Mystery Books of Summer

Great reads from a new crop of British mystery novels

By Gabrielle Pantera


It’s the heat of summer. Time to relax and catch up on mystery books we may have missed reading earlier in the year.

Requiem for a Mezzo by Carola Dunn. It’s March 1923. The Honorable Daisy Dalrymple takes a break from writing to attend a performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Albert Hall. Her date is Scotland Yard’s Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher. Daisy’s neighbor Muriel Westlea gave her the tickets. Muriel’s sister Bettina is singing the mezzo role. At the performance, Bettina drops dead on stage. It’s from the glass she drinks from on stage. Laced with cyanide poison. Who wanted her dead and why in such a public way?

Bettina was not well liked by her family or colleagues. Any of them could have wanted her dead. Detective Chief Inspector Fletcher doesn’t want Daisy on the case, but that won’t stop her even if it means investigating on her own.

Requiem for a Mezzo: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries) Series: Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries (Book 3), Paperback: 224 pages, Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (January 31, 2017), Language: English, ISBN: 9781250120885 $15.99


A Death by Any other Name by Tessa Arlen. The third  book in the series, Lady Montfort and her housekeeper Mrs. Jackson investigate a murder the summer before the start of WWI. Among a group of amateur rose-breeders, a cook is implicated in a murder from a poisoned dish of breakfast kedgeree. She hopes Mrs. Jackson will help to prove she is innocent.

Lady Montfort finagles an invitation to Hyde Castle, where the murder occurred.

With Jackson’s help, Lady Montfort sets out to solve the death of the rose society’s most popular member. As they investigate, the outside world unravels with the assassination of the heir to the Austrian empire.

A Death by Any Other Name: A Mystery (Lady Montfort Mystery Series) by Tessa Arlen  (Author) Series: Lady Montfort Mystery Series (Book 3). Hardcover: 336 pages Publisher: Minotaur Books (March 14, 2017, Language: English. ISBN: 9781250101426 $25.99


Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton. Delaney Nichols moved from Kansas to Edinburgh. It’s become home to her. She works at the Cracked Spine, a bookstore that specializes in rare manuscripts and other historical objects. Her boss Edwin MacAlister is starting to trust her with bigger jobs. Edwin has sent her to Castle Doune, not far from Edinburgh, to retrieve Oor Wullie, an old Scottish comic book. A rare edition, it’s a very cloak and dagger transaction.

While on the castle’s ramparts waiting for the person she is to meet, Delaney notices a sandal-clad foot at the other end of the roof. It’s the person she is to meet, dead. Delaney manages to distract some approaching tourists and direct them to go elsewhere. Delaney finds some of the pages of the manuscript and hides them. She calls the police. After she returns to the Cracked Spine, she realizes she may be accused of the murder. She won’t have much time to prove her innocence.

      Of Books and Bagpipes: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton. Series: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery (Book 2). Hardcover: 320 pages. Publisher: Minotaur Books. April 4, 2017. Language: English. ISBN: 9781250057495 $25.99


Date with Death: A Samson and Delilah Mystery (Dales Detective Mysteries) by Julie Chapman

Samson O’Brien is back in his home town of Bruncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales. He’s set up the Dales Detective Agency while trying to clear his name from being unfairly dismissed from the police force. Home is not as welcoming as he’d hope. Samson gets his first case. The possible suicide of a local man. His leads bring him to Delilah’s agency.

Delilah Metcalfe, the owner of the Dales Dating Agency, is having trouble keeping her business going. When the clues point to someone they both care about, they decide to work together. They must solve the case before there are anymore deaths.

Date with Death: A Samson and Delilah Mystery (Dales Detective Mysteries) by Julia Chapman. Series: Dales Detective Mysteries. Hardcover: 384 pages. Publisher: Minotaur Books. April 4, 2017. Language: English. ISBN-13: 978-1250109361 $25.99


Who done it? Enjoy your summer and great British mysteries. Happy reading!