BCPL staff top picks to celebrate Mystery and MAYhem!

Each May, we celebrate “Mystery and Mayhem” by highlighting part of our mystery collection and holding a contest for gift baskets at each of our branches. Stop by any branch to pick up a mystery bookmark with suggestions and enter to win a basket. In the meantime, BCPL staff share their favorites to get your mystery reading started.


Jenny Walsh, Book Cellar Assistant and Purveyor of Unlikely Treasures, says her favorite mystery is Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. It features the famously monocled Lord Peter Wimsey and his soon-to-be-fiance Harriet Vane as they seek to discover who is terrorizing the academics at Harriet’s Oxford college reunion (or “gaudy”). Issues of class, education and gender are explored, and Sayers, who wrote in the 1930s, has been called the first feminist mystery writer. Intriguingly, no murder is actually committed in the novel.



Deanna Pina, Teen Librarian, recommends One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. Deanna says it is like Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars. Five teens go into detention and only four of them come out alive. One of the teens murdered Simon, creator of a notorious gossip app at Bayview High, but it isn’t clear ‘whodunnit’. This book grabs you and won’t let you go. You will stop reading and wonder, “BUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!?” It will drive you crazy, and you will want to finish it ASAP. It is that good of a book. No pacing issues. No boring parts. No bad characters. Just a mystery that will drive you wild!




Vicki Durham, Public Services Associate, enjoys the Hamish Macbeth mysteries by M.C. Beaton. Set in a small village in Scotland, police sergeant Hamish Macbeth solves murders. The mysteries are always well written with witty characters.  Vicki also recommends Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series. They are always filled with questions and suspense.




Suzanne Yowler, Circulation Assistant, recommends the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling). The series is well-written, and Suzanne has never solved the mystery before the end. Suzanne loves the characters Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott. Cormoran is a wounded war veteran and former member of the Royal Military Police who now owns a private detective agency. Robin starts out as a temporary secretary for the agency. Her character develops, but Suzanne doesn’t want to share any spoilers! Although the books are lengthy, Suzanne zips right through them because she can’t put them down.



Jenn Ritter, Page, shares her favorite mystery A Quiet Life in the Country by T.E. Kinsey. It is the story of an eccentric widow with a secret past, Lady Emily Hardcastle, and her maid, confidant and martial arts expert, Florence Armstrong.  After moving from London to the country, they stumble upon a dead body hanging from a tree with horse drawn cart tracks leaving the scene.  Suddenly their hopes for a quiet life come to an end.





Holly Calhoun, Youth Services Circulation Assistant, enjoys cozy mysteries. One of her favorite series is the Paws and Claws mystery series by Krista Davis. The first book is Mission Impawsible. The books are fun mysteries without any graphic violence.





Ginger Stapp, Early Literacy Specialist, enjoyed Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. Private investigator Jackson Brodie investigates three very different cases that happened over thirty years only to find startling connections between a missing girl, a random attack and a new mother with a demanding husband.


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