Crime, mystery, thriller

The horror! The horror! The horror!

A meister with horror tropes, a debut novelist turns terror-at-home into a mind-bending, spine-tingling entertainment. —Zoe McKenna reviews We Used to Live Here, by Marcus Kliewer (New York: Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2024) $34.99 / 9781982198787

Thrills, suspects, paranoia

Adept thriller is a welcome cause for “a single session of binge-reading punctuated with that rapturous state of feeling appalled at human behaviour.” —Jessica Poon reviews The Haters, by Robyn Harding (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2024) $29.00 / 9781538766101

On ‘the path in front of him’

“Penetrating every corner of this cramped and desolate world, in a town with ‘the world’s shittiest beach and a lot of bitter people,’ is, unsurprisingly, alcohol. If poverty is the villain of the novel, its ruthless accomplice is alcohol.” —Theo Dombrowski reviews Bruise, by Adrian Markle (Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2024) $24.00 / 9781990071072

Notes on a camp mystery

“The arch tone often verges on, or falls into camp, and it’s immediately apparent that the novel is a confection of such frothiness that any silliness can happen and often does in the loony movie world dominated by the conventions of Los Angeles where ‘perception was everything, reality just an annoying detail to get past.’” —Candace Fertile reviews Mystery in the Title, by Ian Ferguson and Will Ferguson (Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2024) $25.99 / 9781443470803

A cosy mystery with bite

Book #11 in the series “scrutinizes a dark chapter in Canadian history while simultaneously charming her readers with the picturesque Kootenay locale and setting their teeth on edge as her heroine comes perilously close to an untimely end.” —Ginny Ratsoy reviews Lightning Strikes the Silence, by Iona Whishaw (Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2024) $21.95 / 9781771514323

Flight, fight, and benzodiazepine 

“Nay knows not only how to create suspense, but also how to maintain it. You have to keep reading to find out whose bloodied arm is detached, and you’ll want to.” —Jessica Poon reviews The Offing, by Roz Nay (Toronto: Viking, 2024) $24.95 / 9780735248250

Therapeutic psychedelics?

A cutting edge psychiatrist faces her own traumatic past and the mysterious deaths of her clientele in a thriller where tension mounts page after page. —Valerie Green reviews High Society, by Daniel Kalla (Toronto: Simon & Schuster, 2024) $24.99 / 9781668032510

‘A game is afoot’

An entertaining, raucous, and deeply weird novel splices together a boxing comeback story, veganism, bout fixing, and… Sherlock Holmes. —Logan Macnair reviews Pet, Pet, Slap, by Andrew Battershill (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2024) $23.95 / 9781552454763

The plot to kill Frederick C. Trudd

A retired criminal lawyer revisits his past and “the most significant trial of his career.” The results are engrossing. —Bill Paul reviews The Long-Shot Trial: An Arthur Beauchamp Thriller, by William Deverell (Toronto: ECW Press, 2024) $26.95 / 9781770417540

STWS? Read on.

Sophomore YA novel offers “a beautiful, heartwarming story about memory and grief with a speculative twist and a sprinkling of romance that’s sure to delight teen readers.”—Greg Brown reviews The Space Between Here and Now, by Sarah Suk (Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2023) $24.99 / 9780063255135

‘Gloriously, stubbornly, interestingly themselves’

In intriguing, complex layers a historical novel portrays queer lives during Europe’s witchomania. It’s a keeper, especially if you’re “of the camp that believes that metacommentary is captivating.” —Jessica Poon reviews Curiosities, by Anne Fleming (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2024) $35.00 / 9781039004979

Geopolitical thrills

Political nail-biter spans three continents, delves into brutal realpolitik, and features a plot that requires a reader’s “concentrated effort.” —Valerie Green reviews The Black State, by John Delacourt (Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2024) $19.95 / 9781989689608

‘Seriously, someone turn this book into a movie’*

Grimness, marvellous one-liners, complex characterization, and expert pacing turn a crime thrillerl into “a good, downright scathing read.” —Jessica Poon reviews Ocean Drive, by Sam Wiebe (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2024) $24.95 / 9781990776694

Pacific Northwest noir

Graphic novel set in grey-hued Raincouver examines “the strange and troubling inner workings of human beings.” —Zoe McKenna reviews What’s Fear Got To Do With It?, by Ivana Filipovich (Wolfville: Conundrum Press, 2023) $18.00 CAD / 9781772620887

Radio signals and a ‘fatal flapper’

This fast-paced murder mystery with a “wonderfully wry” tone is “great fun.” It’s also an “animated and sharp” glimpse of Vancouver’s social landscape, circa 1929. —W.H. New reviews Mr. Good-Evening, by John MacLachlan Gray (Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2024) $34.94 / 9781771623957

Earhart: poet, go-getter, everywoman

An “archaeologist-poet” celebrates, honours, and meditates on a feminist pioneer. —Harold Rhenisch reviews Lady Bird, by Kerry Gilbert (Holstein: Exile Editions, 2023) $19.95 / 9781990773105

Remembrance of Ladner past

Quietly affecting novel delivers with an elegiac narrator recalling the “vibrant, creative and tragic world” of his youth. —Theo Dombrowski reviews The Marvels of Youth, by Tim Bowling (Hamilton: Wolsak and Wynn, 2023) $24.00 / 9781989496749

 The ‘spectacle of magical mischief’

Full of lore, a “refreshing, earnest, and hopeful” debut for YA readers captivates and entertains. —Zoe McKenna reviews Why We Play With Fire, by Giselle Vriesen (Toronto: 100 Block Futures, 2024) $23.99 CAD / 9781955905312

The missing and the dead

From “the city to rural backroads, Siemens takes readers on an unforgettable journey.” —Valerie Green reviews Call of the Void, by J.T. Siemens (Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2024) $22.95 / 9781774390863

Deaths by injection

Reviewer enthralled by the tenth Émile Cinq-Mars murder mystery. —Ron Verzuh reviews A Patient Death, by John Farrow (Holstein, ON: Exile Editions, 2023) $32.95 / 9781550969856

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