Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey, #2) Clouds of Witness discussion


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Seeking More Highly-Literate yet somewhat-Cozy mysteries

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Kathryn Seeking mysteries with a minimum of the bloody and gruesome--better yet if they aren't even murder mysteries--but still with very detailed characters and intricate plots. I'm not going for so much "fluff" as something like the Flower Shoppe mysteries. Any suggestions. I'm on to Sayers and have pretty much exhausted Christie. I like Kerry Greenwood thus far.


Jane Hi can I suggest Nicola Upson. The first is called , An Expert in Murder - not too much gore and really well written.


Kailey (Luminous Libro) Try Patricia Wentworth. She wrote several 'Miss Silver' mysteries that are similar to Christie's Miss Marple.

And...There's always the old standby Holmes mysteries.


message 4: by Michelle (last edited Oct 01, 2011 05:31PM) (new) - added it

Michelle Wardhaugh The Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout is just as you described, "highly literate and cozy." Most of the mysteries are murder, but the blood and such is usually absent. And there are a lot of them. You'll be busy for a good while. Also, the Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters run along those lines. Oh, and Jane Langton wrote an interesting series of mysteries around literary works with a slueth called Homer Kelly. I've read only the first Hilary Tamar by Sarah Caudwell, but it would fit the criteria. And most books (both individual mysteries and series) by Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels) fit, as well. One series made me think of another and another. Perhaps one of these will be what you're looking for. I could list more, but I'll stop before being too ridiculous.


message 5: by HJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

HJ If you like Dorothy L Sayers then you'll also like Ngaio Marsh. Attractive characters with good intricate plots which don't overwhelm the rest of the book i.e. the relationships between the various characters. I'd recommend reading them in chronological order because the key characters mature and the relationships between them carry on from book to book.

Also, you should like Josephone Tey. Sadly, she wrote only a few books, but they are superb. Brat Farrar is my favorite. Her books fall into two groups - the Inspector Grant ones (including Daughter ot Time, which is not your standard police-procedural!), and the others which are stand-alone and quite varied. All well worth reading.

Those two authors were writing some time ago, and so you get a picture of England from decades ago, as with DLS. I endorse Michelle's suggestion of the Hilary Tamar books by Sarah Caudwell - written much more recently, very amusing with good characters and plots. Again, sadly too few of them.


Kailey (Luminous Libro) Michelle wrote: " Oh, and Jane Langton wrote an interesting series of mysteries around literary works with a slueth called Homer Kelly. ..."

Is that the same Jane Langton that wrote the "Diamond in the Window" Hall Family series for children? Love her writing! I never knew she wrote mysteries too. Thanks for the tip!


message 7: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle Wardhaugh Yup. I haven't seen a new one in a while, but I don't always keep up with the newest releases. I loved her Hall Family series, too.


Jane How about P.D. James Adam Dalgleish books - very well written and some great stories.


Merle You may also want to try Julia Spencer-Fleming's series about Rev. Clare Fergusson and her Episcopal congregation in upstate New York (contemporary). While sometimes exasperating, the characters are well-written and fleshed out.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd like to second Ngaio Marsh and Josephine Tey, two of my other favourite mystery writers, along with DLS and Reginald Hill (he of Dalziel and Pascoe fame.)


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, also John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey books are rather cosy while also being very well written.


Merle How about Susan Wittig Albert and the China Bayles Series? China owns an herb shop in Pecan Springs, Texas, and the series is as cozy as they come.


message 13: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate Rice I just finished one of Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar mysteries, and I think this would be right up your alley. Highly literary, character-driven and with very little gore.


message 14: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate Rice And another idea (this category is near and dear to my heart!) -- the Flavia deLuce series from Alan Bradley. The first book, the Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, is the best. Written from the perspective of a child, which might not appeal to all -- I thought it was well written and highly entertaining.


Merle I didn't care for the Alan Bradley, purely a matter of taste, I'm sure.


message 16: by Nan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nan I was also going to recommend Sarah Caudwell. While there are only 4 of them, each one is a total delight.

I would also suggest Edmond Crispin. His Moving Toyshop was a favorite.


message 17: by Nan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nan Sorry, typo, that should be Edmund Crispin! Sorry folks!


Elizabeth Lang If you like Dorothy Sayers, you might like Margery Allingham's Campion novels. They were contemporaries and ran in the same circle.

You could also try Gladys Mitchel's Mrs. Bradley stories.


message 19: by ^ (new) - rated it 4 stars

^ Nan wrote: "I was also going to recommend Sarah Caudwell. While there are only 4 of them, each one is a total delight.

I would also suggest Edmond Crispin. His Moving Toyshop was a favorite."


Yes, Edmund Crispin is absolutely unmissable.
I'd also recommend Macdonald Hastings 'Cork on the Water' [1951] and others.
I've also enjoyed Gladys Mitchell’s 'Tom Brown's Body' [1949] and Guy Cullingford’s ‘Conjurer’s Coffin’ [1954].

