Dust & Shadow, by Lyndsay Faye: What, another Lyndsay Faye novel? Yes, another Lyndsay Faye novel! My sister and I picked Dust and Shadow as our audiobook accompaniment for a road trip we took earlier this month, based on her request that it be an historical British mystery with a male narrator. Dust and Shadow fit the bill as a reimagining of the Jack the Ripper case... featuring none other than Sherlock Holmes. The novel vastly different from Seven for a Secret, but displays the same attention to historical detail and mystery that the Timothy Wilde novels do, which made it a win. (Simon Vance's narration didn't hurt, either.)
Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, edited by Sarah Weinman: Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives is a collection of 14 tales of domestic suspense written from the 1940s to the 1970s. Editor Sarah Weinman argues that these women writers write more than simple police procedurals: they "take a scalpel to contemporary society and slice away until its dark essence reveals itself: the ways in which women continue to be victimized, their misfortunes downplayed by men (and women) who don't believe them, and how they eventually overcome." It's just as compelling as that makes it sound.
The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes: Ooooh boy is this book creepy--in a good way. Mostly. Beukes has taken the traditional serial killer novel and flipped it on its head, this time featuring a serial killer who not only kills girls (whom he dubs "his Shining Girls"), but jumps through time to do it. But his last shining girl, Kirby, lives--making Harper's previously untraceable self just a little more traceable. This is one gutsy novel (both literally and figuratively), and not for the faint of heart, but damn, is it good.
Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris: In no way a new book (Ferris' debut came out in 2007), but still one of my favorites read this month--if not this year. With wit and precision and no small amount of heart, Ferris has peeled away the layers of the 9-to-5--the monotony, the office stories, the gossip, the fears, the insecurities, the layoffs, the friendships, the enemies--to craft a story with no narrator and very little plot that somehow still turns out to be engrossing. Expect more fleshed-out thoughts on this one in short order.