June 2023 – Mystery & Thriller TBR Book List

Happy June, my dear book lovers! Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year?! Time really needs to slow down!

If you’d prefer to listen to this discussion, you can check out the full episode on The Bookmarks ‘n Blankets Podcast on your favorite podcast platform or listen below. 

So I’m really excited about this month’s reading theme and list of books because it’s a genre that I’ve hardly ventured into. 

But, before we get into it, a little housekeeping. For the past three months, I’ve read or aimed to read six books each month. I based this on my March reads when I joined the online book community. I read six books that month and figured that I could read that many every month. 

However, I thought it would be more interesting and fun if I expanded my list from six to ten books on my TBR lists. We’ll call it my Pile of Possibilities. Then, I have a wider variety of titles to choose from each month, which is nice to have, especially if I exceed the number I have planned to read. And, hopefully, it’ll be more interesting as a listener during the monthly wrap-up episodes because you won’t know which books I’ve read that month. It’ll be a fun surprise at the end of each month. 

That means, starting this month, there will be ten titles that I’ll list in this type of episode. And then, at the end of the month, you can find out what I actually read and thought about those books. For the ones that I don’t get to reading, I thought I could put those titles on small pieces of paper, put them in a jar, and pull from them when I need an extra book to read or want a book pick to be a surprise. I’m not sure yet, but I know I could do something fun with them and, eventually, read them all.

June Reading Theme

So let us proceed with this month’s reading theme…drum roll…

Mystery and Thriller! 

I’ve really been wanting to venture more into adult books and get away from YA and middle grade reads. However, I do have two YA series in this TBR list, but the majority of my list are adult books. 

These are also genres that I rarely ever read, so I’m really excited to dive into a completely different area of fiction that I’m not familiar with. Honestly, I’m feeling relieved to take a break from fantasy books. I’ve been feeling very fatigued by that genre since it’s mainly what I’ve been reading for the past three months. Actually, this entire summer is fantasy-free, which will be a nice reprieve until I jump back in later this year. 

But for now, I’m ready to put on my detective hat, solve some mysteries, and maybe get a little spooked with this book list. So let’s hop into it! 

June To Be Read (TBR) Book List

I have a wide range of books on this month’s list. They do range between YA and adult, as I just said. They also range from cozy mysteries to psychological thrillers and everything in between. I do have some very popular titles that I just have to check out to see what the fuss is about, and of course, I have a few that aren’t in the community’s spotlight.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

According to the GoodRead’s description: “Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him. In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…”

Why I Chose This Book: This is the sequel to You, which is also a Netflix series. I read You back in March and absolutely loved it, so I knew I had to continue my journey with Joe’s psychopathic obsession with different women he meets. Full disclosure, I know what happens. I’ve seen the first three seasons of You on Netflix, so this won’t be a surprise, just like the first book. However, I absolutely loved the first book and knew I would read the rest of the series. To be in the head of this psycho killer that tries to justify his crimes in the name of love is just so wild to me. It’s written really well. It’s witty, funny, startling, interesting, enthralling… I know I’ll love this book. I gave You five stars, so I anticipate another five-star read with this book.

(You can purchase the book here.)

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

On Amazon, it has over 133,000 ratings and is #4 on Amazon’s Chart under Most Sold. 

On GR, it has over 736,000 ratings and over 50,000 reviews. It was also GR’s winner of Best Mystery & Thriller in 2021. It has a rating of 3.86.

According to the GoodRead’s description: “Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared. Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.”

Why I Chose This Book: I chose this book because I had watched the trailer for the series on Apple+ first and then saw that it was based on a book. I’m trying to get in the habit of reading the book first before watching any screen adaptation, so I decided to pick it up. The synopsis sounded interesting, and there seems to be a lot of hype around it, with so many ratings and reviews. So I thought I’d give it a shot.

(You can purchase the book here.)

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

On Amazon, it has over 258,000 ratings and is marked as the Editor’s Pick under Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense.

On GR, it has over 1.5 million ratings and over 139,000 reviews. It was also GR’s winner of Best Mystery & Thriller in 2019, and a nominee under Best Debut Novel in that same year. It has a rating of 4.18.

