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Staff Picks: Cape Cod Mysteries | Cape Cod In Fiction & Poetry | Death and Dessert | Mysteries Set in Foreign Lands | Book Lists from the Staff | Staff Picks

Death and Dessert

Works Featured in Death & Dessert Programs

Peter Abrahams (Falmouth Author!; see also Spencer Quinn)
Perfect Crime.
Boston Blueblood Roger Cullingwood plots to kill his unfaithful wife on an isolated island in New Hampshire.
Delusion.
Nell witnessed the murder of her boyfriend. Her testimony put a man behind bars, and led her to her husband, Clay, the detective who solved the case. But now a phone call changes everything.
End of Story.
Ivy Seidel hopes to quit her bartending job to become a successful writer, but she falls under the spell of Vance Harrow, convicted for a terrible crime, while teaching writing to inmates at a maximum security prison.


Brunonia Barry
The Lace Reader.< br/> Towner Whitney hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in lace. She is returning to Salem, Massachusetts, following her beloved great-aunt Eva's mysterious disappearance. She is also mourning the death of her beloved twin sister.


Gary Braver
Elixir.
Massachusetts biologist Chris Bacon discovers a plant in New Guinea that appears to be the Fountain of Youth, but he is forced into hiding when mobsters blame him for an airline bombing.
Skin Deep.
Someone is killing the most alluring women of Boston. Homicide detective Steve Markarian must stop the killer before another vulnerable woman is sacrificed—possibly even his own estranged wife.
The Stone Circle.
Professor Peter VanZandt is in charge of an unusual archeological dig on a Boston Harbor island. The dig turns up some eerie things including a skeleton, and a mysterious circle of stones. Things take on an eerie quality when VanZandt hears his dead wife calling to him from the grave.


Jan Brogan
Final Copy.
Reporter Addie McNeil’s career is on the skids, so to impress her boss she takes on a murder investigation. The main suspect turns out to be…surprise!…her old boyfriend.


Rose Connors
False Testimony.
The 4th legal mystery featuring Marty (Martha) Nickerson and Harry Madigan, confronting a pair of baffling cases. Marty’s client is a Massachusetts senator whose assistant has disappeared, and Harry is defending a young ex-con just out of the juvenile system.


Philip Craig (Martha's Vineyard author)
A Beautiful Place to Die.
Retired Boston cop Jeff Jackson lives on Martha’s Vineyard, fishing for blues. A fishing boat explodes off Cape Pogue, killing a passenger, and Jeff is once more on the trail of a murderer.
Second Sight. (With William G. Tapply )
Action unfolds on Martha’s Vineyard featuring Craig’s longtime character “private eye” J.W. Jackson, and Tapply’s Boston lawyer Brady Coyne. This mystery combines the tension and discord of the pop music scene, with idyllic glimpses of Vineyard life.


Pat DePaolo
The Beijing Games.
Justin Gatt, is recruited to travel undercover in China to attempt to gather information critical to the U.S. Ultimately he's caught in the cross-hairs of an assassin's sniper rifle, as he attempts to warn US officials of a conspiracy to stagger the US economy.


William Dougherty
Murder of an Irish Song.
Salem Police Detective Brian Rooney returns from vacation at his childhood home on Nantucket, when he is called to Salem Hospital to investigate the grizzly homicide of a legendary folksinger.


Kate Flora
Death in Paradise.
At a conference in Hawaii, organizer Martina Pullman, is discovered dead as a doornail, dressed in a Frederick's of Hollywood getup. Amateur sleuth Thea Kozak, searches for the killer.


Patry Francis.
The Liar’s Diary.
Ali and Jeanne are close friends, with deep seated emotional needs. A murderer strikes and Jeanne’s son is arrested based on an entry in one mother’s diary.
The Orphans of Race Point.
A horrific act of violence shatters a peaceful October night in Provincetown, and the fates of nine-year-olds Gus Silva and Hallie Costa become inextricably entwined. Told in alternating voices, traces their relationship over the next 30 years as they try to come to terms with the past.


Gary Goshgarian
The Stone Circle.
Professor Peter VanZandt leads an unusual archeological dig on an island in Boston Harbor. Some eerie things turn up, including a skeleton, and a mysterious circle of stones. Things take on a “twilight zone” quality when VanZandt hears his dead wife calling to him from the grave.


Sally Gunning (Cape Cod author)
Under Water.
Handyman Peter Bartholomew hires teenage twins Carlisle and Bentley Brown as summer help at Factotum, his Martha’s Vineyard business. Summer is unexpectedly cut short for Bentley, when Pete finds her lifeless body washed up on the tide.


Chuck Hogan
Killing Moon.
When Don Maddox returns to his hometown of Black Falls, MA, no one understands why a man with no law enforcement background is hired on a police force that inspires more fear than trust in its citizenry.


David Hosp
Innocence.
Attorney Scott Finn pursues an accused killer of the a policewoman, but thinks that the Salvadorean gang member may not be the murderer.


Jamie Katz
Dead Low Tide.
Lawyer Dan Kardon investigates the mysterious shooting death of clean-cut college sophomore Aaron Winters in a small town on Buzzards Bay.


Toni Kelner.
Tight as a Tick.
When North Carolina flea market vendor Carney Alexander is murdered with one of his own collectible knives, amateur detective Laura Fleming and her college professor husband work their way through a batch of colorful suspects.


