The Wife Upstairs – Frieda McFadden
Thriller, mystery, psychological thriller, fiction
Sylvie is struggling to find a new job and in comes an opportunity. A nicely dressed man by the name of Adam offers her a job. To be a live in friend to his incapactiated wife, Victoria, and to help his wife not feel so lonely. Her ex wants her back and she doesn’t want anything to do with him but she needs to get away. Sylvie decides to take the job and moves in for the time being. She finds herself wondering what truly happened to Victoria. Adam tells her all the information she needs. However, Victoria wants Sylvie to read her diary. As Sylvie reads the diary she learns more about Adam and Victoria’s relationship and how utterly toxic it became. Victoria says a few names and Sylvie investigates the mysterious disappearances of two people that were visiting the house. Suddenly as she’s reading more of the diary she realizes the danger she is truly in and she needs to escape. 2
I had gotten this book on Kindle Unlimited (not sponsored) and I deeply was questioning whether or not this was going to be a good psychological thriller. Usually I DNF a lot of Kindle Unlimited books because they are either copy and paste of the same tropes but different characters. This was something I hadn’t come across and absolutely loved this novel. There were a lot of elements to this that were really thrilling. I loved how the main character was reading the diary and the diary was explaining more about the couple and how they met but through the wife’s eyes. After the fourth or fifth diary entry I was convinced that Adam was gas lighting Victoria and was playing the victim card. Something was suspicious with Adam from the start. Just watching the plot unfold was thrilling. I don’t blame what Victoria tried to escape. I just didn’t expect the ending of the novel at all. Sometimes endings really surprise readers like me. Definitely recommend giving Kindle Unlimited a try and get this book to read. I simply loved this and want to own a physical copy of this novel.
The Girl Who Could Move Shit With Her Mind – Jackson Ford
Science fiction, mystery, thriller, fiction.
Teagan has telekinetic powers and she is the only one to have them. Due to this, she is working for the government as a trade off from having doctors and scientists cut her open to do testing to see about her powers. Until someone was found dead in a particular way that makes her look like the murderer. She has only twenty four hours before clearing her own name. If she doesn’t find the murderer she will be trialed and sent to a lab facility. She would be erased from any records. Someone else in town has the same powers as she does. She hunts them down to confront them and bring them to light of justice.
I got this mostly because of the title and the synopsis. This was utterly weird and I couldn’t believe that this book is hardly popular yet there are sequels so someone had to be reading it. I found myself laughing throughout this and intrigued with her perspective. I found myself reading this to the point where I lost track of time. I had such a fun time reading this novel and I might end up getting the sequels as well. This novel will take readers on a mystery thriller with a lot of science fiction involved. I also love where the novel takes place, which is Los Angeles. The descriptions of certain places, especially Skid Row, are vivid and really authentic. Other places described are rather realistic. The author must have been from Los Angeles to know the ultra specific areas and how they look. I enjoyed that in this book. I can’t wait to read more. I highly recommend this novel.
Arsenic and Adobo – Mia P. Manansala
Mystery, whodunit, fiction.
Lila moves back home and begins to work in her family’s restaurant. Her ex-boyfriend walks in with his dad ordering food again. Derek always complains about the cooking and makes horrible reviews. While he was eating the dish he passed out. Lila, thinking this is a joke, tells him to stop acting. She eventually finds out the hard way that he was slowly dying from eating the food. Her family is devastated to hear that they have to close down until Lila’s name and the restaurant is clear of being a suspect. She and her best friend go to all the restaurants that Derek has reviewed and talk with them. She finds out she wasn’t solely singled out for being horribly criticised for her family’s restaurant food. When the detective finds new evidence and that Derek’s toxicology report came up with loads of arsenic, this makes Lila race to find the culprit that was trying to frame her.
I loved this mystery novel. I got it through Book of the Month (not sponsored) as one of my book of the month options. I liked the synopsis and the cover was so interesting. I was expecting one ending but got another ending. This novel threw me into so many possibilities of who killed Derek. I don’t usually read whodunit novels because they all were cliched but this was rather new and fresh. Also this had food mentioned throughout so reading this will warrant an appetite for not only wanting to know Derek’s killer but also food. I recommend this novel.
Plain Bad Heroines – Emily M. Danforth, with illustrations by Sara Lautman
Mystery, horror, haunting, sapphic, romance, fiction.
At the school for girls, Brookhants, experience a horrific tragic accident involving two students who were in love and their story was told by a fellow student who witnessed their affair. The students’ names were Flo and Clara and the third student was named Mary. The school had to shut down as more students were dying from Yellow Jackets stinging them and they were found with Mary’s book. Nearly a century later, the school is haunted and is being used to film the movie based on their lives. The bestselling author is helping make sure everything that happened remains authentic. Just as filming production occurs, the terrors and haunting begin.
I saw that this book was extremely hyped for being sapphic and mystery horror. I have to say that the mystery horror was sort of expected to be predictable. I loved the sapphic parts of the novel. I enjoyed that at least. The pacing could have been a bit quicker. I loved world building and storytelling. I do recommend this novel for those who might be into this more than I did. I didn’t hate it. I felt it was an alright novel. I would maybe in the future reread it to see how I feel about it.
Where Dreams Descend – Janella Angeles
Young adult, retelling, burlesque, magic, shows, competition, mystery, fiction.
