time begins to run out and evil watches her every move.
Survivor’s Guilt by Robyn Gigl (January 25, 2022)
A billionaire is dead. Suicide. But there’s a suspect who pleads guilty — his trans adoptive daughter Ann. For Erin McCabe, a transgender attorney, and her partner Duane Swisher, this seems like an open and shut case. The evidence that keeps popping up would tell the two otherwise, giving them no choice but to investigate further. Erin knows something is up and doesn’t believe that Ann fits the murder suspect description. Together, the intelligent, cunning and detailed duo tries to get Ann to reverse her plea, but the young girl seems to be protecting someone else, no matter the sentence.
The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont (February 1, 2022)
The Christie Affair is a mystery centered around the sensational and scandalous chain of events that led to Agatha Christie’s disappearance for 11 days in 1926. Told through the eyes of Agatha Christies’ husband’s mistress, a story of secrets, revenge, and lust emerges, resulting in a startling murder. The story is told from Nan O’Dea’s perspective who is a fictional character, based on someone real. Readers learn of Nan O’Dea’s early life in Ireland and England, in the care of the nuns and the priests and covers the period of days when Agatha Christie went missing.
Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler (February 8, 2022)
Ever wake up the next morning with amnesia and the police knocking on your door in search of your crush? Well, Hayden McCall’s morning turned out just like that. And he really can’t seem to remember where his memory went, or his crush Camilo Rodriguez. Seeking out Camilo’s friends, Hollister and Burley, a lesbian couple, Hayden convinces them to help hunt down Camilo and clear his name with the cops. Along the way, he learns about his crush’s life, including Camilo’s ex-boyfriend Ryan who might be heavily involved. Together the trio follow a newly wealthy Ryan to an unusual warehouse. When they arrive, they discover Camilo’s sister, the truth behind Ryan’s riches, and eventually the truth about Camilo’s disappearance, but still no Camilo.
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (February 22, 2022)
Jess is down on her luck. In need of a new start to life, she convinces Ben, her half-brother, to let her crash at his apartment. Moving to Paris couldn’t be worse than her current situation. So, when he reluctantly agrees, her next destination was his doorstep. While Jess can get inside his place, she notices one thing missing: him. Not being able to sit still the longer he stays missing, Jess starts poking around for answers. What she finds, and the secrets his unruly neighbors keep, are enough to make her bones shiver. Can she learn to trust anyone with her brother’s future, or will everyone remain a suspect?
Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett (March 8, 2022)
The morning after reality star Desiree Pierce’s 25th birthday party, her body winds up at a playground in the Bronx. Death by overdose, the police and media declare it. Her half-sister, on the other hand, Lena Scott, strongly disagrees. She knows her sister would never travel past 125th street or outside of her infamous partying circles. If only others could believe her, including her father Mel, a wealthy hip hop mogul. The more everyone refuses to listen to Lena, the more she investigates seeking justice for Desiree—and uncovering the dark past of her family might be the first step.
Truth, Lies, and Mr. Grey by Shelly Ellis (March 29, 2022)
What’s the saying, ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Add three women scorned, and all bets are off. Diamond, Noelle and Vanessa just found out they aren’t the only wife of Cyrus Grey, a wealthy businessman. This news causes chaos in their lives, and they’ll take any steps necessary to get what they want. Then Cyrus is shot, nearly losing his life in the process, and putting Diamond on trial for it. As she’s focused on clearing her name, Vanessa, the sweet wife, helps him recover but secretly wants his money and to finish the job, ending Cyrus’ life. At the same time, Noelle, who only wants to start over with a new life, gets pulled back into Cyrus’ schemes causing her to make decisions she never thought she would. When the trio clashes, will they learn to trust each other, or will their vengeful husband win in the end?
One-Shot Harry by Gary Phillips (April 5, 2022)
How far would you go to get justice for the death of a friend? Veteran Harry Ingram, forensic photographer, goes above and beyond the call of duty when he hears his old army friend, Ben Kinslow, dies in a car accident. At first, the cops declare the car accident a mere accident. But, when Harry develops photos from the scene, the pictures reveal more to the story. Harry’s instincts tell him something is amiss, and he’ll stop at nothing for the truth. On the eve of Martin Luther King’s rally, as tensions run high, Harry runs straight into the midst of a Los Angeles society in the 1960s in search of justice about Ben.
