Fall Reading: A Few of My Favorite Mysteries

MysteryFavesQuieter Than Sleep by Joanne Dobson

“Karen Pelletier abandoned her life in New York for a professorship at Massachusetts’s elite Enfield College. But she quickly learns that New England is not the peaceful enclave she had imagined–and that not even the privileged world of academia is immune to murder….Professor Karen Pelletier’s prime literary passion is poet Emily Dickinson–a passion she shares with her hotshot colleague Randy Astin-Berger. Heir apparent to the head of Enfield’s English department, the pompous Randy is the campus Casanova. That is, he was–until he was found strangled with his own flashy necktie. The last person to see Randy alive–and the first to find him dead–Karen knows she must solve the case before she becomes the prime suspect. But to do that, she must first discover the truth behind Randy’s final Dickinsonian discovery–a literary bombshell that may well have been to die for….”

Still Life by Louise Penny

“Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more but Gamache smells something foul this holiday season…and is soon certain that Jane died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.”

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King

“In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles onto him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern, twentieth-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past.”

The Man with a Load of Mischief (A Richard Jury Mystery) by Martha Grimes

“At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer. Except for one Melrose Plant. A keen observer of human nature, he points Jury in the right direction: into the darkest parts of his neighbors’ hearts…”

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

“Reminiscent of imaginative fiction from Jorge Luis Borges to Jasper Fforde yet dazzlingly original, The Manual of Detection marks the debut of a prodigious young talent. Charles Unwin toils as a clerk at a huge, imperious detective agency located in an unnamed city always slick with rain. When Travis Sivart, the agency’s most illustrious detective, is murdered, Unwin is suddenly promoted and must embark on an utterly bizarre quest for the missing investigator that leads him into the darkest corners of his soaking, somnolent city.”

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