4 new mystery novels to satisfy your summer reading cravings | Books and authors


please join us

By Catherine McKenzie

Atria books, 320 pages, $24.99

Sooner or later, a talented writer had to craft a superior mystery novel that depended on #MeToo as one of the plot drivers. That’s exactly what Montreal novelist Catherine McKenzie did in her exceptionally clear and clever “Please Join Us.” Its central character, Nicole Mueller, is a smart civilian lawyer at a high-powered Manhattan law firm. An underground women’s empowerment group recruits her to join other equally resourceful women in jobs of some authority by granting themselves benefits that men at the same level accept as their natural due. When Nicole starts playing the game, she sniffs something fishy. Does the smell come from a guy in her own law firm, a sexual predator involved in one of her cases, or the group of women she hooked up with? No one and nothing – not even murder, apparently – can be ruled out in this juicy story of endless possibilities.

The last to disappear

By Megan Miranda

Scribner, 336 pages, $36.99

The scene is an idyllic North Carolina town, a wilderness hiking center, with a cozy hostel. Only one problem: people are disappearing from the city. Four disappeared as a group a quarter of a century ago, and another handful seem to have slipped away at regular intervals down to the present day. At least that’s how the book’s narrator tells the story. It’s Abigail, a young woman who’s worked at the inn for about ten years. Abigail is a likeable storyteller, but the deeper she delves into the narrative, the more it seems Abby could play with us readers. Is she? What could be the true explanation for these disappearances? The book is terribly masterful in retaining the answers.

The family stays

By Lisa Jewell

Earpieces, 384 pages, $37.00

This dense yet nimble, character-laden, complex, confusing, and entertaining novel picks up where “The Family Upstairs,” Lisa Jewell’s previous dense yet nimble novel, left off.

The large family implicated in the murders consists of characters with a tendency to secrecy and, perhaps in some cases, a homicidal compulsion. They are based in London but present themselves in the west (Chicago) and south (Antibes). Although the characters overlap from book number one to number two, a crucial character introduced only in the second novel is the wise and diligent Samuel Owusu who is, of all unexpected but refreshing figures, a London copper. He’s a true detective, an absolute genius at interrogation, just the guy who’s both welcome and needed in this most complicated book.

Do no harm

By Robert Pobi

Minotaur books, 432 pages, $36.99

In Toronto author Robert Pobi’s new novel, someone kills New York’s great doctors. Also the great pathologists, neurologists, anesthesiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, even the great psychiatrists. At first, no one notices the link by medical profession as the deaths are disguised among suicides and accident victims in the Big Apple. The investigative ace spotting the trend – not really a major feat since there are a remarkable 30 of them in a short time – is Lucas Page, a comic weirdo of a character who has lost an arm, a leg and an eye. in the past. law enforcement skirmishes. Page, a former FBI agent and current astrophysicist, is motivated to do research when his wife, an ER surgeon, comes forward as a potential target for the killer. While much of the book stretches credulity, Pobi is resourceful in crafting acceptable explanations for strange occurrences.

Jack Batten is a Toronto-based writer and freelance contributor to the Star


Comments are closed.