by S.C. Perkins
Here is the latest installment of our new column, Top 5 Mysteries I Have Read During the Pandemic, this one from mystery author S.C. Perkins. 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.
I’ve been reading quite a bit during the pandemic, using it to introduce myself to both a classic and a newer historical series, a couple of wonderful debuts, and also to catch up with some of my favorite long-running series. It was hard to narrow it down, but here are five that really took me away from it all.
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody series #1)
It’s 1884 and Amelia Peabody is off to Egypt with her umbrella, a journal, and a confident sense of adventure. After rescuing a young woman named Evelyn, the two sail up the Nile to an archeological dig site where Amelia matches wits with cranky Radcliffe Emerson and his brother Walter. Only when a mummy appears to be haunting the dig site and accidents keep cropping up, Amelia and her new comrades set out to prove all isn’t what it seems. I adored the banter between Amelia and Radcliffe, and the Egypt setting was richly described and incredibly atmospheric.
A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch (Charles Lenox series #1)
Gentleman detective Charles Lenox has been asked by his neighbor and longtime friend, Lady Jane, to investigate the death of one of her former servants, Prudence Smith. At first, Prudence’s death appears to be a suicide, but Lenox believes it to be a poisoning, and soon finds potential suspects abound. I love the Victorian London setting and Lenox’s calm, positive, demeanor in his investigations, his outlook on the world, and in his dealings with his valet and all other persons, no matter their station.
A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette (Ice Cream Parlor mystery #1)
Bronwyn “Win” Crewse has just taken over and renovated her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and is ready to open when a huge snowstorm hits. Making things worse, Win finds a dead grifter in the snow. When it turns out the dead man had a beef with the Crewse family and it looks like Win’s father may be fingered for the death, Win is determined to uncover the real killer, all while doing her best to make her ice cream parlor a success. I really loved the heart in this one, along with Win’s fun group of friends and great family—plus, there’s ice cream recipes in the back! This debut cozy mystery was right up my alley.
The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle (Bibliophile series #13)
While enjoying her Parisian honeymoon with former MI6 agent Derek Stone, bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright finds a first edition of Ian Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me, just before their hotel room is broken into and one of Derek’s spy friends turns up dead. Back in San Francisco, Brooklyn allows the 007 book to be displayed in the spy store of another of Derek’s friends. When a young thriller writer turns up dead and the book is nearly stolen, Brooklyn and Derek must go back into Derek’s spy history to connect the dots and find the killer. I always enjoy the literary theme and bookbinding techniques in each book in the series, along with the upbeat attitude of Brooklyn and the cast of fun characters who always find their way into the stories.
The Devil’s Bones by Carolyn Haines (Sarah Booth Delaney series #21)
Private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney and her two best friends, Tinkie and Cece, are having a girls’ weekend at a B&B in Lucedale, Mississippi. When the trio attend a sunrise Easter service at the Garden of Bones, a nearby attraction featuring a miniature Holy Land, they stumble upon the dead body of a shady lawyer. After more bodies start piling up, Sarah Booth and Tinkie are hired to investigate, but it might be Cece who needs their protection the most. This is the twenty-first book in this wonderful series, which never fail to be fresh, funny, interesting, and loaded with Southern charm.
In Lineage Most Lethal, the second in my own Ancestry Detective series, professional genealogist Lucy Lancaster is enjoying a working staycation at her client’s boutique hotel when a man drops dead at her feet, leaving behind an old fountain pen. After Lucy’s beloved grandfather recognizes the pen from his secret World War II past, it leads them to a coded list of eight names. When two on the list turn up dead, Lucy must use her genealogy skills to connect the names to their World War II ancestors before the killer cuts more lineages short—one of which might just be Lucy’s. Fatal Family Ties, the third book in my series, comes out July 20, 2021.
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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.