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Updated by Jen Blair on Dec 05, 2023
Headline for Winter Break 2022 - End of Year - Best Mystery/Thrillers
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Winter Break 2022 - End of Year - Best Mystery/Thrillers

Edge-of-your-seat books that will keep you up all night.

Five Survive by Holly Jackson | Goodreads

Five Survive - Holly Jackson

I mean, just look at that darn title. You know someone is going down. (And, as you read it, there is definitely one person you want to go down.) But the unpredictability of it all… Secrets! Betrayals! Plot twists! And so much blood…

From the publisher:
Grades 9 and up.
Red Kenny is on a road trip for spring break with five friends: Her best friend--the older brother--his perfect girlfriend--a secret crush--a classmate--and a killer. When their RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, they soon realize this is no accident. They have been trapped by someone out there in the dark, someone who clearly wants one of them dead. With eight hours until dawn, the six friends must escape, or figure out which of them is the target. But is there a liar among them? Buried secrets will be forced to light and tensions inside the RV will reach deadly levels. Not all of them will survive the night.

Foul Lady Fortune (Foul Lady Fortune, #1) by Chloe Gong | Goodreads

Foul Lady Fortune - Chloe Gong

Spies, war, romance... It's all here. I’m here to tell you that there were two plot reveals that made me gasp out loud. Literally. Just a roller-coaster ride of a book. Not to be missed.

From the publisher:
Grades 9 and up.
In 1931 Shanghai, two Nationalist spies pose as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders causing unrest in the city.

Nine Liars (Truly Devious, #5) by Maureen Johnson

Nine Liars - Maureen Johnson

If you have not read any of the Stevie Bell mysteries yet, you should get on it. They are all fabulous - each one better than the last. But you don’t need to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one. If you’re in the market for the perfect British Country House mystery, have I got the book for you.

From the publisher:
Grades 8 and up.
David invites Stevie and her friends to join him for study abroad, and his new friend Izzy introduces her to a double-murder cold case: In 1995, nine friends from Cambridge University went to a country house and played a drunken game of hide-and-seek. Two were found in the woodshed the next day, murdered with an ax.

The case was assumed to be a burglary gone wrong, but one of the remaining seven saw something she can't explain. This was no break-in. Someone's lying about what happened in the woodshed.

Seven suspects. Two murders. One killer still playing a deadly game.

Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus | Goodreads

Nothing More to Tell - Karen McManus

This is the book that the term “page-turner” was invented for. I read it all in one sitting.

From the publisher:
Grades 9 and up.
Brynn Gallagher uses her internship at a new true crime show to investigate the unsolved murder of her favorite teacher, uncovering secrets about her school, her teacher, and her ex-best friend in the process.

Reader, I Murdered Him by Betsy Cornwell | Goodreads

Reader, I Murdered Him - Betsy Cornwell

If this cover isn’t enough for you to want to run out and read this book? I don’t know what to tell you.
But what if you knew it was about Jane Eyre’s charge, Adele?
And what if I told you it’s about a young woman in 19th Century England determined to fight misogyny and male sex offenders? Even willing to kill to protect the young women she loves? Sold.

From the publisher:
Grades 9 and up.
Attending boarding school in London, Adele enters the glittering world of society girls and their wealthy suitors, until a violent assault leads her to a roguish young con woman, and together, they become vigilantes who mete out justice.

Two Degrees by Alan Gratz | Goodreads

Two Degrees - Alan Gratz

This was a harrowing, and yet hopeful read. I literally could not catch my breath as these kids fought their way through impossibly dangerous climate-caused situations.
I hope we are finally on the path of making it right, instead of denying that climate change exists. Our kids deserve better.

From the publisher:
Grades 6 and up.
When three children endure separate climate change disasters--a wildfire in the California woods, a close encounter with a hungry polar bear in Canada, and a massive hurricane in Florid--they emerge from their experiences committed to changing the world.