There are a lot of careers that people have that can also be done by amateurs. You can play football without being on a team in the NFL; you can enjoy walking around on a sunny day and watching birds through binoculars without being an ornithologist; the list goes on and on. Not every job should be done as a hobby or by an amateur. (For instance, you wouldn’t want to go to an amateur doctor.) But one profession that benefits greatly from the help of amateurs, especially in mystery books, is that of the amateur sleuth.
Made most popular by Agatha Christie with her character of Miss Marple, an elderly lady with an insatiable curiosity and great powers of deduction, over the last century the amateur sleuth has become a mainstay of the mystery genre. Now amateur sleuth books feature a wide range of characters with varying professions who also help solve crimes. Bakers, butlers, beauticians, bird watchers—anyone with an interest in getting to the bottom of a mystery can be an amateur sleuth. The characters in these eight great mysteries prove time and again that you don’t have to have a degree in criminology to look for criminals.
This thought-provoking new novel is set in two times. In 2008, an ambulance-chasing lawyer named Jay Shenk convinces a family to sue a hospital after their son's botched operation leaves him comatose. In 2019, Shenk is hired to defend the father of that boy in a murder case, and Shenk's now-grown son finds a purpose in life when he decides to figure out what really happened.
Set in 1936 in the Crown Colony of Singapore, this is about aspiring journalist Su Li, who steps in when the nanny looking after the Acting Governor's daughter dies a mysterious death. Shortly after her arrival, another murder occurs at the residence, and Su Li will have to use all her resources and investigative know-how to help Chief Inspector Thomas LeFroy solve the killings if she wants to keep living.
by Sarah Lotz
In this exciting thriller, Shaun Ryan learns his uncle didn't move away but actually disappeared, so he enlists the help of a group of amateur sleuths to get to the bottom of the puzzle. But this group of armchair detectives, who help solve cold cases on the internet, soon find themselves the target of a killer, when the very murderer they are looking for infiltrates their group.
When Lana Lee's life falls apart, she moves back home and takes a job at her parents' noodle restaurant while she tries to get her life back on track. But when the restaurant's landlord is murdered, Lana and all the other employees are suspects. She will have to work to find the real killer to clear her name.
Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur finds nothing to be suspicious about the death of Peggy Smith. After all, Peggy was a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition. It's up to Peggy's caretaker, Natalka, to find the evidence to prove otherwise. Natalka noticed several mystery books in Peggy's home, all with an inscription. When one of the books is stolen and its author subsequently turns up dead, Natalka realizes she needs to take what she knows to the police.
And this is the first book in a classic series about amateur Victorian-era sleuth Amelia Peabody. Amelia is on a trip up the Nile when she befriends poor young Evelyn Barton-Forbes. But a series of strange encounters and accidents and a botched kidnapping lead her to believe that Evelyn is in danger and that it might be tied to a mummy, part of an archeological expedition they are going to visit. Amelia will have to unravel the case if she wants to keep her new friend—and herself—safe.
Bronwyn Crewse is honored when her grandparents ask her to take over her family's ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. But things start down a rocky road (ha) when renovations run late and she can't reopen until the late fall. Then a snowstorm hits on the first day of business and a body is found in the snow. And if that wasn't bad enough, the prime suspect in the murder is Bronwyn's father! She'll have to dig deep to get the real scoop on what happened.
Pin is the curious, headstrong fourteen-year-old daughter of a carnival fortune-teller. During the sweltering summer of 1915, she dresses as a boy and joins a gang of teenagers who roam the Riverview amusement park, looking for trouble. But when Pin witnesses what she thinks is the murder of a young girl, it's more trouble than she was expecting. With the help of Henry Darger, a brilliant artist and real-life historical figure, they put themselves in harm's way as they search the boardwalk for the truth.
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