MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Dear BookBrowsers,

Do you remember Agatha Christie's meticulously crafted mysteries? For many of us, they were an early grade-school introduction to the genre where we saw that mysteries could be fun and cerebral. While Christie's work might be classic staged whodunnits, because we like to up the ante at BookBrowse, let's take the theme one step further and look at mysteries that are beyond standard-issue quick reads.

Our latest series of recommendations for book clubbers delivers mysteries that both deliver a juicy story and transport you to interesting locales and times to truly broaden your horizons. Even better, they're packed with intriguing themes for you to take apart and dissect at your next meeting; and for a limited time you can read the reviews and "beyond the book" articles for all of them in full. So dive in. Psst, if mysteries are your guilty pleasure, we promise, we won't tell.

Bury Your Dead Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, #6 by Louise Penny

Paperback Aug 2011. 384 pages. Published by St. Martin's Griffin

Louise Penny is such a house favorite that we feel like she is one of our own. A winner of multiple BookBrowse Favorite awards, Penny can knit one tight yarn. If you haven't read her Inspector Gamache series yet, this one, set in Quebec's annual winter carnival is sure to warm you to her work. Sure, you'd rather not travel to snow and ice again you say but trust us on this one. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is in impeccable form here and this is a great place to dip into the series. The best part? There's nine more volumes to explore and another, The Nature of the Beast, on the way in August.
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De Potter's Grand Tour De Potter's Grand Tour by Joanna Scott

Hardcover Sept 2014. 272 pages. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Paperback Sept 2015. Published by Picador

If immigration is a second act, Pierre Louis Armand de Potter d'Elseghem is not one to let go of a chance at reinvention. Setting up a tourism business in the United States, after moving from Belgium, he uses the nascent operation to disappear at sea -- quite literally. When his wife is left to pick up the pieces, not only must she make sense of the mystery surrounding his vanishing act, but also figure out what it means to fuel a carefully constructed public persona. Standalone novel.
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Red Sky in Morning Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch

Paperback Oct 2014. 304 pages. Published by Back Bay Books

If there was ever a novel that could be described in one word, this would be it. And that word would be: visceral. Nineteenth-century County Donegal in Ireland is the perfect story for this raw tale of impulse and violence overruling reason and logic. Coll Coyle is "tight with rage" and the murder he commits at the very beginning of this gripping story sets the tone for a novel that is certainly vivid, but also surprisingly introspective. Standalone novel.
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Arctic Chill Arctic Chill: A Thriller by Arnaldur Indridason

Paperback Sep 2010. 352 pages. Published by Picador

It's the dead of winter in Reykjavik, Iceland and a dark-skinned boy is found dead in a pool of his own blood. Upending conventionally held theories about the country's liberal, multicultural heritage, this thriller/mystery terrifies us enough by pointing out that shadows that lurk in bigoted minds might sometimes be the ones to truly watch out for. This is #5 of 10 in the Inspector Erlendur series to date, but stands well alone with more of a focus on Iceland itself.
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Hour of the Red God Hour of the Red God: A Detective Mollel Novel by Richard Crompton

Paperback Apr 2014. 304 pages. Published by Picador

The Maasai might be one of Kenya's own but an increasingly homogenized global ethos makes them stand out in a dynamic city like Nairobi. So when a Maasai prostitute is found murdered and the predictable questions about her crime are raised, it is up to a fellow Maasai, detective Mollel, to tease out the disparate threads and solve the mystery. The seething tumult of the country's 2007 elections presents a mesmerizing and bold canvas.
Also published as The Honey Guide, this is the first book in the Detective Mollel series.
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An Incomplete Revenge An Incomplete Revenge: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear

Paperback Nov 2008. 352 pages. Published by Picador

Still waters run deep. An idyllic village in Kent might seem like the perfect place to sink roots into but detective Maisie Dobbs discovers otherwise. Hops-harvesting season delivers outsiders to share in the work, and unfortunately, also fires up a whole host of unsavory goings-on. What secrets are the villagers hiding and what explains the series of petty crimes? 1930s England is brought alive in this arresting mystery.
This is #5 in the series but, like many series mysteries, can happily be read without knowledge of the earlier books.
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Invisible City Invisible City: A Rebekah Roberts Novel by Julia Dahl

Paperback Mar 2015. 304 pages. Published by Minotaur Books

If there's one thing that rookie reporter, Rebekah Roberts, has learned in journalism school, it is this: if it bleeds, it leads. Wide-eyed in the Big Apple, she is assigned to cover the murder of a Hasidic Jewish woman and is shocked to discover the many facets that are poised to go awry. As Rebekah becomes unwitting sleuth to this mystery, she must not only search for the truth but confront her own painful legacy. An incisive look into the Hasidic Jewish community lends an extra layer of appeal to this novel that features a spunky heroine.
This is the first in the Rebekah Roberts series.
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Ghost Month Ghost Month by Ed Lin

Hardcover Jul 2014. 336 pages. Published by Soho Press
Paperback Jun 2015. Published by Soho Press

You don't have to wait until August, "Ghost Month" in Taipei, to pick up this engaging thriller that exposes the underbelly of one of the world's most vibrant cities. Julia Huang was a high-school valedictorian, enrolled at NYU. Why then was she murdered as a "betel nut" beauty, her body found by the wayside? Jing-nan, a young food stall vendor is drawn into this page-turner, which not only presents an immensely readable mystery but draws the curtain on the cultural traditions of a world very different from our own. Standalone novel.
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