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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Mysteries/Thrillers on My TBR With Houses and Water on Their Covers


Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is a simple one: Water. There are so many ways to go with this theme, but the first thing that came to mind for this mystery/thriller lover is books with pictures of houses on their covers. Have you ever noticed how many of them include water—usually crashing ocean waves—to enhance their moody, broody vibes? Not only does the inclusion of water create a sinister sense of isolation, but it also taps into the fear a lot of us have of the mysterious deep. These types of covers always send a thrilling little chill down my spine, which makes me instantly want to add the book to my TBR pile! There's just nothing like a (potentially) haunted house to pique my curiosity, whether the place is inhabited by actual ghosts or just ringing with the echoes of a secret past or whispering premonitions of an ominous future to come...

Before we get to that, though, take a minute to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give some love to our fabulous TTT host, Jana. If you want to hop on the TTT party bus (and you do!), you'll find everything you need to know on her blog.

Top Ten Mystery/Thrillers on My TBR With Houses and Water on Their Covers


1. The Only One Left by Riley Sager—I'm still on the very long library waiting list for this thriller. It concerns a teenage girl who allegedly killed her parents and sister at their cliffside mansion in Maine. Now an elderly woman debilitated by a series of strokes, Leonora is finally "speaking" out about the crime by writing her story on an old typewriter. As her home health care aide reads the pages, they become increasingly alarmed. Is the old woman as innocent as she seems or is she as guilty as sin?


2. Lakeview House by Helen Phifer—In desperate need of a new start, Maddy Hart impulsively accepts a position as a live-in caretaker at an imposing house on the shore of Lake Thirlmere. She's never been there before, but something about the place feels eerily familiar. Maddy tries not to be spooked by all the creaks and strange noises she hears while she's cleaning out the house, but the more time she spends there, the more creeped out she becomes. Are the sinister stories she's been hearing about the home's last resident true? Is Maddy in some kind of danger? Isolated and alone, she fears the worst...


3. What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline—I've never read anything by Scottoline, but I'm intrigued by the premise of this one. Jason Bennett is a regular dad whose ordinary suburban life takes a wild, unexpected turn one night as he's driving his family home from a lacrosse game. They become victims of a violent carjacking that puts them in the center of a dangerous FBI case. Encouraged to go into witness protection, the Bennetts are thrown into an entirely new life. As their peace of mind slowly unravels, new facts in the case come to light, convincing Jason that it's up to him to get the justice his traumatized family deserves.


4. The Death of Us by Lori Rader-Day (available October 3, 2023)—Fifteen years ago, Liss Kehoe responded to a late-night knock on her door and was shocked to be handed a newborn. The baby's mother, Ashley Hay, then disappeared. Liss has raised the boy she thinks of as hers, always fearful that Ashley will return and demand her son back. When the missing woman's car is found submerged in a quarry pond on Liss' property almost two decades later, it provides more questions than answers. What really happened to Ashley? Was it suicide, an accident, or something much, much more sinister?


5. The Nesting by C.J. Cooke—Tom Faraday is an architect bent on finishing the home he's building on a fjord in Norway, even though that's where his wife took her own life. He hires Gaia to be a nanny for his two young children. Although she loves the kids, she senses that something is very off in the Faraday household. Odd things are happening, leading Gaia to believe that Mrs. Faraday's death did not come by her own hand...


6. You Never Know by Connie Briscoe—In spite of its mixed reviews, I'm curious about this thriller. It revolves around a deaf woman who is delighted when she meets the man of her dreams. Not only is he charming and successful, but Marcus is also fluent in American Sign Language. It doesn't take long, though, before he seems to become a completely different person. Some sleuthing on her part reveals that her husband's first wife is missing, presumed dead. Then, Marcus himself disappears. Who is the stranger she married, really? And where has he gone?


7. The Midnight House by Amanda Geard—This triple-timeline mystery revolves around Blackwater Hall, a graceful, secret-filled home in County Kerry, Ireland. Will a modern-day disgraced journalist be able to solve its mysteries?


8. Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins—Something odd has happened at beautiful, windswept Seawings. The home's occupants—two parents and two teens—have vanished. When a friend enters, she finds a radio playing, phones charging, cars in the garage, and no one home. A sinister message scrawled on one of the bedroom walls hints that something unspeakable has happened, but what?


