Book List, Holiday, Seasonal Picks

Jólabókaflóð: Mystery

The last few holiday seasons at the store, we’ve really embraced the idea of celebrating Jólabókaflóð, an Icelandic tradition of giving your loved ones a book and hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. It just feels like a tradition that fits an indie bookstore so perfectly. This morning we’re sharing the mystery novels we have on display!

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

I wish I could describe how beautifully miraculous this book is, but Emily St. John Mandel’s work is absolutely indescribable. Not just the flow of her prose, one word constantly pulling you into the next, nor her mastery of crafting a nonlinear story that both confuses and entices you to keep going, but the feeling you get from it all. An atmosphere of calm, of beauty, of sadness, of hope, all those things and more settle over you, so that by the time you reach the final word you plummet back to reality and say, “Wow…”. This story will haunt you. You just have to read it to understand.

Marielle

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, an exhilarating novel set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events-a massive Ponzi scheme collapse and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea.
Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby’s glass wall: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis is running an international Ponzi scheme, moving imaginary sums of money through clients’ accounts. When the financial empire collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan’s wife, walks away into the night. Years later, a victim of the fraud is hired to investigate a strange occurrence: a woman has seemingly vanished from the deck of a container ship between ports of call.
In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, the business of international shipping, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

I’m always a sucker for a story set in NYC, not to mention a thriller set there. This book had a very immersive setting, and was super easy to read. I flew through this book, as I needed to know what was going to happen as quickly as possible. I like that this books makes you wonder if the bad guy is real or maybe even paranormal.

Anna

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story…until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Following detective Hercule Poirot’s harrowing investigation into the murder of aristocrat Linnet Ridgeway, Death on the Nile is Agatha Christie at her best. Balancing a full parlor of suspects, motives, evidence, and leads, Death on the Nile is not only very enjoyable, but also very approachable for its complexity. Full of jealousy and blood, Death on the Nile is my go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a fun, classic mystery.

Christopher

Soon to be a major motion picture sequel to Murder on the Orient Express with a screenplay by Michael Green, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh alongside Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer!
Beloved detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey to Egypt in one of Agatha Christie’s most famous mysteries.
The tranquility of a luxury cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything . . . until she lost her life.
Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: “I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.” Yet under the searing heat of the Egyptian sun, nothing is ever quite what it seems.
A sweeping mystery of love, jealousy, and betrayal, Death on the Nile is one of Christie’s most legendary and timeless works.

The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster

Delight in Paul Auster’s trio of highly unusual, endlessly inventive and mind-bending stories that capture the singular personality of New York City. It’s a blend of pulpy mystery plots and post-modern trappings, with an underlying sense of existential dread throughout. Unconventional, surprising, unsettling and beautifully written, this is a book that will keep you guessing and occasionally scratching your head (in a good way!) from start to finish.

Charlie

The remarkable, acclaimed series of interconnected detective novels – from the author of 4 3 2 1:  A Novel.
The New York Review of Books has called Paul Auster’s work “one of the most distinctive niches in contemporary literature.” Moving at the breathless pace of a thriller, this uniquely stylized triology of detective novels begins with City of Glass, in which Quinn, a mystery writer, receives an ominous phone call in the middle of the night. He’s drawn into the streets of New York, onto an elusive case that’s more puzzling and more deeply-layered than anything he might have written himself. In Ghosts, Blue, a mentee of Brown, is hired by White to spy on Black from a window on Orange Street. Once Blue starts stalking Black, he finds his subject on a similar mission, as well. In The Locked Room, Fanshawe has disappeared, leaving behind his wife and baby and nothing but a cache of novels, plays, and poems.
This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition includes an introduction from author and professor Luc Sante, as well as a pulp novel-inspired cover from Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic artist of Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Miss Marple is lovely and funny and charming, as are her friends who often enlist her help to solve crimes, as Mrs. Bantry does in The Body in the Library. As a character, despite not actually getting too much “page time,” readers get a sense of who she is and what she values. Christie’s plot and pacing are masterful as ever, the twists abound, and while you may think you’ve solved the mystery as quickly as Miss Marple, I promise you there is always still one more twist lurking in the shadows that you probably missed.

Sarah

The iconic Miss Marple must investigate the case of a girl found dead in Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, The Body in the Library.
It’s seven in the morning. The Bantrys wake to find the body of a young woman in their library. She is wearing an evening dress and heavy makeup, which is now smeared across her cheeks. But who is she? How did she get there? And what is the connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are later discovered in an abandoned quarry?
The respectable Bantrys invite Miss Marple into their home to investigate. Amid rumors of scandal, she baits a clever trap to catch a ruthless killer.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is a mystery master – not only does he continue on the Conan Doyle and Fleming iconic stories, but he writes a damn good thriller and mystery in his own right. Magpie Murders is a murder story unlike many others and it’s a new classic here at Towne, perfect for a dark winter night with a mug of cocoa in front of a fireplace.

Sarah

From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.
Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.
Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.

1 thought on “Jólabókaflóð: Mystery”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s