amateur dectectives

At close range by Laura Griffin

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin "delivers the goods" ( Publishers Weekly ) again with the eleventh title in the gritty, heart-pounding Tracers series. When a lakeside tryst ends in a double murder, police detective Daniele Harper arrives on the scene determined to get answers. Clues are everywhere, but nothing adds up. Dani turns to the Delphi Center crime lab for help, but soon regrets it when her secret attraction to their chief firearms examiner threatens to distract her from the most important case of her career. As a ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black knows firearms, and he knows he can help Dani unravel her case. Scott has managed to hide his interest in his best friend's younger sister for years, but when her investigation brings them together, the sparks between them quickly burn out of control. Scott resolves to keep his hands off Dani and his eyes on the goal--identifying a killer. But when that killer zeroes in on her, all bets are off. There isn't a line Scott won't cross to convince Dani to trust him so that he can help her take down a ruthless murderer who has her in his sights.
 

A deadly affection by Cuyler Overholt

"One of the first women practicing in the advanced new field of psychology, Dr. Genevieve Summerford is used to forging her own path. But when one of her patients is arrested for murder--a murder Genevieve fears she may have unwittingly provoked--she is forced to seek help to solve the crime and clear her patient's name ... and her own"--.

Stripped bare by Shannon Baker

Kate Fox is living the dream. She's married to Grand County Sheriff Ted Conner, the heir to her beloved Nebraska Sandhills cattle ranch, where they live with Kate's orphaned teenage niece, Carly. With the support of the well-connected Fox Clan, which includes Kate's eight boisterous and interfering siblings, Ted's reelection as Grand County Sheriff is virtually assured. That leaves Kate to the solitude and satisfaction of Frog Creek, her own slice of heaven. One night Kate answers a shattering phone call from Roxy at the Bar J. Carly's granddad Eldon, owner of the ranch, is dead and Ted has been shot and may never walk again. Kate vows to find the killer. She soon discovers Ted responded so quickly to the scene because he was already at the Bar J . . . in Roxy's bed. And to add to her woes, Carly has gone missing. Kate finds out that Eldon was considering selling his ranch to an obscenely rich environmentalist. Some in town hate the idea of an outsider buying up land, others are desperate to sell . . . and some might kill to get their way. As she becomes the victim of several "accidents," Kate knows she must find the killer before it's too late. . . .

A study in scarlet women by Sherry Thomas

"USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down... With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She'll have help from friends new and old--a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society's expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind"--.

The third squad by V Sanjay Kumar

The Third Squad is an arresting, ripped-from-the-headlines noir novel that deftly explores how in recent decades, to ostensibly combat the rising tide of criminality in Mumbai's underworld, the Indian Police Service has carried out many hundreds of extrajudicial assassinations of suspected criminals. Karan, a sharpshooter dispensed with dishing out this peculiar blend of vigilante justice, has a difficult choice to make: should he continue to follow orders from his superiors, regardless of their moral standing, or should he take matters into his own hands and do what he believes to be right?

Blood and bone by V. M Giambanco

"After two years in the Seattle Police Department, homicide detective Alice Madison has finally found a measure of peace she has never known before--a sense of belonging. When a local burglary escalates into a gruesome murder, Madison takes charge of the investigation, only to discover that this is no ordinary killing. She finds herself tracking a serial assassin who has haunted the city for years--and whose brutality is the stuff of legend among the super-max prisons of the Pacific Northwest. As she delves deeper into the case, Madison learns that the widow of one of the victims is being stalked--is the killer poised to strike again? As pressures mount, Madison will stop at nothing to save the next innocent victim. even if it means playing a killer's endgame by presenting herself as the bait"--.

Lots of fun reads, but if you have time for only one read make it Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, a balanced report on our growing reliance on the internet with a brief history of reading, books, and libraries.

Murder on the bucket list by Elizabeth Perona

Sara Walker's DIETLAND is not for the faint hearted.  It's a challenging read, thought provoking.  Box office tickets to Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" are sold out through January 2017; if you can't see the play, then read about the infamous Hamilton/Burr conflict. Fans of GRANTCHESTER, recently shown on local PBS Masterpiece Mystery, will want to read the James Runcie story collections featuring Canon Sidney Chambers and Inspector Geordie Keating. 

Dietland by Sarai Walker

"A fresh and provocative debut novel about a reclusive young woman saving up for weight loss surgery when she gets drawn into a shadowy feminist guerilla group called "Jennifer"--equal parts Bridget Jones's Diary and Fight Club"--.

When auctioneer Wren Morgan begins cataloging the contents of the Campbell mansion, she's unprepared to find something that can't be appraised--a dead man. After the body turns out to be a criminal with ties to a recent jewel heist, Wren comes face-to-face with Death Bogart. A private eye and part-time bounty hunter, Death is searching for the stolen jewels needed to convict a murderer. Death finds a friend and willing ally in Wren, but they aren't the only ones searching for treasure. Two ruthless men are also on the hunt, and they will do anything to eliminate the competition. To survive, Death and Wren must solve two mysteries spanning a century and a half and outwit a pair of cold-blooded killers. Praise: "Ross' thoroughly entertaining debut combines smart details about the auction business with two engaging mysteries and a uniformly appealing cast. Fans of small-town cozies, especially those by Denise Swanson, will love this, as will mystery readers who double as thrift-store aficionados and followers of auction reality shows.

If you are a fan of Agatha Christie's TV Series, such as Miss Marple or Poirot, enjoy a good mystery, a minimum of violence, and interesting characters try these:

 

Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme, two middle-aged women, make a fresh start by opening a gardening business. Mysteries grow around these two gardening sleuths as they dig up trouble on the job and use investigative skills to get to the bottom of things.

DCI Janine Lewis heads a police team that investigates Manchester's most gruesome murders while balancing her personal life as a single mother of four.

Murder Will Out: November 2014

The Arnifour affair by Gregory Harris

Buried by Kate Watterson

Death stalks Door County by Patricia Skalka

All things murder by Jeanne Quigley

Bloom and doom by Beverly Allen

What We're Reading: September, 2014

This month is a mix of history, mystery, a book about books and reading, growing old, and second chances.

Can't we talk about something more pleasant? by Roz Chast

The Mountaintop School for Dogs and other second chances by Ellen Cooney

The 40s: the story of a decade by The New Yorker ; edited by Henry Finder with Giles Harvey ; introduction by David Remnick

The shelf: from LEQ to LES by Phyllis Rose

Buried in a bog by Sheila Connolly

Murder Will Out: June 2014

The Golden Calf by Helene Tursten ; Translation by Laura A. Wideburg

Good as gone by Douglas Corleone

Her brother's keeper: a Joan Spencer mystery by Sara Hoskinson Frommer

The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis

Illegally iced by Jessica Beck

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