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For Readers

Highly Rated Must Read Mystery Novels

By: Hidden Gems on October 19, 2021

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on October 19, 2021


Each and every week, subscribers to Hidden Gems are offered FREE books to download, read, and review – from any or all of over 15 different genres. Today we’re going to highlight five mystery novels that have left our readers raving and begging for more. If you’re looking for the perfect escape from reality you’ll love getting to the bottom of these page-turning mysteries.


Headlines, Deadlines and Lies

Headlines, Deadlines and Lies by Stephanie LaVigne

If you like quirky amateur sleuth heroines, intriguing puzzles, and slow-burn romance, then you’ll love Stephanie LaVigne’s new series, The Sunshine State. A story about friendship, family, and finding your passion, Headlines, Deadlines & Lies is a genealogical mystery novel set in a charming beach town along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“This was a truly marvelous mystery!” writes Anthony A. in his 5-star review. “The author perfectly captures the warmth and wit that the cozy mystery genre often has. The relationship between the protagonist and the cast of characters felt real and relatable all at once. Getting an intimate look into the protagonist’s life as a single mother and aspiring writer was emotional and heartfelt, and the author really captured the author’s mental and physical journey as she underwent this adventure. The real defining moment or aspect of this novel had to be the setting of the novel. The cozy mystery novel typically conjures up a cold, wintery setting in some small New England or English town. Yet the author has flipped the script in the best way possible, taking readers to a sunny destination like Florida and still keeping the theme and tone of coziness and suspense that the genre is known for. A masterful, expertly crafted, and engaging read, author Stephanie LaVigne’s “Headlines, Deadlines, and Lies” is a must-read and satisfying read. The characters immediately draw the reader in with their authenticity and charm, and the evolving mystery keeps readers invested in this narrative wholeheartedly.”

Pamela M. writes in her 5-star review, “I loved this book with engaging characters you want to know more about and a wonderful genealogical mystery including some great twists and turns. I knew as soon as I started reading, I wouldn’t be able to put this book down until I read the last word. I felt an immediate connection with Piper Harrington, a single mom raising two kids while trying to reach her professional dream and loved her dynamic with the other characters especially her family, best friend “Boots” and the handsome crime reporter J.P. Dean. If you enjoy intriguing puzzles and a feel-good read about friendship, family, and finding your passion, you will love Headlines, Deadlines and Lies by gifted author Stephanie LaVigne.”

Schemes and Bad Dreams - Mitzy Moon mystery novel

Schemes and Bad Dreams by Trixie Silvertale

A real fan favorite amongst Hidden Gems readers! Many have been fortunate to read several of the Mitzy Moon Mysteries through our program and are always delighted to see a new title pop up from Trixie Silvertale.

Schemes and Bad Dreams is the 15th book in this hilarious paranormal cozy mystery series.  If you like snarky heroines, supernatural intrigue, and a dash of romance, then you’ll love Silvertale’s crooked caper.

“This series is so well written, and this is the best yet,” raves Kindle Customer in their 5-star review. “An old friend comes to visit Mitzy, and they end up kidnapped. No one, including Mitzy, know where they are. She tries everything she can to get out, but nothing works. Then Phyllis, a ghost, appears, and starts talking to Mitzy. The more Phyllis talks, the more it helps. Meanwhile, Ghostma and Erick are frantic, but one little clue from Pyewacket helps bunches. It’s a great story that I couldn’t put down. So do I want Trixie to keep writing them? You betcha! Don’t ever move from Pin Cherry Harbor!”

In her 5-star review, Angie G. says, “OMG! Loved the new book in this series. Mitzy has a surprise visit from an old friend from her old life in Arizona. They have a few drinks and next thing you know, she wakes up kidnapped by who knows who. I love that you get a little bit of Sheriff Too Hot to Handle’s mom. I also thought it was a great part of the story that ghostma and pyewacket help him with the investigation. It was a very original plot and kept me sucked into the story. If you haven’t gotten into this series, you need to start reading because it just gets better and better!”

Nickel City Crossfire

Nickel City Crossfire by Gary Earl Ross

From Edgar Award-winning playwright, novelist, public radio essayist, and popular culture scholar, Gary Earl Ross, Nickel City Crossfire is a non-stop thrill ride with an impressive 4.7 average star rating on Amazon.

