Category Archives: Mysteries

Funeral Music

I picked up the first two of Morag Joss’s award-winning Sara Selkirk series — Funeral Music and Fearful Symmetry — at a book sale in the spring, mostly because I like the name Morag, and also because it was appealing … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 4 Comments

Black Water Rising

Attica Locke’s debut novel is a great example of why diversity in fiction can be such a pleasure. In many respects, it’s a typical thriller, with its reluctant hero, wide-ranging conspiracy, and multi-threaded plot that all comes together in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 10 Comments

Broken Monsters

I’m not sure where I first heard about this novel by Lauren Beukes, but I was given the impression that it’s a sort of science fiction mystery. It’s not that exactly. It’s really a straight-up horror novel that reads like … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

The Cruelest Month

The Cruelest Month is the third I’ve read of Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series, set in the small village of Three Pines near Montreal. In this book, set on Easter weekend, a psychic happens to be visiting the village on … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 15 Comments

Piège pour Cendrillon (Trap for Cinderella)

Sébastien Japrisot is the name under which Jean-Baptiste Rossi wrote his marvelous, twisty, cunning crime novels. (It is interesting to see that his biographers and critics often write about his early novels as “literature,” as opposed to his crime novels. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 9 Comments

The Birthday Present

When I saw on Saturday that Ruth Rendell had died, I just happened to have The Birthday Present, which she wrote under the name Barbara Vine, out from the library. Of course, I had to pick it up right away … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 12 Comments

120, rue de la Gare

120, rue de la Gare, by Léo Malet, is one of the very first French “romans noirs,” a phrase taken from a series of novels published under the rubric Série Noire. The French were very much influenced by American authors … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 1 Comment

The Law and the Lady

Wilkie Collins wrote four major novels during the 1860s, and they made his reputation as an author of excellent literary sensation fiction: The Woman in White, The Moonstone, No Name, and Armadale. I read The Woman in White when I … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Mysteries | 16 Comments

Le Port des brumes (Death of a Harbormaster)

The second book I taught in my French Crime Fiction class this semester was an early novel from a favorite author: Georges Simenon. Simenon (who was actually a Belgian, but who’s counting) wrote nearly 200 novels over several decades, as … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 3 Comments

The Bones of Paris

I’ve been a fan of Laurie King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mysteries, as well as her present-day Kate Martinelli series, since 1995. Enjoying those series as much as I do can sometimes mean that I’m initially disappointed when King writes something … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 8 Comments