Debra Bokur

fire thiefThe first in an excellent new series, Bokur hits all the right buttons. Her mystery is set on the island of Maui and revolves around Police Chief Walter Alaka’i and his niece, Detective Kali Māhoe. The plot is tight and fast moving – a surfer who dies mysteriously, …

Erle Stanley Gardner

the knife slippedAuthor Gardner is best known for his long-running Perry Mason series of books, tv shows and movies. But his lesser-known, but equally enjoyable, Cool and Lam series is definitely worth a read. The Knife Slipped is described as a “lost” book, but in reality it was more …

Richard Osman

Osman’s debut murder mystery is, in a word, adorable. The popular British tv presenter and comedian has written a sweet, funny, poignant and also truly excellent murder mystery. His elderly crime-solvers, four retirees at an exclusive retirement community, are fearless and brilliant. The two hapless police officers trying …

John Dickinson Carr

Dickinson Carr is considered one of the classic “vintage” (though possibly second-tier) mystery writers. He’s up there with likes of Pim, Tey, and Marsh. But if Castle Skull sounds like the title a seventh-grader would give their first novel, you wouldn’t be far off. There is nothing …

You can’t help but compare Marsh to Agatha Christie as a grande dame of murder.  After all, Marsh invites you to with the quote “It’s time to compare Christie to Marsh instead of the other way around.” – Dily Winn, New York Magazine printed on all of her books.

The …

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

Mycroft Holmes had three major strikes against it – 1. written by a celebrity 2. co-written with a  professional writer and 3. a story in a major and wildly popular canon. However, after reading an excellent op-ed written by Abdul-Jabbar in the Washington Post, …

Jane Willan

The author the Sister Agatha mysteries, Reverend Jane Willan, does a wonderful job evoking the peaceful life of a rural Welsh Abbey. Of course, being a mystery, there is plenty of murder and mayhem. But like many of the best mystery authors, the whodunnit is second to the …

Tim Myers

Set in rural North Carolina, innkeeper Alex Winston struggles to keep his one-of-a-kind inn open. Despite being miles from the sea, his inn features a full-size replicate of the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. The series is a pleasant, low-key look at life in a beautiful, small town – …

Lorraine Bartlett

Author Lorraine (or LL) Bartlett writes the thoroughly enjoyable Booktown mystery series, a definite must-read for cozy fans. However, she has a  lesser-known series that is, in many ways, more compelling.

Bartlett’s Jeff Resnick series follows a former insurance adjuster, now part-time bartender. After a nearly fatal mugging, …

Kelley Armstrong

This atmospheric mystery is a gripping read. Homicide Detective Casey Duncan has a nasty secret in her past and a best friend who she is trying to protect from an abusive ex. When things come to a head, the two decide to drop out of society. They are …

Susan Cox

This book was humming along, being all wonderful and and stuff.  And then it ended!  The nerve! Worse, it is Cox’s first and was just published (Dec. 2015). Despite these short-comings, I would highly recommend picking up The Man on the Washing Machine. Theo Bogart, looking to escape …

Case of the Gilded FlyEdmund Crispin

Crispin is one of those golden-era British mystery authors that is too little known today. His Oxford don, Gervase Fen, is funny, snarky, whitty, absent-minded and brilliant. Whirling from one unlikely event to another, finding clues (and only clues) in the oddest places, Fen and associates solve crimes …