Two thumbs up! Way up!! Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman hit all the sweet spots for this reviewer, and is a Mystery in Minutes 2018 favorite! If, like me, you love to "shout" at book characters during highly suspenseful scenes, then get those vocal cords warmed up and buckle your seat belts, because Something in the Water becomes an increasingly tense, immersive, and utterly gripping ride, as it taps into primal fears that many of us share! Ms. Steadman’s novel also takes the amateur detective plot device, and turns it on its head!Read More
A twisty-turny mystery that includes a jaw-dropping about-face, new-to-Mystery in Minutes author Linwood Barclay's latest standalone novel, A Noise Downstairs, manages to be about so much more than its eye-catching cover image and title would imply.Read More
Espionage spy fiction meets domestic suspense in former CIA analyst Karen Cleveland's debut crime novel! Published in over twenty languages, and optioned for the screen by Universal Pictures, with Charlize Theron to develop, produce, and star in the adaptation, Need to Know is a story of how one choice can have a devastating ripple effect. Ms. Cleveland's book asks two crucial questions of the reader: first, if faced with the choice between loyalty to country, or personal loyalty, which would you choose? And second, would your patriotism be great enough to risk any potential consequences to yourself, or to your loved ones?Read More
Suspenseful, chilling, and thought-provoking, A Gathering of Secrets by American writer Linda Castillo is number ten in her Kate Burkholder series, but can easily be read as a standalone. With this installment, Ms. Castillo has, once again, authored a winner!Read More
Wonderfully haunting and atmospheric, The Last Time I Lied by American author Riley Sager is a Mystery in Minutes favorite of 2018 so far, in a year of great crime fiction reading! From its eye-catching, blue cover, to its breath-holdingly suspenseful, climactic action sequence, and its absolute zinger of a final twist, The Last Time I Lied just may be the quintessential summer psychological suspense!Read More
Winner and nominee of multiple awards, including the 2018 Edgar award for Best Novel, the 2018 Anthony award for Best Novel, and the 2017 Los Angeles Times book prize for mystery/thriller, Bluebird, Bluebird by American author Attica Locke is a mystery novel dripping with southern, blues atmosphere, one that digs deep, and often suspensefully, into interpersonal relationships and family sagas. It is the author's heartfelt love letter to the land of her grandparents, and an unapologetic portrait of race relations in rural, East Texas.Read More
Happy Summer, crime fiction readers! Last month, Mystery in Minutes read, and LOVED, Jar of Hearts by Canadian crime writer, Jennifer Hillier. Jar of Hearts became available to the public on June 12th, and in celebration, Mystery in Minutes is sharing a video of the author discussing Jar of Hearts, plus, a three-chapter excerpt of this buzz-worthy novel!!Read More
Sharp Objects is the multi-award winning and nominated, 2006 debut by Gillian Flynn, the American author of a little book that you may have heard of, called "Gone Girl". So why is Mystery in Minutes reviewing this in 2018, you might ask? First, because Sharp Objects was the only full length novel of Ms. Flynn's that I had not yet read, and second, because the crime fiction world is all atwitter about the highly anticipated, July 8th premiere of HBO’s Sharp Objects mini-series, starring Amy Adams as Camille Preaker, and Patricia Clarkson as her mother, Adora.Read More
Compelling and suspenseful, with a wonderful hook, This Dark Place is the very strong debut of American crime novelist Claire Kittridge and independent publisher, Delicate Prey. Fans of Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza need to put this author on their must read lists, stat!
As a lover of both UK crime fiction and New York City (a visit to the UK is on my bucket list), imagine my delight to learn of the inspired premise of This Dark Place: in short, the wealthy and connected father of a New Yorker who had been studying in London, hires a tough, female, New York homicide detective to travel to London, and to work with the London Metropolitan Police to investigate his daughter's death. What follows is a confidently-written, "chilling British thriller with an American twist".Read More
Years back, I read Ms. Hillier's debut, as well as her second novel. While I very much enjoyed them both, of the three (and if memory serves), Jar of Hearts has the most three-dimensional characters, and possibly the most well-developed plot. It is also the one that has lingered, and the one I am already thinking of re-reading at some point. With the use of flashbacks, the tension in the book accelerates as the reader learns what actually happened to sixteen year old murder victim Angela Wong all those many years ago, and the book's ultimate reveal is one of those wonderful, gasp-out-loud moments that we crime fiction readers love! Five of five "hearts" from Mystery in Minutes for the utterly addictive and captivating Jar of Hearts, written by Canadian author Jennifer Hillier!Read More
Building to a breath-holding, heart-pounding, race-against-time climax, Dying Truth is installment eight of the Detective Inspector Kim Stone crime thriller series, written by Angela Marsons. Dying Truth opens with an action-packed prologue that foreshadows its denouement. The remainder of the novel counts down toward its life-or-death-hanging-in-the-balance-finish!Read More
Just in time for those “lazy, hazy days” ahead comes new-to-Mystery-in-Minutes author Charlie Donlea’s Don’t Believe It, a crime novel set partly on a Caribbean island, making it a terrific choice for pool-side, beach-side, summer reading! Fans of bestselling author Lisa Gardner are sure to enjoy Charlie Donlea's thought-provoking and entertaining latest offering!Read More
Haunting and thought-provoking, with an underlying sense of inescapable menace, Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall is a psychological drama that keeps the reader enthralled and turning the pages right up until its unsettling finish.
Our Kind of Cruelty is, at its heart, the tale of one character's obsessive fixation with another.
Or is it?Read More
Confident and razor-sharp in its authenticity, Resurrection Bay is an extremely impressive debut that has won numerous awards. Talented Australian author Emma Viskic has crafted a pacy procedural that demands for readers to take notice. What sets this contemporary private eye novel uniquely apart is the portrayal of its central character, who, at around the age of five, and while only in primary school, lost his hearing after a bout of meningitis. Caleb Zelic, the chief investigator of the book, is deaf. Imagine, if you will, only being able to guess if someone is coming up behind you in the dark by sensing a change in the air, or by feeling vibrations in the floor. Imagine not knowing whether or not your adrenaline-fueled breathing is loud enough to reveal your hiding place. These are just two of the scenarios that create pulse-pounding tension within the novel.Read More
An assured, stunner of a debut, Tangerine by Christine Mangan is an eloquent, slow-burning, historical novel of nuanced, psychological suspense. Tangerine is set predominantly in Tangier, during the lead up to Morocco's 1956 independence from France. With its Patricia Highsmith vibe, and its "Casablanca-esque" cover, this literary drama of intrigue is evocative of the medinas, the souks, the casbahs, the fragrant spice markets, and the heat of 1950s North Africa.Read More