A botanist's guide to parties and poisons book cover

A botanist's guide to parties and poisons

Kate Khavari

MYSTERY Khavari Kate
Mystery, Suspense, Adventure, Science

London, 1923. Newly minted research assistant Saffron Everleigh attends a dinner party for the University College of London. While she expects to engage in conversations about the university's large expedition to the Amazon, she doesn't expect Mrs. Henry, one of the professors' wives to drop to the floor, poisoned by an unknown toxin. Dr. Maxwell, Saffron's mentor, is the main suspect, having had an explosive argument with Dr. Henry a few days prior. As evidence mounts against Dr. Maxwell and the expedition's departure draws nearer, Saffron realizes if she wants her mentor's name cleared, she'll have to do it herself.

Casey's picture

I devoured the first two Botanist's Guide books last summer and was pleasantly surprised to find that the latest installment is here! It did not disappoint. If you have yet to try any of the Saffron Everleigh series and enjoy dark academia or murder mysteries, now might be the time to start at the beginning! -Casey

Roy is not a dog book cover

Roy is not a dog

Esmé Shapiro

jE Shapiro
Picture Books, Mystery, Animals

"On Lilypod Lane, everyone knows everything about everybody . . . or so they believe! When curious paperboy Weasel encounters his mysterious neighbor Roy on his route, he becomes convinced that Roy is actually a dog!"--

Casey's picture

Dogs are people too! Wonderful storytelling and adorable illustrations abound in this latest from Esme Shapiro and Daniel Newell Kaufman. -Casey

Dark circles : a novel book cover

Dark circles : a novel

Caite Dolan-Leach

FICTION Dolan-Leach, Caite

"Olivia Reed needed a break. She doesn't want to think about her name plastered on tabloids or be reminded of her recent meltdown on a Manhattan street. Her micromanaging publicist has just the thing in mind: A remote retreat in Upstate New York-the House of Light. It's not rehab; it's a spiritual center, a site for seeking realignment and personal growth. There will be yoga and morning meditation, soft bamboo-blend fabrics and crystals to snuggle. But Liv will soon find that the House of Light is filled with darkness. She is approached by a prickly local, Ava, who informs her that something twisted is lurking beneath the the Light's veneer. There have been a series of mysterious suicides committed by women caught in the Light's web, and no matter who Ava talks to, no one believes her. To get the truth out and put her celebrity to good use, Liv starts a podcast, dodging flashlight beams to record at Ava's home and seeking to connect the dots and expose the Light's true intentions, if she and Ava can find them. Beneath the glowing skin of the Light's inhabitants are rotten souls, and Liv learns that she can trust no one-except herself."--

Candice's picture

I read this while on vacation recently, and while there is only a small beach in the book, and the only person to use the beach is also dead, this book made for a great beach read! A small town with a fancy retreat center that might or might not double as a home base for a cult with sinister vibes. a string of dead people showing up on auspicious dates, and a burnt-out starlet looking to restart her life come together nicely in this atmospheric, fast thriller. There's a true-crime podcast aspect that makes this one very up-to-date, and that combined with our heroine's out-of-control tendencies, gives us a nice opportunity to question our obsession with things that aren't good for us, often at the expense of others. -Candice

None of This is True book cover

None of This is True

Lisa Jewell

OverDrive Audiobook
Fiction, Mystery

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the #1 New York Times bestselling author known for her "superb pacing, twisted characters, and captivating prose" (BuzzFeed), Lisa Jewell returns with a scintillating new psychological thriller about a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summer crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins. A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix's children's school. Josie has been listening to Alix's podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life. Josie's life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can't quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realize that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix's life—and into her home. But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family's lives under mortal threat. Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?

