Best Literary Mysteries
These mysteries are more than a typical whodunit. The characters in these are complex, the storyline intriguing, and the language is rich.
201 Freedomland
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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50 avg rating — 1,321 ratings
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202 A Trick of the Light (Chief...
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 10,628 ratings
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203 The Blood-Dimmed Tide (John...
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 1,039 ratings
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204 The Old Silent (Richard Jur...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 2,285 ratings
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205 Hotel Paradise
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 1,304 ratings
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206 Rumpole and the Penge Bunga...
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 908 ratings
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207 The Speckled Band (The Adve...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 2,862 ratings
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208 Coyote Waits (Navajo Myster...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 5,420 ratings
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209 Stone Angel (Kathleen Mallo...
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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 1,769 ratings
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210 Father Brown Stories
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 520 ratings
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211 The Crying of Lot 49
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 37,623 ratings
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211 The Sense of an Ending
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 76,933 ratings
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213 Death in a Tenured Position...
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3.42 of 5 stars 3.42 avg rating — 386 ratings
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213 Though Not Dead (Kate Shuga...
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 2,036 ratings
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215 Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa,...
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 3,863 ratings
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216 Breakheart Hill
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 445 ratings
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217 Find Me (Kathleen Mallory, #9)
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 1,591 ratings
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218 The Hangman's Beautiful Dau...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 2,825 ratings
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219 Arcadia Falls
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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63 avg rating — 3,119 ratings
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220 Knots and Crosses (Inspecto...
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 17,497 ratings
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221 Dead Famous (Kathleen Mallo...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 1,374 ratings
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222 The Weed That Strings the H...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 23,711 ratings
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223 The Queen's Man
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 3,796 ratings
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224 Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen ...
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 3,256 ratings
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225 The Big Sleep
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 57,505 ratings
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226 Speaking from Among the Bon...
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 12,598 ratings
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227 Stone's Fall
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 3,934 ratings
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228 A Spectacle of Corruption (...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1,884 ratings
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229 Not the End of the World
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 2,271 ratings
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230 The Devil's Star (Harry Hol...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 24,768 ratings
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231 The Wire In The Blood (Tony...
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 6,111 ratings
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232 What the Dead Know
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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 11,337 ratings
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233 The Sisters Brothers
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 39,415 ratings
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234 The Distant Echo
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 3,228 ratings
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234 The Thin Man
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 15,264 ratings
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236 Too Late to Call Texas
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4.54 of 5 stars 4.54 avg rating — 26 ratings
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236 Hiding Gladys (Cleo Cooper ...
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3.46 of 5 stars 3.46 avg rating — 41 ratings
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236 Nocturne, Opus 1: Sea Foam
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 39 ratings
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236 Gatsby's Smile
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 32 ratings
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240 Coeur d'Alene Waters
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 34 ratings
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241 The Sherlockian
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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 6,430 ratings
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242 A Rule Against Murder (Chie...
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 11,431 ratings
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243 Everyone Burns (Time, Blood...
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 273 ratings
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244 The Brutal Telling (Chief I...
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 11,084 ratings
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245 The Empire of the Wolves
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 1,719 ratings
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246 The End of the Wasp Season ...
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 2,887 ratings
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247 L'ultimo capodanno
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 375 ratings
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247 The Cruelest Month (Chief I...
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 11,092 ratings
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249 The Gods of Gotham (Timothy...
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 6,102 ratings
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250 Death of a Kingfisher
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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 1,752 ratings
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250 Deception Point
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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 310,158 ratings
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252 Raven Black (Shetland, #1)
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 5,041 ratings
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253 Where the Truth Lies: A Novel
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 204 ratings
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253 A Night Too Dark (Kate Shug...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 1,601 ratings
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253 The Ballad of Frankie Silve...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 2,503 ratings
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253 Slip of the Knife (Paddy Me...
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 1,244 ratings
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253 The Lost Symbol (Robert Lan...
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 281,031 ratings
