Mystery

The Girls I’ve Been – Tess Sharpe – ARC Review

What starts out as an ordinary, if awkward morning depositing money turns deadly for Nora, her girlfriend Iris and her ex-boyfriend Wes as they find themselves in the midst of a bank robbery. But Nora is not any ordinary girl. The daughter of a con-artist, she was raised as her protégé and has played many roles in the past. And now, five years after escaping that life and building something resembling normality, it’s time for her to pull out those old skills again in order to save herself and her friends.…

Influence – Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham – ARC Review

Delilah Rollins has been catapulted into the world of social media influencers after one of her videos unexpectedly goes viral and she moves to LA, and she finds fast friends in Jasmine and Fiona. Child star turned popular influencer, Jasmine Walters-Diaz has grown up in the spotlight, but is beginning to feel boxed in and suffocated by the image she must maintain in order to keep her fanbase. Aspiring actress Fiona Jacobs struggles with a secret from her past that could ruin her career if it became known. Then there’s Scarlet Leigh, who seems to have the perfect life and is something of a mean girl, but how much of it is real? Influence is a glimpse into the world of influencers and the darker side of celebrity – the glamour we see is not always the entire story.…

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson | Blogmas Day 11

For her senior year project, Pippa Fitz-Amobi decides to reinvestigate a closed murder case that happened in her own town. Five years ago, 17 year old Andie Bell went missing, and was presumed murdered by her boyfriend Sal. Pip has always felt that there was more to the story, and she decides to find out, using her project as a convenient cover, what really happened to Andie that night, and if Sal was really guilty. But her investigation takes a turn as she begins to notice several inconsistencies in the official narrative, stumbling onto some dark secrets and it quickly becomes clear that someone in town doesn’t want Pip to go digging into the past – and they’re willing to go to any extent to stop her.…

The Shadow Mission – Shamim Sarif

Having proven herself, Jessie is back on the team, and she, Hala and Caitlin head to Pakistan on their next mission to find the man whose crimes resulted in the creation of Athena and extract information from him regarding a planned terror attack. Their information leads them to a girls’ school in Mumbai – one of Kit’s schools – but they are not in time to prevent it. Jessie must work with local detective Riya to uncover the organization behind the bombing before any further attacks occur.…

The Devil and the Dark Water – Stuart Turton

The year is 1634 and the merchant vessel, Saardam, prepares to sail for Amsterdam. Aboard the ship are a number of passengers, amongst them, the famous detective Samuel Pipps who is set to be executed on arrival for crimes unknown. His faithful bodyguard, Arent Hayes, is determined to prove him innocent. Even ordinarily, this 8 month journey would be a perilous one, with the threat of pirates and storms, but this one seems jinxed even before the voyage begins, when a leper seemingly places a curse on the ship and bursts into flames on the dock. Things don’t get any better once out at sea as mysterious occurrences haunt the ship and its passengers. With the rumour spreading that there is a demon on board, it’s up to Arent to solve this mystery.…

The Cousins – Karen M. McManus – The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour

Twenty-four years ago, the Story siblings Adam, Anders, Allison and Archer were disinherited by their rich mother with only the explanation of a letter stating “You know what you did”. When cousins Milly, Aubrey and Jonah each receive a letter from the grandmother they’ve never met, inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, their parents insist they go. The cousins don’t really know each other all that well, but they’re curious not only about what could have made their grandmother reach out now, but also about what exactly happened all those years ago. But when the trio arrive at Gull Cove Island, it’s clear something much larger is afoot, as their grandmother seems to have no idea they were arriving at all. It quickly becomes clear that something isn’t quite right on the island, as long kept family secrets begin to unravel. Each member of the Story family seems to have something to hide, and the cousins are no exception.…

You Were Never Here – Kathleen Peacock – ARC Review

Cat Montgomery arrives in Montgomery Falls to visit her Aunt for the summer after some terrible events back home in New York, only to find out that her childhood friend, Riley Fraser, is missing. Even after three months, no one is any closer to finding him and he seems to have simply disappeared. Montgomery Falls hasn’t yet had its fill of mysterious events though, and when a girl is found floating in the river with no memories of who attacked her, it seems like Riley’s disappearance may not have been an isolated incident. When his brother Noah asks Cat to help him in discovering what exactly happened, Cat is torn: she wants to find out the truth, but to do that, she will have to use the ability she has spent most of her life running away from.…

The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes – The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour

One day Avery is a normal teenager, living in her car, just waiting to get through high school, and the next, her life is turned upside down when Tobias Hawthorne, billionaire and philanthropist, dies and names her the heiress to most of his enormous fortune. Which would be great, except he has disinherited his two daughters and four grandsons in the process – oh, and Avery doesn’t have a clue who he was. As required by the Will, Avery moves into Hawthorne House where she must live for the next year in order to receive her inheritance, right alongside the disgruntled relatives. Grayson, who was considered the presumptive heir, is convinced she is a con-artist of some kind, but his brother Jameson is certain she is their grandfather’s last puzzle that they are meant to solve using the cryptic letters each of them received. In this new world of luxury, Avery can trust no one, and yet, the only way to get some answers seems to be to play the game laid out by the billionaire.…

