Goodreads Project: Part 3, Mystery and Thriller

Goodreads Project: Part 3, Mystery and Thriller

I’m working on a project in which I read a book from each of the fifteen categories Goodreads uses in its best books of the year contest. The first category was fiction. You can see my comments on that category here. The second category was Historical Fiction. My comments are here.

The third category was Mystery and Thriller. I’d already read The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman. But by the rules of my project, I had to choose a new book. I selected The River We Remember by William Kreuger.

The Book I’d Already Read

The Last Devil to Die is part of Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series. I love this whole series about old people investigating murders in the retirement community where they live. I think this book is possibly the best since the first one.

Elizabeth, Ron, Joyce, and Ibrahim investigate the murder of an old friend. That’s intriguing. But what I really liked about this book was the further character development that takes place. It’s hard to keep showing new sides of a character in a long-running series, but Osman does a wonderful job here. Joyce looks more bold. Ibrahim reveals a sad part of his past. And Elizabeth suffers a loss.

Additionally, the book is lovely blend of serious and comic.

Yay for old people! Books don’t have to be about the young to speak to a wide audience.

The New Book

I’d enjoyed a couple of Krueger’s previous books, so I chose his River We Remember. By the way, research shows that a previous good experience with an author is the most common reason readers choose a book. (The second most common is a recommendation from a friend, so don’t hesitate to tell other people about books you enjoy.)

This book is set in a small town in Minnesota in the 1950s. There’s an ensemble cast, but the main character is the town sheriff, Brody Dern. The mystery starts with the murder of a man whom nobody likes. Suspicion immediately falls on Noah Bluestone, a Native American who came back from the war with a Japanese wife. There’s good reason to suspect Noah, but prejudice against both him and his wife leads some townsfolk to judge first and gather evidence later. Brody tries to learn what happened, all the while dealing with his own bad war memories and turbulent private life.

This book worked really well for me. I didn’t want to put it down–except for one occasion when I was so worried about a kid character that I had to walk away for a while. I recommend it.

The Project So Far

As I look at the three categories I’ve finished, I enjoyed my choices from Fiction and from Mystery & Thriller. I was less satisfied with the Historical Fiction category. I think that when an author chooses a historical era to explore, that choice is often laden with unspoken reasons. The book resonates with a reader if the reasons resonate too.

I move on to the Romance category with some trepidation. I don’t usually read romance. But then, reading more widely is one of the goals of this project. Onward!


An Amazon reviewer characterized The Trickster as “a less intense Game of Thrones meets Pirates of the Caribbean.” A pickpocket girl and a smuggler’s son put together the puzzle of where treason lies in Lac’s Holding. Also, there’s a dog!


Bookshop (alliance of independent bookstores)

Inspired Quill (the small press publisher, a UK-based social enterprise)

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