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Found 12 results

  1. I am a teacher of middle school Language Arts. Every year I do a detective fiction unit for which each student chooses his/her own book to read. My #1 recommendation is always Agatha Christie, as I have read them all and most of them follow the very predictable pattern that is necessary to complete all the of the assignments in the unit of study. I've had problems with others: Nancy Drew/ Hardy Boys don't reliably follow the pattern; Dorothy Sayers's use of dialect is tricky for my students; some of Doyle's work, others don't. Can anyone recommend other authors and/or books that might also be suitable for this project? The books must be appropriate for 12-year-olds and need to be quite formulaic - sleuth, two or three crimes, at least a couple suspects, legitimate clues as well as red herrings, a big reveal at the end, etc. I would really appreciate any recommendations!
  2. Hi all.. I'm looking for a book I read about 10 years ago. I can't remember the title or the author.. just something about "Boston" that was on the cover. The storyline was about a boy who ended up raping a little girl in the park/woods who rode a bike and his mother came to find out about his deed when the police began to look for him. She hid him in a secret room/bathroom under the staircase in their house, and (I think) she died and another family moves in while this man is still hidden under the stairs. He ends up kidnapping and raping and killing and burying all of the daughters of the house. Please can anyone help
  3. Preston and Child

    Long time ago, I read Preston and Child's Relic and got addicted. The setting of the book blended perfectly with the horror movie like aura of the story, and I have never thought about a museum in the same way since. As it was the first book that introduced Special Agent Pendergast, he wasn't as overbearing and overly caricatured as in the later books. I have read and own most of the books the duo have produced, as you may have guessed, I am not a fan of "series" books, and I have come to dislike how the need to have Pendergast in every book they write has limited the imagination of this otherwise creative duo. Such "series" books ultimately become dreary, unimaginative litanies of how some superhuman hero survived yet another overly engineered trap by an equally superhuman nemesis. Ok, the content is interesting, but you know from the moment you turn the first page, that Alouysius Pendergast, the scion of an ultra rich and ultra enigmatic family, and an FBI agent to boot, and his numerous wards and proteges will survive to carry on to another book - even if they get walled up in a Tuscan castle. Their non-Pendergast books are mind-blowing. Ice Limit is one such feast for the brain. So are the books written individually by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Are you a fan of Preston and Child? What are your favourites?
  4. Hi Everyone I'm new to this forum. I love reading, but I haven't really found any books that have grabbed my attention or kept my attention, so here I am If you could suggest some books to read or send your top 5 books that would be much appreciated. Thanks
  5. I read this book a few months back and I absolutely loved it! Brilliant storytelling. A simple story, combined with strong narrative. The lead character, Cormoran is so unique. Galbraith managed to portray some unforgettable characters in this book.
  6. Best 'Puzzle Mysteries'?

