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Best Mysteries of 2012

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Nevada Barr, The Rope.

Looking back to when she first joined the National Park Service, Anna Pigeon stumbles upon a
rape in progress and then wakes to find herself beaten, drugged and abandoned in the wilderness with a corpse buried nearby.

 

Harry Bingham, Talking to the Dead.

Rookie cop Fiona Griffiths pursues a lead when a credit card belonging to a dead tycoon is found by the body of a heroin-addicted prostitute.

 

Rhys Bowen, The Twelve Clues of Christmas.

In 1933, Lady Georgie takes a job hosting a house party at Christmas, but a series of
suspicious deaths in the village put a damper on the festivities.

 

C.J. Box, Force of Nature.

Game warden Joe Pickett’s friend Nate Romanowski is hunted by his former Special Forces
commander who wants to eliminate witnesses to a terrible act he committed while stationed overseas.

 

James Lee Burke, Creole Belle.

While heavily medicated in the hospital, Louisiana cop Dave Robicheaux is visited by a singer
who gives him an iPod playing a blues song, but he later learns that she has been missing for weeks and her sister was found dead in a block of ice in the Gulf.

 

Michael Connelly, The Black Box.

LAPD detective Harry Bosch reopens one of his old cases involving the murder of a Danish
journalist during the Los Angeles Riots and finds a ballistics match to a gun used in other crimes.

 

Cleo Coyle, Brew to a Kill.

Clare Cosi suspects a rival food truck owner when a friend is run down in front of her
coffee shop, but it soon seems as though Clare herself was the target.

 

Deborah Crombie, No Mark Upon Her.

Scotland Yard detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid try to determine why a colleague who
was an Olympic-caliber rower drowned while practicing on the Thames.

 

Daniel Friedman, Don’t Ever Get Old.

When 87-year-old retired cop Buck Schatz learns that the SS officer who tortured him in a POW camp is living in the U.S. with stolen Nazi gold, he sets out with his grandson on a vigilante mission.

 

Chuck Greaves, Hush Money.

A lawyer is assigned to help a wealthy client whose champion show jumping horse died under
suspicious circumstances, but he soon finds himself caught in a web of blackmail and murder in which he is both the prime suspect and the next likely victim.

 

Carolyn Haines, Bonefire of the Vanities.

P.I. Sarah Booth goes undercover as a maid when a billionaire who plans to leave her money to
her cat because she blames her son for her daughter’s drowning is persuaded by a medium to hold a séance to find out what really happened.

 

Tarquin Hall, The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken.

The poisoning death of the elderly father of a top Pakistani cricketer at a post-match dinner
leads Indian P.I. Vish Puri into a mystery involving the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan.

 

Timothy Hallinan, The Fear Artist.

Bangkok travel writer Poke Rafferty becomes a hunted fugitive after a he bumps into a wounded
man who utters a cryptic message with his dying breath.

 

Craig Johnson, As the Crow Flies.

Seeking a venue for his daughter’s wedding on the Cheyenne Reservation, Sheriff Walt Longmire
is horrified to witness a woman plunge to her death from a cliff while holding a baby who survives.

 

Chris Knopf, Dead Anyway.

A man shot in the head by a hit man who killed his wife convinces his neurologist sister to
declare him dead so he can go undercover with a new identity to seek answers and revenge.

 

Joe Lansdale, Edge of Dark Water.

In Texas during the Depression, three teenage girls plan to take their murdered friend’s ashes to Hollywood where she dreamed of becoming a star, but their journey by raft downriver to the bus depot is fraught with peril.

 

Margaret Maron, The Buzzard Table.

Judge Deborah Knott and her husband Deputy Dwight Bryant piece together a series of incidents
that may be connected to a visiting ornithologist who claims to be studying vultures and a local airport rumored to be used to transport terrorists on CIA rendition flights.

 

Peter May, The Blackhouse.

DS Fin Macleod returns to the Outer Hebrides where he had a difficult childhood when a body is
found hanged on one of the islands in a similar manner to one found in Edinburgh.

 

Alexander McCall Smith, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection.

As Precious Ramotswe deals with the unexpected firing of the head of the orphanage and the
arrest of one of the garage apprentices, she is surprised by the arrival of Clovis Anderson, who wrote the manual of private detection that she follows religiously.

 

Jo Nesbo, Phantom.

Harry Hole returns to Oslo from Hong Kong when his former lover’s son, whom he helped
raise, is arrested for murder.

 

Carol O’Connell, The Chalk Girl.

Returning to the Special Crimes Unit after being declared unfit for duty, Kathy Mallory is the
only one able to relate to a strange child found wandering in Central Park after witnessing a murder.

 

Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door.

Intending to write a tribute for a deliverywoman working for his newspaper who died in a
hit-and-run, reporter Carter Ross discovers that her death was no accident.

 

Louise Penny, The Beautiful Mystery.

Inspector Gamache has a limited pool of suspects when one of 24 cloistered monks is murdered at a remote monastery following the surprise success of their recording of Gregorian Chants.

 

Anne Perry, A Sunless Sea.

In Victorian London, the brutal murder of a widow of uncertain means leads William Monk of
the Thames River Police to connect her death to the alleged suicide of a doctor who was campaigning for the regulation of opium.

 

Spencer Quinn, A Fistful of Collars.

When the mayor lures a movie studio to town to shoot a big-budget Western, Bernie Little and
his dog Chet are hired to babysit a spoiled actor who turns out to be linked to a cold case.

 

Karin Slaughter, Criminal.

At the abandoned orphanage where he grew up, Will Trent runs into his boss Amanda Wagner, who is revisiting a case from her past that may be linked to Trent’s troubled childhood.

 

Helen Tursten, Night Rounds.

During a blackout at a hospital in Sweden, a patient on a respirator dies and a nurse is strangled, while a witness tells Inspector Irene Huss that she saw the ghost of a nurse who hanged herself in the hospital 50 years ago following an affair with a surgeon.

 

Martin Walker, The Crowded Grave.

In the Dordogne region of France, police chief Bruno Courrèges investigates a murder at an archaeological dig site, but the case is complicated by an animal rights clash and an international summit.

 

Jeri Westerson, Blood Lance.

In medieval England, disgraced knight Crispin Guest tries but fails to save a man he sees fall from the London Bridge and then sets out to determine whether it was suicide or murder.

 


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 10:00am



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