Mystery

New this month in the Large Print collection are a variety of romance, mystery, and thriller titles. A few are featured below, with additional new titles available in the Large Print collection at the Library.

Sunset beach [large print] by 1954- Mary Kay Andrews
Also available in: print | audiobook

Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach - it comes with a twist. Drue Campbell's life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn't seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother's funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he's remarried - to Drue's eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they're offering her a job. It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance - her grandparents' beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions. With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spendingher days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father's firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may - or may not - involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there's a storm on the horizon. 

Queen bee : a novel by Dorothea Benton Frank
Also available in: print | audiobook

Beekeeper Holly McNee Kensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivans Island, tending her hives and working at the local island library. Holly calls her mother The Queen Bee because she's a demanding hulk of a woman. Her mother, a devoted hypochondriac, might be unaware that she's quite ill but that doesn't stop her from tormenting Holly. To escape the drama, Holly's sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly's escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father, Archie.

Her world is upended when the more flamboyant Leslie returns and both sisters, polar opposites, fixate on what's happening in their neighbor's home. Is Archie really in love with that awful ice queen of a woman? If Archie marries her, what will become of his little boys? Restless Leslie is desperate for validation after her imploded marriage, squandering her favors on any and all takers. Their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. Scandalized Holly is talking to her honey bees a mile a minute, as though they'll give her a solution to all the chaos. Maybe they will.

Queen Bee is a classic Lowcountry Tale--warm, wise and hilarious, it roars with humanity and a dropperful of whodunit added for good measure by an unseen hand.

What do cozy mystery books and romance books have in common? An affinity for silly titles such as:

Mulch Ado About Murder

Chili Con Corpses

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf

So I Married a Sorcerer

We've created a Battle of the Bad Books. Vote for your favorite "bad" mystery or romance title each week and watch how the bracket is narrowed to the ultimate winner. Check out the display and related books available for check-out at CPL.

From podcasts like "My Favorite Murder" to the award winning Showtime miniseries, "Escape at Dannemora," true crime stories are everywhere. The people, motives, emotional fall-out, and ensuing court cases can be fascinating for listeners, watchers, and readers of the genre.

Below are a few of the new true crime books available on library shelves.

The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family's spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots.

Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, wedon't see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines.

In The Royal Art of Poison, Eleanor Herman combines her unique access to royal archives with cutting-edge forensic discoveries to tell the true story of Europe's glittering palaces: one of medical bafflement, poisonous cosmetics, ever-present excrement, festering natural illness, and, sometimes, murder. 

What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer?

In 2005, Kerri Rawson heard a knock on the door of her apartment. When she opened it, an FBI agent informed her that her father had been arrested for murdering ten people, including two children. It was then that she learned her father was the notorious serial killer known as BTK, a name he'd given himself that described the horrific way he committed his crimes: bind, torture, kill. As news of his capture spread, Wichitacelebrated the end of a thirty-one-year nightmare.

For Kerri Rawson, another was just beginning. She was plunged into a black hole of horror and disbelief. The same man who had been a loving father, a devoted husband, church president, Boy Scout leader, and a public servant had been using their family as a cover for his heinous crimes since before she was born. Everything she had believed about her life had been a lie.

Written with candor and extraordinary courage, A Serial Killer's Daughter is an unflinching exploration of life with one of America's most infamous killers and an astonishing tale of personal and spiritual transformation. For all who suffer from unhealed wounds or the crippling effects of violence, betrayal, and anger, Kerri Rawson's story offers the hope of reclaiming sanity in the midst of madness, rebuilding a life in the shadow of death, and learning to forgive the unforgivable.

Looking for books with non-stop action and cliff-hangers galore?  Then, try one of these:

The maze runner by 1972- James Dashner
Six of crows by Leigh Bardugo

Recently, two publishers decided to reissue mystery classics from the "Golden Age" of crime writing.

Penzler Publishers created its imprint, American Mystery Classics, to re-release classic American mystery and detective fiction in hardcover and paperback. Ellery Queen, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Dorothy B. Hughes, and Craig Rice will be featured. 

Poisoned Pen Press will also be publishing mystery classics, with a focus on titles originally published across the pond. Their focus will be on books from the British Crime Classic series and the British Library Spy Classics series. 

Robert Rosenwald, President at Poisoned Pen Press, shares, "The British Library Crime and Spy Classics series provides important historical context for mystery enthusiasts. These titles are written by authors who were pioneers in crime fiction..." Source. 

Below are just a few of the American Mystery Classics and British Crime Classics the Library titles has available for mystery devotees. 