Kallia has been training and using her magic for basic tasks but she wants a challenge. Jack, her Master, doesn’t want her to leave where she resides even though he can’t really stop her from entering the competition for the Conquering Circus. She arrives at the audition when accidents and other people who are magicians go missing. Marco doesn’t like how Kallia is effortlessly skilled and tends to have chaotic control of her magic. This doesn’t stop her from wanting to compete.
This was pretty good overall for a retellingish novel. I could tell it was inspired by Phantom of the Opera but this was fresh with a woman of color that added diversity and representation. I loved it. I loved the world that the author created and just wished that the pacing was a bit faster. It was slow at first and then it picked up some speed. The world building was excellently paced and enjoyed the characters. Can’t say more than that because otherwise it will spoil the good stuff.
The Truth of Melody Browne – Lisa Jewell
Melody is going about her date at a hypnotist show when she faints and remembers some parts of her childhood. She returns home and begins to remember more and more memories of a childhood she couldn’t remember. Her son helps her obtain these locked memories and she soon realizes that her childhood is much darker than she thought. That the truth is much more sinister than the facade of her childhood.
This was an alright novel. This was nicely paced and organized. I had read this in one sitting and I believe that this novel can be read over time but depending on the reader one sitting. The jumping from the past to present helps understand what happened in the life of Melody Browne. I love Lisa Jewell’s works and this one was not my favorites but this was good however. The writing is so splendid and she really knows how to write a good mystery. I just didn’t care for the repressed memories resurfacing trope as much. There were parts that I really loved because I was expecting something less traumatic for the main character but it was something else than I had predicted. I do recommend this novel and any of Lisa Jewell’s works in general. All are really good and very well done.
Eight Perfect Murders – Peter Swanson
Mystery, thriller, fiction.
Malcolm is approached by the FBI about these mysterious copycat murders. He helps the FBI with the copycat murders that have a relation to his Eight Perfect Murders list. As more victims appear this becomes a race against time to find out who is killing these people.
I genuinely wanted to like this book but I couldn’t. I don’t know if it’s the plot or the purpose of the story but this didn’t really appeal to me. I’m sure the next person would enjoy this novel. This is short and very quickly paced. I sort of enjoy that in a mystery thriller but the whole copycat killer I felt was underdone. I’m sure someone who is into novels that are about copycat killers would enjoy this novel.
Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco
Mystery, detective, serial killers, Jack the Ripper, London, 19th century, Great Britain, Victorian, young adult, fiction,
Audrey loves criminal forensics and working in her uncle’s lab as his apprentice engages her interest in that field of study. She takes on the recent murder case of a victim of Jack the Ripper. She is immediately intrigued and further her own investigation of who murdered these women at night. When more bodies turn up, she notices a disturbing pattern that leads to her sheltered world shattered.
This was a little too hyped up and I don’t understand why folks liked this book. I am glad I borrowed this novel from the library. I predicted who was the murderer so fast and the book was yawn inducing in my opinion. I’m sure there is a demographic that loves this type of stuff but this was not my cup of tea. That is all I can say. However, for those who love these type of novels and the plot then it’s for that demographic.
Remember Me – Christopher Pike
Murder, mystery, ghosts, paranormal, young adult, fiction.
Shari is living the best out of her teenage life as a senior with a month left until graduation. All that is taken away when she wakes up to finding out she is dead. Someone murdered her and she doesn’t want the world to see her as suicidal when it was homicide. She unravels her own murder as well as some shocking dark truth.
I had read this book so many times in middle school. I love this trope and can’t get tired of this trope. I had to reread this book once more as an adult to fully appreciate Pike’s writing style. This was nicely paced and the bread crumbs of information never felt too forced nor felt out of place. Everything pieced together as the plot continued. The characters are always interesting as well as the interactions with other characters. I will have to read the two other books in this series and review them because they deserve some love and attention. However, this book is hard to find because this novel is rather old, but I got my copy at thrift books. This was not sponsored but I recommend shopping at thrift books. I might do a review of the thrift books website knowing that I am not sponsored but the website is incredible.
House Rules – Jodi Picoult
Autistic youth, forensics, forensics analysis, Asperger’s syndrome, mystery, fiction.
Jacob is a crime solving obsessed teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He has a knack for analyzing crime scenes on his television show and one that he saw in real life. Someone goes missing and the Hunt family is now in the spotlight and Jacob is a murder suspect. When they find the person, they find evidence that points to Jacob committing the murder. The odds are stacked against Jacob, but the unraveling of evidence points in a different direction.
This novel kept me on my toes and I simply loved Jacob. He reminds me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory of how particular a person is with Asperger’s. The actor has Asperger’s which he was allowed to bring his own experience into the character he played. I personally felt that the author did do a lot of research in both Asperger’s and criminal forensics to be able to make the narrative more believable with accurate representation. I felt so angry when the section of the book was about trying to convict Jacob that the other side was just trying to get Jacob behind bars and was extremely ignorant. Lawyers are supposed to do their job but what really got me was that Jacob’s lawyer was able to address the fact that in a real court scenario, if one of the people were disabled that they can have accommodations. Besides the legal aspect of the novel, Asperger’s is hard for families to endure and it is no one’s fault that the individual’s wiring is different. All we can do is be supportive and we should be a more supporting community towards Asperger’s instead of shunning them away. Offer them more accommodations and allow them to be able to interact in society the way they choose to be. Be more welcoming and accepting. Also, to end the whole ableist agenda because just because someone is different abled doesn’t mean that that can’t do great things. They are capable and not in ways that society outlines. I really loved this novel. Highly recommend.