The best books for intriguing whodunits

Who am I?

Writer, reader, editor, reviewer, publisher… those are all parts of me. With a lifetime of experience in the “words” industry, I have a pretty good handle on what makes a book not just good, but hot. I say this with the understanding that each reader brings their own histories to the reading experience, and what one person may like, another may not. Nonetheless, I offer you my professional and personal favorites in the mystery/thriller/suspense categories. It is my sincere hope that you find these books as addictive as I’d found them. Superb and clever writing, engaging characters, unpredictable plots—yes, please! Though I occasionally step outside my comfort zone, I'm consistently drawn back to these categories. 

I wrote...

The Broken Soul

By Janet Fix, Cheryl Bradshaw,

Book cover of The Broken Soul

What is my book about?

When the party of a lifetime becomes a party to the death, the lines become blurred. Friends become enemies. Drugs become weapons. And that's just the beginning ...

Sloane Monroe, private investigator, discovers her best friend Maddie LaFoe has gone missing during Mardi Gras festivities. Where did Maddie go, and why didn’t she call? This time the investigation is personal, and Sloane will stop at nothing to find her friend. The Broken Soul is the latest installment in the mystery series Sloane & Maddie: Peril Awaits. Dive in for some heart-stopping action, enthralling characters, and a party that gets crazier by the minute for your favorite dynamic duo.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Deal Breaker

Janet Fix Why did I love this book?

With this book began my true passion for mystery/thriller novels. I willingly tumbled through all the books Coben has written in this series with Myron Bolitar and his lofty sidekick, Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III). Coben’s clever writing style and sports references captured my interest… and my reading heart for all the years that followed this. I simply couldn’t get enough of it. Still can’t! Coben is a master of words. 

By Harlan Coben,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Deal Breaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The truth can get you killed... A stunning thriller from the SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of SIX YEARS.

Investigator and sports agent Myron Bolitar is poised on the edge of the big-time. So is Christian Steele, a rookie quarterback and Myron's prized client. But when Christian gets a phone call from a former girlfriend, a woman who everyone, including the police, believes is dead, the deal starts to go sour.

Suddenly Myron is plunged into a baffling mystery of sex and blackmail. Trying to unravel the truth about a family's tragedy, a woman's secret and a man's lies, Myron is…

Book cover of Plum Island

Janet Fix Why did I love this book?

Two words for this absolutely primo mystery: John Corey. Corey is the main character in this series by the same name, and Plum Island is the first book in that series by the amazing Nelson DeMille. This is one of those books where I will always remember the actual reading experience. Why? I often read into the wee hours of the night and the entire household was fast asleep. I hit a particular scene (I won’t spoil it), and I simply burst out laughing hysterically. I couldn’t stop, thereby waking everyone up. Turned out, there was a lot of good humor still to come, and the plot was absolutely high intrigue! I always recommend this book to anyone who likes their mysteries with a dash of humor. 

By Nelson DeMille,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Plum Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'...a page turning, high octane novel that's firing on all cylinders,' - EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS

'...a good old-fashioned murder mystery which keeps you enthralled till the very last page.' - YORKSHIP EVENING PRESS

NYPD homicide detective John Corey has moved to Long Island, restlessly recuperating from wounds received in the line of duty when he's hired to consult on the murder of Tom and Judy Gordon, biologists who worked on Plum Island, the site of animal disease research for the Department of Agriculture.

Were the Gordons murdered because they'd stolen some valuable new vaccine, or even a dreaded virus? They'd…

Book cover of Envy

Janet Fix Why did I love this book?

This novel is one of my most treasured of mystery stories. I am a sucker for mysteries involving authors, and that’s what drew me in immediately. Ms. Brown delivers a perfect dish of characters involved in the business of books—most of whom have personalities in various degrees of shady. Then she sprinkles these folks within one of the most exquisite plots I’ve ever read, leading the reader to a most surprising resolution. No cliffhangers or dangling endings here. Envy is the total package. 

