2019 Year in Review: SMSA’s Top 10 Mysteries
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Scottish reporter Colin Bannerman is sent to Brussels to write a series of articles about the Common Market. His editor asks him to stay at the home of a newspaper colleague for the duration of his visit. Bannerman dislikes the man Slater intensely but unexpectedly forms an attachment to Tania Slater’s young, autistic daughter. Shortly after Bannerman’s arrival, Slater and a junior minister at the EEC, Robert Gryffe, are assassinated, Tania accidently witnesses the crime and the murderer is given instructions to kill her. Meanwhile the local police are instructed to cover – up the double murder for political reasons. But Bannerman is determined to find out and reveal the truth.
Bernie is a young detective working in Vice when he gets a summons from Bernard Weiss, Chief of Berlin’s Criminal Police. Bernie’s first task is to investigate the Silesian Station killings – four prostitutes murdered in as many weeks. Bernie hardly has time to acquaint himself with the case files before another prostitute is murdered. This time the girl’s father runs Berlin’s foremost criminal ring, and he’s prepared to go to extreme lengths to find his daughter’s killer. Then a second series of murders begins – it seems that someone is determined to clean up Berlin of anyone less than perfect. The voice of Nazism is becoming a roar that threatens to drown out all others. But not Bernie Gunther’s.
When an American war correspondent’s murder is concealed by British authorities, Maisie Dobbs agrees to work alongside an agent of the US Department of Justice to discover the truth. With German bombs raining down on London, Maisie is torn between the demands of solving this dangerous case and the need to protect a young evacuee. The stakes are raised when she faces the possibility of losing her dearest friend – and that she might be falling in love again.
When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. Erika quickly realizes she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.
Alan Barrington, who has evaded capture for ten years, is the suspect in an appalling murder during Black Ascot, the famous 1910 royal horse race meet honoring the late King Edward VII. Meticulously retracing the original inquiry, Rutledge begins to know Alan Barrington well, delving into relationships and secrets that hadn’t surfaced in 1910. His sanity is suddenly brought into question by a shocking turn of events. The only way to save his career – much less his sanity – is to find Alan Barrington and bring him to justice. But is this elusive murderer still in England?
A rich American art student is found dead at the bottom of a well in an ancient hilltop castle. Bruno learns that Claudia had been trying to buy the chateau and art collection of her tutor, even while her researches led her to suspect that some of his attributions may have been forged. This takes Bruno down a trail that leads him from the ruins of Berlin in 1945, to France’s colonial war in Algeria. The long arm of French history has reached out to find a new victim, but can Bruno identify the killer – and prove his case?
Newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Kathy Kolla investigates a series of brutal murders on Hampstead Heath. Under intense pressure to find answers, she arrests the unlikely figure of Charles Pettigrew, a failing London publisher who lives alone on the edge of the Heath. Pettigrew’s lawyer calls on recently retired David Brock for advice, and Brock joins the investigation. At the heart of the gripping mystery, lies a manuscript of one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century. And Brock believes that its story will unlock the puzzle, but how?
DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to ‘go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there’. Although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. Meanwhile, Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a 12-year-old girl who disappeared 30 years ago. The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly.
Detective Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend, Emma, stumbles across the victim of a hit-and-run early one morning. The dead girl is carrying an ID of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but how well does he really know her? After all, this isn’t the first time Emma’s been accused of murder.
As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, the Count Falier, Commissario Guido Brunetti agrees to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. But when Berta, a striking woman and one of Gonzalo’s closest confidantes, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzalo’s past.
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Mystery & Crime lovers abound at SMSA, so we have highlighted the top books from that genre this year. Which have you read?
We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
Check out the other lists from the SMSA’s Year in Review articles.
We’d love your suggestions
Have you read something you loved this year, but it’s not part of our collection? Or maybe there’s a book you wish we had? We’re always happy to hear your suggestions! You can share your book recommendations by writing in the suggestion book at the library desk, or submit online via the library catalogue or suggest a book for the library to purchase