Detective and mystery stories

The Killer Inside Me

By Jim Thompson

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"Lou Ford is the deputy sheriff of a small town in Texas. The worst thing most people can say against him is that he's a little slow and a little boring. But, then, most people don't know about the sickness --the sickness that almost got Lou put away when he was younger. The sickness that is about to surface again. An underground classic since its publication in 1952, The Killer Inside Me is the book that made Jim Thompson's name synonymous with the roman noir."

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Alone with the Dead

By Robert J. Randisi

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New York City is in the grip of a nightmare. A twisted serial killer called the Lover is stalking young women, leaving his calling card with their dead bodies--a single rose. But that's not the worst part. There's a copy-cat out there too, determined to do his idol one better. But the Lover isn't flattered. He's furious that some rank amateur is muddying his good name. As the nightmare grows more intense, one detective begins to suspect the truth.

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A Sight for Sore Eyes

By Ruth Rendell

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A Sight for Sore Eyes tells three stories, and for the longest time, the reader has no inkling of how they will come together. The first is a story of a little girl who has been scolded and sent to her room when her mother is brutally murdered; as Francine grows up, she is haunted by the experience, and it is years before she even speaks. Secondly, we become privy to the life of a young man, Teddy, born of unthinking young parents, who grows up almost completely ignored. Free of societal mores, he becomes a sociopath, who eventually discovers that killing can be an effective way to get what he wants.

Thirdly, we meet Harriet, who from an early age has learned to use her beauty to make her way in the world. Bored by marriage to a wealthy, much older man, she scans the local newspapers for handymen to perform odd jobs around the house, including services in the bedroom. When these three plots strands finally converge, the result is harrowing and unforgettable.

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The Switch

By Sandra Brown

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Melina Lloyd vows to stop at nothing to learn the truth and avenge her identical twin sister Gillian's death. But soon she is on the run from police, the FBI, and the mastermind whose evil plot to engineer the perfect "switch" could result in disastrous consequences on a global scale.
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Amethyst Dreams

By Phyllis A. Whitney

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After her friend Susan disappears, Hallie Knight travels to Topsail Island at the request of Susan's grandfather. As she investigates family secrets and the disappearance of her friend, Hallie finds her own life in danger.
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Ms. Murder: The Best Mysteries Featuring Women Detectives, By the Top Women Writers

By Marie Smith, editor

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"'Ms. Murder' includes some of the best fiction by such writers, including Amanda Cross, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and Antonia Fraser. The book traces the evolution of the female sleuth from F. Tennyson Jesse's Solange Fontaine (in a newly discovered story making its first appearance here in any book) to Sarah Paretsky's tough Chicago investigator V. I. Warshawski, who lives life entirely on her own terms.

"The detectives in these stories are shrewd, sophisticated, even hard-boiled. Amateur or professional, they unravel mysteries that involve the reader right from the start. From Edwardian London to sleek modern Chicago, from discerning academics to gun-toting P.I.'s, 'Ms. Murder' presents the best by the best. It is destined to become a collectable classic."

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An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

By P.D. James

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Handsome Cambridge dropout Mark Callender died hanging by the neck with a faint trace of lipstick on his mouth. When the official verdict is suicide, his wealthy father hires fledgling private investigator Cordelia Gray to find out what led him to self-destruction. What she discovers instead is a twisting trail of secrets and sins, and the strong scent of murder.
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Indemnity Only

By Sara Paretsky

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Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. But trouble is Chicago private eye V.I. Warshwski's specialty. Her client says he's the prominent banker, John Thayer. Turns out he's not. He says his son's girlfriend, Anita Hill, is missing. Turns out that's not her real name. V.I.'s search turns up someone soon enough -- the real John Thayer's son, and he's dead. Who's V.I.'s client? Why has she been set up and sent out on a wild-goose chase? By the time she's got it figured, things are hotter -- and deadlier -- than Chicago in July. V.I.'s in a desperate race against time. At stake: a young woman's life.
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Edwin of the Iron Shoes

By Marcia Muller

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"Sharon McCone, a tough-minded investigator for a legal services cooperative, noses her way through the tainted underbelly of a San Francisco street occupied by an eclectic assortment of dealers in antiques, pseudo art and junk. She's after a killer who slashed a diminutive victim, antique dealer Joan Albritton, with the victim's own bone-handled knife."
On audio.
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Shakespeare's Landlord

By Charlaine Harris

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Lily Bard is a loner. Other than the day-to-day workings of her cleaning and errand-running service, she pays little attention to the town around her. But when her landlord is murdered, Lily is singled out as the prime suspect, and proving her innocence will depend on finding the real killer in quiet, secretive Shakespeare.

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