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1999-2001 Book Club Reads

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2001 Selections (listed by author's last name)

 
 

KEY DECEPTIONS - M. E. Cooper
(Italy; 1489) In 15th century Bologna, Italy, Jews are prohibited under penalty of death from becoming locksmiths. Lovely, young widow, Avisa, befriends a young Jewish lad, Bernardo, putting her life at risk. A glib orator comes to Bologna; the city collects silver for city's bells. When the silver is stolen, Duke Bentivoglio vows vengeance and it takes all Avisa's locksmithing skills and courage to save her life and those she loves.

Amazon US

 
 

THE STRANGE FILES OF FREMONT JONES - Dianne Day
Set in 1900 San Francisco, the main protagonist is a young 'type-writer' who comes to SF and finds adventure, affection, and a whole lot more.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

A MORTAL BANE - Roberta Gellis
 (London; 1139) Magdalene la Batarde is the madam of the Old Priory Guesthouse in Southwark. She and her women are expected to engage in a number of sinful activities, but bloody murder isn't one of them--until Baldassare, the messenger, dies. Though Baldassare isn't a regular client of the Old Priory Guesthouse, Magdalene and her women refuse to allow his death to go unavenged. Of course, their efforts aren't completely altruistic. Chances are if they don't find the killer, they will be assumed guilty because they are whores, and will be gutted and hanged.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

THIRTEENTH NIGHT - Alan Gordon
1st in series. 1200, medieval England. Protagonist is a professional jester. The Fool's Guild is a group of jesters and clowns. This story uses Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night" as background.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

A FREE MAN OF COLOR  - Barbara Hambly
(New Orleans; 1833) In the midst of Marti Gras, Benjamin January, a Creole physician and music teacher, is playing piano at the Salle d'Orleans when the evening's festivities are interrupted by murder. And soon the eyes of suspicion turn toward Ben, for, black as the slave who fathered him, this free man of color is still the perfect scapegoat.

Amazon US

 
 

BELLADONNA AT BELSTONE - Michael Jenks
1321. Lady Elizabeth of Topsham, prioress of St. Mary's, is fighting to retain her position in the face of devastating opposition. She has been accused by Sister Margherita, St. Mary's treasurer, of giving much-needed funds to the new vicar, a man she often sees alone at night. Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, together with his old friend Simon Puttock, are summoned to investigate. There is no doubt that the threefold vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty are being broken with alarming frequency. Then, when a second nun is murdered, they find themselves facing their most difficult case yet.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE - Laurie King
(England 19l5 to 1919) Tutoring the audacious Miss Mary Russell in all the fine arts of deduction, Sherlock Holmes is called out of retirement to oversee her ultimate challenge when bombs are placed on both of their front doorsteps.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

BICYCLE BUILT FOR MURDER - Kate Kingsbury
The Manor House seaside village is called Sitting Marsh. Itís World War II, a time of bombing, blackouts, rationing, and American soldiers on British soil. The main character Lady Elizabeth Hartleigh Compton is thirty-one and divorced. She inherited a Jacobean mansion, cottages, and vast acres after her parents were killed. She cares for her tenants beyond what is expected and proves it when a mother asks her to investigate the disappearance of her wayward daughter.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

THE DUTCHMAN - Maan Meyers
(New York, 1600 -1775) Pieter Tonneman, the law in the fledgling Dutch settlement on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, must look into the apparent suicide of a local tavern owner and a fire in Jews Alley.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

A WICKED WAY TO BURN - Margaret Miles
(Boston; 1763) The Bracebridge mystery series. Colonial farmer Charlotte Willett's first enthralling adventure begins when a merchant disappears--prompting cries of witchcraft, theories of Spontaneous Combustion, and a visit from the King's Man.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

DEATH ON A SILVER TRAY - Rosemary Stevens
Regency England. First in the the Beau Brummell series. Beau Brummell stood as the uncrowned king of genteel society. The quintessential style-maker, trend-setter, and fashion-forger, Brummell was the last person one would expect to find in the middle of a murder mystery. But then, Beau Brummell was never one to do what was expected...

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

ONE FOR SORROW - Mary Reed, Eric Mayer
Constantinople, capital of the 6th century Roman Empire. John the Eunuch, Emperor Justinian's Lord Chamberlain, orders a Christian court while himself observing the rites of Mithra. Thomas, a knight from Britain, Ahasuerus, a soothsayer, and two ladies from Crete stir up events and old memories for John, who must ask how the visitors link to the death of Leukos, Keeper of the Plate. An Egyptian brothel keeper and a Christian stylite know more than they are telling. In due course, John gets his man - and a love scene....

