Monday, April 14, 2008

Libraries are mysterious

Libraries are the unexpected setting for mysteries-places of order, quiet and intellectual activity, suddenly disrupted by mayhem and murder. And librarian and rare book sleuths are detail-oriented, persistent, and researchers -hence, natural investigators.
Sometimes, they are also nosy.

Here are some mysteries involving libraries, librarians, rare books, archivists,
and all manner of mysteries related to the bibliography world.

Real Murders First in the Aurora "Roe" Teagarden mystery series. Petite librarian Roe Teagarden joins forces with police detective Arthur Smith and mystery writer Robin Crusoe to investigate a series of killings in which the victims are slain in the fashion of famous historical murders

Miss Zukas and the library murders First in a series, Meet Miss Zukas . . . the very proper, exceedingly conscientious, and relentlessly curious local librarian of tiny Bellehaven, Washington—and one heck of an amateur sleuth!

The Bellehaven police are baffled when a dead body turns up right in the middle of the library's fiction stacks. But Miss Helma Zukas—who never fails to make note of the slightest deviation from the norm of everyday life—is not willing to let this rather nasty disruption stand. Her precious literary sanctuary has been violated, and if the local law cannot get to the bottom of this case, Miss Zukas certainly intends to—with the help of her not-so-proper best friend, Ruth, a six-foot-tall bohemian artist with a nose for gossip and a penchant for getting into trouble. But their research project is bringing them a little too close to a killer . . . who'd like nothing better than to write Helma and Ruth out of the story completely!

Murder by the Book
When librarian Megan Clark keeps stumbling upon dead bodies, she becomes the number one suspect and must match wits with a clever killer who has read too many Agatha Christie novels to prove her innocence.

Stolen Blue
New Mexico rare books librarian, Claire Reynier, is hired to work with a collection of valuable southwest books at an isolated ranch. The owner, her former lover, dies and she is left to work with the dysfunctional family and missing masterpieces.

Dewey Decimated
Someone is whispering that the rare Gutenberg Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Werner-Bok rare books library are forgeries-could these be a cause for murder?

Case of the Missing Books Israel Armstrong is a passionate soul, lured to Ireland by the promise of an exciting new career. Alas, the job that awaits him is not quite what he had in mind. Still, Israel is not one to dwell on disappointment, as he prepares to drive a mobile library around a small, damp Irish town. After all, the scenery is lovely, the people are charming—but where are the books? The rolling library's 15,000 volumes have mysteriously gone missing, and it's up to Israel to discover who would steal them . . . and why. And perhaps, after that, he will tackle other bizarre and perplexing local mysteries—like, where does one go to find a proper cappuccino and a decent newspaper?

Murder at the Library of Congress Commissioned by the Library of Congress' magazine, "Civilization," to write an article on a recently discovered, supposed diary of Christopher Columbus, Annabel Smith finds herself matching wits with a ruthless wealthy bibliophile, an ambitious TV journalist, and a killer to complete her assignment

Booked to Die First in the series. Denver homicide detective Cliff Janeway may not always play by the book, but he's an avid collector of rare and first editions. After a local bookscout is killed on his turf, Janeway would like nothing better than to rearrange the suspect's spine. But the suspect, sleazeball Jackie Newton, is a master at eluding murder convictions. Unfortunately for Janeway, his swift form of off-duty justice costs him his badge.

Turning to his lifelong passion, Janeway opens a bookshop -- all the while searching for evidence to put Newton away. But when prized volumes in a highly sought-after collection begin to appear, so do dead bodies. Now Janeway's life is about to change in profound and shocking ways as he attempts to find out who's dealing death along with vintage Chandlers and Twains.

For more titles, see Murder in the library at the Encyclopedia Britannica Blog Part 1 and Part 2