The offices of foreign literature publisher and renowned stamp collector Donald Kirk are often host to strange activities, but the most recent occurrence­--the murder of an unknown caller, found dead in an empty waiting room--is unlike any that has come before. Nobody, it seems, entered or exited the room, and yet the crime scene clearly has been manipulated, leaving everything in the room turned backwards and upside down. Stuck through the back of the corpse's shirt are two long spears--and a tangerine is missing from the fruit bowl. Enter amateur sleuth Ellery Queen, who arrives just in time to witness the discovery of the body, only to be immediately drawn into a complex case in which no clue is too minor or too glaring to warrant careful consideration.

Home sweet homicide by 1908-1957 Craig Rice

Unoccupied and unsupervised while mother is working, the children of widowed crime writer Marion Carstairs find diversion wherever they can. So when the kids hear gunshots at the house next door, they jump at the chance to launch their own amateur investigation--and after all, why shouldn't they? They know everything the cops do about crime scenes, having read about them in mother's novels. They know what her literary detectives would do in such a situation, how they would interpret the clues and handle witnesses. Plus, if the children solve the puzzle before the cops, it will do wonders for the sales of mother's novels. But this crime scene isn't a game at all; the murder is real, and when its details prove more twisted than anything in mother's fiction, they'll have to enlist Marion's help to sort them out. Or is that just part of their plan to hook her up with the lead detective on the case? 

Also available in: print | audiobook

 

In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie's heavenly reunion with Annie--the little girl he saved on earth--in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect. Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom's beloved novel, The Five People You Meet inHeaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie's journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, inthis magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie's story. The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie's life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally found happiness. As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey--and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed. Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter,but that every ending is also a beginning--we only need to open our eyes to see it.

Also available in: print | audiobook

 

Married couple Noah and Emily have decided to call it quits, and Noah is leaving in the morning. Emily's friend Kari prays for a miracle. But deep inside, Kari knows she needs a miracle herself.

Also available in: print | audiobook

 

A love affair and a mysterious murder cast their shadows across generations, set in England from the 1860s until the present day.

India!

Meet Vish Puri, India's most private investigator. Portly, persistent, and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swath through modern India's swindlers, cheats, and murderers.In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centers and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri's main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests.But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri's resources to investigate. How will he trace the fate of the girl, known only as Mary, in a population of more than one billion? Who is taking potshots at him and his prize chili plants? And why is his widowed "Mummy-ji" attempting to play sleuth when everyone knows mummies are not detectives?With his team of undercover operatives -- Tubelight, Flush, and Facecream -- Puri ingeniously combines modern techniques with principles of detection established in India more than two thousand years ago -- long before "that Johnny-come-lately" Sherlock Holmes donned his deerstalker.The search for Mary takes him to the desert oasis of Jaipur and the remote mines of Jharkhand. From Puri's well-heeled Gymkhana Club to the slums where the servant classes live, his adventures reveal modern India in all its seething complexity.

Bruno, chief of police by 1947 January 23- Martin Walker
Also available in: audiobook

France!

Walker pens the first in a wonderful series that follows the exploits of Benoit Courreges, affectionately nicknamed Bruno, the chief of police in a small French village in the South of France where the rituals of the caf still rule.

The janissary tree by 1964- Jason Goodwin
Also available in: e-audiobook

Turkey!

It is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the Sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim Lastname, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world. You see, Yashim is a eunuch.He leads us into the palace's luxurious seraglios and Istanbul's teeming streets, and leans on the wisdom of a dyspeptic Polish ambassador, a transsexual dancer, and a Creole-born queen mother. And he introduces us to the Janissaries. For 400 years, they were the empire's elite soldiers, but they grew too powerful, and ten years ago, the Sultan had them crushed. Are the Janissaries staging a brutal comeback? The Janissary Tree is the first in a series featuring the most enchanting detective since Precious Ramotswe of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Splendidly paced and illuminating, it belongs beside Caleb Carr's The Alienist and the historical thrillers of Arturo Perez-Reverte.

An amateur sleuth, an unsuspecting victim, a quirky supporting cast, and a trail of clues and red herrings are the main ingredients of a cozy mystery. The term “cozy” was coined in the late 20th century and, in a cozy, it is not that person alone who fights the battle for justice. Many times, the protagonist is surrounded by a group of family and friends (and animals!), who are cheering her on to solve the crime. Source.

Below are a few cozy mysteries that feature animals as integral characters...

Probable claws by Rita Mae Brown
Also available in: large print

Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her friends and animal companions pursue the threads of a mystery dating back to Virginia's post-Revolutionary past, when their 18th-century predecessors struggled with the challenges of the fledgling country. In the present day, Harry's new friendship with Marvella Lawson, doyenne of the Richmond art world, leads her to rediscover her own creative passions-- and reveals evidence of an all too contemporary crime.

