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Customer Discussions > Mystery forum

Recommendations for "clean" mysteries?

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Showing 26-50 of 940 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2008 7:01:34 PM PDT
Monysmom says:
Hi - Jason Goodwin's mysteries are set in 18th century Istanbul - the first one - The Janissary Tree - won an Edgar and the second, the Serpent Stone is every bit as good! Since Yashim, the hero, is a eunach (sp?) there is very little sex but it is just a great, smart series with lots of history and atmosphere!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2008 8:06:05 AM PDT

My "Exile" mystery series (MURDER IN EXILE, REDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES, and EXILE TRUST) has very little violence in it, no sex, and no swearing. I hope you enjoy them.

Vinny O'Neil

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2008 10:17:08 AM PDT
Marie says:
Hey, Betty. I liked your book Hooked on Murder. My crochet/knitting group is reading it and doing a crochet-along with the pattern in the back of the book.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2008 5:38:50 PM PDT
M. Muller says:
Try "Nine Lords of the Night"....some violence but it is not graphic violence.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2008 8:52:13 PM PDT
Just came across this thread and appreciate all the information. I, too, prefer my mysteries PG but will tolerate PG-13 (or what PG-13 used to be!). Haven't read too many lately and am always meaning to go back to the Malice Domestic collections and note authors whose works I liked.

Not sure if this fits in the same class as what you're looking for, but how about Diane Mott Davidson's books? Female caterer/inadvertent detective seems to run across murders about as often as Jessica Fletcher. (Does anyone ever wonder why people hang around these women after a while? Seems dangerous!)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 9:49:30 AM PDT
Our protagonists are not Christain... they are Jewish and hilarious. If you like fast action funny mysteries that I can definitely say are "clean," I would like to suggest the first book in the SILVER SISTERS MYSTERIES, A CORPSE IN THE SOUP. Don't take my word for it. It was named Best Mystery Audio Book of 2007 by USA Book News. The book is available in all formats -- e-book, paperback, CD, cassette and MP3. You can find the paperback and CD online at Amazon, Borders or Target or check out The audio publisher is Books in Motion, Inc -- www.booksin

A CORPSE IN THE SOUP is a lighthearted funny mystery whodunit with a surprise ending. Goldie Silver and Godiva Olivia DuBois are identical twins as different as Goodwill and Gucci. Goldie is an over the hill flower child who owns an antique shop in Juneau, Alaska, and Godiva is a wealthy, manipulative widow who writes her advice column, Ask G.O.D., from her Beverly Hills mansion. Add the "elder--sleuths," their feisty eighty-year-old mother and uncle, former vaudeville magicians who love to dress in costume and go undercover, and you have the right ingredients for a zany romp through Hollywood in search of a killer.

If you want to know what makes the twins' mother tick and have ever wondered what makes a "Jewish Mother," we are giving a free download of "Eight Surefire Ways to Tell If You're a Jewish Mother" with the purchase of A Corpse in the Soup. Just e-mail and let us know where you bought the book, and we'll e-mail you this hilarious short.

It is also available in many libraries, and if you've checked it out of a library, let us know which one and we'll also send you the "Jewish Mother" short. If your library doesn't have A CORPSE IN THE SOUP, you can request that they order it: Paperback: ISBN#1-59705-805-X or CD ISBN#1-59607-857-X.

I write this series with my real life sister who did live in Alaska for over thirty years, so all of the Alaska background is authentic. We love funny names, so check out the four chefs competing in the Greatest Gladiators' Tournament: Biff Wellington-The Aerobic Chef; Caesar Romano-The Romantic Chef; Moishe Matsumoto-The King of Kosher Sushi; and, Tolouse Jankowski-The Polish Cajun.

The adventure starts when Godiva is a guest taster on Romano's show and winds up near death in the hospital. Let the chase begin.

