Love and Murder

Love and Murder

A list by Emily, Customer Service Specialist
November 30th, 2022

These were some of the top murder mysteries I read in 2022. These books are filled with more twists than a pretzel and love to see everyone through to the end. Or at least... almost everyone.

Books

"The Family Game" came across my radar because of the similarity to the movie "Ready Or Not." Both feature extravagantly wealthy families with a fondness for games and a girl marrying in who must win the game to survive. But, the execution of the story and ending are very different. The audiobook is read by the author, which was a fun twist. I look forward to reading this again in the future and seeing what I pick up on the second time around.

Daisy Darker has a little secret, and it ends up having rather large consequences. When the family gets locked on an island alone and start dying one by one, they have to struggle to survive until morning. While the twists and turns in this book were not the most original, I enjoyed how they played out. The characters all had their own flare, and (spoiler alert) the dog didn't die which is always a concern when there's one featured in a murder mystery.

I was the target audience for "Twilight" when it came out, and "The Chemist" also appealed to me in other ways. An ex agent for a shady government agency who specialized in poisons and torture has been on the run from said agency, but is offered true freedom if she'll do just one more job. Torturing one more bad guy shouldn't be so hard, right? Unless the bad guy is a cute, cinnamon roll school teacher who never did a thing bad in his life.

This book genuinely kept me guessing. From narrators that aren't always reliable, and so many different versions of the same story, it's so interesting to see how the story actually comes together. While most things are wrapped up in the end, there is still a slight question on if you are left with the actual truth, or just a version of it.

I challenged myself to read through the alphabet this year, and "The Zig Zag Girl" was my choice for Z. With the setting being right after World War Two, and myself not usually reading period pieces, I was delighted by how much I enjoyed this story. The details were just gruesome enough to remember this was a murder mystery, but the stakes were low enough to not find myself scared. I look forward to continuing the adventures of Max Mephisto and Edgar.

This was also recommended to me for similarities to "Ready or Not." There is no wedding or family fond of games in this one, but there is sacrifice and the willingness to do dark rituals to keep power. There's a humor to the darkness in this book, and an ending that will leave you wanting more.

What would you do with the ability to turn any map into a door? What would you do if you were one of a handful that knew where a secret town existed, or where you could hide it? This book explores that, and the tangles of secrets and family, both the one you are born into and the one you choose.

This one might be a surprise on this list, because I'm not sure I actually enjoyed it. This book gets pretty twisted at times. But, I have not stopped thinking about it since I read it, and I think that is a great mark of a mystery. The end will leave you asking is the manuscript real, or is the letter? I believe the manuscript.

Another possible oddity on the list, another one I'm not sure I enjoyed. The story is told by the character of Leeds, and Leeds is not a likable character. Nor is he always the good guy. But, this story looks at love and death in new ways, and I liked that. If you're looking for something different, this certainly is.

I first gained interest in this book because there was controversy around the cover. I'd heard a lot about Tessa Bailey, but hadn't read anything yet. This book mixing murder and romance seemed almost tailor made for me. It's cute. It's dirty. It's definitely more on the love side than murder in this list, but it can't be missed.

This is not my favorite book, but it has stuck with me. I think the name and synopsis are a little misleading. The girls are not very reckless, and the thriller/murder mystery aspect is...not the most thrilling. But I was intrigued and curious what was going to happen, and though the murder did not happen until late in the book, it did satisfy.