Book Review: THE INVITED by Jennifer McMahon

With beautiful descriptions of nature, and an atmosphere of subtle menace and eeriness, Jennifer McMahon’s The Invited will appeal to readers who appreciate mysteries about spirits, hauntings, and the occult, yet prefer stories that are not overly violent, or too scary or stressful.

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Book Review: Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner has done it again! Never Tell is an absorbing, twisty, one-sitting, page-turner of a read with dialogue that snaps and crackles, and a plot line that accelerates to a roaring, action-packed climax! What a talent Ms. Gardner has for pulling the reader directly into her story, with a writing style that feels relatable, authentic, and deceptively effortless.

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MINM Book Review: The Wife by Alafair Burke

This layered, well-plotted, richly-characterized story sucked me in from the beginning, and called my name whenever I was unable to listen to Xe Sands’ engrossing audio book narration! The Wife ramps up to a twist-upon-twist crescendo, and, ultimately, finishes with an ending that will haunt readers, long after the final sentence. The Wife has been added to my list of Mystery in Minutes favorites for 2018! Author Alafair Burke has a new fan!

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MINM Book Review: Button Man by Andrew Gross

Andrew Gross’s homage to his grandfather is a period piece with heart-tugging emotion, gripping suspense, a surprising twist, and a wonderful sense of place (even if the place at that time wasn’t always so wonderful for everyone). Button Man reminds us that acts of courage by even just “a few good men”, and standing up for what is right, can often make a difference of lasting and positive change for many.

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YOU by Caroline Kepnes Book Review and Video Trailer of the Series Adaptation

Now streaming on Netflix, the totally binge-worthy, series adaptation of the debut that generated, arguably, the most crime fiction buzz the year that it was originally published. Daring, captivating, and with a taboo quality that has readers that love it declaring it a guilty pleasure, and others being equally offended by it, YOU by Caroline Kepnes is, still, one of the freshest, most original novels I have read in years!

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MINM Review: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

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?

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MINM Review: A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo

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!

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MINM Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

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!

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MINM Review: Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

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.

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MINM Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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.

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MINM Review: This Dark Place by Claire Kittridge

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".

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MINM Review: Don't Believe It by Charlie Donlea

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!

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MINM Review: Tangerine by Christine Mangan

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. 

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MINM Review: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

Is The Woman in the Window a highly entertaining and atmospheric psychological suspense debut? Absolutely! But it can also be thought-provoking. Kudos to A. J. Finn for "opening a window" on mental health, the importance of support and treatment, and the possibility, often, of healing.

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MINM Review: Look For Me by Lisa Gardner

Bestselling author Lisa Gardner has written an engaging police procedural with a plot, characters, and a finale almost operatic in their poignancy. Look For Me resonates within the current cultural shift toward empowerment of survivors, and the reckoning of those that abuse their positions of power.

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