Flyleaf's Favorite Mysteries & Thrillers of 2023
An absolute master class in voice and atmosphere, Kala is dark, twisty, and gorgeous. The story unfolds through the eyes of three narrators—Helen, Joe, and Mush—who spent the summer of their fifteenth year moving as a pack, a whirlwind of angst and love and longing sweeping through their small Irish hometown, until one of their number disappeared. Now in their early 30s, the three reflect on that tumultuous season of life, during which they came into & out of themselves and everything changed. Melancholic, human, gritty and tender and lovely. --Talia
A page-turner with a social justice twist: an intriguing new protagonist tells about the struggles of New Zealand's Indigenous peoples while finding her way as a female Detective Inspector in a nearly all-male force. --Jamie F.
A completely immersive & twisty mystery that keeps you guessing, featuring a lovable crook of a narrator who you're rooting for the entire time. Great fun! --Maggie
In this gripping locked-room mystery, five young writers are forced to compete against each other to win favor from an eccentric, reclusive, bestselling author, with deadly results. --Maggie
Six of the best amateur bakers have gathered at legendary baker, Betsy Martin's, ancestral estate to compete in the famed "Bake Week." With a new co-host and some of the hardest challenges to date, these bakers are in for the week of their lives. Who will bring home the Golden Spoon? And will they all make it out alive? --Jamie K.
The first Black sheriff in a small town struggles not only with racism but his own issues as he tracks down a serial killer. Cosby’s writing is smart and his pacing is swift. --Jamie
The cover really says it all—a scuba diver investigating his father's death is swallowed by a sperm whale and proceeds to encounter every manner of wild scenario. The pressure gauge sets the tempo counting down the minutes of oxygen left, encouraging breathless reading to find out what happens next. Oh and the giant squid beak? Gah! --Elese
Like the cliff side of Hope's End, this story's trust and paranoia are precarious and untethered—threatening to destroy the delicate house of cards at any moment and giving your mind a haunting game of Clue, worth reading for the twists alone. It's an invitation to reflection on control, guilt, and the nature of wrongdoing. --RC
This twisty historical mystery surprised me at every turn! I was completely immersed in the 18th century with every evocative description, yet Red, our orphaned heroine, has a terrifically modern sense of self-preservation. If you like Dickens or The Essex Serpent, give this book a try. --Maggie
If you loved Big Little Lies, you'll enjoy this contemporary domestic thriller set in London, featuring a cast of disingenuous posh mums and the unsolved murder of one of their nannies. Cleverly layered until the very end, I stayed up way too late with this one and fittingly ignored my family while reading it. --Maggie
As mysterious as the sea on a cloudy day, this expertly layered atmospheric thriller will keep you completely bewitched until the last page. --Maggie