The summer season is winding down, which might be breaking some readers’ hearts. But you can continue to enjoy the warm sunshine, clear blue skies and pristine beaches…let’s add murder and betrayal in the mix. If you are trying to keep those summer vibes, why not “tempt fate” with these deliciously murderous mysteries?
This list is a little different from other summer mysteries booklists. The books listed here either contain the word “summer” in their title, or the setting takes place during the summer. Either way, come along on a journey through thrilling and suspenseful stories that will make you forget that summer’s end is around the corner…
Midsummer Mysteries by Agatha Christie
Summertime – as the temperature rises, so does the potential for evil. From Cornwall to the French Riviera, whether against a background of Delphic temples or English country houses, Agatha Christie’s most famous characters solve even the most devilish of conundrums as the summer sun beats down. Pull up a deckchair and enjoy plot twists and red herrings galore from the bestselling fiction writer of all time. (Credit: HarperCollins Publishers)
Murder in Midsummer: Classic Mysteries for the Holidays edited by Cecily Gayford
A rock pool with a deadly secret. A bank holiday heatwave dominated by the murder of an unknown man. A sun-drenched picnic that ends in a sinister locked-room mystery. And an Adriatic holiday interrupted by a beautiful couple … who aren’t quite who they seem to be.
All these, and many more, can be found in these classic stories of summertime murder and mayhem, featuring masters of the genre from Dorothy L. Sayers to Arthur Conan Doyle. From St Mark’s Square in Venice to the English seaside, their tales will puzzle, entertain and prove that – no matter how far you travel – there’s no rest for the wicked. (Credit: Profile Books Ltd)
Murder On A Summer’s Day by Frances Brody
A Maharajah on the Moors
When the India Office seek help in finding Maharajah Narayan, last seen hunting on the Bolton Abbey estate, they call upon the expertise of renowned PI Kate Shackleton to investigate.
A Priceless Jewel
A missing person’s case turns to murder when, shot through the heart, it’s clear to Kate that Narayan’s body has not been in the woods overnight. Who brought it here, and from where? And what has happened to the hugely valuable diamond that was in the Maharajah’s possession?
An inexplicable murder . . .
As Kate digs deeper, she soon discovers that vengeance takes many forms. Was the Maharajah’s sacrilegious act of shooting a white doe to blame? Or are growing rumours of a political motive too powerful for Kate to discount?
One thing Kate is sure of: her own skills and insights. Qualities that she is sure will help her unravel a mysterious murder on that fateful summer’s day . . .(Credit: Little, Brown Book Group)
The Creek by LJ Ross
Kate Irving arrives at her grandfather’s cottage at Frenchman’s Creek in the dead of night with her young son, a small suitcase and little else. Its scattered community of fishermen, farmers, artists and jetsetters barely bat an eyelid, because theirs is a rarefied world, tucked beneath the lush forest that lines the banks of the Helford Estuary, deep in the heart of Cornwall, where life is slow and people generally mind their own business. Unless, of course, your grandfather happens to be a pillar of the local community…
Kate’s left the past behind and guards her privacy and her son fiercely. She’s wary of accepting the friendship her new neighbours offer, but their kindness is too great to refuse and she begins to feel she has found her place in the world. That is, until tragedy strikes, and her new friends look to her for the answers…
Kate soon learns that the past always catches up with you, in the end-the question is, will she be able to face it, when it does?
Suspense and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced mystery, set amidst the spectacular Cornish landscape. (Credit: Dark Skies Publishing)
A Midsummer’s Equation by Keigo Higashino
When a man’s body is discovered at the base of some cliffs in the small resort town of Hari Cove, the police at first suspect a tragic accident, a misstep that cost the man his life. However, when the victim is found to have been a former policeman and that the cause of death was actually carbon monoxide poisoning, they begin a murder investigation.
Manabu Yukawa, the physicist known as ‘Detective Galileo’, is in Hari Cove to speak at a conference on a planned underwater mining operation, and finds himself drawn into the case. Did the murder have something to do with the fight of the small community to rebuild itself, or does it have its roots in the town’s history? (Credit: Little, Brown Book Group)
Murder on a Midsummer’s Night by Kerry Greenwood
Melbourne, 1929. The year starts off for glamorous private investigator Phryne Fisher with a rather trying heat wave and more mysteries than you could prod a parasol at. Simultaneously investigating the apparent suicide death of a man on St Kilda beach and trying to find a lost, illegimate child who could be heir to a wealthy old woman’s fortune, Phryne needs all her wits about her, particularly when she has to tangle with a group of thoroughly unpleasant Bright Young Things.
But Phryne Fisher is a force of nature, and takes in her elegant stride what might make others quail, including terrifying seances, ghosts, Kif smokers, the threat of human sacrifices, dubious spirit guides and maps to buried pirate treasure …(Credit: Little, Brown Book Group)
Murder at the Summer Fete by Victoria Walters
After finding the killer of Lucy Roth six months ago, life has settled back to normal for bookshop owner, Nancy Hunter , and her grandmother, Jane . The annual Dedley End village fete is just around the corner, and Nancy is delighted when bestselling author, Thomas Green, agrees to launch his first new novel in ten years there.
But then a series of sinister events lead Nancy to realise someone is trying to sabotage their fete, so she, along with Jane and their journalist friend Jonathan, must turn detective to discover who isn’t at all thrilled about the return of Thomas Green.
When a body is discovered at the summer fete, the death scene mirroring that in Thomas’ latest bestseller, they realise that there’s another killer in Dedley End, but can they outsmart someone who appears to have pulled off the perfect crime?
The clues are right under Nancy and Jane’s noses, if only they can find them. Because the answers to life’s questions can always be found in a book…! (Credit: Canelo)
Summer Fever by Kate Riordan
Two couples. One sweltering Italian villa . . .
Nick and Laura are the hosts: pretending their marriage isn’t on the rocks.
Madison and Bastian are the guests: neither is remotely who they claim to be.
Under the scorching Mediterranean sun, no secret is safe.
No betrayal goes unnoticed.
Two couples. But will either survive the summer . . .(Credit: Penguin Books UK)
Murder by the Seaside: Classic Crime Stories for Summer edited by Cecily Gayford
It’s the height of summer. As the heat shimmers on the streets and ice cream melts onto sticky fingers, tempers begin to rise and old grudges surface. From Cornish beaches to the French Riviera, it’s not just a holiday that’s on people’s minds … it’s murder.
In these ten classic stories from writers such as Dorothy L. Sayers, Cyril Hare and Margery Allingham, you’ll find mayhem and mysteries aplenty. So grab the suncream and head down to the beach – if you dare. (Credit: Profile Books Ltd)
Resorting To Murder: Holiday Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards
Holidays offer us the luxury of getting away from it all. So, in a different way, do detective stories. This collection of vintage mysteries combines both those pleasures. From a golf course at the English seaside to a pension in Paris, and from a Swiss mountain resort to the cliffs of Normandy, this new selection shows the enjoyable and unexpected ways in which crime writers have used summer holidays as a theme. These fourteen stories range widely across the golden age of British crime fiction. Stellar names from the past are well represented – Arthur Conan Doyle and G. K. Chesterton, for instance – with classic stories that have won acclaim over the decades. The collection also uncovers a wide range of hidden gems: Anthony Berkeley – whose brilliance with plot had even Agatha Christie in raptures – is represented by a story so (undeservedly) obscure that even the British Library seems not to own a copy. The stories by Phyllis Bentley and Helen Simpson are almost equally rare, despite the success which both writers achieved, while those by H. C. Bailey, Leo Bruce and the little-known Gerald Findler have seldom been reprinted. (Credit: British Library Publishing)
Murder Takes a Holiday: Classic Crime Stories for Summer edited by Cecily Gayford
The summer holidays are a chance to escape from it all, to shrug off the troubles and cares of everyday life, and lounge on warm sands or sip a cool drink in the shade of a city square. But, as the characters in this murderously good collection of classic crime stories discover to their cost … sometimes it’s not that easy to escape your fate.
An impossible murder on a Cornish beach. A honeymoon in the Italian lakes that becomes a desperate search for the truth. An African safari that ends with the tables being turned. Even in a heatwave, these tales of murder and malice will chill you like a shadow sliding across the sun. (Credit: Profile Books Ltd)
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