ICPL's Favorite Books of 2019: Mystery

Every year ICPL staff vote on their top books published that year, identifying their favorite reads in 10 categories: FICTION; YOUNG ADULT; PICTURE BOOKS; MIDDLE GRADE AND CHILDREN'S; MYSTERY; ROMANCE; SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY; BIOGRAPHIES and MEMOIRS; NONFICTION; and GRAPHIC NOVELS.

Join us as we share our favorites in each category, then be sure to check out what titles were named BEST OF THE BEST for 2019. To make our BEST OF THE BEST list, a book had to be nominated by more than one employee. The book with the most staff nominations is ICPL's BEST BOOK of 2019!

We'll announce the BEST OF THE BEST for 2019, and our pick for BEST BOOK of 2019, on December 31. For now, enjoy our favorite MYSTERY books of 2019!

The long call

Ann Cleeves

MYSTERY Cleeves Ann
Mystery

From Ann Cleeves--bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows--comes the first in a gripping new series. "Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite mystery writers."--Louise Penny In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father's funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too. Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. The case calls Matthew back into the community he thought he had left behind, as deadly secrets hidden at its heart are revealed, and his past and present collide. An astonishing new novel told with compassion and searing insight, The Long Call will captivate fans of Vera and Shetland, as well as new readers.

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I took it hard when Ann Cleeves recently announced she would not be writing any more Shetland mysteries. But I am very happy to find that I like the main character in her new series "Two Rivers" just as much. Detective Matthew Venn is a sympathetic character--earnest, introverted, working outside of his comfort zone because he cares about making things right. This first novel is suspenseful and the setting on the Devon coast is interesting and inviting. I look forward to more in this new series.
- Heidi L

The mother-in-law : a novel

Sally Hepworth

FICTION Hepworth Sally
Fiction, Mystery

"A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman's complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death... From the moment Lucy met her husband's mother, Diana, she was kept at arm's length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law. That was five years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer. But the autopsy finds no cancer. The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation. Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses? With Lucy's secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans." --

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This book was not what I expected, but in a good way! Told in alternating chapters, sometimes in the past and other times in the present, The Mother-In-Law manages to be a family drama, love story, tale of female bonding, and mystery in one. Highly enjoyable!
- Meredith

The scholar

Dervla McTiernan

MYSTERY Mctierna Dervla
Mystery

When Dr. Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit-and-run outside Galway University early one morning, she calls her boyfriend, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID that will put this crime at the center of a scandal--her card identifies her as Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland's most successful pharmaceutical company. Darcy Therapeutics has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy--it has even funded Emma's own ground-breaking research. As the murder investigation twists in unexpected ways and Cormac's running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question himself and the beliefs that he has long held as truths. Who really is Emma? And who is Carline Darcy? A gripping and atmospheric follow-up to The Ruin, an "expertly plotted, complex web of secrets that refuse to stay hidden" (Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King's Daughter), The Scholar is perfect for fans of Tana French and Flynn Berry.

The silent patient

Alex Michaelides

FICTION Michaelides, Alex
Suspense

Alicia Berenson's life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London's most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia's refusal to talk or give any kind of explanation turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the spotlight of the tabloids at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His search for the truth leads him down a terrifying path and threatens to consume him.

An anonymous girl

Greer Hendricks

FICTION Hendricks Greer
Fiction, Mystery

"When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she'll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she's thinking...and what she's hiding."--

The black ascot

Charles Todd

MYSTERY Todd Charles
Mystery

An astonishing tip from a grateful ex-convict seems implausible--but Inspector Ian Rutledge is intrigued and brings it to his superior at Scotland Yard. Alan Barrington, who has evaded capture for ten years, is the suspect in an appalling murder during Black Ascot, the famous 1910 royal horserace honoring the late King Edward VII. His disappearance began a manhunt that consumed Britain for a decade. Now it appears that Barrington has returned to England, giving the Yard a last chance to retrieve its reputation and see justice done.