Arguably, January is your best month to dive into some juicy new mystery novels. The new year is upon us, after all, and is in itself a mystery. Who knows what the next twelve months will bring? No one—but we can sort of guarantee a steady supply of gripping mysteries to keep your little gray cells working overtime to spot clues, work out motives, and maybe solve a few murders along the way.
The New Iberia Blues, by James Lee Burke
Burke’s 22nd Dave Robicheaux book goes Hollywood, as Robicheaux finds his paths crossing once again with Desmond Cormier. Robicheaux first met Cormier twenty-five years earlier when Cormier was a skinny kid with big dreams. Now he’s an award-winning Hollywood director—whose embroiled in a gruesome murder. A woman had been crucified, wearing just a chain on her ankle, after being seen near Cormier’s estate. But Cormier isn’t talking, and Robicheaux finds himself going up against an array of new enemies and old demons as he delves into the mystery with only his longtime allies Clete Purcel and Alafair for backup.
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The Golden Tresses of the Dead, by Alan Bradley
Flavia de Luce returns for a tenth go-round, the adorably precocious twelve-year old genius and expert in poisons irritated to bear witness to her sister Ophelia’s wedding. Cynical as always, Flavia intends to bring her detecting skills to the next level by going pro, setting up her office in the dilapidated mansion known as Buckshaw. She might not have to look too far for her first case, as Ophelia’s wedding cake turns out to have a nasty little surprise in the form of a severed human finger. With her trusted associate, gardener Dogger, and her unwanted cousin Undine in tow, Flavia puts her snarky intelligence and poisonous expertise to work.
Out of the Dark, by Gregg Hurwitz
Evan Smoak, formerly Orphan X and now the Nowhere Man, returns. Taken as a child and trained to be the ultimate deadly and deniable government asset, Smoak uses his training and skills to help the people who need it most. But now someone is shutting down the Orphan program—and trying to erase all evidence it ever existed in the first place, including the Orphans themselves and their trainers. When Smoak’s mentor is killed, he knows he cannot sit on the sidelines any longer—and he targets the man who launched the program, the man who is currently President of the United States of America. There’s only one problem: The president knows Smoak is after him, and activates the one asset that might be able to stop him—Orphan A, the very first recruit to the program, and the one person who has a chance against him.
She Lies in Wait, by Gytha Lodge
In 1983, Aurora Jackson was fourteen years old when she went camping in Brinken Wood with her older sister and five schoolmates. She was never seen again—until her body is discovered thirty years later. Detective Chief Jonah Sheens finds himself in the spotlight as he is forced to return to one of his very first investigations—one that strikes him close to home in all the wrong ways. Everything points to the killer being one of Aurora’s tightly-knit circle from her teenage years, and the story weaves between the present-day investigation and Aurora’s own POV on what would be her last day alive with masterful ease, spinning a dense, surprising, and thrilling tale that will keep you turning pages as everyone’s secrets are slowly teased out.
Don’t worry; if you read all of this month’s books, we’ll be back next month with a fresh curated list. Happy New Year!