Today we spotlight two new mysteries we simply adore. With very different writing styles, plot lines, characters, and beyond, they couldn’t be more different, but they should both be read by mystery lovers of all kinds.
The Culinary Suspense You’ll Crave: THE WHOLE ENCHILADA
Why we love it:
Goldy Shulz’s motto: “I needed a four-shot latte before I could think about this.” We hear you, girl.
But caffeine aside, Diane has created a female detective that is all-encompassing: fierce, charming, funny, and with good taste. If you haven’t tried a culinary mystery, the Goldy Shulz Culinary Mysteries are the perfect place to start.
About the book:
Goldy Schulz knows her food is to die for, but she never expects one of her best friends to actually keel over when she’s leaving a birthday party Goldy has catered. At first, everyone assumes that all the fun and excitement of the party, not to mention the rich fare, did her in.
When a colleague who resembles Goldy is stabbed, then Goldy attacked outside her house, it becomes clear that the caterer is the main course on a killer menu. (See More)
The Historical Mystery of the Summer: A QUESTION OF HONOR
Why we love it:
A WWI backdrop done well is a historical mystery lover’s delight. Throw in a signature writing style that baits and hooks readers with a rich knack for storytelling and a clear passion for history. This is a book for those who like to learn through experience as Todd puts his readers right in the moment, guessing where he will take them next.
About the book:
WWI nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford investigates an old murder from her childhood in India on the Northwest Frontier where an unforgettable incident darkened that happy time.
A decade later, tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess learns from a dying Indian sergeant that the supposed murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive—and serving at the Front. Wanting answers, she uses her leave to investigate. But when she stumbles on the horrific truth, she is shaken to her very core. (See More)
The other perk? They’re both part of a series, but a series you need not read in order (or at all) to understand and appreciate the newest installments. So if you love what you read, there’s plenty more to go around.
And keep reading for 5 book recommendations from both authors!
It Takes One to Know One: Author Picks
In our book, it takes one to know one. With extensive lists of bestsellers, and years of experience writing for the big leagues, we asked Diane and Charles who they recommend to read right now. See below for their author picks!
Charles Todd’s Top 5 Historical Mystery Picks
History makes a superb backdrop for murder and whether it’s recent history or the distant past, it adds an extra dimension to the story. –Charles Todd
- Deborah Crombie’s SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS is a very fine example of recent history. Here the childhood of one of the characters has such a terrifying effect on the present that you can’t stop reading.
- David McCullough’s historical narratives may not be murder mysteries. Still, his GREATER JOURNEY could almost pass for a novel; it draws the reader in so beautifully. It proves that history needn’t be dry and dull.
- In Tony Hillerman’s NAVAJOE MYSTERIES, policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, draw on the history of a people, their beliefs and their lives and their relationship with nature.
- Peter Robinson’s latest, WATCHING THE DARK, where Inspector Banks finds himself drawn into a cold case even as he is pursuing a very recent murder, bringing the two together in a startling and original way.
- Peter Lovesey’s SKELETON HILL, faces two murders—a recently discovered body that has been in the ground for a very long time and a recently dead victim, all entangled in a reenactment of an English Civil War battle. It’s a very inventive use of the past to form the backdrop that makes the puzzle twice as hard to untangle.
Diane Mott Davidson’s Top 5 Mystery Picks
- Ken Follett’s page-turning spy novel THE KEY TO REBECCA uses historical material from the WWII campaign for North Africa. A Nazi spy in Cairo is using a “key” to Daphne Du Maurier’s suspense novel REBECCA to send intelligence to Rommel, who uses this information to gain victories…until the spy can be foiled.
- CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein also features WW II espionage. The main character, Queenie, is a Scot who is dropped into Nazi-occupied France from a beleaguered plane piloted by her best friend, Maddie. Promptly captured, Queenie is tortured until she gives up codes.
- Ron Hansen’s ATTICUS is a literary work that also functions as a crime novel. The long-suffering father travels from Colorado to Mexico to find out the truth behind a report that his beloved son is dead. The gifted but troubled (dead?) son recalls the Biblical Prodigal. Atticus himself, in his loving, dogged, patient search for the truth, recalls Atticus Finch from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.
- POSSESSION by A.S. Byatt is usually classified as a literary novel. Yet that plot, too, revolves around secrets, and a mystery, uncovered by the theft of a previously unknown letter from one famous Victorian writer to another. A pair of current-day researchers find themselves drawn together as they work to uncover the history of this very unlikely historic couple.
- Finally, BOOKED TO DIE by John Dunning is a true bibliophile’s mystery. When a book scout is found murdered, Cliff Janeway, quits the Denver police force to investigate the crime. Dunning, a longtime antiquarian bookseller, is the perfect person to narrate this delicious, fast-paced tale. Along the way, he gives loads of eye-opening tips on book-collecting that will have many readers wanting to scrounge through Goodwill stores, searching for rare first editions themselves.