Here is a list of the mysteries recommended by club members. Also a list of mysteries we have read. Dave Ross recommended the mother of mysteries websites:

Carol Burlinson of the Women's Bookclub is an avid reader of mysteries. I asked her to share a few of her choices with us. They are included below.


Mysteries List



Rambie Briggs

Chief Inspector Gamache Novels Louise Penny
All the Devils are Here. (Latest book.) Louise Penny

Al Lindsey

A Gentleman in Moscow Amor Towles
Chief Inspector Gamache Novels Louise Penny
Karen and I were in Quebec City last year and visited some of the places in her book about it; but we were never able to get into the interior of The English Library.

Carl Hehmsoth

Tess Monaghan Mystery Series Laura Lippman
These feature Tess Monaghan who was a reporter and has turned private eye. Most take place in Baltimore, though one, In Big Trouble is in San Antonio.
Baltimore Blues (1st in series.) Laura Lippman

Dave Ross

 Bill Gastner and Posadas County series Steven F. Havill
These are set in a fictitious county in Southern New Mexico. If you have driven West toward Lordsburg on I-10, you know what the territory looks like. Gastner’s  chief detective is Estelle Reyes, a young immigrant from Mexico. She marries and has two kids who grow up in the series. The first book in the series is Heartshot (1991). 
Commissario Brunetti series Donna Leon
These are set in Venice. Brunetti’s wife is a professor of English at the local university. They have two kids who grow up during the series. The first book in the series is Death at La Fenice (1991). (La Fenice is the Venetian opera house.)
Mary Russel/Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Laurie R. King
The first book is The Beekeeper’s. Apprentice (1994). You may or may not approve of additions to the genre, but I find these delightful. Mary Russel is a brilliant young girl, who meets and eventually marries the retired Sherlock. Based on a memoir, supposedly discovered by Laurie R. King
Grijpstra and de Gier mysteries Janwillem van de Wetering
These are set in Amsterdam. Two somewhat inept and humorous cops. The first book is Outsider in Amsterdam (1975). Always entertaining. 

Mel Oakes

 Martin Beck Police mystery series Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö 
Martin Beck is a police inspector in Stockholm, Sweden. There are 10 books in the series and they should be read in order. Rosanna is the first book.
 Kramers and Zondi mystery series James McClure 
Tromp Kramer, an Afrikaner police detective, and Mickey Zondi, a Bantu police sergeant, in Trekkersburg, South Africa. The eight books are rich in dialogue, have clever plots, and even slip in occasional bits of absurd humor.
 Maigret mystery series George Simenon
Jules Maigret, or simply Maigret, is a fictional French police detective, a commissaire of the Paris Brigade Criminelle , created by writer Georges Simenon. The character's full name is Jules Amedée François Maigret. Between 1931 and 1972, 75 novels and 28 short stories about Maigret were published, starting with Pietr-le-Letton ("Peter the Lett") and concluding with Maigret et Monsieur Charles ("Maigret and Monsieur Charles"). The Maigret stories were also adapted around the world for film, television and radio. The film versions have included Charles Laughton and Jean Gabin. The PBS Mystery had a long series that starred Michael Gambon. In 1977, George Simenon claimed he had had sex with 10,000 women in the 61 years since his 13th birthday. His second wife has said the number is closer to 1,200 women.

Michael Hall

 The Moonstone Wilkie Collins
 The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
 Inspector Morse series Colin Dexter

Sam Sutherland

Spenser and Jesse Stone books Robert Parker
The ones Parker actually wrote, not those churned out by other authors after his death.  Both characters have been rendered on TV, but the books are better.  Think updated Raymond Chandler, but more witty and more literate. 
Longmire series. Craig Johnson
I’d suggest starting with the first book, A Cold Dish, to enjoy the evolving relationships between the main characters, as well as Johnson’s gradual reveal of Longmire’s backstory.
The Dresden Files series Jim Butcher
A series that doesn’t *quite* fit the mystery mold, but shares some of the same features.  The main character is a wizard (yes, a wizard) trying to make a living as a private investigator in modern-day Chicago – a Chicago with a surprising number of demons, vampires, and such.  Butcher wrote the first book (Storm Front) for a grad-school fiction class, and it shows, but he got much better by the 4th or 5th in the series. 
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Steg Larrson
Not the smoothest writing (perhaps the translator’s fault), but one of the most fascinating characters in modern fiction. 

John Burlinson

 The Killer Inside Me Jim Thompson
My ultimate test of any mystery novel is “would I be willing to read it again?”  I’ve read both of these at least twice and actually look forward to another go-around. The ultimate “hard-boiled” thriller.  Although there’s a murder (more than one), there’s little question as to whodunit.  Nonetheless,  there are plenty of mysteries, not the least is “what’s going to happen on the next page?” 
Endless Night Agatha Christie
No Poirot.  No Marple.  Not even Tommy or Tuppence.  This is one of her last books written in 1967 at age 77, (it took her all of 6 weeks). It knocked her many fans for a loop when it was issued, with one critic writing: “sufficient to warn the reader that if he should think this is a romance he couldn't be more mistaken, and the crashing, not to say horrific suspense at the end is perhaps the most devastating that this surpriseful author has ever brought off." Which only goes to show that even professional journalists can be so flummoxed  by Ms. Christie that they resort to such locutions as “surpriseful”, which won’t win any points on the Scrabble board.

Carol Burlinson

 Travis McGee series John D. MacDonald
Travis McGee helps victims of crimes who cannot get help anywhere else. All the titles include a color. Two of my favorites are: Pale Gray for Guilt and Dress Her in Indigo 
Strip Tease and Native Son Carl Hiasson
Humor and crime in South Florida
Harpur and Lies Bill James
British cops and robbers with a good dose of black humor thrown in. One of my favorites is Panicking Ralph
When the Women Come Out to Dance (short story collection) Elmore Leonard
In more than 30 books spanning half a century, Elmore Leonard has captured the imagination of millions as few writers can. A literary icon praised by the New York Times Book Review as “the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever, ”
Mysteries Read by Bookclub
Tony Hillerman - Talking God
Arthur Upfield - The Mystery of Swordfish Reef
Peter Bowen - Coyote Wind
Peter Bowen - Specimen Song
Reginald Hill - On Beulah Height
Tony Hillerman- Seldom Disappointed (actually a memoir)
Henning Mankell - The Fifth Woman
Craig Johnson - Another Man’s mocassins
Louise Penny - A Rule Against Murder
Colin Dexter - Death is Now My Neighbor














































































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