Detective and mystery stories

Canaletto and the Case of the Westminster Bridge

By Janet Laurence

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When famed Italian artist Canaletto ventures to England on a business jaunt, he encounters more difficulties than just the language barrier. Upon arriving, Canaletto is attacked and robbed twice in the same day by a relentless pickpocket. When he is left for dead in a dark alley, the young woman who helped Canaletto earlier rescues the artist again. The visitor to England meets Jane Austen at dinner, helps uncover a spy, and finds that he has a talent for detective work.

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The Samurai's Daughter

By Sujata Massey

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"Antiques dealer Rei Shimura is in San Francisco visiting her parents and researching a personal project tracing the story of 100 years of Japanese decorative arts through her own family's experience. Her work is interrupted by the arrival of her boyfriend, lawyer Hugh Glendinning, who is involved in a class action lawsuit on behalf of aged Asian nationals forced to engage in slave labour for Japanese companies during World War II.

"These two projects suddenly intertwine when one of Hugh's clients is murdered and Rei begins to uncover unsavoury facts about her own family's actions during the war. Rei unravels the truth, finds the killer, and at the same time learns about family ties and loyalty and the universal desire to avoid blame."

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Shinju

By Laura Joh Rowland

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"When beautiful, wealthy Yukiko and low-born artist Noriyoshi are found drowned together in a shinju, or ritual double suicide, everyone believes the culprit was forbidden love. Everyone but newly appointed yoriki Sano Ichiro.

"Despite the official verdict and warnings from his superiors, the shogun's Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People suspects the deaths weren't just a tragedy -- they were murder. Risking his family's good name and his own life, Sano will search for a killer across every level of society -- determined to find answers to a mystery no one wants solved. No one but Sano..."

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The Stargazer

By Michele Jaffe

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The brilliant daughter of a renowned physician, Bianca Salva is thrust into an uneasy alliance with Ian Foscari, a handsome aristocrat notorious for his outrageous escapades and romantic conquests, when they masquerade as a betrothed couple to find the murderer of a beautiful courtesan.
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The Name of the Rose

By Umberto Eco

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In 1327, finding his sensitive mission at an Italian abbey further complicated by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William of Baskerville turns detective, penetrating the cunning labyrinth of the abbey and deciphering coded manuscripts for clues.

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The Stalking Horse

By Miriam Grace Monfredo

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Based on an actual event, The Stalking-Horse is set on the eve of the American Civil War. Glynis Tryon's niece, Bronwen, has joined Pinkerton's Detective Agency. While on her first assignment in secessionist Alabama, two of her fellow agents are murdered. When word reaches Seneca Falls that Bronwen is in trouble, Glynis heads south and finds her niece caught in the midst of a diabolical plot designed to strike at the heart of the United States government.

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The Lucifer Contract

By Maan Myers

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"Eight men from Kentucky--one barely old enough to shave--have signed a Confederate blood pact. Its code name is Lucifer; its mission is to burn this Yankee town (Manhattan) to the ground."

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Faded Coat of Blue

By Owen Parry

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A British immigrant to the United States is hired to serve as a confidential agent to Union General George McClellan and quickly finds himself investigating the death of a Union officer while the Civil War rages all around him

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Dead March

By Ann McMillan

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"Though the War Between the States is in its infancy, Richmond, Virginia, is not free of violent death, as two astute and courageous women from opposite ends of society discover when a grave is robbed, yielding the murdered body of a young slave woman. The silk scarf left carelessly with her body leads to suspects from every echelon of Richmond society -- and to more deaths. Narcissa Powers, a young white widow, begins to investigate and is soon aided by Judah Daniel, a free black herbalist and conjure woman. As the War's casualties begin to pour into the city and the "Dead March" echoes through the streets, the mystery deepens, and Narcissa and Judah must risk their lives to find the killer -- or killers -- and save the life of an innocent child."

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Mighty Old Bones: A Thistle and Twig Mystery

By Mary Saums

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Jane Thistle and Phoebe Twigg are as different as two best friends can be. Phoebe has never seen any reason to leave her small Southern hometown, while Jane, the urbane widow of a career military officer, has traveled all over, only recently putting down roots in Tullulah, Alabama. A thunderstorm knocks down a tree on Jane's property and uncovers a pile of skeletal remains buried underneath. When tests discount their best theories and point to a far more recent death, Jane and Phoebe find themselves in the midst of some strange happenings.

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