According to the GoodRead’s description: “Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face and then never speaks another word. Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….”

Why I Chose This Book: This is another book that has tons of ratings and reviews and has been talked a lot about on Bookstagram. It sounded like an interesting plot, so I’m curious to check this out and see what the fuss is all about. I also saw some articles from back in 2019 that said it’s supposed to be adapted into a movie, and on IMDB, it says it’s “in development,” but I didn’t find any recent news if they’ve moved forward with the movie version or not. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it makes it to the big screen.

(You can purchase the book here.)

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

On Amazon, it has over 89,000 ratings. 

On GR, it has over 517,000 ratings and almost 40,000 reviews. It has a rating of 4.06.

According to the GoodRead’s description: “THEN – She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW – It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then, one day, a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. Before too long, she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine-year-old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away. Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?”

Why I Chose This Book: I had never heard of this author, but when I was researching thriller books, she kept popping up and had tons of ratings and reviews that were pretty positive. Then I saw a fellow Bookstagrammer post about her favorite Lisa Jewell books and that this is an auto-buy author for her. This book was one of her top favorites, so I thought it would be a good one to check out.

(You can purchase the book here.)

Hide by Kiersten White

According to the GoodRead’s description: “The challenge: spend a week hiding in an abandoned amusement park and don’t get caught. The prize: enough money to change everything. Even though everyone is desperate to win–to seize their dream futures or escape their haunting pasts–Mack feels sure that she can beat her competitors. All she has to do is hide, and she’s an expert at that. It’s the reason she’s alive and her family isn’t. But as the people around her begin disappearing one by one, Mack realizes this competition is more sinister than even she imagined and that together might be the only way to survive. Fourteen competitors. Seven days. Everywhere to hide but nowhere to run. Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

Why I Chose This Book: This was one of the last books added to this list. I had recently watched an older video of a BookTuber who made a list of books with low ratings for her, and this book was mentioned. This isn’t a very popular book or one that’s talked a lot about in the community. From reviewing it on GoodReads and Amazon, it has pretty mixed reviews. When a book has such mixed reviews, it makes me even more curious about it and want to read it so I can make up my own mind. Also, many people said it’s like an adult Hunger Games set in an amusement park but with more horror. The plot sounds really, really interesting, so I may find out for myself how good or not good this book is.

(You can purchase the book here.)

The Maid by Nita Prose

On Amazon, it has over 68,000 ratings and is marked as the Editor’s Pick under Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense.

On GR, it has over 357,000 ratings and over 36,000 reviews. It was also GR’s winner of Best Mystery & Thriller in 2022 as well as a nominee for Best Debut Novel in that same year. It has a rating of 3.82.

According to the GoodRead’s description: “Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection. But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?”

Why I Chose This Book: I’m really excited about this book. It sounds very Clue-like (the board game) with a murder to solve and delightfully charming characters. It’s a cozy mystery that sounds like a lot of fun with humor and a light-heartedness to it. I thought this would be a good addition to the mix to keep it light with some of the heaviness from other books. This is a highly anticipated read for me because there has been so much hype around this book, and it won on GoodReads last year. I hope I’m not disappointed.

(You can purchase the book here.)

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

On Amazon, it has over 68,000 ratings and is marked as the Editor’s Pick under Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense.

On GR, it has over 340,000 ratings and over 36,000 reviews. It has a rating of 3.91.

First book in a series of four books. 

According to the GoodRead’s description: “In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron might be pushing eighty, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?”

Why I Chose This Book: This is another light-hearted, humorous murder mystery book that sounds like a good time. Again, I wanted to mix in some fun with all the serious books. This is another book with tons of positive ratings and reviews that seems to have quite a bit of popularity. Also, I’m an old soul, and I love comedies with senior citizens as the characters. The two Grumpy Old Men movies are some of my favorite comedies. There’s another fun comedy with Diane Keaton called Poms, where she moves into this retirement community and starts a cheerleading squad. Give me spunky, fun-loving, goofy, quirky old people any day!

(You can purchase the book here.)

