The Quiche of Death


M.C. Beaton - 1992
    Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry--but falls over dead! After her quiche's secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth…Agatha has never baked a thing in her life! In fact, she bought her entry ready-made from an upper crust London quicherie. Grating on the nerves of several Carsely residents, she is soon receiving sinister notes. Has her cheating and meddling landed her in hot water, or are the threats related to the suspicious death? It may mean the difference between egg on her face and a coroner's tag on her toe…

The Thursday Murder Club


Richard Osman - 2020
    Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

The Mysterious Affair at Styles


Agatha Christie - 1920
    A refugee of the Great War, Poirot is settling in England near Styles Court, the country estate of his wealthy benefactor, the elderly Emily Inglethorp. When Emily is poisoned and the authorities are baffled, Poirot puts his prodigious sleuthing skills to work. Suspects are plentiful, including the victim’s much younger husband, her resentful stepsons, her longtime hired companion, a young family friend working as a nurse, and a London specialist on poisons who just happens to be visiting the nearby village. All of them have secrets they are desperate to keep, but none can outwit Poirot as he navigates the ingenious red herrings and plot twists that earned Agatha Christie her well-deserved reputation as the queen of mystery.

The Rabbit Factory


Marshall Karp - 2006
    Welcome to Familyland, an offshoot of Lamaar Studios. Once a small, Southern California animation house, it has grown into an entertainment conglomerate encompassing movies, television, music, video games, and a sprawling theme park. When an actor portraying Familyland's beloved mascot, Rambunctious Rabbit, is brutally murdered on park grounds, Lamaar executives are worried that the idyllic image of '50s America represented in Familyland will be shattered. They ask Mike Lomax and his partner Terry Biggs, the LAPD detectives assigned to solve the case, to keep the circumstances surrounding the death of their mascot quiet. When a second Lamaar employee is killed, Lomax and Biggs uncover a conspiracy to destroy Familyland and settle an unknown vendetta. Still under pressure to keep the case away from the public eye, the detectives are met with a third murder – and an outrageous demand: Anyone who associates with Lamaar – employees, customers, anyone – will be killed. Bringing a fresh duo of cops to the thriller set, The Rabbit Factory is both suspenseful and satiric; a taut mystery wrapped in sharp, comedic prose.

McNally's Secret


Lawrence Sanders - 1992
    Archy McNally is a freewheeling playboy who specializes in "Discreet Inquiries" for the rich and not-so-discreet. Beneath the glaring sun of Palm Beach - and behind the lowest crimes of high society - he is paid to keep family skeletons in the closet. But when it comes to sex and scandal, he has a few secrets of his own.

Heads You Lose


Lisa Lutz - 2011
    When they find a headless corpse on their property they can't exactly call 911, so they simply move the body to another location. Let somebody else find it. Instead, the corpse reappears on their land. Clearly, someone is sending them a message, and it's getting riper by the day. But that's only half of the story...Enter authors Lisa Lutz and David Hayward-former real-life partners (professionally and personally) who have agreed to reunite for a tag- team mystery novel written in alternating chapters. One little problem: they disagree on pretty much every detail of how their novel should unfold. While the body count rises in Paul and Lacey's wildly unpredictable fictional world, so too does the intensity of Lisa and David's rivalry. The result is a literary brawl like no other, and a murder mystery every bit as unanticipated (and bloody).

Buck Fever


Ben Rehder - 2002
    Game Warden John Marlin has his hands full with poaching complaints coming in faster than he can write out-of-season tickets. Then a call of a different sort comes in. A man dressed up in some sort of deer costume has been shot at the Circle S ranch, and witnesses are reporting a massive wild-eyed buck prancing about the pasture in a lovesick frenzy. Marlin's seen a lot in his years, but this is wilder than he could have imagined: the man in the deer suit is a good friend, and the whacked-out whitetail isn't exactly a stranger either. It's the beginning of a mad, frantic weekend in Blanco County, one that will see a few more men shot, an invasion by Colombians with more than hunting on their minds, and damn near the end of Marlin's life. Ben Rehder serves it all up with a huge helping of humor in this debut comic mystery that will firmly establish him as the funniest crime writer in Texas.

