Red Herring Book Club
Join us for lively discussions of your favorite mystery novels. Discussions
are free and open to the public. No registration is necessary. We will
usually have copies of the current month's book available for you to check
out at the Ask a Librarian desk on the First Floor.
Our theme for January through April 2014 is Medieval Mysteries.
The theme for May through August 2014 will be Chicago Crimes.
Discussions are held in the Teen Quiet Study Room on the First Floor of the Main Library on the third Friday of the month at 1 p.m.
The Apostate's Tale
As Dame Frevisse and the nuns of St. Frideswide priory prepare for the end of Lent, their peaceful world is turned upside down by the arrival of Sister Cecely, a former nun who is seeking refuge, but her coming has also brought danger and possibly murder.
Newly divorced Caterina DeLuca took the skills she mastered during marriage and opened a detective agency. Trailing her first client's lying husband lands her in the hospital. When the FBI claims that he's dead, she escapes to meet with her client. When the client doesn't show, Cat breaks into her home to find her dead and her husband rummaging through her belongings.
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
When a passenger check-in desk shoots through the roof of a terminal at Heathrow Airport in flames, Dirk Gently investigates the cosmic forces at play.
All Mortal Flesh
Having long concealed his feelings for the Reverend Clare Fergusson, Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne is stunned when he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his wife and risks everything in his investigation to find the real culprit. Winner of the 2007 Nero Award for Best Mystery Novel.
What the Dead Know
Interviewing a distressed and disoriented woman who has fled the scene of an accident, Baltimore County police department detective Kevin Infante is amazed when she claims to be the younger of a pair of sisters who were abducted thirty years earlier. Winner of the 2008 Anthony Award for Best Mystery Novel.
The Cruelest Month
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec is called to investigate the death of a villager at an Easter séance that was held at the Old Hadley House. Winner of the 2009 Agatha Award for Best Mystery Novel.
Where Memories Lie
Detective Inspector Gemma James and her partner, Duncan Kincaid, must navigate the shadowy and secretive world of London's moneyed society to discover a jewelry piece's connection to a murderer and a pair of refugees from Nazi Germany. Winner of the 2009 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel.
Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
The Silence of the Rain
Inspector Espinosa investigates the murder of a corporate executive found dead in his car, piecing together clues surrounding the victim's missing secretary, a life insurance policy, the victim's widow, and two additional murder victims.
A Beautiful Place to Die
Jacob's Rest, a tiny town on the border between South Africa and Mozambique, 1952. An Afrikaner police officer is found dead. Detective Emmanuel Cooper, an Englishman, begins investigating the murder following a trail of clues that lead him to uncover a shocking forbidden love and the imperfect life of one Captain Pretorius.
The Terra-Cotta Dog
Stumbling on a fifty-year-old mystery involving a pair of lovers whose bodies are found in a mountain cave beside a dog statue, Inspector Montalbano investigates the island's past and traces a family's secret back to World War II.
Baker Corinna Chapman is content in her life with Jason, an ex-addict turned apprentice, and her Israeli lover, Daniel, until she is pulled into a probe involving food tampering that could threaten Juliet and Vivienne Lefebvre's chocolate shop, Heavenly Pleasure.
Before the Frost
Taking a position with the Ystad police force shortly after graduating, Linda Wallander, the daughter of inspector Kurt Wallender, struggles with their contentious relationship before taking on the case of a childhood friend, who has disappeared.
When an ex-convict and then a wealthy real-estate tycoon fall victim to a violent attack by a possible ax murderer, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is called in to assist with the local investigation.
Oslo Police Detective Harry Hole is assigned to investigate a series of bank robberies of unparalleled savagery while at the same time absolving himself of the murder of his former girlfriend in a criminal investigation led by his longtime adversary Tom Waaler and Waaler's vigilante police force.
Paris Minton's world is turned upside down when a woman walks into his bookstore and asks a few questions. Within the next 24 hours, Paris is beaten up, made love to, shot at, robbed and his bookstore burned to the ground. He's in so much trouble he gets his friend Fearless Jones out of jail because this man knows violence better than any man should.
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Marie Levant, a doctor who is a descendant of a legendary voodoo queen, struggles with an increasing number of violence victims in her New Orleans hospital, a situation that is complicated by her nightmares about an African vampire.