Candice's picture

This was good...I wasn't even expecting it to be so good! You know, sometimes these mysteries can take on the same flavor after a while, even when certain plot points vary slightly. This is your 'average woman who has it mostly all together crosses paths with the seemingly meek and maybe mousy woman who never got the life she wanted but is ready to make a change' kind of mystery, BUT, with a incredibly highly unreliable narrator (narrators??) and some sinister plot twists thrown in there. It's up-to-date and the characters are well-defined and just introspective enough to make it real without going overboard with detail. Coupled with a stellar narration, this mystery ticks many boxes. -Candice

Brat Farrar book cover

Brat Farrar

Josephine Tey

MYSTERY Tey, Josephine

In this tale of mystery and suspense, a stranger enters the inner sanctum of the Ashby family posing as Patrick Ashby, the heir to the family's sizable fortune. The stranger, Brat Farrar, has been carefully coached on Patrick's mannerism's, appearance, and every significant detail of Patrick's early life, up to his thirteenth year when he disappeared and was thought to have drowned himself. It seems as if Brat is going to pull off this most incredible deception until old secrets emerge that jeopardize the imposter's plan and his life. Culminating in a final terrible moment when all is revealed, Brat Farrar is a precarious adventure that grips the reader early and firmly and then holds on until the explosive conclusion.

Anne M's picture

This is a pretty fun read. It involves mistaken identify, a fraudulent claimant, and a slow burn of an unsolved mystery. Of course there is a British manor and the slow decay of an aristocratic family. And there is a lot of talk about horses. Tey is so good at pulling you around as a reader in where your sympathies lie and in your belief in what happened. It is clear why this is a classic. -Anne M

The Christmas guest : a novella book cover

The Christmas guest : a novella

Peter Swanson

FICTION Swanson Peter

When a last-minute invitation from fellow student Emma Chapman brings her to Starvewood Hall for the holidays, Ashley Smith, an American art student in London, discovers this seemingly charming English village's grim history when a local girl is brutally murdered and Emma's brother is linked to the crime.

Anne M's picture

Christmas is just a convenient time of year for this super fun mystery. If you like moldering British manors and everything being not as it seems, this quick novella will not disappoint. -Anne M

Flux : a novel book cover

Flux : a novel

Jinwoo Chong

Fiction, Science Fiction, Mystery

"A blazingly original and stylish debut novel about a young man whose reality unravels when he suspects his mysterious new employers have inadvertently discovered time travel--and are using it to cover up a string of violent crimes..."--Dust jacket flap.

Annie's picture

This one was a real page-turner and a quick read to add to your stats before the end of 2023! I loved the way this narrative was organized and probably has something for everyone in it! -Annie

The Square of Sevens book cover

The Square of Sevens

Laura Shepherd-Robinson

OverDrive Audiobook
Fiction, Mystery, Historical Fiction

This "intricately plotted, epic" (The Times, London) international bestseller—in the vein of the vivid novels of Sarah Waters and Sarah Perry—follows an orphaned fortune teller in 18th-century England as she searches for answers about her long-dead mother.Cornwall, 1730: A young girl known only as Red travels with her father making a living predicting fortunes using the ancient Cornish method of the Square of Sevens. Shortly before he dies, her father entrusts Red's care to a gentleman scholar, along with a document containing the secret of the Square of Sevens technique. Raised as a lady amidst the Georgian splendor of Bath, Red's fortune telling delights in high society. But she cannot ignore the questions that gnaw at her soul: who was her mother? How did she die? And who are the mysterious enemies her father was always terrified would find him? The pursuit of these mysteries takes her from Cornwall and Bath to London and Devon, from the rough ribaldry of the Bartholomew Fair to the grand houses of two of the most powerful families in England. And while Red's quest brings her the possibility of great reward, it also leads to grave danger. "Intricate, haunting, and magical by turns, Laura Shepherd-Robinson's tale is an absolute immersive read you won't soon forget" (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author).

