In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed self-published titles, we highlight a thriller about a man drawn into a deadly mystery by his deceased doctor, a collection of devotionals, a sci-fi mystery, and more.

The Smart One

Drew Yanno

Plot: An unnamed narrator receives a list of apparently unrelated and unfamiliar names after the death of his former family doctor. But the list soon draws him into a mystery that has him running for his life.

PW’s Takeaway: An outstanding Hitchcockian thriller... The twists are surprising.... The spare prose a good match for the fast-moving plot.

Comparable Titles: Desperate, Before He Finds Her

Sample Line: “Ironically, I keep mentioning life when, in fact, it was death that started the ball rolling....”

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My Temporary Life

Martin Crosbie

Plot: Crosbie tells the story of Malcolm Wilson, from his school days to his meeting, decades later, with a beautiful woman with a mysterious secret.

PW’s Takeaway: Crosbie’s novel captivates from the get-go with spine-tingling drama and penetrating character portrayals.

Comparable Titles: This Boy’s Life, The End of Eddy

Sample Line: “Numbers don’t vary. They don’t stray. If a series of numbers add, or multiply, or subtract a certain way today, they’ll do that over and over again tomorrow, without fail.”

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Journey to Peace

Keanna Barnes

Plot: Barnes collects 31 devotionals to help mothers process the grief of miscarriages and stillbirths.

PW’s Takeaway: Barnes’s writing is intimate.... The daily meditations are quick doses of hope.

Comparable Titles: What Was Lost, From God’s Word to a Woman’s Heart

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D.H. Richards

Plot: Set in a fantastic multilevel city, the novel follows small-time fixer Talbot Singh’s investigation of a murder that is more than it appears.

PW’s Takeaway: The superior worldbuilding offers plenty of potential for a sequel.

Comparable Titles: James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series

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Judah’s Scepter and the Sacred Stone

D.A. Brittain

Plot: A princess flees Jerusalem, meeting the son of a king in Egypt, where an attraction develops.

PW’s Takeaway: An engrossing tale of faith and love.

Comparable Titles: Connilyn Cossette’s Out from Egypt series

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