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253 The Man Who Cast Two Shadow...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1,556 ratings
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259 Havana Bay (Arkady Renko, #4)
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 2,787 ratings
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259 Shell Game (Kathleen Mallor...
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 1,145 ratings
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261 The Chalk Girl (Kathleen Ma...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 1,988 ratings
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262 The Darkest Room (The Öland...
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 2,465 ratings
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262 Blood Will Tell (Kate Shuga...
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 2,513 ratings
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264 Polar Star (Arkady Renko, #2)
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 3,923 ratings
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264 Winter House (Kathleen Mall...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1,394 ratings
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266 Echoes from the Dead (The Ö...
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 3,440 ratings
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267 Crime School (Kathleen Mall...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1,229 ratings
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268 V.
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 11,694 ratings
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269 Dead Water (Shetland, #5)
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 951 ratings
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270 March Violets (Bernard Gunt...
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 2,857 ratings
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271 Os Crimes do ABC
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 33,360 ratings
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271 The Spies of Warsaw (Night ...
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 3,393 ratings
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271 Hide and Seek (Inspector Re...
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 6,604 ratings
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274 Night Soldiers (Night Soldi...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 3,883 ratings
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275 The Dupin Stories
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 4,800 ratings
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276 A Criança N.º 44
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 29,000 ratings
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277 The Boomerang Clue
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 8,528 ratings
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278 An Inspector Calls
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 5,191 ratings
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279 Devices and Desires (Adam D...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 5,463 ratings
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280 Queenpin
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 1,235 ratings
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281 Iron Lake (Cork O'Connor, #1)
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 4,893 ratings
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281 The Pelican Brief
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 221,244 ratings
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283 The Fire (The Eight #2)
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3.17 of 5 stars 3.17 avg rating — 3,880 ratings
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284 Last Act in Palmyra (Marcus...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1,792 ratings
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285 The Silver Swan (Quirke, #2)
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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45 avg rating — 2,024 ratings
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286 From Doon With Death (Inspe...
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 3,959 ratings
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287 Red Bones (Shetland, #3)
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 2,261 ratings
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287 Blue Lightning (Shetland, #4)
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 1,759 ratings
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289 The Man from Beijing
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3.44 of 5 stars 3.44 avg rating — 8,298 ratings
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289 A Death in Summer (Quirke, #4)
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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 1,039 ratings
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291 White Nights (Shetland, #2)
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 2,636 ratings
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292 The Sound of Broken Glass (...
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 2,606 ratings
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293 The Burden of Proof (Kindle...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 19,972 ratings
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294 Stone of the Goddess
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2.75 of 5 stars 2.75 avg rating — 4 ratings
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294 The Einstein Girl
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3.39 of 5 stars 3.39 avg rating — 449 ratings
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294 The Rules of Dreaming
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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45 avg rating — 193 ratings
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294 Spiritus Mundi Book II The ...
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 9 ratings
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294 Pelican Bay
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 62 ratings
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299 And When She Was Good
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3.44 of 5 stars 3.44 avg rating — 6,834 ratings
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299 The Belvedere at Stone Gate
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5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 5 ratings
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600 books · 1,450 voters · list created October 5th, 2008 by Colleen (votes) .
140 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Colleen
Colleen
995 books
34 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
2456 books
470 friends
Greyweather
Greyweather
1984 books
52 friends
Cindy
Cindy
6321 books
120 friends
Nostromo
Nostromo
325 books
10 friends
Linda
Linda
691 books
14 friends
Andrew
Andrew
917 books
24 friends
Rob
Rob
51 books
3 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I define "literary mystery" as the person who created the list does: mysteries written in the style of quality literature.


message 2: by Foxontherun (new)

Foxontherun Have you seen the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie yet? Almost as good as the book. Amazing acting and cinematography, and it stays amazingly faithful to the text.


message 3: by thegift (new)

thegift Foxontherun wrote: "Have you seen the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie yet? Almost as good as the book. Amazing acting and cinematography, and it stays amazingly faithful to the text."

Geniuswaitress wrote: "I define "literary mystery" as the person who created the list does: mysteries written in the style of quality literature."

liked the movie more than the book: shorter, more intense, and less fantasy- subtlety not required, images can cover same plot mechanics quickly, images indelible, characters iconic rather than pages of description


message 4: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Long Great reading list!


message 5: by Lori (new)

Lori I have 'mysteries written in the style of quality literature' as well as literature that happens to have a mystery. I also only have one book per author.


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Thoughts on adding Louise Penny's "Inspector Armand Gamache" series to this list?


message 7: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Wilson I agree that Louise Penny's novels should be added to literary mystery category. They are wonderfully complex with intriguing motifs.


message 8: by Sue (new)

Sue Waymire Sandra wrote: "I agree that Louise Penny's novels should be added to literary mystery category. They are wonderfully complex with intriguing motifs."

I voted for a couple of her books; surprised they are not on the list!


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