#BookBingoNW2021: Mystery and Crime under 250 pages

As Summer Book Bingo 2021 comes down to the wire (deadline: Sept. 7), you may be looking to maximize your remaining reading time. To that end, here are a selection of mysteries that clock in under 250 pages, for rapid reading. Feeling more leisurely? Check out our longer list of suggested mystery/crime novels.

Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021: Mystery and Crime under 250 pages”

If You Like Tana French

We librarians hear a lot about readers’ favorite writers, and some names come up over and over again. One of these is Irish mystery writer Tana French, whose gritty Dublin Murder Squad series provides the perfect blend of police procedure and intricate psychological suspense. Only trouble is, she doesn’t write them fast enough. No worries: here are some other terrific titles – many by less well known writers – that are sure to please.

The Dark Lake, by Sarah Bailey. When her former classmate is found murdered, Det. Sgt. Gemma Woodstock uncovers puzzling mysteries in the victim’s life, from her abrupt departure from a dream teaching job to her run-down existence in spite of wealthy family ties.

Lost You, by Haylen Beck. After a closing elevator door separates them, a single mother on vacation with her son discovers he has been abducted by another woman who claims she is his mother!

One Small Sacrifice, by Hilary Davidson. An apparent suicide. A mysterious disappearance. Did one man get away with murder—twice? It is Det. Sheryn Sterling job to find out. A riveting police procedural with a strong female detective and an intriguing antagonist. Continue reading “If You Like Tana French”

Get Out of the Lake!

The lake is where you want to be on a beautiful August day, unless you’re a character in a mystery novel. I’m here to tell you that, in my experience as an avid mystery reader, an idyllic remote lake can often double as the scene of a crime. Which is why these mysteries are wonderful choices for atmospheric lakeside (or backyard or park) reads.

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman: Baltimore in the 1960s is the setting for this noir-inspired stand-alone novel from Lippman. Maddie Schwartz leaves her husband and son and pursues her dream of being a journalist. She’s obsessed with two murders and her involvement by happenstance in the first one helps her land a job at a reporter. The second murder is the LADY IN THE LAKE, a tale that has all sorts of urban lore around the case. Lippman, in my opinion, is one of the finest crime fiction writers today and I eagerly anticipate each new book from her, and this one delivered. Booklist said in a review: “This is a superb character study, a terrific newspaper novel, and a fascinating look at urban life and racial discrimination in the ’60s.” This is a Peak Pick, too! Take it to the lake, but don’t stay in the water too long … Continue reading “Get Out of the Lake!”

The Year’s Best Crime Writing: The 2019 Edgar Awards

Pulitzers, Bookers, Nobels – bah! For crime fiction fans it’s all about the Edgars. Last night the winners in several categories of crime and thriller books were announced at the Mystery Writers of America’s annual Edgar Awards ceremony: here’s a full list of these titles in our catalog, including non-fiction, books for children and teens, and the Mary Higgins Clark Awards for less violent novels with strong heroines.

As for the felonious Best In Show, we give you the nominees for the category of Best Novel:

Continue reading “The Year’s Best Crime Writing: The 2019 Edgar Awards”

Murder at the Olympic Games

I foolishly tried to resist getting caught up in the fervor, but it’s no use: once again my attention has been totally dominated by the Olympic Games. Such is the case for many of our patrons if the small talk at our service desk is any indication. There’s also been a run on all of our books about the Games, but there are some great mysteries and thrillers out there that feature the Olympics in various ways. Here’s a taste:

  • Find Lindsay Davis' See Delphi and Die in the Seattle Public Library catalog.See Delphi and Die, by Lindsay Davis. One of the best entries in this excellent series featuring sardonic ancient Roman detective Didius Falco, who in his 17th case investigates the mysterious deaths of two tourists at the ancient games.
  • A Game of Lies, by Rebecca Cantrell. In her third outing, journalist Hannah Vogel returns to Berlin under the  guise of reporting on the 1936 Olympic Games, but in truth to smuggle a mysterious package out from under the Nazi’s noses. For other fine thrillers involving the Berlin games, see Jeffery Deaver’s Garden of Beasts, Jonathan Rabb’s The Second Son, and David John’s Flight from Berlin.
  • Goldengirl, by Peter Lovesey. This curious early title of Lovesey’s about a physiologist who chemically engineers his adopted daughter into an Olympic champion anticipates the doping scandals and tiger mothers of today.
  • Find Shane Maloney's Nice Try in the Seattle Public Library catalog.Nice Try, by Shane Maloney. Called in to help manage Melbourne’s ill-fated bid for the 1990 Olympic Games, cynical arts minister Murray Whelan finds himself in the middle of a racially-charged murder investigation when a Black triathlete turns up dead.
  • Private Games, by James Patterson. A crazed madman who will stop at nothing has a bizarre scheme to devastate the glitzy London Olympic ceremonies and restore the ancient glory of the Games. Private detective Peter Knight races the clock to foil his nefarious plans. This is Patterson’s second bid for Olympic gold, after his 1979 title See How They Run, aka The Jericho Commandment, in which Dr. David Strauss follows a trail of blood to the Moscow Olympics.