March Mysteries

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March Mysteries

March is here and, to my reading pursuits, that means it is time for mysteries! I love reading mysteries in March: maybe it is the alliteration, maybe it is because March is the transitional time between winter and spring, maybe it is needing a thrill after the lovey-dovey books of February have passed, etc.

Whatever the reason may be… it is March, and in March, I read mysteries!

Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos
I’ve always found the idea of witness protection programs to be fascinating! Of course in real life, it is probably traumatic, as is the case for the premise of this great mystery. Melanie Denison (as she is now called), has been living a hidden life for the majority of her life. Her caregivers have taken great lengths to conceal her identity, never allowing her to go to school functions or use the Internet -  all to protect her from her father whom is on the run after reportedly murdering her mother and the 3-year-old Melanie.

Despite all the precautions set in place, Melanie begins an illicit affair with her teacher and becomes pregnant. She decides to be brave for her baby and face her past by returning to her New Jersey hometown, to find her father and stop running from her past. But, when she returns, she uncovers that things are much more complicated than they first seemed. Will she solve the problems of her past, or fall victim to her alleged fate? 

The Kind Worth Killing For by Peter Swanson
Right around the time that The Girl on the Train was exploding in popularity, an old boss of mine recommended this book to me as I waited patiently for my hold to come in. She implored me to try it because, in her mind, it was a greater mystery/thrill than The Girl on the Train; she felt it had a greater focus on characters and less of a mystery. Now that I have read both books, I will say this book is wicked compared to Girl. Some scenes have made a permanent impression in my brain and haunt me as I try to fall asleep.

Lily and Ted are just two strangers chatting at an airport bar, killing time until their plane departs. As their small talk progresses and after a few drinks, Ted admits that he wants to kill his wife, who is cheating on him. To his surprise, Lily offers to help! Lily has a clear justice system in her head and is not afraid to create moments of justice delivered when life fails to follow through. The two begin a tangled web of learning more about each other and working towards the final goal, of murder! As we learn about the backstories of these characters, you will be caught in many twists and turns, and learning about how Lily came to be will haunt you.

The Book of You by Claire Kendal
This book is another thriller. You have been warned.

Clarissa is being stalked by a guy from her past, Rafe. Despite having a regrettable and drunk/drugged encounter with him years ago, she would like nothing more than for him to leave her alone. Rafe shows up everywhere- at work, at the sewing shop, the train station, etc. He leaves packages for her at her apartment, and chats up her neighbors, playing the part of the nice guy that is going out of his way to be sweet and charming. Clarissa is trying to prove his obsession and begins a diary/book of all her encounters of him, so that she will have evidence for the police. She gets a small break when she is picked for jury duty and is on a long trial of a murdered woman with an eerily similar story to her own experiences. But once Rafe’s access to her is threatened, what lengths will he go to establish a connection? This book will make you look over your shoulder…
 
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
When the body of an infant is discovered in the woods in the idyllic university town in Ridgedale, New Jersey, the community struggles to make sense of what has happened. Reporter Molly Anderson is tasked to cover the story, despite her recent delivery of a stillborn baby. As Molly moves through the emotional journey of grieving and crime solving, she uncovers an unreported string of sexual assaults throughout a span of 20 years.

I really liked how this story is told from multiple points of view and weaves a lot of character secrets together to build the story… it kept me guessing and guessing what was happening until the very end.  
 
Precious Thing by Collette McBeth
After I read this book, I had to stay up even later to distract myself from the terror of the story… while that doesn’t make for good nighttime habits, it does speak to amazing writing!

This is the story of two friends, Rachel, the shy and awkward one, and Clara, the outgoing and fun friend - or at least that's how they used to be when they met in high school. Years later, their roles have switched - with Rachel becoming a successful news correspondent, and Clara, who has disappeared. One of the things that adds to the surprise of this book is that as you read, you start to doubt the narrator; it seems like someone is framing Rachel for the murder of her old friend, and you will keep guessing until the very end if Rachel really did have something to do with it! It is definitely a psychological thriller that examines the intensity of friendships.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
While this novel is technically YA, I honestly thought it was one of the best mysteries I have read in a while. Since then, I have recommended it to lots of teenagers and adults, and people really love it, so I hope you will, too!

Cadence has spent every summer of her childhood on her family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts. She is the oldest grandchild and now spends most of her summers with her two cousins, and a family friend, Gat. Their 15th summer on the island becomes a shift as the foursome turn into teenagers and mini adults.

But the real story starts on the 17th summer as Cady wakes up from a coma and tries to reconnect to the life that she cannot remember. She can’t remember anything from the past year, including the accident that caused her a debilitating blow to the head, memory loss, and migraines. Everyone is tiptoeing around, afraid to cause more trauma, but there is a lot that is different and so much unsaid.
 
Low Pressure by Sandra Brown
In case you still want a little leftover steamy-ness with your mystery, here is a great Sandra Brown novel. Sandra has written a ton of books, so if you like this one, you can keep going!

This one drew my interest because it was about books! A debut author writes a fictional tale of murder under a pseudonym, but a sleazy tabloid reporter threatens her identity by discovering the connections between her story and the mysterious death of the author’s sister almost 20 years ago. Once her identity is revealed to the public, the author, Bellamy, starts to re-investigate what happened to her sister, discovering along the way that her memory has more holes than she would like to admit.