Terrific Mysteries

by Joyce Worsley, Librarian, Fiction Department

Looking for a way to entertain yourself during isolation? Then you may be on the hunt for some good escapist fiction to help keep your mind and imagination busy! The following authors can help do just that. They are established authors with solid series to keep you immersed for hours of reading pleasure.

The first is Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series. The sleuth/heroine Phryne is introduced in Cocaine Blues. Her first case leads her to Australia at the height of the roaring twenties. The scenery is lush, the dialogue is witty and there is plenty of action. Phryne is not the typical young woman of the time: she’s been in the war and is a skilled pilot as well as a race car driver. She is very wealthy but grew up poor and appreciates all the good things her money can buy. Phryne doesn’t have the usual detective sidekick; rather she has an entourage composed of her lady’s maid, her two drivers, and a dour police inspector. They all pull together to solve mysteries in a most delightful fashion. There are currently 20 books in the series.


The next author is J. D. Robb and the In Death series featuring Lt. Eve Dallas in a futuristic world circa 2058. There are currently 50 books in the series, with the first being Naked In Death and the last, Golden in Death. If it’s hard to picture what life will be like post-pandemic, this series takes a leap into a very colorful, gritty, and tech-driven future which is one possibility. Lt. Dallas has a troubled past which could have led her into a life of crime but instead led her to be in charge of a homicide unit and do her best to speak for the dead by relentlessly hunting down murderers. She is helped in her endeavors by her sidekick Delia Peabody and the series love interest, Roark. There is definitely character development throughout the series so starting at the beginning with the first book is probably a good idea. The books are fun, fast paced, and gripping with a little bit of romance and sexiness without being graphic or gross.

The third series is the brainchild of Louise Penny and features Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as the main character. The series begins with Still Life and so far is up to 16 books. The novels take place in Canada, primarily, Quebec, although various cases take Gamache and his sidekick and son-in-law, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, to many locales. This series is probably the most literary of the three mentioned here. The author’s language is rich and the characters complex all the while weaving together complicated plots and surprising twists in remarkably good mystery writing. There is a little village described in the books called Three Pines which can’t be found on any map but which is definitely a place one ends up wanting to visit for the bookshop, the local restaurant, and the scenery.

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These book series and many more are available to you via the Enoch Pratt Free Library ‘s digital collection. Happy reading!