9. The Engagement Party by Darby Kane—Twelve years ago, a young woman went missing from her posh school and one of her classmates, a boy no one really knew, took his own life. One text indicated there was a connection between them, which closed the case for the police. Now, a group of college friends have gathered on a private island in Maine to celebrate an upcoming wedding. Someone is using the party as a chance to force out the truth about what really happened a dozen years ago. As the tension ramps up, so does a storm that will strand them all with a killer who has already gotten away with murder once.


Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose—This cover is a bit of a departure from the others, but it's got a house and water so it counts, right? The story is about a group of moms in an Irish village whose lives are shattered when one of their own is found murdered in her home. Ciara's Instagram-worthy life seemed absolutely perfect, so who could possibly have wanted her dead? A whole lot of people as it turns out...

There you are, ten mystery/thrillers I want to read that have covers featuring a house and water. Have you read any of them? What did you think? Which others can you think of that fit with the theme? I'm always looking for recs! What did you do for this watery prompt? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. I also reply to comments left here.

Happy TTT!

67 comments:

  1. The Only One Left looks interesting!

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday post.

    Lydia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like Sager's thrillers, so I'm looking forward to it. I just wish the library wait list would move faster!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

      Delete
  2. Nice take on this week's prompt! I'd grab Dirty Laundry and The Midnight House right up. Thank you for sharing all of these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? They both sound so tantalizing!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lisa!

      Delete
  3. I have at least one on my list that would fall into your list ;) I mentioned on someone else's blog today that it is funny that sometimes water is portrayed as calm and relaxing and other times dark and menacing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! It's such a versatile feature on covers. It can mean so many different things and create a variety of moods. I love it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

      Delete
  4. Oooh! I love the mystery spin on this week's topic! Great list!

    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday

    Rabbit Ears Book Blog: WORLD’S WEIRDEST BOOK BLOG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm always in the mood for mysteries!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Ronyell!

      Delete
  5. It's always fun to look at trends and see what fits or what trends in genres, and where contemporary uses the illustrated look, and you are so right about this genre! Lots of houses and water surrounding it, too. Definitely created an isolated element. :) Thanks so much for visiting my website today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Haunted" houses on covers aren't new, but I've definitely noticed a trend lately toward mystery/thriller covers that have a house next to the water. Even if the house itself doesn't look creepy, the mood is definitely a sinister one!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Rissi!

      Delete
  6. Wow! Your books look ominous. The covers are great. 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. They sure do! Perfect for the upcoming spooky season, although I'm up for mysteries/thrillers all year round.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

      Delete
  7. I completely agree. This combination definitely evokes a sense of isolation and trepidation. Nice choices!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? And I am SO here for it! LOL. These types of covers lure me in every time.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Alicia!

      Delete
  8. Great covers Susan! ~Carol @ ReadingLadies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a fun topic. I was even a little surprised by how many similar covers I found! LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carol!

      Delete
  9. I like what you did with the topic! Who knew there were so many mysteries with a sea image on the cover?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? Even I was a *little* surprised!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lisa!

      Delete
  10. Love your twist on this week's topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It was a fun list to put together. Thanks also for coming by and commenting.

      Delete
  11. I love how specific you went with this topic! And it really does seem to be a trend, doesn't it?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to do something different and this was the first "creative" idea I could think of! LOL. I've noticed this trend a lot in the past year or so. It's one I definitely like, although the covers do start blending together because they're all so alike.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Louise!

      Delete
  12. You have some great looking books here, Susan. I love me a good mystery/thriller. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Have a beautiful day ☕☔📚💛

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same! I just can't resist them, although there are so many out there lately that finding the really good ones can sometimes be difficult. I definitely have my tried-and-true mystery/thriller authors, although I like trying new ones, too.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jody!

      Delete
  13. OOh nice picks! So many mysteries take place by the sea! I think a few of my mystery reads might have water on it...most were cartoony covers so I can't quite remember off the top of my head and all of those books are in storage. Sigh...

    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My favorite "haunted house" covers are those with the house high up on a cliff with a stormy sea below. They just evoke that "locked-room" mystery vibe that I love so much!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jessica!

      Delete
  14. Silly me. I just used the link you sent, so the comment feature wasn't visible. Turns out I've already read the Fiona Cummins book, only with a different cover. https://fictionophile.com/2022/04/14/into-the-dark-by-fiona-cummins-book-review/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry you had trouble! I've never read anything by Cummins, so I'm excited to try her books out.

      Thanks for popping in, Lynne!

