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Red Herring Book Club

Join us for lively discussions of your favorite mystery novels. Discussions are free and open to the public. No registration is necessary. We will usually have copies of the current month's book available for you to check out at the Ask a Librarian desk on the First Floor.
The theme for March through July 2016 will be British Isle Investigations.

Discussions are held in the Large Print Room on the First Floor of the Main Library on the third Friday of the month at 1 p.m.

Upcoming Discussions:

This group is on hiatus until March 2016.
March 18, 2016
M.C. Beaton
Death of a Valentine
Police Sergeant Hamish, is finally getting married! Everyone thinks Josie, Hamish's newest constable and bride-to-be, is quite a catch, but Hamish has a case of pre-nuptial jitters. After all, if it wasn't for the murder of a beautiful woman in a neighboring village there wouldn't be a wedding in the first place. (Scotland)

April 15, 2016
Ken Bruen
The Guards
Stuck in a rut after his dismissal from the Irish police force and still grieving over the death of his father, Jack Taylor finds renewal when an intriguing woman hires him based on his rumored talent for finding things. (Ireland)

May 20, 2016
Robert Galbraith
The Cuckoo's Calling
PI Cormoran Strike is having a day - he slept in his office after breaking up with his girlfriend and can't afford his new temp secretary, Robin. Then they get a case. A model's brother doesn't believe that she committed suicide, so Strike and Robin have to enter the world of the super-rich and famous to find out the truth. (England)

June 17, 2016
Rhys Bowen
Evanly Bodies
Constable Evans investigates when a Pakistani girl vanishes at the same time that she is being forced into an arranged marriage, and a man is shot to death in his home, and Evans discovers an unlikely link between the crimes. (Wales)

July 15, 2016
Peter May
The Black House
When a grisly murder occurs on a Scottish island, Edinburgh detective Fin Macleod must confront his past if he is ever going to discover if the killing has a connection to another one that took place on the mainland. (Scotland)


Previous Selections

January 15, 2010
Douglas Adams
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
When a passenger check-in desk shoots through the roof of a terminal at Heathrow Airport in flames, Dirk Gently investigates the cosmic forces at play.

February 19, 2010
Julia Spencer-Fleming
All Mortal Flesh
Having long concealed his feelings for the Reverend Clare Fergusson, Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne is stunned when he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his wife and risks everything in his investigation to find the real culprit. Winner of the 2007 Nero Award for Best Mystery Novel.

March 19, 2010
Laura Lippman
What the Dead Know
Interviewing a distressed and disoriented woman who has fled the scene of an accident, Baltimore County police department detective Kevin Infante is amazed when she claims to be the younger of a pair of sisters who were abducted thirty years earlier. Winner of the 2008 Anthony Award for Best Mystery Novel.

April 16, 2010
Louise Penny
The Cruelest Month
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec is called to investigate the death of a villager at an Easter séance that was held at the Old Hadley House. Winner of the 2009 Agatha Award for Best Mystery Novel.

May 21, 2010
Deborah Crombie
Where Memories Lie
Detective Inspector Gemma James and her partner, Duncan Kincaid, must navigate the shadowy and secretive world of London's moneyed society to discover a jewelry piece's connection to a murderer and a pair of refugees from Nazi Germany. Winner of the 2009 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel.

June 18, 2010
Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
The Silence of the Rain
Inspector Espinosa investigates the murder of a corporate executive found dead in his car, piecing together clues surrounding the victim's missing secretary, a life insurance policy, the victim's widow, and two additional murder victims.

July 16, 2010
Malla Nunn
A Beautiful Place to Die
Jacob's Rest, a tiny town on the border between South Africa and Mozambique, 1952. An Afrikaner police officer is found dead. Detective Emmanuel Cooper, an Englishman, begins investigating the murder following a trail of clues that lead him to uncover a shocking forbidden love and the imperfect life of one Captain Pretorius.

August 20, 2010
Andrea Camilleri
The Terra-Cotta Dog
Stumbling on a fifty-year-old mystery involving a pair of lovers whose bodies are found in a mountain cave beside a dog statue, Inspector Montalbano investigates the island's past and traces a family's secret back to World War II.

