Women you don’t want to mess with: Women in Crime Fiction

In a genre where the general majority of protagonists and authors are male, this month’s Crime Corner is all about waving the flag for female crime authors and their razor-sharp writing coming out this July. All of these titles are led by impactful and piercing female protagonists over a range of fascinating timelines and perspectives, from a DNA expert in modern day Nottingham to a lawyer in 1920s Bombay. This month truly has some of the most nail-biting crime thrillers that will have you gripped from the first chapter — in fact, you’ll be compelled to read them from this blog alone!

After You Were Gone by Vikki Wakefield
No Exit Press | 9781915798022 | PB | £8.99 | 6th July 2023

Only a few seconds of distraction can alarmingly change your life forever… When Abbie turns away briefly from her six-year-old daughter Sarah in a busy market, she could never have been prepared to see her child vanish as though in a blink. Six years later, Abbie’s new found love and life is plagued with the trauma of that day. When she unexpectedly gets a phone call from a man who claims to know what happened to Sarah, Abbie is trapped into following his instructions or else lose the only lead to her child after a cold trail. A transfixing tense thriller that will have you on tenterhooks, this novel asks: how far would you go for your child?

Wish You Were Here by Nicola Monaghan
VERVE Books | 9780857308085 | PB | £9.99 | 27th July 2023

Whilst processing past trauma, DNA expert Dr Sian Love has settled down with her new investigative agency. When a teenage girl comes in claiming to be a missing child from a decades-old case, Sian is forced to return to revive the undercover skills she left behind. But uncovering the past is more dangerous than Sian anticipated. The second instalment in the dark and gripping Dr Sian Love series set in Nottingham, this intriguing and multi-layered crime thriller can be read as a searing standalone.

The Mistress of Bhatia House by Sujata Massey
Soho Press | 9781641293297 | HB | £26.99 | 11th July 2023

From international bestseller and award-winning author Sujata Massey comes The Mistress of Bhatia House, featuring Perveen Mistry, a sharp, uncompromising, and lovable sleuth fighting for women’s rights. Set in Bombay, India, 1922, this exquisitely detailed crime novel centres on the only female solicitor, Perveen Mistry, who witnesses an accident at a fundraiser for the new women’s hospital. The grandson of a wealthy businessman catches fire while his servant Sunanda saves him, despite suffering severe burns himself. Strangely, charges are being pressed against Sunanda from a non-existent man. Perveen takes Sunanda on as a client and takes him into her family home. However, drama and tension are rife in the Mistry household with a scandalous love affair, new parents struggling, and Perveen’s perturbed father. When another death occurs as well as a second fire, Perveen must find a way to prove Sunanda’s innocence whilst protecting her family and covering up her own secrets.

Barking Mad by Leigh Russell
Crime & Mystery Club | 9780857305688 | PB | £9.99 | 13th July 2023

The sequel to Barking Up The Right Tree, this is a heart-warming and mystery-filled cosy crime with fantastic twists and turns from million-copy bestseller Leigh Russell. Emily is finally feeling settled in her new village of Ashton Mead with her puppy, Poppy. However, things take an unexpected turn when she uncovers a body by the river. The locals suspect Emily’s new neighbour Richard, which makes things slightly awkward for Emily as she finds herself catching feelings for his attractive son Adam. Travelling to London to investigate Richard’s past, Emily quickly finds her investigations are putting her own life at serious risk with a murderer on the loose.

The Killer’s Wife by Susan Furlong
Seventh Street Books | 9781645060574 | PB | £16.99 | 18th July 2023

A fast-paced thriller for fans of Catherine Ryan Howard, Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley, The Killer’s Wife follows Kerry Grey, a woman finding herself at the wrong place and at the wrong time. When a severed finger found on her car bonnet leads to her arrest as an accomplice for three brutal murders of young women, her husband Lucas mysteriously disappears. Now released on parole, Kerry wants to reunite with her young son and start afresh. However, when a fearful vigilante group begins a hunt for Lucas for the reward money, Kerry is forced back into the horrifying ordeals of her past. It seems the only person she can turn to is her parole officer Adam Nash, though she cannot be certain of his true intentions. As things worsen, Kerry discovers her husband has secretly been sending her son carvings made from bone. With more disfigured bodies turning up that lead the law to chase after her once again, Kerry must pursue Lucas herself to end her torment.

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