Hot New Mysteries and Thrillers | Mechanics' Institute

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Hot New Mysteries and Thrillers

Earlier this month, Punxsutawney Phil carried out the 106-year-old tradition of wintertime weather prediction via a virtual broadcast. A handful of observers watched the chubby groundhog emerge from his burrow in shadow, indicating six more weeks of winter -- more than adequate time to cozy up with these hot new mysteries just added to MI Library's shelves! 

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner - In this post-modern noir, Frankie Elkin, a middle-aged recovering alcoholic searches for people after the police have given up, the public has forgotten and the media has stopped covering their disappearances. In her latest case, Frankie finds herself in Mattapan, a rough Boston neighborhood where a Haitian teen vanished from her high school months earlier. The victim's family is wary and the Boston police department throws up a wall of resistance to Frankie's questions. Obviously, someone doesn't want inquiries into this case but Frankie won't stop until she uncovers the truth about the girl's disappearance. Gardner's first standalone novel in 20 years was an Amazon Editors' Pick for 2021. 

Blood Grove by Walter Moseley - The 15th novel in the Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins Mystery series, the hardened private eye finds himself investigating a murder in which the only witness is a Vietnam War vet with a serious case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Set in racially-charged Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, Easy, a World War II veteran himself, can't resist taking on a case to help a fellow vet in need. A multi-layered and compelling survival story told through the eyes of one of the literary world's most unique private investigators. 

The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves - A wrong turn in a snowstorm leads detective Inspector Vera Stanhope to a stranded vehicle, door left open, on a remote country road. She stops to help but finds no driver. From the back seat, a toddler is strapped into a car seat. Unbeknownst to Vera, somewhere out in the freezing Northumberland countryside lies the baby's mother, murdered. And so begins the ninth mystery in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series. Readers will love matching wits with this eccentric detective in a story that hits close to home as the investigation involves Vera's family and uncovers clues to her complicated past.

Deep Into the Dark by P.J. Tracy - First in a series, this atmospheric story set in Los Angeles follows Sam Easton, newly returned from Afghanistan and trying to rebuild his life through bartending and therapy sessions. When friend and colleague Melody Traeger is beaten by her boyfriend, she turns to Sam for help. The next day, the boyfriend is found dead and Sam is the most likely suspect.  But LAPD detective Margaret Nolan, whose brother recently died serving overseas, is sympathetic to Sam's troubles and can't quite see him as a killer. An engaging thriller with two dynamic main characters that explores the nature of obsession, revenge and grief. 

Eagle Station by Dale Brown - The American Space Force must battle a Sino-Russian alliance aiming to combine military and technology resources. The author, a retired U.S. Air Force captain, delivers his seventh novel in the Brad McLanahan series with skilled pilots, high-level politicians and elite operatives who strive to maintain American dominance in the sky and beyond. A well researched story full of technological thrills. 

House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell - A shadowy, Gothic mystery set in London, 1893. Inspector Cutter, as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious, has been called in to investigate a series of mysterious crimes, including several missing young women, all having tenuous connections to late-19th century spiritualists. Eerie and unsettling with a touch of dry humor. 

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam - A much anticipated family vacation is interrupted by unexpected guests during a mysterious blackout. While renting a house on Long Island, Amanda and Clay are summoned by a knock at the door -- the home's owners are seeking shelter from what they perceive as a possible disaster. It's a riveting story that addresses race, risk, retreat, and the ripple effects of a national emergency. Alam's tale offers no easy answers but resonates fittingly in our time. 

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones - Four young Blackfoot men ignore the hunting boundaries of their community and fire into an elk herd on land reserved for the elders. But one elk proves unnaturally difficult to kill. Years later, the men are forced to answer for their act of selfish violence. A chilling story that blends classic horror with a dramatic narrative on social commentary and never gets lost in the weeds. 

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohaljian - On a romantic getaway in Vietnam, an emergency room doctor, Alexis and her boyfriend, Austin plan a bicycle tour and a chance to pay respects to Austin's father and uncle, who fought in the war. But then Austin goes out on a solo ride and fails to return. Alexis' boyfriend has vanished and the only clue left behind is a bright yellow energy gel packet dropped on the road. As Alexis grapples with this loss, she uncovers a series of strange lies that force her to wonder why he went out alone, why he really brought her to Vietnam and how much danger he left her in. The reader could come away wanting to know more about a host of topics, including deadly pathogens, the Vietnam war and cycling.

We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida - Teenage girls Eulabee and Maria Fabiola own the streets of their foggy oceanside 1980s San Francisco neighborhood. One day while walking to school they witness a horrific act -- or do they? Eulabee and Maria disagree on what exactly happened and their rupture is followed by Maria's sudden disappearance. A well executed story of innocence lost.

When She Was Good by Michael Robotham - This sequel to Good Girl, Bad Girl, 2019 continues the story of forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven and London special constable Sacha Hopewell who work to protect a young girl whom they had rescued from captivity years before. Robotham, a former investigative journalist mines some very dark territory in this urgent and poignant thriller. 

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins - Newly arrived in Birmingham, Alabama, Jane makes a living walking other people's dogs in a comfortable, gated community. While in the homes of her well-heeled clients, Jane is not above lifting discarded baubles and jewelry off the side tables.  When she meets the recently widowed Eddie Rochester, she sees an opportunity for the protection to which she's always yearned. Rich, brooding and handsome, Eddie lost his wife Bea in a boating accident. Jane sets out to win his heart but is increasingly haunted by Bea's legend, a beauty with her own rags-to-riches story. Suspenseful and witty, Hawkins' Gothic tale carries a delicious twist and will appeal to fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda. 


Posted on Feb. 18, 2021 by Celeste Steward