My COVID Mystery Binge Reading

Aug 12, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Keenan Powell

Here is out latest installment of our new column, Top 5 Mysteries I Have Read During the Pandemic, or as mystery author Keenan Powell has named hers, My COVID Mystery Binge Reading. As we continue to spend most of our time at home, we are all looking for book suggestions so we asked mystery authors and reviewers to share the top 5 mysteries they have read during this pandemic.

Slow Horses (Slough House #1) by Mick Herron
Slough House is a where the wash-up MI5 agents go. They are assigned tedious analyses projects in the hopes they will get bored and quit. Her Majesty’s government figures it’s cheaper than litigating a wrongful termination lawsuit. River Cartwright is the heart of the story. Typical of the “slow horses,” he’s searching for a way to redeem himself so he can go back to being a James Bond. When a young man is abducted and the kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading on the Internet, River sees his chance. Soon he uncovers secrets that men, and women, would kill for. It’s a spy thriller, but it is humorous and quirky without being slapstick and I love it. Tinker-Tailor meets Hitchhiker’s Guide.

The Last Trial (Kindle County Legal Thriller #11) by Scott Turow
This is Sandy Stern’s last trial. His client, Dr. Kiril Pavko, the creative genius behind a new cancer treatment drug is stood accused of murder for the deaths of people who had participated in the drug’s trials and a variety of white collar crimes for the cover-up of these deaths and insider trading. Turow’s brilliance is in developing characters that are true to life and explaining the intricacies of federal white collar crime clearly. The reasonable doubt explanation in closing arguments was one of the most easily understood that I’ve heard.

The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller #1) by Michael Connelly
I know a lot of people who liked the movie, but there is no way it is nearly as good as this book. First, movies can never replicate the intimacy of first person POV. Second, practicing law, I’ve known guys just like Mickey Haller – except for the chauffeur-driven Lincoln, of course. Third, Connelly so accurately describes the constant tension between making money and ethical representation that I googled him to see if he had practiced. He’s not even a lawyer! Someone talked!

The Cutting Place (Maeve Kerrigan #9) by Jane Casey
DS Maeve Kerrigan is assigned to investigate the murder of a young journalist, Paige Hargreaves, pieces of whom are found floating in the Thames. When Paige disappeared, she was working on a story about the Chiron Club, a private society for rich men. Together with her partner Josh Derwent, she investigates the secrets of the privileged and powerful. At the beginning of the series, Derwent was Sherlock and Maeve was Watson. Now in its ninth book, they have reached equal status. Maeve’s developing self confidence in bits and spurts. Derwent is mellowing in the same fashion. Their relationship evolves as they work a particularly grisly murder, complicated by each of their personal lives. If you haven’t read a Maeve Kerrigan book before, this book is as good as any to start with.

The Confession by Jo Spain
Julie McNamara is settling into an evening of TV with her husband, Harry, when a strange man walks into their house and beats Harry to a pulp. Julie is frozen in the moment, unable to come to her husband’s defense, afraid that when he’s dead, she’s next. Afterwards, the stranger, JP Carney, casually walks into the nearest police station and confesses, claiming he had a psychotic episode and no reason for attacking Harry. This whydunit is a gripping psychological thriller. Why did JP Carney attack Harry? Why did he confess? Is he telling the truth? Was Julie in on it? Why didn’t she come to the aid of her husband? Confession is Jo Spain’s best yet. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, you’ll love this book.

In case you would like to add Keenan’s latest book to your reading list-
Hell and High Water A Maeve Malloy Mystery by Keenan Powell
Mystery Maeve isn’t sure she’s cut out to be a lawyer. Hiding her past, she takes a kitchen job at a remote lodge while she sorts out her life. The day after she lands at Fox Island, a tourist is killed and a rampaging bear has trapped her and the lodge’s guests inside. With a storm cutting them off from civilization, the locals cops ask Maeve for help. Her cover blown, she has need to stop the killer among them before he can strike again. This story about an isolated group of people coping with the unexpected is the perfect hunker-down read.

Keenan Powell is an Agatha, Lefty, and Silver Falchion nominated author. Her latest Maeve Malloy, Hell and High Water, was released in March 2020.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A new episode went up last week!

You can use this link to purchase many of these books from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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