September 17, 2010
Kerry Greenwood
Heavenly Pleasures
Baker Corinna Chapman is content in her life with Jason, an ex-addict turned apprentice, and her Israeli lover, Daniel, until she is pulled into a probe involving food tampering that could threaten Juliet and Vivienne Lefebvre's chocolate shop, Heavenly Pleasure.

October 15, 2010
Henning Mankell
Before the Frost
Taking a position with the Ystad police force shortly after graduating, Linda Wallander, the daughter of inspector Kurt Wallender, struggles with their contentious relationship before taking on the case of a childhood friend, who has disappeared.

November 19, 2010
Hakan Nesser
Borkmann's Point
When an ex-convict and then a wealthy real-estate tycoon fall victim to a violent attack by a possible ax murderer, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is called in to assist with the local investigation.

December 17, 2010
Jo Nesbo
Oslo Police Detective Harry Hole is assigned to investigate a series of bank robberies of unparalleled savagery while at the same time absolving himself of the murder of his former girlfriend in a criminal investigation led by his longtime adversary Tom Waaler and Waaler's vigilante police force.

January 21, 2011
Walter Mosley
Fearless Jones
Paris Minton's world is turned upside down when a woman walks into his bookstore and asks a few questions. Within the next 24 hours, Paris is beaten up, made love to, shot at, robbed and his bookstore burned to the ground. He's in so much trouble he gets his friend Fearless Jones out of jail because this man knows violence better than any man should.

February 18, 2011
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Yellow Moon
Marie Levant, a doctor who is a descendant of a legendary voodoo queen, struggles with an increasing number of violence victims in her New Orleans hospital, a situation that is complicated by her nightmares about an African vampire.

March 18, 2011
Gar Anthony Haywood
Cemetery Road
When Errol "Handy" White returns to his native Los Angeles to attend the funeral of his old friend R. J. Burrow, who has been brutally murdered, a terrible secret threatens to reveal itself.

April 15, 2011
Valerie Wilson Wesley
Dying in the Dark
Haunted by the brutal murder of her childhood friend, Celia Jones, private detective Tamara Hayle agrees to investigate the crime and uncover the killer at the request of Celia's teenage son, but the case becomes complicated by his death.

May 20, 2011
Kathy Reichs
Deja Dead
As forensic scientist Temperance Brennan works on the dismembered remains of a murder victim, she begins to suspect--despite the skepticism of local police--that there is a link between this homicide and the torture-killing of a teenager several years earlier.

June 17, 2011
Aaron J. Elkins
Skull Duggery
While on vacation in Mexico, skeleton detective Gideon Oliver is called in to determine the cause of death on two sets of suspiciously misidentified remains.

July 15, 2011
Sharyn McCrumb
If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him
Southern sleuth Elizabeth MacPherson acts as official investigator for her brother's Virginia law firm and tests her skills solving two sensational murders and a third crime unsolved for a century.

August 19, 2011
Jefferson Bass
The Bone Thief
Dr. Bill Brockton has been called in on a seemingly routine case, to exhume a body and obtain a bone sample for a DNA paternity test. But when the coffin is opened, Brockton and his colleagues, including his graduate assistant Miranda Lovelady, are stunned to see that the corpse has been horribly violated.

September 16, 2011
Colin Cotterill
Love Songs from a Shallow Grave
Seventy-four-year-old Laotian coroner Dr. Siri seeks to find the killer behind the deaths of three women from fencing-sword wounds, but first he must extricate himself from a Cambodian prison, where he faces beatings, torture, and possible death.

October 21, 2011
Xiaolong Qiu
Red Mandarin Dress
Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department finds himself caught up in a dangerous case when the bodies of two young women dressed in identical red mandarin dresses turn up, igniting fears of the city's first sexual serial killer.

November 18, 2011
Shamini Flint
Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
Dispatched to Kuala Lumpur to solve a perplexing case involving a famous model on death row who swears she is innocent, bumbling Inspector Singh confronts formidable circumstantial evidence and police resistance.

