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Recommendations for "clean" mysteries?

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Posted on Aug 23, 2009 8:58:41 AM PDT
critters says:
I finished Hardball (V. I. Warshawski) last night, and it's unusually clean for a mystery/suspense. No blood but bloody nose/split lip, no sex that I noticed, and I can't even remember a cuss word. I can't guarantee there are NO cuss words, but I think I can safely say there are few or none. :) I don't always make note of every one.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2009 4:09:08 PM PDT
Babu says:
You must try Linwood Barclay. I just finished his latest and it was great. No gore, torture or explicit sex (no sex at all, I think). It is a good mystery with your everyday people, the main character is a car salesman who bumbles around a bit. I have read all of his and I think you would enjoy them.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2009 10:28:56 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 29, 2009 7:39:51 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 29, 2009 2:21:49 PM PDT
If you want good clean (and sometimes fun) mysteries, stick with the British writers!
My list of Top Favorites includes about 55 Britis and all of them use very little
profanity unless an unsavoury character wanders in briefly, even then it is toned down.
For this and other reasons, I rarely read US authors with their profanity, gratutious sex,
car chases, hot-blooded private eyes, crude talk ..... give me the Britis every time.

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 12:11:17 PM PDT
Of the "clean" mysteries I like, I would recommend Leann Sweeney's "Yellow Rose" mysteries. The main character is a young woman who was adopted, but didn't find that out until her father died. She is an investigator who specializes in finding long lost relatives, but somehow she always ends up getting caught up in a murder investigation. Her boyfriend is a police detective and her sister is a psychologist - of course they always play prominent roles in helping solve the mysteries. There is only implied sex and only occasionally and no graphic violence. They are very fast reads and I like the humor in them as well as the characters and their relationships.

I also agree with recommendations for Fluke's Hannah Swenson mysteries and Dianne Mott Davidson's Goldy Bear mysteries. I have to say that I really love Evanovich, though. She makes me laugh out loud! If these books were ever made into movies, I think Monique would be a great Lula and Betty White as Grandma Mazur!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2009 2:54:09 PM PDT
DK says:
The Asey Mayo series set on Cape Cod by Phoebe Atwood Taylor. Over 20 books written from 1931-1951 are rather dated but still great reads. No graphic sex or violence, and great descriptions of the Cape before greedy developers ruined it all. I've read the first 9 and loved them all. Many have been re-issued or can be found here as used books. "THe Cape Cod Mystery" is the first.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2009 10:59:19 AM PDT
I agree that Elizabeth George's books have less gore and sex but more importantly they are very well written with a depth to them lacking in many mystery novels. I love how she develops her main characters, Linley and Havers, thoughout the series. When I came to the last book, thus far, of the series, I was bereft.

Another wonderful series is by Julia Spencer Fleming that involves Claire, an Episcapalian priest and, Russ, the local sheriff. Wonderful characters.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 11:22:32 AM PDT
Martha Hill says:
OMG -- I am so glad I stumbled onto this discussion.

I too, love a good mystery that will hold my attention until the very end, but absolutely detest the graphic sex and violence in most mysteries. Just last night I settled into bed with a new book -- I read the prologue about a little 8 year old child who tortured and killed a baby bunny in the most graphic details. I threw the book in the trash, but the damage was done. I could see that little scared bunny every time I closed my eyes. I love to read just before turning out the lights for the night -- but, I need a good 'who done it' that has enough story to hold the reader without adding the sex and violence. If the story is good enough you don't need that.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2009 12:06:10 PM PDT
critters says:
Martha Hill, could you please tell us the name of the bunny-torture book? It'll end up on my "no fly" list, too. I try to make note of such things in my reviews, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2009 1:40:27 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Dec 18, 2009 11:41:59 AM PST]

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 12:30:55 PM PDT
Rob Walker says:
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Posted on Sep 25, 2009 1:02:34 PM PDT
A.H. says:
Hi Rob, I outlined my idea of "clean" in the original post, added over a year ago I believe, and others have no doubt added their ideas of the same. What I prefer to avoid in my entertainment in general: graphic sex - yes, graphic violence - yes, graphic guessed it, but, surprising though it may be, genuflecting, or the lack thereof, was not on the list... :-) Thank you for adding your recommendation!

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 1:19:49 PM PDT
Martha, that books sounds very avoidable. I would have thrown it out too.

