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International Mysteries

November 6, 2018

mysterious person in hat and glasses

So many readers love a good mystery.  It can be really hard to say good-bye when that last volume of series comes out, but that just leaves more room in your reading life for another great mystery series.  I like a mystery with just a touch of the supernatural.  If you are like me, you will love “Midnight Riot,” a novel set in contemporary London, complete with ghosts and magic.  If you prefer something a little more historical, “Beautiful Place to Die,” set in 1950’s South Africa is the book for you.  Interested in exploring a new location or looking for something more exotic?  Try “Bangkok 8” set in Thailand or “The Coroner’s Lunch,” set in Laos in the early 70’s. No international mystery list would be complete without a few “Nordic Noir” titles.  Look for “The Legacy,” a new book by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, one of Iceland’s best known authors.  Enjoy!


"CONFESSIONS " by KANAE MINATO

Location: Japan | After her divorce, all Yuko had to live for was her daughter. When her daughter is killed in a horrible accident, Yuko sets out to revenge her daughter’s death, targeting her former students. This novel explores the limits of revenge, a mother’s love and despair at her child’s death.

"PERFECT DAYS" by RAPHAEL MONTES

Location: Brazil | Teo Avalar is a loner. He doesn’t really care for people at all. Then he meets Clarice. She’s his opposite: outgoing, beautiful and spontaneous. Teo begins to stalk her, following her to the university, where she rejects him. In response, he kidnaps her and takes her on a twisted road trip through Brazil; a road trip that echoes Clarice’s screenplay.

"SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES " by F. H. BATACAN

Location: Philippines | When the eviscerated bodies of pre-teen boys begin to show up in Payatas, a dump 50 miles from Manilla, Father Saenz, a forensic anthropologist and his protégé, Father Lucero, a psychologist, are asked by the Director of the National Bureau of Investigations to track down the monster who has been killing these boys. Regarded as the first Filipino crime novel, this book is considered a masterpiece of noir, with its depictions of the Philippines and the role of the Catholic Church in its followers.

"BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DIE" by MALLA NUNN

Location: South Africa | In 1952, just as apartheid takes effect, an Afrikaner police officer is murdered. Detective Emmanuel Cooper is assigned to the case. Striking out on his own, Detective Cooper investigates the relationships that the dead man had with his community in order to find out who the killer is. The first novel in the Detective Cooper Series.

"THE LEGACY" by YRSA SIGURDARDOTTIR

Location: Iceland | A mother is killed and the only person who can provide answers to what happened is her seven year old daughter. Unfortunately, she won’t say anything at all. Tasked with solving this murder, recently promoted Detective Huldar must collaborate with Freyja, a child psychologist. Can Huldar ignore his past with Freyja and solve this increasingly complex case, fraught with strange clues? The first novel in the Children’s House series.

"THE UNQUIET DEAD" by AISMA ZEHANT KHAN

Location: Canada | When a suspected war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995 falls to his death off the cliffs, Rachel Getty gets the case. As she and her boss, Esa Khattak, start to dig through his life, more questions than answers come to light. Was he killed as a result of his connections to the massacre or was it really just an accident? The first book in the Getty/Khattak series.

"BANGKOK 8" by JOHN BURDETT

Location: Thailand | When a charismatic Marine sergeant is killed in front of a crowd, the only non-corrupt cops in the city get the case. Within moments, one is killed leaving his partner, Sonchai Jitpleecheep, out for revenge with a beautiful FBI agent along for the ride. The first in the Sonchai Jitpleecheep detective series.

"THE UNEXPECTED INHERITANCE OF INSPECTOR CHOPRA" by VASEEM KHAN

Location: India | Retiring Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits two unexpected things: the first is an unsolved case of a drowned boy and the second is a baby elephant. In his search for clues to the murderer, Inspector Chopra travels across Mumbai, from its gleaming high rises to its sprawling slums, and into the dark underworld. The first in the Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation series.

"THE SHADOW DISTRICT " by ARNALDUR INDRIDASON

Location: Iceland | In wartime Reykjavik, a woman is found strangled in the “shadow district,” a dangerous part of the city. An Icelandic detective and a member of the US military police hunt for the killer. In the present, an elderly man is found smothered by his own pillow. Konrad, a retired detective finds newspaper cuttings referencing the woman’s death in the man’s home. Konrad remembers the murder happening in his neighborhood while he was growing up. Are these two murders connected? How? Why? The first in the Flovent and Thorson Thrillers series.

