WINTER OF THE WOLF

A supernaturally tinged whodunit that will enrapture mystery fans.

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A teenager becomes obsessed with the mystery of her brother’s death in this YA novel.

Handler’s remarkable story pulls readers into the swirling mind of Bean Hanes,a 15-year-old Minnesotan who found her “soul mate and favorite brother,” Sam, dead in his bedroom, shortly after an accident in which he hit a deer with his car.Sam is present throughout the story in Bean’s rich, yet tortured, memories, and she reflects on his deep curiosity about the Indigenous Inuit people; the teenager identified deeply with Inuit culture and even wanted to be buried in accordance with Inuit practices. Although his death is ruled a suicide, Bean can’t accept it, and she and her best friend, Julie, go on a mission to uncover the truth. The mystery is peppered with curious and sometimes conflicting details about who Sam really was and how he may have died. As Bean’s grief becomes deeper, she looks for answers in the spiritual realm, and the story’s mystical elements (including departed spirits, totem animals, and shamanic rituals) combine with standard sleuthing to create a solid mystery. For example, Bean has a recurring, meaningful dream about a storm and an open window in Sam’s room, and some pieces of physical evidence, such as an unfamiliar camouflage belt that was found with Sam’s body, raise intriguing questions. Bean and Julie piece together a complex list of possible scenarios and suspects, including Sam’s close friend Skip, who was expected at their house that evening but didn’t show up, didn’t attend Sam’s funeral, and suddenly dropped out of their lives. Over the course of this breathless narrative, Handler keeps readers guessing at the solution until the very end.

A supernaturally tinged whodunit that will enrapture mystery fans.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62634-718-2

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2020

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE

Thrill-seekers will be absorbed by this exciting story.

The lives of two girls named Hannah, living in different centuries on different continents, intersect.

Eighteen-year-old Hannah Dory is an English peasant living a harsh existence in 1347. Hannah Doe is a resident of Belman Psychiatric Hospital in 2023 New York City, brought in after being found on the street experiencing hallucinations and screaming something about a castle. Modern-day Hannah periodically enters a catatonic state, something the staff refer to as her “going to the castle.” Columbia psychology student Jordan Hassan is a new intern at Belman, and his interest is piqued by this girl no one knows much about. He decides to play detective and try to discover her history himself. Meanwhile, in the medieval England storyline, Hannah Dory tries to save her village from starvation by sneaking into the baron’s castle but finds herself swept up in a fight between the new baron and his rival. The book sustains a breakneck pace with short chapters and many cliffhangers that will keep readers’ interest. Patterson’s author’s note includes a list of mental health resources and describes his experience of working as an aide in a psychiatric hospital when he was a teenager. The narrative thoughtfully centers mental illness and touches on complex topics like suicide. Whiteness is the default; Jordan is cued as Muslim.

Thrill-seekers will be absorbed by this exciting story. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-41172-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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