A Chill List of Reading for a Hot Summer

by Mary Alice Gorman

Here's a chill list for welcoming a summer of perfect ten mystery reading, in no apparent order.


Design for Dying by Renee Patrick

  This mystery writing couple who are Renee Patrick had me at Edith Head. My all time favorite designer turns sleuth to help solve a case with a backdrop of golden age Hollywood and a little help from Bob Hope, Barbara Stanwyck and amateur sleuth Lillian Frost. Looking forward to more mystery color in black and white Hollywood with great detail and perfect patter.

The Queens Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal

   Another case for Maggie Hope the smart secretary to Churchill who brings the intrigues and innuendo into sharp plots in the wartime series. London and spy work occupy Maggie and the queen in the sixth adventure. Here's one to binge this summer while you vacate.

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Sometimes a perfectly created community grows the same scars and secrets that are at home everywhere. Think Columbia, Maryland and dig into the past and present family drama wrapped around a legal story. I always love Laura's focus and nuance that inhabits her writing but this standalone stands out. A little bit homage to Atticus Finch and a whole lot of modern  drama......superb!

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

It's no mystery why the details around the modern creation issue at the heart of this novel took the gifted Scottoline down the rabbit hole of pain and passion that makes parenthood one of the most difficult roles we ever attempt. A pregnancy, sperm bank and a serial killer news moment tear open this drama in a well told and delicately researched drama. Trust will think about this story for months.

Bloodroot by Cynthia Riggs

Cynthia Riggs native delight in her Martha's Vineyard home is a gorgeous backdrop for another mystery for the clever Victoria Trumbull. This time it's a deadly dental practice that opens a case both baffling and told beautifully in another mystery for a staycation of your dreams.  

The Art of Murder by Elaine Viets

When Florida detectives Helen Hawthorne and husband Phil take on the jobs of finding out who is burglarizing the high rises and poisoning a talented artist you can bet Elaine will leave you turning pages all night to get to the top and bottom of this drama. The thrill of reading the dead-end job mystery books is that you can usually pick up anywhere in the series and expect a Southern Florida puzzle chock-a-block with colorful characters and historic sights and sounds.

Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear

I just adore these books that fill in all the missing parts of the women of World War I England and life in the aftermath. For the 12th In this flawless series detective Maisie Dobbs is on a Secret Service mission to 1938 Nazi Germany. Another reading binge is in order here if you have never read the series rendered in elegant detail. Highly recommended for mystery loving teens too.

London Rain by Nicola Upson

Having so enjoyed the UK series about the history of the BBC, The Hour, and all of the Josephine Tey mystery books, I was predisposed to loving the smart sixth in the Upson series that features the canny writer working at the BBC in the historical turning point following the abdication of Edward and the subsequent coronation. London foggy mystery murders beguile! 

Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

When a romantic vacation with her husband spawns a foreclosure and a mystery, Riley Griggs begins a search for the answers on the beautiful Belle Isle, North Carolina. You can always count on an Andrews novel for barefoot fun and sunny secrets. This outing is just the ticket for a summer weekend. 

Murder in the Wardrobe be Katherine Hall Page

Such fond memories of an idyllic stay in an apartment in the beautiful Savannah that we found I with a little help from our friend Mary Kay Andrews were reawakened with the latest Christie like puzzle from Katherine Hall Page. Caterer and minister's wife Faith Fairchild explores the mystery of the missing body and helps her friend lawyer Sophie Maxwell In a house hunting venture in the southern charms of this city bathed in Christmas charms. Read gingerly and share this one for a holiday gift.

Sure it's a big list but they all can be found at or on the bright new website for Carnegie Library