Detective and mystery stories
"'Oh, Damn!' said Lord Peter Wimsey at Piccadilly Circus." Thus begins what may be one of the greatest detective series ever written. If you like mysteries set in England at the time between the World Wars, you need to try the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, by Dorothy Sayers.
The last time we saw our three heroes, Anthony Lockwood, George and Lucy, they had spent a night in the most haunted house in England and conquered a feisty and persistent ghost at the bottom of the Screaming Staircase. However, six months have passed since the incident made them famous, and Lockwood & Co. are not seeing any progress toward their goal of becoming London’s (and the World’s) most successful modern-day ghost agents. To make matters worse, Fittes Agent Quill Kipps and his team of young bullies are consistently on their backs.
The Final Silence starts with a locked door.
Middle-aged Rea Carlisle, daughter of a prominent Northern Ireland politician, has inherited her Uncle Raymond’s unusual house after his suicide. It takes little time to deal with her uncle’s few possessions, and every room (besides one) has been sorted and cleaned. The remaining locked door leads to what seems to have been Uncle Raymond’s upstairs office, and Rea can’t figure out why it’s sealed off. Once she pries open the door, she immediately realizes the answer to that daunting question.
Nursing her aunt during her last illness was not how Victorian socialite Emily Radley expected to spend her holiday season. The forlorn and frozen Irish village is a far cry from London’s fashionable drawing rooms, but in Anne Perry’s A Christmas Grace, that is where she finds herself. Far away from her sleuthing sister Charlotte, it is up to Emma to unravel yuletide secrets.
Looking for a mystery with great characters and a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Read The Girl Next Door, by Ruth Rendell.
Six decades after World War II, construction workers uncover a tin box containing two skeletal hands. The ensuing police investigation leads to the reunion of six friends who decades before had lived and played in the neighborhood where the hands were found. Old friends will reunite, a marriage will break up, and a past crime will be solved.
William Kent Krueger has yet again captured his mystery readers by storm in his thirteenth installment of the Cork O’Connor series, Windigo Island. In the middle of a large and dangerous electrical storm, the body of a young Ojibwe girl washes up on the shores of Lake Superior, Minnesota, bruised and severely abused.
The Next Life Might Be Kinder, by Howard Norman, has one of those great first lines: “After my wife, Elizabeth Church, was murdered by the bellman Alphonse Padgett in the Essex Hotel, she did not leave me.”
There are a few authors whose new books I anxiously await. Tana French is one of those authors, and her newest book, The Secret Place, did not disappoint.
Still Life, Louise Penny’s debut novel and the first book in a series, introduces readers to Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec. The mystery opens with Jane Neal, a 76-year-old woman living in the village of Three Pines, being found dead on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Martha Grimes’ Vertigo 42 unfolds with Detective Superintendent Richard Jury meeting with a man who wants him to look into the long-ago death of his wife Tess. At the time, it was ruled an accident, but he has always wondered, and Jury agrees to help him. In the course of his investigations, another death takes place—that of a young woman beautifully dressed and found at the bottom of a tower. Piece by piece, the plot evolves, and the two separate cases become one. In fact, they both turn out to be linked to a still earlier case, a child’s death at a party given by Tess. Was that an accident, too?