Cast, in Order of Disappearance


Simon Brett - 1975
    As the mythical McWhirter of the Yard, he actually precipitates the crime; as one of the blackmailer’s victims, he finds himself in bed with the blackmailer’s wife; as a small-part player in a horror film (The Zombie Walks), he gets shot at by a murderer. And he arrives at the solution by way of the petrol crisis and an abortive attack of the German measles. It’s a light-hearted frolic that is, at the same time, a beautifully ingenious puzzle, and it fizzes with fun and wit.

Thus Was Adonis Murdered


Sarah Caudwell - 1981
    But poor, romantic Julia - how could she possibly have guessed that the ravishing fellow Art Lover for whom she conceived a fatal passion was himself an employee of the Inland Revenue? Or that her hard-won night of passion with him would end in murder- with her inscribed copy of the current Finance Act subsequently discovered just a few feet away from the corpse...

Dating Dead Men


Harley Jane Kozak - 2004
    Wollie is meeting plenty of eligible bachelors but not falling in love, not until she stumbles over a dead body en route to Rio Pescado—a state-run mental hospital—and is momentarily taken hostage by a charismatic “doctor” who is on the run from the Mob. Wollie fears that her beloved brother, a paranoid schizophrenic living at Rio Pescado, is involved in the murder, so rather than go to the authorities, she decides to solve the crime on her own. As she meets up with an array of small-time crooks and swaggering mobsters only slightly more sinister than the men she’s been dating, Wollie realizes that “getting dumped” is the least of her problems. Finding true love, she discovers, sometimes means learning how to avoid getting killed . . . Dating Dead Men will keep readers guessing until the final bullet is shot—and cheering for the irresistible Wollie as she makes her way out of confusion and into the welcoming embrace of Mr. Right.

Spider's Web


Charles Osborne - 2000
    ‘Supposing I were to come down one morning and find a dead body in the library, what should I do?’ she muses. Clarissa has her chance to find out when she discovers a body in the drawing-room of her house in Kent.Desperate to dispose of the body before her husband comes home with an important foreign politician, Clarissa persuades her three house guests to become accessories and accomplices. It seems that the murdered man was not unknown to certain members of the house party (but which ones?), and the search begins for the murderer and the motive, while at the same time trying to persuade a police inspector that there has been no murder at all.This novelisation by Charles Osborne is based on Agatha Christie's play, Spider's Web.

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman


P.D. James - 1972
    When the official verdict is suicide, his wealthy father hires fledgling private investigator Cordelia Gray to find out what led him to self-destruction. What she discovers instead is a twisting trail of secrets and sins, and the strong scent of murder. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman introduces P. D. James's courageous but vulnerable young detective, Cordelia Gray, in a top-rated puzzle of peril that holds you all the way (The New York Times).

The Red House Mystery


A.A. Milne - 1922
    A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit.In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Mark Ablett. While visiting this cozy retreat, amateur detective Anthony Gillingham and his chum, Bill Beverley, investigate their genial host's disappearance and its connection with a mysterious shooting. Was the victim, whose body was found after a heated exchange with the host, shot in an act of self-defense? If so, why did the host flee, and if not, what drove him to murder?Between games of billiards and bowls, the taking of tea, and other genteel pursuits, Gillingham and Beverley explore the possibilities in a light-hearted series of capers involving secret passageways, underwater evidence, and other atmospheric devices.Sparkling with witty dialogue, deft plotting, and an intriguing cast of characters, this rare gem will charm mystery lovers, Anglophiles, and general readers alike.

The Wrong Box


Robert Louis Stevenson - 1889
    It is a farcical, eccentric and brilliantly written piece of work.

Whose Body?


Dorothy L. Sayers - 1923
    Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder -- especially with a pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What's more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath.