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Book Beat: Short Stories, Cozy Mysteries, & More


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Welcome to Book Beat!

Book Beat aims to highlight other books that we may hear about through friends, social media, or other sources. We could see a gorgeous ad! Or find a new-to-us author on a list of underrated romances! Think of Book Beat as Teen Beat or Tiger Beat, but for books. And no staples to open to get the fold-out poster.

Dead Flip

Dead Flip by Sara Farizan

Author: Sara Farizan
Released: August 30, 2022 by Algonquin Young Readers
Genre: Horror, LGBTQIA, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult

Edge-of-your-seat YA horror perfect for fans of Stranger Things

Growing up, Cori, Maz, and Sam were inseparable best friends, sharing their love for Halloween, arcade games, and one another. Now it’s 1992, Sam has been missing for five years, and Cori and Maz aren’t speaking anymore. How could they be, when Cori is sure Sam is dead and Maz thinks he may have been kidnapped by a supernatural pinball machine?

These days, all Maz wants to do is party, buy CDs at Sam Goody, and run away from his past. Meanwhile, Cori is a homecoming queen, hiding her abiding love of horror movies and her queer self under the bubblegum veneer of a high school queen bee. But when Sam returns—still twelve years old while his best friends are now seventeen—Maz and Cori are thrown back together to solve the mystery of what really happened to Sam the night he went missing. Beneath the surface of that mystery lurk secrets the friends never told one another, then and now. And Sam’s is the darkest of all . . .

Award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine and Here to Stay Sara Farizan delivers edge-of-your-seat terror as well as her trademark referential humor, witty narration, and insightful characters.

Billed as Jumanji meets Stranger Things!

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Death by Bubble Tea

Death by Bubble Tea by Jennifer Chow

Author: Jennifer Chow
Released: July 5, 2022 by Berkley
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: LA Night Market #1

Two cousins who start a food stall at their local night market get a serving of murder in this first novel of a delicious new cozy mystery series by Jennifer J. Chow, author of Mimi Lee Gets a Clue.

When Yale Yee discovers her cousin Celine is visiting from Hong Kong, she is obliged to play tour guide to a relative she hasn’t seen in twenty years. Not only that, but her father thinks it’s a wonderful idea for them to bond by running a food stall together at the Eastwood Village Night Market. Yale hasn’t cooked in years, and she hardly considers Celine’s career as a social media influencer as adequate experience, but because she’s just lost her job at her local bookstore, she feels she has no choice.

Yale and Celine serve small dishes and refreshing drinks, and while business is slow, it eventually picks up thanks to Celine’s surprisingly useful marketing ideas. They’re quite shocked that their bubble tea, in particular, is a hit–literally–when one of their customers turns up dead. Yale and Celine are prime suspects due to the gold flakes that Celine added to the sweet drink as a garnish. Though the two cousins are polar opposites in every way, they must work together to find out what really happened to the victim or the only thing they’ll be serving is time.

We can always use more foodie cozy mysteries.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

I Choose Darkness

I Choose Darkness by Jenny Lawson

Author: Jenny Lawson
Released: September 29, 2022 by Amazon Original Stories
Genre: Memoir, Novella

From cheap costumes to creepy dolls to questionable candy, number one New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson weaves a hauntingly hilarious account of her ongoing—sometimes outrageous—Halloween life.

The holly-jolly holidays aren’t for everyone, least of all when you look back on that one Christmas when there were two definitely haunted dolls waiting for you and your sister under the tree. You have to assume that’s where it all started.

And so it was for Jenny Lawson. Now, she lives in the land of eternal Halloween, as evidenced by her interior decor and general state of darkness. (Although, if you ask her, her taxidermy zoo is less dark, more delightful. But not everyone has taste, so what are you going to do?)

This essay takes Jenny back to where it all started, from her humble beginnings as a trick-or-treater in the 1980s, on high alert for (logistically improbable) candy laced with razor blades and the (allegedly) ever-present threat of satanists on the loose. From there, she has risen from the candy-wrapper ashes of her childhood to claim her rightful lifestyle as the queen of Halloween.

This is a short story by Jenny Lawson. We’ve loved Lawson’s memoirs here, and I’m eager to know what shenanigans she gets up to for Halloween.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

Will Do Magic for Small Change

Will Do Magic for Small Change by Andrea Hairston

Author: Andrea Hairston
Released: October 11, 2022 by Tor.com
Genre: Historical: American, Historical: European, Historical: Other, LGBTQIA, Science Fiction/Fantasy

“[A] beautifully multifaceted story… Highly recommended.” —The New York Times

Andrea Hairston’s historical fantasy Will Do Magic for Small Change presents a tale of alien science and earthbound magic and the secrets families keep from each other.

Cinnamon Jones dreams of stepping on stage and acting her heart out like her famous grandparents, Redwood and Wildfire. But she’s always been theatrically challenged. That won’t necessarily stop her! But her family life is a tangle of mysteries and secrets, and nobody is telling her the whole truth.

Before her brother died, he gave Cinnamon The Chronicles of the Great Wanderer—a tale of a Dahomean warrior woman and an alien from another dimension who perform at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. They are a story of magic or alien science, but the connection to Cinnamon’s past is unmistakable.

When an act of violence wounds her family, Cinnamon and her theatre squad determine to solve the mysteries and bring her worlds crashing together.

Andrea Hairston’s Redwood and Wildfire was favorably reviewed and I believe this one is tangentially related.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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