Sue Grafton

The other day, my dad said “This Grafton woman has another book on the NYTimes bestseller list.  She’s up to V.  I wonder if they’re any good.  You should read one and find out.”  And I did.  And they were.  Very, very good. But then again, she IS …

Graeme KentGraeme Kent

Kent has managed to create one of the rarest of novels. Set in the Solomon Islands in the 1960s as colonial rule is disintegrating, many of the bright boys are given a European education in preparation to take over control of the country. These men vacillate between their …

The Brothers of Baker StreetMichael Robertson

Robertson’s first book, The Baker Street Letters, had an excellent premise.  Two brothers, both barristers, set up shop at 221 Baker St.  Part of their lease stipulates that they must answer all letters written to Sherlock Holmes with a form letter. The younger brother, Nigel, starts reading …

Ann Cleeves

The first in her Shetland Island thrillers, Cleeves’ story is dark and gripping.  The isolation, small-town atmosphere and like of privacy on the tiny island add to the tense atmosphere and ominous air.  Suspicion over the death of two local girls bounces from one resident to the other, …

Force of HabitAlice Loweecey

Written by an actual former nun, Force of Habit is the first in an excellent new series from Midnight Ink.  Guilia Falcone, an escapee from the sisterhood, finds her new secretarial job for a private detective to be a lot more adventure than she had planned for. The …

Following PollyKaren Bergreen

A perfect blend of mystery, chick-lit, tension and snark.  Bergreen’s heroine (of sorts) Alice acts like a real person.  She holds grudges, creates fantasies and often does nonsensical and stupid things. But they all make their own wacky, forgivable sense.  Out of work and looking to occupy herself, …

The Dexter SeriesJeff Lindsay

I don’t really want to like the Dexter series, but then have a nasty habit of being quite good. Damn them. Now also a popular tv show, Lindsay follows the life of the mild-mannered blood-spatter analyst Dexter – forensics expert by day, sociopathic killer by night. The series …

MI_head(update 1/19/16 ) Looks like Rue Morgue is no longer in business.  Boo!

Rue Morgue reprints vintage mystery titles, mostly from the UK. Many are charmingly redolent of early Agatha Christie titles. Sheila Pim’s garden murder titles, set in WWII Ireland, are especially enjoyable. The mysteries are surpassingly complex with …

The Baker Street LettersMichael Robertson

The premise of The Baker Street Letters is probably the best part of the book. Lawyer Reggie Heath rents the offices at 221B Baker Street. As part of his contract, all letters sent care of Sherlock Holmes are to be answered by a member of his staff. A …

Murder at Graverly ManorDaniel Edward Craig

By far the best mystery I’ve read in months, Murder at Gravely Manor is creepy and gripping. Former hotel manager Trevor Lambert decides that his life-long ambition is to own a B&B, despite never having mentioned this ambition previously. When he finds that he eccentric Lady Gravely …

Some Danger Involved Will Thomas

I really enjoyed Thomas’ series of books featuring enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his Welsh assistant Thomas Llewelyn. While their clients are often wealthy aristocrats, the people they associate with and investigate live on the margins of proper Victorian British society – Jews, Asians, Irish terrorists and the …

Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May SeriesChristopher Fowler

Bryant and May, Fowler’s irascible, crabby and ancient detectives totter through this wonderful series. Set in London, the detectives and their “Peculiar Crimes Unit” investigate offbeat murders. The books are wonderfully filled with details about historic London, esoteric religions, hidden underground spaces, cults and creepy post-mortem anomalies. Do …

A Thief of TimeTony Hillerman

I recently discovered Hillerman’s wonderful writing. This is no great feat. Somehow I managed to be completely unaware of him, despite his 114 titles in the library. Hillerman writes tight, intense murder mysteries set in New Mexico and Arizona. His characters are tribal police and local law enforcement …

Iron LakeWilliam Kent Krueger

The owner of Booked for Murder in Madison sold me on this title and an excellent call on her part. But then again, she owns a murder mystery store and lets her dog room free in it, so hey. Apparently part of a series, this Cork O’Connor …