Detective and mystery stories

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper

I am a hopeless romantic, so of course I fell in love with Sarah Addison Allen’s charming books. She writes adult fairy tales where love is worth the risks. Pack her four novels in your beach bag and enjoy. The books are magical. The Peach Keeper, her latest work, is about what happens when secrets come out in the open. Walls of Water, North Carolina, has strange breezes that sound like whispers of secrets. Regret haunts the main characters and smells like lemons. 

Twins Colin and Paxton Osgood, Willa Jackson, and Sebastian Rogers all went to high school together. They were known as the Princess, the Stick Man, the Joker and the Freak.  Happiness has eluded all of them.  Paxton Osgood is thirty years old, unmarried, and living at home, and president of the Women’s Society Club. Colin has run away from Walls of Water, his rigid ways, and his heritage. Willa has settled for a quiet life running a sporting goods store and doing laundry regularly every Friday night. Sebastian, now a dentist, has come back home but must face his difficult past.

The Pact

By Jennifer Sturman

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Rachel Benjamin and her friends aren't looking forward to Emma's wedding. The groom is a rat, and nobody can understand what Emma sees in him. So when he turns up dead in the morning of the ceremony, no one in the wedding party is all that upset. Not even Emma.

Rachel, who had the good fortune to find Richard floating facedown in the pool, is feeling as if she's woken up in an Agatha Christie novel. It doesn't help that everyone around her seems to have a motive for murder. So, while the cops detain Emma's family and friends at her isolated Adirondacks compound for the weekend, Rachel, an investment banker by trade, makes like Miss Marple (minus the gray hair and sensible shoes) and does some digging of her own. Her investigation gets especially tricky when Peter Forrest, the too-good-to-be-true best man, turns out to be the number-one love interest and her number-one suspect. And Rachel can't help remembering the solemn pact she and her friends made back in college--a promise to rescue each other from bad relationships, using any means required. Has someone taken the pact too far?

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Speak Now

By Margaret Dumas

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Charley Van Leeuwen can tell by a man's kiss whether he's been drinking Taittinger or Veuve Clicquot. Not that she kisses many men, a fact her friends deplore. So imagine their surprise when she comes home to San Francisco with her new husband. Jack Fairfax is the definition of tall, dark, and handsome. But is he the mild-mannered meteorologist he claims to be? Sometime between finding a dead body in her bathtub, tagging along on a ransom drop, and getting rescued by her husband in a hail of bullets, Charley begins to believe there's more to Jack's past than he's willing--or able--to admit.

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Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte

By Kyra Davis

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When a mystery writer cries bloody murder, everyone blames her overactive imagination . . .

"Thriller scribe Sophie Katz is as hard-boiled as a woman who drinks Grande Caramel Brownie Frappuccinos can be -- maybe it's from a lifetime of fielding dumb comments about her half-black, half-Jewish ethnicity. ('My sister married a Polynesian! I just love your culture!') So Sophie knows it's not paranoia, or post-divorce, living-alone-again jitters, when she becomes convinced that a crazed reader is sneaking into her apartment to reenact scenes from her books. The police, however, can't tell a good plot from an unmarked grave.

"When a filmmaker friend is brutally murdered in the manner of a death scene in one of his movies, Sophie becomes convinced that a copycat killer is on the loose -- and that she's the next target. If she doesn't solve the mystery, her own bestseller will spell out her doom. Cursing her imagination (why, oh, why did she have to pick the axe?), Sophie engages in some real-life gumshoe tactics. The man who swoops in to save her in dark alleys at night is mysterious new love interest Anatoly Darinsky. Of course, if this were fiction, Anatoly would be her prime suspect . . . "

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Make Him Look Good

By Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

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"The 'him' in MAKE HIM LOOK GOOD is Ricky Biscayne, sexy Latin singing sensation who has taken the pop world by storm. The women who orbit him include:

  • Milan, Ricky's new publicist, smart as a whip and chubby as only a girl who still lives at home with her parents can be
  • Geneva, Milan's sister and as lean and chic as Milan is not; her Club G promises to be Miami's hottest opening ever
  • Jasminka, Ricky's gorgeous Serbian model wife, who finally might eat a little something now that she's pregnant
  • Irene, a firefighter whose high school romance with Ricky was the last love in her life, eking out an existence for herself and her daughter.
  • Sophia, who is beginning to suspect that she and Ricky Biscayne look a little too much alike
  • Jill Sanchez, an omniverous media-manic Latina star who has crossed over from CDs to perfume, clothes and movies

Set in and around Miami, with its vibrant music, club and modeling scenes, MAKE HIM LOOK GOOD is irresistible fiction."

