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Mysteries Without Murder

Updated: November 1, 2015

Not all mysteries are strewn with corpses. Here is a list of entertaining tomes by some of the genre's most illustrious authors, and nary a stiff in the bunch!

Atherton, Nancy.
Call Number: M
First book in a paranormal cozy series set in the English Cotswolds featuring amateur sleuth Lori Shepard who, with an assist from her ghostly Aunt Dimity, rights many a village wrong.

Raphael, Lev.
Call Number: M
Untenured professor and amateur detective Nick Hoffman agrees to help a colleague who is receiving threatening phone calls.

Sansom, Ian.
Call Number: M
Israel Armstrong is the new librarian in tiny Tumdrum, Ireland. The problem is, all of the library's books are missing, and it's up to newcomer Armstrong to blunder through the investigation himself while getting to know the eccentric locals.

Tey, Josephine, 1896 or 7-1952.
Call Number: M Ed.b
While in the hospital recovering from a fall, a bored Inspector Alan Grant turns his mental energies to the legend of Richard III, the so-called "hunchback king" widely assumed to have murdered his young nephews in order to gain the throne. Studying a portrait of Richard, Grant becomes convinced that he was not guilty and sets out to discover who really killed the princes.

MacLeod, Charlotte.
Call Number: M
When Great-Uncle Frederick dies, the Kelling clan opens the family vault to accommodate his remains. Imagine their surprise when they discover that the vault contains the skeleton of a burlesque queen who disappeared thirty years before!

Tey, Josephine, 1896 or 7-1952.
Call Number: M Ed.a
A 15-year-old girl accuses two lonely and eccentric women of abducting her and forcing her to work for them as a slave. With the small English village where they live up in arms over the charges local solicitor Robert Blair decides to take on the case of defending the two women. Tey does a great job of keeping the tension high throughout the story.

Sayers, Dorothy L. 1893-1957.
Call Number: M Ed.d
Lord Peter Wimsey's girlfriend Harriet Vane is all set to attend her Oxford reunion (known as "the Gaudy"). But a series of sinister pranks dampens the fun, and she and Wimsey must work out the mystery before something ghastly occurs.

Beaton, M. C.
Call Number: M
Lochdubh, Scotland's own Constable Macbeth has his hands full trying to locate the village's missing Christmas decorations and the local spinster's cat, while helping the new family in town discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Grafton, Sue.
Call Number: M
P.I. Kinsey Millhone agrees to help the family of a recently deceased WWII vet discover why the military has no record of his service. A colorful cast of characters and a far-flung string of clues eventually lead to the solution of a decades-old mystery.

Chesterton, G. K. 1874-1936.
Call Number: M Ed.b
Surrealistic thriller depicting one man's race against time to save the world from a group of anarchists who name themselves after the days of the week.

Fowler, Earlene.
Call Number: M
In order to inherit a house from a man she never met, folk art museum curator and amateur sleuth Benni Harper must spend two weeks in the house alone, trying to unravel her benefactor's secrets.

Leroux, Gaston, 1868-1927.
Call Number: M
Classic mystery concerning a seemingly impossible crime in which the criminal appears to have vanished from a locked room. The emphasis of the story is on the intellectual challenge to the reader. Detailed floor plan and diagrams of the room are included.

McCall Smith, Alexander, 1948-
Call Number: M Ed.a
The first book in the popular series establishes Precious Ramotswe as the first female detective in her native Botswana. Precious must locate a missing husband, uncover a con man and find a missing boy who may have been snatched by witch doctors.

Leon, Donna.
Call Number: M
This installment of Leon's Inspector Brunetti series finds him involved in a kidnapping. Enjoy this series for its depiction of life in Venice.

Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849.
Call Number: Ed.j
In the classic early detective story, "The Purloined Letter," amateur sleuth Monsieur Dupin must employ his powers of logical deduction and psychological reasoning to uncover the whereabouts of a missing letter.