Blogging is Murder by Gilian Baker

According to the GoodRead’s description: “Jade Blackwell lives a quiet life, and that’s the way she likes it. Happily settled in a log home with her husband and daughter in the quaint village of Aspen Falls, Wyoming, she’s ready to dive into her new career as a ghostwriter and blogger and leave her life as a worn-down English professor far behind. Jade’s promising career comes to an unexpected halt when a computer hacker targets her friend and fellow blogger, Liz, destroying her livelihood and reputation. But the intrusion doesn’t stop there. The mysterious hacker, known only as Connie, is a stalker, and now she has her eyes on Liz’s three children. Before Jade can even begin to investigate, Connie is found dead in Liz’s kitchen. To the sheriff’s department, the case is cut and dry. Now Liz is in jail, and Jade is the only one who can free her. Determined to prove Liz’s innocence, Jade teams up with Liz’s reluctant lawyer, Gabrielle Langdon, and the two women sleuths dive straight into the heart of this cozy mystery. What they learn will break the case wide open, unraveling Jade’s faith in humanity and the safety she feels in the small mountain town she calls home.”

Why I Chose This Book: This is another cozy mystery book on the list that sounds so good. It also hits home for me because I’ve been working with bloggers for almost a decade with my marketing business. So I’m very familiar with the blogging world, and it feels like home to me. So a murder involving some at-home bloggers – sign me up! It also sounds like there are some fun twists and turns with likable characters and an interesting cast of characters. This is also the first book in a series of four, so we’ll see how well I like it and if I’ll continue in this series. Also, it’s only about 180-some pages, so I guess this could be considered a novella, which will be nice to have such a quick read so I can fit more in this month.

(You can purchase the book here.)

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

On Amazon, it has over 19,000 ratings and is marked as the Editor’s Pick under Best Young Adult. 

On GR, it has over 451,000 ratings and over 56,000 reviews. It was also a nominee for Best Young Adult Fiction in 2020. It has a rating of 4.21.

First book in a series of four books

According to the GoodRead’s description: “Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why — or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch — and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a conwoman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.”

Why I Chose This Book: This is the first YA series that I thought I’d give a try. This series has taken the book community by storm, and I’ll admit, I’m pretty intrigued by the synopsis and all the hype around it. It sounds like a fun story with riddles, puzzles, and mysteries to solve. I also saw some reviewers say it’s like a YA version of Knives Out, which was a decent whodunit movie. 

I’ve had these books in my wish list for a couple of years now, and there’s still a lot of talk about them. I believe the third book just released recently, so I thought I’d finally add them to the pile to see what all the fuss is about. I did buy the first two books in the series, both were on sale on Amazon, so I got both of them. So depending on how things go, I may just go ahead and pick up the second one in the series. I’ve also never read a YA mystery book, so this will be a first for me. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

(You can purchase the book here or the trilogy here.)

A Good Girls’ Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

On Amazon, it has almost 37,000 ratings and is tagged as a number one bestseller in Teen & Young Adult Law & Crime Stories.

On GR, it has over 622,000 ratings and over 71,000 reviews. It has a rating of 4.35.

First book in a trilogy.

According to the GoodRead’s description: “The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?”

Why I Chose This Book: This is the second YA series that I bought, and I did buy all three books. Again, Amazon had a good sale that I just couldn’t pass on. I believe this series popped up in my recommended section when I was looking up thrillers and mysteries on Amazon. So of course, I had to read the synopsis since it had such high ratings and reviews. Since adding this book to my pile, I have seen a few BookTubers and Bookstagrammers praise this series and give it good reviews. I did see one of my BookTubers say that it’s more a mystery and investigation story than a thriller, but I really don’t care as long as it’s good and keeps me engaged. I’ve also read from reviewers that this book is quite the page-turner and takes you on a pretty wild ride, so I’m ready to strap in and go!

(You can purchase the book here or the trilogy here.)

Summer Reading

If any of these title sounds interesting to you, I invite you to read along with me this month. And if not, I hope you pick some great books to read in June.

Please stop back at the end of June to hear which books I chose to read and what I thought about them.

Happy reading, book lovers!

*Please note that I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and a member of other affiliate programs. I may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made through links in this article.

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