Books shelved under “Mystery”

167 reviews found

  1. Book cover for After the Silence

    After the Silence

    by Louise O'Neill

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Just absolutely devastating. But of course, I have come to expect that of Louise O’Neill.

    After two brilliant forays into young adult novels, both well worth a read, O’Neill brought her unstinting criticism of patriarchy to her first adult novel Almost Love in the best and most scathing way possible. After the Silence is a more-than-worthy second adult novel. While both have passing similarities—depictions of emotional abuse, gaslighting, male partners treating women poorly—O’Neill looks at…

  2. Book cover for Jane Steele

    Jane Steele

    by Lyndsay Faye

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Ever wondered, “What would Jane Eyre have been like if Jane Eyre had been a serial killer?” That’s the basic premise of Jane Steele, although if I’m being honest, the serial killer aspect was not as intense as I had thought it would be. As a feminist retelling of Jane Eyre this book leaves much to be desired. However, as a kind of mystery/thriller/romance, Jane Steele is a lot of fun. I came to…

  3. Book cover for The Pearl Thief

    The Pearl Thief

    by Elizabeth Wein

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Code Name Verity was some of the best WWII fiction I’ve ever read. So I’ve had this prequel on my to-read list for a while. Elizabeth Wein in general seems like an author I should watch, and I finally tackled The Pearl Thief with no small amount of trepidation: how could this possibly measure up to Code Name Verity? Indeed, if that’s your metric, you will necessarily be disappointed. Obviously this book is…

  4. Book cover for The Justice Project

    The Justice Project

    by Michael Betcherman

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sometimes the best I can summon up for a book is “competent.” That’s where I’m at with The Justice Project by Michael Betcherman. This young adult/new adult book is an interesting mix of thriller/mystery, but the tone and pacing and characterization leaves me a little confused about who the audience is and which themes Betcherman wants to emphasize.

    Matt is finishing up high school, but his dreams of playing college football are over. Instead of…

  5. Book cover for Peril at End House

    Peril at End House

    by Agatha Christie

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Having watched many of the Agatha Christie’s Poirot adaptations of these mysteries, sometimes it’s hard to tell if I’m figuring out the ending or just remembering it from the TV show. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Peril at End House. That didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this Poirot mystery, of course. With the weather finally verging on warm, I was yearning to curl up on my deck with a blanket and some tea and…

  6. Book cover for The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

    The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

    by Stuart Turton

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Time loops. An English country house murder mystery. Shifting identities and allegiances. Yes please. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle has so many things that attract me to a novel. For the most part, Stuart Turton’s execution kept me riveted: I inhaled this book over the course of two days, stopping only because I really did need to sleep.

    A man comes to consciousness in the middle of a forest. All he remembers is the…

  7. Book cover for A Study in Charlotte

    A Study in Charlotte

    by Brittany Cavallaro

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sherlock Holmes was, unsurprisingly, my jam when I was a kid. I preferred Poirot, even then (just something about Christie’s writing or the Belgian detective’s emphasis on his “little grey cells”), but Sherlock was cool too. I love reading stories that try to put a new spin on the Conan Doyle adventures, whether it’s transposing them to the 22nd century, hiring Ian McKellen to play a dementia-ridden Holmes, or gender-swapping Holmes and sending her to…

  8. Book cover for After the Golden Age

    After the Golden Age

    by Carrie Vaughn

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Mmm mmm mmm, yes indeed. I like superhero novels, but they don’t always work for me, and often I find myself more disappointed and critical of them than I want to be considering how avidly I seek them out. I was nervous starting After the Golden Age finally after having it on my to-read list for years. What if I didn’t like it? Should I even bother? I’m glad I did, though, because I thoroughly…

  9. Book cover for The Quantum Thief

    The Quantum Thief

    by Hannu Rajaniemi

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A long time ago I read The Dervish House and commented that it hacked my brain, and that’s what I feel like Hannu Rajaniemi is trying to do with The Quantum Thief. This is posthumanist SF that reimagines the limitations and extent of a human’s personal narrative in a very extreme, mind-bending way. I don’t entirely understand what’s happening here, and that is kind of the point. Rajaniemi walks an extremely fine line between…

  10. Book cover for The Amateurs

    The Amateurs

    by Sara Shepard

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I picked this up from my library on a whim because it was on a display and I liked the description of the premise. I know nothing about Pretty Little Liars or Sara Shepard. The Amateurs has a great premise! Unfortunately, the writing, characterization, and even the plot fail to live up to the expectations I had.

