This is a great time to enjoy the changing leaves, mulled cider, and the remaining days of summer sun. There are so many great stories, it was hard to pick just a few. If you find something interesting, you can grab it at your local bookstore, IndieBound, Bookshop.org, or other retailer.
"Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen's sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants nothing to do with her new stepmother.
With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final heartbreaking turn." (Barnes and Noble)
Highly recommend this series if you enjoy fantasy, adventure, and humor. Sophie is not your typical twelve-year-old. Gifted, she skipped multiple grades in school and never quite fit in there or at home. When the series opens, she's struggling with all this until she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who helps reveal the truth about her abilities. Sophie must leave her family for a new world full of beauty, power, and hidden secrets. She has a big heart and a strong will. It's easy to root for Sophie and her friends as they learn, grow, and face multiple enemies. There are several books in this popular series, the next releases in 2022.
Part of The Best American Mystery Stories 2020 collection, this story had me at courthouse, and again with "JURIES ARE HUMAN!" I enjoyed the premise and the characters. Cassandra Howard is recruited to work on a pilot program using technological surrogates instead of live jury members. A sympathetic defendant, vocal opposition to the program, an eager judge, and her father's declining health make for an interesting read.
This short story appears in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine September/October 2021 issue. Melissa is a single mom trying to keep her head above water. She takes on extra summer work driving an ice cream truck, and is put in a precarious (sticky) situation when her landlord repeatedly harasses her, despite the fact he's married. Worried for her safety and for her son's, Melissa must figure out how to handle her dirty landlord. The ending is the cherry on top.