Amazon US - Amazon UK

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2000 Selections (listed by author's last name)

 
 

RIVER OF DARKNESS - Rennie Airth
After World War I, a small Surrey village deals with five butchered bodies. Scotland Yard sends Inspector John Madden, a man still recovering from his own war experience and from the deaths of his wife and child to investigate the murders. The beautiful Dr. Helen Blackwell, who introduces him to the new science of criminal psychology, helps him to solve the mystery and capture the killer.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

MURDER AT BENT ELBOW - Kate Bryan
Set in San Francisco in 1875 with a quirky female protagonist! Maggie leaves the Pinkerton National Detective Agency behind to set up her own shop in San Francisco--and tracks down Miss Harriet Hogg, a former Indian captive and potential heiress hopping from saloon to saloon in the middle of nowhere, Nevada. 

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

A FAMINE OF HORSES - P. F. Chisholm
(A Sir Robert Carey Mystery) In the year 1592, Sir Robert Carey, a handsome courtier, comes north to Carlisle to take up his new post as Deputy Warden of the West March. He has wangled his appointment to be nearer his true love, a married woman, and farther from the still eye of his Queen and the disapproving eye of his father.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

SILVER PIGS - Lindsey Davis
A.D. 70; Roman P.I. Marcus Didius Falco; Combining the wry humor of a modern gumshoe novel with the serpentine political intrigues of ancient Rome, Silver Pigs follows the riotous exploits of a hard-nosed private detective.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

DEAD MARCH - Ann McMillan
Virginia, 1861: Aided by a fledging British news correspondent, Narcissa Powers, a well-to-do young white widow, and Judah Daniel, a free black herbalist and "conjure woman", combine their resources to solve the suspicious murder of a slave girl.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

THE CASE OF THE COMPARTMENT 7 - Sam McCarver
In April 1914, Professor John Darnell is hired to investigate sightings of a bloody phantom of a woman in compartment 7-- on the Orient Express.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

DEATH COMES AS EPIPHANY - Sharan Newman
A medievalist specialist - 12th-century France. Catherine, a novice-scholar turned detective, is asked to track down evil priests, a fortune in stolen jewels, an heretical manuscript, and solve the mystery of those ill-fated lovers, Abelard and Heloise.

Amazon US

 
 

HE SHALL THUNDER IN THE SKY - Elizabeth Peters
Amelia Peabody and her family return to Egypt for another season of archeological excavation. When an exquisite sculpture is found, it confirms Amelia's unsettling suspicion about the re-emergence of her villainous arch-nemesis, Sethos, the Master Criminal. (Note: It answers a lot of questions from prior novels: Seeing a Large Cat, The Ape Who Guards the Balance, and The Falcon at the Portal.)

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

THE APOTHECARY ROSE - Candace M. Robb
Set in 14th-century England. When the ward of the Lord Chancellor of England dies in the St. Mary's Abbey Infirmary, Owen Archer (formerly Captain of Archers) is ordered to York to find out what really happened. Undercover in York as an apothecary, he discovers the complicated history behind the murder.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

THE DEVIL IN MUSIC - Kate Ross
Regency England, 1820's - Dandy and Amateur sleuth Julian Kestrel is back in his fourth mystery--and this time he confronts murder far from home in the sensuous, turbulent Italy.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

THE DAUGHTER OF TIME - Josephine Tey
While at a London hospital recuperating from a fall, Inspector Alan Grant becomes fascinated by a portrait of King Richard. With an American researcher's help, Grant delves into his country's history to discover just what kind of man Richard Plantagenet was and who really killed the little princes.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

MURDER ON ASTOR PLACE - Victoria Thompson
A Gas Light Mystery.  As a midwife in turn-of-the-century New York, Sarah Brandt has seen pain and joy. Now she will work for something more--a search for justice--in a case of murder involving one of New York's richest families.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 

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1999 Selections (listed by author's last name)

 
 

ROYAL WHODUNNITS - Mike Ashley
Brand-new crime stories of right royal mystery feature the crowned heads of Europe to delight both the mystery lover and the royal-watcher.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

EXCEPT THE DYING - Maureen Jennings
As the brutal winter of 1895 bears down on Toronto, a young girl's body turns up in a desolate alley. When it's discovered that the girl was pregnant, Det. William Murdoch suspects someone was trying to hide a scandal. But when he learns more about the girl's life, he realizes her death is the work of someone with a far more sinister purpose.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

THE CASE OF CABIN 13 - Sam McCarver
On the Titanic; 1912. John Darnell is a professional investigator whose specialty is debunking theories of paranormal activities.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

THE QUEEN'S MAN - Sharon Kay Penman
Epiphany, 1193. Eleanor of Aquitaine sits upon England's throne. Her beloved son Richard Lionheart is missing, presumed dead--and the court whispers that her younger son John is plotting to seize the crown.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

 
 

MURDER ON ST. MARK'S PLACE - Victoria Thompson
A Gaslight Mystery. Although Sarah family is wealthy prefers to reside in Manhattan's tenements. She is a midwife to the poor. She and Police Sergeant Frank Malloy investigate the murder of a charity girl.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

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