#BroaderBookshelf 2023 - Protagonists Over 50 Mysteries
- Sara M.
- Tuesday, May 02
Check out one of these mystery titles and fulfill the 2023 Broader Bookshelf prompt "Read a book where the protagonist or subject is age 50 or older"!
This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2023 Reading Challenge. Find more lists here.
Three Things About Elsie
Published in 2018
"A novel set in England about eighty-four-year-old Florence, a resident in a nursing home, who has fallen in her apartment, leading her to think about her childhood friend and the secrets of their past that are about to come to light"-- Provided by publisher.
A Murder is Announced
A Miss Marple Mystery
Published in 2022
The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity when the Gazette advertises: "A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddowcks at 6:30 p.m." A childish practical joke? Or a spiteful hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, the locals arrive at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out and a gun is fired. When the lights come back on, a gruesome scene is revealed. An impossible crime? It's up to Miss Marple to get the scoop.
Full Dark House
Published in 2004
Edgy, suspenseful, and darkly comic, here is the first novel in a riveting mystery series starring two cranky but brilliant old detectives whose lifelong friendship was forged solving crimes for the London Police Department's Peculiar Crimes Unit. In ?Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler tells the story of both their first and last case?and how along the way the unlikely pair of crime fighters changed the face of detection. A present-day bombing rips through London and claims the life of eighty-year-old detective Arthur Bryant. For his partner John May, it means the end of a partnership that lasted over half-a-century and an eerie echo back to the Blitz of World War II when they first met. Desperately searching for clues to the killer?s identity, May finds his old friend?s notes of their very first case and becomes convinced that the past has returned . . . with a killing vengeance. It begins when a dancer in a risque new production of Orpheus in Hell is found without her feet. Suddenly, the young detectives are plunged in a bizarre gothic mystery that will push them to their limits?and beyond. For in a city shaken by war, a faceless killer is stalking London's theaters, creating his own kind of sinister drama. And it will take Arthur Bryant?s unorthodox techniques and John May?s dogged police work to catch a criminal whose ability to escape detection seems almost supernatural?a murderer who even decades later seems to have claimed the life of one of them . . . and is ready to claim the other. Filled with startling twists, unforgettable characters, and a mystery that will keep you guessing,? Full Dark House ?is a witty, heartbreaking, and all-too-human thriller about the hunt for an inhuman killer.
Summer of the Big Bachi
Published in 2008
In the foothills of Pasadena, Mas Arai is just another Japanese-American gardener, his lawnmower blades clean and sharp, his truck carefully tuned. But while Mas keeps lawns neatly trimmed, his own life has gone to seed. His wife is dead. And his livelihood is falling into the hands of the men he once hired by the day. For Mas, a life of sin is catching up to him. And now bachi - the spirit of retribution - is knocking on his door.
As Husbands Go
Published in 2010
Astonished when her seemingly devoted husband is found murdered in a prostitute's apartment, Susie, a mother of four-year-old triplets, bristles at her neighbors' mixed reactions and tackles everyone from her husband's partners to the DA to restore her family's honor.
The Other Woman
Published in 2018
"The most twisty, addictive and unputdownable debut thriller you'll read this year. HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam's perfect, the man she thought she'd never meet. BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves. AND SHE'LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn't choose his mother Pammie. There's nothing a mother wouldn't do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever. THE OTHER WOMAN will have you questioning her on every page" -- Provided by publisher.
The Theory of Death
A Decker/Lazarus Novel
Published in 2015
Now living in upstate New York, former LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker is plunged into a bizarre web involving academia, underworld crime, and calculating killers in this next compulsive novel in bestselling author Faye Kellerman's beloved Decker and Lazarus series. Print run 100,000.
Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet.
Published in 2015
A pharmaceutical mishap draws Rabbi Small into a murder investigation in this New York Times bestseller New Age thinking has come to Barnard's Crossing, Massachusetts. The recently elected president of Rabbi David Small's synagogue is intent on using temple money to build a meditation retreat. The congregation is practicing yoga, buying crystals, and reciting chants. When a troubled young man returns to the town after spending time in a controversial Hasidic cult, the rabbi expects him to be another New Ager. But things take a grisly turn away from new-fangled mantras of peace and love when something terribly old fashioned happens: murder. An elderly patient dies after being given the wrong medication by the local pharmacist, who coincidentally is also the Hasidic man's father. When the dead man's family suggests the mix-up was intentional, both the druggist and his son become suspects and it's up to Rabbi Small to investigate by drawing on some Old Testament wisdom in a village of New Age fads.
The Old Woman with the Knife
Published in 2022
At sixty-five, Hornclaw, an assassin who kills with ruthless efficiency, is ready to cash out on her share of the company, but when a slip-up results in an unexpected connection, Hornclaw's final chapter in her career may also mark a bloody end to her life.
Turn of Mind
Published in 2011
Implicated in the murder of her best friend, Jennifer White, a brilliant retired surgeon with dementia, struggles with fractured memories of their complex relationship and wonders if she actually committed the crime.
Granny's Got a Gun
Published in 2018
Barbara Gold, a retired CIA agent, is bored out of her skull in Cheerville, a small town in New England-until a man is poisoned during a book club meeting for seniors. Everyone thinks Lucien had a heart attack, but from his symptoms, Barbara knows someone has slipped poisoned into his cake or drink. Even though she is no longer under cover, Barbara feels as if she's only playing the part of a sweet grandmother, but this may just be her most useful cover yet. The clock ticks as she investigates who in the Cheerville Active Readers' Society would want Lucien dead. It's only a matter of time before his death is declared murder and the police start hounding everyone. Suddenly Barbara's CIA training is useful again, and Cheerville is starting to seem not so dull after all.
