It's Mystery Monday on The Princess and the Pen, where I highlight a few mystery novels on my radar. I come across so many mysteries on Goodreads, from social media and word-of-mouth recommendations and Mystery Monday will feature a small selection of those. Some are debut authors, others well-established. One thing they all have in common, though, is that they might make my to-read mountain topple over!
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"The night she moves in with Peter, she’s so happy, so exhilarated, so in love. Later, she will remember a much smaller feeling, a tiny one percent in her gut. And she will remember pushing that feeling aside…Samantha Frayn doesn’t know why Peter Bridges picks her – a nobody with bitten fingernails and a troubled childhood behind her – but she falls quickly. He’s older, charming, likes fine wine and French films, and his beautiful home has real art on its walls. Peter transforms Samantha’s life in an instant. He sees the better version of herself – the one she’s always wanted to be. It’s only normal that there’s a little friction, when she moves in, over domestic matters like where things are kept, or the proper times to eat, sleep and shower. She’s lucky to be with someone who can help her find a new job, move on from childish friends, and speak with greater sophistication.But as Samantha notices, more and more, Peter’s temper, she starts to wonder if there might be consequences to breaking the rules of the world he has so quickly built around her.And then she receives an anonymous note that makes her ask: is she the first woman to feel trapped by Peter? Is she being paranoid, manipulated, or could she be in danger?You can tell the truth about your life, but someone needs to be listening. Someone needs to trust you. And someone needs to save you from the man you thought you loved."
"An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.But as Katie starts to investigate, the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Hidden deep in the forest she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear.Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls—finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them.And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home. Katie’s still haunted by the friend she failed to protect, and she’ll do anything to stop the killer striking again—but can she find the little girl before it’s too late?"
"I suppose everyone has regrets, wonders what if? People all have their reasons for living here. Who knows what lies behind the pretty curtains and the well-groomed lawns of Mulberry Avenue? Lucy has a lovely husband, a job she adores as a teacher, and a house on Mulberry Avenue that she’s decorated just the way she wants – from the floaty curtains and the softest bed linen, right down to the perfectly-chosen velvet cushions on their comfortable sofa. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty close. She’s also got Amber. Her newest friend and neighbour. They’ve got so much in common. Even if Amber’s life sometimes seems a lot more glamorous and exciting, she shares Lucy’s down-to-earth sense of humour, and Amber seems so interested in Lucy and her life, it’s like they never run out of things to talk about. But then Amber starts acting strangely, claiming her life isn’t all it seems, talking about how she thinks she might be pregnant, and confiding in Lucy that she’s started getting threatening messages. She’s scared, and the only person she can turn to is Lucy. She wants to stay at Lucy’s house until things calm down. Lucy wants to protect her friend. But can she really trust Amber? Because sometimes other people are not all that they seem. Sometimes they have secrets. And they’d do anything to keep them… "