Detective and mystery stories

The Afterlife Diet

By Daniel Pinkwater

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In a heaven reserved for the obese, Milton Green, a second-rate editor who died under mysterious circumstances, ponders his life, his romance with an equally obese woman, and the conditions of his demise.

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The Intuitionist

By Colson Whitehead

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"It is a time of calamity in a major metropolitan city's Department of Elevator Inspectors, and Lila Mae Watson, the first black female elevator inspector in the history of the department, is at the center of it. There are two warring factions within the department: the Empiricists, who work by the book and who dutifully check for striations on the winch cable and such; and the Intuitionists, who are simply able to enter the elevator cab in question, meditate, and intuit any defects.

"Lila Mae is an Intuitionist and, it just so happens, has the highest accuracy rate in the entire department. But when an elevator in a new city building goes into total freefall on Lila Mae's watch, chaos ensues. Sabotage is the obvious explanation: It's an election year in the Elevator Guild, and the good-old-boy Empiricists would love nothing more than to assign the blame to an Intuitionist, and a colored one at that. But Lila Mae is never wrong.

"The sudden appearance of excerpts from the lost notebooks of Intuitionism's founder, James Fulton, has also caused quite a stir. The notebooks describe Fulton's work on the 'black box,' a perfect elevator that could reinvent the city as radically as the first passenger elevator did when patented by Elisha Otis in the nineteenth century. When Lila Mae goes underground to investigate the crash, she becomes involved in the search for the portions of the notebooks that are still missing and uncovers a secret that will change her life forever."

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The Thin Woman: An Epicurean Mystery

By Dorothy Cannell

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Reluctant to show up at her family reunion carrying so many extra pounds, unmarried, overweight Ellie Simons hires Bentley T. Haskell to pose as her fiance, thus beginning a weekend of romance, jealousy, and murder.

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Borrower of the Night

By Elizabeth Peters

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"Meet art historian Vicky Bliss, She is as beautiful as she is brainy--with unassailable courage, insatiable curiosity, and an expertise in lost museum treasures that often leads her into the most dangerous of situations. A missing masterwork in wood, the last creation of a master carver who died in the violent tumult of the sixteenth century, may be hidden in a medieval German castle in the town of Rothenburg. The prize has called to Vicky Bliss, drawing her and an arrogant male colleague into the forbidding citadel and its dark secrets. But the treasure hunt soon turns deadly. Here, where the blood of the long forgotten damned stains ancient stones, Vicky must face two equally perilous possibilities. Either a powerful supernatural evil inhabits this place. . .or someone frighteningly real is willing to kill for what Vicky is determined to find."
First of a series.

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Tell Me Lies

By Jennifer Crusie

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Maddie Faraday’s life would be perfect—-if it weren’t for

 

  • her cheating husband
  • her suspicious daughter
  • her gossipy mother
  • her secretive best friend
  • her nosy neighbors,
  • and that guy she lost her virginity to twenty years ago who is suddenly back in town. . . .

     

Suddenly, life in southern Ohio just got a little more scandalous.

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Unnatural Exposure

By Patricia Daniels Cornwell

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Kay Scarpetta, medical examiner, is up against an apparent serial murderer who leaves a fatal virus in his dismembered victims.
Part of a series.

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Where Are the Children?

By Mary Higgins Clark

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Here is the novel that established Clark as one of today's most phenomenally successful authors. After a terrible marriage and the tragic deaths of her two children, Nancy changes her name, hair, and residence and finally finds peace--until the nightmare begins again.
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The Angel of Darkness

By Caleb Carr

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"In The Angel of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew. It is June 1897.

"A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline. Kreizler and his friends--high-living crime reporter John Schuyler Moore; indomitable, derringer-toting Sara Howard; the brilliant (and bickering) detective brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson; powerful and compassionate Cyrus Montrose; and Stevie Taggert, the boy Kreizler saved from a life of street crime--have returned to their former pursuits and tried to forget the horror of the Beecham case.

"But when the distraught wife of a Spanish diplomat begs Sara's aid, the team reunites to help find her kidnapped infant daughter. It is a case fraught with danger, since Spain and the United States are on the verge of war. Their investigation leads the team to a shocking suspect: a woman who appears to the world to be a heroic nurse and a loving mother, but who may in reality be a ruthless murderer of children."

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The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales

By Chris Baldick, editor

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"E. Nesbit's The Hursts of Hurstcote is only one of the many stories found in The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales, the first anthology of this spinetingling genre. Though Gothic fiction has generally been identified with Walpole's Castle of Otranto and the works of Ann Radcliffe, these thirty-seven selections compiled by Chris Baldick provide a unique look at the genre's development into its present-day forms. We see standard gothic elements of incest, murder, and greed in The Poisoner of Montremos, a late eighteenth-century story by Richard Cumberland. We find in Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher the tale that set a new standard of decadence for Gothic stories. In Hawthorne's Rappacini's Daughter, a young girl is raised on the very essence of poison.

"In Faulkner's A Rose for Emily, a woman's death satisfies a neighborhood's curiosity with a bizarre discovery. In other tales, a ghost reveals his sin of parricide, madness drives a man to murder,and a young girl spends her lifetime locked in a single room. All these stories and more contain the common elements of the gothic tale: a warped sense of time, a claustrophobic setting, a link to archaic modes of thought, dynastic corruption, and the impression of a descent into disintegration. Yet they also reveal the progression of the genre from stories of feudal villains amid crumbling ruins to a greater level of sophistication in which writers brought the gothic tale out of its medieval setting, and placed it in the contemporary world."

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The True Prince

By J. B. Cheaney

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Newly apprenticed to Shakespeare's theater company, Richard and Kit are drawn into a series of crimes involving the members of Queen Elizabeth's court.
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