Candice's picture

An engrossing account of a young woman finding her way in 17th century England, from plying her trade of reading tarot on the streets and in fair booths, to seeking out the story of her family in the country homes of Bath and Devon. Red (aka Rachel) is at once an intelligent and curious waif, and a cunning teenager who balks at restraints and finds her own strength, as well as her weaknesses, as she grows up. This is a heroine one can root for at the same time they cringe at some of the choices she has to make, or chooses to make. Expertly read, as ever, by Imogen Wilde, who knows how to nail all the voices and dialects. Aimed at adults, but I think older teens would like this as well. -Candice

Carmilla : the first vampire book cover

Carmilla : the first vampire

Amy Chu

Diverse Characters, Fantasy, Horror, LGBTQ+, Graphic Novels, Mystery

"Before Dracula, before Nosferatu, there was...CARMILLA. At the height of the Lunar New Year in 1990s New York City, an idealistic social worker turns detective when she discovers young, homeless LGBTQ+ women are being murdered and no one, especially the police, seems to care. A series of clues points her to Carmilla's, a mysterious nightclub in the heart of her neighborhood, Chinatown. There she falls for the next likely target, landing her at the center of a real-life horror story-and face-to-face with illusions about herself, her life, and her hidden past. Inspired by the gothic novel that started a genre and layered with dark Chinese folklore, this queer, feminist murder mystery is a tale of identity, obsession and fateful family secrets"--

Annie's picture

A cool reimagining of the 1872 classic "Carmilla" that takes queer vampire murder mystery to a new level by incorporating Chinese folklore in the heart of 1990s New York. Perfect for the dark season! -Annie

Everybody Knows: A Novel book cover

Everybody Knows: A Novel

Jordan Harper

OverDrive Audiobook
Fiction, Mystery

In this "hardboiled mystery" (Maureen Corrigan) from an Edgar Award winning author, a fearless black-bag publicist exposes the belly of the L.A. beast. Welcome to Mae Pruett's Los Angeles, where "Nobody talks. But everybody whispers." As a "black-bag" publicist tasked not with letting the good news out but keeping the bad news in, Mae works for one of LA's most powerful and sought-after crisis PR firms, at the center of a sprawling web of lawyers, PR flaks, and private security firms she calls "The Beast." They protect the rich and powerful and depraved by any means necessary. After her boss is gunned down in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel in a random attack, Mae takes it upon herself to investigate and runs headfirst into The Beast's lawless machinations and the twisted systems it exists to perpetuate. ... Recommended by New York Times Book Review • NPR/Fresh Air • Wall Street Journal • Washington Post • LA Times •CrimeReads• Alta Online • Lit Hub• Kirkus Reviews• Publishers Weekly• NBC/TODAY and many more! • An ABA January 2023 Indie Next List Pick • A NYTBR Editors' Choice Selection "The book everybody's been waiting for" —Michael Connelly "An absolute tour de force"—S. A. Cosby "The best mystery novel I've read in years" —James Patterson

Candice's picture

This was so good! I came across this title on ICPL's 'Featured Collections' scroller on the website (which, by the way, is a great way to find titles you might not be aware of), and I was hooked from the beginning. The story is told in alternating chapters by Mae and Chris, and the first thing of note is that I found both narrators to be unique and excellent, with a nice range of emotion (even hard-on-the-outside Chris). You know when a narrator sounds just like the character you're imagining? This had that going on for me. The story itself is compelling and original, even while having well-known elements that are in the miasma surrounding Hollywood: the big players, the world of dirty secrets perpetrated by those who hold the power, the broken systems, the people who fall through the cracks, and the people who perpetuate all of this in various ways. I found all the characters to be nicely fleshed out, especially Mae and Chris of course, but the side characters are also given unique characteristics and situations that tell their stories. One final note: this is the second book I've read or listened to recently that has a female "cleaner" at the center of it, someone who helps cover up bad situations for powerful people in Hollywood (the other is the Devil's Playground), and it is making for some very interesting post-book thinking. -Candice