10 to Try: May is for Mysteries

An annoyed looking cat with the word NO underneath in capital letters.
NOT MY PREFERRED GENRE.

I am not the biggest mystery fan. I know - this is blasphemy when May is Mystery month and one is a librarian who is supposed to love ALL the books. It's good to know one's weak points, I guess.

When I first saw the 'Try a New to You Genre' square on the 10 to Try challenge, I knew it was going to have to be a mystery. I looked forward to reading a mystery with all the joy of Grumpy Cat at his grumpiest.

Luckily for me, I'm a librarian and we know that there are tons books with mixed genres. I can find a mystery that has bits and pieces of the stuff I like to read scattered throughout the story. If you're a fan of any genre other than mystery, here's a list of books that might help you ease into mysteries.

 If you like...Fantasy

Borderline (book)

Just one year ago, Millie lost her legs and her career after a foiled suicide attempt. However, when she is recruited as the liaison between our world and the dimension of the Fey, Millie finds both danger and her true calling. Although this book is often categorized as fantasy, think of it as more of a hard-boiled mystery with a few sprinkles of magic.

Midnight Riot (book)

When London police constable Peter Grant solves a murder by speaking with a ghost, he's introduced to a special police unit that deals with uncanny and supernatural crime. This is a fun, interesting take on a police procedural series crossed with urban fantasy.

If you like...Horror

I Remember You (book)

This book by an amazing Icelandic author delivers a mystery rife with chills. Consulting psychiatrist Freyr races to solve a spate of vandalism and disappearances that haunt an elementary school. Meanwhile, a group of friends try to renovate a remote, abandoned house but are disturbed by the apparition of a child. The two stories connect but the author keeps readers guessing how until the final pages.

Carter & Lovecraft (book)

A private investigator haunted by his last case teams up with the descendant of H.P. Lovecraft to solve a series of murders that indicate Lovecraft's monsters may not be so fictional after all. We're seeing homages to Lovecraft everywhere these days and author Howard nails his version - you don't need to be a Lovecraft fan to enjoy this book!

If you like...Romance

In the Bleak Midwinter (book)

In this series opener Claire Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, teams up with local police chief Russ Van Alstyne to find the mother of a baby abandoned on the church steps. This series is a great match for those who like great characters and a strong setting (a small town in upstate New York, nestled in the Adirondacks). Readers who continue through this series will enjoy watching the slow burn of attraction between Claire and Russ with a will they/won't they spice.

A Curious Beginning (book)

Victorian orphan Veronica Speedwell teams up with brooding natural historian Stoker when an aristocrat with ties to Veronica's murky past turns up dead. Author Deanna Raybourn is adept at combining fiesty heroines, historical settings and sparks of romance into her mystery series.

If you like...Historical Fiction

The Coroner's Lunch (book)

In 1970s Laos, 72-year-old physician Dr. Siri Paiboun is assigned the task of being the state coroner (despite not having the skills, training or proper equipment to do so). When the wife of a prominent Communist leader turns up dead, it's up to the irascible Doctor to find out whodunit. This series opener introduces readers to a fantastic, unexpected sleuth as well as a place and time I knew next to nothing about.

Jade Dragon Mountain (book)

Former Imperial Librarian Li Du is exiled to the rural town of Dayan in early 1700s China. Li Du isn't in town a week before a Jesuit priest is found dead and Li Du suspects that there's more than just local bandits to blame. Elsa Hart makes 1700s China come to life, from the tea ceremonies to the culture of the period.

Did I miss one of your favorite genres? Give our Bookmatch service a whirl and let us help you find just the right genre combination!

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