Mysteries of interest for March:
“You Must Remember This,” by Kat Rosenfield (William Morrow)
Marion Caravasios is the matriarch of a wealthy Bar Harbor family, beloved by her granddaughter, Delphine, tolerated by her children. On Christmas Eve, Marion disappears from her mansion, the Whispers, only to be found frozen beneath the waters of an inlet just beyond the garden. She is wearing boots — boots that Marion, in her feeble and demented state, could not have laced up.
As the heirs squabble over the estate, Delphine wonders if the death is an accident, a suicide, or if someone murdered her. But who? No one hates Marion enough.
To Delphine, Marion is a romantic character, whose marriage to a handsome lobsterman was cut short when he disappeared into the sea. At 85, Marion still yearns for him, dreaming he is holding her in his arms. But as Delphine delves into her grandmother’s life in an attempt to find out if Marion was murdered, she discovers secrets, and wonders if the whispers she heard in the creaky old house portend her own death.
“The House in the Pines,” by Ana Reyes (Dutton)
Nearly a decade after her best friend dropped dead beside her, Maya is still traumatized. She’s addicted to prescription drugs and booze. She’d once hoped to finish a novel written by her Guatemalan father, who was shot to death before she was born, but addiction has robbed her of ambition. After a disastrous dinner with her fiancé’s parents, Maya flees to her mother.
She’s convinced her friend was murdered, and by Maya’s own boyfriend, Frank. The problem is, she can’t prove anything. Frank seemed to control her back then, and Maya can’t recall huge swaths of time with him. It’s almost as if he had some psychological power over her.
Then, Maya sees an online video of another woman who dies in a similar way, Frank by her side. As she searches for the truth, Maya fears for her own life.
The house in “The House in the Pines” is a house Frank has created. Author Ana Reyes writes that she first envisioned the house when she was 11, and incorporated it in her debut novel.
“It’s One of Us,” by J.T. Ellison (Mira)
In need of money during his college years, Park Bender became a sperm donor. His sperm impregnated not just eight or 10 women, as Park believed, but was implanted over and over again, for years. And one of those babies grew up to be a serial killer.
All of this is particularly unsettling to Park, since his wife, Olivia, has suffered several miscarriages in her attempt to have a baby.
One of the biological children, Scarlett, forms a group of some 30 of her half-siblings, called the Halves. She’s helping the police identify the killer.
Although Park has an idea of the identity of his psychopathic son, he, nonetheless, can’t escape scrutiny by the police and the press. They turn up Park’s college relationship with a girl who was murdered, and going way back to a childhood girl who disappeared.
Meanwhile, Olivia is furious at her husband and turns to his twin brother for solace. The brothers haven’t spoken in years.
It’s all scary stuff, especially when Park and Olivia find out the errant biological son has been keeping tabs on them.
“The Kind Worth Saving,” by Peter Swanson (William Morrow)
For newly minted private eye Henry Kimball, the request is ordinary. A woman wants him to follow her husband to find proof he is cheating on her. The only odd thing is that the client, Joan Whalen, had been his student back in the year Kimball taught high school English. He’d quit after a boy in the class shot a girl and then turn the gun on himself.
The case suddenly turns deadly. The husband apparently kills his lover and himself. The police quickly conclude the deaths are murder-suicide, but Kimball isn’t so sure. It’s all too pat. He begins looking into Joan’s background. He knows she was in class when the high school shootings took place. And then Kimball discovers the drowning death of a boy when Joan was summering at a resort. Was Joan involved in all these deaths? And if so, how? And did anyone help her?
When Kimball goes back to an old nemesis to help him find the answers, the mystery takes a strange turn. And Kimball finds himself facing a cold-blooded killer. Only one of them comes out alive. Guess who?
“Just the Nicest Couple,” by Mary Kubica (Park Row Books)
When Lily confesses to her husband, Christian, that she may have killed a prominent surgeon who attacked her when she was hiking in a wooded area, Christian goes into action. He forbids Lily from calling the police for fear she’ll be charged with murder. The two hunt for the body but can’t find it. Then Christian decides to move the victim’s car.
As Christian makes one dumb move after another, the story gets more complicated. The victim’s wife, Nina, is Lily’s best friend, a fellow schoolteacher. And Nina has confided that her husband disappeared after the two had a vicious argument. Nina believes he’s left her.
At first, “Just the Nicest Couple” seems like a clichéd story of a couple digging themselves deeper and deeper in a crime they should have reported to the police in the first place. But twists and turns take it in an entirely different direction.
“The Angel Makers,” by Patti McCracken (William Morrow)
In the 1920s, a midwife in rural Hungary encouraged women to rid themselves of abusive husbands and unwanted babies by feeding them arsenic she made using chemicals leached from flypaper. Twenty-nine women and two men were tried for the murder of 42 men, although that was only a fraction of the number of deaths the villagers were suspected of committing.
The midwife, known as Aunt Suzy, was no humanitarian. An evil, greedy woman, she sold her arsenic for usurious prices and spent her days wandering through the houses of her accomplices, taking anything that caught her fancy, from a ham to a teacup.
In an extensively researched nonfiction book, author Patti McCracken tells the true stories of Aunt Suzy’s accomplices: wives mercilessly beaten by their husbands, mothers too poor and overworked to care for one more baby, and less sympathetic types. They include a woman who killed her handicapped son and then her husband so she could be with her lover and another woman who murdered her husband for his money.
McCracken proves that true crime can be worse than any fiction.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, In The Know, to get entertainment news sent straight to your inbox.
Source: Read Full Article