Marilyn Levinson’s Top 5 Mysteries I’ve Read During the Pandemic

Oct 14, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Marilyn Levinson (Allison Brook)

Here is the latest installment of our new column, Top 5 Mysteries I Have Read During the Pandemic, this one from mystery author Marilyn Levinson (Allison Brook). As we continue to spend most of our time at home, we are all looking for book suggestions so we asked mystery authors and reviewers to share the top 5 mysteries they have read during this pandemic.

1. Having read the first three Maisie Dobbs books by Jacqueline Winspear some years ago, I listened to the remaining twelve in the series this past summer. The sixteenth is scheduled to come out in March of 2021. We meet Maisie, in the first book aptly called Maisie Dobbs, as a young girl in service before World War One. Eager to learn, she sneaks into the manor house’s library at night to read. When discovered, the lady of the house arranges for Maisie to receive a top-notch education.

The books continue through both world wars, giving us insight into the many changes that take place in England. Maisie becomes a psychologist and an investigator and solves mysteries and murders. We see her as a woman in love, a widow, a nurse in France, and a spy in Germany. A truly wonderful series!

2. I love reading mysteries with complexity and history, and Laura Lippman’s Lake Wilde has that in spades. Luisa Brant returns to Wilde Lake in her mid-forties and becomes the first female state attorney of Howard County, Maryland. While looking into murder case, she comes upon information that keeps drawing her attention to an event that occurred thirty years earlier and might have involved her brother and his friends. A riveting read.

3. The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves is a wonderful Vera Stanhope mystery novel that takes place around Christmas. Vera is driving home in a snowstorm when she comes upon a car, its front door open and a baby inside. She carries the little boy to the nearest house, which happens to be the manor house where her wealthy Stanhope relatives live. The baby’s mother is found murdered. Vera uncovers ugly truths about the wealthy Stanhopes while investigating the woman’s killer.

4. Scare the Night Away by Vicki Delany. I loved this tight, well-written suspense story that takes place in a small Canadian town and deals with family relationships, secrets, a murder, and redemption.

book5. Brain Storm by Elaine Viets. While Angela Richman, Death Investigator, is recovering from the effects of six strokes, she finds herself obliged to discover who murdered the doctor responsible for her condition. I especially enjoyed this book, knowing that Angela’s medical condition and recovery are based on the author’s personal experience.

And perhaps you would enjoy reading my latest mystery—Checked Out for Murder, the fourth book in my Haunted Library series. Carrie Singleton, the head of programs and events of the Clover Ridge Library, becomes friendly with a young woman who claims to have psychic powers. Carrie must deal with her difficult mother, who is in town because her husband is starring in a movie being filmed in Clover Ridge. Carrie is drawn into solving two murders that might be connected to a twenty-year-old cold case, and goes in search of the mysterious woman who might hold all the answers.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up last week!

You can use this link to purchase many of these books from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library series. Death Overdue, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel in 2018. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series. Marilyn lives on Long Island, where many of her books take place. Sign up for her newsletter:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

1 Comment

  1. This is a great line up of authors. I especially like Laura Lippman and Elaine Viets. I have read several Jacqueline Winspear’s Maise Dobbs series and Ann Cleeve’s Vera series also.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.