Summer’s Edge by Dana Mele (May 31, 2022)
When their summer lake house is burned to the ground, taking their dear friend Emily Joiner with them, a group of friends changes forever. A year later, with the house rebuilt, everyone returns. Emily’s twin brother Ryan, Chase, Chelsea and her ex-girlfriend Kennedy meet to celebrate their lost friend. As the celebration begins, Chelsea realizes she’s seeing ghosts at night, as Ryan stirs up accusations that has everyone thinking the same thing: that the fire which took Emily’s life was no accident. Now the gang must dig for clues to unravel the truth about their friend. There is just one problem: the killer is among them, and they have merely one night to find out who it is, or they might be next.
The Wife Before by Shanora Williams (June 28, 2022)
We’ve all heard the familiar love story: girl meets boy, they fall in love and live happily ever after. And for Samira Wilder, that’s how it starts. She meets wealthy, charming pro golfer Roland Graham and they quickly get married after only weeks of knowing each other. When Samira is all moved into Roland’s beautiful Colorado mansion, that’s when things crumble, and her happily ever after goes dark. She discovers that this wasn’t her new husband’s first go at marriage. While that doesn’t bother her, what happened to his first wife does. Samira finds journals that mention a tragic accident, but the more she digs, the more she notices Roland’s strange behavior and how the accident looks to be no accident at all. Will Samira find the truth, even as her own life hangs in the balance, or will she become the second tragic accident to occur around Roland — only time will tell.
Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare (July 5, 2022)
In 1936 London, life for one Lena Aldridge is going all too well. Her dream of a theatre career never panned out. Her love life ended when her married lover walked out on her, and the grimy basement where she sings hardly ever brings entertainment. A mysterious stranger could change it all for Lena, she just has to make it to New York and star in a role on Broadway. With the murder happening at the club and nothing left in London for Lena to live for, she makes her escape quickly. If only death could escape her as soon as she’s onboard Lena is thrown into a wealthy family’s affair followed by a chillingly similar murder and a mystery, she’ll have to perform her way out of if she wants to live.
We Lie Here by Rachel Howzell Hall (July 12, 2022)
Going back home isn’t the first choice Yara Gibson would have thought about when a vacation is involved. But for her parents, she’ll come back home to host their twentieth anniversary. All is going according to plan for the TV writer, that is until Yara receives disturbing texts from Felicia Campbell, her mother’s childhood friend. Yara only wants to ignore her incessant text, but her wish comes in a way that she didn’t expect — Felicia’s body floating in a nearby lake. When she’s left a key to a basement full of secrets, Yara’s life will never be the same.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware (July 12, 2022)
The first-person Hannah Jones ever met at Oxford was April Coutts-Cliveden. Soon their friendship grew into more —Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily. In their first term, everyone was inseparable, and the bond between April and Hannah grew stronger. April didn’t make it to their second term. Ten years later, April’s killer, the former Oxford porter John Neville, dies in prison. Life moved on for Hannah who is married to Will and expecting. But a report with evidence that claims Neville’s innocence brings the old gang back together, and Hannah soon discovers her old friends had more to hide than they let on, including April’s death.
The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda (July 26, 2022)
Abigail Lovett, the manager of a cozy resort, The Passage Inn, used to love her job. She arrived ten years ago, and life has been blissful ever since. Even with the string of unsolved cases that haunts the town, things remain on the up and up. That is until an outside journalist, Landon West stays at the inn to dig into the town’s history. When he disappears, and his brother arrives looking for answers, the two begin to uncover more about the town, and Abby will discover who her neighbors are and what they have been hiding all along.
Quarter to Midnight by Karen Rose (August 2, 2022)
Molly Sutton is ready for any battle. After her life in the Marines, she’s ready for whatever comes her way. She gets a job working for a private company with her old CO, Burke Broussard, as the owner. When Burke gets a call from a hotshot chef in the French Quarter, whose father dies, Molly takes the murder case. She’s not complaining as long as she can eat his famous chocolate cake and find her bad guys, preferably at the same time.
