2022 Staff Picks: Mysteries, Suspense, and Thrillers

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

  • Killers of a Certain Age

    2022 by Raybourn, Deanna

    I had a blast reading this Charlie's Angels meets Golden Girls caper. The characters are lovable, the plot moves at a swift pace, and there's plenty of humor. I really hope this becomes a series because it was hard to say goodbye to these characters! Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Old Woman with the Knife

    2022 by Ku, Pyŏng-mo

    Like a lot of people, Hornclaw is slowing down as she ages. Hornclaw, however, is an assassin, and slowing down can mean her death. I loved this suspenseful, violent book which is the English-language debut by an award-winning South Korean author. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Lavender House

    2022 by Rosen, Lev AC

    Evander "Andy" Mills' life comes to an abrupt end when he's caught in a raid at a gay bar in 1952 San Francisco. Thrown off the police force, his only way forward may be an investigation among people he is just starting to acknowledge as his peers. I was impressed by how seamlessly Rosen joins the whodunit to Andy's journey of self-discovery. Suggested by Andrew.

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  • The Book of Cold Cases

    2022 by St. James, Simone

    I have tried to read everything St. James has written since I first discovered her work last year. This one doesn't disappoint. It's a slow burn but the characters are well developed. A great fiction title for fans of true crime. Suggested by Becca.

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  • The Verifiers

    2022 by Pek, Jane

    I was so engrossed with this mystery and its well developed characters. It made me reflect on our dependency on technology, shady tech companies, and online dating. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Like a Sister

    2022 by Garrett, Kellye

    Like a Sister is a refreshing entry to the mystery genre. I liked Lena, our main character, who was both confident and vulnerable. This is a mystery you won't be able to unravel until the final chapters! Suggested by Amber H.

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  • More Than You'll Ever Know

    2022 by Gutierrez, Katie

    I often find thrillers have the same cookie-cutter plot, but I was pleasantly surprised by this twisty, fast-paced psychological suspense novel that not only explores our fascination with true crime and the role of women in it, but also the complexities of marriage and motherhood. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Under Lock & Skeleton Key

    2022 by Pandian, Gigi

    A magical cozy mystery set in a house filled with secret rooms, hidden pathways, and fabulous characters. Suggested by Becca and Rummanah.

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  • Death on Gokumon Island

    2022 by Yokomizo, Seishi

    An island is a great setting for a murder or three. Much admired in his native country for his detective fiction, Seishi Yokomizo pleases with a complex plot, a satisfying solution to a series of bizarre deaths, and a fascinating portrayal of life on a tiny Japanese island immediately after World War II. Suggested by Steven.

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  • Jackal

    2022 by Adams, Erin E.

    This is a taut debut thriller steeped in real-life horror that I had a hard time putting down. There were plenty of chills and twists that had me on the edge of my seat. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Violin Conspiracy

    2022 by Slocumb, Brendan

    The author's experiences as an African American in the often hostile world of classical music shape this debut. Everything changes for a young violinist when an instrument, passed down through his family since the time of slavery, turns out to be worth millions of dollars and is stolen. Suggested by Andrew.

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  • My Annihilation

    2022 by Nakamura, Fuminori

    If you’re in the mood for a challenge, this dark Japanese psychological thriller will have your head spinning. Fuminori Nakamura elaborates on false memories and unreliable narrators to a dizzying and dazzling degree. Reading it is an experience like no other, but it’s one I’d love to have again. Suggested by Steven.

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  • A Killing in Costumes

    2022 by Bissonnette, Zac

    I really adored this debut cozy mystery with plenty of references to old Hollywood and a genuine love between two best friends. I'm looking forward to more books in this series. Suggested by Becca.

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  • The Lies I Tell

    2022 by Clark, Julie

    I read a lot of thrillers and it is not often that a thriller surprises me. I loved this thriller about a conwoman and a reporter who each know the other is lying and yet develop a complicated friendship. Both women are complex and the ending packs a punch. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Secret Identity

    2022 by Segura, Alex

    Carmen Valdez needs to solve the murder of the only other person who knows she created a groundbreaking female superhero (shown in a series of wonderful full-page excerpts). Set in 1975, this mystery explores a moment when comic books gaining literary respectability seemed as unlikely as women getting to write them under their own names. Suggested by Andrew.

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  • Steeped to Death

    2022 by Rue, Gretchen

    A paranormal cozy mystery set in a bookstore/tea room with a loveable cast of characters that may become a favorite. I highly recommend it to fans of Juliet Blackwell's and Bree Baker's cozies. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Change

    2022 by Miller, Kirsten

    Miller takes “the change” that is menopause and turns it on its head, giving her three main characters powers and strength instead of just hot flashes. The women use these powers to solve the murder of teenage girls. I loved this fierce suspenseful novel of female empowerment. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Six Feet Deep Dish

    2022 by Quigley, Mindy

    Sometimes we pick a book based on just the title. Happily, we were not disappointed. This is a tasty whodunit set in Wisconsin that had us reminiscing about our favorite pizzerias as we devoured the story. Suggested by Becca and Sharon.

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  • One-Shot Harry

    2022 by Phillips, Gary

    Los Angeles, 1963: African-American photographer Harry Ingram is torn between the lurid crime scene images that pay his bills and the possibilities of the Civil Rights Movement. Crisscrossing the city, he uncovers a welter of conspiracies--including one that threatens a visiting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Suggested by Andrew.

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  • And There He Kept Her

    2022 by Moehling, Joshua

    Two teens get more than they bargained for when they try to rob Emmett Burr’s home. Emmett kills one of the teens and takes the other hostage. As the clock ticks on the teen, Moehling ratchets up the tension as chapters alternate between Sheriff Deputy Ben Packard's and Emmett’s perspectives. I hope this becomes a series as Ben is a great character and the writing is wonderful. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Up to No Gouda: A Grilled Cheese Mystery

    2022 by Reilly, Linda

    The first in a new series, this delightful culinary cozy made me crave grilled cheese sandwiches. Followed by No Parm No Foul. The cheesy puns seem endless, but both mysteries are solidly entertaining. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Till Death Do Us Part

    2022 by Carr, John Dickson

    John Dickson Carr outdoes his own high standards in this reissued classic originally published in 1944. While it includes one of Carr’s trademark locked-room murders, this book is especially notable for its lengthy series of plot reversals that keep readers continually off-balance. Suggested by Steven.

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  • The Transparency of Time

    2021 by Padura, Leonardo

    A centuries-old statue causes fresh bloodshed in present-day Havana. I'm always delighted to get a new Mario Conde mystery; encompassing everything from Medieval Christianity to the souring of Cuba's egalitarian dream, this one felt like The Maltese Falcon by way of The Name of the Rose. Suggested by Andrew.

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  • Untraceable

    2021 by Lebedev, Sergeĭ

    I had certain assumptions going in based on an interview in which the author cited John Le Carre as an influence. This novel about the legacy of the Soviet Union's secret poison program kept zigging where I expected it to zag. The result was strange but utterly compelling. Suggested by Andrew.

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