A honeymooner’s paradise, a long, hot summer in an English country garden, a Sicilian home full of vino and laughter—all of these locations are infinitely preferable to a gray, wet Seattle that has been feeling positively dystopian. Since early December, the last time we saw sun according to reliable sources, we've been dreaming of escape. Perhaps disappearing into a few sun-soaked thrillers will chase the winter blues away?
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
What starts out as a dream honeymoon in paradise goes seriously sideways when newlyweds, experiencing some financial issues back in real life, go scuba diving and make a shocking discovery. Blame it on the heat, but they consequently make some questionable choices. Aside from the stunning Bora Bora location, the appeal of this Reese pick is putting yourself into their shoes and wondering, if the life you dreamed of were within your grasp, how far would you go to grab it?
The Dry by Jane Harper
Back in his hometown twenty years after an incident in his teens forced Aaron and his father to move away from Kiewerra, Aaron is now a Federal Police investigator, investigating a murder/suicide involving his childhood partner-in-crime, Luke. Something about Luke’s death doesn’t add up, but the investigation grinds its gears as the town once again turns its back on Aaron. Throw in one of the worst droughts in a century, and the heat is turned up in more ways than one in this stunning debut.
Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller
The plot of Bitter Orange is the very definition of slow burn but that’s only partly why it’s included here. An old woman looks back at the summer of 1969 and the crime that occurred that summer, a crime that that reverberates through the years. The setting is a dilapidated English country mansion, in which Frances discovers a peephole, beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, which enables her to spy on a beautiful couple below, Peter and Cara. As a hot, decadent summer goes by, the lives of these three become entwined and the line between right and wrong becomes blurred.
Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Inspired by noir classics such as The Postman Always Rings Twice, Sunburn is a novel of psychological suspense, with two lovers locked in a dangerous game of brinkmanship. Polly and Adam meet at local tavern in the tiny town of Belleville, DE. They each say they are just passing through, yet something compels them both to stay. Over the course of a hot, steamy summer they engage in a hot, steamy affair. But when someone dies, which of the lovers will be left standing?
Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
When Auntie Poldi, a stout German widow, retreats to Sicily to spend the rest of her days by the sea with a good glass of wine, she’s unprepared for a late-in-life career as an amateur sleuth, hunting down the person who murdered her handsome handyman. But that’s what happens, as Poldi, a loud, cheerful woman, puts the loose in loose cannon by beginning a love affair with a smoldering police inspector, chasing down false leads, and confronting Mafiosi in the hot Sicilian sun. Smart, funny, endearing, and maddening in equal measure, the Sicilian Lions are no match for Poldi.
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
The Widows of Malabar Hill serves up a satisfying helping of the heat, the color, the flavors, and the bustle of 1920s Bombay, together with a locked door mystery that manages to spotlight the evolving roles of women, in this delightful historical. Fans of Maisie Dobbs or Bess Crawford will thrill to a story about a fiercely independent, convention-busting, working woman who uses the gender-biases of the establishment to her advantage as she investigates fraud, and then a murder, in a cloistered house. The Deluxe Paperback Edition features an interview with the author, and even delicious recipes taken from the story.