5 Addictive, New (and from Last Year) Mysteries We Can't Put Down

Looking to travel far, far away—and solve a few murders? Pick up these fresh, smart reads for fall.
Island of Bones

Island of Bones

384 pages; Penguin Books
Anatomist and amateur detective Gabriel Crowther believes that the summer of 1783 will be just like any other: hot, muggy and full of medical research. Then he's unexpectedly summoned to investigate a body discovered on the grounds of his family's estate, by none other than his estranged sister. He arrives with his fellow sleuth, Harriet Westerman, at the grand English home, only to begin tracking a killer who disposes of several villagers, including the owner of a small museum. The meticulous Crowther is an enjoyably oddball character, but Westerman is one of the most appealing female characters to ever appear in historical fiction. (Note: she also stars in the two other books in this series, neither of which need to be read to understand Island of Bones). A lover of high-seas adventure, a recent widow and single mother of two, Westerman struggles to find a place for herself in a world that keeps telling her to stay home and be quiet like the rest of the ladies in petticoats, and stays. Though the two solve the case together, it's she who reminds the austere scientist that while facts are crucial, in mysteries, as in life, following your emotional intuition is what makes for the most accurate—and satisfying—conclusion.
— Nathalie Gorman