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Keeping things thrilling in July

I don’t know why July was the month for mysteries and thrillers, but it was!

You might start to suspect everyone around you of being a potential poisoner after reading “For Your Own Good” by Samantha Downing.

Teacher of the Year Teddy Crutcher at the elite Belmont Academy seems to have the best job. Except the truth is, he can’t stand pushy parents and arrogant students. He finds his own ways of getting back at them, like giving in to the pushy parents demands for extra credit to their son, but only giving him an A minus. And he can’t stand his peppy co-worker Sonia, so he slips a little something in her coffee pod to make her a bit sick. Just to get her away a few days and be less peppy. But then his little tricks go a bit too far, a parent ends up accidentally dead, a student is blamed and the custodian saw him rooting around in the trash for the evidence, even as a former student whom he played his little games on has threatened him with revenge. Before you know it, several more people at the school die, others are arrested and everything just might be spinning out of control, What will the mastermind behind all of this do? Once one poisoning happens, it seems like everyone has a motive and Teddy just might get away with it due to all the suspects, but will he?

This is a twisted story of people that honestly readers won’t like, but will be reading on to see what kind of mischief they get up to next.

“For Your Own Good” is published by Berkley.

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When young trophy wife — and mystery author — Brooke moves into the exclusive neighborhood of Presidio Terrance, she befriends her new neighbors and soon discovers all the secrets they have hiding in “The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives” by Kristin Miller.

While everything seems picture perfect for Brooke, her much older husband is controlling. Meanwhile, neighbor Erin King thinks she has the clout as a long time news anchor to throw a fit at a coworker and then learns that she just might be replaceable. When she quits her job on a whim to try to keep her husband from finding a newer model, she may have to face facts that he’s not who she thought he was. And other neighbor Georgia St. Claire is the most infamous — the glamorous wife of not one, but two wealthy husbands who have died under odd circumstances, and a third man she’s days away from marrying. When the third one goes missing, has her Black Widow curse struck again? And what is each woman hiding?

There are plenty of secrets and wealth going on with these women. While their lives might not have been as “sinful” as I’d hoped, its still a fun domestic noir book with plenty of style.

“The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives” is published by Ballentine.

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New York Times bestselling author A.R. Torre tells a story of secrets and murder in “The Good Lie.”

Gwen is a psychiatrist who happens to be a serial killer expert. She was called in to help with killers like the Bloody Heart killer, who murdered teenagers until one victim escaped and pointed to high school teacher Randall Thompson as the captor. But now there is a new wrinkle. Defense attorney Robert Kavin is also the father of one of the victims, however he doesn’t think Thompson killed his son and is representing Thompson in court. Robert wants Gwen to interview Thompson and create a new psychiatric profile of the killer and the victims as part of his case. Soon Gwen is wrapped up in the case and doesn’t know who to trust as secrets fly everywhere.

A blend of serial killer story, court cases and even romance, this is a tricky story that will keep readers going.

“The Good Lie” is published by Thomas & Mercer.

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A new house in a new neighborhood draws a woman into her neighbors’ secrets in “The Therapist” by B.A. Paris.

Alice and Leo are thrilled to get a house in the exclusive gated community of The Circle, until Alice finds out why Leo got it for such a steal — the previous owner was murdered in the house, which Leo knew and didn’t tell her.

Reeling from this knowledge, Alice begins to investigate the therapist who lived in her house before, as she feels a connection to her, not only because she shares the same name as Alice’s dead sister. As Alice’s curiosity turns to obsession, she unwittingly puts herself into danger and learns life at the Circle is a hotbed of secrets.

There’s plenty of guessing and twists in this story of obsession that will leave readers wondering who to trust.

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

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USA Today bestselling author David Bell writes a mystery of missing women, murder, a manuscript, and a college professor caught in the middle in “Kill All Your Darlings.”

Connor is an English professor who has faced burnout in writing after the death of his wife and son. But professors must publish in order to get tenure. And Connor makes the mistake of taking a student’s work as his own — a novel about the murder of a woman. Except his student Madeline is missing, and the murder story she wrote may be based on actual events. Soon Connor is the number one suspect in a murder case, and when Madeline shows up, wanting to be paid for the story he took. When another murder occurs, Connor realizes his job and reputation might not only be on the line — so could his life.

This is a dark look at the world of academia, including sexual harassment, plagiarism and more. There’s plenty of mystery, including where did Madeline go and the murder at the center of the plot.

“Kill All Your Darlings” is published by Berkley.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.

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