Gar Anthony Haywood
When Errol "Handy" White returns to his native Los Angeles to attend the funeral of his old friend R. J. Burrow, who has been brutally murdered, a terrible secret threatens to reveal itself.
Valerie Wilson Wesley
Dying in the Dark
Haunted by the brutal murder of her childhood friend, Celia Jones, private detective Tamara Hayle agrees to investigate the crime and uncover the killer at the request of Celia's teenage son, but the case becomes complicated by his death.
As forensic scientist Temperance Brennan works on the dismembered remains of a murder victim, she begins to suspect--despite the skepticism of local police--that there is a link between this homicide and the torture-killing of a teenager several years earlier.
Aaron J. Elkins
While on vacation in Mexico, skeleton detective Gideon Oliver is called in to determine the cause of death on two sets of suspiciously misidentified remains.
If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him
Southern sleuth Elizabeth MacPherson acts as official investigator for her brother's Virginia law firm and tests her skills solving two sensational murders and a third crime unsolved for a century.
The Bone Thief
Dr. Bill Brockton has been called in on a seemingly routine case, to exhume a body and obtain a bone sample for a DNA paternity test. But when the coffin is opened, Brockton and his colleagues, including his graduate assistant Miranda Lovelady, are stunned to see that the corpse has been horribly violated.
Love Songs from a Shallow Grave
Seventy-four-year-old Laotian coroner Dr. Siri seeks to find the killer behind the deaths of three women from fencing-sword wounds, but first he must extricate himself from a Cambodian prison, where he faces beatings, torture, and possible death.
Red Mandarin Dress
Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department finds himself caught up in a dangerous case when the bodies of two young women dressed in identical red mandarin dresses turn up, igniting fears of the city's first sexual serial killer.
Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
Dispatched to Kuala Lumpur to solve a perplexing case involving a famous model on death row who swears she is innocent, bumbling Inspector Singh confronts formidable circumstantial evidence and police resistance.
The Devotion of Suspect X
In a first English-language translation of an award-winning work in Japan, a clever mathematics teacher orchestrates a cover-up after a confrontation between a violent man and his terror-stricken ex-wife results in the man's accidental death.
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
In a world in which Alaska, rather than Israel, has become the homeland for the Jews following World War II, Detective Meyer Landsman and his half-Tlingit partner Berko investigate the death of a heroin-addicted chess prodigy.
The 19th Wife
The story of Ann Eliza Young's crusade against polygamy intertwines with a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah.
Linda A. Fairstein
When the burnt headless body of a young woman is found on the steps of a Baptist Church in Harlem, Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper is one of the first on the shocking scene. With NYPD cop Mike Chapman, Alex begins to investigate, but before long another woman is slaughtered and found on the steps of a Catholic church in Little Italy.
Jan Merete Weiss
These Dark Things
Investigating a murder in the underground crypts of Naples, Captain Natalia Monte of the Carabinieri struggles to find a connection between the killing and Catholic shrine collection boxes, a lecherous professor, and the Camorra.
The Grave Gourmet
Parisian policewoman Capucine LeTellier plunges into a uniquely Parisian affair of gastronomic delights and bureaucratic intrigue to close a case that could make her career or kill it.
Seeking Whom He May Devour
When the residents of a French Alpine village accuse a beardless local of being a werewolf and killing a sheep breeder, eccentric Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg teams up with his ex-girlfriend, the victim's adopted son, and a shepherd to investigate clues linked to the village's history.
The Good Thief's Guide to Paris
Fresh from a successful Paris book reading, mystery writer and professional thief Charlie Howard is hired by his fence to steal an oil painting from the apartment at which he had been demonstrating his larcenous skills a day earlier.
The Rhetoric of Death
In 1686 Paris, after someone begins murdering the dancers in his class, Charles du Luc is determined to find the killer, despite being asked not to take part in the investigation.
The Spirit Woman
The search for a missing history professor, who vanished while visiting the Wind River Reservation, draws Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley into a twenty-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of another historian.
