Blog, Book Recommendations

Mystery Books, Suspense Books, & What I’m Writing

Thank goodness for a big stack of mystery books on my shelves because wow! We have had one epic snowfall after another this winter. It started in November and hasn’t let up since…except when it’s been in the deep freeze of zero or below. Brrr…I’m definitely a 60 degree kinda girl. I LOVE autumn and spring. 

Blizzards, snow squalls and frigid weather serve a great purpose though: they offer the prefect mystery book reading weather. I just finished The House of Closed Doors by Jane Steen. As you know, I don’t do book reviews here on the blog, only recommendations. Why? Because I find book reviews to be very subjective. What you love I may hate. And vice-versa.

I really enjoyed this novel. It’s historical fiction and I did a little blurb about it recently in my video newsletter. I found The House of Closed Doors to be part family drama, part history, and part mystery book. Check it out for yourself via the author’s website, on Amazon or your local indie bookstore. 

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

I’ve just delved into Ruth Ware’s,The Death of Mrs. Westaway. I first fell in love with Ruth’s work when I heard the audio version of her book The Woman in Cabin 10. I thoroughly enjoyed it and when on to read more mystery books by this author. This is my fourth Ruth Ware novel and I have not been disappointed! 

The Death of Mrs. Westaway follows a 20-something woman, “Hal” Westaway who works as a (skeptical) psychic, following in her deceased mother’s footsteps. When Hal receives a letter notifying her that her grandmother has died and that she is a beneficiary, Hal is perplexed. Her grandmother has already died, so clearly this letter is a mistake.

Still, she’s excited (Hal has serious money problems) but also filled with unease. While this woman wasn’t her actual grandmother, Hal journeys to the estate anyway. It’s a dark, creepy place swamped with magpies–the perfect Gothic setting. 🙂  There she meets her “family” a mix of dark and light characters, each with their own mysterious issues…

Have you heard of this book yet? Want to check it out? Learn more about it on Goodreads, or snag a copy on Amazon or at your local bookshop.

Suspense I’m Writing: 

I have to admit something here and now: I’ve never been a fan of short stories. I don’t like reading them. Just when I’m getting really into the story, it’s done. I don’t like writing them. Very often it’s harder to condense a story into 2000-10,000 words than it is to flesh out a full novel. 

But, I do love to try experiments. And one of my newest is playing with short stories in between writing novels. I wrote one recently called, Runaway Train, for a contest (the first I’ve entered in many years–still just as nerve-wracking as I remember!). And now I’m working on one that has a working title of The Mansion. (Original title, I know.) I’m learning some fun facts about slang of the 1920s, as both stories are set there–not on purpose, it just turned out that way. Here are a few of my favorite slang terms from the Roaring 20s: 

Favorite Slang from the 1920s

  • Sinkers are donuts
  • Bearcat is a fiery, spirited woman
  • Berries means something pleasing or good “That’s just berries, darling!”
  • Dewdropper is a slacker
  • Gasper is a cigarette
  • “Let’s blouse!” is the same as “Let’s get out of here!”

You can read a list of 59 other 1920s slang terms via this fun article on Thought Catalog.

What are you reading this week? Or what’s in your #TBR pile that you can’t wait to start? 

Published by jpchoquette

I am an author and lover of Gothic books and movies. I enjoy reading, spending time in old cemeteries, visiting junk shops and drinking hot beverages...just not all at the same time.

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