    Seneca Frazier has spent most of her first year of college on a message board called Case Not…

  11. Book cover for Hope Never Dies

    Hope Never Dies

    by Andrew Shaffer

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I learned about Hope Never Dies from Twitter, and am I ever glad I did. I don’t read a lot of spoofs and parodies, but when I do, I like to read ones like Andrew Shaffer’s. It is delightful.

    Joe Biden has been out of office for a while now, and while his former friend Barack is living the high celeb life, old Joe is … well, feeling his age. His life gets shaken up…

  12. Book cover for Witchmark

    Witchmark

    by C.L. Polk

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Dr. Miles Singer is a military psychiatrist treating veterans of Aeland’s war with Laneer. He himself is hiding from his noble family, who would drag him back to use his magical talents as a mere battery and help prop up their power in Aeland. But when a stranger dies in Miles’ arms and begs Miles to find his killer, Miles’ two worlds collide. Soon there won’t be any secrets … but will the price be…

  13. Book cover for The Woken Gods

    The Woken Gods

    by Gwenda Bond

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The Woken Gods has a wicked premise: what if the deities of various ancient mythologies were real entities, but at some point in time, for reasons lost to us, they were put asleep or fell asleep? What happens, then, if they wake up and return with a vengeance, and the only people who can stand against them are a shadowy secret society called the Society of the Sun that just happens to have made it…

  14. Book cover for The Myth Manifestation

    The Myth Manifestation

    by Lisa Shearin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A pleasure, as always, to revisit The SPI Files. Lisa Shearin always brings it—and by it I mean that combination of humour and serious situations in need of ass-kicking that results in delightful urban fantasy stories. The tone might be light, but the stakes are often high. This the kind of series you can easily devour over a week or two yet keep coming back to time and again.

    Mac and Ian are back…

  15. Book cover for Gnomon

    Gnomon

    by Nick Harkaway

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Yes, Gnomon is a behemoth of a book, one I am glad I saved for the beginning of March Break. Even then it took me several days to get through it. Nick Harkaway’s story is intricately layered and nested, and while I wasn’t sure about it at first, the more time I spent with it, the more I came to appreciate and enjoy its construction. Gnomon is a lot of things, and a simple summary…

  16. Book cover for Terminal Alliance

    Terminal Alliance

    by Jim C. Hines

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Jim C. Hines has been on my radar for a long time, but I haven’t actually read any of his books until now! When I saw this on NetGalley, I was intrigued. I know Hines mostly as a fantasy writer, so I was curious to see how his science fiction would be. Turns out Hines’ Terminal Alliance reminds me a lot of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War universe.

    Side note: This book was published in…

  17. Book cover for Cetaganda

    Cetaganda

    by Lois McMaster Bujold

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Returning to the Vorkosigan universe is always a delight. Miles in particular is such a lovely protagonist. Part mystery, part spy-thriller, all fun, Cetaganda just reminds me how much I adore Lois McMaster Bujold’s writing. Her space opera game is strong; her political intrigue is delicious.

    Cetaganda takes place relatively early in Miles’ personal chronology, when he is still a bratty young officer instead of a bratty more experienced right-hand man for Gregor. He…

  18. Book cover for Company Town

    Company Town

    by Madeline Ashby

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Company Town, while a book I definitely wanted to read, is not a book I had intended to read right now. This is how it came to me:

    Me: spots book on living room table, evidently purchased by Dad You read this yet? Dad: No. Me: takes book Let me know when you want it back. drops smoke screen

    100% accurate retelling.

    I’m quite surprised this is a selection for Canada Reads. It’s very…

  19. Book cover for Supernormal Step, Vol. 3

    Supernormal Step, Vol. 3: Power Struggle

    by M. Lee Lunsford

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    It has been over a year since I last reviewed a volume of Supernormal Step, the fantastic webcomic by Michael Lee Lunsford about Fiona, a girl with blue hair who has been sucked into a strange, parallel universe where magic is real and that’s really freaky. Fiona has long been on a search for a way home, and while she doesn’t get much closer in this one, she does learn more about the mysterious…

  20. Book cover for Harbinger of the Storm

    Harbinger of the Storm

    by Aliette de Bodard

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So my review for the first book in this series begins, “It took me forever to read Servant of the Underworld, and I don’t know why. It’s great.”

    That was two years ago.

    Yeah.

