Inclusive Reading Recommendations — Mystery

Happy New Year everyone! Was reading more inclusively on anyone else’s list of resolutions? Here’s another inclusive reading recommendations list to help you out. This one is focused on mysteries, detective stories, crime novels and the like.

  1. Devil in a blue dress by Walter Mosley
    • “Devil in a Blue Dress honors the tradition of the classic American detective novel by bestowing on it a vivid social canvas and the freshest new voice in crime writing in years, mixing the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the racial realism of Richard Wright to explosive effect.”
  2. Death of a red heroine by Qiu Xiaolong
    • “Inspector Chen Cao, head of the Shanghai Police Bureau’s Special Case Squad, investigates the murder of a National Model Worker whose private life may have led to her death.”
  3. Four hands by Paco Ignacio Taibo II
    • “Greg Simon and Julio Fernandez are investigative jounalists who are chasing down an elaborate conspiracy plot. The story they discover and type out together weaves truth with lies, wild humor with tragedy, and reality with fantasy–a stranger-than-fiction tale of imperial excess where delusion makes perfect sense.”
  4. The paying guests by Sarah Waters
    • “It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa – a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants – life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.”
  5. Bluebird, bluebird by Attica Locke
    • “When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules–a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders–a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman–have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes–and save himself in the process–before Lark’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.”
  6. Trail of lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
    • “While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine. Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology. As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.”
  7. The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco
    • “It is 1887, and Alma Rosales is on the hunt for stolen opium. Trained in espionage by the Pinkerton Detective Agency–but dismissed for bad behavior and a penchant for going undercover as a man–Alma now works for Delphine Beaumond, the seductive mastermind of a West Coast smuggling ring. When product goes missing at their Washington Territory outpost, Alma is tasked with tracking the thief and recovering the drugs. In disguise as the scrappy dockworker Jack Camp, this should be easy–once she muscles her way into the local organization, wins the trust of the magnetic local boss and his boys, discovers the turncoat, and keeps them all from uncovering her secrets. All this, while sending coded dispatches to the circling Pinkerton agents to keep them from closing in.”
  8. The death of friends by Michael Nava
    • “When Supreme Court judge Chris Chandler is found dead in his chambers, his old friend, Henry Rios, a gay Mexican American criminal defense lawyer, investigates and finds that the man had a secret life.”
  9. Real world by Natsuo Kirino
    • “In a crowded residential suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer and endless cram school sessions meant to ensure entry into good colleges…. When Toshi’s next-door neighbor is found brutally murdered, the girls suspect the killer is the neighbor’s son, a high school boy they nickname Worm. But when he flees, taking Toshi’s bike and cell phone with him, the four girls get caught up in a tempest of dangers–dangers they never could have even imagined–that rises from within them as well as from the world around them.”
  10. Wife of the gods by Kwei Quartey
    • “An original debut novel set in Ghana, is the story of Detective Inspector Darko Dawson, who is sent from the big city to the village of Ketanu to solve the murder of an accomplished young AIDS worker. Darko’s own mother disappeared from this same village many years ago, and as the mystery unfolds, the reader meets a rich cast of characters, and learns about Trokosi, a system where young teenage girls are sent to live with fetish priests to bring good fortune to their families. Darko explores the motivations and secrets of the residents of Ketanu, and in addition to solving a recent murder, discovers the shocking truth about his own mother’s disappearance.”
  11. A crack in the wall by Claudia Piñeiro
    • “Pablo Simó’s life is a mess. His career as an architect is at a dead-end; he is reduced to designing soulless office buildings desecrating the heart of Buenos Aires. His marriage seems to be one endless argument with his wife over the theatrics of their rebellious teenage daughter. To complicate matters, Pablo has long been attracted to sexy office secretary Marta Horvat, who is probably having an affair with his boss. Everything changes with the unexpected appearance of Leonor, a beautiful young woman who brings to light a crime that happened years before, a crime that everyone in the office wants forgotten, at all costs.”