It’s February, prime foxhunting season for the members of Virginia’s Jefferson Hunt Club, when a shocking event alarms the community. A woman is found brutally murdered, stripped naked, and meticulously placed atop a horse statue outside a tack shop. The theft of a treasured foxhunting prize inside the store may be linked to the grisly scene, and everyone is on edge.

With few clues to go on, “Sister” Jane Arnold, master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, uses her fine-tuned horse sense to try to solve the mystery of this “Lady Godiva” murder. But Sister isn’t the only one equipped to sniff out the trail. The local foxes, horses, and hounds have their own theories on the whodunit. If only these peculiar humans could just listen to them, they’d see that the killer might be right under their oblivious noses–and that Sister could become the killer’s next victim. 

Comanche Captive by D. Laszlo Conhaim

Scott Renald is an Indian agent searching for white captives. Laura Little is a former captive seeking her Comanche-born son. They meet unexpectedly on the high plains. Touched by her story, Renald leads Laura's search while hostile tribesmen pursue them. Word of their predicament reaches Fort Sill, and agents are dispatched to grab her and recall him. Meanwhile, the army prepares for war with the Comanche. Circumstances propel all into a heart-wrenching and bloody conflict of competing loyalties and surprising discoveries against the scorched backdrop of the Staked Plain.

Also available in: print

"Be kind and have faith." Ella Troyer strives to abide by her mother's final words, although life in the small Amish town of Echo Creek isn't always easy. Her new stepmother, Linda, treats her coldly, and her two stepsisters, Drusilla and Anna, delight in gossip and laziness. After her father's death, Ella's stepsisters are free to attend youth singings while Ella stays at home to manage the household chores, rarely seeing another soul. Until one day, while running an errand, she has a chance meeting with a young Amish man from a nearby town. Drusilla and Anna are full of admiration for charming, affluent newcomer Johannes Wagler, and Linda hopes to ensnare him as a husband for one of her girls-- while keeping Ella out of the way. As for Hannes, he longs to catch another glimpse of the mysterious young woman who can sing so sweetly and bake the most delicious pie he's ever sampled. Now, with a little help from some unlikely sources, Ella dares to hope she might find her heart's dearest wishes-- for love, family, and a home of her own-- coming true at last.

Also available in: print

A poignant, evocative, and wonderfully gossipy account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else--Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill--from the authors of Furious Love.

When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie's thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees--but nothing to her. "I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime," read Jackie's final testament. Drawing on the authors' candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style.

In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty--in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry--and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father's favorite, and Lee, her mother's. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.

Murder on the Orient Express: a Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie is one of the author's most famous mysteries. The story was inspired by two real-life crimes and the author's own experience being stranded on the Orient Express during Christmas of 1931.

In the book, the dapper detective Hercule Poirot, for whom murder-solving is a precise, intellectual exercise, agrees to interview all aboard the famous train's Calais coach, hoping to find the killer of an American millionaire before the local police arrive.

If you enjoy fast-paced mysteries like Murder on the Orient Express, then you may enjoy...

Also available in: audiobook

In 1914, a bold young American names Mary Russell meets a retired beekeeper in the English countryside. His name is Sherlock Holmes. And though many years have passed since he astonished Watson by solving Scotland Yard's most baffling crimes, the Great Detective is no fool. He instantly spots a fellow intellect in Mary. When his greatest enemy returns with a fiendishly resourceful plan for revenge, Holmes knows he faces the case of his lifetime - and that he needs Mary's help to solve it.

Also available in: audiobook

Nurse Hester Monk and her husband, William, commander of the Thames River Police, do desperate battle with two obsessed scientists who in the name of healing have turned to homicide. The monomaniacal Rand brothers--Magnus, a cunning doctor, and Hamilton, a genius chemist--are utterly ruthless in their pursuit of a cure for the fatal "white-blood disease." In London's Royal Naval Hospital annex, Hester is tending one of the brothers' dying patients--wealthy Bryson Radnor--when she stumbles upon three weak, terrified young children, and learns to her horror that they've been secretly purchased and imprisoned by the Rands for experimental purposes. But the Rand brothers are too close to a miracle cure to allow their experiments to be exposed. Before Hester can reveal the truth, she too becomes a prisoner. As Monk and his faithful friends--distinguished lawyer Oliver Rathbone and reformed brothel keeper Squeaky Robinson among them--scour London's grimy streets and the beautiful English countryside searching for her, Hester's time, as well as the children's, is quickly draining away.

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