Death in Her Hands
Published in 2020
"From one of our most ceaselessly provocative literary talents, a novel of haunting metaphysical suspense about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds a cryptic note on a walk in the woods that ultimately makes her question everything about her new home While on her normal daily walk with her dog in the nearby forest woods, our protagonist comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground with a frame of stones. Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. Itwasn't me. Here is her dead body. Our narrator is deeply shaken; she has no idea what to make of this. She is new to this area, having moved here from her longtime home after the death of her husband, and she knows very few people. And she's a little shaky even on her best days. Her brooding about this note quickly grows into a full-blown obsession, and she begins to devote herself to exploring the possibilities of her conjectures about who this woman was and how she met her fate. Her suppositions beginto find echoes in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to form into a concrete and menacing shape. But as we follow her in her investigation, strange dissonances start to accrue, and our faith in her grip on reality weakens, until finally, just as she seems to be facing some of the darkness in her own past with her late husband, we are forced to face the prospect that there is either a more innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one--one thatstrikes closer to home. A triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, Death in Her Hands asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both guide us closer to the truth and keep us at bay from it. Once again, we are in the handsof a narrator whose unreliability is well earned, only this time the stakes have never been higher"-- Provided by publisher.
Blanche on the Lam
A Blanche White Mystery
Published in 2014
Blanche White is a plump, feisty, middle-aged African-American housekeeper working for the genteel rich in North Carolina. But when an employer stiffs her, and her checks bounce, she goes on the lam, hiding out as a maid for a wealthy family at their summer home. That plan goes awry when there's a murder and Blanche becomes the prime suspect. So she's forced to use her savvy, her sharp wit, and her old-girl network of domestic workers to discover the truth and save her own skin. Along the way, she lays bare the quirks of southern society with humor, irony, and a biting commentary that makes her one of the most memorable and original characters ever to appear in mystery fiction. -- From the rear cover.
The Thursday Murder Club
Published in 2021
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. There's Red Ron, the infamous former socialist firebrand, still causing trouble; gentle Joyce, widowed, pining for another resident, but surely not as innocent as she seems; Ibrahim, a former therapist who understands the darker side of human nature; and Elizabeth? Well, no one is quite sure who she really is, but she's definitely not a woman to underestimate. When a local developer is found dead, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. The friends might be septuagenarians, but they are cleverer than most. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before its too late?
Killers of a Certain Age
Published in 2022
"Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that's their secret weapon. They've spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they're sixty years old, four women friends can't just retire - it's kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn. Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills. When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they've been marked for death. Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They're about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman-and a killer-of a certain age"-- Provided by publisher.
Miss Julia Meets Her Match
Published in 2005
When long-time boyfriend Sam Murdoch pops the question, Miss Julia contemplates the offer while the town is being turned upside down with rumors of infidelities and other events shocking to the Southern facade of gentility and family values.
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind
Published in 2000
Shortly after the death of her husband, a wealthy Southern widow is visited by an impoverished young woman with a small boy. A mistress? A son? Julia Springer can't believe it, only to discover that the whole town has known for years. But she will rise to the occasion when the boy is kidnaped.
Published in 1996
In seventeenth-century Japan, Sano, a teacher and detective, investigates the ritual "suicide" drownings of a peasant and a noblewoman, supposed star-crossed lovers, and uncovers an intricate plot of political intrigue and murder
An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good
Published in 2018
Maud is an irascible 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family, no friends, and... no qualms about a little murder. This funny, irreverent story collection by Helene Tursten, author of the Irene Huss investigations, features two-never-before translated stories that will keep you laughing all the way to the retirement home. Ever since her darling father's untimely death when she was only eighteen, Maud has lived in the family's spacious apartment in downtown Gothenburg rent-free, thanks to a minor clause in a hastily negotiated contract. That was how Maud learned that good things can come from tragedy. Now in her late eighties, Maud contents herself with traveling the world and surfing the net from the comfort of her father's ancient armchair. It's a solitary existence, and she likes it that way. Over the course of her adventures--or misadventures--this little bold lady will handle a crisis with a local celebrity who has her eyes on Maud's apartment, foil the engagement of her long-ago lover, and dispose of some pesky neighbors. But when the local authorities are called to investigate a dead body found in Maud's apartment, will Maud finally become a suspect?
The Kindness of Strangers
Published in 2022
In the third installment of the Amos Parisman Mysteries series, Amos finds himself on the twisted trail of a dangerous killer as he enters the heart of inequity in his community. Amos Parisman, L.A.'s oldest and most stubborn Jewish gumshoe, has never learned how to properly retire. He has little to do and his options are narrowing day by day, until he stumbles across the body of a local homeless woman in Park La Brea. Despite the instruction of Amos' comrade, Lieutenant Malloy, who tells him not to get involved, the police find that they could use someone unconventional like Parisman, someone who knows the neighborhood and is willing to go the extra mile. As more homeless people begin turning up dead in the area, though, Amos soon realizes he is hunting a serial killer with a gruesome vendetta against the vulnerable and disadvantaged. Battling moral and civil questions regarding the invisible class, The Kindness of Strangers is a gripping look into the lives of those who sleep in the dust, the value we place on those who aren't like us, and the damage that homelessness inflicts on the human spirit.