Not Your Usual Mystery

Here are some mysteries a little on the weird side. You can find most of the books in this column in your library, but some of them you may need to request on Inter-Library Loan.

Jasper Fforde – The Tuesday Next series are sort of sci-fi, sort of alternative universe (it is possible for a human to move in and out of books and change things) and definitely mystery. In the first of the series, someone is trying to kidnap Jane Eyre and Tuesday must stop it.  It is a very original series with a literary twist.

Jasper Fforde – The Jack Spratt series takes place in an England where nursery rhyme characters exist alongside regular folks. In The Big Over Easy did Humpty fall? Or was he murdered?

Nury Vittachi – CF Wong is the Feng Shui Detective in Singapore. His assistant, Joyce, is a British-Aussie teenager. It’s a light series with cultural, language and age differences adding to the fun.

Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files features Harry Dresden, the only wizard with an ad in the Chicago Yellow Pages. Think Harry Potter meets Sam Spade. It’s a great series. Butcher left us hanging in suspense in his last book so everyone is eagerly awaiting the next one to find out what happened to Harry.  I was very reluctant to read this series – not my usual kind of thing at all, but I was barely into the first book and I was hooked.

Dave Duncan – Alfa Zeno is apprentice to Nostradamus in an alternative history Venice. Mystery, assassinations, witchcraft and black magic describe this series.

Lillian Braun – She writes a series featuring that Halloween animal – cats. Another author to try if you are a cat fan is Carole Nelson Douglas. Her characters are Temple Barr and her cat, Midnight Louie.

Douglas Adams Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is sci-fi and very much a mystery. It is very funny, more so than the Hitchhiker series.

Donna Andrews – Turing Hopper is an AIP (Artificial Intelligence Personality). She has a couple of humans do the leg work for her. If you feel your computer has a mind of its own you should enjoy this series.

Eva Garcia – Vinny Rubio is an undercover dino-human Velociraptor in Los Angeles. Of course he is “undercover”, what dino-human wouldn’t be?  Of course it is set in LA.

Mike Resnick – The Fable of Tonight series begins with Stalking the Unicorn.  John Justin Mallory is a detective in the “noir” style, but his universe goes just a little weird when he is approached by a short green person (who turns out to be an elf) and is asked to track down a missing unicorn.  John Justin is every detective that ever graced the pages of pulp fiction.  The books are 100% fun. The other books in the series so far are Stalking the Dragon and Stalking the Vampire.  They may be in the science fiction section of your library rather than the mystery section.

Charlaine Harris – After becoming a fan of Dresden and Mallory,  it was easy to get hooked on Sookie Stackhouse.  She’s a cocktail waitress in southern Louisiana that can “hear” people’s thoughts.  She finds the silence of the first vampire she meets wonderful.  Vampires have just “come out of the closet” because of the invention of artificial blood.   Soon she’s involved in the world of vampires, shape-shifters, werewolves and all sorts of characters.  She manages to keep her cool through it all.  It’s a fun series.

Barbara Bretton – I mentioned her in the post about Vermont mysteries.  The town in which Chloe Hobbs lives is a haven for the magic folks and is protected by a spell.  Things go wrong, of course.  It’s lighter than the Sookie Stackhouse series but fun as well.

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 9:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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