"DEATH COMES IN THROUGH THE KITCHEN" by TERESA DOVALPAGE

Location: Cuba | Matt, an American journalist, arrives in Havana to marry his girlfriend, a Cuban food blogger, Yarmilla. When she doesn’t meet him at the airport, he hitches a ride to her apartment, only to discover her, dead in the bathtub. Now Matt is the main suspect, and he needs to clear his name. Embarking on his own investigation, Matt soon realizes that there was more to his fiancé than he or anyone else knew.

"AUNTIE POLDI AND THE SICILIAN LIONS " by MARIO GIORDANO

Location: Sicily | On her 60th birthday, Auntie Poldi moves from Munich to Sicily, fully intending to spend the rest of her life drinking good wine, reading good books and entertaining few visitors. When her handsome handyman goes missing and is discovered murdered. Auntie Poldi, being Auntie Poldi, can’t help but start asking questions. Soon there’s an investigation, a hot police inspector, a romance, a rooftop shoot out and one false lead after another, and yet, Auntie Poldi manages to come out on top—only slightly worse for wear. The first in the Auntie Poldi Adventures series.

"THE DOVE’S NECKLACE " by RAJA ALIM

Location: Saudi Arabia | After a body is discovered in the Lane of Many Heads in Mecca, no one steps forward to claim it, due to the nakedness of the corpse. Detective Nasser attempts to solve this crime and it seems that all of modern day Mecca has something to say. Nasser suspects that the body is that of a painter, Aisha, one of the residents of the area. He begins searching her email for clues and discovers an artist with many sides. But has she been murdered?

"MIDNIGHT RIOT " by BEN AARONOVITCH

Location: London | Probationary Counsel Peter Grant dreams of being a police detective for London. On watch one night after a murder, Peter meets with his first ghost; a ghost who manages to provide an astounding number of details about the murder. Peter manages to verify these details with the cctv recordings. Now Peter is working with Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, a master of magic and solving crimes. The first in the PC Peter Grant series.

"KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES " by JUSSI ADLER-OLSEN

Location: Denmark | Carl Mørck used to be one of Denmark’s best homicide detectives until one fateful night when two other detectives are shot in front of him. Carl blames himself for their death, especially because he didn’t draw his weapon. The last thing he expects is a promotion. Now he is the head of the one man Department Q—the cold case unit. One cold case stands out—a liberal politician who has disappeared and presumed dead. Only, she’s not. The first in the Department Q series.

"THE TOKYO ZODIAC MURDERS " by SOJI SHIMADA

Location: Japan | Kiyoshi Mitarai, astrologer, fortune letter and self-styled detective, has one week to solve a case that has baffled Japan for forty years. Artist Umezawa was murdered, his daughter raped and killed and six others were dismembered to crate Azthoth, the supreme woman. A story of magic and illusion, maps, charts and graphs are included to help the reader solve the puzzle.

"THE CROCODILE " by MAURIZIO DE GIOVANNI

Location: Italy | Three young people of different backgrounds have all been murdered in three different neighborhoods. Nothing links them together, but Detective Guiseppe Lojacono thinks otherwise. Recently transferred to Naples from Sicily, where he was accused of leaking information to the mob, Lojacono is offered a chance to clear his name and redeem himself.

"BED OF NAILS " by ANTONIN VARENNE

Location: France | Richard Guerin investigates suicide cases for the Paris Police. When three suicides cross his desk that are way too bizarre to be normal. First is an American who bleeds to death during an S&M show. Another runs naked into traffic and a third jumps from a museum balcony and impales himself on a whale skeleton. Help comes in the form of John Nichols, an American. Soon the trail leads to the American Embassy and beyond.

"THE CORONER’S LUNCH" by COLIN COTTERILL

Location: Laos | Dr. Siri Paiboun has been selected to be a national coroner in 1972 in Laos. Surrounded by corrupt officials and useless assistants, Dr. Paiboun’s sense of humor helps him make it through most days. When a high ranking official’s wife is brought to him, Dr. Paiboun suspects she has been murdered. Facing a gauntlet of challenges, Dr. Paiboun struggles to balance his party affiliation while remaining true to his calling as a coroner. The first in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series.

"MURDER IN THE MARAIS " by CARA BLACK

Location: France | Swearing off criminal cases after her father’s death, Aimee LeDuc sticks to tech investigations. When an elderly Jewish man approaches her to decode some papers for a member of his temple, she accepts, not knowing that she’s in for more trouble. When Aimee drops off the papers at the woman’s home, she finds her strangled with a swastika carved into her forehead. Aimee sets out to find the woman’s murderer in a dangerous web of old war crimes and buried secrets. The first in the Aimee LeDuc series.


Reading Recommendations Books

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