You can find reviews and all sorts of other information on our website

The second book, SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS, is currently in production as an audio book, and should be released later this year. A good part of it takes place in Juneau, Alaska with lots of authentic characters. The Silver Sisters uncover why the Seven Samovars (fancy antique Russian teapots) are worth killing for. No date yet for the print version. And, we are working on #3: VANISHING ACT IN VEGAS.

Happy reading or listening.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 10:59:11 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2008 11:05:02 AM PDT
K. Yorke says:
I've been a mystery fan for 50 yrs and have always loved the older British and American authors-
author ----------------------------------- detective
Margery Allingham
Patricia Wentworth's ---- --------------- Miss Silver
Patricia Moyes 's---------------------- Inspector Henry Tippet
Michael Gilbert
Robert Barnard
Josephine Tey
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Georgette Heyer
Christiana Brand
Sara Woods -----------------------------Antony Maitland
Sarah Caudwell
Reginald Hill ---------- ------------------- Dalziel&Pascoe
Sheila Radley
Colin Wilcox
Evelyn Anthony
Marsha Mullar
Richard&Francis Lockridge------------Mr&Mrs North / Capt Heimrich
Sharyn McCrumb
Donald Westlake
Anne Perry
Most of these authors have been prolific and many of their mysteries are classics and may be found in mystery classic series--- some are probably out of print but they are worth searching for .

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 1:10:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2008 1:11:26 PM PDT
britmysfan says:
Hi K. Yorke,
What about Catherine Aird, Cyril Hare, Ngaio Marsh, Elizabeth Daly and Tim Heald. Like you, (grammar??) I've been reading mysteries for many years. Some of the older ones will continue to hold up for many more years. Recommend these along with your suggestions.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 1:40:36 PM PDT
Mutz Mum says:
I don't like Evanovich or Braun much either. Love Christie, Conan-Doyle. Love British mysteries of that era. Also like lighter cozy mysteries, depends on my mood. So here's my list of suggestions:

Jeanne Dams series with Dorothy Martin - older American widow living in British cottage, meets and marries a widower who's the police chief. She solves the mysteries. Not exactly light-hearted, but not as serious as Sherlock Holmes.

Nuns In The Closet by Dorothy Gilman is a non-series book that I found hilarious while still being a good mystery. Gilman also has the Mrs. Pollifax series which I love, an older lady gets herself hired by the CIA.

Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series is light. Swensen owns a cookie shop in Minnesota and solves mysteries; there are recipes in the books. I personally like the characters.

Ann Ross' Miss Julia series is a hoot. A straight laced Southern widow lives according to her own (quite moral) rules and solves mysteries by accident, more or less.

I really like Georgette Heyer's mysteries - not her romances, please - old British mysteries like Envious Casca, No Wind of Blame, They Found Him Dead.

I'm not a huge Anne Perry fan, but A Dish Taken Cold was great. Ruth Rendell's A Judgment In Stone is fabulous. Both a bit darker than the rest of my list. Minette Walter's The Scold's Bridle is also dark,but worth it.

Reginald Hill's series with Dalziel and Pascoe is good, intense Brit mystery. I started with On Beulah Height. No light hearted detectives here.

Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver series is older, and quite British. Think of Miss Silver as version of Miss Marple, only a bit more serious - or at least taken a bit more seriously than Miss M sometimes is.

The Sibyl In Her Grave by Sarah Caudwell is very good; amusing, complex, good variety of characters.

