The best unusual and heartwarming mysteries

Jacqueline Diamond Author Of The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet
By Jacqueline Diamond

Who am I?

Half a century ago (hard to believe!), as a young newspaper reporter, I began every day at a police station, reading the log and talking to the watch commander. Occasionally, I was able to contact the detectives as well. For me, the way crimes and criminal investigations unfolded, and the personalities of the officers involved, were multi-dimensional and touched with surprising, and often unexpected, moments of humor. In my reading as well as my writing, I seek a balance between authenticity and a sense of the absurd, without which the experience of solving murders—real or fictional—could become emotionally crushing. 


I wrote...

The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet

By Jacqueline Diamond,

Book cover of The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet

What is my book about?

Can a small-town doctor foil a killer and discover the truth about a missing baby? A patient shares a long-held secret with Dr. Eric Darcy—and then someone murders her. After police in his small town shrug off a vital clue, the young, widowed doctor teams with his cranky PI sister-in-law to bring justice. 

Was a fourth baby, a quadruplet, stolen at birth, many years ago? If so, what happened to the baby or, if she grew up, where is she now? “A very clever mystery where emotions and feelings ran deep.” -NightOwlReviews.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of A Morbid Taste for Bones: The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, Book 1

Why this book?

Medieval history becomes immediate, lively, and fascinating in this tale about Brother Cadfael, an herbalist monk and former Crusader who solves crimes. Three aspects of this book captured me and inspired me to read the entire series: the hero’s essential goodness and intelligence, the author’s understanding of the setting and the complex values with which her hero must contend, and the artful, fresh storytelling.

A Morbid Taste for Bones: The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, Book 1

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Morbid Taste for Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the gentle Shrewsbury spring of 1140 the midnight matins at the Benedictine abbey suddenly reverberates with an unholy sound - a hunt in full cry. Pursued by a drunken mob, the quarry is running for its life. When the frantic creature bursts into the nave to claim sanctuary, Brother Cadfael finds himself fighting off armed townsmen to save a terrified young man. Accused of robbery and murder is Liliwin, a wandering minstrel who performed at the wedding of the local goldsmith's son. But his supposed victim, the miserly craftsman, is still alive, although a strongbox lies empty. Brother Cadfael…


Book cover of Dog on It: The Chet and Bernie Mystery, Book 1

Why this book?

A mystery narrated by a dog? It sounded like a gimmick to me, until I started reading. Honestly, this dog thinks and reacts like a dog, and he’s hilarious! The tightly woven storyline—Chet “belongs” to a detective who’s investigating a girl’s disappearance—pulled me along nonstop, but mostly I fell in love with the writing. As a rule, I enjoy experiencing the world from a fresh perspective, along with a storyline that turns and twists and makes perfect sense in an unexpected way, as this one does. Trigger warning: Chet the pooch has some scary and even near-death moments en route to his happy ending. 

Dog on It: The Chet and Bernie Mystery, Book 1

By Spencer Quinn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dog on It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book of the New York Times bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery series, an “enchanting one-of-a-kind novel” (Stephen King) that is “nothing short of masterful” (Los Angeles Times).

Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, and Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator, are quick to take a new case involving a frantic mother searching for her teenage daughter. This well-behaved and gifted student may or may not have been kidnapped, but she has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. With Chet’s highly trained nose leading the way, their hunt for clues takes them…


Book cover of The Invisible Code: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Why this book?

Although this isn’t the first entry in the Peculiar Crimes Unit series, it’s the first that I read, and it hooked me. What a great idea for an offbeat police series, cleverly handled and featuring two eccentric London detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May. In this mystery, two cases initially appear unrelated, and it takes quite a bit of sleuthing before the links emerge. Bryant and May must unravel encrypted codes and symbols, discover secret rooms and dig through baffling clues as danger mounts. While this series has a darker tone than some of my preferences, it’s engaging and rewarding.

The Invisible Code: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

By Christopher Fowler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Invisible Code as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of CrimeFest 2013's 'eDunnit Award' for 'the best crime fiction ebook published in 2012 in both hardcopy and in electronic format'.

Two small children are playing a game called 'Witch-Hunter'. They place a curse on a young woman taking lunch in a church courtyard and wait for her to die. An hour later the woman is indeed found dead inside St Bride's Church - a building that no-one else has entered.

Unfortunately Bryant & May are refused the case. Instead, there are hired by their greatest enemy to find out why his wife has suddenly started behaving strangely. She's…


Louisiana Longshot

By Jana DeLeon,

Book cover of Louisiana Longshot

Why this book?

Louisiana Longshot is so funny, it made my ribs hurt from laughing—not an exaggeration. It’s also fast-paced and well-plotted, with unforgettable characters. The premise is delightful: with a price on her head, assassin Fortune Redding has to go into hiding as a former beauty queen-turned-librarian in a small Louisiana town. As the cliché says, what could possibly go wrong? Then she stumbles across human remains on her property and, before she knows it, gets “adopted” by a group of wildly oddball old ladies who call themselves The Geritol Mafia. There’s also a handsome local deputy with a deadpan sense of humor and... as I write this, I think I’ll go back and read this book again, because it was such a joy.

Louisiana Longshot

By Jana DeLeon,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Louisiana Longshot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was a hell of a long shot....


CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever-in Sinful, Louisiana. With a leak at the CIA and a price placed on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off-grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she's determined to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out…


Murder by Misrule

By Anna Castle,

Book cover of Murder by Misrule

Why this book?

In Elizabethan England, Christmas revelries were presided over by a Lord of Misrule. During this season of legitimized misconduct, the brilliant Sir Francis Bacon requires surreptitious help in solving the murder of a fellow barrister in hopes of regaining the queen’s favor, from which he’s been ousted. It falls to his protégé, Thomas Clarady, to probe through disguises and earn the trust of a range of women, from the educated to the bawdy, in order to find the answers in time to prevent catastrophe. I love the Tudor period with all its riches, and this first entry in the Francis Bacon Mystery Series feels emotionally and historically credible.

Murder by Misrule

By Anna Castle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder by Misrule as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brilliant Francis Bacon is at a loss -- and in danger.
Bacon must put down his books and investigate the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray's Inn in order to regain the queen's favor. He recruits his unwanted protégé, Thomas Clarady, to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a wealthy privateer, Tom will gladly do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder. The first clues point to a Catholic conspirator, but other motives for murder quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the victim's legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in murder, murder mystery, and dogs?

8,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about murder, murder mystery, and dogs.

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Tahoe Deathfall, Dance Upon the Air, and The Queen's Man if you like this list.