This week as the nights are longer and darker I’m enjoying the gripping mysteries and suspenseful titles that have been released recently.  Although there are more, these three have really caught my attention:  Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson, and the debut novel by Sarah St. Vincent, Ways to Hide in Winter.

Lethal White is an easy pick because I’ve been a fan of Private Detective Cormoran Strike series since The Cuckoo’s Calling before I was aware that Robert Galbraith was actually a pseudonym of J.K. Rowling.  So, yes I have a penchant for mysteries that happen in foreign lands, and Jonasson’s Reykjavik is a chilling place to solve a cold case.  St. Vincent’s Ways to Hide in Winter is not technically a mystery in the classical sense, but it has a mystery, suspense, and a cool title.

Happy Reading, Susan C.


 Lethal White by Robert Galbraith:  “I seen a kid killed…He strangled it, up by the horse.”

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.   Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.   And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.


 The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson

A young woman is found dead on a remote Icelandic beach.
She came looking for safety, but instead she found a watery grave. 
A hasty police investigation determines her death as suicide . . . 

When Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik police is forced into early retirement, she is told she can investigate one last cold case of her choice – and she knows which one.

What she discovers is far darker than suicide . . . And no one is telling Hulda the whole story.

When her own colleagues try to put the brakes on her investigation, Hulda has just days to discover the truth. A truth she will risk her own life to find.


 Ways to Hide in Winter by Sarah St. Vincent – After surviving a car crash that left her widowed at twenty-two, Kathleen has retreated to a remote corner of a state park, where she works flipping burgers for deer hunters and hikers—happy, she insists, to be left alone.  But when a stranger appears in the dead of winter—seemingly out of nowhere, kicking snow from his flimsy dress shoes—Kathleen is intrigued, despite herself. He says he’s a student visiting from Uzbekistan, and his worldliness fills her with curiosity about life beyond the valley. After a cautious friendship settles between them, the stranger confesses to a terrible crime in his home country, and Kathleen finds herself in the grip of a manhunt—and face-to-face with secrets of her own.   Steeped in the rugged beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains as America’s War on Terror rages in the background, Sarah St.Vincent’s Ways to Hide in Winter is a powerful story about violence and redemption, betrayal and empathy, and how we reconcile the unforgivable in those we love.

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