^ Sub


Diane I recently discovered this site and loved it. Now I find this entire thread of suggestions containing many favorites and suggestions of things I haven't yet read!!!!

A humble suggestion to the original post-er? post-ess?
Dorothy Gilman wrote a series called Mrs. Polifax - average woman volunteers as courier and gets tangled up in adventures. No gore. Not all are murders, some spy stories.


Sharon I second Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh and Josephine Tey. Also Michael Innes and Patricia Moyes. All of them wrote cozies with ongoing character development, insight and humor.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Martha Grimes' Richard Jury mysteries are great. Like Ngaio Marsh's Rory and Troy, Grimes' characters carry the story; no blood and guts is really necessary.


Carly Diane wrote: "I recently discovered this site and loved it. Now I find this entire thread of suggestions containing many favorites and suggestions of things I haven't yet read!!!!

A humble suggestion to the or..."

I love the Mrs. Pollifax stories! They are adorable! I also second Ellis Peters' Cadfael mysteries.
Another one great series is the Amelia Peabody stories; they start with
Crocodile on the Sandbank. They feature a hilariously outspoken and gutsy Victorian spinster who goes on a world tour and ends up on an archaological dig. The author did her research and portrays the Victorian times very well, and since she has a PhD in Egyptology, that's very well done as well. The series is full of very light, fun, and fantastic stories.


Diane Carly wrote: "Diane wrote: "I recently discovered this site and loved it. Now I find this entire thread of suggestions containing many favorites and suggestions of things I haven't yet read!!!!

A humble sugges..."


I loved Elizabeth Peters novels, until, in the last one or two, I thought there was too much background and not enough plot. I've loved watching Ramses develop. However, as with so many books that are part of a series, a great deal of time/space is now devoted to bringing the reader up to speed.


MaryJo Dawson Veronica wrote: "I second Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh and Josephine Tey. Also Michael Innes and Patricia Moyes. All of them wrote cozies with ongoing character development, insight and humor."

Veronica, I seem to have much the same taste as you do in mysteries, loving the mid-twentieth century authors, esp. the British ones, but I never heard of Josephone Tey. can you tell me a little about her?
MaryJo


MaryJo Dawson Diane wrote: "I recently discovered this site and loved it. Now I find this entire thread of suggestions containing many favorites and suggestions of things I haven't yet read!!!!

A humble suggestion to the or..."


Carly wrote: "Diane wrote: "I recently discovered this site and loved it. Now I find this entire thread of suggestions containing many favorites and suggestions of things I haven't yet read!!!!

A humble sugges..."


Carly, also a fan of Most of the Mrs. Polifax novels for a fun read! have you listened to any of the audios, when you are traveling perhaps? the reader has been good, and these are great to pass the time on a long trip - don't require a lot of concentration either.


MaryJo Dawson have just gotten back to this site - for the 2nd time - and replied to Veronica and Carly. also, if it is not forbidden to do so on goodreads, I am going to put a plug in for myself...
I have two new ebooks out, two cozy mysteries called the Death of Amelia Marsh and The Disappearance of Douglas White, Sally Nimitz mysteries. there are still free coupons at all retailers to read this month, and I would love you cozy mystery lovers to give me some feedback. so far, my response has been great - or I wouldn't dare to promote myself. after the 31st, they are still very inexpensive.


Diane MaryJo wrote: "Veronica wrote: Josephine Tey.

I just finished "Man in the Queue" (1929) on Veronica's recommendation. The book is a police procedural which follows the detective Grant on his search for the solution. Euridite. Great pace. No gore.
Great read.

Can't wait to read her others and others recommended by Veronical.



Cynthia Stead Best book Tey ever wrote was 'Daughter of Time'

For a series, check out Bruce Alexander's 'Blind Justice' books - there are @ 10 of them.

And ANYTHING with Nero Wolfe - second and third to that!


Merle Agree about "Daughter of Time". I think it's a clever setup and a great use of the detective's greatest asset.


Curtiss Kathryn wrote: "Seeking mysteries with a minimum of the bloody and gruesome--better yet if they aren't even murder mysteries--but still with very detailed characters and intricate plots. I'm not going for so much..."

Try the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, about a monk in a Benedictine abbey in the town of Shrewsbury on the border between England and Wales, who solves crimes using logic and herbal lore in the 12th Century. One of my favorite scenes is toward the end of "Virgin in the Ice", when Brother Cadfael realizes he that has just helped the son he never new he had rescue his soon-to-be daughter-in-law, and keeps the secret of his parentage to himself - that is, until three or four books later.


