Plenty of mysteries to astound

There’s a lot of suburban noir stories going around to make readers wonder about their neighbors and friends!

A woman makes herself into the perfect girlfriend for a man — so she can destroy him in “Jane Doe” by Victoria Helen Stone.

Jane is a quiet woman at the insurance company where middle-manager Steven works. She is unassuming, grateful for his attention and seems easily cowed by him, just the kind of woman he likes. And that is the point. Because Jane is in reality a sociopath who has set herself in his path on purpose. She wants Steven and his whole family ruined for what they did to the only person she ever cared about, her best friend, Meg. And Jane has the time, money and inclination to make that come true. But when her old boyfriend comes into the picture at the same time, will that complication ruin her revenge scheme?

A deliciously dark story with a chilling heroine, readers will enjoy seeing how far Jane will go for her revenge.

“Jane Doe” is published by Lake Union Publishing. It is $24.95 and 268 pages long.


A woman finds new people moving into her house and her soon-to-be ex-husband and their children gone in “Our House” by Louise Candlish.

Fiona is splitting from her husband Bram, after his infidelity. The two agree to share the house for the sake of the kids, each taking turns living with them while the other lives in an apartment nearby. And after a weekend away, Fiona is returning for her turn when she finds new people moving in. Apparently Bram has somehow forged her signature on papers and disappeared and her children are nowhere to be found. Why has he done this? Where are her kids? As Fiona narrates the story for a podcast, and Bram tells his side in a diary journal, readers will be dragged into a crumbling marriage and uncover lies and a world where nothing is as it seems.

This is a twisty story that turns everything topsy-turvy for the reader, who will enjoy the wild ride.

“Our House” is published by Berkley. It is $26 and 402 pages long.


A woman is dealing with the death of her husband the birth of her new baby in “The Waiting Room” by Emily Bleeker.

Veronica is dealing with both postpartum depression and the depression that comes with a death of a spouse and barely keeping it together. With the help of her mother, she is taking care of her new baby, but consumed with the thought that she cannot touch her. Her mother encourages counseling and finally Veronica goes. Then a break-in happesn at her house and mysterious sketches are found. Is someone messing with Veronica. When the baby goes missing, Veronica goes on a wild search for her and soon makes the realization that the mind games are real and nothing is what she thought it was.

With a killer twist that no one will see coming, readers will be blown away by this one.

“The Waiting Room” is published by Lake Union Publishing. It is $24.95 and 296 pages long.


An engagement party ends in death in “After Nightfall” by A.J. Banner.

In an act of reconcillation, Marisa invites her former friend, Lauren, to her engagement party. She and Lauren parted ways after Lauren stole her boyfriend. Now, Marisa watches as Lauren once again flirts with her fiancee and wonders if they can ever be friends again. The next day, Lauren is found dead on the bottom of a cliff near Marisa’s house. But how did it happen? Did Lauren drunkenly fall? Was she pushed? As Marisa begins to take a closer look at those closest to her, she begins to wonder who she can really trust and who held a killer grudge.

A thrilling story of betrayal, this is one that readers will eat up.

“After Nightfall” is published by Lake Union Publishing. It is $24.95 and 272 pages long.


A trip with friends goes wrong when one of them disappears in “Girls’ Night Out” by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke.

Ashley and Natalie are best friends and business partners, but one of them wants out. Lauren feels like the third wheel in the friendship and is still mourning her husband’s death. When Ashley plans a vacation to Mexico to help mend ties, the three sign up. But on the last night in Mexico, Ashley disappears. Did she run off with a guy she met? Was she kidnapped? Or has something more sinister happened? Natalie and Lauren’s search heats up and suspicion is all around as the days tick by.

A biting look at female frienddships with a lot of intrigue, this story will stick with the reader.

“Girls’ Night Out” is published by Lake Union Publishing. It is $24.95 and 362 pages long.


A con artist who learned the trade from her father finds herself troubled by the con she is selling — to herself in “The Drama Teacher” by Koren Zalickas.

She’s had many names, and as Gracie Mueller, she is the wife of a real estate manager and two small children. But life with Randy is getting troubled because of his poor business practices, so Gracie does what she does best — look for a mark. She finds it for a while with Melanie, a rich housewife, but when things go wrong and Melanie dies, it’s time for a new life and a new name.

Now Marianna is ecking out a living and thinks the past is behind her. When she decides she wants to send her children to a prestigious school, her new mark is Francis, a teacher. But what Marianna never counted on is falling for Francis for real — and enjoying the life she is living now as a drama teacher. When her past starts to catch up with her, will she lose it all?

This is a twisted pscyhological suspense novel with a character that will captivate the reader. The book has already been optioned for a film, and readers will soon see why.

“The Drama Teacher” is published by Crown. It is $27 and 386 pages long.


Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com


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