Vicki Vass’ Top 5 Mysteries Read During the Pandemic

Nov 11, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Vicki Vass

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

While many bemoaned the forced shelter in place orders imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, I actually enjoyed the imposition. For me, it was the perfect time to catch up on the ever-growing pile of books in TBR pile. From March to June, I managed to read almost a book a day and surpassed my annual Goodreads goal of reading 75 books by July.

Here are my top five mystery reads in no particular order. I am only choosing books I read between March 2020 and October 2020.

I’ll start with The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian which features a plot that could have been ripped from today’s pandemic-filled headlines. Emergency room doctor Alexis travels to Vietnam with boyfriend Austin. A few days into their trip, Austin goes missing, the only clue a yellow energy gel he left behind. Alexis finds herself on a mission to discover not only what happened to Austin but what substance is in the energy gel. This was a fast read and scary considering the COVID environment.

Next we move on a book that attempts to answer these questions: What if you grew up in a haunted house? What if your family fled that haunted house in the middle of the night? And what if your father wrote a famous book about that experience, creating you as the main character? That is the premise of Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark, a book that kept me up reading into the wee hours. After her father’s death, Maggie Holt returns to Baneberry Hall, the subject of her father’s famous book, House of Horrors. Maggie finds herself reliving occurrences recounted in the book and starts to believe them. This book was the stuff of my childhood nightmares, and I had to stay up to find the conclusion.

My next read was a fast-paced thriller titled The Last Flight by Julie Clark which I read in one sitting as I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. When Claire Cook decides to leave her perfect life and husband, she switches flights with Eva, a woman she meets at the hotel bar. Arriving in Oakland, Claire assumes Evan’s life but discovers all is not what it seems. The story follows Claire as she struggles to reclaim her previous life.

In The Holdout by Graham Moore, defense attorney Maya Searle finds herself confronting her past. Ten years before she convinced her fellow jurors that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock was innocent of killing a wealthy white female student. When a documentary crew interviews the jurors ten years later, Maya finds herself proving her innocence when one of the jurors is found dead in her hotel room. This book raised questions of who done it, leaving me to guess up until the ending.

Lastly, I read all three thrillers by the writing duo of Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen, including The Wife Between Us, An Anonymous Girl, and You are Not Alone. All three of them were fast reads, but I will focus on my most recent read <em>You Are Not Alone where Shay Miller finds herself enthralled with the glamorous Moore sisters. She increasingly finds herself trying to meld into their world, but is she losing herself? And will she survive this friendship?

Honorable mentions include the Night Swim by Megan Goldin which has a true-crime podcaster Rachel searching for answers in a small coastal town where the local hero, a swimmer, is accused of violently raping the granddaughter of the police chief. Rachel finds herself investigating past wrongs in this mystery that ultimately lead to putting herself in jeopardy.

So, there you have it, my top mystery reads during this Pandemic. Onto the growing pile of TBRs on my shelf. Please share your thoughts or reads as I’m always looking for recommendations.

Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the near-real adventures of her best friends, Anne and CC, in the Antique Hunters Mystery series. The sixth book in the series, White Rabbit’s Tale, was recently released. She also writes the Witch Cat Mystery series based on her real-life feline companions, Pixel and Terra.

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 Play, and Spotify. A new episode just went up.

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

Vicki Vass is the award winning author of the Antique Hunters Mystery Series. Murder for Sale, the first book in the series, was a finalist in the Mystery & Mayhem Contest. She also writes the Witch Cat Mystery Series. Follow her on Facebook: Vicki Vass—Author page or on her Vicki’s Cozy Corner blog.

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.


  1. Thank you for taking time to post your reviews.

  2. Trying to find out if Vicki Vass has written her book – The Witches’ Apprentice.


    Betty Lou


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