12+ Cozy Fireside Reads for Fall 2020
With fall comes crunching leaves, apple picking, cooler weather, and warm cozy fires. I love the sound of a crackling fire and there are not many things more comforting than curling up by the fire to read a great mystery! Kirsten and I both love mysteries and were so excited to put together a list of our recent favorites. Every one of these mysteries will keep you guessing and keep you turning the pages. These 10 fireside reads for fall are the perfect way to relax and unwind.
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Don’t you feel that some books are just meant to be listened to and not read? That’s how I felt about Daisy Jones & The Six, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, Echo, and now Saint X. (Thanks to libro.fm for my advanced audio copy.)
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Saint X. I think I was suspecting a thriller or a mystery – because the story opens with an 18-year-old girl who dies on her tropical vacation with her family. Her then 7-year-old sister, Claire, is our narrator. Now in her 20s after a chance meeting with someone connected to the case, Claire is trying to figure out exactly what happened all those years ago. The story is also peppered with accounts from a few other key people in the case. Each one of these players is a different narrator which just made the entire production feel real. But it doesn’t quite fit into one genre. It’s also a book about the relationship between sisters, even those separated for years. The other part of the story I love is the subtle commentary on race and class woven through-out.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
Long Bright River is one such read and it’s phenomenal. I was so pleased that I got a chance to read the book early because of Libro.fm.com. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.
The story takes place in Philly’s Kensington neighborhood which is known for having a huge opioid problem. You can’t live in my area and not know about the epidemic spreading through our city. It’s devastating and scary and this book deals with it head-on. The story revolves around 2 sisters. One is a cop, one is an addict – both are being impacted by a string of murders in the area.
This book dealt with many issues around drug-addiction and it handles them without judging.
The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson
This book had a little bit of everything and I could not put it down. When their Helen grandmother dies, the family is amazed to find out that she has left her granddaughter a massive diamond that can only be the Florentine diamond. As the family hunts for the truth, there is drama from all over the world. Everyone seems to have a claim on the diamond and how did Helen come to process this priceless treasure? This book has suspense, history, treasure, and family drama- the perfect combo for a great summer read.
The House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman
Thanks to Mariner Books for my review copy. All opinions are my own. Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought I was going into a family drama like The Vacationers by Emma Straub, but it opened with a murder. I literally sat up at that point and thought “well, well, what have we here?” It was a dynamic family drama with secrets, lies, and tension…and the whole time I was trying to figure out who had committed the murder and why. I loved it! Truly a perfect summer read.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
Thanks to Libro.Fm for my audiobook review copy. I listened to this story in one sitting because I just couldn’t stop. The book opens with the death of Vivek and then the reader is taken on a journey to figure out exactly why Vivek was killed and what he was doing in the last months of his life. It’s a coming-of-age story that’s part mystery. The beautiful prose turn it into a treasure of a story.
All the Devils are Here (Chief Inspector Gamache #16) by Louise Penny
Louise Penny flips the switch with her latest book in the Three Pines series, taking us to Paris for the entirety of the book. In Paris, the Gamache family is at the center of an attempted murder investigation when their beloved friend is a victim in a hit-and-run. The mystery in this novel kept me on my toes the entire time. My blood was pumping at the climax and I waited to see how it would wrap up. Truly one of her best books to date!
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
Stuart Turton does it again with The Devil and the Dark Water. Like 71/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, this book is captivating and smart. Turton thinks of every detail and leaves no questions at the end of the book. He writes like it is a puzzle and everything only comes together when the last piece is put into place. Set on a ship that is being haunted by the devil himself, at a time when witchcraft was feared, Samuel Pips and his loyal bodyguard Arent are being transferred to Amsterdam where Sammy will be hanged as a traitor. With Pips, the great problem solver, in chains, the only one that can help solve the mystery of who is killing people on board is Arent. This is such a well-written book and unexpected!
The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
There is a reason that Anne Cleeves has been writing crime fiction since 1986 and has won awards for her writing. She is a master at her craft. This series has also been made into a television show. Vera Stanhope is on her way home one stormy night when she finds a baby in an abandoned car. to make the situation even more difficult, the abandoned car is near her estranged family’s home. In order to find the baby’s mother and get out of the storm, Vera has no choice but to go to the family home. What could go wrong? Cleeves is an excellent writer and this book does not disappoint. Perfect for fall reading.
Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
This is one of the best mystery thrillers that I have read in a long time. I loved this book from beginning to end. Years ago, Malcolm, a bookseller, wrote a blog post that included books with the most unsolvable murders. One day, an FBI agent comes to his store to ask him about that post. She believes that someone is using it as a recipe for committing murders. The book has twists and turns and is so well-written!!!
When you see me by Lisa Gardner
I don’t know how I have never read a book by Lisa Gardner before! I must have been hiding somewhere. Even though this book has three characters from previous novels come together, I did not have a problem getting to know each of them. The story is a fast-moving and twisted thrill ride that follows Flora Dane, Detective D.D. Warren, and FBI agent Kimberly Quincy. While trying to find more information on the serial killer and rapist Jacob Ness, the three women find themselves in the hills of Georgia where graves are being discovered and bodies are piling up. Who can they trust in this small town? I couldn’t put this book down because I needed to see what happened next. There is no good place to stop because the story is non-stop action. Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book.
This is by far the best thriller that I have read in a while. Thank you so much to Libro.fm for my copy of this book. I love the multiple narrators, it really made the story come alive. The book starts with a dead body at an exclusive wedding being held on an island off the coast of Ireland. The catch?We don’t know who was murdered. I love the way this story and the characters were developed. It was smart and suspenseful and completely unputdownable. I not only needed to find out who did it and why but, who was the victim?
The English Wife by Lauren Willig
I thought this story so engaging. Told across 2 timelines, both set in the Gilded Age only a few years apart, this book had everything I look for in a novel. It had interesting characters, an engrossing mystery, and it was a historical fiction novel. I don’t usually read about this time period, and yet this was the second book I read about the Gilded Age this month! I loved it!
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
I loved this book. It is so well written and so smart. The who-dun-it novel written by a fictional author within another mystery. A good friend who is brilliant and an avid reader recommended this book to me. I love her choice of books as they are always 5-star reads. This one is no exception.