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

Evelyn Hardcastle has returned home after years living abroad in Paris, and her parents have planned a grand party at the isolated family manor, Blackheath, to celebrate. But Blackheath holds a dark past – it is the place where the youngest Hardcastle son, Thomas was murdered, and the guests invited to this gala are the very same guests who were in the house on that fateful day, nineteen years ago. But this time, the murder is Evelyn’s own. Aiden Bishop wakes up in the body of one of the guests with no memories of his own, and is told that the only way for him to escape Blackheath is to solve Evelyn’s murder. He repeats the same day over and over in the bodies of eight different hosts as he attempts to unravel the mystery and beat an enemy he knows nothing about, seeing the events of the day that lead up to Evelyn’s death from different perspectives. Every guest in the house has their own secrets, and as a sinister figure is on the prowl to murder Aiden’s hosts before he can find the truth, time is running out fast.…

All Your Twisted Secrets – Diana Urban – ARC Review

All Your Twisted Secrets follows six high school students who are invited to a scholarship dinner, but arrive to find themselves trapped in a room. On the table is a syringe containing poison, a bomb and a note saying that they have one hour to decide who amongst themselves will die, or the bomb goes off and kills them all. Amber is determined to get everyone out alive, but even as they frantically search for a way out, the bigger question is why they are all there – six students who couldn’t be more unalike, but each have secrets tying them to the others, secrets that could ruin them, and as the hour ticks by and logic gives way to panic, they are all about to be revealed.…

The Hand on the Wall – Maureen Johnson

Stevie Bell has done it. She’s solved the cold case that has baffled investigators for decades and figured out the mystery of Truly Devious, and the instigator of the Ellingham kidnappings. But there are still pieces of the puzzle missing. What happened to Alice Ellingham? What is the truth behind the three present day deaths and are they really as accidental as they seem? And might there be a link between Alice’s fate and the strange happenings at Ellingham Academy decades later? Stevie certainly thinks so, but before she can pursue the clues further, the school is evacuated due to yet another accident, not to mention an oncoming snowstorm, and determined not to return to her old life, she stays on the mountain to solve this mystery once and for all. There’s a murderer to be caught.…

One of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

Eighteen months have passed since the events of One of Us Is Lying, and the shock of things is only just starting to die down when a new game begins – Truth or Dare. Many laugh it off as yet another of the copycat gossip apps that popped up in the wake of Simon’s death, but Bayview High’s thirst for gossip has not abated, and when the first truths are revealed, and the dares quickly turn dangerous, things begin to get out of hand. Maeve Rojas, Phoebe Lawton and Knox Meyers are targeted one after another as devastating secrets are revealed and the chain of events once more leaves murder in its wake.…

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

True-crime enthusiast Stevie Bell arrives for her first year at the famous Ellingham academy, and her goal is to unravel the decades old mystery that hangs over the school  – the kidnapping of the wife and daughter of the school’s wealthy founder, Albert Ellingham. The only clue found at the time was a mocking letter signed with the pseudonym, Truly Devious. But is this cold case really a thing of the past? Stevie’s investigation suddenly turns a lot more dangerous – for Truly Devious has returned to Ellingham Academy, and murder with it.…

Mind Games – Shana Silver – ARC Review

Arden Varga is a computer genius and a skilled hacker. At the exclusive STEM focussed high school she attends, everyone uses a technology called HiveMind, created by her father, which syncs to a persons brainwaves and allows them to upload all their memories into the cloud and access them at any time, essentially ensuring that you’ll never forget anything. Arden however, has hacked this system, and has a business of stealing and selling others’ memories along with her friend Zoey. Everything is great until Arden realizes that her own memory has not only been hacked but thousands of her memories are missing. Sebastian Cuomo, supposedly her project partner, has lost all of his memories, and the two of them quickly figure out that this whole thing is centred around their final project – something that was apparently life-changing, and something that the hacker doesn’t want to see completed.…

Mini Reviews #2

Hello readers, and welcome back to Mini Reviews! This installment, let’s chat about four books: We Set the Dark on Fire, A Question of Holmes, Three Dark Crowns and Four Dead Queens.…

The Vanishing Stair – Maureen Johnson

In this riveting sequel to Truly Devious, Stevie continues to investigate the Ellingham murders, but Ellingham Academy still has more secrets to be told. As the half century old mystery unfolds, more and more questions arise as the plot thickens in present day…

Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus

It feels so good to get back to the mystery genre after all this time! I basically grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton novels and later, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. And while I still pick up those once in a while, just to refresh my memory, I’ve had a really hard time finding an author who writes the mystery genre for YA – until I came across McManus’ first novel, One of Us is Lying.…