Mystery/Thriller Releases for Q3 2021

It’s 7:46 EST on July 31st. Which means… it’s still July so this still counts! Judges?!

As always, yours truly is a little bit behind on capturing the new releases, but what can I do? Oh, just create these posts in a timely manner? No, thank you. What do I look like to you, a blogger? Not even close.

We’re halfway through the year now – are you hanging in there? Seeing the light at the end of the vaccinated tunnel? Don’t even mention the Delta variant to me. I can’t take it right now *exhaustedlaughter*

I got my second shot on Friday. I spent last weekend away at an AirBnB and actually got to eat inside a restaurant for the first time in a year. And, if you’ll remember from my last new release post, I was going to get a hammock and read in it all summer.

Well, I did get myself a hammock. I love it. I haven’t been reading in it much because it’s been either been hotter than fucking hell outside or raining. You win some, you lose some. But there is nothing I hate more than sitting outside in the heat and feeling my thighs stick together while sweat pools in my bra.

Fuck that.

Maybe if I had a pool… OMG should I get a pool?!

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For now, I’m reading inside with the A/C blasting so that it feels like winter. Well, “reading” often ends up being more like mindlessly scrolling on my phone while some random shit is on TV in the background. It’s the thought that counts.

I would like to read hard and get truly caught up on my NetGalley arcs, but also being stoned in bed without having to use my brain for anything at all can be where it’s at, too. Don’t judge.

My love of books doesn’t cease, but my love of buying books and not reading them has grown exponentially during this pandemic. So let’s take a look at what else is releasing in the next three months so we can plan our budgets, grow our TBRs and get some shit on hold at the library!

This is not a comprehensive list of new releases because I do not have the time for that. I barely have the time to write this at all, obviously. But this will get us to September before spooky season. And to note, as always, the I’m Buzzed Score is mostly arbitrary so don’t ask me questions about it because I don’t have any answers.

Get in losers! We’re going book shopping… inside a book store!

Continue reading “Mystery/Thriller Releases for Q3 2021”

True Crime Tuesday: The Unsolved Murder of Maggie Long

Please read the “TCT Disclaimer” under the True Crime tab at the top of the page before reading any true crime posts.

We are living in a really fucked up, upside down, alternate timeline kind of space, don’t you think? I’m not being facetious. I really feel like something got twisted around in the simulation. Some people think it happened in 2012 – that our world didn’t end, just our previous reality. Or did some cosmic happening send us into another multiverse timeline? Maybe thinking of our world in these terms isn’t fair – we should just accept what we’ve done, what we’ve created, what we’ve allowed and that’s the only way to progress.

But you have to admit, shit is fucking weird. And it has been, at least from my perspective, since 2015.

Today’s humans haven’t quite reached the level of evil that was peak during World War II, but you can see it going that way given the right triggers.

Take, for instance, hate crimes.

Hate crimes have been increasing steadily since the Orange Dumpster Fire was elected in the good ol’ U.S. of A. The earth cracked open between factions the world over, and from that schism in the earth rose some bad fucking shit that we’d clearly been trying to bury and forget. But it’s made it’s way to the surface with a vengeance, kids!

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In 2020, hate crimes rose to the highest level they’ve been at in more than a decade. Hate-motivated murders have also doubled over each previous year.

The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report shows 7,314 hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before – this is the highest number since 2008 when 7,783 were recorded.

And to get relevantly specific, Asian-American hate crimes in major U.S. cities rose 150% in 2020 over the previous year.

Today’s case deals with this, so trigger warning if you need it.

In 2017, 17-year-old Maggie Long was burned to death inside her home. In May of this year, the FBI took over the investigation and reclassified it as a possible hate crime.

This is her case…

Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The Unsolved Murder of Maggie Long”

Mini-Review Roundup: Six Little Secrets, The Holdout, The Real Lolita & Truth and Lies

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Reviews in this post:

  • Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan
  • The Holdout by Graham Moore
  • The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman
  • Truth and Lies (DI Amy Winter, #1) by Caroline Mitchell
Continue reading “Mini-Review Roundup: Six Little Secrets, The Holdout, The Real Lolita & Truth and Lies”

Review: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

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★★★½

Minotaur Books | 2021

Filed Under: Patrick Swayze’s subway ghost friend


If you wouldn’t spend a weekend camping in a probably haunted abandoned town with a nefarious past then we can’t be friends.

