Sylvie’s thriller & mystery review


By Sylvie Chartrand

Here is a summary of some of the books I have read so far this year, in order of when I read them, not by favourites. I mostly like mystery novels but hopefully you can find something that appeals to you in these reviews.

The Sea of Lost Girls by Carol Goodman


Carol Goodman is the author of 21 novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, which won the Hammett Prize; and The Widow’s House, which won the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family and teaches literature and writing at the New School and SUNY New Paltz.

This story revolves around the Haywood Academy Boarding School where Tess and Harmon are teachers. Tess has a son, Rudy, who is 17 years old.  One night, Tess gets a call from Rudy at three o’clock in the morning, asking her to come pick him up in the safe place. When she does, she notices a stain on Rudy’s sweater. Later that morning, Lila, a friend of Rudy’s and also a student of Haywood Academy, is found dead not far from where Tess picked up Rudy and suspicion falls on him. Tess tries her best to protect her son. Her husband, Harmon, also becomes a person of interest. Tess was a student at the Haywood Academy 18 years earlier and had managed not to think about the mistakes she made, but she must now face the past to put it behind her.

A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson


M.T. Edvardsson is a writer and teacher from Trelleborg, Sweden. The author of three previous novels and two books for young readers, Edvardsson lives with his family in Löddeköpinge, Sweden.

A Nearly Normal Family is an interesting read. Each character gets to tell how the events unfolded from their own point of view. It is a story of love, murder, growing up and family unity. Ulrika, a criminal defense attorney, and Adam, a pastor, are Stella’s parents. The 18-year-old girl with a mind of her own has been rebelling against her parents, but one night she doesn’t come home and forgot to take her cell phone with her. Her worried parents then get a phone call from the police telling them that Stella is in custody for questioning related to the murder of a man 15 years older than her. All Ulrika and Adam want to do is protect Stella, but how far are they willing to go? Could Stella be responsible for the heinous crime?

No One Saw by Beverly Long


Beverly Long’s writing career has spanned more than two decades and 20 novels. She writes suspense and romantic suspense with sexy heroes and smart heroines.

Five-year-old Emma Whitman disappears from her day care. The Baywood police department has no lead to go on, no suspect, and time is running out. A.L. McKittridge and his partner Rena Morgan are certain that Emma’s parents, the grandmother who dropped her off and the teacher whose care she was in are hiding something. Yet they all have alibis. The detectives won’t quit and keep asking questions. They have to find Emma.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner


Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, which is to be translated into 16 languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Caroline and James were supposed to celebrate their 10-year anniversary by going on a trip to London but just before their departure, Caroline found out that James cheated on her so she went alone. Looking for something to do, she went mud larking in the River Thames. She found an artifact that awoke her love of history and decided to do research to find out anything she could about the vial. She uncovers details that could be related to an unsolved murder that happened two hundred years ago.

These books and so many more are available at the Ottawa Public Library!

Sylvie Chartrand is a public service assistant at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

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