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Domestic thrillers, historical mysteries abound

Several new thrillers and mysteries go to new places to twist up the reader.

With a story vaguely reminiscent of “Rebecca” and plenty of suspense, “The Wife Upstairs” by Rachel Hawkins is a great read. Years ago, “Jane” left her old name behind with a foster family and is starting life over as a dog walker in a posh section of town. She meets the handsome, recently widowed Eddie, and the attraction between the two is immediate. Soon Jane is no longer walking dogs, but living in Eddie’s lavish house. But a cloud hangs over their relationship — his late wife died in a boating accident along with her best friend. While Jane does her best to live like the rest of the women in the area — and indeed like his late wife Bea did, she feels like an impostor. And meanwhile, another narrative is going on, one from a woman trapped in a panic room, trying to get a message out…the captor is her own husband… and that’s only the beginning.

There are plenty of twists going on here, and just when it seems like everything is solved, it isn’t. Double identities, romance, danger and plenty more make this story a thrill ride.

“The Wife Upstairs” is published by St. Martin’s Press.

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A novel explores the real life mystery of where Agatha Christie went after the breakup of her marriage in “The Mystery of Mrs. Christie” by Marie Benedict. Agatha Christie’s meeting of her future husband, Archie, is told in a manuscript she is writing, offset by the breakup of their marriage due to her husband’s affair with another woman and him wanting to run away with her. Archie gets a call from a maid that his wife has gone missing, and soon finds himself in the spotlight as the police, the press and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wonder where the writer has gone and if foul play is involved. And guess who is high on the suspect list?

An imaginative story (no one knows where she went or why really) that puts a believable spin on the events, fans of Christie will enjoy this historical mystery.

“The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is published by Sourcebooks.

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A podcast brings a broken young woman to an isolated ranch in “If I Disappear” by Eliza Jane Brazier. Sera has found solace in a true crime podcast after the end of her marriage and loss of her baby. But when the podcast stops and host Rachel’s social media does as well, she fears something has happened to her, like the women she investigates. Sera goes to Rachel’s small town, and her parents’ isolated ranch, to find clues as to where Rachel went. But the longer she is there, the more paranoid and strange Rachel’s family seems and the more in danger Sera is in…

There are so many twists, I wasn’t sure who it was going to be in the end, thinking I’d figured it out, only to be surprised time and again. Mystery fans are going to enjoy this story with a trendy premise.

“If I Disappear” is published by Berkley.

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A woman dealing with the double loss of her mother and the infidelity of her husband is alarmed when her son says he has a “new” Granny and seems to be getting treats from her — but all of his grandmothers are dead in “The Woman Outside My Door” by Rachel Ryan.

Georgina at first believes her son has an imaginary friend as a way of coping with his grandma’s recent death. But when he starts getting strange treats, notes and even phone calls, she becomes alarmed that someone is stalking them. Her husband thinks she has anxiety after her mother’s death and it’s all innocent kids’ stuff, but their relationship is already broken by his cheating with an ex. But Georgina can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching her, and if so, who? The other woman? Or is there another family secret coming to light?

This was an enjoyable domestic thriller that will keep the reader guessing.

“The Woman Outside My Door” is published by Gallery Books.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.

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