I’m not saying it’s at the top of my travel bucket list, but it’s definitely on there. Chernobyl? Yes, please! You wouldn’t want to go there? Minus all the radioactive nuclear issues and other terrible shit that happened, it’s got to be interesting and creepy. Who doesn’t want that out of a vacation?

Going into abandoned homes, snooping through all the stuff left behind like a time capsule – that’s a dream! A dream I’ll probably never get to do in real life, so a novel might be as close as I can get.

The Lost Village is all of these things, so fucking duh I was going to read it.

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Review: Possession by Katie Lowe

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★★★

St. Martin’s Press | 2021

Filed Under: Whispers of your dead husband


This is another podcast-meets-unreliable narrator thriller. It’s not my favourite I’ve read in that very specific new subgenre, but it was okay enough.

What this novel did do well was capture living in an abusive relationship and the trauma that it leaves behind. For me, that was the best part of the plot and I could have done without the podcast shit almost entirely.

Hannah’s husband was murdered while she was sleeping right beside him. She doesn’t remember what happened, but lots of people start to believe she’s guilty of his murder when, ten years later, a popular podcast starts looking at the case and questioning whether the right man has been convicted.

And oooo boy, the court of public opinion these days is filled with loud, entitled fucking idiots.

Continue reading “Review: Possession by Katie Lowe”

Review: Do No Harm by Christina McDonald

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★★★★½

Gallery Books | 2021

Filed Under: The horrors of American health care


This is a story that can only take place in the United States. Almost anywhere else it’s like, “Oh you have cancer? Your medical treatment will not require you to remortgage your home, go bankrupt or start selling meth to pay for it.” Or in this case, write and sell opioid prescriptions in a rapidly evolving drug ring you were not prepared to be involved in.

But in the U.S., if your kid has rare and aggressive leukemia, you need to jump through hoops made of red tape – and also the hoops are on fire – before you even know if your insurance company is going to allow you the chance to save your child’s life.

Who thought that was going to be a solid, practical health care system? I just…

Continue reading “Review: Do No Harm by Christina McDonald”

Review: They Never Learn by Layne Fargo

“He wasn’t afraid of me…That was his first mistake.”

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★★★★½

Gallery/Scout Press | 2020

Filed Under: A stress ball shaped like balls.


You’ll have to excuse me – I’m coming off of a conversation today where I learned some very disturbing things about two friends of a friend who are both going through new separations from their husbands. When I tell you both of these ladies are being fucking abused and mistreated by pieces of TRASH – ugh. So anyway, my feminist rage is absolutely chaotic at the moment and that might come out in this review.

Why? Because this novel is a dark, feminist revenge fantasy and it was amazing.

It’s Dexter meets Hard Candy meets Thelma and Louise.

I fucking loved it. Let’s drive over the cliff, baby! But let’s kill some fucking sexist bastards before we go!

If that sounds like your kind of thing, please read this novel. It’s deeply satisfying.

“Killing a man is so much more satisfying than fucking a man could ever be.”

Scarlett Clarke is an English professor at Gorman University by day, and by night she’s a serial killer. So fun. We all need hobbies. Much like Dexter, Scarlett only targets those that she believes deserve to be murdered – however much someone can deserve to be murdered is an abstract moral question that we just do not have time to get into around here. I have things to do.

Continue reading “Review: They Never Learn by Layne Fargo”

Mini-Review Roundup: A Good Marriage, When No One is Watching, Rewind and Come Closer

I’ve been agonizing over this for a while. And maybe I shouldn’t have been, because in the grand scheme of this thing called a simulation life, it doesn’t fucking matter at all. I know that. I get it. I’m hip.

But, we’re in a pandemic and I’ve been essentially stuck inside my house since March 2020, so I need to keep myself busy somehow. Stressing out over shallow shit is the point I’ve officially reach to occupy my mind. And also, maybe I can’t help it because my mental health is in crisis and I snap at literally anything. Woo!

