Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery
Mindy McGinnis, the acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, combines murder, madness, and mystery in a beautifully twisted gothic historical thriller perfect for fans of novels such as Asylum and The Diviners as well as television’s True Detective and American Horror Story.
Grace Mae is already familiar with madness when family secrets and the bulge in her belly send her to an insane asylum—but it is in the darkness that she finds a new lease on life. When a visiting doctor interested in criminal psychology recognizes Grace’s brilliant mind beneath her rage, he recruits her as his assistant. Continuing to operate under the cloak of madness at crime scenes allows her to gather clues from bystanders who believe her less than human. Now comfortable in an ethical asylum, Grace finds friends—and hope. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who will bring her shaky sanity and the demons in her past dangerously close to the surface.
“McGinnis excels at rich character development. Grace herself is flawed, complicated, and struggling with intense pain that leads her to some very dark and murky moral places where she asks people to do what may be the wrong thing but for the right reasons. This book is highly recommended.”
“A bountiful buffet of twisted, dark intrigue. While others are writing about relatively ‘normal’ heroes and heroines, McGinnis takes the less-traveled route to bring us a heroine damaged physically and mentally, and to the far reaches of her soul. McGinnis can surely tell a story.”
“Grace’s story shines. Every person she encounters, mad or trapped by the label of madness, feels achingly real. Readers will wish they could watch her and Thornhollow solve murders for pages and pages more.”
“Grace’s personal struggles to find her own place and influence her own story mirror the historical struggles of women throughout history. Fans of period pieces and crime dramas will be pleased with this haunting tale.”
“Several storylines are threaded together in this powerful and dark book, examining the line between sanity and insanity and often indicting those who get to define that line. McGinnis extends compassion to the asylum’s most helpless patients as well as the most disturbed and violent characters.”
“Brutal, relentless, and haunting. Every character in A Madness So Discreet is more colorful and unforgettable than the last. With a realistic, emotionally complex, and clever heroine, readers will find themselves rooting for Grace from page one. Her story and McGinnis’s style are too gripping to ignore.”