December 16, 2011
Keigo Higashino
The Devotion of Suspect X
In a first English-language translation of an award-winning work in Japan, a clever mathematics teacher orchestrates a cover-up after a confrontation between a violent man and his terror-stricken ex-wife results in the man's accidental death.

January 20, 2012
Michael Chabon
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
In a world in which Alaska, rather than Israel, has become the homeland for the Jews following World War II, Detective Meyer Landsman and his half-Tlingit partner Berko investigate the death of a heroin-addicted chess prodigy.

February 17, 2012
David Ebershoff
The 19th Wife
The story of Ann Eliza Young's crusade against polygamy intertwines with a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah.

March 16, 2012
Linda A. Fairstein
Silent Mercy
When the burnt headless body of a young woman is found on the steps of a Baptist Church in Harlem, Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper is one of the first on the shocking scene. With NYPD cop Mike Chapman, Alex begins to investigate, but before long another woman is slaughtered and found on the steps of a Catholic church in Little Italy.

April 20, 2012
Jan Merete Weiss
These Dark Things
Investigating a murder in the underground crypts of Naples, Captain Natalia Monte of the Carabinieri struggles to find a connection between the killing and Catholic shrine collection boxes, a lecherous professor, and the Camorra.

May 18, 2012
Alexander Campion
The Grave Gourmet
Parisian policewoman Capucine LeTellier plunges into a uniquely Parisian affair of gastronomic delights and bureaucratic intrigue to close a case that could make her career or kill it.

June 15, 2012
Fred Vargas
Seeking Whom He May Devour
When the residents of a French Alpine village accuse a beardless local of being a werewolf and killing a sheep breeder, eccentric Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg teams up with his ex-girlfriend, the victim's adopted son, and a shepherd to investigate clues linked to the village's history.

July 20, 2012
Chris Ewan
The Good Thief's Guide to Paris
Fresh from a successful Paris book reading, mystery writer and professional thief Charlie Howard is hired by his fence to steal an oil painting from the apartment at which he had been demonstrating his larcenous skills a day earlier.

August 17, 2012
Judith Rock
The Rhetoric of Death
In 1686 Paris, after someone begins murdering the dancers in his class, Charles du Luc is determined to find the killer, despite being asked not to take part in the investigation.

September 21, 2012
Margaret Coel
The Spirit Woman
The search for a missing history professor, who vanished while visiting the Wind River Reservation, draws Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley into a twenty-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of another historian.

October 19, 2012
James D. Doss
Three Sisters
With the help of his aunt Daisy Perika, a Ute shaman, part-time tribal investigator Charlie Moon and his friend, Granite Creek, Colorado, police chief Scott Parris, investigate the vicious murder of a woman, one of three daughters of a wealthy rancher.

November 16, 2012
Dana Stabenow
Whisper to the Blood
The inhabitants of Niniltna are uneasy about the gold-mining company buying up tracts of land nearby, an unease shared by P.I. Kate Shugak as she probes the killings of a mine opponent and a popular ski champion-turned-company spokesperson.

December 21, 2012
Sandi Ault
Wild Indigo
Witnessing the death of a Tanoah man during a buffalo stampede, Bureau of Land Management agent Jamaica Wild suspects that the man's demise may not have been accidental and evaluates the evidence at the side of her Pueblo surrogate grandmother.

January 18, 2013
Barbara Nadel
Belshazzar's Daughter
When a brutal murder takes place in Istanbul's run-down Jewish quarter, eccentric inspector Cetin Ikmen is assigned to the case by the Turkish police and pursues a labyrinthine plot throughout the area's back alleys. (Turkey)

February 15, 2013
Zoe Ferraris
City of Veils
After the body of a brutally beaten woman is found on a beach in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Detective Osama Ibrahim, along with the help of female coroner Katya and her friend Nayir, discovers that the victim was a controversial filmmaker and must discern who wanted her dead. (Saudi Arabia)

