March Wrap Up


The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward
A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty
The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl
Firestarter by Stephen King
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
The Lost Man by Jane Harper (audiobook/read combo)
The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz
The Breakdown by B.A. Paris (audiobook)
Overkill by Vanda Symon

10 books (2 audiobooks)
3,370 pages
Top 3 Reads: My Lovely Wife, The Stranger Diaries, & Firestarter

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to finish wrapping up reviews and get this post together! March ended out of nowhere for me apparently!

This month I was very fortunate to have a stack of new releases to read and review. BEAUTIFUL BAD was a book that I told you all in an earlier post that I could not wait to read. I was lucky enough to win a copy from a giveaway and couldn’t contain my excitement! This book started off so strong and I loved all of the back and forth between narrators and timelines, but something about the ending just didn’t work for me. It was too over-the-top and predictable, which was a shame because I loved it so much until then.

A BEAUTIFUL CORPSE came to me courtesy of Minotaur Books. I knew that this was the second book in a series and I had high aspirations of reading the first book prior to this one, but it didn’t happen. After checking with a couple other bloggers, I was assured I could jump in and have no issues. They were right and I was blown away by how good this book was! I am 100% planning to pick up a copy of THE ECHO KILLING, which is book one soon. I also heard great things about the audiobook, so that’s on my radar as an option as well.

Instagram’s Criminally Good Book Club voted on THE LOST MAN by Jane Harper for their March selection and I couldn’t have asked for better timing! I had won my copy from a giveaway about a week before. It was really hard to wait to read this one, but I’m glad I got to discuss it with the group. I wouldn’t rank THE LOST MAN as high in my reading stack as Harper’s THE DRY, but it’s definitely still a highly recommended read!

This month was a pleasant mixture of new-to-me authors and authors whose books I had loved in the past. One of those past author loves is Kjell Ola Dahl, otherwise known as the Godfather of Nordic Noir. Dahl has this title for good reason and his standalone, THE COURIER truly solidified my enjoyment of his writing. This story was a mixture of historical fiction and crime fiction, which is something I have been growing my interest in recently. This book is incredibly well done and I strongly recommend it to lovers of both genres!

I always look forward to what books will come along with my monthly Night Worms subscription box. Things have been going strong for me with success across the titles included in the box, as well as me keeping up with reading them all! This month I found my first dud with WILL HAUNT YOU, which sadly didn’t work for me and I ended up DNFing. THE NIGHTMARE GIRL more than made up for that! I have been eyeing Jonathan Janz’s books for an eternity and just about danced my way to the mailbox when I saw this book was included. I fell hard for Janz’s writing, his characters, and everything about this book! I will be continuing my Janz journey throughout the year.

On the list of authors who have succeeded in blowing me away with their writing you can find B.A. Paris. I loved everything about her debut novel, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. I immediately asked for THE BREAKDOWN the Christmas after it released and have been a terrible bookworm in letting it carry on living unread on my shelf since then. I finally decided to pick up the audiobook and loved it! The story isn’t quite as intense as Paris’ debut, but it’s a solid sophomore novel with an addictive reading quality.

I often find myself looking for those addictive reads that you just can’t put down and OVERKILL certainly checked all the boxes to earn that title. I watched all the reviews flow in for the blog tour of this book last year, but never did settle on committing to ordering it from Book Depository. Finally, when I learned that it was actually the launch of a series and that book 2 would be releasing in the UK soon, I knew I needed to get to it! I was blown away by the originality behind this story and can’t wait to carry on with THE RINGMASTER!

It’s so hard to pick favorites each month, but I’ve come to enjoy the ritual of determining a my top 3 monthly reads. This time it was much harder than usual! As you can tell from my earlier rants, I had a fantastic stack of book enter my life in March! What better place to start a top 3 than with the book that stole the show first? THE STRANGER DIARIES swept me away into a captivating story with a Gothic vibe that I could not get enough of. I was entirely engrossed with story, the mystery, and the women tell me their side of events.

FIRESTARTER was our March King read-along selection and I went into this one blind. I remember hearing about it forever ago, thinking that it sounded good, but because it’s not as commonly talked about by Constant Readers, I wasn’t sure what to prepare myself for. I loved it! This book combines science fiction/mystery/horror into an unbelievably brilliant storyline! The story also centers around a child, which are some of my favorite characters to witness King bring to life.

Hype can easily build up a base for a book, but it can also lead to epic letdown for some readers. MY LOVELY WIFE is an highly talked about book in the bookstagram/blogging community and these people, as well as the synopsis, told me I needed to get my hands on a copy. They weren’t wrong! I couldn’t put this book down and found myself binge reading constantly. The story is just so darn good! It’s got drama, murder, and just enough twists to make you walk away deviously happy!

Here’s to April reads! Happy reading!

Interested in snagging a copy of any of these books? Check them out here!:

BEAUTIFUL BAD: Amazon | Book Depository

A BEAUTIFUL CORPSE: Amazon | Book Depository

THE LOST MAN: Amazon | Book Depository

THE COURIER: Amazon | Book Depository

THE NIGHTMARE GIRL: Amazon | Book Depository

THE BREAKDOWN: Amazon | Book Depository

OVERKILL: Amazon | Book Depository

THE STRANGER DIARIES: Amazon | Book Depository

FIRESTARTER: Amazon | Book Depository

MY LOVELY WIFE: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

Disclosure: Thank you to  Orenda Books, Minotaur Books, Park Row, Flatiron, and Berkley  for sending me  free copies in exchange for an honest review.

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