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 Furies by Katie Lowe
"In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing, with no known cause of death. The novel opens with this image, as related to us by the narrator, Violet, looking back on the night it happened from the present day, before returning to relate the series of events leading up to the girl’s murder.After an accident involving her Dad and sister, Violet joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls school in a quiet coastal town, which has an unpleasant history as the site of famous 17th century witch trials. Violet quickly finds herself invited to become the fourth member of an advanced study group, alongside Robin, Grace, and Alex - led by their charismatic art teacher, Annabel.While Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals - warning the girls off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology - the girls start to believe that magic is real, and that they can harness it. But when the body of a former member of the society - Robin’s best friend, with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance - is found dead on campus nine months after she disappeared, Violet begins to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself."
The Marriage Betrayal by Shalini Boland
"Faye Townsend has planned the perfect summer trip for her family. But returning to the small seaside town her husband grew up in does not go to plan, the rain pours and the long days become stifling. And then the unthinkable happens… Her husband Jake and her six-year-old son Dylan go for an early morning walk along the beautiful, windswept clifftops. They don’t come back. As the hours tick by, Dylan’s red baseball cap is found on the beach and Faye finds herself being questioned by the police. They want to know everything about the man she married - is Faye ready to face her husband’s dark past? Or will she have to confront her own secrets first? And just how far will a mother go to save her only child?"
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
"Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.It is a morning's lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Told from the point of view of the people at the heart of it, from the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption."