Who? How? Why?

Here’s a clue about what genre we are reading this month. The books involve a crime (often a murder), a puzzle to be solved, (often by a detective) and a solution. Have you guessed yet? Yes, it’s mysteries!

Mysteries can be divided into subgenres, depending on how gruesome you like your books…so here are some subgenres you may like to try:

Cozy- Think of English villages and country houses, cats, cottages and culinary delights. Often lots of village gossip, and little, if any violence (apart from the murder of course!). All loose ends are tied up neatly at the end. These books are usually written in a series and are great to snuggle up in bed with. Try:

Kerry Greenwood: Corinna Chapman series set in Melbourne.
Or for an amusing or “Caper” mystery try: Marianne Delacourt: Tara Sharp series.

Hardboiled/ Noir - The complete opposite of cozy, these gritty books can be dark, often set in a violent and corrupt world. They are realistic, and often feature a hard-bitten, tough investigator. Try:

Peter Temple: Jack Irish series.
Michael Robotham: noir psychological thrillers.

Police procedural - Do you like to know the workings of the police during an investigation, and the processes and tools they use to solve crimes? Or do you like a focus on forensics? Try one of these authors:

Tara Moss.
P.D. Martin.
Gabrielle Lord.
Jon Cleary.

Detective-Amateur or private eye? -You can read about the amateur detective who keeps stumbling across mysteries to solve, or the professional private eye (or ex-cop) who is called upon to solve the mystery. Try:

Private Eye:
Colleen McCullough: series featuring Detective Carmine Delmonico.
Katherine Howell: series featuring Detective Ella Marconi.
Peter Corris: series featuring Private investigator Cliff Hardy.

Amateur detectives:
Tara Moss: new paranormal mystery series featuring Pandora English.
Jennifer Rowe: Tessa Vance series (she also writes childrens books under the pseudonym Emily Rodda). June 2011 release - "Love honour and O'Brien"

Whodunit- For those who like the most traditional of mysteries, these books contain a trail of clues so the reader can try to guess from a field of suspects, who is the real killer, before the end of the book. Agatha Christie is the queen of this subgenre. Similar authors can be found in the online database "Who else writes like".