2021 isn’t over just yet! We’re finishing out the year with a strong set of December releases you won’t want to miss. Page-turning and outright chilling, these suspense books and mystery books are the perfect reads to get you through the winter season. You might end up wanting to read all seven of these mystery suspense novels.
by Richard DiLallo
The Paris Detective collects all three mystery stories about Detective Luc Moncrief into one volume. Luc Moncrief is the most famous detective in Paris, and now he's helping the NYPD solve their most difficult cases. Join Detective Moncrief as he takes on three different cases in The French Kiss, French Twist, and—just in time for Christmas—The Christmas Mystery.
Looking for the perfect thriller for the winter weather? Winter Water, a Swedish suspense novel by author Susanne Jansson, is atmospheric and the perfect read for December. When Martin moves with his wife Alexandra and their two kids to his family's summer cottage in the island village of Orust, Sweden, he imagined a relaxing life by the sea. But then one January weekend, Martin's son goes missing, and although a body is never found, everyone assumes it was an accidental drowning. Then former police photographer Maya Linde arrives in Orust, and when she and Martin begin looking into the case, they uncover disturbing details about the town and its history, including many other cases of drowned children.
With Steven Matthew Constantine
Ann Wolbert Burgess is a forensic researcher who is famous for her pioneering research in assessing and treating trauma in sexual assault victims. She's also the inspiration for Wendy Carr in the Netflix series Mindhunter. In her book A Killer by Design, Burgess reveals how her research caught the attention of the FBI, and how she became part of a chilling serial murder investigation in Nebraska. This book gives readers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit and how criminal profiling has developed over the years.
From author Stephen Spotswood comes a new historical mystery in the Pentecost and Parker series. Murder Under Her Skin finds female detectives Willowjean Parker and Ms. Pentecost investigating a murder at Hart and Halloway's Travelling Circus and Sideshow. And this case is personal. Will Parker called the circus her home for five years, and the murder victim Ruby Donner, the circus's tattooed ingenue, was Will's friend. To make matters even worse, the prime suspect is Valentine Kalishenko, Will's former knife-throwing mentor. To catch the real killer, Will and Ms. Pentecost go undercover at the circus. But will they be able to solve the case without becoming the killer's next target?
Robert Justice's debut mystery novel is inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes and set in Denver's Black community. Langston Brown has been wrongfully convicted of the Mother's Day Massacre. His final hope before facing death row is his daughter Liza, who left Juilliard School to get a law degree in the hopes of clearing her father's name. But they're quickly running out of time. With only 30 days left before her father's execution, Liza looks for help from Eli Stone, a jazz club owner. But Eli is still facing his own tragedies from the past.
Sylvie Perry's The Hawthorne School is the story of Claudia Morgan, a single parent who's doing her best to raise her unruly four-year-old son Henry. But she's getting overwhelmed. Fast. So when Claudia finds out about The Hawthorne School, a school that boasts an atypical teaching style, it seems like the perfect place for Henry. And at first, it is. Henry's behavioral problems disappear, and he seems much calmer. But something seems off about the school to Claudia, and then Henry starts coming home with stories of strange ceremonies and rituals. The Hawthorne School is the perfect December novel for those who read true crime, especially cult stories.
Jade and Cam Lasky are by all accounts a happily married couple with two adorable kids, a spacious home and a rapidly growing restaurant business. But their world is tipped upside down when Jade is confronted by a masked home invader. As Cam scrambles to gather the ransom money, Jade starts to wonder if they’re as financially secure as their lifestyle suggests, and what other secrets her husband is keeping from her.
Cam may be a good father, a celebrity chef and a darling husband, but there’s another side he’s kept hidden from Jade that has put their family in danger. Unbeknownst to Cam and Jade, the home invader has been watching them and is about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.