Minotaur Winter Sampler: Six New Books to Make Your Heart Race
By Crime HQSeptember 28, 2021
If you can’t decide on what to read, the Minotaur Winter Sampler is the perfect way to choose. Whether you want to start a series or read a standalone novel, the Sampler has you covered. The Sampler contains the beginnings of six different mysteries, so don’t be surprised if you end up wanting to finish them all. Just download for free on your e-Reader and start your reading journey.
If you liked Sharp Objects, you’ll love A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham.
Any fan of Sharp Objects will finish A Flicker in the Dark in one sitting. You’ll see so many similarities between Sharp Objects’ Camille Preaker and A Flicker in the Dark’s Chloe Davis, as they are faced with small-town murders that remind them of their respective pasts. When Chloe was twelve years old, six girls went missing and her father confessed to the crimes. Twenty years later, Chloe has her life back on track and is now a psychologist specialized in helping young girls. That all changes when a local girl goes missing, and Chloe has to grapple with her demons and be reminded of her past trauma all over again.
If you like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, you’ll love The Night Shift by Alex Finlay.
Missing girls and potential assaults may seem like typical plot points for SVU, but Alex Finlay’s The Night Shift—Alex’s First novel since the successful debut of Every Last Fear—outlines those mysteries again. The Night Shift takes place during the chaos of December 31, 1999, the eve of Y2K when chaos and destruction were expected to happen. Though the stock markets didn’t crash and plane crashes didn’t happen, four teenage girls are attached at a Blockbuster that night. Only one survives. Fifteen years later, four more goes missing. Though the NYPD’s 16th precinct isn’t on the case, the survivor of the initial Blockbuster attack, the brother of the suspect, and an FBI agent all come together to try and solve this case.
If you liked Knives Out, you’ll love Under Lock & Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian.
A visit to one’s family home turns south when Gigi Pandian’s heroine Tempest Raj finds a dead body in her family home. Much like Knives Out, there is murder, mansions, and a family business that creates tension between the different generations. Like Harlan Thrombey’s mansion, the Raj family business specializes in creating mysteries. However, instead of publishing mysteries like the Thromby business, the Raj business specializes in building mysteries such as sliding bookcases and hidden reading nooks. Tempest discovers the dead body of her stage double in one of these hidden fixtures in her home that was supposedly sealed for over a century. Now, Tempest must solve the murder in order to prevent the curse that has haunted her family for generations from haunting her.
If you liked Clue, you’ll love The Resting Place by Camilla Sten.
Speaking of mansions, The Resting Place has a nerve-wracking and mysterious mansion setting, much like Clue, where everything is destined to go wrong. While both mansions keep their protagonists trapped throughout the story, The Resting Place is much less whimsical. The mansion itself has had a chilling history—the protagonist Eleanor walks in on the murder of her grandmother, coming face-to-face with the killer. Sadly, that’s not very helpful when one has face-blindness. Eleanor, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her lawyer all come together to solve the mystery. Unlike Clue, however, you can’t choose the ending you prefer.
If you liked American Horror Story: Murder House, you’ll love The Shadow House by Anna Downes.
A house that seems to have a mind of its own? Check. A mom who is trying to discover its secrets? Check. The protagonist and single mother of two Alex is very similar to Vivienne, as they both moved to start a new life. They both reside in a beautiful town with houses full of history. Unfortunately, not all history can be erased, and Alex is stuck dealing with events that seemed to have happened to the many occupants of the house before her. Like Vivienne and Ben Harmon, her family’s appearance in the house causes a disruption to the others residing in that house—whether they are from this world or another.
If you liked Mare of Easttown, you’ll love Pay Dirt Road by Samantha Jayne Allen.
Fans of Mare of Easttown rejoice, here’s another gritty, small-town story with a tough female protagonist. Annie McIntyre from Pay Dirt Road has her own struggles, as she grapples with being a recent college graduate with no direction forced to work for her grandfather’s private investigation firm after waitressing on the side to make a little money. After a fellow waitress goes missing, her family’s PI firm must investigate the disappearance. Despite the stress and pressure, Annie must do her job and begin an investigation that leads down rural routes and haunted byways, noxious-smelling oil fields, and the glowing neon of local honky-tonks.
Still can’t decide? The Minotaur Winter Sampler has compiled the beginnings of each of these six novels so you can breeze through them all and choose which one you want to read! Available on Kindle, Nook, Google Play, Kobo, eBooks.com, and iBooks.