This week, our first two Sneak Peeks are unusual, beautiful literary mysteries. Both of their protagonists travel to their respective hometowns to uncover dark secrets within their families and within themselves. Our third selection is a sharp analysis of labor justice and the fight for a higher minimum wage, written by a leader in the movement. Read on!

Five words: Magical realist mystery in Ireland. Mahony was abandoned as a child, left on the steps of an orphanage. He’s grown into a charmer and a car thief, living in Dublin, but when he received an anonymous note alluding to potential foul play in his long-lost mother’s disappearance, he returns to his home village. Havoc ensues; the town’s denizens definitely don’t know what to make of Mahony. He partners with Mrs. Cauley, former actress and current anarchist, to uncover the truth about his mother. Himself by Jess Kidd is spooky and funny, chockfull of eccentric characters and plot twists.

Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell is addictive: darkly comic and mysterious. Helen Moran is getting by in New York City when she receives The Phone Call: Her adoptive brother has killed himself. Helen buys a one-way ticket to Milwaukee to investigate his death. Cottrell formerly described Sorry to Disrupt the Peace as an anti-memoir—like one of her characters, she, too, is a Korean adoptee—but in a recent interview, she declared, “My novel is a work of imagination…The experience of reading a novel is always more powerful and moving if I know nothing about the writer’s life or his or background.”

Jonathan Rosenblum has worked as a labor organizer for over 30 years. He was instrumental in achieving a $15 minimum wage in Sea-Tac, Washington. Sea-Tac airport employees, community organizers, labor rights advocates, and members of the clergy banded together, and Rosenblum documented their victory in Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement. This book is on Curious Iguana’s list of recommendations for Read Broader in the category “Justice for All.”

This week’s Indie Next List releases:

  • Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens (thriller)
  • The Wanderers by Meg Howrey (literary sci-fi)
  • One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel (literary fiction)

Other notable releases:

  • Born Both: An Intersex Life by Hida Viloria (memoir)
  • The Optician of Lampedusa by Emma-Jane Kirby (based on a true story)
  • The Idiot by Elif Batuman
  • Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future by Thomas M. Shapiro (social justice)

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy (memoir)