Mystery

India!

Meet Vish Puri, India's most private investigator. Portly, persistent, and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swath through modern India's swindlers, cheats, and murderers.In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centers and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri's main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests.But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri's resources to investigate. How will he trace the fate of the girl, known only as Mary, in a population of more than one billion? Who is taking potshots at him and his prize chili plants? And why is his widowed "Mummy-ji" attempting to play sleuth when everyone knows mummies are not detectives?With his team of undercover operatives -- Tubelight, Flush, and Facecream -- Puri ingeniously combines modern techniques with principles of detection established in India more than two thousand years ago -- long before "that Johnny-come-lately" Sherlock Holmes donned his deerstalker.The search for Mary takes him to the desert oasis of Jaipur and the remote mines of Jharkhand. From Puri's well-heeled Gymkhana Club to the slums where the servant classes live, his adventures reveal modern India in all its seething complexity.

Bruno, chief of police by 1947 January 23- Martin Walker
Also available in: audiobook

France!

Walker pens the first in a wonderful series that follows the exploits of Benoit Courreges, affectionately nicknamed Bruno, the chief of police in a small French village in the South of France where the rituals of the caf still rule.

The janissary tree by 1964- Jason Goodwin
Also available in: e-audiobook

Turkey!

It is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the Sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim Lastname, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world. You see, Yashim is a eunuch.He leads us into the palace's luxurious seraglios and Istanbul's teeming streets, and leans on the wisdom of a dyspeptic Polish ambassador, a transsexual dancer, and a Creole-born queen mother. And he introduces us to the Janissaries. For 400 years, they were the empire's elite soldiers, but they grew too powerful, and ten years ago, the Sultan had them crushed. Are the Janissaries staging a brutal comeback? The Janissary Tree is the first in a series featuring the most enchanting detective since Precious Ramotswe of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Splendidly paced and illuminating, it belongs beside Caleb Carr's The Alienist and the historical thrillers of Arturo Perez-Reverte.

An amateur sleuth, an unsuspecting victim, a quirky supporting cast, and a trail of clues and red herrings are the main ingredients of a cozy mystery. The term “cozy” was coined in the late 20th century and, in a cozy, it is not that person alone who fights the battle for justice. Many times, the protagonist is surrounded by a group of family and friends (and animals!), who are cheering her on to solve the crime. Source.

Below are a few cozy mysteries that feature animals as integral characters...

Probable claws by Rita Mae Brown
Also available in: large print

Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her friends and animal companions pursue the threads of a mystery dating back to Virginia's post-Revolutionary past, when their 18th-century predecessors struggled with the challenges of the fledgling country. In the present day, Harry's new friendship with Marvella Lawson, doyenne of the Richmond art world, leads her to rediscover her own creative passions-- and reveals evidence of an all too contemporary crime.

It’s February, prime foxhunting season for the members of Virginia’s Jefferson Hunt Club, when a shocking event alarms the community. A woman is found brutally murdered, stripped naked, and meticulously placed atop a horse statue outside a tack shop. The theft of a treasured foxhunting prize inside the store may be linked to the grisly scene, and everyone is on edge.

With few clues to go on, “Sister” Jane Arnold, master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, uses her fine-tuned horse sense to try to solve the mystery of this “Lady Godiva” murder. But Sister isn’t the only one equipped to sniff out the trail. The local foxes, horses, and hounds have their own theories on the whodunit. If only these peculiar humans could just listen to them, they’d see that the killer might be right under their oblivious noses–and that Sister could become the killer’s next victim. 

Comanche Captive by D. Laszlo Conhaim

Scott Renald is an Indian agent searching for white captives. Laura Little is a former captive seeking her Comanche-born son. They meet unexpectedly on the high plains. Touched by her story, Renald leads Laura's search while hostile tribesmen pursue them. Word of their predicament reaches Fort Sill, and agents are dispatched to grab her and recall him. Meanwhile, the army prepares for war with the Comanche. Circumstances propel all into a heart-wrenching and bloody conflict of competing loyalties and surprising discoveries against the scorched backdrop of the Staked Plain.

Also available in: print

"Be kind and have faith." Ella Troyer strives to abide by her mother's final words, although life in the small Amish town of Echo Creek isn't always easy. Her new stepmother, Linda, treats her coldly, and her two stepsisters, Drusilla and Anna, delight in gossip and laziness. After her father's death, Ella's stepsisters are free to attend youth singings while Ella stays at home to manage the household chores, rarely seeing another soul. Until one day, while running an errand, she has a chance meeting with a young Amish man from a nearby town. Drusilla and Anna are full of admiration for charming, affluent newcomer Johannes Wagler, and Linda hopes to ensnare him as a husband for one of her girls-- while keeping Ella out of the way. As for Hannes, he longs to catch another glimpse of the mysterious young woman who can sing so sweetly and bake the most delicious pie he's ever sampled. Now, with a little help from some unlikely sources, Ella dares to hope she might find her heart's dearest wishes-- for love, family, and a home of her own-- coming true at last.

Also available in: print

A poignant, evocative, and wonderfully gossipy account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else--Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill--from the authors of Furious Love.

When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie's thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees--but nothing to her. "I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime," read Jackie's final testament. Drawing on the authors' candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style.

In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty--in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry--and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father's favorite, and Lee, her mother's. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.

Murder on the Orient Express: a Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie is one of the author's most famous mysteries. The story was inspired by two real-life crimes and the author's own experience being stranded on the Orient Express during Christmas of 1931.

