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First-Degree Fun: 12 Murder Mysteries For the Sleuth-Loving Reader

First-Degree Fun: Marvelous Murder Mysteries

Looking to add a little thrill in your day? Look no further than these criminally entertaining cozy murder mysteries.

 

Young Willie is on the run, having fled his small Texas farm when an infamous local landowner murdered his father. A man named Loving takes him in and trains him in the fine arts of shooting, riding, reading, and gardening. When Loving dies, Willie re-christens himself Nat Love in tribute to his mentor, and heads west.

In Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, Nat becomes a Buffalo Soldier and is befriended by Wild Bill Hickok. After winning a famous shooting match, Nat’s peerless marksmanship and charm earn him the nickname Deadwood Dick, as well as a beautiful woman. But the hellhounds are still on his trail, and they brutally attack Nat Love’s love. Pursuing the men who have driven his wife mad, Nat heads south for a final, deadly showdown against those who would strip him of his home, his love, his freedom, and his life.

Living in south central L.A., Socrates Fortlow is a sixty-year-old ex-convict still strong enough to kill men with his bare hands. Filled with profound guilt about his own crimes and disheartened by the chaos of the streets, Socrates calls together local people of all races and social stations and begins to conduct a Thinkers’ Club, where all can discuss life’s unanswerable questions. Infiltrated by undercover cops and threatened by strain from within, the Thinkers’ Club doesn’t have it easy. But simply by debating racial authenticity, street justice, and the possibility of mutual understanding, Socrates and his unlikely crew actually begin to make a difference.

The Right Mistake is Walter Mosley at his most incisive. At once an affectionate and coruscating portrait of ghetto life, it abides the possibility of personal redemption and even, with great struggle, social change.

It’s the week before Christmas when a lone robber bursts into a busy Glasgow post office carrying an AK-47. An elderly man suddenly hands his young grandson to a stranger and wordlessly helps the gunman fill bags with cash, then carries them to the door. He opens the door and bows his head; the robber fires off the AK-47, tearing the grandfather in two.

DS Alex Morrow arrives on the scene and finds that the alarm system had been disabled before the robbery. Yet upon investigation, none of the employees can be linked to the gunman. And the grandfather-a life-long campaigner for social justice-is above reproach. As Morrow searches for the killer, she discovers a hidden, sinister political network. Soon it is chillingly clear: no corner of the city is safe, and her involvement will go deeper than she could ever have imagined.

It is 1941. While the “war of chaos” rages in the skies above London, an unending fight against violence, murder and the criminal underworld continues on the streets below.

One ordinary day, in an ordinary courtroom, forensic pathologist Dr. Keith Simpson asks a keen young journalist to be his secretary. Although the “horrors of secretarial work” don’t appeal to Molly Lefebure, she’s intrigued to know exactly what goes on behind a mortuary door.

Capable and curious, “Miss Molly” quickly becomes indispensible to Dr. Simpson as he meticulously pursues the truth. Accompanying him from somber morgues to London’s most gruesome crime scenes, Molly observes and assists as he uncovers the dark secrets that all murder victims keep.

With a sharp sense of humor and a rebellious spirit, Molly tells her own remarkable true story here with warmth and wit, painting a vivid portrait of wartime London.

L.A. private eye Elvis Cole is hired by popular television star Jodie Taylor to delve into her past and identify the biological parents who gave her up for adoption thirty-six years before. Cole’s assignment is to find out their biological history and report back.

It seems all too clear cut. But when he gets to Louisiana and begins his search, he finds that there’s something much darker going on. Other people are also looking for Taylor’s parents, and some are ending up dead.

And when Cole realizes that his employer knew more than she was telling, Voodoo River becomes a twisting tale of identity, secrets, and murder.

She may be a bestselling author, but ex-librarian Jacqueline Kirby’s views on the publishing biz aren’t fit to print. In fact, she’s thinking of trading celebrity for serenity and a house far away from fiendish editors and demented fans when her agent whispers the only words that could ever make her stay: Naked in the Ice. Seven years ago, this blockbuster skyrocketed Kathleen Darcy to instant fame. Now the author’s heirs are looking for a writer to pen the sequel. It’s an opportunity no novelist in her right mind would pass up, and there’s no doubting Jacqueline’s sanity…until she starts digging through the missing woman’s papers–and her past. Until she gets mixed up with Kathleen’s enigmatic lover. Until a series of nasty accidents convince her much too late that someone wants to bring Jacqueline’s story–and her life–to a premature end.

Few can rival Andy’s affection for dogs. However, the playful new friend he just inherited is valued by several people, many of whom are willing to resort to violence to get what they want. It will take more than Andy’s usual courtroom theatrics to save this dog, including a little help from his beloved golden retriever, Tara.

Andy soon discovers that anyone around him is in danger, including his long-time girlfriend Laurie, and he will have to muster all of his wits to save those he holds most dear.

When popular Father Quinlan is accused of murdering a young parishioner and nailing him to a cross inside the church, private investigator Chloe Ryan knows he’s innocent. Soon, Chloe is butting heads–and hearts–with police detective Matthew Diel. Original.

Returning from a vacation, Constable Hamish Macbeth senses a dark cloud of evil hanging over his Scottish village of Lochdubh. Newcomer Catriona Beldame has cast a bewitching spell over the town, causing the local men to visit her cottage at all hours of the night and infuriating the women. Hamish suspects that she is a great danger to the town. Before he can prove that Catriona is truly wicked, she is brutally murdered-and Hamish becomes the prime suspect in the case. The constable will call upon the assistance of a pretty female forensic expert as he attempts to clear his name . . . and perhaps even find some romance. But when more violence breaks out, loyal Hamish must use all his detective skills to restore peace to his beloved village.

The harrowing call comes from the NYPD. Willy’s ex-wife, Mary, has been found dead in her Lower East Side apartment and Willy is asked to identify the body. Torn from his beloved Vermont, Willy returns to the city of his hard-drinking youth with misgivings that deepen when he sees Mary’s sad corpse on a gurney. Because of a fresh puncture mark in her arm, the police think she overdosed. Yet Willy has doubts. Driven by loss and guilt, he searches deeper and deeper into his past, to a long-ago Vietnam where he was a merciless loner known as the Sniper. Soon Willy will answer for his old sins…and live up to his chilling nickname.

The daughter of a successful mystery writer and a P.I. with pizzazz, Regan Reilly is attending her class reunion at St. Polycarp’s England, when the long-dead body of her former roommate turns up under the bushes. It’s a case Regan would love to solve, but a prior commitment puts her on a transatlantic cruise. She shouldn’t have fretted. The clues to the crime are following her on the Queen Guinevere. Here, on a ship awash with secret lovers, a fortune hunter, a jewel thief and an assassin, Regan is sailing home–and into the hands of a young girl’s killer.

Weddingville, Washington, is in the throes of its annual bridal fair. For Daryl Anne Blessing, that means soothing the high-strung brides-to-be who have taken her family’s dress shop by storm. Hunky photographer Seth Quinlan is around to provide eye candy and witty repartee-but it’s no laughing matter when a diamond ring set disappears from the Ring Bearer Jewelers, followed by a designer gown from Blessing’s Bridal Shop.

Daryl Anne hopes the thefts are just the work of a prankster poking fun at the wedding fever that’s overtaken the town. But Weddingville’s shopkeepers can’t afford for the bridal fair to lose its luster. Then business takes a dark turn when a bride is found dead in Flower Girl Shop’s fridge. Now, with Weddingville’s romantic reputation on the line, Daryl Anne and Seth turn up the heat on their own simmering attraction-and a killer determined to make bridezillas a dying breed . . .