The best new crime fiction coming out this month ‹ CrimeReads

The editors of CrimeReads select the best new crime fiction of the month.

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Kelly Garrett, Like a sister
(Mulholland)

by Kelly Garrett Like a sister is an early contender for best-selling novel of the year, with Garrett delivering a gripping and gripping story. After a reality TV star’s body is discovered in the Bronx, everyone seems content with the overdose explanation, except for the deceased’s sister, who embarks on a personal odyssey to search for the truth about what really happened that fateful night. Garrett is an extremely talented rising star in the world of detective fiction, and with Like a sister she has delivered a deeply intriguing and deeply felt novel that will leave readers in awe. –Dwyer Murphy, Editor of CrimeReads

Sena Desai Gopal, The 86th Village
(Agora)

Environmental destruction and human suffering converge in a small village plagued by illegal mining and threatened by a new dam project. When a young girl arrives in the village, her misfortune intertwined with that of the village, she becomes a catalyst for a new push against the many forces besetting the inhabitants, even as their own secrets and dwellings are slowly revealed. If you were looking for the perfect suite for Carthage coyotes, this is the book! –MO

Eli Cranor, I do not know
(Soho)

I do not know wins every comparison it comes across Friday night lights-but not the enchanted world of the television series. No, Cranor channels the dirty, dirty world of real high school sports, just like the original book and movie versions of Friday night lights was doing before Coach decided to inspire us. I do not know explores the connection between class, race, language and poverty by pushing ordinary teenagers to brutal acts and ordinary coaches to brutal commands. A star player causes trouble for his new coach, who has one last chance to get back into the good graces of his star coach stepfather. The coach thinks he’s the kid’s mentor. What he actually does is much darker. –MO

Peng Berger, Cartographers
(William Morrow)

If you liked John Green paper towns, but i always wanted to read a book about ghost cards written for adults that made sense, so Cartographers is the book for you! Nell Young, once a rising star in the world of cartography, works at a dead end making fake old maps when the sudden death of her famous archivist father sends her on the adventure of a lifetime. Secret societies, vanishing buildings and a rekindled romance soon follow, for what is sure to be one of the cleverest mysteries of the year. –MO

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Tara Isabelle Burton, The world can’t give
(Simon & Schuster)

In Tara Isabella Burton’s highly anticipated sequel to social creatures, it takes us to a Maine boarding school where a young woman dreams of literature, adventure, and romance, and soon finds some sort of answer in the school’s elite choir. Leading the choir is another young woman full of Christian zeal and relentless discipline, and soon the group, with her deep appreciation of music and ritual, begins to look more like a cult. Readers will be instantly drawn to the dark atmosphere of the school, with the quest for the transcendent driving the story to calamitous ends. –DM

Alex Segura, Secret identity
(Iron)

by Alex Segura Secret identity is a fascinating journey into comic book subculture in 1970s New York, where a woman named Carmen Valdez struggles to put her stamp on a superhero and finally gets her chance with “The Lethal Lynx.” Things take a dark turn when the project is handed over to the publisher without Carmen’s name and the supposed creator is dead. Segura’s passion for comics and creative spirit shine through in this dynamic, character-driven mystery, an ingeniously plotted crime novel with a fresh perspective on cultural history.

Gigi Pandan, Under skeleton lock and key
(Minotaur)

Gigi Pandian is the reigning QUEEN of closed-chamber mysteries (check out her explanatory article for CrimeReads here) and her new series brings all of her wits and showmanship to a plot that I hope will soon be a real movie theatre. ‘escape. Tempest Raj is a disgraced magician, forced to return to her family’s business of building secret rooms after a disastrous show in which her stage double betrayed her. When Tempest finds a corpse hidden in a secret, walled-in room at her family’s last construction site, she’s already a little freaked out, but when the corpse turns out to be her stage doppelganger, it’s up to all of Tempest’s goofy family to figure out how to save her from the same fate. For those who have been waiting for the perfect fictional family to replace Lisa Lutz’s The Spellmans, look no further. –MO

Candice Wuehle, Monarch
(Soft skull)

This book is fantastically strange. Jessica Clink is damaged enough by her childhood career as pageant queen, but could she also be a sleeper agent for the government? This could explain some of the dreams she has had and the odd behavior of her closest friends and family, who all seem to be part of the plan to control her and her powers. Monarch kinda feels like the people behind You are wrong about teamed up with the authors of Kill Eve, and they all did psychedelics and wrote a screenplay together. –MO

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Cara Black, Murder at the Porte de Versailles
(Soho)

Everyone’s favorite sophisticated detective is back, this time for her 20th investigation. In the fall of 2001, Parisians were still reeling from the fall of the towers, and Aimée Leduc mourned her father while celebrating her daughter’s third birthday. When Aimee’s friend Boris is accused of detonating a bomb in a police lab, she sets out to erase the accusation, happy for the distraction, but will her newfound energy lead her more in danger than ever? I can’t wait to put on an elegant but discreet little black dress, have a glass of cabernet and read. –MO

Erin Kate Ryan, Quantum Girl Theory
(Random house)

The Beginnings of Erin Kate Ryan is a fascinating alternate story of the life (and afterlife) of Paula Jean Welden, the Bennington College student who disappeared while walking in the woods in 1946. Ryan imagines that Paula Jean has found another life as Mary Garrett, a young woman with “second sight” who, in 1961, travels to North Carolina to find three more missing girls, two of them black. But complicating his investigation are his visions of other possible lives. More than anything else, however, Ryan’s deep, heart-pounding novel follows how stories of missing girls are co-opted into other narratives and how, in doing so, they become other people. –OR


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