“One of the best reads in a while for me,” raves Alan J. in his 5-star review. “We’ve all read murder mysteries. We like them and if we’re fans we find most of them good reads. But this one is different. It starts out looking like a simple murder, looking like an overdose with one murder and one survivor. But soon enough we find out it’s much more than that. The main character, Gideon Rimes utilizes all his resources to solve this one as he turns into a target himself. The author explains every situation in a way that makes you feel like you are right there, I mean right there and almost a part of it. This book takes you down a road that makes you think about what’s happening and then what is about to happen. The best part of this mystery is that all the answers don’t just pop up at the end of the book like most. Everything kind of falls into place. You are surprised, but then you say, “oh yeah!” I read this book much faster than most. Why? Because I couldn’t put it down. “

“I love when I find a new author that blows me away!” says Nora. H in her 5-star review. “Gideon Rimes reminded of Alex Cross. He knows everyone and his mind is constantly working to solve the mystery. He’s a PI that’s been hired to find a missing young woman. The earliest accounts of what happened to her become so far from the facts of what’s really going on it’s mind boggling! There’s a plethora of amazing characters that just make the story more exciting. The author writes about real life issues in this story and does it such a way that had me thinking about my reaction to these issues. This is an author I will continue to read and will be waiting not so patiently for the next in this series. A must read!!”

The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales - Destiny Falls mystery novel

The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales by Elizabeth Pantley

In the third book of the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series, Hayden’s adventures continue in this gripping story that answers your questions about the mysterious world she entered through a mirror in book one, Falling into Magic. We learn more about her missing mother, whose story begins in book two, The Disappearance of Emily.

“I enjoyed the previous two books, but I LOVED this one!” writes B.J.T. in their 5-star review. “It has he perfect mix of humor, mystery, romance, and magic. After reading several ‘heavy’ books, this light and fun reading was exactly what I needed. The characters are delightful and wonderfully developed. Hayden has found a remarkable family that she did not know existed before coming to Destiny Falls; I love the relationship she is developing with all of them. And there must be romance; two hot men – which will Hayden fall for? I even like the cranky old evil witch; she is hilarious. And the Secret Cat Society? Awesome! I love sassy Latifa and her feline friends Chanel, Marshmallow, and adorable little Lola. In this book, the cats are showcased quite a bit more as they join Hayden in trying to solve the mysteries. Hayden is trying to develop a closer connection with Cleobella. And we meet a new character – Bear. I would love one of his ‘bear’ hugs. Finally, some secrets are revealed. And these secrets are HUGE. Secrets about the islands of Destiny Falls and Gladstone. Secrets about Hayden and Axel’s mother who disappeared shortly after Hayden’s birth. As one question gets answered, two more are created. Some great twists and turns. Definitely kept me hooked. Destiny Falls continues to be totally magically enchanting. You never know what to expect. You will not want to put this book down.”

“I hope I do not have to wait very long for Book 4.” Monam says in their 5-star review, “I don’t know how I’ll wait for the next book of this series to be published. I’m so hooked and there are so many questions yet to be answered. Book 3 definitely revealed quite a bit but also gave us more questions. This is definitely a series that must be read in order. So many wonderful, mysterious characters and the town is just as charming and mysteries as the people. It will keep you guessing. Plenty of shocking twists and some really wonderful relationships (not just romance). It has quickly become one of my favorite series.”

The Mountain View Murder

The Mountain View Murder by Patrick Kelly

If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love this new series from Patrick Kelly.

Diane K. writes in her 5-star review, “This perfectly paced mystery offers an engaging whodunnit, along with a light mature romance subplot and interesting, authentic details about mountain life. The hero is drawn reluctantly out of retirement to help with the case. I found him likable and relatable. Will definitely read more by this author.”

“Wonderful characters are woven into a suspenseful whodunnit that will make you laugh and cry,” raves Kathy in her 5-star review. “Welcome to The Wintergreen Mystery Series. It’s going to be a fun ride! Kelly’s newest series whisks us away to the Virginia mountains, the possibility of new love and murder. Bill O’Shea chose to retire in the comfortable hamlet of Wintergreen, ready to kick up his feet and enjoy the wonders of nature around him. But when an old man is hit by a car and killed on a mountain road, the town’s small police department is faced with answering the question of who was driving that car and was this an accident or a murder? The acting chief of police knows he’s in over his head, and turns to Bill, who’d put 35 years in the Columbia police department before retirement. Soon Bill finds himself embroiled in the investigation of what really happened to the victim. Immediately things start smelling wrong. No one, including family, appears to be upset that the victim is dead. Everyone in the small town seems to have a secret. At the climax of the book, Bill finds himself in a gunfight on top of a mountain (if you can call it a gunfight if only the bad guy has a gun) and an answer that suits the surrounding jagged mountains and the peaceful Shenandoah valley below.”

Hidden Gems readers got to read these books for free, so if you want more intriguing mystery novels that make you wonder, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. Authors send these out in the hopes that the readers will write an honest review on Amazon once they’re done.

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