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Mystery Most Traditional: 2012 Agatha Award Nominees

The 2012 Agatha Award nominees are in! The award is named in honor of Agatha Christie and is awarded by Malice Domestic, an annual “fun fan” convention for lovers of traditional mysteries. Nominated titles must have first been published in the United States by a living author during 2012 and typically contain no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence. Winners will be announced in May 2013.

So, if you like your mysteries kind of cozy and not so hard boiled then you might enjoy these books. A selection of the nominees is listed below, to see the complete nominee list visit Malice Domestic.

Best Novel:

The Diva Digs Up the Dirt by Krista Davis

A Fatal Winter by G.M. Malliet

The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Best First Novel:

Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer

Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown

A Scrapbook of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan

A Killer Read by Erika Chase

Faithful Unto Death by Stephanie Jaye Evans

Best Children's/Young Adult Novel:

Seconds Away by Harlan Coben

The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

The Code Busters Club, Case #2: The Haunted Lighthouse by Penny Warner

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Best Historical Novel:

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder by Catriona McPherson

Murder on Fifth Avenue by Victoria Thompson

An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear


Amazon Says: "There are certain things you want in a village mystery: a pretty setting, a tasteful murder, an appealing sleuth . . . Malliet delivers all that." —Marilyn Stasio, The New more...
Amazon Says: "There are certain things you want in a village mystery: a pretty setting, a tasteful murder, an appealing sleuth . . . Malliet delivers all that." —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Last year, Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees with Wicked Autumn, the first mystery featuring her captivating protagonist, Max Tudor, and the small English village of Nether Monkslip.  In A Fatal Winter, Max—Anglican priest, former MI5 agent, and village heartthrob—investigates two deaths at Chedrow Castle. But his growing attraction to Awena Owen complicates his case, as does the recent arrival at Chedrow Castle of a raucous group of long-lost, greedy relatives, any one of whom has a motive for murder. With a cozy setting, intricate puzzles, and a handsome (non-celibate) priest doing the sleuthing, the books in this series are destined to become instant classics in the mystery world. less...
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The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron
Amazon Says: New York Times bestselling author Margaret Maron returns with a thrilling new Deborah Knott mystery . . . THE BUZZARD TABLE Judge Deborah Knott and her husband, Sher more...
Amazon Says: New York Times bestselling author Margaret Maron returns with a thrilling new Deborah Knott mystery . . . THE BUZZARD TABLE Judge Deborah Knott and her husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, are back home in Colleton County amid family and old friends. But the winter winds have blown in several new faces as well. Lt. Sigrid Harald and her mother, Anne, a well-known photographer, are down from New York to visit Mrs. Lattimore, Anne's dying mother. When the group gathers for dinner at Mrs. Lattimore's Victorian home, they meet the enigmatic Martin Crawford, an ornithologist researching a book on Southern vultures. He's also Mrs. Lattimore's long-lost nephew. With her health in decline, Mrs. Lattimore wants to make amends with her family-a desire Deborah can understand, as she, too, works to strengthen her relationship with her young stepson, Cal. Anne is charmed by her mysterious cousin, but she cannot shake the feeling that there is something familiar about Martin . . . something he doesn't want her or anyone else to discover. When a string of suspicious murders sets Colleton County on edge, Deborah, Dwight, and Sigrid once again work together to catch a killer, uncovering long-buried family secrets along the way. less...
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Amazon Says: The brilliant new novel in the New York Times bestselling series by Louise Penny, one of the most acclaimed crime writers of our time  No outsiders are ever admitted to t more...
Amazon Says: The brilliant new novel in the New York Times bestselling series by Louise Penny, one of the most acclaimed crime writers of our time  No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.” But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery’s massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of  prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between. The Beautiful Mystery is the winner of the 2012 Agatha Award for best novel, the 2013 Anthony Award for best novel and the 2013 Macavity Award for best novel. less...
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The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Amazon Says: Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news…until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work o more...
Amazon Says: Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news…until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work on her assigned puff pieces, and finds herself tracking down a candidate’s secret mistress just days before a pivotal Senate election.Detective Jake Brogan is investigating a possible serial killer. Twice, bodies of unidentified women have been found by a bridge, and Jake is plagued by a media swarm beginning to buzz about a “bridge killer” hunting the young women of Boston.  As the body count rises and election looms closer, it becomes clear to Jane and Jake that their cases are connected…and that they may be facing a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to silence a scandal. Dirty politics, dirty tricks, and a barrage of final twists, The Other Woman is the first in an explosive new series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Seduction, betrayal, and murder—it’ll take a lot more than votes to win this election. less...