Hope this is helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 3:14:52 PM PDT
Faddy Malone says:
Dear A.H.,
I find this thread very interesting - specifically the distinction between what people think constitutes a "clean" book. I wrote my debut thriller, "Chasing Hunter", with the goal that it be considered "clean", but after reading some of these posts, I'm not so sure I hit the mark. Although I did not include a single curse word in the entire book, and the 2 sex scenes contain what I consider to be a bare minimum of detail, I am very curious to get your take on whether these scenes (and also what I consider to be fairly "clean" scenes of violence - with one possible exception) meet your idea of "clean." Please feel free to check out the Amazon page for Chasing Hunter, and if you do read it, I would love to get your feedback. As for other writers who don't go overboard with the sex and violence - I am a huge Michael Connolly fan (although I admit that his books and characters are somewhat "dark" and not at all lighthearted). Happy reading! Thanks, Cort Malone

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 4:22:07 PM PDT
foxglove says:

Is the September Society already published. I have been waiting for it but thought that it wouldn't be published for a few more months

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 4:40:57 PM PDT
foxglove says:
I think that you may be interested in the 22 mysteries by Constance and Gweneth Little that have been republished by Rue Morgue Press.
These mysteries were all written between 1938 and 1953. All of them are stand alone mysteries. They have very strong plot. very well developed characters. They are especially interesting because they give you a feel for the day to day life of the time because they were written then. This press is also starting to republish Catherine Aird. If you go to their web sight you will find complete biographies of the authors and descriptions of the book.
The goal of this press is to reprint not the greatest mysteries ever written but the type of mysteries that a bookstore owner might recommend to a good customer when new publications arrived.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 4:23:57 PM PDT
C. Muhr says:
For my 2 cents, I would suggest Carolyn Hart's "Death on Demand" series.

They are light mysteries with great references to the classic and modern mysteries out there. No graphic forensics and no detailed sex. The Heroine, Annie, is the Proprietor of Death on Demand a Mystery bookstore-hence the series name. You don't have to read them in order, but it doesn't hurt as they (like the James Bond series) sometimes reference an earlier mystery. I am rereading the series now while waiting for the next one to come out in paperback.

I also get great ideas of new authors from books mentioned in the series. These books are similar style to authors such as Charlotte McLeod as herself and Alicia Craig both of whom have been mentioned in earlier posts.

One of my favorite mystery series. I always appreciate finding authors with more than one book, so I don't run out of authors so quickly.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 4:50:45 PM PDT
There are so many really good mysteries out there. . .
Some of my favorite authours are:
Jill Churchill (Two different series but both good)
Nancy Atherton (Aunt Dimity series)
Marion Chesney (aka M.C. Beaton)
Susan Rogers Cooper (Multiple series)
Jo Dereske (Miss Zukas series)
Jasper Fford (Two interconnecting series)
Sharon Fiffer (Jane Wheel series)
Emile Richards

I also second the books by Carolyn Hart and Joan Hess! In fact, the latest Joan Hess book takes place in Egypt and she thanks Elizabeth Peters for her help.

There are quite a few non-series titles that are really great.

Have fun reading - some of the suggestions you have been given are super.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 4:55:19 PM PDT
Maria Watson says:
I do have a recommendation for you. There are a series of mystery books from Luisa Buehler - A Grace Marsden Mystery. These are very clean and very enjoyable.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 6:19:54 PM PDT
Pacey1927 says:
I second the people who mentioned Joanne Fluke. I adore those books. We are talking reading like "I stubbed my toe and almost said a bad word". At one point a guy the main character is dating tries to stay the night to protect her or something and she says something about "you were meaning on the couch" and he is absolutely shocked and says, "Of course!"