    I’ve had Harbinger of the Storm all that time, thanks to my wonderful subscription to Angry Robot Books … I’ve just been very, very, very negligent in actually reading these books! And I don’t know why, because they are great! Aliette…

  21. Book cover for Dead Girls Society

    Dead Girls Society

    by Michelle Krys

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Full disclosure: I received this book for free because I won a Twitter contest run by Courtney Summers. But wait! If you want to send me free books, you don’t have to get me to retweet anything at all. You can just do it! Contact me for more details.

    Fuller disclosure: Michelle Krys is from Thunder Bay, my hometown and place of residence, so that does give her bonus points.

    Fullest disclosure: (I actually have…

  22. Book cover for The Big Four

    The Big Four

    by Agatha Christie

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Guys, this book is legitimately terrible.

    I knew, given Agatha Christie’s prolific output, that not all of her books, not even all of her Poirot mysteries, could be good. There was bound to be a few stinkers in there. But The Big Four is to Poirot what “Threshold” is to Star Trek: Voyager—which is to say, it is a well-intentioned attempt that might have once held interesting ideas but, when executed, became a shambles…

  23. Book cover for White Cat

    White Cat

    by Holly Black

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Maybe it’s just because I picked this up after a long day of failing to strip wallpaper from my bathroom, but White Cat was really gripping. Aside from a Supernatural-infused dinner break with my dad, I didn’t put it down and ripped through it in a single night. That’s not a feat—it’s YA and not particularly long—but it’s a mark of how much Holly Black made me want to stay in her world and…

  24. Book cover for Steeplejack

    Steeplejack

    by A.J. Hartley

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Oh my god give me more of these books right damn now.

    I don’t normally do this, but can we just stop for a moment and look at this utterly gorgeous cover by Mike Heath? I was going to read Steeplejack from the description alone, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the cover that caught my eye while I was browsing the New Books shelf. Everything about this cover is amazing. The…

  25. Book cover for Poirot Investigates

    Poirot Investigates

    by Agatha Christie

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A few months back, Netflix Canada acquired Agatha Christie’s Poirot, the ITV series starring David Suchet. Since then I’ve developed a tradition whereby most Sunday mornings I make an omelette for breakfast and sit back to watch an episode, occasionally tweeting mockery of the characters. I really enjoy Poirot: it is one of those series that so obviously loves its source material, with actors who are great at embodying their characters; yet, it…

  26. Book cover for Archangel Protocol

    Archangel Protocol

    by Lyda Morehouse

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’ve had this book for ages and just never got around to reading it (I’m really behind on reading my ebooks, because I need to give my tablet a root canal). I figured with an American presidential election around the corner, and with the pseudo-eschatological tones of certain candidates’ campaigns, Archangel Protocol was a nice pairing. I didn’t realize it is 15 years old! Lyda Morehouse says in her preface that she resisted the urge…

  27. Book cover for Excession

    Excession

    by Iain M. Banks

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Finally, the Culture novel I’ve been waiting to read since I started the series. Everyone told me not to start with Excession, so I didn’t—and honestly that was pretty good advice. I can see why people wouldn’t enjoy this novel, and even though I think I would have liked it with no previous Culture experience, reading other books has given me a deeper appreciation for what is happening here.

    Excession reminds me of children’s…

  28. Book cover for The Trap

    The Trap

    by Melanie Raabe

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Look, everyone! I read and reviewed an ARC before its publication date in Canada! Shock and awe, people. Shock and awe. Mind you, I’m not sure this is meant for me, because its title seems more like it was addressed to Admiral Ackbar. The Trap isn’t out until May 28, and it will appeal to thrillers and people fond of books about writers, and also Star Wars characters fond of stating the obvious. If you…

  29. Book cover for Mistwood

    Mistwood

    by Leah Cypess

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So many feelings, not sure how to put it into words. Mistwood started off like its title: hazy but somewhat enervating in all its potential; as it condensed, the story and plot started narrowing until it almost missed the mark. Even a few days later, I’m not sure whether I think this is a good book or not. I guess the truth is that I liked so many parts of this book, but in other…

  30. Book cover for The Eyre Affair

    The Eyre Affair

    by Jasper Fforde

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So many friend reviews of this book—and so many opinions! It seems that The Eyre Affair is one of those books that some people love on first sight and others find incredibly tedious, confusing, or just unbelievable. I see elements of both, and so, more often than I would like, I find myself on the fence with these polarizing reads. It’s not a position I see as superior—if anything it smacks of indecision to me.…

  31. Book cover for The Brimstone Deception

    The Brimstone Deception

    by Lisa Shearin

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Finally caught up on this series, thanks to the magic of ordering stuff online and reading these relatively short novels back to back. The Brimstone Deception starts the day after The Dragon Conspiracy concludes. With such tight timing, it’s no coincidence that emotions and tensions continue to run high. Lisa Shearin advances Mac’s storyline even as she drops some more bombshells about the world of The SPI Files in general.

