detective and mystery stories

From the British Library Crime Classics series--a collection of mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction--an era of classic murder mystery novels of similar patterns and styles, predominantly in the 1920s and 1930s.

Death of a busybody by George Bellairs

"Miss Tither, the village busybody, is not the best-loved resident of Hilary Magna. She has made many enemies: bombarding the villagers with religious tracts, berating drunkards, and informing the spouses of cheating partners. Her murder, however, is still a huge shock to the Reverend Ethelred Claplady and his parish. Inspector Littlejohn's understanding of country ways makes him Scotland Yard's first choice for the job. Basing himself at the village inn, Littlejohn works with the local police to investigate what lay behind the murder. A second death does little to settle the collective nerves of the village, and as events escalate, a strange tale of hidden identities, repressed resentment, religious fervour and financial scams is uncovered. Life in the picturesque village of Hilary Magna proves to be very far from idyllic."--Amazon.com.

Family matters by Anthony Rolls

Robert Arthur Kewdingham is an eccentric failure of a man. In middle age he retreats into a private world, hunting for Roman artifacts and devoting himself to bizarre mystical beliefs. Robert's wife, Bertha, feels that there are few things more dreadful than a husband who will persist in making a fool of himself in public. Their marriage consists of horrible quarrels, futile arguments, incessant bickering. Scarcely any friends will visit the Kewdinghams in their peaceful hometown Shufflecester. Everything is wrong - and with the entrance of John Harrigall, a bohemian bachelor from London who catches Bertha's eye, they take a turn for the worse. Soon deep passions and resentments shatter the calm facade of the Kewdinghams' lives.

We’re celebrating Cultural Diversity Month in April! Check out these series--there’s a detective for every holiday destination.

Follows Mma Ramotste, a recently bereaved woman, as she sets up the only woman-run Private Detective Agency in Botswana and her attempts to get it off the ground. She gets help from Mma Makutsi, her new secretary, and Mr. JLB Matekoni, the owner and super mechanic of the wonderful Speedy Motors. Mma Ramotste takes on cases, meets many new people who need her help - from a woman who thinks the man who has turned up at her door is not her father, to another lady who has a boyfriend who may or may not be faithful to her.  Based on the books by Alexander McCall Smith.

Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez and his staff work to solve mysteries in the Shetland Islands. Based on the books by Ann Cleeves.

This unique culinary history of America offers a fascinating look at our past and uses long-forgotten recipes to explain how eight flavors changed how we eat. The United States boasts a culturally and ethnically diverse population which makes for a continually changing culinary landscape. But a young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha. In Eight Flavors , Lohman sets out to explore how these influential ingredients made their way to the American table. 

The things we keep by Sally Hepworth

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke. When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

this is an endlessly fascinating look at American regionalism and the eleven "nations" that continue to shape North America According to award-winning journalist and historian Colin Woodard, North America is made up of eleven distinct nations, each with its own unique historical roots. In American Nations he takes readers on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, offering a revolutionary and revelatory take on American identity, and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and continue to mold our future. 

The Mystery Writers of America have announced Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart as the 2017 Grand Masters, an award that recognizes “the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality.” It is the highest honor the association bestows.

Better dead by Max Allan Collins

Better Dead: The latest Nathan Heller Thriller from Max Allan Collins! It's the early 1950's. Joe McCarthy is campaigning to rid America of the Red Menace. Nate Heller is doing legwork for the senator, though the Chicago detective is disheartened by McCarthy's witch-hunting tactics. He's made friends with a young staffer, Bobby Kennedy, while trading barbs with a potential enemy, the attorney Roy Cohn, who rubs Heller the wrong way. Not the least of which for successfully prosecuting the so-called Atomic Bomb spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. When famous mystery writer Dashiell Hammett comes to Heller representing a group of showbiz and literary leftists who are engaged in a last minute attempt to save the Rosenbergs, Heller decides to take on the case. Heller will have to play both sides to do this, and when McCarthy also tasks Heller to find out what the CIA has on him, Heller reluctantly agrees. His main lead is an army scientist working for the C.I.A. who admits to Heller that he's been having misgivings about the work he's doing and elliptically referring to the Cold War making World War II look like a tea party. And then the scientist goes missing.

