Beyond Bestsellers: Mysteries

by Michelle C.

We are starting off Beyond Bestsellers with the theme of mysteries! If you have not heard of Beyond Bestsellers, check out our post from earlier this week. Beyond Bestsellers is a new community reading program where we will be reading books from different themes each month. Participants can engage by creating lists in the new catalog and/or offering reading suggestions in the comments.

I did not start reading mysteries until adulthood, mainly because my mother was an avid mystery reader and as a child I wanted to be my own person. She used to read the last chapter in the bookstore before deciding to buy the book. I always thought, what’s the point if you already know the ending? Now as an adult, I understand that there are a dozen reasons why you might read a mystery novel and not all of them revolve around the suspense of trying to find out the identity of the culprit.

Each subgenre within mysteries has a different allure. Cozy mysteries often feature quirky characters and small towns. They tend to be more light-hearted. Procedural mysteries often feature police detectives and take you into the minutiae of solving a case. They may be more gritty and graphic. Historical mysteries take you back to a time before DNA and fingerprints. They tend to have a more leisurely pace and explore the details of the time period. If you are new to mysteries, try this quiz to see where you should start. Let us know in the comments what you got and if any of the suggestions look good!

If mysteries are your specialty, tell us below what type of mysteries you like and how you got started reading them.

During the month of July we will have unlimited access to the ebook A Study in Charlotte and the eaudiobooks Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, and Crocodile on the Sandbank. You can check out these books through Overdrive without a holds queue!

For additional mystery titles , you can also check out this list of mysteries that I created for Beyond Bestsellers – and definitely check out the lists your fellow readers create as part of Beyond Bestsellers! We hope many of you give list-making a try and share your reading love!

I will check in again on July 15 to see how it is going and what everyone is reading, whether it be something humorous or hard-boiled. Keep us updated in the comments and start creating those lists in the new catalog!



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17 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers: Mysteries”

  1. […] July: Mysteries […]

  2. Kelly Aley says:

    This summer I have been enjoying Dorothy Sayers’ series with Lord Peter Wimsy. They are terrific.

    • Michelle C. says:

      Hi Kelly, Did you start with the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series? I think a lot of people new to mysteries get overwhelmed when they see a series has 10 or 20 books in it, but I like knowing there are more books if I like the characters!

      • Kelly Aley says:

        I did start with the first book Whose Body. There are also PBS live versions available on YouTube for free. I have been enjoying reading the book and then watching the live actions.

  3. Emma says:

    The quiz was fun, but I had never even heard of any of the movies on the last question. 🙁

    • Michelle C. says:

      Hi Emma, I worried about people not having seen the movies when I made the quiz. We can do this in reverse order. If you tell me what type of mystery you got, I’ll tell you what movie you should see! 🙂

  4. Vickie Finn says:

    Hi everyone, I agree that a series can seem daunting, but-once you start at the beginning and you really do need to start there as stories and characters build and evolve. On the other hand you know you’re not going to run out of books for awhile either. The ebooks have made it a lot easier.
    Michelle-could we maybe take an evening to have a meet and greet while getting some training on this blog and lists? I barely fumble through and I don’t think I am the only one over 50 needing some technical assistance.

  5. Peggy N. says:

    I’m partial to ‘cozy mysteries’ and just finished Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander. It’s part of a series but easy to start the series in the middle since her mysteries are light and readers are brought up to speed quickly.

  6. Lindsey says:

    I’m like you, Michelle. I didn’t start reading mysteries until adulthood, and even then, only recently. I got historical mysteries in the quiz, which is no surprise, and I tend to prefer my mysteries on the darker side. I just watched the 2015 miniseries adaptation of And Then There Were None and I loved it! I’d never even considered giving Agatha Christie a try, I assumed she was too fluffy, but I’ve added her to my to-read list .

  7. Vickie Finn says:

    Hello fellow book geeks, I have been reading mystery novels for over 40 years and some of favorite cozy mysteries are feline detectives. Yes-cat Sherlock’s. Lillian Braun who writes the the “The Cat Who…. Series” eg. 1st book is The Cat Who Read Braums. If you love cats, and mystery it’s a must. The other is Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. Sneaky Pie is a sassy opinionated cat. The animals talk in this series and believe they’re smarter than humans. Their owners often find themselves victims of crimes and their pets help save them or lead them to clues and suspects. Great fun and you can’t put the book down.

  8. Kelly Aley says:

    The Cat Who… mysteries are terrific. I really recommend the audiobooks too. George Guidell (sp) is a wonderful reader. I feel as if I really know the characters as friends. I have read and re-read many of those. Another mystery series that I recently enjoyed and am waiting (impatiently) for another book in the series is the Kurland Hall series by Catherine Lloyd. They are a bit funny, but a little romantic too, set in Regency England (my favorite place!)

  9. Erin Lynch says:

    I got “Cozy Mysteries” which makes sense but I’ve always like historical mysteries too. Sister Fidelma mysteries set in 7th century Ireland, the Maggie Hope mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal set during WWII etc. Actually, I like any genre with an historical aspect added.

    • Michelle C. says:

      I am loving all these suggestions! Please keep them coming! And remember to check back on July 15th for our next update on Beyond Bestsellers: Mysteries.

  10. I decided to finally read my first Walter Mosley. The first of the Easy Rawlins series was unavailable, so I went with the first in the Leonid McGill series, The Long Fall. It’s definitely got that noir feel to it, and I’m really enjoying how complicated the main character, Leonid, is. The mystery he’s dealing with doesn’t have an obvious solution to it either, which I like – at least not so far and I only have about 4 hours left in the audio. I definitely want to know how this turns out!

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