March 15, 2013
Jason Goodwin
The Snake Stone
Eunuch, Yashim Togalu is called in to investigate when a French archaeologist, who is tracking down lost Byzantine treasures, arrives in the city unexpectedly, and then is found mutilated outside the French Embassy. (Turkey)

April 19, 2013
Kamila Shamsie
Broken Verses
Years after her activist mother disappears and her mother's lover, a renowned Pakistani poet, is killed by government thugs, Aasmaani, an employee at Pakistan's first independent television station, begins to receive a series of letters written in her mother's private code. (Pakistan)

May 17, 2013
Gary Link
The Burnt District
An enormous fire destroys one-third of the city of Pittsburgh in 1845, but stunningly claims only three lives. When City Constable John Parker discovers a fourth body in a building ruined by the blaze most assume that the girl perished in the fire too. But Parker remembers a similar that happened when he was a boy. Is there a serial killer at work in Pittsburgh?

June 21, 2013
Daniel Blake
Thou Shalt Kill
The media nicknames the killer, The Human Torch, and as the body count mounts, Detective Franco Patrese begins to find a chilling pattern infused with religious vengeance in the killings. He becomes a witness, a suspect, a target, and the last man standing between the killer and future victims.

July 19, 2013
Thomas Lipinski
Steel City Confessions
When a parish priest is accused of killing the husband of the woman with whom he had been having an affair, Pittsburgh private detective Carroll Dorsey takes on a vindictive former nun and vengeful D.A. Douglas Turner as he tries to find the real murderer.

August 16, 2013
Nancy Martin
Sticky Fingers
Roxy Abruzzo decides to solve her money problems by working for her uncle, one of the last mob bosses in Pittsburgh, but when one of her targets is murdered, Roxy becomes the prime suspect and must clear her name before it is too late.

September 20, 2013
J.J. Hensley
After a female student, who has made sexual advances toward him, is found dead, Pittsburgh criminology professor and former cop Cyprus Keller resolves to take the law into his own hands to clear his name.
Author J.J. Hensley joined us for this discussion.

October 18, 2013
Agatha Christie
Crooked House
Sophia Leonides and Charles Hayward fall in love in Egypt during World War II, and vow to meet up again in England. After the war ends, Charles fears their reunion may be interrupted when he sees an obituary for Sophia's grandfather, Aristide, and his death turns out to be anything but ordinary.

November 15, 2013
Lisa Scottoline
Killer Smile
When she receives personal threats and an associate is murdered, young lawyer Mary DiNunzio realizes that her latest case, involving a World War II internment camp suicide, may have deadly modern-day ties.

December 20, 2013
Rennie Airth
The Dead of Winter
A former police investigator tries to solve the murder of his employee, Rosa Novak, following clues through war-torn Europe in 1944, and discovers a connection between the victim, a murdered Parisian furrier, a member of the Resistance, and stolen diamonds.

January 17, 2014
Peter Tremayne
The Chalice of Blood
Investigating the murder of an eminent scholar who was robbed of mysterious manuscripts, Sister Fidelma and her companion, Brother Eadulf, are quickly targeted by the same killer in a case that is complicated by divisive personal problems.

February 21, 2014
P.C. Doherty
The Magician's Death
Scholars convene at Corfe Castle to crack the code of Roger Bacon's Book of Secrets. When murder and mayhem ensue, Sir Hugh Corbett must thread through a maze of mystery while trying to unlock Bacon's great secrets.

March 21, 2014
Ellis Peters
The Potter's Field
When the monks inherit the field of a local potter and discover the corpse of a murdered woman while plowing, Brother Cadfael is called upon to solve the mystery.

April 18, 2014
Margaret Frazer
The Apostate's Tale
As Dame Frevisse and the nuns of St. Frideswide priory prepare for the end of Lent, their peaceful world is turned upside down by the arrival of Sister Cecely, a former nun who is seeking refuge, but her coming has also brought danger and possibly murder.

May 16, 2014
Sara Paretsky
Checking up on empty family mansions for an old client, V.I. discovers the body of a missing reporter who disappeared during the McCarthy era, a find that has links to two prestigious Chicago families.