James D. Doss
With the help of his aunt Daisy Perika, a Ute shaman, part-time tribal investigator Charlie Moon and his friend, Granite Creek, Colorado, police chief Scott Parris, investigate the vicious murder of a woman, one of three daughters of a wealthy rancher.
Whisper to the Blood
The inhabitants of Niniltna are uneasy about the gold-mining company buying up tracts of land nearby, an unease shared by P.I. Kate Shugak as she probes the killings of a mine opponent and a popular ski champion-turned-company spokesperson.
Witnessing the death of a Tanoah man during a buffalo stampede, Bureau of Land Management agent Jamaica Wild suspects that the man's demise may not have been accidental and evaluates the evidence at the side of her Pueblo surrogate grandmother.
When a brutal murder takes place in Istanbul's run-down Jewish quarter, eccentric inspector Cetin Ikmen is assigned to the case by the Turkish police and pursues a labyrinthine plot throughout the area's back alleys. (Turkey)
City of Veils
After the body of a brutally beaten woman is found on a beach in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Detective Osama Ibrahim, along with the help of female coroner Katya and her friend Nayir, discovers that the victim was a controversial filmmaker and must discern who wanted her dead. (Saudi Arabia)
The Snake Stone
Eunuch, Yashim Togalu is called in to investigate when a French archaeologist, who is tracking down lost Byzantine treasures, arrives in the city unexpectedly, and then is found mutilated outside the French Embassy. (Turkey)
Years after her activist mother disappears and her mother's lover, a renowned Pakistani poet, is killed by government thugs, Aasmaani, an employee at Pakistan's first independent television station, begins to receive a series of letters written in her mother's private code. (Pakistan)
The Burnt District
An enormous fire destroys one-third of the city of Pittsburgh in 1845, but stunningly claims only three lives. When City Constable John Parker discovers a fourth body in a building ruined by the blaze most assume that the girl perished in the fire too. But Parker remembers a similar that happened when he was a boy. Is there a serial killer at work in Pittsburgh?
Thou Shalt Kill
The media nicknames the killer, The Human Torch, and as the body count mounts, Detective Franco Patrese begins to find a chilling pattern infused with religious vengeance in the killings. He becomes a witness, a suspect, a target, and the last man standing between the killer and future victims.
Steel City Confessions
When a parish priest is accused of killing the husband of the woman with whom he had been having an affair, Pittsburgh private detective Carroll Dorsey takes on a vindictive former nun and vengeful D.A. Douglas Turner as he tries to find the real murderer.
Roxy Abruzzo decides to solve her money problems by working for her uncle, one of the last mob bosses in Pittsburgh, but when one of her targets is murdered, Roxy becomes the prime suspect and must clear her name before it is too late.
After a female student, who has made sexual advances toward him, is found dead, Pittsburgh criminology professor and former cop Cyprus Keller resolves to take the law into his own hands to clear his name.
Author J.J. Hensley joined us for this discussion.
Sophia Leonides and Charles Hayward fall in love in Egypt during World War II, and vow to meet up again in England. After the war ends, Charles fears their reunion may be interrupted when he sees an obituary for Sophia's grandfather, Aristide, and his death turns out to be anything but ordinary.
When she receives personal threats and an associate is murdered, young lawyer Mary DiNunzio realizes that her latest case, involving a World War II internment camp suicide, may have deadly modern-day ties.
The Dead of Winter
A former police investigator tries to solve the murder of his employee, Rosa Novak, following clues through war-torn Europe in 1944, and discovers a connection between the victim, a murdered Parisian furrier, a member of the Resistance, and stolen diamonds.
The Chalice of Blood
Investigating the murder of an eminent scholar who was robbed of mysterious manuscripts, Sister Fidelma and her companion, Brother Eadulf, are quickly targeted by the same killer in a case that is complicated by divisive personal problems.
The Magician's Death
Scholars convene at Corfe Castle to crack the code of Roger Bacon's Book of Secrets. When murder and mayhem ensue, Sir Hugh Corbett must thread through a maze of mystery while trying to unlock Bacon's great secrets.
The Potter's Field
When the monks inherit the field of a local potter and discover the corpse of a murdered woman while plowing, Brother Cadfael is called upon to solve the mystery.
Book descriptions taken from Novelist, © 2014 EBSCO Publishing