Detective and mystery stories

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason

Arnaldur Indridason's Jar City: A Reykjavik Thriller, the first of a series starring Inspector Erlendur, is a gripping crime novel set in the insular world of Reykjavik, Iceland, where the climate is unforgiving and murder is a relatively rare phenomenon. 

An elderly man, Holberg, is found murdered in his city flat, and, unlike most murders in Iceland that are crimes of passion, Erlendur and his colleagues Sigrinudur Oli and Elinborg quickly realize that this is not going to be a typical murder investigation, especially since the only clues are a cryptic note stating, “I am HIM” and the photograph of a young girl’s grave.

White Heat by M. J. McGrath

White Heat by M. J. McGrath

White Heat, an intriguing and well-researched book about life on an island near the cold, cold, cold Arctic Circle, has been a real treat this summer for this reader who doesn’t like enduring 100-degree temperatures. Thank you, M. J. McGrath! I appreciated the icy coolness and the great story.

The star of this excellently-plotted mystery is Edie Kiglaluk, a divorced, recovering alcoholic who hires out as a hunting guide to those from the “south” who want the experience of roughing it in a tough terrain. Edie is a tenacious young Inuit woman who just can’t seem to be a go-along sort of person in her community. Her closest friend is her stepson, Joe.

Nocturnal by Scott Sigler

Nocturnal cover

My son and I were discussing books the other day, and he asked me, “Would you recommend a book in a blog that you didn’t completely love?”  I thought for a minute and said, “No”.  He asked why not, and I replied, “What if someone noticed the blog who didn’t love books?  What if they just wanted to try reading a book for the first time in a long while?  I couldn’t recommend a book that I thought maybe they would like or maybe not.  I have to feel strongly about the book. I want people to love books as much as I do.”

Nocturnal, by Scott Sigler, is a detective novel that involves the supernatural.  So if you love both genres as I do, this is a glorious combination.  The characters are so well-developed that several reviewers described this novel as Sigler’s attempt to write like Stephen King.  I don't know if that is true, but I just think that Sigler has always been known as a fast-paced horror writer. In Nocturnal he adds more character and depth to the plot. 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Carlos Ruiz Zafón completely understands what it means to be seduced by a book--to get lost in a plot and feel overwhelmed by perfectly-formed words and phrases. Perhaps that is what allows him to describe--and replicate--that experience in his own novel, The Shadow of the Wind.

The Shadow of the Wind opens in Barcelona in 1945. Daniel Sempere’s father is about to introduce him to a mysterious and labyrinthine place called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. In the Cemetery, the young boy is taught some very important things about the lives of books: “Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”

Skulduggery Pleasant

By Derek Landry

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An old foe is bent on bringing back to life the horrible Grotesquery, an unkillable monster assembled from the most fearsome beasts of legend. It's up to the ingenious, fearless, and hilarious Skulduggery and his apprentice Valkyrie Cain (a.k.a. Stephanie Edgely) to stop it.
First of a series.

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The London Eye Mystery

By Siobhan Dowd

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"Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim board the London Eye, but after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off-except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery."
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Hex Hall

By Rachel Hawkins

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"Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she is a witch. Her non-gifted mother has been supportive, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—a warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who exiles her to 'Hex Hall,' an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fairies, and shape-shifters. By the end of her first day, Sophie has three new enemies, a futile crush on a warlock, a tagalong ghost, and a vampire roommate. Worse, Sophie soon learns that an unknown predator has been attacking students. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries converges, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her."
First of a series.

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Science Fair: A Story of Mystery, Danger, International Suspense, and a Very Nervous Frog

By Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

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The president of a foreign country is plotting to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School in order to take over the United States government, but when Toby Harbinger, an ordinary student, makes up his mind finally to win the fair, the terrorists' plans go awry.
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Scat

By Carl Hiaasen

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Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved. But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a "family emergency," Nick and Marta just don't buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance. And he does! But not in the way they think. There's a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they really begin to see the big picture. That's life in the swamp, kids.
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The Case of Mistaken Identity

By Mac Barnett

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When Steve Brixton, a fan of Bailey Brothers detective novels, is mistaken for a real detective, he must elude librarians, police, and the mysterious Mr. E as he seeks a missing quilt containing coded information.
Part of a series.

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