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Lowcountry Boil by Susan M Boyer
Amazon Says: USA TODAY Bestseller and Winner of the AGATHA AWARD for Best First Novel FULL OF SIMMERING SUSPENSE AND INTRIGUE... "Imaginative, empathetic, genuine, and more...
Amazon Says: USA TODAY Bestseller and Winner of the AGATHA AWARD for Best First Novel FULL OF SIMMERING SUSPENSE AND INTRIGUE... "Imaginative, empathetic, genuine, and fun, Lowcountry Boil is a lowcountry delight." - Carolyn Hart, Author of What the Cat Saw "It's a simmering gumbo of a story full of spice, salt, heat and shrimp. She had me guessing, detouring for a few laughs then doubling back for another clue right until the last chapter." - The Huffington Post PI Liz Talbot is a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer. But when her police-chief brother shuts her out of the investigation, she opens her own. Then her long-dead best friend pops in and things really get complicated. As more folks turn up dead, Liz must use more than just her wits and charm to keep her family safe, chase down clues from the hereafter, and catch a psychopath before he catches her. Praise for LOWCOUNTRY BOIL: "Plenty of secrets, long-simmering feuds, and greedy ventures make for a captivating read...Boyer's chick lit PI debut charmingly showcases South Carolina island culture." - Library Journal "I love this book. And you will too. Witty, droll, clever--and just a tad quirky! This light-hearted and authentically Southern mystery is full of heart, insight, and a deep understanding of human nature. Susan M. Boyer is a fresh new voice in crime fiction!" - Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha & Macavity Award-Winning Author of The Other Woman "Pulls the reader in like the draw of a riptide with a keeps-you-guessing mystery full of romance, family intrigue, and the smell of salt marsh on the Charleston coast. A welcome visit home with people you want to know and, in some cases, are glad you aren't related to. A fun summer read!" - Cathy Pickens, Author of the Southern Fried Mysteries and Charleston Mysteries "Twisted humor has long been a tradition in Southern literature (maybe it's the heat and humidity), and Boyer delivers it with both barrels. In lesser hands, all the hijinks could be distracting, but not in Lowcountry Boil. Boyer's voice is so perky that no matter what looney mayhem her characters commit, we happily dive in with them. An original and delightful read." - Betty Webb, Mystery Scene Magazine "What do you get when you cross a Southern mystery, a ghost of a warning, a love triangle and a savvy protagonist who will stop at nothing? Easy, you get a page turning read--Lowcountry Boil." - Donnell Ann Bell, Bestselling Author of The Past Came Hunting Books in the Liz Talbot Mystery Series: LOWCOUNTRY BOIL (#1) LOWCOUNTRY BOMBSHELL (#2) LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD (#3) Spring 2015 Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all... less...
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Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown
Amazon Says: There’s always something to gossip about in Savannah, Georgia, and Reagan Summerside always seems to be in the middle of it. She’s busy enough running her consignment s more...
Amazon Says: There’s always something to gossip about in Savannah, Georgia, and Reagan Summerside always seems to be in the middle of it. She’s busy enough running her consignment shop, The Prissy Fox, with her vivacious Auntie KiKi, but now the gossip—and the sales—are about to pick up after a gruesome discovery… Reagan’s messy divorce has left her with nothing but a run-down Victorian and a bunch of designer clothes. Strapped for cash, Reagan makes use of the two things she has left, turning the first floor of her home into a consignment shop and filling it with the remnants of her rich-wife wardrobe. Thanks to his cunning lawyer Walker Boone, her ex got everything else, including the Lexus—not to mention a young blond cupcake. When Reagan finds the cupcake dead in the Lexus, she’s determined to beat Boone to finding the murderer. As it turns out, the gossip fiends flooding Reagan’s shop will give her a lot more than just their unwanted clothes—they have information more precious than a vintage Louis Vuitton… less...
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Scrapbook of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan
Amazon Says: Having traded in her career as a successful investigative journalist for the life of a stay-at-home mum in picturesque Cumberland Creek, Virginia, Annie can't help but feel th more...
Amazon Says: Having traded in her career as a successful investigative journalist for the life of a stay-at-home mum in picturesque Cumberland Creek, Virginia, Annie can't help but feel that something's missing. But she finds solace in a local "crop circle" of scrapbookers united by chore-shy husbands, demanding children, and occasional fantasies of their former single lives. And when the quiet idyll of their small town is shattered by a young mother's suicide, they band together to find out what went wrong...Annie resurrects her reporting skills and discovers that Maggie Rae was a closet scrapbooker who left behind more than a few secrets - and perhaps a few enemies. As they sift through Maggie Rae's mysteriously discarded scrapbooks, Annie and her "crop" sisters begin to suspect that her suicide may have been murder. It seems that something sinister is lurking beneath the town's beguilingly calm facade - like a killer with unfinished business... less...
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A Killer Read by Erika Chase
Amazon Says: For the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society, six friends gather in Molly Matthews's old Southern mansion-including Lizzie Turner, a more...
