Detective and mystery stories

The Shape of Water

By Andrea Camilleri

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The discreet lives of Vigata's drug dealers and prostitutes are disrupted when the body of a well known engineer is found. Although the cause of death is ruled as natural causes, Inspector Salvo Montalbano will pick his way through a labyrinth of high comedy corruption, delicious meals, vendetta firepower, and carefully planted false clues to get to the heart of the matter.
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The Flower Master

By Sujata Massey

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Rei Shimura, a twentysomething part-California girl, part-Japanese antiques dealer, can't quite find her place in Tokyo society. Lately Rei's love life has fallen off the radar screen, and despite all her efforts, her new business isn't doing much better.

At her aunt's insistence, Rei enrolls in a course in ikebana, the famous Japanese art of flower arranging. Little does she realize what a cutthroat class it will be; she's hardly completed a lesson before her instructor is murdered.  Rei is ready to track down the killer, but suddenly the case hits close to home. She and her aunt are battered by waves of police questioning, press attention, and mysterious warnings. Skeletons are rattling in her family's closet, and Rei must open the door to a dangerous secret.

Rei's in for the excitement she's been missing as her search for the truth takes her through twisting new corridors of intrigue, romance, and murder. It's up to Rei, the black sheep, to keep her family name clear-and her own life safe-from an enemy with an unknown agenda.

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The Chinese Bell Murders

By Robert Hans van Gulik

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"The Chinese Bell Murders introduces the great Judge Dee, a magistrate of the city of Poo-yang in ancient China. In the spirit of ancient Chinese detective novels, Judge Dee is challenged by three cases. First, he must solve the mysterious murder of Pure Jade, a young girl living on Half Moon Street. All the evidence points to the guilt of her lover, but Judge Dee has his doubts. Dee also solves the mystery of a deserted temple and that of a group of monks' terrific success with a cure for barren women."

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Street of the Five Moons

By Elizabeth Peters

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"Art historian Vicky Bliss may be blond and beautiful, but looks can be deceiving. She also has the brain of an Einstein, the reckless courage of a test pilot--and no one's more savvy about fine works of art. For example: the gold pendant her boss at Munich's National Museum is currently dangling in front of her. It's an exquisite replica of a Charlemagne talisman--and it was found, along with a note written in hieroglyphs, sewn into the suit pocket of an unidentified man lying dead in an alley. 

"There's a murderous puzzle to unravel-and Vicky will start by hunting down the master craftsperson who created the magnificent piece, even if the search carries her to the ends of the Earth. Instead, it's pointing her toward Rome, the most romantic city in the world. But it's also pulling her into a treacherous game of intrigue where the stakes could not be higher: Vicky's life!"

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Skeleton Dance

By Aaron Elkins

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Mild-Mannered forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver knows bones. That's why the Chief Inspector of the small French village of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac calls upon him when a local dog emerges from a nearby cave carrying parts of a not-all-that-long-ago-interred human skeleton. Les Eyzies is the home of the prestigious Institut de Prehistoire, where eminent scientists study and squabble . . . and perhaps, on occasion, commit murder. Gideon's search for answers leads him quickly into the darkest corners of the scientific community, and sets him on a shocking trail of death, greed, and deception nearly forty thousand years in the making.
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Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish

By Dorothy Gilman

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Mrs. Pollifax is on hand in Morocco to back up an inept CIA agent, and it's a good thing. Their first informant is killed, and Mrs. Pollifax begins to get the idea that her colleague is not who he says he is. Still, she forges ahead, checking out suspicious informants, and coming to the conclusion that someone is an impostor and someone wants her dead... .
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Kowloon Tong

By Paul Theroux

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A life-long British denizen of Hong Kong, Neville ""Bunt"" Mullard fears the colony's impending return to China's control, and the intrusion of a mysterious Chinese gentleman into Bunt's family business changes his life for good.
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Elephants' Graveyard

By Karin McQuillan

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"American expatriate Jazz Jasper happily ekes out a living running safari tours and working for animal rights. When the lifeless body of wealthy American Emmet Laird, head of the Save the Elephants foundation, is found beside a watering hole, Emmet's grieving lover, Mikki, presses her friend Jazz to investigate. But as Jazz stalks her game high in the forested hills and through the streets of Nairobi, she becomes certain that the murderer she seeks is someone she knows well ... ."
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Death in Zanzibar

By M.M. Kaye

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Dany Ashton is invited to vacation at her stepfather's house in Zanzibar, but even before her airplane takes off there is a stolen passport, a midnight intruder--and murder. In Zanzibar, the family house is Kivulimi, the mysterious "House of Shade," where Dany and the rest of the guests learn that one of them is a desperate killer. The air of freedom and nonchalance that opened the house party fades into growing terror, as the threat of further violence flowers in the scented air of Zanzibar.
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Death in a Strange Country

By Donna Leon

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In Death in a Strange CountryCommissario Guido Brunetti confronts a grisly sight when the body of a young American is fished out of a fetid Venetian canal. Though all the signs point to a violent mugging, something incriminating turns up in the victim's apartment that suggests the existence of a high level conspiracy--and Brunetti becomes convinced that somebody is taking great pains to provide a ready-made solution to the crime.
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