    Hello! I'm looking for some great 'puzzle mysteries': that is, detective novels where the primary focus is on the whodunnit aspect, as opposed to a broader plot, deep characterization, etc. I like putting the book down periodically to work out my own theories (ex: suppose the killer were Mr. Smith...and he slipped out of the party an hour before he claimed he did, and then...but wait...that would mean...of course! etc.) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie) was just about right (the specific layout of the house, the manageable list of suspects). The Nine Tailors (Dorothy Sayers) was excellent, and featured some puzzle-like aspects, but had decidedly larger themes and longer digressions. Then there was The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler). Again, I enjoyed the novel, but there was hardly any puzzle at all. To me, it was more like an action film than a detective story, with constant activity but very little in the way of logic to work out. What would you recommend? I've heard The Five Red Herrings (Sayers) fits the bill. What else?
  7. In your opinion, what's the most underrated mystery novel you've ever read? Not the best, not the most well written, or even the most clever, just a book you think doesn't receive the attention it deserves. To me it either goes to Casebook of the Black Widowers by Isaac Asimov, or Body Blows by Marc Strange. Black Widowers was recommended to me by another series and I probably wouldn't have heard of it otherwise. None of the other mystery fans I know seem to have heard of it. It is an older series (I believe one of the first stories was published in 1977.), but the age of a series doesn't seem to affect it that much. I can understand why it isn't popular, it isn't as dramatic or action packed. I mean, the entirety of one story takes place during a dinner. However, the mysteries are very puzzling (I can never figure them out) and the protagonist is very differently presented. The story is led entirely by the minor characters around him, the protagonist only has a handful of lines of dialogue and that's when he's deducing an answer. It's not a favorite and most certainly isn't on any of my top ten lists, but I think it's interesting and worth a read. Now, Body Blows was never a book I could picture myself reading. In fact, if it wasn't on sale for two dollars at a local used book store I never would have picked it up, but worse case scenario I wasted two bucks. However, it was not a waste at all. I won't deny Joe is one of those detectives that never gets out of his own head, constantly focuses on unimportant aspects of the story, and almost stubbornly refuses to put any enthusiasm into solving the case. You know the type, one of those modern hard-boiled thuggish sorts. However, I find myself oddly liking him, as far as detective's go I'm repulsed and at the same time enamored with his easy going method of solving the case. Not to mention the case itself was truly hard to figure out, but towards the end it becomes more than a little underwhelming. Instead of a climactic conclusion, the ending just sort of fizzles out into nothing and people are disturbingly calm about all the things that happen in the falling action. It's nothing noteworthy, so I'm not really surprised when people tell me they don't know it. Still, I think it deserves some attention because of the protagonist is such a cliche, but at the same time completely likable. It's an interesting look into characterization if nothing else. Okay, so what's your pick?
  8. Set in the fictitious English village of Chillingley, this is a gripping and entertaining read. The plot revolves around the framing of one of the villagers for murder and the rallying of some of the others to try to solve the mystery and find the real culprit. Lydia, a one time actress from America, has been the recipient of malicious notes for some time before the peace of the village is disturbed by the discovery of two bodies at the gatehouse of Horsfield Lodge.A further note lures her to the scene of the crime, where she is found by the police. Muriel, a friend of Lydia's, helped by some other villagers, comes to her rescue as she determines to get to the bottom of the mystery and find the real culprit. At first it doesn't seem possible that Lydia has an enemy in the village, although there is reason to suspect one of them. Muriel thinks it more likely the enemy is from Lydia's acting days in America, but she keeps an open mind and pursues both lines of enquiry. The mystery deepens when more bodies appear on separate occasions. The only clue lies in the handwriting on the notes. Tom, a handwriting analysis expert, outlines some of the characteristics of the writer, but at this stage they don't seem to be of much use, There is lots of action and many twists before the final solution. The author captures the atmosphere of the village and draws us in to the lives of the characters, which makes it a fascinating read. The narrative is fast moving and the author's witty way with words a pleasure. I particularly enjoyed the pertinent remarks on the British way of life. I think this will appeal if you enjoy a good mystery with a great cast of characters.
  9. Has anyone on here read this book? My understanding is that it is no longer in print due to some of its content. There are some disturbing parts in the story, but I've read other books which were equally as disturbing, if not more disturbing. It strikes me as odd that this particular one would be targeted. I was just wondering if someone might have some thoughts as to what specifically about the book's content made the publishers decide to stop printing it.
  10. Hi There I read a review a few weeks ago about a new murder mystery novel based on a cruise ship and I cannot seem to find it anywhere and I don't have the magazine where I read the review. I think the review was in The Shortlist magazine and cannot remember the author or the title and have been searching amazon new releases and still no joy. I like going on cruises and love murder crime novels and thought this would be the perfect book to read. I need help, if anyone knows the author or the title could you please let me know. Thanks for your help. Cheers Steve
  11. We like fiction about RVing and the RV lifestyle. So far we can only find one title "RV Journey Into Murder" any suggestions? It doesn't have to be great fiction - just the RV point of view. RV = Recreational Vehicle (Travel Trailer, Motor Homes, etc)
  12. From Amazon BILLIONAIRE SUICIDE MYSTERY When news reaches Sister Madeleine that her old friend Howard Barley, a global publishing tycoon, has died in grisly circumstances, she is shocked and extremely suspicious, especially when she learns that Howard left his entire estate to her. Forced to abandon the familiar comforts of St Winifred's convent, Madeleine and her young assistant Roberta take up residence in Milkwood Hall, the billionaire's mansion in Los Angeles, and immediatly find themselves plunged into terrible danger. Burned human remains, mysterious messages, shaking floors, a freezer full of corpses, strangers roaming the grounds, and encounters with a shady organisation she was once only too familiar with- the puzzles keep piling up, forcing Madeleine to draw on every ounce of courage and cunning at her disposal to track down a killer, someone who won't stop until she's dead too. With his signature subversive wit, award winning author,Cash Peters tosses a grenade of originality into the world of action-adventure writing, offering a locomotive ride of suspense, riddles, surprise twists, humor, cliffhangers and timeless characters. ________________________________________________________________________________ About the Author Cash Peters is a British born author/ journalist now living in LA.He is a regular broadcaster on Five Live's Up All Night. He has written three books based on his US T.V. travel show series ; Gullible's Travels, Naked in Dangerous Places and Stranded in Dangerous Places, the first of which won the Benjamin Franklin Award for humour.He is a handwriting analysis expert and has written several books on the subject.A regular contributor to the US magazine Spirituality and Health he takes a great interest in matters spiritual and has recently published a book about his experiences at the house of John of God in Brazil- A Little Book about Believing. Force of Habit is his first novel My Comments Force of Habit is a book full of surprises, not just in terms of the plot, which is outlined above, but also in terms of the characters, the situations they are placed in, humour,etc. The main character, Sister Madeleine, is no ordinary nun,as you will realise if you have seen the picture on the cover of the book She has a secret past which is now catching up with her. When transported to LA she is more than able to defend herself against the enemy and has little need of the ex Navy SEALS engaged to be her body guards. She leaves behind a convent where the novices are referred to as ferrets and are taught combat skills.They learn to sing Christmas songs, such as French translations of Frosty The Snowman and I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus. Daily exercise is taken doing so many circuits round the knitted chapel! Humour in various forms runs alongside the action throughout,but in no way detracts from the suspense. One of my favourite illustrations of this is , Madeleine's assistant explaining why she was always late ,"On one occasion she'd found a budgerigar with a broken beak in the refrectory rafter,she said.Another time,one of the senior canonicals had hanged herself in the gymnasium with her own dressing gown cord and needed to be cut down.There was always somthing" Surprises abound as the plot unravels- we are introduced to several futuristic devices such as a hovmov,which whizzes along a few feet above the ground. The biggest surprise of all comes with the solving of the suicide mystery and the finding of the Executive Codes which Madeleine has been desparately seeking. I enjoyed this book so much that I read it twice. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good action packed mystery ,particularly if you enjoy something a little offbeat that dares to be different.
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