Wednesday, September 22, 2010

10 Good Murder Mysteries to get your Hands on

The other day, I received an e-mail from Sylvia Brown of  who said she recently discovered our Murder By 4 blog and thought the following article from her Law Enforcement School blog  might be of interest to our readers.  So here's a fun list of mysteries--some of these books are new releases, some are not. The following is her article in its entirety. I added the book covers and links for those interested.


For some reason, murder mysteries really intrigue us. Some provide us with an escape from reality and we get tangled in the web that authors spin, leaving us hunting for more answers within the book. The following murder mysteries are great reads for the murder mystery mind:

The Postcard Killers
Written by James Patterson and Liza Marklund, The Postcard Killers is a book starting with two people seducing an English couple they met in a museum. Some time later, the couple is found dead and it is only a matter of time before the next couple turns up dead. The sole clue to the murders is a postcard being sent to the local newspaper insinuating where the next murder will take place. A crime columnist receives a similar postcard and becomes acquainted with an NYPD detective whose daughter was murdered on her honeymoon and has taken an obvious interest in the case.

All Around the Town
Written by Mary Higgins Clark, All Around the Town is about 4 year old Laurie Kenyon who was abducted and raped for years by two men before she was let loose. Now in college, Kenyon is sent reminders of her attackers so that she doesn’t speak out against them as they are TV preachers. Kenyon is accused of killing her professor Allan Grant when her fingerprints are found all over the crime scene, although she has no recollection of killing him because she doesn’t know it- but, she has developed multiple personalities.

•And Then There Were None
Written by Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None is about a group of 10 people who were previously unacquainted and lured to an island. Their host begins to accuse them of leaving to escape punishment for various crimes they committed. It soon becomes apparent that they have been sent to this island to pay for crimes they weren’t ever accused of and after people on the island start dying off they are left wondering who the killer is amongst them.

Ice Cold
Written by Tess Gerritsen, Ice Cold is a book about a medical examiner attending a conference out of town who meets an old college friend and they decide to go on a last minute ski-trip. When they have car trouble and are stalled on a mountain road they decide to take refuge in an abandoned village that was once home to a religious sect. When police find burnt bodies of the ski group, the investigation starts as to why the religious community was abandoned in the first place.

Roses are Red
Written by James Patterson, Roses are Red is the sixth book in the Alex Cross series about a killer on the loose after a series of bank robberies. After each of these robberies the culprit leaves behind dead bodies- of those who didn’t cooperate with him. The detective, fighting a sadistic criminal who calls himself The Mastermind, put his family at risk by going after the criminal. The harder Detective Alex Cross fights to capture him the more heinous and taunting his murders become.

The Nine Tailors
Written by Dorothy Sayers, The Nine Tailors takes place in the 30’s when a disfigured body is found on top of a coffin in a grave in which a woman is buried. The novel is intertwined with the British practice of “ring changing” bells, the disappearance of emeralds from many years earlier, in which a man and women for held responsible for the theft, and the involvement of the seemingly gracious citizens of the Fenchurch St Paul.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson’s, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is about a respected journalist who falls apart after being sued and whose future looks mere until he is offered a resurrection by an old Swedish CEO. The man offers the journalist money and an image fix but first, he must spend a year researching the unsolved disappearance of a wealthy Swedish girl, who was the man’s niece, over forty years ago. With the help of a tatooed prodigy, their investigation yields a look into the cold secrets of the family.

Murder on the Orient Express
The story Murder on the Orient Express written by Agatha Christie, is about the train, Orient Express stopping in its track for the night after a flurry of snowstorms. In the morning it is discovered that there is one less passenger on the train. An American tycoon lie in his compartment stabbed to death with the door locked from the inside and a detective on the train must find the person responsible for the murder before the murderer decides it time to kill again.

•The Killing Room
John Manning’s The Killing Room tells about old houses and the secrets they hold, such as the Young residence- a beautiful Mansion overlooking the Atlantic. After a series of brutal family murders, Howard Young hires a private detective, a former FBI agent, to investigate the house. The detective, Carolyn Cartwright has to enter the room in which no family member has come out alive from to further investigate the matter.

The Final Detail
Written by Harlan Coben, The Final Detail is about Myron Bolitar a wealthy Harvard Law grad, who also does some private investigations, that is looking into the murder of one of his clients. Meanwhile, his best friend and business partner is accused in the murder he is working to solve. Bolitar knows she is hiding something- he just doesn’t know what- and the search for the answers takes him back to incidents in his life he would rather forget.

About the author:

Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, and Powells. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.

THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (2008), Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 IPPY Awards, Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
ISBN: 978-1-905202-886-7
Tradebook: $15.99
E-book: $9.00 from Smashwords

SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival, Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
ISBN: 798-1-905202-72-0
Tradebook: $15.50
E-book: $9.00 from Smashwords

Personal site:  
Personal blog:  

"Life's too Uncertain, Eat your Dessert First"


s.w. vaughn said...

Nice list! I like Mary Higgins Clark quite a lot, and will read Patterson if I happen to run across one... though I don't seek him out especially.

As for Steig Larsson (or however you spell that) - I'm afraid I've caught too-hyped-for-me syndrome for The Girl With series. Haven't touched them, probably never will.

Some of these I haven't heard of, and will have to check out. :-)

Marta Stephens said...

I've read these two Christie novels (and several others) and loved them ... but then, it's Christie, what's not to love? I have several Coben novel but haven't read this one. May have to do that.

Funny thing on the Larsson series, a frind of my husband discovered them and said he couldn't put them down.

This seemed like an interesting, diverse list of titles.

s.w. vaughn said...

LOL Yeah, everybody says that about the Larsson stuff.

I think that's why I'm not reading it. :P

Kim Smith said...

Very cool list. I love Tess Garritson and have several of her books on my TBR stack. Thanks M!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

My wife and I read all of James Patteson's books, although I have to say I am deeply disappointed in his writing style when he dilutes it with co-writers. Worst of all, I think, was "London Bridge"(s?) which was the worst book I've ever read by him. It read more like an outline than a novel. But I adored his earlier works and some of the recent books where he was able to write them by himself. 'Course you can't knock a bestseller. Oops, I just did!

My wife reads all of Mary Higgins Clarks books and I've enjoyed some along the way, too.

Oh, Dame Agatha... they were my staple when I was in my teens and twenties. Along with Rex Stout, Dick Francis, and John D. MacDonald. ;o) Now I find her stuff a little lacking in humanity or sense of place... not sure if it's me? I do own all of them, though!

Dorothy Sayers was another of my favorites in college - I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Lord Peter Whimsey.

We haven't been introduced to Tess Gerritson, Stieg Larsson(though I've seen that book cover everywhere!), or Manning or Coben. Looks like I have some catching up to do!

Great list, thanks to Sylvia and Marta for posting it!