Mystery Book Club

Mystery Book Club - Ipswich Public Library

If you enjoy a good mystery, cozy or otherwise, why not join us on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. for conversation and socializing. All are welcome! We currently meet exclusively on Zoom. If you would like to join us, please fill out this form and we will send you the Zoom link before the meeting.


Copies of our selections are available for check out at our front desk on a first-come, first-served basis. They are available in hardcopy or pre-loaded onto circulating Kindles.

Upcoming Titles

April 2nd, 2024

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past. Description courtesy of Amazon.com

May 7

A Man Lay Dead (Inspector Roderick Alleyn, 1) (Volume 1): Marsh, Ngaio:  9781934609842: Amazon.com: Books

At Sir Hubert Handesley’s country house party, five guests have gathered for the uproarious parlor game of “Murder.” Yet no one is laughing when the lights come up on an actual corpse, the good-looking and mysterious Charles Rankin. Scotland Yard’s Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives to find a complete collection of alibis, a missing butler, and an intricate puzzle of betrayal and sedition in the search for the key player in this deadly game.

Along with Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margery Allingham, New Zealand novelist, Ngaio Marsh is known as one of the 4 “Queens of Crime” who wrote during the “Golden Age of Detective Fiction.” During Marsh’s lifetime, she wrote 32 novels. She is known primarily for her character Inspector Roderick Alleyn, a gentleman detective who works for the Metropolitan Police.

June 4

In Los Angeles in the late 1940s, Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran, has just been fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend’s bar, wondering how he’ll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Monet, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

Walter Mosley (b. 1952) is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. Devil in a Blue Dress is the first in the series.

July 2

Ellis Peters’ introduction to the murderous medieval world of Brother Cadfael…

In the remote Welsh mountain village of Gwytherin lies the grave of Saint Winifred. Now, in 1137, the ambitious head of Shrewsbury Abbey has decided to acquire the sacred remains for his Benedictine order. Native Welshman Brother Cadfael is sent on the expedition to translate and finds the rustic villagers of Gwytherin passionately divided by the Benedictine’s offer for the saint’s relics.

The leading opponent to moving the grave has been shot dead with a mysterious arrow, and some say Winifred herself held the bow. Brother Cadfael knows a carnal hand did the killing. But he doesn’t know that his plan to unearth a murderer may dig up a case of love and justice…where the wages of sin may be scandal or Cadfael’s ruin.

August 6

The only trace of the first victim was his Shriner’s fez washed up on the Miami beach. The second victim, the head of the city’s chamber of commerce, was found dead with a toy rubber alligator lodged in his throat. And that was just the beginning… Now Brian Keyes, reporter turned private eye, must move from muckraking to rooting out murder, in a caper that will mix football players, politicians, and police with a group of fanatics and a very hungry crocodile. The locals are desperate to keep the murders under wraps and the tourist money flowing. But it will take a reporter-turned–private eye to make sense of a caper that mixes football players, politicians, and one very hungry crocodile in this classic mystery that GQ called “one of the top ten destination reads of all time.”

September 3

A small town hides big secrets in this atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

In the grip of the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily when three members of a local family are found brutally slain.
Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown for the funeral, loath to face the townsfolk who turned their backs on him twenty years earlier. But as questions mount, Falk is forced to probe deeper into the deaths of the Hadler family threatening to uncover long-buried secrets.

October 8

Meg Elginbrodde, a young war widow, receives photographs that suggest her husband is still alive so she enlists the help of her cousin, Albert Campion to investigate. The man in the photographs turns out to be a known felon, ‘Duds’ Morrison. Meg’s jealous fiancé, Geoffrey Levitt, accosts Duds but both men are attacked by a criminal gang posing as a rackety street band. Meanwhile, Meg’s father, Canon Avril, a gentle priest, wonders how Duds came to be wearing Meg’s husband’s coat. A tortuous trail leads through the oppressive London fog to Jack Havoc, a violent murderer.

The novel was the 14th in the mystery series featuring Albert Campion. Set in a dingy and damaged post war London, it is considered one of Allingham’s most sophisticated novels.

November 5

Laos, 1976: Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old medical doctor, has been unwillingly appointed the national coroner of newly-socialist Laos. Though his lab is underfunded, his boss is incompetent, and his support staff is quirky, to say the least, Siri’s sense of humor gets him through his often frustrating days.

When the body of the wife of a prominent politician comes through his morgue, Siri has reason to suspect the woman has been murdered. To get to the truth, Siri and his team face government secrets, spying neighbors, victim hauntings, Hmong shamans, botched romances, and other deadly dangers. Somehow, Siri must figure out a way to balance the will of the party and the will of the dead.

December 3

Four women with nothing in common, united only in death. Four brutalized victims of a brilliant monster – a “Mr. Nobody”, moving undetected through a paralyzed city, leaving behind a gruesome trail of carnage . . . but few clues. With skilled hands, an unerring eye, and the latest advances in forensic research, an unrelenting female medical examiner – Kay Scarpetta – is determined to unmask a maniac. But someone is trying to sabotage Kay’s investigation from the inside. And worse yet, someone wants her dead . . .

Patricia Cornwell sold the novel, her first, in 1990 while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. Postmortem, was the first bona fide forensic thriller. It paved the way for an explosion of entertainment featuring all things forensic across film, television, and literature.