Recommended Reads: New England Mysteries
"Without mysteries, life would be very dull indeed. What would be left to strive for if everything were known?" --Charles de Lint
New England provides authors a perfect setting for intrigue and mystery. All of the titles listed are set in New England's diverse and picturesque settings. Like most mysteries these plots consist of twists and turns with surprise endings. As you read along try to determine the outcome. The Library has many more mysteries from which to choose. Pick another book by another favorite mystery writer or try someone new. Enjoy!
Recorded cassette (RC), braille (BR), locally recorded cassettes (RCM), described VHS video (DV), large print (LT), and locally produced braille (BRM) copies of these books are available from the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library. Please contact the library to order any of these books.
Prepared by Judi Cannon, Braille Services Specialist
Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library
Brandy and Bullets: A Murder She Wrote Mystery by Donald Bain.
Cabot Cove, Maine. A mansion is converted into a luxurious retreat for authors, artists, and musicians. Mystery writer Jessica Fletcher soon has real-life inspiration when the new residents find creative ways to die. After one apparent suicide, another attempt, and a disappearance, Jessica investigates the facility's disturbing secrets.
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry.
DB/RC 67406, LT 8925
Bestseller. Towner Whitney, like her female forebears, can predict the future by reading lace patterns. When her great-aunt Eva mysteriously disappears, Towner goes home to Salem, Massachusetts, to uncover the truth. Towner revisits her past psychiatric troubles, family secrets, and her twin sister's death. Some strong language.
Crisis by Robin Cook.
RC 63197, LT 6022
Bestseller. When Boston doctor Craig Bowman's wealthy, hypochondriac patient Patience Stanhope dies, her husband sues for malpractice. Bowman's brother-in-law Jack Stapleton, a New York medical examiner, recommends an autopsy but soon realizes someone will do anything to prevent the body from being exhumed. Some violence and some strong language.
At Risk by Patricia Cornwell.
RC 62949, LT 5942
Bestseller. Massachusetts district attorney Monique Lamont sends state police investigator Winston Garano to Knoxville, Tennessee, to learn the latest in crime scene investigation. He's also ordered to solve a twenty-year-old murder that took place there. But another crime occurs back in Cambridge. Some violence and some strong language.
Vineyard Stalker: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery by Philip Craig.
RC 65550, LT 7742
Island realtor Carole Cohen asks ex-cop J.W. Jackson to discover the identity of her brother Roland's stalker. Roland, a reclusive Vietnam-era army deserter, lives on valuable property owned by his cousin Sally Oliver -- who desperately wants to sell. When vandalism escalates to murder, Roland becomes the prime suspect. Includes recipes.
For My Daughters by Barbara Delinsky.
RC 40446, LT 3756
Bestseller. Attorney Caroline St. Clair is irritated when her mother writes that she has moved to Maine and wants her to come settle her in. Her socialite mother never gave Caroline attention as she grew up. Arriving in Maine, Caroline's anger increases. Her sisters have also been summoned, and their mother is nowhere to be found. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.
Hot Stuff by Janet Evanovich.
Bestseller. Boston. Cate Madigan works hard attending college, bartending at night, and dealing with her extended Irish family. When she returns home to find her roommate is missing and a large dog has arrived, she asks ex-cop Kellen McBride for help. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language.
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane.
RC 51758, LT 570, DV 530
Bestseller. Sean, Jimmy, and Dave were eleven when Dave was briefly abducted from a Boston slum. Twenty-five years later, ex-con Jimmy's daughter is murdered and Dave becomes a suspect. Sean, now a homicide detective, is assigned to the case. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence.
The Body in the Gallery: A Faith Fairchild Mystery by Katherine Hall Page.
DB/RC 66797, LT 8960
Caterer Faith Fairchild helps her friend Patsy Avery, a trustee of a local museum. Patsy suspects someone has replaced a valuable painting with a forgery. Although Faith has promised her husband to stop her amateur sleuthing, she discovers the body of a young woman at the gallery.
The Lost Constitution by William Martin.
In Process. Antiquarian bookseller Peter Fallon and his girlfriend Evangeline, from Harvard Yard (RC 59008), track an early, annotated draft of the United States Constitution. Peter wants to keep it from factions that seek to exploit it--or destroy it--for political gain. Strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex.
Back Story by Robert B. Parker.
RC 55751, LT 3660, BR 14638
Bestseller. Boston P.I. Spenser agrees to help actress Daryl Silver investigate the murder of her mother twenty-eight years ago during a bank robbery. Spenser and colleague Hawk face danger when they uncover ties between a radical hippie group, the mob, and the FBI. Violence and strong language.
Bad Business by Robert B. Parker.
RC 57842, LT 3954, BR 15276
Bestseller. Boston private detective Spenser, last seen in Back Story (RC 55751, BR 14638), is hired by Marlene Rowley to track her philandering husband, Trenton, CFO of an energy firm. Trenton's subsequent murder at his office leads Spenser to investigate a wife-swapping ring and corporate corruption. Strong language.
The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl.
Bestseller. Boston, 1865. Famous poets and scholars, including Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, are preparing the first American translation of Dante when a serial killer strikes with gruesomeness reminiscent of the Inferno. They help African-American policeman Nicholas Rey investigate the murders. Some violence and some strong language.
Maple Sugar Murders by Steve Sherman.
RCM 809, BRM 1402 (in process)
When a man is found strangled in his sugar orchard in Tylerton, New Hampshire, there are many suspects. Ex-Boston officer, Hugh Quint, helps the town police chief to sort out the clues. Crusty Amos Reed and Benj Carver have a long-standing land feud, and both of them despise the developer from New Jersey. Humor and detective work mingle in this New England cozy mystery.
The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve.
A photographer ventures with her family to a tiny island off the New Hampshire coast to research an axe murder that happened there in 1873. She learns from a diary the shocking truth about the ancient crime -- and realizes that the events leading to the disaster seem to mirror those of her own life. Violence.
Shadow of Death by William Tapply.
RC 59033, LT 4067
Suspicious of senate candidate Ellen Stoddard's evasive husband, her campaign manager asks Boston attorney Brady Coyne, a friend of Ellen's, to hire a private investigator. When the detective is murdered and Ellen's husband disappears, Brady claims attorney-client privilege and investigates on his own. Some violence and some strong language.
Prime Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan.
RCM 989, BRM 1403
In process. Seasoned Boston television journalist Charlotte McNally puts her job, heart, and life on the line to investigate a very intriguing email lead. Soon she runs into Josh Gelston, so handsome, so helpful. Can she trust him? The author is an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston's NBC affiliate, channel 7 WHDH.
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen.
RC 64980, LT 8288
The skeleton of a woman murdered in the nineteenth century leads Boston medical examiner Maura Isles to investigate the possibility of a past serial killer. Harvard medical student Norris Marshall had been the prime suspect and had enlisted classmate Oliver Wendell Holmes to exonerate him. Commercial audiobook.
Cold Case by Linda Barnes.
Adam Mayhew hires Boston cop-turned-private investigator Carlotta Carlyle to find out whether teen prodigy Thea Janis, who presumably committed suicide twenty-four years ago, could have written a new manuscript. While researching Thea's disappearance, Carlotta uncovers Adam's true identity and the dark secrets of Thea's prominent family. Some strong language.
The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer.
RC 64358, LT 7153
Medical student Natalie Reyes loses a lung in Rio, PI Ben Callahan investigates a suspicious death, and a dying Dr. Joe Anson finishes clinical tests of a new drug. The three become connected when they discover a secret cabal of transplant specialists who buy organs. Violence and strong language.