Super-sleuth Phryne Fisher steps, like an elegant cat, through this, her eighth adventure. In investigating the poisoning of a young man in a bookshop at the Eastern Market, and the wrongful arrest of one Miss Sylvia Lee, Phryne is plunged into a world of Jewish politics, alchemy, poison and chicken soup. Stopping only for a brief, but intensely erotic, dalliance with the beautiful Simon Abrahams, Phryne picks her way throught the mystery with help from the old faithfuls – Bert, Cec, Dot and Detective Inspector ‘Call Me Jack’ Robinson. But ultimately it is her stealth and wit which solve the crime – and all for the price of a song…
Earl Derr Biggers - The Chinese Parrot
The character of Charlie Chan was based in part on the experiences of two Chinese detectives, Chang Apana and Lee Fook, who Biggers had read about in a Honolulu newspaper while on vacation. Biggers wrote six Charlie Chan mysteries. The Chinese Parrot is the second book in the series and begins: Alexander Eden stepped from the misty street into the great, marble-pillared room where the firm of Meek and Eden offered its wares. Immediately, behind showcases gorgeous with precious stones or bright with silver, platinum and gold, forty resplendent clerks stood at attention. Their morning coats were impeccable, lacking the slightest suspicion of a wrinkle, and in the left lapel of each was a pink carnation, as fresh and perfect as though it had grown there.
Kerry Greenwood - Cocaine Blues
The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honourable Phryne Fisher-she of the green-gray eyes, diamant garters, and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions-is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia. Almost immediately after she books into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops, and communism-not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse. Will Phryne meet her steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street?
Enid Blyton - The Mystery of the Secret Room
In the cold and foggy Christmas holidays, it doesn't seem as though the Five Find-Outers and Dog will have anything exciting to investigate. Fatty's got some wonderful new disguises, but there doesn't seem to be any mystery for them at all this time. Then Pip stumbles on a single furnished room in an otherwise deserted house.
Y. S. Lee - A Spy in the House
This is a colourful, action-packed Victorian detective novel centred around the exploits of 'agent' Mary Quinn. At a young age, Mary is rescued from the gallows by a woman masquerading as a prison warden. She is taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school, Mary learns, is a front for a private investigation agency and, at 17, she is taken on as an agent. In her new role she is catapulted into the family home of the Thorolds to investigate the shady business dealings of Mr Thorold.
Patricia Cornwell - Black Notice
The postmortem is in--Black Notice, the 10th in Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series--is a gore- splattered, intensely exciting read. As winter grips Richmond, Virginia, an air of sombreness pervades chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta's world. Her beloved niece Lucy is involved in a dangerous undercover police operation in Miami, and auntie fears for her life. A tyrannical new deputy chief, Diane Bray, wants to get Kay's department under her jurisdiction. Meanwhile, back at the office, someone has tinkered with the e-mail system, stealing Kay's identity and sending off slanderous and hurtful messages. Emotionally battered, Scarpetta fears she is going insane. Or, could it be that someone is deliberately sowing this harvest of sorrow? Despite her personal problems, Scarpetta is still the reigning diva at the department of death. She is sent to investigate the purified remains of a man found inside a container ship, "eyes bulged froglike, and the scalp and beard were sloughing off with the outer layer of darkening skin." Kay finds strange, animal-like hairs on the man's clothing--the same hairs that she discovers on a murdered store clerk a few days later. In actuality, the bizarre killings extend well beyond Virginia; whoever killed the Richmond victims also butchered people in France. Kay and police captain Pete Marino are whisked off to Paris where they must collect top-secret information from a Paris morgue, and avoid becoming victims themselves. This macabre tome is the stuff that classic Scarpetta tales are made of: creepy but compulsive autopsy scenes, plentiful plot twists and the compelling, if slightly more vulnerable, chief medical examiner herself. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Erle Stanley Gardner - The Case of the Caretaker's Cat
In his will, Peter Laxter guaranteed his faithful caretaker a job and a place to live for life. But Laxter's grandson Sam says the deal doesn't include the caretaker's cat. When Perry Mason takes the case, he finds there's much more at stake than an old man's cat -- a million dollars to be exact. And as he investigates, he finds a web of greed and treachery among the heirs. But which one actually pulled off the almost perfect crime?