In the book, the dapper detective Hercule Poirot, for whom murder-solving is a precise, intellectual exercise, agrees to interview all aboard the famous train's Calais coach, hoping to find the killer of an American millionaire before the local police arrive.

If you enjoy fast-paced mysteries like Murder on the Orient Express, then you may enjoy...

Also available in: audiobook

In 1914, a bold young American names Mary Russell meets a retired beekeeper in the English countryside. His name is Sherlock Holmes. And though many years have passed since he astonished Watson by solving Scotland Yard's most baffling crimes, the Great Detective is no fool. He instantly spots a fellow intellect in Mary. When his greatest enemy returns with a fiendishly resourceful plan for revenge, Holmes knows he faces the case of his lifetime - and that he needs Mary's help to solve it.

Also available in: audiobook

Nurse Hester Monk and her husband, William, commander of the Thames River Police, do desperate battle with two obsessed scientists who in the name of healing have turned to homicide. The monomaniacal Rand brothers--Magnus, a cunning doctor, and Hamilton, a genius chemist--are utterly ruthless in their pursuit of a cure for the fatal "white-blood disease." In London's Royal Naval Hospital annex, Hester is tending one of the brothers' dying patients--wealthy Bryson Radnor--when she stumbles upon three weak, terrified young children, and learns to her horror that they've been secretly purchased and imprisoned by the Rands for experimental purposes. But the Rand brothers are too close to a miracle cure to allow their experiments to be exposed. Before Hester can reveal the truth, she too becomes a prisoner. As Monk and his faithful friends--distinguished lawyer Oliver Rathbone and reformed brothel keeper Squeaky Robinson among them--scour London's grimy streets and the beautiful English countryside searching for her, Hester's time, as well as the children's, is quickly draining away.

The acclaimed author of the phenomenal Sookie Stackhouse novels, Charlaine Harris introduces a Southern librarian whose bookish bent for murder gets her involved in real-life mysteries.

Real Murders--

Georgia librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden belongs to a club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. But after she finds a member dead, killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss, Roe has to uncover the person behind a terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects-or potential victims.

A Bone to Pick--

When a deceased acquaintance names Roe as heir to a substantial estate, which includes money, jewelry-and a house complete with a skull hidden in a window seat-Roe concludes that the elderly woman has purposely left her a murder to solve. She must identify the victim and figure out which one of Jane's ordinary-seeming neighbors is a murderer-without putting herself in deadly danger.

Author Alexander McCall Smith's popular series the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency features the character Mma Precious Ramotswe from Botswana. Precious is a detective who feels that solving mysteries is more than just solving an individual's problem--it is about understanding people and their ins and out.

If you enjoy an engaging mystery with lively and interesting characters, then you may enjoy...

Pardonable lies by Jacqueline Winspear

A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world. In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission also brings her together once again with her college friend Priscilla Evernden, who served in France and who lost three brothers to the war―one of whom, it turns out, had an intriguing connection to the missing Ralph Lawton.

Working with her retired CIA friend John Farrell, Mrs. Pollifax must smuggle a manuscript out of Jordan, a document that encodes the shocking truth of Saddam Hussein's reign.

Hardly are the two airborne when the coils of Middle Eastern intrigue begin to unwind. Mrs. Pollifax's seatmate is not the affable Arab businessman he pretends to be. It is not imagination that persuades Mrs. P. that wherever they go, she and Farrell are followed. To elude their pursuers in such a politically volatile country isn't easy. In fact, it can be downright deadly. . . .

Do you enjoy Stephanie Plum? Author Janet Evanovich has described Ms. Plum as a combination of Nancy Drew and Dirty Harry, and "incredibly average yet heroic if necessary." Source.

Below are other mysteries with strong female heroines that you may enjoy...

Y is for yesterday by Sue Grafton

Kinsey Millhone monitors the release from prison of a sociopath who is determined to exact revenge on a fellow perpetrator who went missing after they sexually assaulted a fourteen-year-old classmate.

First grave on the right by Darynda Jones

Using her ability to see ghosts in her work as a private investigator, Charley Davidson begins experiencing intense sensual dreams about a mysterious entity that has been following her throughout her life.

 

If you enjoy the American Girl mysteries or mini-mysteries, you might enjoy some of these titles.

Fiction

The dark lady by Irene Adler

While on summer vacation at the seaside, twelve-year-old Irene Adler meets the young Sherlock Holmes, and his friend Arsène Lupin-- and when a dead body floats ashore the three young friends set out to solve the mystery.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: July 26, 2018

Girl waits with gun by Amy Stewart
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | large print

Constance Kopp doesn't quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters from city to country fifteen years ago. When a powerful, ruthless factory owner runs down their buggy, a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their farm. The sheriff enlists her help, and it turns out Constance has knack for outwitting (and disarming) the criminal element that might just take her back out into the world and onto a new path in life. 

 

Quick-witted and full of madcap escapades, Girl Waits with Gun is a story about one woman rallying the courage to stand up for and grow into herself--with a little help from sisters and sheriffs along the way.
 

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On the coattails of "Y is for Yesterday," we bid adieu to mystery writer Sue Grafton today. Known for her long running alphabet mystery series featuring the rough and tumble Kinsey Millhone, Grafton and her character carried the torch of female writer/protagonist predecessors as a mainstay in the genre for over three decades. Grafton also wrote and adapted several screenplays for TV and film. Celebrate her works and her life with the books we have in our print, audio, and digital collections. 

Y is for yesterday by Sue Grafton

Kinsey Millhone monitors the release from prison of a sociopath who is determined to exact revenge on a fellow perpetrator who went missing after they sexually assaulted a fourteen-year-old classmate.

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