If you're looking for a bit of an escape, try diving into a mystery. It's full of twists, turns and surprises that are sure to keep you guessing until the final page, song or scene.
The best part of a mystery is the suspense. It leaves you wanting more. (I'll just read one more page... chapter... wait, the book is done already?)
Can you figure out the plot along the way and connect the dots to solve each of the mysteries that our staff has recommended? Click on the links, below, to explore each of these titles, which were recently featured in The State newspaper.
Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
Recommended by Chantal Wilson
Louisa Luna has written a thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end! On the way to a birthday party, a mom runs into a store to pick up a last-minute gift, leaving her two young daughters in the car in a small-town Pennsylvania parking lot. When she comes out, they are gone, and her nightmare begins. A wealthy aunt hires California bounty hunter, Alice Vega, to help locate the girls. Although understaffed and dealing with an opioid epidemic, the local police will not allow Vega to assist with the investigation. Instead, Alice enlists the help of private investigator, and disgraced former cop, Max Caplan to help her do the legwork, questioning witnesses and identifying suspects. This dark, suspenseful tale is full of twists as Alice and Max race against time to track down the missing children. If you like well-developed characters, an enigmatic protagonist, and a fast-paced story that keeps you on tenterhooks, then this novel is for you.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Recommended by Jennifer Naimzadeh
It’s 1936, and the wife and daughter of Albert Ellingham, founder of Ellingham Academy, have vanished. Left behind is a cryptic, rhyming note signed, “Truly, Devious.” Fast-forward to modern-day… aspiring detective and true crime die-hard Stevie Bell enrolls in the prestigious school with one mission: to solve the kidnapping that took place decades before. In digging for clues, Stevie discovers the secrets her fellow students have been hiding as another crime unfolds at Ellingham. Interesting characters, a clever protagonist, and a mystery full of riddles will keep you turning the pages and will leave you wanting more (namely the second and third parts of this trilogy: “The Vanishing Stair” and “The Hand on the Wall”).
Murder - Mystery & Suspense by Various Artists
Available in Freegal
Recommended by Lisa Gieskes
Have you been sensing that something is amiss? Mysterious music is imaginative and offers a great way to escape. It taps into our emotions and so much of what we are collectively feeling right now is the sense of unknowing. Whether you want to listen intently or add mysterious music as background music, Murder - Mystery & Suspense works well. This classical album is comprised of various artists offering instrumental orchestral music with composers whose careers range from concert halls to film and television soundstages. Artists include Wilfried Josephs, who you may recognize from “I, Claudius” and “All Creatures Great and Small,” both of which became hits in America on PBS' Masterpiece Theatre, and light music and film composer Trevor Duncan (famous for Ed Wood's cult classic “Plan 9 from Outer Space”). His work opens the album with The Untouchables Suite (parts 1-9). This album is dynamic and perfect for this inharmonious time that we are living in.
Under the Silver Lake (2019)
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Available in Kanopy
Recommended by Keith Brinkmann
This 2019 California noir, directed by David Robert Mitchell, was overlooked by many moviegoers last year. It’s a polarizing and beguiling film, which follows a venerable tradition from “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Big Sleep” and “In a Lonely Place” down through “The Long Goodbye,” “Chinatown” and “The Big Lebowski.” Mitchell’s film builds on that foundation, adding a few enticing conspiratorial fantasy echoes of the Jeffrey Epstein saga.
Andrew Garfield (one of our erstwhile Spider-men) stars as Sam, a DIY private eye compelled to investigate the disappearance of his alluring neighbor Sarah. After hanging out, getting high and watching “How to Marry a Millionaire” together in her apartment, Sam wakes up to find Sarah and her roommates have suddenly moved out, leaving only cryptic clues behind.
Sam searches for more signs of the awful truth hidden in plain sight - in the talismans of 20th Century pop culture around his home and up and down the streets of his weird, nocturnal Los Angeles where a band named “Jesus and the Brides of Dracula” and a comic zine chronicling local urban legends provide some leads.