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If Looks Could Kill

By Kate White

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Bailey Weggins, a clever writer for a leading women's magazine, Gloss, is dragged into a murder investigation by her editor-in-chief and boss from hell, Cat Jones. Cat is a woman who gets what she wants from her employees, so when she discovers that her nanny has been murdered she insists Bailey find the killer before the police do. Was the chocolate that poisoned the nanny meant for Cat, known for her love of truffles? But then, the beautiful, duplicitous nanny has an enemy list all her own. The investigation takes Bailey from the streets of New York City to the swankiest Connecticut suburbs and Bucks County retreats, and everyone is a suspect, including the catty editors at Gloss. Bailey proves that she is the original gutsy girl when she outwits the clever killer.

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Goodnight Nobody

By Jennifer Weiner

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Stay-at-home mother Kate finds that the unsolved mystery of a fellow suburban mom's death is the most exciting thing to happen in Upchurch, Connecticut, since her neighbors broke ground for a guesthouse and cracked their septic tank. Even though the local police chief warns her that crime-fighting's a job best left to the professionals, Kate launches an unofficial investigation -- from 8:45 to 11:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when her kids are in nursery school.

As Kate is drawn deeper into the murdered woman's past, she begins to uncover the secrets and lies behind Upchurch's picket-fence facade -- and considers the choices and compromises all modern women make as they navigate between marriage and independence, small towns and big cities, being a mother and having a life of one's own.

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Sick of Shadows

By Sharyn McCrumb

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Eileen Chandler, of the very eccentric Georgia Chandlers, is all set to be married. Unfortunately, nobody much likes the groom; they fear he's out to snare her inheritance and take advantage of her delicate mental state. With sensible cousin Elizabeth MacPherson on hand for the festivities, Eileen hopes to have a friend in her corner for support. Before joyous wedding bells can chime, though, murder makes an uninvited appearance . . . and no one in the strange wedding party is above suspicion.
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The Last Suppers

By Diane Mott Davidson

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"It should be the happiest day of Goldy the caterer's life. After years of putting the disaster of her first marriage behind her, she has finally found the courage to love again. Soon she'll be walking down the aisle of St. Luke's Episcopal Church to wed the man of her dreams, Tom Schulz, a homicide detective who shares Goldy's passions for preparing food and solving crimes.

"But moments after Goldy's put the finishing touches on the scrumptious wedding feast, and just before the ceremony begins, she receives an urgent phone call from the groom. The wedding is off, and the reason is a killer.

"In The Last Suppers, Diane Mott Davidson mixes irresistible suspense with delectable humor to create a five-star treat for readers and cooks alike. Included are Goldy's original recipes for such delicious dishes as her heavenly Dark Chocolate Wedding Cake with White Peppermint Frosting, savory Shrimp on Wheels and zesty Fusilli in Parmesan Cream Sauce."

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Mother of the Bride

By Patricia Tichenor Westfall

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It would be a challenge enough for perpetual list-maker Molly West, the director of a meal-delivery program in southern Ohio, to plan an ordinary wedding for her daughter. But this is no ordinary wedding. Molly's daughter wants the ceremony to be a costumed Civil War reenactment - and the date is only two months away. To complicate matters, Sheriff Matins warns Molly that an escaped convict is on his way to their Appalachian county, intent on disrupting more than just the wedding plans.

Then a bridesmaid finds a skeleton hidden in the caves beneath her historic home - caves once used by slaves fleeing the Confederacy. Is the skeleton the remains of a forgotten Union soldier, or a more recent victim of an unsolved murder? When the case brings local stories of Civil War-era struggles back to life, Molly and her friends realize that their tight-knit community hides more than one unpleasant secret.

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