      Delete
  15. You're right, Susan. They all look a bit creepy and ominous. I am interested in the Lori Rader-Day book. It sounds intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rader-Day's books have been a bit hit-or-miss for me. I've mostly enjoyed them, though, so I'm ready for another one and I like the sound of THE DEATH OF US. Hopefully, it's a hit for me.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

      Delete
  16. There are so many wonderful books around this topic. Thanks for your list.

    And thanks for visiting my TTT this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thriller genre is really getting saturated these days, which is great but it also makes it hard to find the really GOOD ones instead of just the mediocre ones, you know?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

      Delete
    2. I think it's the problem with most genres. That's one of the reasons why I like blogging so much, we can all get ideas from others of what to read and what not to.

      Delete
  17. Oh wow, you found a lot of spooky covers this week! I often think of water on the covers of cozy mysteries (beach settings seem common) but I hadn't realized there were so many spooky house + water covers for thrillers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely a common motif for cozy mystery covers/settings, too, although the water on cozy covers usually gives off a totally different vibe. It usually adds to the coziness instead of being creepy. I love what a versatile cover motif water is!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

      Delete
  18. They look good. Water definitely adds to the darkness of a book. I want to read The Only One Left.

    Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently, EVERYONE in my city wants to read THE ONLY ONE LEFT. The library waiting list is super long, unfortunately. It feels like I've been on it for forever and I'm still like 20 people from the top! Hopefully, it's worth waiting for :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Emily!

      Delete
  19. Wow! I love your creepy choices Susan! Great post!!📚💜

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm getting ready for spooky season reading, although to be honest, I'm always in the mood for a good mystery/thriller!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Susan!

      Delete
  20. I don't read a ton of mysteries/thrillers, but it is interesting to see how many include water on the cover! Great idea for this week's prompt :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watery covers and settings are definitely popular in the mystery/thriller genre. Water just seems to heighten the tension and creep factor!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jaime!

      Delete
  21. That's a great list of mystery/thrillers with water on the cover. Hope you get to enjoy some of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we'll see which ones I actually get to and when. I've got the rest of my reading for the year already set, so most of these will be pushed back into 2024.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kathryn!

      Delete
  22. The Nesting looks very interesting.

    Thank you for stopping by our post this week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! I always love a novel that keeps me wrongfooted, wondering if a character is really what they seem...

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Astilbe!

      Delete
  23. I never really thought about how creepy houses and water combined could be, but this post does a great job of spotlighting that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. Right? I don't find lakes as creepy as the ocean, but still...I think it's that sense of isolation all of these evoke that makes them feel so sinister. And, of course, isolation is a great plot point for a mystery/thriller.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

      Delete
  24. I never noticed this trend before, but wow! Great job eye noticing and gathering all the covers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read so many mystery/thrillers that I would have to be blind not to notice it! LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  25. I'm also on the waiting list for The Only One Left by Riley Sager - great list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm about 20 places from the top now, but I feel like I've been on the waiting list for YEARS. LOL. Sager is definitely a popular author.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Rebecca!

      Delete
  26. Nice! I love all of these atmospheric covers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. I'm always drawn to covers like these, no matter how many of them I see!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

      Delete
  27. I love your choices and your take on the topic. Apparently I'm a fan of covers with houses and water on them because I want to read all of these even without knowing much about them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. Right? We're kindred spirits :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

      Delete
  28. Replies
    1. It worked out well for this week's watery theme!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Emma!

      Delete
  29. I love all of these covers! The water and the isolated house really does give off that brooding, atmospheric vibe. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely and I am SOO there for it! LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

      Delete
  30. Love the mystery/thriller focus! Water can be so good for setting a mood

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO good! Nothing is more evocative sometimes.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Bree!

      Delete
  31. Met most of these thrillers are on my tbr!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope we both love them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Amarachi!

      Delete
  32. I've got the latest Sager novel on hold at my library. Just waiting for 87 of my fellow citizens to breeze through it first haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are *only* about 50 ahead of me! LOL. Hopefully, I'll be able to read this one before his next one comes out. At this rate, I don't know...

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Ethan!

      Delete
  33. Some interesting sounding titles. Good thoughts on covers—makes me want to check my physical bookshelf to look for some water and see what the book is about… 😏

    Mine, thanks for visiting: https://cathysreadingbonanza.wordpress.com/2023/08/31/top-ten-tuesday-water-looking-at-my-tbr-pile/

    ReplyDelete
  34. Great choices! You're so right about thrillers and mysteries having covers with houses and water. It's usually what comes to mind when I think of them. :)

    ReplyDelete

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