Jennifer Chow’s Top 5 Mysteries I have Read During the Pandemic

Sep 2, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Jennifer Chow

Here is the latest installment of our new column, Top 5 Mysteries I Have Read During the Pandemic, this one from mystery author Jennifer Chow. 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.

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha
A shocking crime is at the heart of this novel that mines tense racial relations between a Korean-American and an African-American family with intertwined histories. Rooted in an authentically detailed Los Angeles, Cha pens an illuminating work about racism, family, and society. Your House Will Pay is a taut novel that features a raw and gripping storyline.

Iced in Paradise by Naomi Hirahara
A cozy mystery set in Hawaii with a shave ice theme and a feisty young protagonist, Leilani Santiago. As always, Hirahara does an excellent job of infusing interesting historical and contemporary details into her story. I particularly liked the insider’s perspective on living in the Islands as opposed to the typical Mainlander view. This is a literary treat that’s as delicious as a bowl of cool shave ice on a hot summer day.

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
A gripping courtroom drama centered on the sudden explosion of a hyperbaric chamber; a book filled with a cast of characters who are all hiding explosive secrets of their own. Miracle Creek is a whiplash-inducing book, and the story propels you forward page by thrilling page. Kim does an excellent job of balancing varied perspectives while building up the tension until the final reveal.

The Study of Secrets by Cynthia Kuhn
English professor Lila Maclean finds her sabbatical sabotaged when a body shows up in the study of the Victorian mansion where she’s staying. I loved the atmosphere of both the Victorian house and the small town of Larkston. The tangled web of suspects in a place where everyone grew up together and all have their insider secrets left me guessing until the very end. The literary references throughout the novel also add an extra layer of fun.

The Distant Dead by Heather Young
A literary thriller that exhumes the secrets not only of the burned body discovered in the high desert hills but of a small Nevada town that’s never seen such a grisly crime before. The Distant Dead is a captivating novel told with spectacular skill by Young; she does a fabulous job of weaving distant and near timelines to eventually unfold all the hidden surprises within. It’s a beautiful book with both layered mystery and meaning that may take multiple reads to fully excavate.

Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, the first in A Sassy Cat Mystery series, is a light-hearted whodunit which features pet groomer Mimi Lee. When Mimi is implicated in the murder of a local dog breeder, she needs to partner with her sassy talking cat Marshmallow to get herself off the suspect list. Named a fun beach read by POPSUGAR and listed in She Reads and Reader’s Digest, reviewers have called it “a sparkling series launch” and “irresistible.”

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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 goes up next 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:

Jennifer J. Chow writes A Sassy Cat Mystery series (Berkley/Penguin Random House) and the Winston Wong Cozy Mysteries under J.J. Chow. She’s active in Sisters in Crime and Crime Writers of Color.
Connect with her online at and on Twitter and Instagram @jenjchow.

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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