The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths (2019)

Mystery
Adult

The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths (2019)

Clare Cassidy teaches English at secondary school set in seaside England, at the very school where famed Victorian-era horror writer R.M. Holland lived and worked. She uses his short story, The Stranger, in her creative writing class for adults, in fact, and is such a fan of his work, she is writing a biography of the enigmatic author behind The Stranger, rumoured to have killed his wife. As October draws to a close, Clare is shocked to hear of the murder of her good friend and colleague Ella. Even more startling is the news that a note was found by the body, quoting a line from The Stranger. Clare soon finds herself at the centre of the investigation when she discovers an entry in her diary, written in the same handwriting as the note by Ella’s body.

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The Homecoming, by Andrew Pyper (2019)

Horror Fiction
Adult

The Homecoming, by Andrew Pyper

Four members of the Quinlan family – surgeon Aaron, his adored teenaged sister Bridget called Bridge, middle child Franny mourning the son she lost because of her addiction to heroin, and mother Eleanor – gather at Belfountain Estate to hear the terms of Ray Quinlan’s will. A largely absent father and husband, he was a secretive man – no one knew of this spectacular estate, not to mention a sizeable fortune which they stand to inherit. But there’s a catch. The four must stay at Belfountain for 30 days, with no technology or outside contact, starting immediately, or all the money goes to a charity.

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This Fallen Prey (Rockton #3), by Kelley Armstrong (2018)

Mystery
Adult

This Fallen Prey, by Kelley Armstrong (2018)

Kelley Armstrong is a well-known Canadian author, with a strong backlist in young adult and science fiction. I’ve read her before, but not lately, so when I spotted this on our library’s new book shelf, I picked it up and added it to a growing pile. Turns out it’s the third book in series I have not read. I think it would be best to start with book 1, but in summary, Casey Butler is a deputy in a tiny off-the-grid settlement in the Yukon, where its residents come to stay to escape some kind of threat in the real world. Some of them are there willingly, and others not. She’s in a relationship with Eric Dalton, who is her boss, the town’s sheriff. Both are about 30 years old. The book opens in mid-May when a plane lands and delivers an unexpected “package” – an accused serial killer “sentenced” to stay there instead of facing the law, thanks to a hefty payoff by his stepdad.

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The Thing About Clare, by Imogen Clark (2018)

Fiction
Adult

The Thing About Clare, by Imogen Clark (2018)

All families have secrets, but some secrets can be devastating. Should they stay buried? When mother Dorothy passes away, the four Bliss siblings – sensible Miriam, wild and unpredictable Clare, favourite child Anna, and adored little brother Sebastian – gather at the funeral, where we learn Anna has, in response to Dorothy’s dying plea, retrieved her will and an accompanying letter. But she has not destroyed them as her mother asked. Anna eventually discovers why her mother was so desperate to bury the secret, and now carries the burden herself. It’s a secret that could change her siblings’ lives forever.

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My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite (2018)

Contemporary Fiction
Adult

My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Sisters Korebe and Ayoola could not be more different. Korebe is a responsible nurse, level-headed and thoughtful. The younger Ayoola is beautiful, impulsive, and obsessed with her standing in social media. She’s also a sociopath. When Ayoola calls her sister for help in the middle of the night, Korebe knows what to do – bring gloves and bleach. This is the third boyfriend in a row who has died at Ayoola’s hands, but family comes first for Korebe. Until Ayoola’s next boyfriend is someone Korebe has deep feelings for. Now what? Dark humour abounds in this little novel, about 225 pages, set in modern-day Nigeria. I was reminded of Patrick deWitt’s brilliant The Sisters Brothers – it’s that kind of tongue-in-cheek scenario that will have you laughing when you should be horrified.

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An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good, by Helene Tursten (2018)

Mystery (Short Stories)
Adult

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good, by Helene Tursten

Well, here’s a surprising turn of events. If you are looking for a cosy mystery featuring a sharp-eyed nosy widow who solves the murder, this ain’t it. Eighty-eight-year-old Maud lives rent-free in Gothenburg, Sweden, in a highly coveted apartment, thanks to a decades-old agreement. With no family or friends, she surfs the Internet on a stolen laptop, travels the world drawing on a healthy savings account, and solves pesky problems with deadly precision. In this collection of five stories, Maud gets away with murder, thanks to a deadly combination of misanthropy, a mighty level of self-interest, a sharp intellect, and a ruthless willingness to use people’s assumptions about old ladies any time it suits her.

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The Clockmaker’s Daughter, by Kate Morton (2018)

Historical Mystery
Adult

The Clockmaker's Daughter, by Kate Morton

Here’s another genre-blending blockbuster from Kate Morton, author of The Lake House and The Forgotten Garden, among others. It’s an historical mystery, a gothic ghost story, and a family saga. Best of all it features an archivist! Londoner Elodie Winslow is in her early 30s, engaged to be married though fed up with the wedding preparations and planning expected by her future mother-in-law. She seizes the opportunity for distraction when she discovers an uncatalogued box of items, including a sketch of a beautiful woman and another of riverside house that seems hauntingly familiar. It turns out to be Birchwood Manor, where a young group of Victorian-era artists spent a month in July 1862, a stay that ended with one woman dead and another missing, the theft of a priceless diamond, and a promising artist’s life is ruined.

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