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Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2023 Mystery/Thriller Novels I Want to Read

Today's TTT prompt—Top Ten Books That Defied My Expectations (books you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving, books you thought you'd love but didn't, etc.)— is a good one, but I'm just not feeling it. Even though it's early September and it's still a million degrees outside, I'm gearing up for some cozy Fall reading. To me, that means mysteries, mysteries, and more mysteries! Yes, I read this genre throughout the year, but it just seems especially suited for the cozy/spooky season. Maybe that's why there are so many intriguing-sounding ones still to be published this year. I'm going to highlight ten up-and-coming mystery/thrillers that I want to read.

First, though, be sure to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our host, Jana, some love. If you want to join in the TTT fun (and you do!), all the details are there.

Top Ten Fall 2023 Mystery/Thriller Novels I Want to Read

1. The Darkness Surrounds Us by Gail Lukasik (releases today!)—With the Spanish flu wreaking havoc on her Chicago home, nurse Nellie Lester needs to get out of town. She takes a job at a crumbling mansion on an isolated island in Michigan, hoping for a new start and to find answers to her mother's mysterious past. Not only does the place feel haunted by her mother's presence, but the discovery of the previous nurse's dead body proves there's something very sinister going on. Can Nellie figure out the island's deadly secrets before it's too late?

2. The Wings of Poppy Pendleton by Melanie Dobson (available September 19)—During a Gilded Age party at her family's castle in New York's Thousand Islands area, a young girl goes missing while her father lies dead in the smoking room. Seventy-five years later, a mysterious girl arrives on the island, prompting the owner of the island to look into the old mystery. What really happened to Poppy Pendleton?

3. Death and the Sisters by Heather Redmond (available September 26)—This opener begins a new historical mystery series starring a teenaged Mary Shelley, her stepsister, and Mary's future husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. When Mary discovers a man—who happens to be Percy's classmate and rival— dead in her home after a party, she and her cohorts use their collective smarts to solve the murder. 

4. The Leftover Woman by Jean Kwok (available October 10)—Because of China's One Child Policy, Jasmine Yang's infant daughter was snatched away from her. Now in New York City without a penny to her name and on the run from her controlling husband, Jasmine is on a desperate hunt to find her stolen child. A wealthy publishing executive, Rebecca Whitney has the perfect life—including an adopted Chinese daughter. When the lives of these two very different women collide, it causes both to question everything they both know about identity, motherhood, and the true meaning of family.

5. What We Kept to Ourselves by Nancy Jooyoun Kim (available October 10)—A year later, the Kim Family is still baffled and devastated by their matriarch's mysterious disappearance. When they find the dead body of a stranger in their backyard, they're even more shocked, especially since he's carrying a letter addressed to the missing woman. Who is the unknown man? And what does he have to do with Sunny Kim? Where is Sunny and why did she vanish?

6. Murder by Degrees by Ritu Mukerji (available October 17)—It's 1875 and Lydia Weston is a professor and anatomist at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. When the body of a dead chambermaid is found in a Philadelphia river, a supposed suicide, Lydia becomes suspicious. Following clues on the corpse and in the dead woman's diary, she sets out to discover how the young woman really died.  

7. People to Follow by Olivia Worley (available October 31)—"In Real Life" is a hot new reality show that takes ten well-known teen influencers to a Caribbean island where they will completely unplug for three weeks of televised, non-filtered living. When the production crew fails to show and one of the influencers dies violently, the remaining nine find themselves stranded in a remote paradise with a killer. 

8. Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen by Sarah James (available November 7)—The Hollywood Canteen, a club for servicemen staffed by volunteers who are also Tinseltown stars, is the place to be in 1943. Aspiring playwright Annie Laurence hopes to make enough of a splash there to get the murder mystery film she's written produced. When a hated film critic is killed at the Canteen, Annie joins a group of amateur sleuths to figure out who murdered her.

9. The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon (available November 14)—When a man's dead body is found in the iced-over Kennebec River in 1789, the local midwife and healer is called upon to examine the corpse. A keeper of her town's secrets, Martha knows the dead man is one of the possible perpetrators of an alleged rape that happened several months ago. As both crimes are investigated, her small town is torn apart by scandal and prejudice. What will the truth do to Martha, her family, and her community?

10. The Weekend Retreat by Tara Laskowski (available December 26)—As the heirs to a copper fortune, the Van Ness siblings are constantly in the spotlight. They gather yearly at a luxury winery for the R&R they all desperately need. This year, their vacation is beset with the usual family drama as well as a torrential rainstorm and a shocking murder. Whodunit?

There you are, ten upcoming mystery/thriller novels I want to read. Which Fall releases are you excited about? If you did today's prompt, which books defied your expectations? I'd truly love to know. Leve me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. Murder by Degrees and The Darkness Surrounds Us are two that I'm looking forward to reading, too. I love their covers! :D

    1. Right? The cover for THE DARKNESS SURROUNDS US is especially evocative and stunning. I can't wait to read it!

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

  2. I agree, it was a good topic, but I wasn't feeling it either, LOL! I do have The Wings of Poppy Pendleton on my TBR as well.

    1. It sounds like a great read. I hope we both enjoy it!

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

  3. I tend to read more mysteries in the autumn for some reason. These all sound good. :)

    Thanks for stopping by earlier.

    1. I don't know if I read more mysteries in the autumn or not, but they still feel like cozy Fall reads, you know?

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

  4. I've not heard of these books. Some of them look really good! 😀

    1. Agreed. I'm excited to read all of them!

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

  5. They all sound good. I agree that Mysteries are for the colder times (although I have read some good summer ones!). It is hot here in the South East (UK).

    Have a great week!