Paul Kemprecos (Cape Cod author)
Neptune’s Eye.
Commercial fisherman/private detective Aristotle “Soc” Socarides investigates a mysterious disappearance and a fishy death in the seal pool at the aquarium in Woods Hole.
The Navigator. A collaboration with Clive Cussler. In the course of the Iraq war, Phoenician statue has gone missing. It is so prized it has been the cause of at least one murder.


Leslie Kleinholz
Exiles on Main Street.
Rock’n roll writer Zoe Szabo leaves her career in LA to become a reporter in western Massachusetts. When she finds the body of a young Cambodian woman in a car in a seedy mall parking lot, she is drawn into a murder investigation.


Anne LeClair (Cape Cod author)
Grace Point.
Zoe Barlow, living in an old house on Cape Cod, finds the skeletons of four infants hidden in hatboxes in her attic. Then her baby son disappears. In her search for her son, she uncovers a tale of murder, lust, and family secrets.


Marie Lee
The Mysterious Cape Cod Manuscript.
Retired school teacher Marguerite Smith’s ex-husband turns up dead and she becomes the prime suspect. Does a mysterious book hold the answer to the identity of the real killer?


Dennis Lehane
Prayers for Rain.
Why did Karen Nichols jump to her death from the top of the Boston Custom House? Hardboiled private eye Patrick Kenzie and partner Angie Gennaro investigate.


Tom MacDonald
The Charlestown Connection.
Dermot Sparhawk, a former Boston College football hero, is stacking cans in a Charlestown parish food pantry , when his godfather shows up with a knife in his back and dies at Dermot's feet. His investigation gets him tangled with members of the IRA, FBI, and Boston mob.
Beyond the Bridge Sparhawk, a struggling alcoholic helps to find the killer of an accused pedophile priest. When two more priests are slain, it becomes evident a sadistic serial killer crucifies his prey after killing them.


David Manuel
A Matter of Diamonds
In the second of the Faith Abbey series, monk/sleuth Brother Bartholomew helps old boyhood friend Police Chief Dan Burke to investigate a Cape Cod murder.


Leslie Meier (Cape Cod Author)
Mail-Order Murder.
Lucy Stone of Tinkers Cove, Maine, working to make some extra cash for Christmas, finds her boss dead in the parking lot. The police call it suicide, but Lucy has other ideas, and sets out to prove them wrong.
A New Year’s Eve Murder. In the 12th mystery in the series, journalist Lucy Stone travels from Maine to the glitzy world of fashion publishing in New York City. She and her daughter have won a fashion makeover contest, but the experience turns out to be deadly.


T. M. Murphy (Falmouth Author!)
Secrets of Code Z.
Young Orville Jacques is on to a fifth adventure in the village of Belltown, Cape Cod. This episode involves skeleton, killer bees, exploding death powder, secret codes, the CIA and KGB.


Jack O’Connell
The Resurrectionist.
Hoping for a miracle, Sweeney has brought his comatose son Danny to the fortress like Peck Clinic, whose doctors claim to have "resurrected" patients.


Susan Oleksiw
Friends and Enemies.
Small town New England police chief Joe Silva and loyal Sergeant Ken Dupoulis track down a murderer at the Mellingham High School class reunion.


Margaret Press
A Scream on the Water: a True Story of Murder in Salem.
Artist Martha Brailsford goes for a sail off Salem, Massachusetts, with her neighbor Tom. She is never seen alive again, her body turning up days later when a lobsterman pulls up his traps.


Spencer Quinn (Falmouth author! See also: Peter Abrahams)
A Fistful of Collars: a Chet & Bernie Mystery
P.I.’s Chet (a border collie) and Bernie are hired to "babysit" Thad Perry, a movie star with a partying streak. Deaths occur, some mourned more than others, and Bernie finds hints that Thad has links to a cold case.
The Sound and the Furry.
Chet and Bernie meet up with a prison work crew that includes Frenchie Boutette, whom they had sent up the river. Frenchie, from an old Louisiana family full of black sheep, needs help finding his one law-abiding relative, his brother Ralph, a reclusive inventor who has gone missing with his houseboat.


Cynthia Riggs (Martha’s Vineyard author)
The Paperwhite Narcissus.
Nonagenarian sleuth Victoria Trumbull investigates a series of murders on Martha’s Vineyard after being fired from her job as a reporter on the local paper by the narcissistic editor.
Indian Pipes.
Victoria Trumbull is savoring the sea air with her granddaughter, when she spots a person who seems in trouble near the top of the cliff. Help arrives too late--the man dies before he can be rescued. He had been hired as a consultant test the site's soil for a possible casino sewage system.
Bee Balm Murders. Orion leads a project to lay fiber-optic cable across the island. When a body is found in the cable trench, Orion tells Victoria the dead man is someone who was a potential investor.


Clea Simon.
Cries and Whiskers.
Reporter Theda Krakow puts a designer drug investigation on hold when an animal rights activist, struggling to rescue feral cats on the eve of a ferocious winter storm, is killed in a hit-and-run accident.


Steve Ulfelder
Purgatory Chasm.
After agreeing to help an obnoxious member of his local AA group, recovering alcoholic Conway Sax is accused of the man's murder and struggles to catch the real killer in order to clear his name.
The Whole Lie. Conway Sax's new garage and his relationship with Charlene are threatened by the reappearance of old flame Savannah Kane, who claims her six-year-old son was fathered by a billionaire candidate for political office.