Agatha Christie, fiction, Mystery

Mystery Book List

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Cozy Mysteries

We love Cozy Mysteries. Most cozy mysteries take place in small, picturesque towns or villages, with characters who you could envision having as neighbors or friends. Mystery Cozies are great to curl up with in a storm, by the fireplace or on the beach. We have compiled a great list of Cozies for you to explore.

Familiar Motives / Delia James. After learning that she comes from a family of witches – and adopting a familiar named Alistair – artist Anabelle Britton has made beautiful Portsmouth, New Hampshire her home. Togther with her coven, this good witch is trying to put a stop to magic and murder most foul. When Anna takes Alistair to see local veterinarian Ramona Forsythe, they meet the most famous cat in town: Ruby the Attitude Cat, spokes-feline for a pet food brand. But then Ramona turns up dead and Ruby goes missing. It seems like the murderer used magical means, so it’s up to Anna and Alistair to catch the killer and cat-napper as only a canny cat can.

Another One Bites the Crust (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander.  Torte–the beloved small-town bakeshop run by Jules Capshaw–is set to hit the stage. But who would have guessed that murder would makes a surprise appearance? It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead.

Class Reunions are Murder / Libby Klein.  For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn’t just awkward–it’s deadly. Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion–especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event . . . Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact.-Provided by publisher.

Death in the Stacks : a Library Lovers Mystery by Jenn McKinlay. Lindsey Norris and her staff are gearing up for the Briar Creek Library’s annual Dinner in the Stacks fund-raiser. The night of dinner and dancing is not only a booklover’s dream–it’s the library’s biggest moneymaker of the year. But instead of raising funds, the new library board president is busy raising a stink and making the staff miserable. Although Olive Boyle acts like a storybook villain, Lindsey is determined to work with her and make the event a success. But when Olive publicly threatens the library’s newest hire, Paula, Lindsey cracks like an old book spine and throws Olive out of the library. The night of the fund-raiser, Lindsey dreads another altercation with Olive–but instead finds Paula crouched over Olive’s dead body. Paula may have secrets, but Lindsey and the rest of the crafternooners know she’s not the one who took Olive out of circulation. As the plot thickens, Lindsey must catch the real killer before the book closes on Paula’s future.–Provided by publisher.

Potions and Pastries : a Magical Bakeshop Mystery by Bailey Cates. In this New York Times bestselling mystery series, witch Katie Lightfoot bakes enchanted treats–and faces more than her fair share of toil and trouble…. It’s been exactly two years since Katie and her aunt and uncle opened the Honeybee Bakery, where they serve delicious–and bespelled–treats to the good people of Savannah. After a dinner celebrating the bakery’s anniversary, they all take a stroll along the waterfront and meet Aunt Lucy’s friend Orla, a colorful character who has been telling the fortunes of locals and tourists alike for years. The next day, Orla meets with what seems like a terrible accident, but Katie’s witchy intuition tells her it was something more sinister. Together with her trustworthy coven and her firefighter boyfriend, she’ll race to find out what happened to the unfortunate fortune-teller before the piping hot trail goes cold….Provided by publisher.

Honey baked homicide by Gayle Leeson. The owner of a delightful Southern caf#65533; tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . . It’s fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers’ Down South Cafe has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she’s happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon’s body outside the caf#65533; early one morning. As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects–and they’re all buzzing mad. She’ll have to use all of her skills–and her Southern charm–to find her way out of this sticky situation…Provided by publisher.

The Ghost of Christmas Past : a Molly Murphy Mystery by Rhys Bowen. “Semi-retired private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan is suffering from depression after a miscarriage following her adventure in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906. She and her husband, Daniel, are invited for Christmas at a mansion on the Hudson, and they gratefully accept, expecting a peaceful and relaxing holiday season. Not long after they arrive, however, they start to feel the tension in the house’s atmosphere. Then they learn that the host couple’s young daughter wandered out into the snow ten years ago and was never seen again.  No ransom note. No body ever found. Molly slowly begins to suspect that the occupants of the house know more than they are letting on. Then, on Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door and a young girl stands there. ‘I’m Charlotte,’ she says. ‘I’ve come home'”– Provided by publisher.

Of Books and Bagpipes : a scottish bookshop mystery / Paige Shelton. “Delaney Nichols has settled into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. While taking in the sights of the distant Highlands from the castle’s ramparts, Delaney is startled when she spots a sandal-clad foot at the other end of the roof. Unfortunately, the foot’s owner is very much dead.  As Delaney rushes to call off some approaching tourists and find the police, she comes across the book Oor Wullie, its pages torn and fluttering around a side wall of the castle. Instinct tells her to take the pages and hide them under her jacket. It’s not until she returns to the Cracked Spine that she realizes just how complicated this story is and endeavors to untangle the tricky plot of why someone wanted this man dead, all before getting herself booked for murder”– Provided by publisher.

Iced under / Barbara Ross. The snow is deep in Maine’s Busman’s Harbor and the mighty rivers are covered in ice. Julia Snowden and her mother, Jacqueline, are hunkered down for the winter when a mysterious package arrives. Inside the mystery package is an enormous black diamond necklace that once belonged to Julia’s great-grandmother and disappeared in the 1920s.  Julia’s search for clues takes her on a perilous journey through her mother’s troubled family history.  Praise for Musseled Out “This cozy series continues to stand out with its exceptional plotting, intriguing storylines, and authentic detailing of the lobstering life.” — RT Book Reviews

Hark the Herald Angels Slay / Vicki Delaney  Santa’s summer vacation plans turn deadly in this festive mystery from the author of Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen and We Wish You a Murderous Christmas . The town of Rudolph, New York, has the Christmas spirit all year long–but when homicide heats up a summer holiday, it’s up to shop owner Merry Wilkinson to wrap up the case.

Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall : A Mystery / Dennison, Hannah When a body is discovered in the grounds on Honeychurch Hall suspicion falls on the folks in the village. And, as the body count begins to build our heroine Kat Stanford becomes inextricably embroiled in the ensuing scandal. Are the deaths the result of a local vendetta, or could they be connected to her mother’s unusual (to say the least) past?

Due or die / Jenn McKinlay Answering tricky reference questions is excitement enough for library director Lindsey Norris, until a murder is committed in her cozy hometown of Briar Creek, Connecticut. The question of who did it must be answered before someone else is checked out–for good.

The cat sitter’s nine lives / Blaize and John Clement. “Dixie Hemingway is back in this ninth installment of Blaize Clement’s beloved cozy mystery series, now written by her son John using Blaize’s extensive notes and outlines for future books. This book starts off with a bang — literally. Dixie is driving alongside the beachside road that runs through the center of her hometown when she’s witness to a terrible head-on collision. Ever the hero, she springs into action and pulls one of the drivers from his car just before it explodes in flames. A little shaken but none the worse for wear, Dixie proceeds to her local bookstore where she meets Cosmo, a fluffy, orange tomcat, and Mr. Hoskins, the store’s kind but strangely befuddled owner. The next day, the driver whose life she saved claims that he is Dixie’s husband, both Cosmo and Mr. Hoskins disappear without a trace, and a mysterious phone call from a new client lures her to a crumbling, abandoned mansion on the outskirts of town. Soon Dixie finds herself locked in a riddle of deception, revenge, murder, and mystery”– Provided by publisher.

YA books with Small Casts, but Big Suspense

Focusing on just a few characters, these YA thrillers and mysteries are packed with subterfuge, subtle clues, and lots of tension. Click on the book title to place your Otis Library holds!

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The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab: Former best friends Ariel and Sera must work together to survive when terrorists attack Ariel’s birthday, intent on getting at her father, a rich industrialist.

The Compound by S A Bodeen: After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that his father has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all.

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks: Sixteen-year-old Linus Weems, a street person since leaving his wealthy father’s home, is kidnapped and taken to an underground bunker where he is soon joined by five others, ranging in age from nine to seventy, who are alternately cared for and tortured by their unseen captor.

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller: Exhausted and rebellious after three years of working for her father and mothering her brother, eighteen-year-old Arcadia “Cadie” Wells joins two cousins who are camping their way through Florida, soon learning that one is a murderer.

We Were Liers by E. Lockhart: Spending the summers on her family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer.

What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott: A hiking trip in the woods in upstate New York is out of the comfort zone for sixteen-year-old city girl Callie Velasquez, but she wants to bond with her new friends Lissa and Penelope, not to mention her new boyfriend, Jeremy–however, nothing could have prepared her for the true human darkness that waits for her in the wood.

All the Truth That’s In Me by  Julie Berry: Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters: In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to seances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

Extra Credit: Adult Fiction

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.

Suspense and Psychological Mysteries

Suspense is the element of both fiction and some nonfiction that makes the reader uncertain about the outcome.

The psychological thriller books have as focus the mental state of the main characters and what the actions of one impacts another. These novels are really not so much about action or detectives solving crimes, but more about drama and mystery overall with the suspense coming from the mind, rather than from physical hurt.

The chalk man : a novel / C J Tudor: “Narrated by ‘Eddie’ who receives a chalk drawing of a stick figure that hurtles him back to an innocent childhood game 30 years before which went terribly, terribly wrong. As history begins to repeat itself, it seems the game was never really over” — Provided by The Bookseller.

City of endless night / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: When Grace Ozmian, the beautiful and reckless daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, first goes missing, the NYPD assumes she has simply sped off on another wild adventure. Until the young woman’s body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, the head nowhere to be found.

Force of nature : a novel / Jane Harper: When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path. But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Unbound / Stuart Woods: “Stone Barrington has wiggled his way out of some tricky situations before, but his latest adversary might pose the biggest threat he’s ever faced. This time, it will take every bit of his shrewd cunning to come out on top.” — From Amazon.com.

Bonfire : a novel / Krysten Ritter: Successful environmental lawyer Abby Williams is forced to confront her small-town past while investigating a high-profile corruption case back home.

The breakdown / B. A. Paris: “If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside–the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby. The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt. Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her… –Provided by publisher

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