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15 Years of Mysteries: Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of 15 Years of Mysteries! The first full year of hosting a Mystery Book Club at my local library included a variety of titles in the mystery genre, including cozies and private investigators. In 2004, I began a book discussion group focused on the mystery genre. In the 15 years since… Read More ›

15 Years of Mysteries

Working at my local library over the years has been a perfect fit for my varied interests, particularly literary ones. In 2004, I began a book discussion group focused on the mystery genre. This Mystery Book Club has evolved over the years and continues to meet at the library today. In the 15 years since… Read More ›

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

Is it the greatest spy thriller ever written? The Spy Who Came in From the Cold certainly ranks highly on best crime/mystery lists and is considered a quintessential Cold War era spy novel. In it, British agent Alec Leamas becomes part of a careful laid plan. One that even he may not be fully apprised… Read More ›

Aaron Elkins’ Old Bones

An ingenious murder kicks off this award-winning Gideon Oliver mystery. The story opens with a man exploring the tidal pools of Mont St. Michel Bay, but who appears lost in thought. “For many minutes he remained so, unmoving, lost in reflection, and then he tensed suddenly.” He hears the tide rushing in. “The tide! How… Read More ›

The Third Man

Graham Greene’s The Third Man has the aura of familiarity about it. It’s one of those works that’s part of the collective consciousness, much like Romeo and Juliet, Gone with the Wind, The Maltese Falcon, and several Greek myths, that—whether or not one has seen or read them—we have a sense of their basic story… Read More ›

Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent

Radicals, extremists, anarchists, terrorists… they’ve been around in some form since the dawn of civilization. Adolf Verloc would seem an unlikely agent of terror. Ostensibly he was a shopkeeper. “The shop was small, and so was the house. It was one of those grimy brick houses which existed in large quantities before the era of… Read More ›

Classic Spy Thrillers

Begin a new year by reading some of the best crime novels from years past. I invite readers of The Poisoned Martini to join me—online that is—in reading classic spy thrillers. These four titles appear on both the Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time and the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time lists… Read More ›

Top 10 Mysteries of 2018?

With the advent of a new year, it’s time to take one last look at 2018 and the most popular mysteries that readers picked up. Based on circulation figures at the library where I work, these were the most checked out mysteries in 2018. Not surprisingly women authors ranked supreme taking all top ten slots!… Read More ›

Peril & Prayer: a Sister Lou Mystery

“Sister Louise LaSalle, two murders in Briar Coast in three months—and you’re on site for both of them.” So pronounces deputy sheriff Ted Tate upon arriving at the scene of the crime in this second mystery by author Olivia Matthews. Welcome to Briar Coast, a not-so-sleepy town in Upstate New York. The sisters of the… Read More ›

By Its Cover: Footsteps in the Dark

It’s a throwback to what was once considered cool and sophisticated. A man and a woman light up there cigarettes on this cover of Georgette Heyer’s 1932 novel. Though perhaps better known as a writer of Georgian and Regency romances, Footsteps in the Dark was Heyer’s first of several detective novels. Perusing through a selection… Read More ›

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