Add Mystery & Thrills to Your 2016 Beach Reads


HELP written in a bottle

By Katherine Sharma

It’s time to pack for that summer vacation, including, of course, a couple of mysteries or thrillers to get the heart pounding and the blood chilled despite the lazy, sunny days ahead.

roadHere are some reviewer-favored suggestions that you may also want to add to your beach reading list. John Hart, who has won two Edgar Awards back to back, returns with the crime thriller Redemption Road, in which damaged yet courageous North Carolina police detective Elizabeth Black, who is white, faces a media a circus and the prospect of criminal charges after gunning down two black men sexually abusing 18-year-old Channing Shore in an abandoned house.


missing girlsNorth Carolina features again in All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, a noted YA author with an adult fiction debut: A prep school counselor makes a return visit to her North Carolina hometown–and the unsolved disappearance of her best friend after their high school graduation a decade earlier.




let me dieLet Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy, another Edgar winner, evokes Southern gothic tradition with her tale of two families, first in 1936 and then in 1952, and an evil passed down the generations in a small Kentucky town.





girl gardenThe Girls in the Garden by New York Times best-selling author Lisa Jewell leaves the South and takes us to a midsummer night’s party for neighbors on a communal garden square in London. But the secure urban oasis is shattered when preteen Pip discovers her 13-year-old sister lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a rose garden, drawing the reader into a mystery about the dark games children and adults play.



little liesMemory, madness and lies also bring danger to psychiatric ward resident Dr. Zoe Goldman in Little Black Lies by Sandra Block. Goldman is dedicated to helping patients but she is also wrestling with her own demons, seeking to piece together the truth of her mother’s death from nightmares about a fire and her adoptive mother’s dementia-tattered memories.

For more Publishers Weekly “best summer reads” in the mystery category, check out


Katherine Sharma’s family roots are in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. But after her early childhood in Texas, she has moved around the country and lived in seven other states, from Virginia to Hawaii. She currently resides in California with her husband and three children. She has also traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia, and makes regular visits to family in India. After receiving her bachelor’s degree. in economics and her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan, Katherine worked as a newspaper and magazine writer and editor for more than 15 years. She then shifted into management and marketing roles for firms in industries ranging from outdoor recreation to insurance to direct marketing. Although Katherine still works as a marketing consultant, she is now focused on creative writing.

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