Karen Rose - Silent Scream
When a teenage girl dies in a suspicious fire, Detective Olivia Sutherland is assigned to track down the arsonist. Then she discovers something more sinister: a vicious blackmailer who preys on young people and murders without hesitation. Making her work even harder is sexy firefighter David Hunter. He's not only sharing the case but sparking memories of their long-ago night of passion, when feelings were left unspoken and hearts were broken. David has his own ghosts, and a million regrets. But while he and Olivia try to face the wall of pain between them, a diabolical puppet master is pulling strings to make a group of twentysomethings do his bidding. Soon Olivia and David are scouring the city for a calculating criminal who seems tantalizingly close—and is moving in for the kill.
Neil Cross - Luther: The Calling
A particularly repellent case moves DCI Luther closer to the edge he's never been far from. A young married couple is found murdered, the husband sadistically savaged, the wife, eight and a half months pregnant, ripped open, her infant just possibly still alive torn from her. Luther, a big man with a big walk and a near-legendary capacity for sensitivity, catches the case, as he catches all the truly bad ones. But this case just might be one too many. Stoic by nature and principle, Luther has never been easy to read, but now the tells are becoming unmistakable. He's been unable to sleep and looks it. Instead of resolving to push to the end, he asks to be taken off the case. At home, his wife and soul mate, Zoe, has grown restless to the point of no return. Their moribund relationship deprives Luther of the ballast and empowerment his marriage has always provided. Meanwhile, a monstrous killer continues to select victims, like the little girl who goes missing. By now Luther s famous intuitiveness has been productive, and he's closing in on his crafty antagonist. When the two confront each other, will Luther retain his commitment and remain the embodiment of law and order?
Chris Carter - The Death Sculptor
_Good job you didn't turn on the lights..._ A student nurse has the shock of her life when she discovers her patient, prosecutor Derek Nicholson, brutally murdered in his bed. The act seems senseless - Nicholson was terminally ill with only weeks to live. But what most shocks Detective Robert Hunter of the Los Angeles Robbery Homicide Division is the calling card the killer left behind. For Hunter, there is no doubt that the killer is trying to communicate with the police, but the method is unlike anything he's ever seen before. And what could the hidden message be? Just as Hunter and his partner Garcia reckon they've found a lead, a new body is found - and a new calling card. But with no apparent link between the first and second victims, all the progress they've made so far goes out of the window. Pushed into an uncomfortable alliance with the confident Alice Beaumont, Hunter must race to put together the pieces of the investigation... before the Death Sculptor puts the final touches to his masterpiece.
Chris Carter - The Crucifix Killer
When the body of a young woman is discovered in a derelict cottage in the middle of Los Angeles National Forest, Homicide Detective Robert Hunter finds himself entering a horrific and recurring nightmare. Naked, strung from two wooden posts, the victim was sadistically tortured before meeting an excruciatingly painful death. All the skin has been ripped from her face - while she was still alive. On the nape of her neck has been carved a strange double-cross: the signature of a psychopath known as the Crucifix Killer. But that's impossible. Because two years ago, the Crucifix Killer was caught and executed. Could this therefore be a copycat killer? Or could the unthinkable be true? Is the real killer still out there, ready to embark once again on a vicious and violent killing spree, selecting his victims seemingly at random, taunting Robert Hunter with his inability to catch him? Hunter and his rookie partner are about to enter a nightmare beyond imagining.
Chris Carter - The Executioner
Inside a Los Angeles church, on the altar steps, lies the blood-soaked, decapitated body of a priest. Carefully positioned, legs stretched out, arms crossed over the chest, the most horrifying thing of all is that the priest's head has been replaced by that of a dog. Later, the forensic team discover that, on the victim's chest, the figure 3 has been scrawled in blood. At first, Detective Robert Hunter believes that this is a ritualistic killing. But as more bodies surface, he is forced to reassess. All the victims died in the way they feared the most. Their worst nightmares have literally come true. But how could the killer have known? And what links these apparently random victims? Hunter finds himself on the trail of an elusive and sadistic killer, somone who apparently has the power to read his victims' minds. Someone who can sense what scares his victims the most. Someone who will stop at nothing to achieve his twisted aim.
