Six mysteries to keep You Turning Pages This Winter

My book club is reading One by One by Ruth Ware this month and, while the timing was accidental, this book seems tailor made for January. It’s not just the snowy setting, although that’s a perfect fit too, but that there’s something about winter and this kind of escapist reading that seem to go hand in hand.

So just as summer is for beach reads, I’m declaring winter for mysteries, and here are a few of my favorites.

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One by One by Ruth Ware. A group of coworkers from a hip social media startup head to a remote ski chalet in the Alps for a corporate retreat. Once there, tensions around a proposed buyout quickly surface, a co-founder goes missing, and an avalanche cuts off electricity and all forms of communication for the remaining employees and two chalet hosts, one of whom has secrets.

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin. Rachel Krall has a popular true crime podcast, but she keeps a low profile so she’s surprised when, on her way to cover a rape trial in a small North Carolina town, someone leaves a note on her car asking her to look into their sister’s death in the same town 25 years earlier. As Rachel reaches the town and becomes immersed in the trial she’s there to cover (a young swimmer with Olympic aspirations is accused of raping a local high school girl) the mysterious notes keep coming and she finds herself drawn into this story from a generation earlier.

In the Woods by Tana French. Dublin detective Rob Ryan is called to the scene of a child murder in the woods near where he grew up. The case turns out to be eerily similar to a case from two decades earlier where two children disappeared and a third was found with no memory of what had happened. The third child was Rob, something he has kept a secret. Now he finds himself trying to solve not only the current mystery but the one from his past as well.

A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight. Every year the parents in Park Slope Brooklyn (think historic brownstones, trendy boutiques, and well-to-do young families) hold an adults-only party while their kids are away at sleepaway camp. This year’s party ends in tragedy when one of the parents is found dead after returning home from the party. The husband of the dead woman is arrested for the murder and calls on his law school classmate Lizzie to represent him, which she reluctantly agrees to do. Lizzie, struggling in her own marriage, soon learns that not everything is as it seems among the Park Slope crowd.

The Last Flight by Julie Clark. Claire and Eva, two women in very different but equally problematic circumstances, meet randomly in an airport bar and decide to switch tickets so they can each disappear for a while to work out their situations. But when the flight Eva is on crashes, Claire realizes she has a chance at a whole new life.

Still Life by Louise Penny. A resident of a small Canadian village is dead under unusual circumstances and Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in from Montreal to investigate. The town’s residents take center stage in the story as Gamache uncovers their secrets and unravels the mystery. If you’re one of Louise Penny’s many fans, you’ve already read this, but if you’re new to her, this is the place to start.

Are you a mystery reader? If you have any favorite titles or authors, I’d love to hear about them!

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P.S. Some pictures in honor of MLK day and what one book club is reading this year.

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  1. I don’t typically read mysteries (I’m too sensitive and end up with nightmares) but I love to recommend Heather Gudenkauf and Nicole Baart. They are both Iowa authors and write great stories!

    1. Thank you for those recommendations, Stacie! And I understand the sensitive part. I have to be careful too.

  2. I appreciate these recommendations as I’m always on the lookout for mysteries I haven’t heard about. I have read the Louise Penny books, including this one, and I have a small correction to make — the Chief Inspector’s name is Gamache, not Garmond. We Louise Penny fans are very protective of the wonderful characters she creates. Cheers!

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you for catching that. Off to correct it right now!

  3. Louise Penny is my absolute favorite! No one better.

  4. I loved The Last Flight! Can’t wait for her new one. Have a great week, Julie.

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