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The Secret Dead

The Secret Dead book cover, a single monk on a white background.

This is a short mystery, set in a Dominican monastery in 16th century Naples. The mystery part is not particularly surprising, but the story is still enjoyable to read. The historical setting is well-drawn, the characters are interesting, and the writing moves you through the story even once you have guessed the ultimate outcome. It is great escapism, because it draws you completely into the the setting that is completely removed from our modern world.


S.J. Parris

Mister Mottley and the Kiss of Death

Mister Mottley and the Kiss of Death book cover

This is the second Mister Mottley short mystery I have read, and it is just as enjoyable as the first (Mister Mottley and the Key of D). It is a light-hearted and quick moving mystery set among the British upperclass in the 1930s. If you're looking for some fun distraction, the Mister Mottley mysteries deliver it. However, this particular mystery is very short, and light on character development.


Ellen Seltz

The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds

The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds book cover

This is a satisfying mystery that is a lot of fun to read. You aren't likely to be surprised by the resolution of this mystery, but you will probably enjoy the process of reaching it, and might find yourself tempted to pick up one of the longer books that feature the same detectives. In short, if you're looking for some quality escapist reading and enjoy period British mysteries, this is a good choice for you.


Karen Charlton

Mister Mottley and the Key of D

Mister Mottley and the Key of D book cover

This short mystery reads a bit like a cross between Jeeves and Wooster and Sherlock Holmes, and somehow this really works. There is nothing deep here, but there is a fast-paced plot, crisp writing, and a lot of fun. As a bonus, right now you can give it a try for free.


Ellen Seltz

Archibald Lawless, Anarchist at Large: Walking the Line

Archibald Lawless, Anarchist at Large cover image

This is a fun, quick read with interesting characters and a fast-paced plot. It is a noirish story that could be called a detective story, but that doesn't really do the originality of its premise justice. Rather than try to categorize it, just read it and enjoy.


Walter Mosley

Murder in Ancient China: Two Judge Dee Mysteries

Murder in Ancient China book cover

This short ebook consists of two short stories, both murder mysteries set in ancient China with Judge Dee as the protagonist. They are solid mystery stories, and the historical setting makes them even more enjoyable: they are like police procedurals in a police department whose rules you do not know. Overall, this was a fun and satisfying quick read.


Robert van Gulik

The Uncertainty Principle

The Uncertainty Principle

A sci-fi detective story that does credit to both genres.


John Moralee

Coke with a Twist (A Mercy Watts Short)

Coke with a Twist book cover

A diverting mystery in which the lead character is the daughter of a private investigator, recruited by her father to help him solve a case involving an attack on a young woman.


A. W. Hartoin

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