Amazon Says: For the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society, six friends gather in Molly Matthews's old Southern mansion-including Lizzie Turner, a reading specialist with a penchant for mysteries. But the mystery book club meeting becomes the scene of an actual murder when a stranger is shot-and nobody knows who the victim is, or how Molly' antique gun came to be used as the murder weapon.Then Lizzie begins finding mysterious manuscript chapters in her mailbox. As she and the book club members try to read between the lines, Molly surfaces as the next name on the killer's list... less...
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Faithful Unto Death by Stephanie Jaye Evans
Amazon Says: Everything looks perfect in Sugar Land, Texas. But it’s not. No one knows that better than Walker “Bear” Wells, a former college football player now serving as more...
Amazon Says: Everything looks perfect in Sugar Land, Texas. But it’s not. No one knows that better than Walker “Bear” Wells, a former college football player now serving as a minister in this upscale Texas town, where famous athletes mix with ranchers and the local parish priest wants to arm wrestle. It’s a beautiful master-planned community, but people can’t be held to neighborhood restrictions, and Bear deals daily with emotional and spiritual problems, in both his flock and his own family. But never murder. Not until a man is found dead on the nearby golf course, his skull crushed. Bear has no interest in playing detective. His job is praying for the dead, not searching for their killers. But every time he turns around, another facet of the investigation tangles with his own life…like the fact that the murdered man’s son—and a main suspect—is currently dating his own rebellious teenage daughter. He made a promise to do the right thing. But keep­ing promises may be what led to murder... less...
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Amazon Says: This action-packed second book in international bestseller Harlan Coben’s Mickey Bolitar young adult series follows Mickey as he continues to hunt for clues about the more...
Amazon Says: This action-packed second book in international bestseller Harlan Coben’s Mickey Bolitar young adult series follows Mickey as he continues to hunt for clues about the Abeona Shelter and the mysterious death of his father—all while trying to navigate the challenges of a new high school. When tragedy strikes close to home, Mickey and his loyal new friends—sharp-witted Ema and the adorkably charming Spoon—find themselves at the center of a terrifying mystery involving the shooting of their classmate Rachel. Now, not only does Mickey need to keep himself and his friends safe from the Butcher of Lodz, but he needs to figure out who shot Rachel—no matter what it takes. Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, but with danger just seconds away, it is going to take all of his determination and help from his friends to protect the people he loves, even if he does not know who—or what—he is protecting them from. From Kirkus Reviews: “Coben deftly weaves…multiple plot threads into a compelling whole. An involving thriller that moves like lightning.” less...
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The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
Amazon Says: The first young adult book by a #1 New York Times bestselling author Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives the more...
Amazon Says: The first young adult book by a #1 New York Times bestselling author Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives there, she doesn't suspect the island will become her home for the next four years. Put at risk by her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--Becca is on the run from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she has discovered. Stranded and alone, Becca is soon befriended by Derric, a Ugandon orphan adopted by a local family; Seth, a kindhearted musician and high school dropout; Debbie, a recovering alcoholic who takes her in; and Diana, with whom Becca shares a mysterious psychic connection. This compelling coming-of-age story, the first of an ongoing sequence of books set on Whidbey Island, has elements of mystery, the paranormal, and romance. Elizabeth George, bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels, brings her elegant style, intricate plotting, incisive characterization, and top-notch storytelling to her first book for teens. less...
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Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Amazon Says: An instant New York Times bestseller, Liar & Spy is a story about games and friendship. Seventh-grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twe more...
Amazon Says: An instant New York Times bestseller, Liar & Spy is a story about games and friendship. Seventh-grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: How far is too far to go for your only friend?  Like Stead's dazzling Newbery-winner When You Reach Me, Liar & Spy will keep readers guessing until the end.       * A New York Times bestseller    * A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2012    * Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012 List    * Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Fiction 2012    * School Library Journal Best of Children's Fiction 2012 List    * The Horn Book's Best of 2012 List   * The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 2012 Blue Ribbons List    * Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2012 for Kids List     * NPR Outstanding "Backseat" Reads for Ages 9-14, NPR's Backseat Book Club   * Amazon's Top 5 "Best of the Year" (Middle Grade Books)    * The Wall Street Journal's Best Children's Books of 2012    * The Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2012    * A Junior Library Guild Selection less...
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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Amazon Says: Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost th more...
Amazon Says: Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. less...
