In the two months since the last roundup of crime, mystery and thriller books 16 reviews have been added to the genre’s tally for the year. A third of them were for Jaye Ford’s latest psychological suspense novel BLOOD SECRET, making it the most popular book of the period by a country mile. It is a story about a woman with a secret who stays in one place a bit too long which turns out to have disastrous consequences for the person she is closest to. Over at Reading, Writing and Riesling Carol says of the book

Ford Blood SecretI liked that the main character Rennie Carter is a strong, self reliant woman with many hidden talents – some she would prefer to remain hidden – along with her gun! Rennie knows her own mind and takes responsibility for her own actions and safety and is compelled to find her missing partner regardless of what the community or the police may be presuming.

This narrative accelerates down a twisting path of lies and assumptions, greed determines the journey and we do not find the truth until the very end.

A fantastic, absorbing and fast paced read. This book is best enjoyed in one sitting – but you won’t really have a conscious choice in that once you begin reading you will be hooked and compelled to read until you reach the very last page!

The other reviews all concur that this one is virtually impossible to put down and lives up to the promise of the thriller tag.

everybreath-marneyMany of the other books reviewed during this period have already been discussed in earlier roundups for the year but a couple of new titles did catch my eye.

EVERY BREATH by Ellie Marney is a Sherlock Holmes-inspired  YA novel featuring a teenage girl who moves to Melbourne from the country and becomes involved in solving a crime with her new neighbour and Shaheen at Speculating on SpecFic writes

The city is brought to life by the author – I liked the emphasis on the small, usually overlooked aspects of the Melbourne, like little eateries, wonderful people, unexpected kindnesses. I think it’s nice because we see the city through Rachel’s eyes, and she’s anti-Melbourne and the big smoke for so long that when she starts seeing how special it is, I could totally see it too.


The murder-mystery aspect of the book had me worried initially, because I thought that teenagers solving a crime alongside the police wouldn’t be believable. Why would adults give them pertinent details and allow them to spin their theories? But Marney handles it well, and I understood why the coroner and police officer wanted to listen. I was sucked into the action: there’s a lot going on and I was always guessing what might happen next.

I figure the book must be good to keep a dedicated speculative fiction fan entertained by a different genre.

Ill-gotten-gains-evansIlsa Evans’ ILL-GOTTEN GAINS is the second in a new cosy series featuring amateur sleuth Nell Forrest which Shelleyrae at Book’d Out enjoyed immensely, particularly its people

I adored the characters, I’d love to share a coffee with Nell (even though I can’t stand the stuff). I love the little asides shared from her column, ‘Middle Age Spread’, and her sense of humour makes me laugh. Nell’s familial relationships are so realistically drawn, I can empathise with the chaos her daughters introduce into her life and the love, and concern, she feels for all of them.

She recommends the book as “…a delightful blend of mystery, humour and domestic drama with a touch of romance”.

As usual then there’s a good range of what the genre has to offer being read and reviewed by crime and mystery fans taking the Australian Women Writers challenge.

If you’re after some ideas of more crime/mystery/thriller or true crime books to read then head over to the genre’s reviews page for this year’s challenge to see what else is being discussed.

Previous roundups for this category

About Me

I’m Bernadette Bean. I’ve been reading avidly for as long as I can remember, blogging about reading since late 2008 at Reactions to Reading and co-hosting Fair Dinkum Crime, a site devoted to promoting and discussing Australian crime fiction, for the past couple of years. I read and reviewed 18 books as part of my own participation in the 2012 challenge. Some of them weren’t even crime novels!