Not all mysteries are strewn with corpses. Here is a list of entertaining tomes by some of the genre's most illustrious authors, and nary a stiff in the bunch! However, it is a bit of a challenge finding mysteries without a killing in them.
Talented artist Claire Roth is broke and disgraced after a scandal in which another artist’s breakthrough painting was actually painted by her, and he killed himself when the deception was discovered. When a gallery owner asks her to forge a Degas masterpiece that was stolen years before from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, she reluctantly agrees, but she begins to question whether the painting she’s copying is itself a forgery. If that’s the case, where is the real Degas?
Sadie Hoffmiller is a talented baker with a knack for solving mysteries. As she looks forward to welcoming her whole family for Christmas in Fort Collins, Colorado, Sadie also finds time to visit her 94-year-old friend Mary, who is now in assisted living and in poor health. Sadie helps decorate a tree with Mary’s antique and valuable Christmas ornaments that she plans to leave to her great-granddaughter to help fund her college education. When some of the ornaments disappear, Sadie goes into sleuth mode to make Mary’s last Christmas a happy one.
This is one of a series of cozy mysteries set in 1930s Darling, Alabama, where the Dahlias are the members of a garden club. In this installment, the group contends with a couple of puzzles, neither of which involves murder: One of their members, Verna Tidwell, has been locked out of her bank job and accused of embezzling town funds. Meanwhile, town librarian Dorothy Rogers is trying to figure out the meaning of a strange code she discovered stitched inside a family heirloom pillow.
First in a series about financially strapped private eye Bernie Little and his devoted dog Chet, a mongrel with one white ear and one black ear. Chet is the story’s narrator, and he has the typical strengths and weaknesses of most dogs: While his sense of smell is a huge help to Bernie, he’s always forgetting that he’s not supposed to bark. Bernie and Chet are hired by a wealthy divorcee to look for her 15-year-old daughter, Madison, who may or may not have been kidnapped by enemies of her father, a real estate developer with mob connections.
In this installment of the Brother Cadfael series, set in twelfth-century England, Cadfael becomes involved in a puzzling case he learns about from fellow monk Brother Humilus, a former hero of the Crusades now dying of old wounds. When Humilus took religious orders three years earlier, he released his promised bride, Julian Cruce, from their engagement. Now his former lieutenant would like to marry Julian, but she is nowhere to be found: her family believes she entered a convent, but the nuns know nothing about her.
The final book in the author’s amusing series about professional thief John Dortmunder and his gang. When a reality TV show producer hears about the gang’s exploits, he suggests that they carry out one of their heists as an episode of his show, Get Real--assuring them that their faces will be obscured, so no one will be able to identify them. While the show’s staff is coming up with a heist for them, complete with a script of supposedly ad-libbed dialogue, Dortmunder and friends cook up their own caper--stealing some of Get Real’s own hidden assets.
This is one of the final books in the author’s long-running series about Amelia Peabody, an archeologist in the Victorian and Edwardian era. In this case, it’s 1910, and Amelia and her husband Emerson head to Palestine where a treasure hunter has secured permission to excavate near the Temple Mount. Amelia and Emerson worry that he’ll cause trouble among the three religious groups who hold the site sacred, but they also have information suggesting that he may be a German spy.
Real-life children’s author Beatrix Potter appears as the sleuth in this episode of a series set in rural England in the early 1900s. The mystery involves a local farmer who has barricaded the communal pathway through his orchard after a haystack fire. Beatrix and her friends try to figure out who set the fire, while a group of her animal friends conduct their own investigation