List-O-Rama: 2013 Mysterious Reads
I used to adore mysteries and crime fiction, but at some point the genres went in two extreme directions: incredibly gory or incredibly campy.
But hope is on the horizon! I've seen a number of intriguing-looking new or upcoming releases that look like they walk a nice line of mysterious and atmospheric without being too extreme. Fingers crossed!
Ratlines by Stuart Neville | Soho Crime, Jan. 2013
The folks at Soho Press were the best "book talkers" at ALA and got me incredibly excited for a number of their titles, including Stuart Neville's thriller, Ratlines, which promises to name names regarding the Irish government officials who granted asylum to Nazis following World War II.
What We Saw at Night by Jacqueline Mitchard | Soho Teen, Jan. 2013
What We Saw at Night is another Soho title, this time from the new teen imprint. This one is about a group of teens who are allergic to sunlight and witness what they think is a murder. It's the first of a series that involves Parkour and sleuthing and secrets. I'm nervous, though, because reviews have mentioned a cliffhanger, which annoy me in mysteries.
Hysteria by Megan Miranda | Bloomsbury, Feb. 2013
I really liked Megan Miranda's debut, Fracture, and thought it had a unique, atmospheric style. Hysteria is more of a straight-up psychological thriller about a girl who kills her boyfriend, but has no memory of the event--I'm very much looking forward to it, especially after reading Jen's review.
Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison | Egmont, Feb. 2013
I've generally--and possibly wrongly--avoided Paper Lantern Lit, Alloy and other book packager titles because there's something intangible about that model that doesn't sit quite right with me. However, Kate Ellison's Notes from Ghost Town sounds like it will be right in my wheelhouse with madness, murder and ghosts and early reviews have been very positive.
Escape Theory by Margaux Froley | Soho Teen, March 2013
Escape Theory is another Soho title that caught my eye at ALA Midwinter and the teen title publicist was really talking up. This teen mystery takes place in a California boarding school (win!--I still love boarding school books) where a popular student's suicide rocks the campus, except the main character, a peer counselor, starts to suspect that the death was more of the murdery variety.
Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes | Harper, March 2013
I received a random copy of Haynes sophomore novel (which is already out in the U.K.) in the mail recently and glancing through the first chapter, I was instantly intrigued. It's about a woman trying to escape her past who finds herself embroiled in a mystery around a body that washes up next to her houseboat. It also has a dual, past-present-style narrative that I tend to really enjoy.
Ghost Time by Courtney Eldridge | Amazon Children's Publishing, June 2013
Amazon featured Courtney Eldridge's YA mystery, Ghost Time, in their catalog distributed at ALA Midwinter and it immediately caught my attention. According to the author's website, Ghost Time is the first in a series about strange happenings in an upstate New York, Twin Peaks-type town following the disappearance of the main character's boyfriend.
Dead Girls Don't Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf | Walker Children's, September 2013
As one does, I accosted Jennifer at ALA Midwinter to let her know how much I enjoyed her debut, Breaking Beautiful, which had a really fantastic mysterious vibe. Her sophomore novel, Dead Girls Don't Lie, sounds even creepier. It's about a teen girl who's convinced that her best friend's death wasn't a result of her town's gang problem, but something even more sinister.
Y'all, when I was browsing my to-read list for mysteries, I started to suspect that the genre is really coming back (not that it went anywhere, but you know what I mean). There are loads of interesting-sounding books coming out in 2013 that have a definite mysterious bent, in all categories--and mysteries were prominently displayed at ALA Midwinter. (I don't read middle grade, but I came across several for that audience as well.) I couldn't be more excited!