It’s been difficult for me in this disheartening, upside down multiverse timeline we find ourselves in, to work up the motivation and energy to write and post my backlog reviews. When I think about doing it, I just get so…

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It occurred to me this might be because half of the backlog waiting for me is for books that didn’t really fire me up either way. One thing about me as a hobby-reviewer is that I need all the love or all the hate to enjoy writing a review. All these meh reviews are a damn slog to write.

But I still have to do them. This is a book blog. That’s kind of a large percentage of the point of this. But it’s also supposed to be a fun hobby, not work I dread. I have a job I’m late for every day already and I don’t need another. I’m making exactly zero dollars here, so this has to be a good time or I might as well delete this whole thing. And I’m not prepared to delete this site.

My solution – which came to me during my regular “stand in the shower and be depressed” morning ritual – is to just group together some books into one post of little baby reviews. It will be for meh reviews, short stories, novellas… anything that I don’t want to, or can’t, dedicate a whole post to.

Hopefully, I can make this post idea work and it doesn’t suck dick.

I’m still not sure about how to organize it or how to title it so you know what you’re getting, but I’ll work it out. Or I won’t. Who knows? Again, nobody is paying me so you get what you get.

So, I’ll stop rambling like a food blogger now and just get to the point.

Continue reading “Mini-Review Roundup: A Good Marriage, When No One is Watching, Rewind and Come Closer”

Review: Dark August by Katie Tallo

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★★★½

HarperCollins | 2020

Filed Under: A Polite Canadian


I normally wouldn’t pick up a book like this because it’s thicc and sounds more like a contemporary with hints of suspense, but it’s set around my hometown in Niagara, Ontario so how and why would I pass up reading that? Obviously, I wouldn’t because here we are.

Do you know how many books are based in the Niagara area? Like, one. This one. Why? Because let’s get real, Niagara isn’t a thriving metropolis.

Maybe it used to be, but by the time I left most areas had nicknames like “the armpit of Niagara” or “the butthole of Niagara.”

Where did I live? The fucking taint. 

Like a taint, this novel is dark and gloomy; a family mystery wrapped around some community politics.

Augusta “Gus” Monet is basically a poor, aimless girl with little to her name and an abusive, shady AF boyfriend. When her grandmother dies, Gus comes into a little (seriously, very little) inheritance in the form of her grandmother’s house and whatever is inside of it, including an old dog named Levi. And the dog is honestly the best part of the whole novel, but I did spend a lot of time being paranoid something terrible was going to happen to him. If you’re the kind of person (like me) who needs to know if the dog dies going into a story, let me know and I’ll totally spoil it for you, no questions asked.

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Review: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

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★★★★

G.P. Putnam’s Sons | 2020

Filed Under: The Honeymoon is Over


For the sake of clarity, this is in no way a thriller or horror or mystery or anything like I would usually read. It’s a fucking romantic comedy. Yeah, seriously. I know you’re wondering why I read it and why I’m reviewing it. The answer to both of those questions is: BECAUSE EVERYTHING SUCKS.

The world is a mess. People are sick and dying. Way too many people are stupid as hell. I mean, honestly, the amount of idiots that we have to co-exist with is just staggering. I haven’t seen friends or colleagues since March 2020 and, surprisingly, it actually makes me not like my job as much. Who knew the introvert would need to see people sometimes? Speaking of every day, it’s Groundhog’s Day Monday to Sunday, and back again, as I shuffle around my house doing the same little chores and tasks like an idiot. I celebrated my birthday alone and we snuck around to my parents’ places over the winter holidays like we were in a spy thriller, just in case the police gave us a ticket for being outside our house.

And yes, I readily admit we should have only celebrated the holidays with our immediate family – and many people stronger than I did this – but after a fucking year of pandemic bullshit, we decided to break some rules and have at least one good memory from 2020. We haven’t seen our families since, so back the fuck off.

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Anyway… everything is terrible and I needed something sweet and happy to stabilize my ever-floundering mental health, if only for a couple of days. You Deserve Each Other fit the bill. It was romance, but it came with a kick so it wasn’t so ew. I am not a serious romance kind of woman.

Continue reading “Review: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle”