Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m going to be very honest with all of you today about my mixed feelings on the mystery genre. What I’m about to say is not a judgement on anyone else’s reading habits in any way. Theoretically, I do like the idea of reading or watching something that requires the audience to pay close attention to the clues in order to figure out who the murderer was before the main character does.

What I don’t like about the mystery genre is its fixation on what can often be pretty gruesome crimes, especially since  they seem to happen to young women in so many tales. I don’t have much interest in gory stuff in general, and I really don’t like reading about all of the horrible ways innocent people can be killed.

So I really don’t know what to think about these titles. I’ve added links to their interesting blurbs for anyone who would like to check them out, but I don’t know if I actually should read any of them. What do you all think? Are you planning to read any of these books? If you read mysteries in general, can you recommend any stories that break this pattern?

1. The Ghost Manuscript by Kris Frieswick

2. The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

3. If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser

4. Fake Plastic Girl by Zara Lisbon

5. Call Me Evie by JP Pomare

6. Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

7. The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes

8. American Heroin by Melissa Scrivner Love

9. The Promise by Teresa Driscoll

10. House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler

92 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About

  1. Call Me Evie and House on Fire are both books that are on my On the Fence About list.

    Mysteries with nothing really gory in them are, I guess, slightly hard to come by. YA and Adult mystery books have a lot more violence these days than something classic like Nancy Drew.

    Some suggestions:
    Accused by Lisa Scottoline. I don’t think there is anything gory in it or anybody dying during the story. It’s part of a series if you enjoy it.

    Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. I just finished reading this and it’s a great mystery. No death scenes or unnecessary violence (a character dies, but the MC wasn’t there and didn’t get any details).

    The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti. Just finished this one as well and no character deaths during the story.

    Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think if you read them! My TTT.

  2. Great list! I don’t think I’ve heard of any of these so I’ll have to check them out. I don’t read many thrillers but I’m with you in terms of hating how many thrillers feature violence against women – I’d love to see more art heist thrillers than murder thrillers. I always subject any thriller I read to what I call the ‘Dead Girl Test’ – if the protagonist (who’s usually the person investigating the crime) sees the corpse of a dead woman and describes her as beautiful, it immediately fails the test. I’m really bored of writers romanticising dead girls.

  3. I haven’t heard of any of these – or they don’t sound familiar, but if you do decide to read them, I hope you enjoy, Lydia. I do like a good mystery now and again, but only if it isn’t too creepy. 😀

    Thanks so much for the Finding Wonderland visit.

  4. I was very into mystery in my early teens. It’s not a genre I gravitate too anymore. Though from what I remember I had a blast with the Nancy Drew series and few books in the Baby-Sitters Club series. Though I imagine those are pretty tame compared to the books you listed 🙂

  5. I agree, a lot of modern mysteries often walk a fine line between mystery and horror. I usually only read cozy mysteries for that reason; they might be less intense (which I sometimes miss), but they’re also going to be a lot less gory.

  6. “…gruesome crimes, especially since they seem to happen to young women in so many tales.” Yes! It’s become a trope and a cop-out ending. I don’t know if writers are getting lazy or feel pressured to deliver the resolution in this way, but I’m wary of mysteries too. It’s the reason I have mixed feelings on Jane Harper’s novels (otherwise well-done), I’m torn on reading today’s new release.

    You selected some compelling covers, of yours–I’m most interested in The Blameless Dead, I can handle violence and gore in extreme circumstances such as WWII, and I’m curious about the serial killer connection.
    I don’t read a lot of mysteries but I recommend Kate Morton,usually her female characters find redemption. I hope these don’t let you down.

  7. I don’t read a whole lot of mystery either. Don’t really know why. I can agree with you on the excessive violence. That can be a turn-off. I’m not a fan of the those tropes like the red herring and the “old switcheroo” myself. But I’m always on the lookout for good books, regardless of genre.

  8. The premise of The Ghost Manuscript sounded promising, but one of the Goodreads reviews provided a spoiler that completely put me off the book. I’m afraid I can’t help you decide on the rest of them, though. Most of the mysteries I read are either historicals, cozies, or classic/Golden Age in flavor (even if they were written recently.) One contemporary mystery author I enjoy is Deborah Crombie; the first book in her Kincaid and James series was OK, but beginning with book 2, they got really good. She writes British mysteries; they’re technically police procedurals because both detectives are police, but they have a depth and emotional sensitivity that you rarely find that genre, and the plots are really well done.

