When You've Read All of Agatha Christie...
Try These Genteel British Crime Novels
Before World War I
Trent’s Last Case (1913)
Professional painter and amateur newspaper correspondent/sleuth Philip Trent concocts a brilliant explanation of a millionaire’s murder—but is it true? And how is the beautiful widow to whom Trent loses his heart involved?
The Complete Father Brown (First story published in 1911)
Everyone tends to overlook dumpy little Father Brown until he produces his clear-sighted solutions to mysteries. Rather than searching for physical clues, Father Brown gets his results by entering the mind of the perpetrator. The complete short story collection.
Golden Age Authors
The Fashion in Shrouds (1938, In Three Cases for Mr. Campion)
The former fiancé and the current husband of actress Georgia Wells are found dead—is it coincidence or part of a sinister design? A leisurely examination of the changes in class structure and male-female relationships between the wars.
John Dickson Carr
The Crooked Hinge (1938)
Rival claimants to a baronetcy, a reactivated 17th-century automaton, and suspicions of a witch cult—who could ask for more? Suspend your disbelief and match wits with Scotland Yard consultant Dr. Gideon Fell in this classic “impossible crime” puzzler.
Killer Dolphin (1966)
Marsh uses her theatrical background to draw diverting portraits of actors’ temperaments as The Glove, a play based on the sensational discovery of a glove owned by Shakespeare’s son, is produced. Death and theft of the glove bring Roderick Alleyn, CID superintendent and Shakespeare devotee, into a mix of jealous lovers, national pride, and extreme wealth.
CASS FIC SAYERS (Book on cassette)
Dorothy L. Sayers
Strong Poison (1930)
Lord Peter Wimsey is in love with Harriet Vane, but she is on trial for the murder of her lover, killed by one of the poisons she was researching for her latest mystery novel. Peter’s remarkable assistant Miss Climpson, the quintessential English spinster, has only one month to help him discover the truth.
World War II and After
CDBOOK FIC ATHERTON (Book on CD)
Aunt Dimity’s Death (1992)
Lori Shepherd assumes the “Aunt Dimity” stories of her childhood were her mother’s invention. Then a patrician law firm calls with a commission from the late Dimity Westwood—writing an introduction to the story collection. As Lori tackles her assignment, she learns Aunt Dimity still has a few tricks up her sleeve.
A Hovering of Vultures (1993)
Detective Constable Charlie Peace attends the opening of the Sneddon Museum, the refurbished cottage of a minor literary brother and sister who died in a murder-suicide early in the century. Charlie has to search through old clues to solve current crimes among the literary hustlers and hangers-on at the Sneddon conference.
Green for Danger (1944)
A man dies unexpectedly during an operation in a military hospital amid the chaos of war-time England. Could there have been foul play in the tightly-controlled operating room? Inspector Cockrill begins a routine investigation that suddenly changes character when a nurse is slain and another man’s life is endangered.
The Thin Woman : an epicurean mystery (1984)
When overweight Ellie Simons hires Ben Haskell to pose as her boyfriend at a family gathering, neither suspects their trip will lead to a six-month danger-filled association hunting for old Uncle Merlin’s treasure. This Gothic spoof is the first of a series.
King and Joker (1976)
Someone is playing increasingly vicious practical jokes on the British royal family. When the game turns deadly, 13-year-old Princess Louise, in emotional turmoil from discovering long-buried family secrets, is afraid the joker may be someone she loves.
The Ampersand Papers (1978)
The aristocratic Digitts downplay their late relation Adrian’s “deplorable associations” with the likes of Shelley and Byron—until they discover there may be big money in his correspondence with these longhairs. When Dr. Sutch, hired to discover any valuable papers, dies under questionable circumstances, ex-Scotland Yard commissioner Sir John Appleby rapidly sorts through a maze of shifting alliances and double crosses.
Wake the Dead (1992)
Who would want to suffocate manipulative, bossy Isobel Fairleigh as she lies helpless from a stroke? Her downtrodden sister, her MP son who desires an unacceptable woman, her daughter-in-law who can’t produce an heir? Inspector Thanet and Sergeant Lineham have plenty of suspects to hand—and that’s just the immediate family.
Please note: Many books from earlier in the century display then commonly-held attitudes toward women and minorities that are unacceptable today.
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