Book Lists

Book Lists

Book Lists for Adults

Book Lists for Adults

A Queer Time to Solve Crime

Spectacular LGBTQIA+ main characters pull no punches when they are seeking out bad guys in this list of mysteries just waiting to be solved.

Pek, Jane, author.
Claudia Lin is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she's just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency. A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she's landed her ideal job. But when a client goes missing, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.

Copenhaver, John (Novelist), author.
Two lonely teenage girls in 1940s Washington, DC, discover they have a penchant for solving crimes--and an even greater desire to commit them--in the new mystery novel by Macavity Award-winning novelist John Copenhaver. Philippa Watson, a good-natured yet troubled seventeen-year-old, has just moved to Washington, DC. She's lonely until she meets Judy Peabody, a brilliant and tempestuous classmate. The girls become unlikely friends and fashion themselves as intellectuals, drawing the notice of Christine Martins, their dazzling English teacher, who enthralls them with her passion for literature and her love of noirish detective fiction. When Philippa returns a novel Miss Martins has lent her, she interrupts a man grappling with her in the shadows of the school. Frightened, Philippa flees, unsure who the man is or what she's seen. Days later, her teacher returns to school altered: a dark shell of herself. On the heels of her teacher's transformation, a classmate is found dead in the Anacostia River--murdered--the body stripped and defiled with a mysterious inscription. As the girls follow the clues and wrestle with newfound feelings toward each other, they suspect that the killer is closer to their circle than they imagined--and that the greatest threat they face may not be lurking in the halls at school, or in the city streets, but creeping out from a murderous impulse of their own.

Afia, Nekesa, author.
"The start of an exciting new historical mystery series set during the Harlem Renaissance from debut author Nekesa Afia. Harlem, 1926. Young black women like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead. Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She's succeeding, too. She spends her days working at Maggie's Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Harlem's hottest speakeasy. Louise's friends might say she's running from her past and the notoriety that still stalks her, but don't tell her that. When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she's been trying to ignore--two other local black girls have been murdered over the past few weeks. After an altercation with a police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or wind up in a jail cell. Louise has no choice but to investigate and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind hell-bent on taking more lives, maybe even her own"-- Provided by publisher.

Forrest, Katherine V., 1939- author.
Detective and mystery stories. Gay & Lesbian. When Detective Kate Delafield and her partner, Detective Joe Cameron, get the call to investigate a homicide in the secluded, old-money neighbourhood of Hancock Park, Kate has the feeling it's not going to be murder as usual. Her hunch is correct. A cultured, refined mother of three, Victoria Talbot is the last person you'd expect to die by gunshot, execution-style. At first the finger of guilt seems to point at the victim's ex-husband Douglas, and everyone involved-from the authorities to his own children-are more than willing to suspect him. But for Kate, the easy way has rarely been proven the right way, and there are too many unanswered questions that suggest not all is at it seems with this dysfunctional family. Now, Douglas Talbot is on trial for his life, Kate's lover Aimee has disappeared to God-knows-where, and Kate must piece together a deadly puzzle of secrets and lies.

Spotswood, Stephen, author.
"When scrappy circus runaway Willowjean "Will" Parker saves the life of New York's best, and most unorthodox, private investigator, Lillian Pentecost, she doesn't expect to be offered a life-changing proposition: Lillian's multiple sclerosis means she can't keep up with her old case load alone, so she wants to hire Will as her right-hand woman. Three years later, in 1945, Will and Lillian are called in on the case of Abigail Collins, whose dead body has just been found slumped in the same chair where her steel magnate husband shot himself the year before. With rumors flying that Abigail was bumped off by the vengeful spirit of her husband, the family has tasked the detectives with finding answers. But that's easier said than done in a case involving messages from the dead, a seductive spiritualist, and the deceased's beautiful daughter, Becca Collins. When Will and Becca's relationship dances beyond the professional, Will finds herself in dangerous territory--and discovers she may have become the murderer's next target."-- Provided by publisher

Thomas, Russ, 1975- author.
Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler, a cold case reviewer finally lands a high-profile murder investigation only to find the main suspect is a recent one-night stand ...

Hansen, Joseph, 1923-2004, author.
Since a burning accident that left him painfully disfigured, John Oats, a well-liked collectible book dealer, has been self-isolating at his beach house in Arena Blanca, California. An avid swimmer, John Oats had taken to night swimming to hide his injuries from daytime beachgoers. When his body is found one morning smashed against the rocks at the treacherous point near the house, the authorities rule it "Death by Misadventure." Insurance companies don't much care for verdicts like that and therefore Medallion Insurance, the policy holder for Oats's substantial life insurance policy, sends out its best investigator, Dave Brandstetter, to poke holes in the story. The night Oats died there was a dangerous storm along the coast, and Brandstetter finds it hard to believe that the bookseller, a lifelong swimmer, would have gone out. As his investigation reveals more of John Oats's sad story Brandstetter learns that the motives for murder are many. But Brandstetter has his own problems to deal with. Still mourning the death of his partner, Rod, Dave is navigating his own twilight world of grief. His new lover, Doug, is also grieving, and the two men must come to a reckoning of whether their love is an ersatz stand-in for their lost partners or something more.

Hansen, Joseph, 1923-2004, author.
"Rick Wendell wouldn't hurt a flea. The big, jovial owner of the Hang Ten, a surfing-themed gay bay [that is, bar] on the boardwalk, was loved by regulars and new arrivals alike. But Rick was found naked and dead, with a local hustler named Larry Johns standing over him, smoking gun in hand. Wendell's death is ruled as a homicide and Johns is arrested. Everyone thinks it's a simple open-and-shut case. Everyone except the death claims investigator, Dave Brandstetter. Brandstetter, a homosexual himself, doesn't make the same assumptions about the crime scene and easy story it tells. Larry Johns had enough time to escape had he wanted to. Not to mention Johns lacked any discernable motive, especially since the $200 in Wendell's wallet was left untouched. In an investigation that takes him from sun-scorched hillside ranches to seedy boardwalk bars, Brandstetter gets to the bottom of a twisty mystery in this hardboiled and entertaining portrait of the '70s gay culture by groundbreaking poet and award-winning crime writer Joseph Hansen."-- Page 4 of cover.

McIlvanney, Liam, author.
It is 1969 and Glasgow is in the grip of the worst winter in decades yet it is something else that has Glaswegians on edge: a serial killer whose name alone is enough to make them tremble with fear. The Quaker has killed another victim, snatching a young woman from a nightclub and dumping her body like trash in the back of a cold-water tenement. He leaves no clues, and the investigation has led police down one blind alley after another. DI McCormack has few friends in his adopted city and a lot to prove. A talented young detective from the Highlands, an outsider with troubling secrets of his own, Duncan McCormick is brought into the investigation to identify where, exactly, it's gone wrong. His arrival is met with anger and distrust by cops who are desperate to nail a suspect. When they identify a petty thief as the man seen leaving the building where the Quaker's last victim was found, they decide they've found their serial killer. But McCormack isn't convinced. From ruined backstreets, to deserted public parks, and down into the dark heart of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city -- and his life - forever.

Lansdale, Joe R., 1951- author.
A collection of seven short stories highlights the adventures of liberal "good ol' boy" Hap Collins and conservative, black, gay Leonard Pine as they get into trouble in East Texas.