    • Oh, that’s awful. I hate it when that happens.

      Deborah Crombie sounds like an amazing writer. Thank you for the recommendation. I’ll definitely check her out.

  9. I actually haven’t heard of any of these, but The Ghost Manuscript and The Blameless Dead look/sound great. I’ll have to do some more research see if I’d like them.

  10. I can understand your aversion to gore. It’s why I often avoid many modern horror movies. You might want to check out more cozy mysteries. I haven’t read much of them, but they seem to focus more on the mystery than the gruesomeness of the crime.

  11. I like mysteries and thrillers that aren’t too gruesome, as a general rule. So I’m with you there. I do like suspense and tension but not so much horror or goriness. I can attest to cozies a little- I’ve read a few and while most aren’t really my thing, I’ve read a few that I really enjoyed! An Unwanted Guest by shari Lapena was a recent mystery that I liked.

    Of the ones you listed The escape Room is one that caught my eye.

  12. I have loved mysteries since I was a kid and they are still some of my favorites. Even though a subset of the genre, I consider thrillers–especially psychological thrillers–very different from a standard mystery. They are meant to scare you.

    Someone earlier mentioned cozy mysteries and police procedurals as options. I would suggest those as well. Cozies don’t usually feature all that graphic violence and police procedurals can also focus on the lives of law enforcement.

    One other way to look at it is this: usually your main character doesn’t die. Consider how cunning, smart, and inspiring it is when she gets out of danger or solves the crime. Then, maybe, you can view it as more empowering.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today.

  13. I could totally see your reasons! I dislike gore too, which is why I rarely read adult-mystery. The (few) mystery books I’ve read are usually YA or classic, so they’re not too gore. Out of the books you listed here, I’m interested in The Escape Room! I hope you’ll like them 🙂

  14. I haven’t heard of any of these except for Call me Evie but they’ve got such eye-catching covers, I’ll have to have a look into some of them. Admittedly, I don’t read that many mystery novels these days. I should change that though because I do enjoy them. I’m okay with gruesome crimes as long as the plot uses it in an interesting and twisty way – not just for the sake of it or shock value.

  15. I haven’t read/heard of any of these but that’s not surprising as I don’t really read mysteries or thrillers much. I prefer to read Romantic Suspense i.e. romance with a side of suspense or thrill or mystery, and these aren’t very heavy or intense on gore, but are about the main characters finding love in tough/dangerous situations.

  16. I hadn’t heard of any of these but I’d like to know what you think of The Ghost Manuscript and The Blameless Dead their titles kind of capture me!

  17. I think I heard about The Escape Room somewhere before. It would make an interesting read, I think but I don’t really read mystery all that much. Sometimes they just really freak me out? Like people with absolutely no magic powers or any skills that might help them, need to survive a horrible situation? Hello anxiety.

    I think I’d like to try reading mystery but like… low-key mystery. Less of the spook. XD
    I hope you enjoy these reads if you decide to pick any of them up!
    Happy Reading!! <3

  18. I don’t read many mysteries and the few I have read have been either wildly disappointing or just kind of average, so I never feel very inspired to pick any up. The only one on this list that I’ve even heard of is Call Me Evie so, unfortunately, I can’t tell you if any of them are worth reading. But I hope you enjoy them if you do decide to give any of them a chance!

  19. I have the same thoughts about mystery genre too. I enjoy reading mystery books every bow and then but I don’t pick them up as my first choices.
    I haven’t heard about any of these books and may be because of the same reason I mentioned above 😃

  20. Great post and a great list of books all these books are new to me I do love mystery books but the mystery books that I read do have a lot of violence and gore in them which I can totally understand why some readers don’t like that in books. Thank you so much for stopping by my TTT post.

  21. Sorry for the late comment! Thanks for stopping by Howling Libraries <3

    I heard If You're Out There is very good, but sadly, I haven't heard enough on any of the rest of these to offer much of an opinion! I do have an ARC of If You're Out There, though, so I'm hoping it's good. 🙂

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