Mystery, murder and mayhem
A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver
Electra McDonnell has been raised by her uncle to be a safe-cracker. When the British Army recruits her to recover important papers, she finds a dead body instead. As she joins the investigation important to winning WW II, she finds a new, legitimate, calling. Great fun.
The Killing Hills by Chris Offutt
Offutt displays a deep understanding of the hills and inhabitants of Eastern Kentucky. His protagonist comes home from the Army and finds himself involved in solving the murder of a nice enough local lady. How he pieces together all the working parts makes an intriguing story and portrait of an insular community with it's own rules.
Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza
Andie Stern is a pregnant, Jewish, Jersey mother of 4 who is also a former standout FBI profiler. She can't help herself when she comes across a crime at her local gas station- she has to get involved. This is one of the funniest characters ever- self-aware, unpretentious, smart, and savvy. A rollicking read that does not gloss over the racism and discrimination that fuel the crime.
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
This is the second book I have read by Cosby. Both are fast paced and engaging , but they are violent. Look to see one or both made into action movies. Here we find two grieving fathers looking for the killers of their gay sons. There is salty language and vivid use of local axioms along with the harsh reality of rural Virginia. My criticism is how bent on revenge the fathers are when they were wholly unsupportive of their sons when they were alive.
Revival Season by Monica West
Miriam Horton is the daughter of a Southern Baptist preacher in the Black Evangelical community. Her Father shows his true self one night during the summer revival season and Miriam has to reassess her faith and her family. Her story is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. An outstanding debut novel by West.