  12. Wish you were here by Rita Mae Brown
    • “Crozet, Virginia, is a typical small town-until its secrets explode into murder. Crozet’s thirty-something post-mistress, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, has a tiger cat (Mrs. Murphy) and a Welsh Corgi (Tucker), a pending divorce, and a bad habit of reading postcards not addressed to her. When Crozet’s citizens start turning up murdered, Harry remembers that each received a card with a tombstone on the front and the message “Wish you were here” on the back. Intent on protecting their human friend, Mrs. Murphy and Tucker begin to scent out clues. Meanwhile, Harry is conducting her own investigation, unaware her pets are one step ahead of her. If only Mrs. Murphy could alert her somehow, Harry could uncover the culprit before the murder occurs–and before Harry finds herself on the killer’s mailing list. “
  13. A rising man by Abir Mukherjee
    • “Calcutta, 1919. Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. The body of a senior official has been found in a filthy sewer, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India, or else. Wyndham is teamed with arrogant Inspector Digby and Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID. The case takes them from the opulent mansions of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city– and puts them under pressure to solve the case before it erupts into increased violence on the streets.”
  14. IQ by Joe Ide
    • “The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood’s high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can’t or won’t touch. They call him IQ. He’s a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he’s forced to take on clients that can pay. This time, it’s a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.”
  15. A carrion death by Michael Stanley
    • “In the aftermath of the murder of an anonymous victim, assistant superintendent David Bengu begins his career on Botswana, where his convivial passions and determined methods earn him a local nickname that likens him to a hippopotamus.”
  16. There, there by Tommy Orange
    • “Twelve Native Americans came to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and has come to work the powwow and to honor his uncle’s memory. Edwin Frank has come to find his true father. Bobby Big Medicine has come to drum the Grand Entry. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather. Orvil has taught himself Indian dance through YouTube videos, and he has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. Tony Loneman is a young Native American boy whose future seems destined to be as bleak as his past, and he has come to the Powwow with darker intentions — intentions that will destroy the lives of everyone in his path.”
  17. Blanche on the lam by Barbara Neely
    • “In the first of the Blanche White mystery series, the witty and determined Blanche finds herself unexpectedly embroiled in a case of hidden family secrets, untold riches and suspicious deaths.”
  18. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
    • “In a chilling literary hall of mirrors, Patricia Highsmith introduces Tom Ripley. Like a hero in a latter-day Henry James novel, Ripley is sent to Italy with a commission to coax a prodigal young American back to his wealthy father. But Ripley finds himself very fond of Dickie Greenleaf. He wants to be like him, exactly like him. Suave, agreeable, and utterly amoral, Ripley stops at nothingcertainly not only one murderto accomplish his goal. Turning the mystery form inside out, Highsmith shows the terrifying abilities afforded to a man unhindered by the concept of evil.”
  19. The cosmic clues by Manjiri Prabhu
    • “When a cat leads Sonia to her very first investigation, she quickly unmasks a killer, using astrology as her guide. Suddenly clients begin streaming in: a persistent, handsome TV personality; a terrified bride-to-be; a missing husband with suicidal tendencies…all challenge Sonia’s astrological abilities to prevent a crime. All apparently isolated experiences, but bound by an invisible thread. And while Sonia has stellar success in unraveling the truth, very soon she’ll have to look closely at her own stars. Because the most notorious international criminal has just crossed Sonia’s path–and he has his own plans for her future!”
  20. In the miso soup by Ryu Murakami
    • “It is just before New Year’s. Frank, an overweight American tourist, has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo’s sleazy nightlife on three successive evenings. But Frank’s behavior is so strange that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion: that his new client is in fact the serial killer currently terrorizing the city. It isn’t until the second night, however, in a scene that will shock you and make you laugh and make you hate yourself for laughing, that Kenji learns exactly how much he has to fear and how irrevocably his encounter with this great white whale of an American will change his life.”

As always, feel free to include your own recommendations in the comments below!

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