    Already the plot of this…

  32. Book cover for The Dragon Conspiracy

    The Dragon Conspiracy

    by Lisa Shearin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    These book titles remind of the titles of The Big Bang Theory episodes. First The Grendel Affair and then The Dragon Conspiracy. It’s cute, and hopefully Lisa Shearin won’t have to write so many that she starts to run out of ideas like that TV show….

    In this sequel, Mac Fraser and Ian Byrne are investigating the theft of magical diamonds with bad mojo. There’s yet another rival dragon in town, this one a…

  33. Book cover for Mockingbird

    Mockingbird

    by Walter Tevis

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Many of the most seminal dystopian novels are chilling for the extent to which they depict a “new normal” of human existence. By this I mean that these novels don’t just portray people oppressed or living under the thumb of a ruling class or technologically-imposed social structure—no, the best dystopian novels create a world in which people are happy, or at least satisfied, with the new status quo. Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World

  34. Book cover for The Scream of the Butterfly

    The Scream of the Butterfly

    by Jakob Melander

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Lars Winkler is a detective’s detective: recently separated, semi-not-involved with a coworker, semi-involved with a nurse, and occasionally he solves mysteries on the side. Also he’s Danish. So there’s that.

    Full disclosure: I received this as an ARC from House of Anansi Press in exchange for a review. You too can send me free books, and I will review them (even if you don’t want me to).

    The Scream of the Butterfly is the second…

  35. Book cover for The Age Atomic

    The Age Atomic

    by Adam Christopher

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I am so behind on my Angry Robot subscription. It’s bad, guys. I read Empire State 3 years ago, and The Age Atomic came out half a year later. I barely remember the first book—no, that’s a lie; I had entirely forgotten the first book. I remembered exactly none of the characters when Adam Christopher reintroduced them here. But the vague memories that I stir up from reading my review suggest that these two books…

  36. Book cover for Working for Bigfoot

    Working for Bigfoot

    by Jim Butcher

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files universe has a very rich mythology, something I greatly admire about the series. From werewolves to vampires to faerie, Butcher doesn’t just take one or two types of supernatural creatures and run with it—he takes all-comers. He continues this trend with these three novelettes that involve Bigfoot. Working For Bigfoot is a short but nice little collection that takes the edge off waiting for the next novel in the series.

    I…

  37. Book cover for Bleeding Edge

    Bleeding Edge

    by Thomas Pynchon

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The three Goodreads friends who have rated Bleeding Edge all gave it 5 stars, so that’s impressive. Thomas Pynchon, of course, is a literary juggernaut. This is his first book I’ve read. Coincidentally, I watched the adaptation of Inherent Vice just after I started reading this. Obviously I don’t know if the movie is much like the book, but it has a similar stylistic feeling to Bleeding Edge: an overwhelming cast of characters connected…

  38. Book cover for Wit's End

    Wit's End

    by Karen Joy Fowler

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I like meta-books, books about books and writers and readers and how stories influence our lives. As someone who spends what, I admit, is probably an inordinate amount of time reading, reading about books is important and informative. Wit’s End is metafiction about mystery. Rima’s godmother, Addison Early, is a successful Agatha Christie—like mystery writer. Rima comes to stay with Addison at Wit’s End, Addison’s little refuge from the world in Santa Cruz. Cut off…

  39. Book cover for The Incrementalists

    The Incrementalists

    by Steven Brust

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    These people are oddly obsessed with putting bathrobes on after showering. She used his bathrobe, so he had to settle for a towel—what, you don’t towel off and then put on a bathrobe?

    I was hesitant to borrow this from the library—the description screamed “generic pseudo–science-fiction thriller.” Neverthless, I resolved to give it a chance. I swear I didn’t notice that John Scalzi had blurbed it until I started reading. And it makes sense that…

  40. Book cover for The Murder on the Links

    The Murder on the Links

    by Agatha Christie

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Hercule Poirot returns to once again solve a murder, this time of a wealthy Frenchman who seems to have foreseen his death. It’s not about Poirot being smarter than other detectives or about him noticing more details—it’s about his method, his organized way of approaching those details and fitting the theory to the facts rather than the other way around.

