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JLeslie's avatar

Can you recommend some mystery books?

Asked by JLeslie (47096 points ) February 8th, 2013

They need to be old enough that the public library would have them. It’s for my aunt, I send them to the Kindle I bought for her.

I know she likes Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder series. Other authors she likes are Hakan Nesser and Donna Leon. Knowing this I hope you can recommend some other authors and titles.

Thanks ahead of time.

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13 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Donald Westlake was one of my favorite authors years and years ago. I still recall a line in one of his stories where he talked about how the police department of a particular area had always used the Dodge Fury as their patrol car model, and then upgraded later to the Fury II, and then the Fury III. He [his character] stated that the police department would keep on upgrading along the Fury line until the company came out with a model called “Kill”.

I’m wondering if you can download Agatha Christie novels for free. She was always one of the best mystery writers around, and your aunt may not have read them all yet. (She was very prolific.)

flutherother's avatar

Ian Rankin is good. His crime stories are set in Scotland. His Inspector Rebus novels are popular. This is the first

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Any of P.D. James books are excellent. She’s an English writer, and one of my favorites.

janbb's avatar

“In a Dry Season” by Peter Robinson and others of his in that series are very good. Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie mysteries are also excellent.

marinelife's avatar

I still love the novels of the late Dick Francis. “Nerve” was the first mystery I ever read. “Break In” is particularly good too.

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh, yeah. I read the first of the Jackson Brodie series and liked it a lot. Gotta keep going on that.

Jonathan Kellerman and his wife, Faye Kellerman, both write good murder mysteries, and they’re not at all copycats of each other’s style.

janbb's avatar

@CWOTUS It’s a great series. As I recall, the second is a little weak but the third (or fourth one?) is brilliant.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks! I just sent a couple books by Peter Robinson, and am on a waiting list for some others. She was very happy you all had so many suggestions. Over the next couple weeks I will send her books from some of the other authors and see which ones she enjoys most.

She mentioned another genre she likes, but now I don’t remember what it was. Next time I talk to her I might write another Q for it. She is homebound so having books to read is very important to her. Thank goodness NYC library works with Kindle.

blueiiznh's avatar

If I told you it would no longer be a mystery.

Sherlock Holmes Stories
Anything Poe
Anything Ian Fleming
Anything John le Carre’

To kill a mockingbird

CWOTUS's avatar

Calculus and Linear Algebra were always mysteries to me. They still are. I don’t know whodunnit or howdunnit.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m not familiar with the authors that you mentioned, but I love good mysteries too. Here are some great books that I’ve read that are not your typical “crime drama” style stories. The books that I like usually involve stories about the lives of average women (and their families and friends and enemies), but with twists and mysteries woven into the stories. Hopefull she’ll enjoy some of these.

Anything by Sandra Dallas, but especially The Persian Pickle Club and Alice’s Tulips. Both of these books are period pieces and most (if not all) of Ms. Dallas’s books have stitching themes within them (quilting, sewing etc.) The first one is set in the 1930’s and the second book is set during the time of the Civil War. Both feature initially naive young ladies, who are trying to fit in with new in-laws, friends and townspeople. They each grow into strong, thoughtful women. In the meantime, something is going on in each of their little neck of the woods that just doesn’t make sense.

The entire Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross. This is one of my favorite series. They can be read as separate entities, but are best read in the order in which they came out. She should at least read the first one first so she can get the idea of who these people are. This is the story of southern woman of a certain age in a small town, who has become widowed. Everything she thought she knew about her life and her deceased husband changes, when she receives a shocking surprise gift. These books have a wonderful ensemble cast of characters including her friends, her extended family, her neighbors and the townsfolk. Of course, in each of the books, there is a mystery afoot and Miss Julia is going to get to the bottom of it, even if she has to pull on a pair of pants (God forbid a proper southern woman should wear anything except a tasteful dress at all times) or take a ride on a motorcyle with a potential love interest (shocking!). Here are the books In Order

The entire series of Hot Flash books by Nancy Thayer. As you might imagine, the heroines in this story are middle aged, so simply disregard the unfortunate title of the series and procede. The Hot Flash Club is the first in the series by Nancy Thayer about a group of middle aged women who unexpectedly meet and become friends, although their backgrounds are quite dissimilar. They’re all on the verge of love and adventure, hilarity and heartbreak, and there is always a big mystery that needs solving. Set in Boston and Nantuckett, there are wonderful descriptions of the landscape and cityscapes. Here is the Hot Flash series In Order. These also can be read as separate entities, but it’s more fun to read them in order and you do need to read the first one first, at least, to figure out who all of these folks are. My particular favorite, so far, has been the Hot Flash Holidays because there is one particular sub-story about one of the characters and her trip to Scotland, which could have been an entire story all on it’s own merits. Made me want to visit Scotland even more than I did in the past.

These are all great rainy day with a cup of tea books. And all three kept me up late into the night because I couldn’t put them down. Anyway, I hope your aunt might enjoy some of these picks.

JLeslie's avatar

So far she loved Kate Atkinson! Once she started reading she realized she had read one or two of her books before.

Thanks!

janbb's avatar

Kate Atkinson is great.

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