By Sandra Brown,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Envy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this explosive New York Times bestselling thriller, a New York City-based book editor travels to a Southern island to meet a mysterious author -- but she's about to uncover a shocking truth about a carefully concealed crime.
Maris Matherly-Reed is a renowned New York book editor, the daughter of a publisher and the wife of a bestselling author. It's rare for an unsolicited manuscript to pique her interest, but a new submission with blockbuster potential inspires her to search for the book's elusive author.
On an obscure island off the Georgia coast, amidst the ruins of an eerie cotton…

Book cover of A Thousand Steps

Janet Fix Why did I love this book?

The cover made me buy it, and the writing made me love it. An unexpected amateur sleuth, a mere teenager trying to find his missing sister, is the crux of this story filled with captivating characters and constant go-go-go. The entire plot blew my mind with its twists and tensions and completely unexpected angles. I highly recommend this revered mystery/thriller/suspense novel set during the Age of Aquarius—1968 in Laguna Beach, California. 

By T. Jefferson Parker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Thousand Steps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Los Angeles Times Bestseller!

A Thousand Steps is a beguiling thriller, an incisive coming-of-age story, and a vivid portrait of a turbulent time and place by three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker.

Laguna Beach, California, 1968. The Age of Aquarius is in full swing. Timothy Leary is a rock star. LSD is God. Folks from all over are flocking to Laguna, seeking peace, love, and enlightenment.

Matt Anthony is just trying get by.

Matt is sixteen, broke, and never sure where his next meal is coming from. Mom’s a stoner, his deadbeat…

Book cover of Rules of Prey

Janet Fix Why did I love this book?

For an author to create a cast of characters who stay captivating and relevant throughout over 30 books in a series—I mean, wow. And Sandford has done just that with his Prey series, featuring crime-solver Lucas Davenport. His spinoffs with Kidd and Virgil Flowers are amazing too. I’ve not seen this done so effectively before. Never a dull moment, not a one! I can’t remember which Prey book I picked up first, but it was enough to move me to buy book 1, Rules of Prey  (published in 1989, though I discovered it many years later), and happily bounce through the entire series. Decades have passed, and Sandford is still writing some of the best mysteries (and characters) out there, and I’m still reading them. 

By John Sandford,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Rules of Prey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Don't miss John Sandford's brand-new thriller Ocean Prey - out now**

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Sandford's 'haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller' - first in the Lucas Davenport series!

The killer was mad but brilliant.

He left notes with every woman he killed. Rules of murder: Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used...So many rules to his sick, violent games of death.

But Lucas Davenport, the cop who's out to get him, isn't playing by the rules.

***Praise for RULES OF PREY***

'Terrifying... Sandford has crafted the kind…

You might also like...

The Child Riddler

By Angela Greenman,

Book cover of The Child Riddler

Angela Greenman Author Of The Child Riddler

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Communications expert International traveler Human relations champion Focused

Angela's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Zoe Lorel, an elite operative in an international spy agency, is sent to abduct a nine-year-old girl. The girl is the only one who knows the riddle that holds the code to unleash the most lethal weapon on earth—the first ever “invisibility” nano weapon, a cloaking spider bot. But when enemies reveal the invisibility weapon’s existence to underground arms dealers, every government and terrorist organization in the world wants to find that little girl.

Zoe races to save not only the child she has grown to care about but also herself. Her agency-prescribed pills—the ones that transform her into the icy killer she must become to survive—are beginning to threaten her engagement to the one person who brings her happiness.

The Child Riddler

By Angela Greenman,

What is this book about?

Despite the angry scars she carries from her childhood training, Zoe Lorel has reached a good place in her life. She has her dream job as an elite operative in an international spy agency and she’s found her one true love. Her world is mostly perfect—until she is sent to abduct a nine-year-old girl.

The girl is the only one who knows the riddle that holds the code to unleash the most lethal weapon on earth—the first ever “invisibility” nanoweapon, a cloaking spider bot. But Zoe’s agency isn’t the only one after the child. And when enemies reveal the invisibility…

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