Even more mysteries for February

It seems like the month of February is overflowing with thrillers and mysteries and here are a few more great titles!

A female vicar finds herself moved to a small town that has a bunch of secrets in “The Burning Girls” by C.J. Tudor.

Jack has uprooted her daughter, Flo, to the small town of Chapel Croft, where the only claim to fame was protestant martyrs burned at the stake. Stories of hauntings of the “Burning Girls” have been told, and Flo, a bit of a goth, is drawn to the cemetery near their home, eventually meeting a teen boy who also is a bit of a goth and two of the local students who start bullying her. And then Flo sees the Burning Girls, who as legend has it, show up when someone is in danger. Why would Flo be in danger? Meanwhile, Jack is learning how insular small towns are, and how far some will go to protect family secrets.

There are so many twists and turns in this book that once the reader thinks they have it figured out, they are wrong. It will keep you on your toes and up all night to finish the last page!

“The Burning Girls” is published by Ballentine.


A teenage girl goes missing and everyone in the apartment complex has secrets they want to keep hidden in “The Downstairs Neighbor” by Helen Cooper.

Steph and Paul seem to have a perfect life, until their daughter Freya, disappears. When the police ask if they have an enemies, the truth might be surprising. Neighbor Emma never has had much to do with them, but finds herself drawn into their ordeal. Driving instructor and neighbor Chris gave Freya driving lessons and was the last one seen with her — what does he know about where she went? When everyone has a secret, everyone is a suspect.

This was a story that kept up multiple suspects only to surprise you with a new reason why someone could have done something to Freya. There was a lot going on to keep the reader constantly guessing.

“The Downstairs Neighbor” is published by Putnam.


An author discovers a perfect new apartment after her life takes a turn and immediately starts to feel paranoid in “Flowers of Darkness” by Tatiana de Rosnay.

In the near future, Clarissa lucks into an artist’s residency in a super modern apartment that comes with a virtual assistant, like Alexa but times 100. No sooner does she settle in that she feels unsettled, but given the end of her marriage and the ruin of Paris before her due to some sort of attack, there’s no wonder. As the heat gets worse and her paranoia intensifies, she enlists not only the help of her granddaughter, but of her first husband, What secrets is Clarissa keeping — or is there something sinister in the apartment.

A literary mystery with a dash of science fiction, this will reach out into many genres and bring in readers with its captivating hook.

“Flowers of Darkness” is published by St. Martin’s Press.


There’s a reason why all of the events take place on Maple Street in “Good Neighbors” by Sarah Langan. For the monsters are due there. Much like the original “Twilight Zone” episode, this story of humanity’s ordinary monstrous acts and mob mentality serves as a cautionary tale to this new era.

Maple Street, set in the suburbs of Long Island, seems picture perfect until a sinkhole literally cracks it open and unearths its dark underbelly. The neighbors don’t like newest family the Wildes. The father Arlo is an ex-rocker and ex-heroin addict. The mother Gertie is a former pageant queen who dresses just a little too flash for the moms. The daughter Julie curses and stole some cigarettes from her father and shared them with the neighborhood kids. And the son Larry is known as Robot Boy for his oddities. Queen of the suburb, Rhea, at first tries to befriend Gertie, as does her daughter Shelley with Julie. But then Rhea shares a bit too much with Gertie and wants to take it back — so she turns against the whole family and encourages Shelley to do the same. Rhea’s hiding more than one dark secret and when tragedy occurs, seems perfectly willing to frame Arlo and turn the whole neighborhood against him and the Wildes. And before long, the monsters are due on Maple Street.

A chilling literary thriller, this is once again a reminder of the danger of mob mentality and the darkness in ordinary people.

“Good Neighbors” is published by Atria Books.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.


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