First Mystery Club

Excellent for collectors interested in hot new voices, but also for readers who want to try something new without just guessing what’s worthwhile. Range is US, UK, or Canadian. 12 selections are made each calendar year. They do not arrive on any regular schedule.

2023

January: Reyes, Ana. House in the Pines (Dutton, $27.00).

An instant New York Times bestseller!

“This is an absolute, can’t-put-it-down thriller…It’s truly a wild ride that had me flying through chapter after chapter—which I think is the perfect way to kick off your year of reading.” —Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Jan ’23 Pick)

Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed….

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.

Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.

At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin….

Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home.

2022

Jan.:  Willingham, StacyA Flicker in the Dark

Feb: Slocumb, Brendan. The Violin Conspiracy

March: Li, Grace D. Portrait of a Thief

April: Rothschild, Sascha. Blood Sugar

May: Canas, Isabel. The Hacienda

June: Hartstone, Joey. The Local

July: Teschner, John. Project Namahana

Aug  Emerson, Ramona. Shutter 

Sept: Urquhart, Alaina. The Butcher and the Wren

Oct: Godfrey, Bradleigh. Imposter

November: Hays, Katy. The Cloisters (Atria, $28.00 Signed).

December: Haven, Josh. Fake Money, Blue Smoke (Penzler, $26.95 Signed).

2021

Jan.:  Dalton, Julie. Waiting for the Nightsong

Feb.: Pearse, Sarah. The Sanatorium

March: Andrews, Ali. Who Is Maud Dixon?

April: Christy, Bryan. In the Company of Killers

May: Carter, Mary Dixie. The Photographer

June: Nicieza, Fabian. Suburban Dicks

July: Newman, TJ. Falling

Aug. Moore, Taylor. Down Range

Sept.: Winstead, Ashley. In My Dreams I Hold a Knife

Oct.: Galloway, Gregory. Just Thieves

Nov.:Rosenfield, Kat. No One Will Miss Her

2020

Jan.:  Hauty, Chris. Deep State

Feb.: Wegert, Tessa. Death in the Family

March: Bentley, Don. Without Sanction

April: Sligar, Sara. Take Me Apart

May: Wright, Lawrence. The End of October

June: Serritella, Francesca. Ghosts of Harvard

July: Clark, Julie. The Last Flight

Aug.: Neubauer, Erica. Murder at the Mena House

Sept.: Pavesi, Alex. Eight Detectives

Oct: Osman, Richard. The Thursday Murder Club

Nov: Selfon, Brian. The Nightworkers

Dec.:  Hart, Matthew. The Russian Pink