    Contrary to what the title might imply, there is no golf in this book.…

  41. Book cover for Karen Memory

    Karen Memory

    by Elizabeth Bear

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I would be lying if I said I read this book for reasons other than a) it's by Elizabeth Bear and b) it's received some good attention, particularly in a few of my Goodreads groups. I know this because I struggle to find something compelling to talk about in this review. There's not really one thing that hooks me about this book. It's not a time period I'm interested in. The whole "wild West" motif…

  42. Book cover for The Three-Body Problem

    The Three-Body Problem

    by Liu Cixin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Woo, non-Western science fiction! I love the opportunity to get out of my ethnocentric mindspace. Liu Cixin offers up a science fiction set (mostly) in China during both the modern day and the Cultural Revolution. As such, he brings a lot of history to the story that Western readers are probably not familiar with. Nevertheless, he and translator Ken Liu do an admirable job spinning an engrossing story about humanity’s responsibilities, and what might happen…

  43. Book cover for Death on the Nile

    Death on the Nile

    by Agatha Christie

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So if you’re a famous detective like Hercule Poirot, you’re probably steeped in murder. It’s just murder, murder, murder, all day, every day. What’s a Belgian to do? Go on vacation, of course! Tour the Nile, they said. It’ll be relaxing, they said. No one will kill anyone on your boat, they said.

    In case the title doesn’t give it away, Death on the Nile is a punishment of sorts for Hercule Poirot. Poor bastard…

  44. Book cover for And Then There Were None

    And Then There Were None

    by Agatha Christie

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Hot on the heels of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd we have Agatha Christie’s other “best novel”, And Then There Were None, alternatively known under a few other racist titles. Loosely woven around an equally racist poem, the actual mystery is not in itself racist but instead another one of those clever stories that blew minds all around. I, however, didn’t like it very much.

    I’m not going to argue that this is a…

  45. Book cover for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

    by Agatha Christie

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    There’s nothing quite like a good Agatha Christie novel, hmm? I find reading one of her mysteries so comforting. It’s like the perfect intellectual beach read: you know what to expect, yet there are still surprises (even if you manage to guess whodunit, which I seldom do). The Hercule Poirot novels in particular must be among my favourites. Mystery was my first genre love, even way back before I got into science fiction and fantasy,…

  46. Book cover for Pivot Point

    Pivot Point

    by Kasie West

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Addison Coleman, or Addie, is a mutant Tomorrow Person—damn it, she’s got mind powers, mmkay? But not floaty-move-stuff-with-your-mind powers—that’s Telekinetics—or memory-erasing powers—that’s Erasing—she can see the two possible paths that branch from a choice she has to make—Discerning, or Divergence, or whatever. The names aren’t that important. This is the Tomorrow People if the Tomorrow People were led by adults and not afraid for their lives because they’re all safe in a Compound in…

  47. Book cover for Broken Monsters

    Broken Monsters

    by Lauren Beukes

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So there’s this new show on TV called CSI: Cyber. It’s a spin-off of a little-known TV series you probably haven’t heard of—CSI or something like that—about people investigating cybercrime. Every episode involves bad guys trying to do bad things with computers (sometimes their computer, sometimes your computer!), and the good guys have to race against the clock to stop the bad things by doing things that are like the bad things but…

  48. Book cover for Work Done for Hire

    Work Done for Hire

    by Joe Haldeman

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Jumped on this after seeing it in the new paperbacks section of the library. Having recently read, and greatly enjoyed, The Forever War, I was happy to see something much more recent from Joe Haldeman. That being said, the description made it seem more like a thriller than a science-fiction novel, so I didn’t go into it expecting too much. This proved fortuitous, because there isn’t much here. Thrillers are neither my area of…

  49. Book cover for The Bookman

    The Bookman

    by Lavie Tidhar

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’m hesitant about proclaiming love for historical fiction. To me it’s just a genre that can be so hard to get right. Take too many liberties, and it’s not really historical any more, is it? But don’t take enough liberties, try to follow the actual course of history (as best we know it) too slavishly, and then it’s not really fiction…. The best historical fiction is the kind that follows the main narrative but tries…

  50. Book cover for Proxima

    Proxima

    by Stephen Baxter

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I seem to remember reading some or all of Stephen Baxter’s Manifold books when I was much younger. Those also involved a future sentience/intelligence at the end of the universe reaching back in the history of the universe to alter events through weird, inexplicable phenomena. So I guess this is a thing for him. Proxima starts its life as a straightforward tale of enforced penal colonization of another planet before gradually sprawling into a parallel…