Stay Awake by Megan Goldin (August 9, 2022)
Something isn’t adding up for Liv Reese. Her apartment has a stranger living in it, one who throws her out into the cold after she wakes up from a mysterious taxi ride that drops her off at her doorstep. But when she’s back on the street moments later, and a bloody knife comes out of her pocket instead of the phone she planned to use things become even more bizarre. The words stay awake draw on her palms in black ink might be a clue she just has to remember it all first or be thrown into jail for a crime she doesn’t know if she committed.
The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell (August 9, 2022)
Rachel Rimmer’s husband Michael just died; his body found in the cellar of their home in France. The French police believe that Michael’s associates were the reason for his death, but Rachel believes it was his ex-wife, Lucy. When two years go by and Lucy least expects it, living a happy life in London, Rachel begins her hunt. She knows deep down who the real killer is, even if she’s never met Lucy, and nothing will prevent her from finding her and uncovering the truth.
The Hunt by Faye Kellerman (August 23, 2022)
When a body gets found in the woods of upstate New York, detectives Peter Decker and Tyler McAdams are the first to show up on the case. As they arrive, they discover it’s the very same place a man went missing prior. To make matters worse for Peter’s life, he’s called away when his adopted son Gabe needs help rescuing his biological mother, who’s been beaten and bruised badly, and her two kids are lost. Now with help from Christopher Donatti, Gabe’s biological father and hitman, Peter, his wife Rina Lazarus, and Gabe search for the missing children while praying Christ doesn’t hurt anyone in the process.
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney (August 30, 2022)
On Nana’s 80th birthday, the Darker family, who’d been ignoring each other for decades, must come together. For eight hours Daisy and her family will be cut off from the world on a small tidal island in a crumbling gothic house where her Nana lives. Once the clock strikes midnight and Nana and another member of the family is pronounced dead, the Darkers realize they have a serious problem. With their secrets piling up and someone trying to off every last one of them, Daisy and her family will need to regain each other’s trust before the tide pulls them all in and no one is left standing but the murderer.
The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith (August 30, 2022)
The Strike series returns with a sixth book that finds Cormoran and Robin engulfed in another winding and wicked case. Edie Ledwell, the co-creator of the popular cartoon The Ink Black Heart, is persecuted at the hands of a mysterious online figure who goes by the pseudonym of Anomie. Frantic and disheveled, Edie turns to private detective Robin Ellacott for help in the matter. Desperate to uncover Anomie’s identity, Edie pleads for Robin to step in. At first, Robin is certain it’s a simple case but, then days later, Edie turns up tasered and dead at the Highgate Cemetery, putting Robin and her partner Cormoran Strike on full alert. Keeping Edie’s request, the two detectives begin to follow a path to find the killer’s true identity. The web of online aliases is one that will test the two in every possible way.
The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson (September 6, 2022)
Madison Washington has always been an outcast among the Springville residents. At Springville High school in a small Georgia town, she’s the constant target of bullies, but she takes it in stride because there are more pressing problems at hand—like the fact that she’s biracial and no one knows it because her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington, wants it that way. But when a viral video is released of the bullying Madison faces and the racist roots of the school, they plan an integrated prom to cover it up. Only her classmates resent her even more, and what they think is revenge against Madison turns out to backfire because being biracial isn’t the only secret mystery that Madison has.
Secrets So Deep by Ginny Myers Sain (September 27, 2022)
Twelve years ago, Avril lost her mother, who drowned at the Whisper Cove theater off of the coastline of Connecticut. Everyone, including the police, ruled it an accident, something that Avril doesn’t fully believe. The locals of the town believe that what the sea wants, the sea will have; so, they assume her mother was called by the whispered voices of ghosts. That’s another theory Avril isn’t too keen on either. But the one thing she is certain, the night she lost her mother, something strange happened. Now coming back to Whisper Cove years later, she will try to make sense of the mystery of her mother and her memory: the stars falling, blinding light, and a tight grip on her wrist. The truth she seeks just might come at a price Avril isn’t ready to pay.