    1. It's still really hot here in Arizona, USA, too. Ugh. The hot temps will stick around until about November. Our Fall isn't a traditional one, but at least the temperatures cool down. It's lovely here from about November until April, when it starts getting hot again.

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

  6. Athena @ OneReadingNurse05 September, 2023 17:42

    I wasn't feeling this week either, I like yours though! Thanks for dropping by my list!

    1. Sometimes my mind just totally blanks on the topic du jour, so I have to go rogue!

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

  7. Oh yes yes yes! I'm a mystery lover & have found some good suggestions here. The Frozen River looks really good! :)

    1. Same. Mystery/thriller has always been my favorite genre. I agree—THE FROZEN RIVER sounds excellent. It's probably the one on this list that I'm most excited to read. Hopefully, it's as good as it sounds.

      Thanks for popping by, Margaret!

  8. What strikes me most about this list is the covers. Mysteries and thrillers really lend themselves to intriguing covers, and there are some great ones in this post.

    1. Yes, for sure! Sometimes all it takes is an intriguing, evocative cover to make me want to read a mystery.

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

  9. Fab list hope you enjoy them when you get to them!

    1. Me too. I'm excited about all of them. I have ARCs of a few of these, so those will likely be the first ones I read.

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

  10. The Frozen River sounds excllent and is the one I'll be looking out for. But they all sound excellent, I love a murder mystery in autumn and winter - I'm just reading Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson and it has a lovely snowy setting.

    1. Oooh, how are you liking EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE? I'm excited to read that one. I have a copy on my Kindle, I just need to make time for it now. It sounds like a great read and I love snowy/winter settings in mysteries.

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

  11. I've got The Frozen River on my TBR too!

    1. It sounds so good, doesn't it? My request for an ARC on Edelweiss is pending. Fingers crossed that I'll be approved! I can't wait to read it.

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

  12. I should bookmark this page. I don't often read mysteries but when I do want to read one I never know where to go for recommendations. Sorry I didn't reply yesterday. my hubby and I took our grandsons to the zoo and when we got home I was exhausted. Thanks for visiting Head Full of Books

    1. Yes, definitely bookmark this page! I'm hoping these mystery/thriller novels are all winners. We'll see.

      Sounds like you had a fun (and exhausting) outing with the grands. My first grandbaby will be born in a couple of months. I can't wait!

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

  13. I was reading through all of these blurbs, and they sound good! Well, except the reality TV show in the Caribbean. That sounds like a horror movie!

    1. Ha ha. I'm not at all into reality shows, but I do always find mysteries about people trapped in isolated places appealing. We'll see if this one is any good or not.

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

  14. These sound like fun. I hope you enjoy them!

    1. Me too. They all sound intriguing to me.

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

  15. Oh another Weekend Retreat!
    Murder by Degrees sounds great. I hope you enjoy all of these

    1. I hope so, too. All of these seem like they have great potential to be winners for me. We'll see how they pan out.

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

  16. OOh nice topic choice! And picks! These are all new to me ones but they look intriguing! I love a good mystery or spooky-esque read!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

    1. Me too. Mystery/thriller novels have always been my favorite. I just can't get enough of them!

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

  17. Both Death and the Sisters and Murder by Degrees sound like they need to be on my TBR. And it sounds like you've got a great fall of reading coming your way - enjoy!

    1. I've got a list of books I need to read before the end of the year for reading challenges and such, so we'll see when I actually get to all these. Soon-ish, I hope!

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

  18. Some of these are on my tbr!

    1. I hope we both love them!

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

  19. I think all of these are new to me! Especially since I don't read many mysteries, but I especially like the sound of The Weekend Retreat! Happy reading this fall!

    1. I think it does, too. I like mysteries that are centered around family drama. It's easier to deal with in fiction than in real life! Ha ha.

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

  20. I haven't read any of these but I have many of them on my TBR. So many gorgeous covers!

    1. Right? I love a evocative, striking cover. My favorite of these is the first one. It's so eye-catching!

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

  21. What a fantastic list, Susan! I added so many of these to my TBR, because I'm like you - I start reading more mysteries and thrillers in the fall and winter, so I want to get my priorities straight!

    1. Fall and mystery/thrillers just go together so perfectly, it's hard to resist! I hope you enjoy the ones you read.

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

  22. I have seen People to Follow around. Seems to be getting good buzz. I was drawn to Poppy Pendleton. The story intrigues me

    1. I like the premise of PEOPLE TO FOLLOW. I hope the story is as good as it sounds. POPPY PENDLETON does sound intriguing, doesn't it? I'm hoping to get to that one soon. We'll see.

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

  23. These all look fantastic and like perfect fall reading but The Wings of Poppy Pendleton was the one that caught my attention the most. That looks amazing! I hope you get to all of the mysteries on your list and share your thoughts.

    1. THE WINGS OF POPPY PENDLETON sounds so intriguing. I wonder why it's not getting more buzz? Hopefully, it's as good as it sounds.

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

  24. I don't think any of these are familiar to me, but I do love the look of Jean's novel! That cover just screams interesting and who doesn't love a good mysterious read now and then? Thanks so much for visiting my website this past week.

    1. Yes! I like that that cover is unique, but still so mysterious and intriguing. It definitely draws me in. I hope the story is as good as it sounds!

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

  25. Oh my.. each one sounds so very intriguing though all are new to me.. Poppy Pendleton sounds like one I want to pick first though from this list.. My ttt post is here

    1. I've got an e-ARC of Poppy Pendleton that I'm hoping to get to very soon. It sounds like an excellent read! I hope we both enjoy it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lady in Read!

  26. I am also looking forward to The Weekend Retreat and What We Kept to Ourselves. I hope you enjoy all of these books.


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