I am only a baby mystery reader, but here’s a tiny post of my mystery recs so far!
The way my life is organized these days, it’s tough for me to write reviews, so one of these books has a review and the rest have just their blurbs, but I love them all. Hopefully you find something new to read and enjoy!
Before we jump in:
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I listened to this in audio, and narrator Philip Battley did an excellent job. I’ve also listened to the second in the series, which isn’t actually a mystery (as many reviewers were quick to point out), but I was fine with that.
“Oxford, Spring 1353. When young bookseller Nicholas Elyot discovers the body of student William Farringdon floating in the river Cherwell, it looks like a drowning. Soon, however, Nicholas finds evidence of murder. Who could have wanted to kill this promising student?
As Nicholas and his scholar friend Jordain try to unravel what lies behind William’s death, they learn that he was innocently caught up in a criminal plot.
When their investigations begin to involve town, university, and abbey, Nicholas takes a risky gamble – and puts his family in terrible danger.”
“A jaded spy and a shell shocked country doctor team up to solve a murder in postwar England.
James Sommers returned from the war with his nerves in tatters. All he wants is to retreat to the quiet village of his childhood and enjoy the boring, predictable life of a country doctor. The last thing in the world he needs is a handsome stranger who seems to be mixed up with the first violent death the village has seen in years. It certainly doesn’t help that this stranger is the first person James has wanted to touch since before the war.
The war may be over for the rest of the world, but Leo Page is still busy doing the dirty work for one of the more disreputable branches of the intelligence service. When his boss orders him to cover up a murder, Leo isn’t expecting to be sent to a sleepy village. After a week of helping old ladies wind balls of yarn and flirting with a handsome doctor, Leo is in danger of forgetting what he really is and why he’s there. He’s in danger of feeling things he has no business feeling. A person who burns his identity after every job can’t set down roots.
As he starts to untangle the mess of secrets and lies that lurk behind the lace curtains of even the most peaceful-seeming of villages, Leo realizes that the truths he’s about to uncover will affect his future and those of the man he’s growing to care about.”
If you like messy main characters, this mystery series is for you. Roxane Weary is a private investigator, daughter of a slain police officer, and very definitely an alcoholic. She has an ill-advised on-again off-again affair with her ex-girlfriend, who married a man, and Roxane is also sleeping with her father’s former partner on the force. In the first book, The Last Place You Look, She’s hired by a Black woman to investigate the long-ago disappearance of a white teenage girl, because the client’s brother is awaiting execution for the murder of the girl and her parents. Roxane pursues the case doggedly, especially once she finds a possible connection between the case and an unsolved case of her father’s. It’s clear that Roxane’s substance abuse is increasingly as much of an obstacle to solving the case as the lack of solid evidence and interference from suspicious local cops; as a fictional device, her blackouts and other incidents only increase the tension.
I was so wrapped up in the writing and Allyson Ryan’s narration of the first book that I barely resented doing hours of physical therapy exercises at home while listening to the audiobook. If that’s not a sufficient testimonial, I don’t know what else I can say!
I really enjoyed the second and third books as well. The fourth didn’t click as well with me, but I still love the characters, so I’m looking forward to the fifth.
I’ve read the first five books in this series so far, and they’re all excellent – especially the character development over time.
“In the days of the Raj, a newly arrived Scotland Yard detective is confronted with the murder of a British official—in his mouth a note warning the British to leave India, or else…
Calcutta, 1919. Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. He is immediately overwhelmed by the heady vibrancy of the tropical city, but with barely a moment to acclimatize or to deal with the ghosts that still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that threatens to destabilize a city already teetering on the brink of political insurgency.
The body of a senior official has been found in a filthy sewer, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India, or else. Under tremendous pressure to solve the case before it erupts into increased violence on the streets, Wyndham and his two new colleagues—arrogant Inspector Digby and Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID—embark on an investigation that will take them from the opulent mansions of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city.”
This is the second book in a series, and I did read the first one quite a while before it, but I really think it works as a standalone and it’s a stronger book. You can backtrack if you want to know more.
“Was Bill Ryan’s death an accident? Henry Rios has his doubts.
The first new Henry Rios novel in 20 years from six-time Lambda Literary award winner Michael Nava is a brilliantly plotted mystery that weaves together the gripping story of two gay men against the backdrop of 1980s San Francisco as the tsunami of AIDS bears down upon the city.”
Currently out of print, but I saw that it’s being brought back ASAP.
“His practice newly established, metaphysician Ned Mathey can’t afford to turn away any clients. But the latest Londoner to seek Ned’s magical aid gives him pause: Mr Edgar Nevett, an arrogant banker, is the father of the bully who made Ned’s life hell at boarding school. Nevertheless, Ned accepts the commission to ensure the Nevett family silver bears no ancient or modern curses, and then prepares to banish the Nevett family to unpleasant memory again. Until Edgar Nevett is killed by an enchanted silver candlestick—one of the pieces Ned declared magically harmless.
Calling on his old school friend Julian Lynes—private detective and another victim of the younger Nevett—Ned races to solve the murder, clear the stain on his professional reputation, and lay to rest the ghosts of his past. Assisted by Ned’s able secretary Miss Frost, who has unexpected metaphysical skills of her own, Ned and Julian explore London’s criminal underworld and sodomitical demimonde, uncover secrets and scandals, confront the unexpected murderer and the mysteries of their own relationship.”
And that’s the list! Hope you found something interesting. If you have any suggestions for me, get in touch, always happy to hear about good books!