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10 Unapologetically Twisted Reads

Ten crime reads to help you discover why authors in Canada have their own hashtag (#ReadTheNorth), and deserve a place on anybody’s reading shelf.

Book Cover Sister Dear

Hannah Mary McKinnon's latest thriller is Sister Dear, a twisted story of family and obsession. It's been called "a thrill-ride through a family mired in secrets, with a satisfyingly villainous ending!” Perfect for relaxing on the the deck with, no?


It’s common knowledge winter in Canada can be long, cold, snowy and brutal ... but maybe that’s why there are so many stellar novels written in this country—we have plenty of time to hunker over our keyboards with endless cups of Tim’s fuelling our creative minds. Here’s a list of ten crime reads to help you discover why authors in Canada have their own hashtag (#ReadTheNorth), and deserve a place on anybody’s reading shelf.


Book Cover Recipe for a Perfect Wife

Recipe for a Perfect Wife, by Karma Brown

Alice Hale leaves her career and follows her husband to the burbs, where she finds a vintage cookbook. When she becomes captivated by its previous owner, 1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch, she starts to question not only the foundation of her marriage, but also what it means to be a wife fighting for her rightful place in a patriarchal society. Baked Alaska has never tasted so sinister… Smart, witty and incredibly timely, the ending of this book had me rubbing my hands with glee before wishing I’d written it!


Book Cover Hurry Home

Hurry Home, by Roz Nay (Out in July)

When Alexandra Van Ness’ long-lost troublemaking sister, Ruth, unexpectedly shows up at her door, Alex’s seemingly wonderful life descends into chaos. As deeply buried secrets claw their way to the surface, nothing will ever be the same again for Alex or Ruth—and both of them may well lose everything. Roz has an incredible knack for shifting your allegiances multiple times before you pick a side, and I found myself wondering on many occasions who the true villain of the story was. Clever and twisted!


Book Cover Woman on the Edge

Woman on the Edge, by Samantha M. Bailey

What would you do if a total stranger on a subway platform whispered, “Take my baby” before placing the child in your arms, saying your name and jumping in front of a train? When it happens to Morgan Kincaid, her life changes forever. Questioned by the police, and forced to prove her innocence, she soon realizes her own life might be in danger, too. The premise alone had me salivating, wanting to know what happens next, and I read this book in one sitting, frantically turning the pages to find out: why?


Book Cover Little Secrets

Little Secrets, by Jennifer Hiller 

Every parent’s nightmare: your child goes missing, and it’s all your fault. Marin, a highly successful, happily married mother sees her life unravel when it happens to her, and her darling son is taken. When the trail goes cold and she discovers her husband is having an affair, she decides she can’t lose her husband, too, and his lover is a problem she can fix. I’ve been a huge Jennifer Hillier fan since I stumbled across her debut, Creep, by chance at the library. In Little Secrets she explores a mother’s deepest fears and doesn’t let you come up for air until long after you’ve turned the final page. She’s a true master of psychological suspense.


Book Cover A Match Made for Murder

A Match Made for Murder, by Iona Whishaw

The seventh Lane Winslow mystery sees Lane and Darling honeymooning in Tucson, Arizona. But never ones to relax, Lane and Darling become involved in a murder investigation that sees them drawn into a tangled web of deceit, lies and pesky local criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want. Women sleuths rule in Iona’s books, and whenever I read them it reminds me why I should devote more time to historical fiction, including mysteries. Just lovely!

Book Cover Broken Genius

Broken Genius, by Drew Murray (Coming in June)

Almost a decade ago, Will Parker made a coding mistake that cost a college student her life. Now he’s a Special Agent in the FBI’s Cyber Division, investigating a murder at a Comic Con event. A radioactive quantum computer, dark web auctions and nefarious bidders all lead Will into danger, and the race to keep unlimited power out of the wrong hands is on. The FBI and Comicon? As a die-hard thriller / Tomb Raider gamer, what’s not to love about this premise? A stellar debut that’s sure to be a hit.


Book Cover Tell Me My Name

Tell Me My Name, by Erin Ruddy (Coming this fall)

When Ellie Patterson is snatched by an obsessed stranger claiming they’re soulmates, she has three chances to say his name. If she gets it wrong, it’s Ellie’s husband, Neil, who will be made to pay the price. But who is Ellie’s abductor? Have they really met before? And is everything she knew about her husband and their relationship a lie? The first chapter is short but so dark, surprising and sinister, when I read it, I had to find out what happened next. It’s a killer of a hook!


Book Cover The Swap

The Swap, by Robyn Harding

Teenager Low Morrison feels like a misfit, as does Freya, a once-famous social media influencer who now owns a pottery studio. They become friends until Jamie appears on the scene and, as far as Low is concerned, ruins everything. When Freya suggests swapping partners to Jamie, what was supposed to be a harmless fling between consenting adults provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash mayhem. I’ve loved all of Robyn’s novels. She never shies away from exploring explosive subjects, and I can’t wait to dive into The Swap to see how it all unfolds.


Book Cover The End of Her

The End of Her, by Shari Lapena (Coming in July)

Stephanie and Patrick are newlyweds and parents of new-born twins. Stephanie may be exhausted, but she’s happy, and has everything she desires…until a woman from Patrick’s past accuses him of murdering his first wife—a woman he claims died accidentally. But who did what to whom, and who is telling the truth? Shari Lapena’s novels never disappoint. I’ve gobbled up all her previous books and I’m counting down the days until this one is released.


Book Cover Still Here

Still Here, by Amy Stuart (Coming in August)

When Clare’s colleague and fellow private investigator, Malcolm, goes missing, Clare is determined to find him. When she discovers Malcom isn’t the only one who disappeared, but his wife has vanished, too, she quickly understands Malcolm is the prime suspect. But is he innocent, or is his past more complex and sinister than she could have imagined? Amy’s stories are dark and gritty—just the way I like them, which makes his book a perfect summer read.


Book Cover Sister Dear

About Sister Dear:

Beauty. Wealth. Success.
She’s got it all.
And it all should’ve been mine.

When Eleanor Hardwicke’s beloved father dies, her world is further shattered by a gut-wrenching secret: the man she’s grieving isn’t really her dad. Eleanor was the product of an affair and her biological father is still out there, living blissfully with the family he chose. With her personal life spiraling, a desperate Eleanor seeks him out, leading her to uncover another branch on her family tree—an infuriatingly enviable half sister.

Perfectly perfect Victoria has everything Eleanor could ever dream of. Loving childhood, luxury home, devoted husband. All of it stolen from Eleanor, who plans to take it back. After all, good sisters are supposed to share. And quiet little Eleanor has been waiting far too long for her turn to play.

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