Mystery Summer: Bookish Mysteries
Annotation:While engaged in translating Dante, 19th century Boston literati, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, physician Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell find themselves tracking a serial killer who seems to be inspired by the "Inferno."
Annotation:This is more a suspenseful novel of ideas than a true mystery. Set in Provence, three stories in different eras: collapse of Rome in the 5th century, the Black Death in the 14th century, and WWII in the 20th, are connected by a 5th century manuscript, Manlius's "The Dream of Scipio"
Annotation:For their own entertainment, three book editors create an occult conspiracy theory involving the Knights Templar. The joke turns deadly. Some readers call this the thinking person's "Da Vinci Code."
Annotation:The novel that defines the literary thriller genre. Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and his novice Adso of Melk explore a 12th century monastic library while seeking the solution to a series of murders.
Annotation:Daniel Sempere, son of a bookseller in Barcelona in the late 1940s, discovers a mysterious book and becomes involved in dangerous intrigue. Beautifully translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves.
Annotation:When bibliophile and amateur biographer Margaret Lea agrees to record the life of an ailing novelist Vida Winter, dark secrets are revealed in this gothic tale.
Annotation:While searching for a medieval manuscript, Oxford historian Ned Cortine witnesses a murder. Multiple murder mysteries from several time periods intertwine in this complex tale set in the late Victorian period.
Annotation:We started working on this list and noticed that our friends at the Seward Park Branch had created this beautifully annotated list, which includes some of the same bookish thrillers we selected and many other interesting titles.
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Intellectual mysteries and thrillers with plots centered on books, manuscripts or libraries. These are for readers who love lots of historical detail and philosophical inquiry in their mysteries.