Allyson Floridia ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
October is the month of mystery and horror. It’s the time to be scared, to jump at ghosts and ghouls and monsters, and to enjoy the ominous atmosphere as trick-or-treaters make their way from house to house. Another way to get into the spirit of October is to read a mystery novel. Below is a list of ten satisfying mystery reads.
Deeper than the Dead by Tami Hoag is a crime novel set in 1985. It follows fifth grade teacher, Anne Navarre, and FBI investigator, Vince Leone, after she and her students discover a body. Deeper than the Dead mixes a civilian’s point of view with that of a cop. Profiling is also a new, controversial technique.
Kay Hooper creates a world in which people, either due to birth or traumatic experience, have psychic abilities. They form the FBI’s Special Crimes Unit. In Blood Sins, select team members come together against an enemy with his own dangerous abilities. Blood Sins is one book in the Bishop/SCU series.
What would this list be without Sherlock Holmes? Any one of the books is a well-written joy ride with Sherlock and Watson as they take off into adventure. After reading a story, one can also watch any one of the countless spinoff movies or TV shows. It’s an all-round fulfilling experience.
The Maltese Falcon is another classic mystery novel that simply has to be on the list. A woman walks into private investigator Spade’s office in need of his services. Soon, events heat up as the coveted Maltese falcon falls into Spade’s hands. This drama-filled mystery takes off into action with gang members, murder, and corrupt businessmen. The 1941 film adaption also become a hit and is often used as an example of film noir.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is original, thrilling, and provocative. It combines mystery, family relationships, and social issues into a breath of action-packed air. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist must team up with the pierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a tortured young woman with her own dark secrets, in order to solve a decades-old disappearance.
Blood on the Water is an international mystery set in Victorian England. The mystery starts when a boat filled with hundreds of civilians explodes. Some blame the formation of the Suez Canal, which would greatly benefit England’s elite; others wonder if it was an isolated event. Anne Perry manages to write an intriguing story filled with history and cultural and political issues.
Allen Eskins writes about family, guilt, and the faults of the legal justice system in The Life We Bury. Joe, a college student, must interview a stranger for a class assignment. Carl is an aging Vietnam veteran who spent thirty years in prison after being convicted for rape and murder. As Joe attempts to figure out the truth about Carl’s supposed crime, he must also juggle personal troubles.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the drama of a murder investigation. However, not all mysteries are so stressful. Played by the Book, while revolving around a murder, is playful and carefully crafted. Lucy Arlington creates a town that becomes a character itself, one which everyone would definitely want to visit. That is, of course, keeping in mind to be on the lookout for nefarious creatures.
Another fun mystery is The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis. It’s October and the town is in full Halloween spirit. Sophie Winston attends a Halloween party hosted by her rival. She finds a dead body and everyone screams vampire. Comedic and fun, readers should enjoy and appreciate its characterization and humor.
James Patterson is one of the brand names of mystery thrillers. Published in 1995, Kiss the Girls is a wild, ingenious, and terrifying look into how a killer thinks. The Gentleman Caller and the Casanova operate on opposite sides of the country kidnapping and dismembering young women. On the run from the law, the Gentleman Caller decides to pay Casanova a visit on the east coast. Alex can only imagine the horrors that would occur should the two team up and races to stop them. This New York Times best seller was turned into a movie in 1997 and features Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross.