2023 Staff Picks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thrillers

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

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

  • Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

    2023 by Sutanto, Jesse Q.

    We love Vera Wong. She is nosy and bossy, but also kind and loving. Her no-nonsense attitude has a group of strangers following her advice even though she considers them all suspects in her murder investigation. We thoroughly enjoyed this cozy senior sleuth with lots of humor and a lovable found family. Suggested by Michelle, Sharon, and Rummanah.

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  • Perfectly Nice Neighbors

    2023 by Abdullah, Kia

    I found the plot and characters believable and intense--how xenophobia, the distrust of the 'other,' and racism, slowly grow and escalate. For me, wrong decisions were made. A surprise plot twist and a lingering menace added a sense of foreboding. Suggested by Bill.

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  • Charlotte Illes Is Not A Detective

    2023 by Siegel, Katie

    We adored this first installment in a new quirky mystery series. It takes some inspiration from Nancy Drew, and it's definitely a hoot spending time with Charlotte and her team as they follow the clues to the final reveal. We liked Charlotte a lot as a main character and hope she and her friends have many more adventures. A really fun cozy with a great and inclusive cast of characters. Suggested by Lynnanne, Rummanah, and Sharon.

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  • The Centre

    2023 by Manazir Siddiqi, Ayesha

    Siddiqui examines how assimilation, identity, language, and social class all interplay in one's existence. We found this book to be enthralling, and incredibly insightful and thought provoking. A wonderful pick if you are looking for a suspenseful book with added depth. Suggested by Michelle and Rummanah.

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  • The Golden Gate

    2023 by Chua, Amy

    A compelling and well researched historical mystery that sucked me in right away. I learned a lot about California history and I appreciated that the book didn't use the setting as curtain dressing but also a character in the story. The mystery is intricate and combines a ghost story, family tale, and social commentary with a detective who is conflicted within himself. I had a hard time putting this one down. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • A Most Agreeable Murder: A Novel

    2023 by Seales, Julia

    Julia Seales brings the Regency period to life while infusing it with witty humor, lovable characters, a fast-paced plot, and a mystery that will keep you on your toes. Think "Bridgerton" (minus the steam) meets "Only Murders in the Building." We found it to be delightful. Suggested by Lulia and Rummanah.

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