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Amazon Says: She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the new year—before a Christmas killer wrings another neck… On more...
Amazon Says: She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the new year—before a Christmas killer wrings another neck… On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig. So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie falls out of a tree, dead…. Dickensian, indeed. Freddie’s merely a stocking stuffer. On my second day in town, another so-called accident turns up another mincemeat pie—and yet another on my third. The village is buzzing that a recent prison break could have something to do with it… that, or a long-standing witch’s curse. I’m not so sure. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.   less...
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Amazon Says: “Guaranteed to appeal to those who never got over the death of Dorothy L. Sayers.”--Financial Times (UK)  Aristocratic and delightfully witty amateur sleuth Dandy Gilver more...
Amazon Says: “Guaranteed to appeal to those who never got over the death of Dorothy L. Sayers.”--Financial Times (UK)  Aristocratic and delightfully witty amateur sleuth Dandy Gilver was greeted with boisterous cheers from readers and reviewers alike in Catriona McPherson’s previous outing, Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains, which The Boston Globe named one of the best crime novels of 2011. In this new book in this charming and funny series, Dandy is caught between two feuding families who run rival department stores. Dandy’s services are needed when the heiress to one of the stores goes missing. As Dandy starts to unravel long-hidden family secrets, she begins to discover disturbing connections, and it's not long before danger abounds.    “With witty dialogue and low-key humor, McPherson’s series is a great choice for Jacqueline Winspear, Carola Dunn, and Amy Patricia Meade fans. A strong traditional offering with sly humor, a love of dogs, and not too much violence. A real contender for the Agathas!”(Library Journal, starred review), Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder is one mystery not to be missed. less...
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Murder on Fifth Avenue by Victoria Thompson
Amazon Says: From the tenements to the town houses of nineteenth-century New York, midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy never waiver in their mission to aid the inno more...
Amazon Says: From the tenements to the town houses of nineteenth-century New York, midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy never waiver in their mission to aid the innocent and apprehend the guilty. Now, the latest novel in the Edgar®-nominated series finds Sarah and Malloy investigating the murder of a Knickerbocker club member who was made to pay his dues… Sarah Brandt’s family is one of the oldest in New York City, and her father, Felix Decker, takes his position in society very seriously. He still refuses to resign himself to his daughter being involved with an Irish Catholic police detective. But when a member of his private club—the very exclusive Knickerbocker—is murdered, Decker forms an uneasy alliance with Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to solve the crime as discreetly as possible. Malloy soon discovers that despite his social standing, the deceased—Chilton Devries—was no gentleman. In fact, he’s left behind his own unofficial club of sorts, populated by everyone who despised him. As he and Sarah sort through the suspects, it becomes clear to her that her father is evaluating more than the detective’s investigative abilities, and that, on a personal level, there is much more at stake for Malloy than discovering who revoked Devries’ membership—permanently. less...
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An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
Amazon Says: “A wonderful new mystery series that will let us see the horrors of World War I through the eyes of Bess Crawford, battlefield nurse.”—Margaret Maron“Readers who more...
Amazon Says: “A wonderful new mystery series that will let us see the horrors of World War I through the eyes of Bess Crawford, battlefield nurse.”—Margaret Maron“Readers who can’t get enough of Jacqueline Winspear’s novels, or Hester Latterly, who saw action in the Crimean War in a series of novels by Anne Perry, are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”—New York Times Book ReviewThe critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of the Ian Rutledge mystery series, Charles Todd once again spotlights World War I nurse Bess Crawford in An Unmarked Grave. Gripping, powerful, and evocative, this superb mystery masterwork unfolds during the deadly Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, as Bess discovers the body of a murdered British officer among the many dead and sets out to unmask a craven killer. less...
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Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
Amazon Says: In this latest entry in Jacqueline Winspear’s acclaimed, bestselling mystery series—“less whodunits than why-dunits, more P.D. James than Agatha Christie” (USA Today) more...
Amazon Says: In this latest entry in Jacqueline Winspear’s acclaimed, bestselling mystery series—“less whodunits than why-dunits, more P.D. James than Agatha Christie” (USA Today)—Maisie Dobbs takes on her most personal case yet, a twisting investigation into the brutal killing of a street peddler that will take her from the working-class neighborhoods of her childhood into London’s highest circles of power. Perfect for fans of A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, or other Maisie Dobbs mysteries—and an ideal place for new readers to enter the series—Elegy for Eddie is an incomparable work of intrigue and ingenuity, full of intimate descriptions and beautifully painted scenes from between the World Wars, from one of the most highly acclaimed masters of mystery, Jacqueline Winspear. less...
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