June 20, 2014
Joe Konrath
Whiskey Sour
Struggling with a broken relationship, credit card bills, the FBI's inaccurate profiling computer, and a band of street thugs, Lieutenant Jacqueline Daniels works on a serial murder case alongside her binge-eating partner, Herb.

July 18, 2014
K.J. Larsen
Liar, Liar
Newly divorced Caterina DeLuca took the skills she mastered during marriage and opened a detective agency. Trailing her first client's lying husband lands her in the hospital. When the FBI claims that he's dead, she escapes to meet with her client. When the client doesn't show, Cat breaks into her home to find her dead and her husband rummaging through her belongings.

August 15, 2014
Sean Chercover
Trigger City
Unable to believe police reports that blame a mentally ill co-worker for his daughter's murder, a retired army intelligence colonel hires Ray Dudgeon to discern the truth, triggering a confrontation between the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

September 19, 2014
Hank Phillippi Ryan
The Wrong Girl
Investigating allegations against an adoption agency that is suspected of reuniting adopted children with the wrong birth parents, Jane Ryland finds her efforts suspiciously tied to Jake Brogan's case involving a young woman's brutal murder and the disappearance of a baby.
Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel 2013.

October 17, 2014
Charles Todd
A Question of Honor
While tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess Crawford discovers that an officer from her father's regiment who had killed five people in India and England is still alive, and sets out to clear her father's name.
Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel 2013.

November 21, 2014
Chris Pavone
The Expats
An international spy thriller about a former CIA agent who moves with her family to Luxembourg where everything is suspicious and nothing is as it seems.
Winner of the Anthony Award for Best First Mystery 2013 and the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel by an American Author 2013.

March 20, 2015
Agatha Christie
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
There has been a murder at Styles Court. Detective Poirot comes out of retirement to solve who would want the rich heiress Inglethorp dead, and would have the impudence to poison her. The jagged plot turns keep Poirot - and the reader - guessing as suspicion shifts from one peculiar character to the next.

April 17, 2015
Laurie R. King
The Beekeepers Apprentice
When Mary Russell meets famous detective Sherlock Holmes, she discovers that he is also a beekeeper. Soon she finds herself on the trail of kidnappers and discovers a plot to kill both Holmes and herself.

May 15, 2015
Charles Todd
A Test of Wills
Ian Rutledge returns to his career at Scotland Yard after fighting in the war, still suffering from shell shock. His next case, with a war-ravaged ex-soldier as the witness, could spell disaster for him.

June 19, 2015
Anne Perry
No Graves as Yet
In June of 1914, Cambridge professor Joseph Reavley learns that his father was carrying a vitally important secret document when he died, and that his best student has been murdered.

July 17, 2015
Carolyn Hart
Dead, White, and Blue
After two locals disappear during the height of tourist season, local mystery bookshop owners Annie and Max Darling investigate a twisted path of adultery, blackmail, and betrayal to find the culprit.

August 21, 2015
Elizabeth Peters
The Golden One
Revisiting Egypt in 1917 with her husband, son, and daughter-in-law, Egyptologist Amelia Peabody stumbles across a murdered body, a situation that is complicated by an assignment by British intelligence and her daughter-in-law's troubling secret.

September 18, 2015
Agatha Christie
N or M?
Spring 1940: As World War II heats up in England, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford are enlisted in the cause, independently taking on assumed identities to uncover Nazi informers who imperil the security of their homeland. They set an elaborate trap to expose the traitors in their midst.

October 16, 2015
Dashiell Hammett
The Thin Man
Nick Charles searches for a wealthy inventor who is the prime suspect in a New York City murder case.

November 20, 2015
C.S. Harris
Why Kings Confess
The gruesome murder of a young French physician draws aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his pregnant wife, Hero, into a dangerous, decades-old mystery as a wrenching piece of Sebastian's past puts him to the ultimate test.


Book descriptions taken from Novelist, © 2015 EBSCO Publishing