A Familiar Stranger by A.R. Torre (September 27, 2022)
Lillian Smith has a double life. During the day, she writes obituaries and lives with an inattentive brooding husband and a disconnected son. But when she meets a handsome stranger David, she’s lured into an affair and a new life where she’s not a mother or a wife. Feeling reckless, unpredictable, and wanted in her affair with David, Lillian begins to choose the persona she’s made up, ignoring her old life and her closest friends. Yet once her relationship with David finds its way onto her son’s social media account, Lillian races to keep everything covered up. But eventually it all spills out, including the fact that she isn’t the only one leading a double life.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult (October 4, 2022)
Olivia McAfee and her son Asher have left their seemingly picture-perfect life in Boston for a fresh start. Olivia’s husband had a dark side—one that shook both her and Asher to the core and left them in need of a new life in her old sleepy New Hampshire hometown. But now life is great, Olivia is running her father’s beekeeping business and Asher has a new crush at school, a young girl named Lily. Then one day Olivia receives a call: Lily is dead, and the police assume it’s Asher. Fighting to protect her son and to convince the police that Asher is innocent, Olivia begins to dig into what really happened to Lily. But the more she unearths, the harder it is to not see pieces of her husband’s dark side in Asher, and that he’s hidden more from her than ever.
The Confessions of Matthew Strong by Ousmane K. Power-Greene (October 11, 2022)
Allegra Douglass, an awarded Distinguished Chair in Philosophy at her university in New York, has been through a lot. Her mother’s disappeared, she’s suffered through cancer, lost her grandmother, and she’s encountered an uncomfortable and unforgettable situation with a white supremacist named Matthew Strong. On top of that, a string of missing young Black women are adding up while plantation homes restore and maps of a slave trade route come into the light. But the FBI isn’t listening without a strong enough case, that is until Allie, who’s been pressuring them herself disappears, kidnapped at the hands of Matthew Strong. Allie has survived it all, and she’ll fight to survive a tactical madman looking to ignite a revolution.
Lavender House by Lev A.C. Rosen (October 18, 2022)
At the Lavender House matriarch, Irene Lamontaine was found dead, and her murder still lives inside the very walls she’s built. Living in 1952, everyone inside the Lamontaine’s estate understands one thing—they’re free to be who they are, but those secrets must remain kept inside, including Irene’s soap recipes. When Irene’s widow hires Evander Mills to find her killer, he accepts happily, especially since he lost his job after being found at a gar bar, and he knows the Lamontaines are ones to keep his identity to themselves. Once at the Lavender House, Evander becomes enthralled at the queer family who lives honest and open with each other. But even families keep secrets, and soon, he’ll find himself in a game of old money, jealousy, and a killer who’s just getting started.
Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris (October 25, 2022)
It’s 1964, and Jim Crow laws still threaten the people living in Jackson, Mississippi. For Violet Richards, she fears the law even more, especially after her most recent encounter. She had to defend herself against her white rapist, Huxley Broadus, killing him in the process. But, before the finger points to her because of the color of her skin, or before they found his body, Violet runs. On the run with her beau, Dewey Leonard, they sneak away on a bus to Washington D.C but get separated, and Violet finds herself in Chillicothe, Georgia. Back home in Jackson, Violet’s sister Marigold is also in trouble: she’s unmarried and recently pregnant. When things start to unravel, and the police end up at her door asking questions about Huxley’s murder, she too flees, marrying a new man on the way. But while the two sisters are running from the law and shame of society, they will soon learn you can’t run forever.
The Cloisters by Katy Hays (November 1, 2022)
Ann Stilwell is in New York City for the summer, and she has big plans to work for the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a curatorial associate. Instead, a fortunate mix-up has her assigned to a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection called the Cloisters. There she notices an enigmatic group of researchers who all love studying the history of divination. Happy to indulge in their outlandish theories as it keeps her from thinking of the past, Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards. The cards, according to their theories, might hold the key to predicting the future. What started as a silly game for Ann turned quickly into one of power, seduction and death, and Ann isn’t sure she wants to continue playing.
The Widowmaker by Hannah Morrissey (December 6, 2022)
It’s been twenty years since business mogul Clive Reynolds disappeared. Now his name is used around words like “murder” and “mystery”, and the town of Black Harbor hasn’t been the same. Morgan Mori, a down-on-her-luck photographer who left long ago, returns after receiving a cryptic message. The very same night she prepared to do a shoot of the Reynold family holiday gathering, a cop, Ryan Hudson, uncovers a long-lost clue, turning Morgan into a witness of a homicide. To prove himself and earn a spot as lead detective, Ryan will have to put aside everything and unravel the dark past of Morgan and the secrets and lies of the Reynold’s family.