Return to Perdition by Max Allan Collins
Also available in: video

In the 1970s, Michael Satariano, Jr., returns to the United States from a Laos prison camp and is told that his whole family has been killed by mobsters and that he was listed as a casualty of the Vietnam War. Sent by the Justice Department to infiltrate organized crime and assassinate certain people, Michael is set on a road that will lead him to love and to Perdition, Kansas, where his family legacy lies waiting for discovery.

British Library Crime Classics presents forgotten classics from the golden age of British crime writing. Neglected and left languishing, many of these titles haven’t been seen in print since before the Second World War. With covers as iconic and collectible as the works themselves, these are a period delight."

Death in the tunnel by Miles Burton

"On a dark November evening, Sir Wilfred Saxonby is travelling alone in the 5 o'clock train from Cannon Street, in a locked compartment. The train slows and stops inside a tunnel; and by the time it emerges again minutes later, Sir Wilfred has been shot dead, his heart pierced by a single bullet. Suicide seems to be the answer, even though no reason can be found. Inspector Arnold of Scotland Yard thinks again when he learns that a mysterious red light in the tunnel caused the train to slow down. Finding himself stumped by the puzzle, Arnold consults his friend Desmond Merrion, a wealthy amateur expert in criminology. To Merrion it seems that the dead man fell victim to a complex conspiracy―but the investigators are puzzled about the conspirators' motives, as well as their identities. Can there be a connection with Sir Wilfred's seemingly untroubled family life, his highly successful business, or his high-handed and unforgiving personality? And what is the significance of the wallet found on the corpse, and the bank notes that it contained?"--.

Antidote to venom by Freeman Wills Crofts

George Surridge, director of the Birmington Zoo, is a man with many worries: his marriage is collapsing; his finances are insecure; and an outbreak of disease threatens the animals in his care. As Surridge's debts mount and the pressure on him increases, he begins to dream of miracle solutions. But is he cunning enough to turn his dreams into reality - and could he commit the most devious murder in pursuit of his goals? This ingenious crime novel, with its unusual 'inverted' structure and sympathetic portrait of a man on the edge, is one of the greatest works by this highly respected author.

Elizabeth George, author of the Inspector Lyndsey series, winner of the Agatha Award for "Best First Novel" in 1988 and the 1989 Anthony Award for "Best First Novel" for A Great Deliverance, will be at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, July 19 at 7:00PM.   

The  Agatha Christie Awards nominees for best mysteries published in 2015 reflect a wide range of authors, publishers, styles, and themes. In the contemporary category, award-winning favorites Margaret Maron, Louise Penny, and Hank Phillipi Ryan share the honoree podium with newcomer Annette Dashofy and Catriona McPherson. The winners will be announced at Malice Domestic 28, which will be held April 29-May 1, 2016.  Check out what is available at Canton Public Library.

Best Contemporary Novel

Long upon the land by Margaret Maron
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott's father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah's family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case. Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah's curiosity about her parents' past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she's determined to find the answer. But why are Deborah's brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie's illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah's mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah's promise not to interfere in Dwight's work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion.

P. D. James, crime novelist, dies at age 94

Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL, known as P. D. James, an English crime writer. died Thursday, November 27, 2014 at the age of 94.  The creator of Commander Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard, James has won a Macavity for A TASTE FOR DEATH, the Edgar Grand Master Award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger and an Anthony Award for TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION. PBS Masterpiece Mystery recently broadcasted DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY, James latest series featuring Jane Austen's well known PRIDE AND PREJUDICE characters,  Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy .

Murder Will Out: Author Harry Dolan at Nicola's Books

On Monday, November 17th at 7:00pm  Ann Arbor author Harry Dolan will be at Nicola's Books for a reading and signing of his mystery, The Last Dead Girl, recently released in paperback.  Editor David Loogan's dark past is revealed in this prequel to 'Bad Things Happen'. David must work to clear his name when he becomes a prime suspect when a woman he has recently become involved with is murdered.

If You Like Steve Hamilton, Harlan Coben or Robert Crais

Old bones: a Gideon Oliver mystery by Aaron Elkins

The vanished: a nameless detective novel by Bill Pronzini

Starvation Lake: a mystery by Bryan Gruley

Open season by C.J. Box

The cold dish by Craig Johnson

Black fly season by Giles Blunt

The blue edge of midnight by Jonathon King

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