MaryJo Dawson Curtiss wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Seeking mysteries with a minimum of the bloody and gruesome--better yet if they aren't even murder mysteries--but still with very detailed characters and intricate plots. I'm not g..."
I also enjoyed Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series, and some of her other things as well, some of which may not even be in print anymore. it was a rather idealistic portrayal of life in that time, but the stories were very interesting.
again, I wrote two mysteries myself without all that gory detail because I feel you can do that and write a good story.


Diane Just finished The Franchise Affair, by Tey and wonder if anyone else was disappointed in it.


message 34: by Jeni (new)

Jeni Absolutely love Lindsey Davis' Didius Falco series. Takes place in Ancient Rome and Falco is the "gumshoe."

Really intelligent and well-written.


Trina Cynthia wrote: "Best book Tey ever wrote was 'Daughter of Time'

For a series, check out Bruce Alexander's 'Blind Justice' books - there are @ 10 of them.

And ANYTHING with Nero Wolfe - second and third to that!"


Loved 'Blind Justice' series, and adored Josephine Tey when I was younger. Wonder how well she holds up over time?


Trina Jeni wrote: "Absolutely love Lindsey Davis' Didius Falco series. Takes place in Ancient Rome and Falco is the "gumshoe."

Really intelligent and well-written."


Loved the 1st one in the series "Silver Pigs". Great fun!


Carly Jeni wrote: "Absolutely love Lindsey Davis' Didius Falco series. Takes place in Ancient Rome and Falco is the "gumshoe."

Really intelligent and well-written."


If you like those, I'd suggest giving Medicus a try. It takes place a little later than the Falco books--Trajan/Hadrian rather than Vespasian. The main character is a medicus for the Roman legion in Roman Great Britain. The books feel well-researched and are a lot of fun.


Trina Thanks, Jeni, I'll have to check it out. I see there's a US edition out.


MaryJo Dawson due to a couple of recommendations on Josephine Tey, one of them being Cindy's, I am reading Daughter of Time. it is not at all what I expected, and my 1st book by this author - but I am really enjoying it! it is definitely for a certain audience. those who like Dorothy Sayers or Margery Allingham, which I do, should know about Ms. Tey.


Jochelle Mendonca A good author is also MC Beaton -- the Hamish MacBeth books! MacBeth is a village constable in the Scotland Highlands and the characters are delightful. She's also written series of books, set in the Cotswolds, with a female detective called Agatha Raisin.
I also second the Sarah Caudwell suggestion. It's a pity there are only four books.


MaryJo Dawson thank you, Jochelle. MC Beaton has been popping up in the mystery discussions and sounds like an author up my alley. also will put Sarah Caudwell down.


message 42: by ^ (new) - rated it 4 stars

^ MC Beaton (Agatha Raisin) long series is certainly great fun; though I don't think I'd describe those books as "highly literate".

Pierre Magnan's "Death in the Truffle Wood" translated from the French is (I am told, as I haven't read it in full myself yet) both literate and splendidly darkly humorous; though not on a par with the skills of Dorothy L. Sayers. (ref. title of this discussion).


message 43: by Earl (new) - rated it 4 stars

Earl Try the Maisie Dodd series by Jacqueline Winspear. Read them in order because of character development. A great look at English society and its problems after WWI. And good mysteries to boot.

I'll second the recommendation for the Diazel-Pascoe series by Reginald Hill. Great reads and there are lots of them.


Denicemarcell Have you tried Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries? set in 1928, the first starts in the UK after that everything is in Australia. Great characters, fabulous clothing, low on the blood and gore details.


message 45: by Earl (new) - rated it 4 stars

Earl Denicemarcell wrote: "Have you tried Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries? set in 1928, the first starts in the UK after that everything is in Australia. Great characters, fabulous clothing, low on the blood and go..."

I have read them all except the latest which I have waiting.


message 46: by ^ (new) - rated it 4 stars

^ If we're talking of Australia, then Arthur Upfield's superb 'Bony' detective novels should absolutely not be missed!


Carly I second Sharon's recommendation of Ngaio Marsh. Along with Sayers, Christie, and Allingham, Marsh is considered one of the golden age detective fiction "queens of crime". Her writing style is very lyrical and, like Sayers, her work feels almost autobiographical in some ways, and she explores similar venues such as the 20s artistic crowd. Her Detective Alleyn is also clearly a heavy influence on PD James' Inspector Dalgliesh.


MaryJo Dawson I've mentioned Ngaio Marsh before, and third Sharon's recommendation. Most of the Inspector Alleyn books are first rate true whodunits, and her character development of Alleyn, his sidekick Fox, and wife Troy [later son Ricky also] are very well done.


message 49: by Earl (new) - rated it 4 stars

Earl I have also enjoyed the Benni Harper series by Earlene Fowler but my all time favorite author next to Dorothy Sayers is Margaret Maron (the Deborah Knott series). Her books are extremely well plotted and she has no peers in describing the extended southern family.


MaryJo Dawson Margaret Maron, Deborah Knott series? these are new to me. how many has she written? are they more recent, or written in decades past?


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