I know a lot of these authors have been named (and early on) but I wanted to put favs out here too. :>) You know, just to be complete!

Anne George -- Just discovered her. I've only read the first, and I've got several to go. Yay!
Elizabeth Peters -- Will always remain dear to my heart, whether it is Vicky Bliss or Amelia Peabody. To this day, I want to buy a parasol. And one day I am going to find a lace parasol and snap it up!!!

I think I mentioned before, Kaye C. Hill. I've read Dead Woman's Shoes and am waiting for the second to arrive (Fall Girl.) The covers are awful; please ignore them. Dead Woman's Shoes was quite the cozy--dogs, cats, drama clubs and oh, yes, a dead body or two! (No onscreen violence).

Victoria Lanier - A wonderful writer. These are not cozies; they are a little bit tense for that (an ex-husband stalking the main character), but these books are just wonderful. Definitely worth a look.

I also liked Dolores Wilson Big Hair, Flying Cows. I need to get my hands on the second in the series!

Someone on the cozy thread also inspired me to read the Midnight Louie series so I'm on number two in that series! Carole Nelson Douglas...

Okay, now I need to find some more new ones to share here!!!


Posted on Nov 12, 2009 3:19:50 PM PST
Renwonug says:

Posted on Nov 13, 2009 6:08:43 PM PST
E. Hall says:
I just read Megan Abbott's Edgar winner, Bury Me Deep. It was very very good. I used to depend on the Edgars, but in recent years they have generally been so crass, crude, raw, etc., that I've been avoiding them. This one is dark and suggestive, but not "graphic". It's based on the 1931 Phoenix Winnie Ruth Judd / Halloran murders and reminds me of American murder mysteries of the mid-20th C, and of the best film noir. The psychology is sound, the pitfalls of innocence laid bare--very satisfying. I'm going back for more Abbott.

Posted on Nov 14, 2009 7:07:56 AM PST
I'm glad I found this discussion because I have added a number of authors to my "must read" list.

Has anyone mentioned John Dunning or Peter Robinson? Dunning's character is an ex Denver detective turned rare book collector. Robinson writes from the perspective of a British Chief Inspector Banks whose knowledge of '60's music is extensive. Both authors are also poets and I wonder if that is why their scenes and characters come alive for me.

If I may self-promote, I have a recently published cozy mystery entitled "Murder by Yew," situated in Rhode Island with a 68-year-old sleuth who has been compared to Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher. (Can you get "cleaner" than that?)

Happy reading to all!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009 7:33:09 AM PST
I heartily agree with you. My suggestions are David Baldacci and David Rosenfelt. They are a good read and not too intense.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009 11:16:08 AM PST
Sounds like something I'd like, so I'll ask my usual question - any chance it'll be available for my Kindle any time soon?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009 11:27:16 AM PST
Thank you, M. Yes, I plan to make it available on Kindle, but not until after Christmas.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009 11:39:51 AM PST
Excellent! It's ok, I can be patient...

Posted on Nov 18, 2009 10:04:02 AM PST
i am delighted to see so much input about
clean and/or funny mysteries. is it possible
that dirty sex and violence is no longer popular?
i agree about rinehart, christie etc. i am now reading
a royal spyness book. great fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2009 10:12:08 AM PST
Now, if we can only get rid of the blood and vampires! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2009 10:05:29 AM PST
Yes. Vampires are over-done. Enough allready!
Mysteries should include clues, humor and interesting
characters. Political opinions and religious name
calling add nothing to a story. Off with the gore and on
with the fun!

Posted on Nov 20, 2009 6:32:27 PM PST
I haven't read every post so I don't know if anyone has mentioned the book I just finished. It is
Deadly Descent by Charlotte Hinger. The story is good, the mystery great and I love the fact that I
don't have to "skim" over sex scenes and language. For personal reasons, I cannot abide detailed autopsy scenes and I run across entirely too many of those in the types of books I prefer to curl up with. You won't find that in Ms Hinger's book.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2009 8:06:50 AM PST
Texas Pibliophile: Thanks for the recommendation on Charlotte Hinger.

Barbara: I'm happy to know I'm not alone in that opinion for a good mystery with clues, humor and interesting characters.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this discussion, I've added several new authors to my reading list.

Happy Thanksgiving -- and happy reading to you all!
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  412
Total posts:  928
Initial post:  Jul 11, 2008
Latest post:  Oct 26, 2013

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