Still cute, fun characters that grew on me after the first couple of books, and interesting mysteries. They have recipes and such, but I don't cook much and I just skim the recipes. They certainly don't detract from the plot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 9:01:11 PM PDT
Have you tried any Dick Francis books? He was a former jockey for the Queen of England and writes mysteries set in the world of horse racing. PD James is another english writer of mysteries and any of her books featuring Adam Dalgliesh ( I don't think I spelled that right) are good.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2008 6:32:52 PM PDT
Jeannie says:
The Faith Fairchild mysteries by Katherine Hall Page are quite tame by todays standards. They're also nice and fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2008 10:47:03 AM PDT
Try ANYTHING by Carol Higgins Clark... Her stories are light and fun... no real violence or graphic detail... very easy reading.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2008 1:58:09 PM PDT
Cynthia says:
I'd like to second Jeannie's recommendation. Faith Fairchild is a caterer and her husband is a minister. Thoroughly enjoyable. Also the MacLaren Yarbrough series by Patricia Sprinkle--MacLaren is a southern lady who is a grandmother and a local magistrate. A word in defense, though, of Janet Evanovich. She is, hands down, my absolute favorite humorous cozy writer. I actually laugh out loud at her books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 5:46:40 PM PDT
Hi A.H
You could try the Miss Silver Mysteries by Patricia Wenthworth set in 1930's and 40's England. Have you read Linda Fairstein books she's very good and then are not steamy just very good procedural novels. Nancy Fisher wrote good medical thrillers. Nancy Kopp good legal thriller/mysteries. Anne Worboys Isabelle Holland good clean mystery writers. Phyllis A Whitney also very good and Georgette Heyer also wrote a seris of mysteries set in 30's and 40's London

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 7:06:32 PM PDT
Lydialynne says:
Hi A.H.,

I haven't seen Anne George's name in this discussion, unless I missed it. Her Southern Sisters mysteries are very clean (Ms. George was my sixth grade English teacher -- she passed away a few years ago) and are absolutely hilarious.

I'd also like to highly recommend Mark Schweizer's Liturgical Mysteries. I have recommended these books to quite a number of people and every single one has ended up buying the entire series -- 6 books in all, so far. They are very clean, but incredibly funny at the same time. Open up a box of Kleenex before you start reading them; you'll laugh so hard you'll cry.

Happy reading!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 7:15:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 30, 2008 9:53:42 PM PDT
I'll second Dick Francis and M. C. Beaton. I'd add Rex Stout, considered to be one of the most erudite authors in any genre, Bill Crider (I've only read the one book that's Kindle-ized, so that may not be representative), Iain Pears, Aaron Elkins (including the ones written with his wife, Charlotte), Tony Hillerman, Lyn Hamilton, Michael McGarrity, Nevada Barr, Charles Mathes, Sue Henry, Marcia Muller, Susan Wittig Albert, Dorothy Gilman, Shirley Rousseau Murphy (if you are interested in talking cats), Lawrence Block's "Burglar" series, Simon Brett, and Bill Pronzini.

If you'd like something from an earlier era, then I'd recommend: R. Austin Freeman, G. K. Chesterton, and Ernest Bramah. All these are available from and others. And there is always Sherlock Holmes.

Unfortunately, two of my very favorites haven't made the transition to e-books yet: Ellery Queen and John Dickson Carr (also wrote as Carter Dickson).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 8:02:22 PM PDT
Hi Hal,

Your book sounded interesting, so I've just downloaded the kindle version. I've got about 20 books in my list before I get to it. It sounds like I should I read it with a cup of herbal tea and all the lights on. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 10:16:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 2, 2008 9:44:52 AM PDT
Hi A.H.,
I love Sharon Kay Penman. She writes historical/mystery novels about the time of the Plantagenets. Richard the Lionheart, Prince John, and Eleanor of Aquitaine are central characters. Her portrait of Eleanor is particularly interesting, as she was one of the most unique and powerful women of that or any other age! I really enjoyed The Sunne in Splendour. SKP also writes a series about an agent for Queen Eleanor, which includes The Queen's Man and Cruel As the Grave. Those were violent times, so the books are not free of it, but it's certainly not overdone or intrusive. Just a bit of historical authenticity.
Have you read the Campion series by Margery Allingham? They are also elegant and witty, very much in the vein of Christie and Sayers.
And I no longer feel so alone...I'm glad there's another person who doesn't like Janet Evanovich! People look at me like I'm crazy when I say that-but I too think she's raunchy and her humor is way over the top, in my opinion.
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
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Initial post:  Jul 11, 2008
Latest post:  Feb 16, 2015

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