Case histories book cover

Case histories

Kate Atkinson

FICTION Atkinson, Kate

Heidi K's picture

This year Kate Atkinson came out with her 5th book in her Jackson Brodie series, "Big Sky." I was once again reminded that I had never read a single book by Ms. Atkinson, despite constantly adding her books to my Goodreads "to read" list and hearing good things about her writing. I decided to read the first Jackson Brodie book, "Case Histories." I loved it! What I was most struck by was the sense of humor in her storytelling, even while dealing with tough subjects. The Jackson Brodie books (so far) are a blend of literary fiction and mystery - we shelve them in the regular fiction section. If you, like me, have been "meaning to" read Atkinson for years and keep putting it off, do yourself a favor and start one of her books. She also has many stand-alone novels which I look forward to reading. -Heidi K

Brown Girl Dreaming book cover

Brown Girl Dreaming

Kids, Mystery

Maeve's picture

I had never read a book by Jacqueline Woodson, but after hearing her speak in Iowa City, I couldn't wait to start. I chose Brown Girl Dreaming, a National Book Award winner because so many people I spoke with recommended it as the first to read. It was fantastic! Ms. Woodson is a gifted story teller and this children's autobiographical work about her childhood is marvelous on so many levels. It is a book for teens and adults too. I can't wait to read another book by her. -Maeve

Truly Devious book cover

Truly Devious

Maureen Johnson

Fiction, Mystery

When Stevie Bell, an amateur detective, begins her first year at a famous private school in Vermont, she sets a plan to solve the cold case involving the kidnapping of the founder's wife and daughter shortly after the school opened.

Beth's picture

Can't wait to see where Maureen Johnson takes the main character Stevie. -Beth

Lock in book cover

Lock in

John Scalzi

Science Fiction, Mystery

"Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves "locked in"--fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. One per cent doesn't seem like a lot. But in the United States, that's 1.7 million people "locked in"...including the President's wife and daughter. Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, "The Agora," in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can "ride" these people and use their bodies as if they were their own. This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse..."--

Brian's picture

Part Sci-Fi, part Mystery--Lock In has something for lovers of both! -Brian

Deja dead book cover

Deja dead

Kathy Reichs

MYSTERY Reichs, Kathy

Kara's picture

Kathy Reichs Temperance Brennan series features a forensic anthropologist who works in Montreal and North Carolina using her scientific skills to solve mysteries. The series blossomed into the Bones television series, but my favorites are the first books: Deja Dead and Death du Jour. Reichs is an actual forensic anthropologist so the details are real. -Kara

"A" is for alibi : a Kinsey Millhone mystery book cover

"A" is for alibi : a Kinsey Millhone mystery

Sue Grafton

MYSTERY Grafton, Sue

Kara's picture

Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series features a strong female private investigator who solves mysteries in Southern California. I listened to many of the series and the narration is great. Sadly, Grafton recently died and the series ended with "Y is for Yesterday" in 2017. -Kara

One for the money book cover

One for the money

Janet Evanovich


Kara's picture

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series cultivates a cast of memorable characters who all pitch in to help Stephanie solve crimes. This may be a bit too chick-lit-y for some Nancy Drew fans (and certainly Morelli and Ranger don't compare to Ned) but Stephanie is dedicated and gets the job done. A note for new readers of this series - you don't have to read the books in order but it helps. The first two or three books are not as good but then the characters find their voice and the series takes off. -Kara

The sweetness at the bottom of the pie book cover

The sweetness at the bottom of the pie

C. Alan Bradley

MYSTERY Bradley, C. Alan

Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.

Kara's picture

Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce mystery series is delightful. Flavia, an aspiring young chemist, lives in a large house with her father and pesky siblings. She finds trouble at every turn but, with perseverance and intelligence she always cracks the case. -Kara

Monk's-hood : the third chronicle of Brother Cadfael book cover

Monk's-hood : the third chronicle of Brother Cadfael

Ellis Peters

MYSTERY Peters, Ellis

Brent's picture

I watched these on PBS a long time ago. Now I'm trying them in book form. So far so good. -Brent

Cocaine blues : a Phryne Fisher mystery book cover

Cocaine blues : a Phryne Fisher mystery

Kerry Greenwood

MYSTERY Greenwood, Kerry
Fiction, Mystery

Amanda's picture

Phryne Fisher is sassy, smart, and stylish--what more could you want in a main character? I love this look into 1920s Australia--especially the descriptions of the clothes! Plus, the mystery itself is fantastically executed! -Amanda