Robert Galbraith - The Cuckoo's Calling
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his long-time girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Landry walks through his door with an amazing story. His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, fell, famously, to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rockstar boyfriends, desperate designers, and every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. You may think you know detective novels, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know the world of the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen it investigated by a detective like this one.
Lynda La Plante - Backlash
It is late at night on a notorious council estate in east London. A van - garishly painted with a grinning clown's face on the side - is being driven erratically. When the police pull over the driver to question him, they discover, inside the van, the body of a young woman. A murder suspect... an arrest... a confession... A case done and dusted? But their suspect claims his victim is not his first, but his third. Five years earlier, a 13-year-old girl disappeared in broad daylight on a busy London street. DCS James Langton headed the investigation and left no stone unturned. The fact that case was not solved has haunted him ever since. The enquiry has opened up again but, unable to lead it due to ill health, Langton brings in DCI Anna Travis. Meanwhile the murder team begins the laborious task of verifying the details of the confessions and uncovering the identity of the second victim. And then the suspect changes his story. They know they have a murderer in custody - but is he a serial killer or just a compulsive liar?
Erle Stanley Gardner - The Case of the Singing Skirt
Ellen Robb does more than just sing for her supper -- she also dances and sells cigarettes in a two-bit gambling parlor in a one-horse town. But when she hits a sour note with her scheming employer by refusing to help fleece a fat-cat customer in a crooked card game, she finds herself out of all three jobs. That's when she sings her song of woe to Perry Mason, who promises to turn her blues into greenbacks with the help of his crack team, Della Street and Paul Drake, and a hefty lawsuit. Things are humming along just fine -- until murder interrupts the merry melody of Mason's crafty legal maneuvers. When the vindictive wife of Ellen Robb's not-so-secret lover turns up shot to death, Mason is certain it's a frame-up -- and that his songbird client's belligerent boss is to blame. Until his own gun is found at the scene. The cocksure Mason will have to change his tune -- and do some quick thinking -- or else this case could be his swan song.
Robert Galbraith - The Silkworm
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him. And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before . . .
Kazuki Sakuraba - Takeda Hinata - Gosick 1.
The year is 1924, the place, Sauville, a small European country neatly tucked beside the Alps… Kazuya Kujo has been studying abroad at the prestigious Saint Marguerite Academy, where urban legends and horror stories are all the rage. Most Kazuya ignores–but the story of the Queen Berry, a mysterious ghost ship, really gets to him. Of course, his brainy friend Victorique is much more intrigued by true stories, and she uses her unrivaled logic to solve mysteries even the town’s famous detective can’t. Ironically, it’s Victorique’s inquisitive nature that leads the duo to board a ship that matches the Queen Berry’s description to a tee, a ship that might just hold the key to solving a sinister mystery… Kazuki Sakuraba’s modern twist on Holmes and Watson–pairing Victorique, a wizened young girl with doll-like looks and her eager-to-please sidekick Kazuya–make this international bestseller a must-read murder mystery.
Patricia Cornwell - Blow Fly
The world's number-one-bestselling crime writer is back with another scorching thriller featuring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Dr. Kay Scarpetta has left Virginia in quest of peace but instead finds herself drawn into baffling, horrific murders in Florida. There she becomes entangled in an international conspiracy that confronts her with the shock of her life.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - His Last Bow
Eight short stories from the portfolio of Doctor Watson, illustrating the singular mental faculties of his friend Sherlock Holmes. The title story of this collection refers to Holmes' emergence from retirement to help the government fight the German threat at the approach of the First World War. Several of the detective's earlier cases complete the volume, including "Wisteria Lodge," "The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax," and "The Dying Detective."
Patricia Cornwell - All That Remains
A serial killer is loose in Richmond, specializing in attractive young couples whose bodies are inevitably found in the woods months later -- minus their shoes and socks. After months of exposure to all the elements, all that remains of this killer's victims has in every case left Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta unable even to determine an exact cause of death. Frustrated that her high-tech forensic skills have apparently proved useless, Kay enlists the help of and ace crime reporter and a psychic whose powers have been vouched for by the FBI. Racing against time, Kay finds she must draw upon her own personal resources to track down a murderer skilled at eliminating every clue. All that remains to her now is her courage and intuition and the will to stop a killer before he can strike again.