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BCPL Detective Stories



We love mysteries at Brooke County Libraries!


Of course, some of the best ones feature a main character that's a detective. Stick around and see some of our favorite detectives and P.I.s. All titles are available at one of our locations or as ebooks from WV Reads.


The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Precious Ramotswe has only just set up shop as Botswana's No.1 (and only) lady detective when she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. However, the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witch doctors.



A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

Archer’s first stop is a P.I. office where he is hoping to apprentice with a legendary private eye and former FBI agent named Willie Dash. He lands the job, and immediately finds himself in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy well-connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. As bodies begin falling, Archer and Dash must infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets, descending into the rotten bones of a corrupt town that is selling itself as the promised land—but might actually be the road to perdition, and Archer’s final resting place.



This Dame for Hire by Sandra Scoppettone

New York, 1943. Almost anything in pants has gone to serve Uncle Sam in the war–including Woody Mason, the head of a detective agency in midtown Manhattan. Left to run the show is his secretary, Faye Quick, who signed on to be a steno, not a shamus. At twenty-six and five foot four, there’s not much to Faye, but she’s got moxie–which she’ll need when she stumbles over a dead girl in the street and takes on her first murder case.



Now & Then by Robert B. Parker

When a simple case turns into a treacherous and politically charged investigation, Spenser faces his most difficult challenge yet-keeping his cool while his beloved Susan Silverman is in danger. Spenser knows something's amiss the moment Dennis Doherty walks into his office. The guy's aggressive yet wary, in the way men frightened for their marriages always are. So when Doherty asks Spenser to investigate his wife Jordan's abnormal behavior, Spenser agrees. A job's a job, after all. Not surprisingly, Spenser catches Jordan with another man, tells Dennis what he's found out, and considers the case closed. But a couple of days later, all hell breaks loose, and three people are dead. This isn't just a marital affair gone bad. Spenser is in the middle of hornet's nest of trouble, and he's got to get out of it without getting stung. With Hawk watching his back, and gun-for- hire Vinnie Morris providing extra cover, Spenser delves into a complicated and far-reaching operation: Jordan's former lover, Perry Alderson, is the leader of a group that helps sponsor terrorists. ....



Veil of Night by Linda Howard

The problem is, most everyone—from the cake maker and the florist to the wedding-gown retailer and the bridesmaids’ dressmaker—had his or her own reason for wanting the bride dead, including Jaclyn. And while those who felt Carrie’s wrath are now smiling at her demise, Jaclyn refuses to celebrate tragedy, especially since she finds herself in the shadow of suspicion.


Assigned to the case, Detective Eric Wilder finds that there’s too much evidence pointing toward too many suspects. Compounding his problems is Jaclyn, with whom he shared one deeply passionate night before Carrie’s death. Being a prime suspect means that Jaclyn is hands-off just when Eric would rather be hands-on. As the heat intensifies between Eric and Jaclyn, a cold-blooded murderer moves dangerously close. And this time the target is not a bride but one particularly irresistible wedding planner, unaware of a killer’s vow.



Stalked by Brian Freeman

Lieutenant Jonathan Stride knows his partner Maggie Bei is in trouble when she reports a deadly crime on a bitter winter night. She’s obviously hiding a terrible secret, and her silence only feeds suspicion. Maggie isn’t the only one keeping secrets in Duluth. A seductive young woman has disappeared, leaving behind a stash of lurid fantasies and a cryptic message: I know who it is. Following a twisted trail, Stride uncovers a sordid web of violence and voyeurism that someone is willing to kill to keep hidden. Stride isn’t alone. His lover Serena Dial – a homicide cop turned private investigator – is chasing a blackmailer who knows all the city’s dirty secrets. Even Maggie’s. But as Stride and Serena hunt for a killer, a predator with a vicious past is hunting them – with a terrifying plan for revenge. Now every step they take to expose the truth brings them closer to a showdown amid the howling winds of a winter storm. Where survival in the blinding snow is measured in seconds. Where crimes can be buried forever.



Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston neighborhood twelve years ago. Desperate pleas for help from the child's aunt led investigators Kenzie and Gennaro to take on the case. The pair risked everything to find the young girl—only to orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and a broken home. Now Amanda is sixteen—and gone again. A stellar student, brilliant but aloof, she seemed destined to escape her upbringing. Yet Amanda's aunt is once more knocking on Patrick Kenzie's door, fearing the worst for the little girl who has blossomed into a striking, clever young woman—a woman who hasn't been seen in weeks.


Haunted by their consciences, Kenzie and Gennaro revisit the case that troubled them the most. Their search leads them into a world of identity thieves, methamphetamine dealers, a mentally unstable crime boss and his equally demented wife, a priceless, thousand-year-old cross, and a happily homicidal Russian gangster. It's a world in which motives and allegiances constantly shift and mistakes are fatal...


NYPD Red by James Patterson & Marshall Karp

A world-renowned producer fatally collapses at his power breakfast, and top NYPD Red Detective Zach Jordan is the first one on the scene. Zach works with his beautiful new partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald-who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend-to discover who the murderer might be. But this is only the beginning: the most brutal, public, and horrifyingly spectacular crimes they've ever encountered are about to send all of New York into chaos, putting NYPD Red on the ropes. Zach and Kylie know there's no way of telling what a killer this deranged will do next. With the whole world watching, they have to find a way to stop a psychopath who has scripted his finale down to the last explosive detail.



Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner

Detective D. D. Warren is revisiting the latest crime scene of an apparent serial killer who’s been named the Rose Killer. It’s late at night and she’s alone, or so she thought. When she realizes someone else is in the house, she stumbles and falls down a flight of stairs but not before firing off several shots. She now has no memory of the events leading up to the fall and she’s recovering from a serious injury to her shoulder. Though she’s sidelined, Warren can’t help but stay connected to the case and is allowed to as a “consultant.” Unfortunately, she’s now captured the attention of the killer who wants to draw her in as a potential victim.



Not a Girl Detective by Susan Kandel

Besides her beloved collection of vintage designer clothing, there is nothing Cece Caruso cherishes more than her childhood memories of Nancy Drew. Her near obsession with the fictional teenage sleuth led her to become a professional biographer of classic mystery writers. And now that she's working on a book about Nancy's pseudonymous creator, "Carolyn Keene, " Cece's in heaven.


At the L. A. home of another rabid Drew-ophile, Cece finds a treasure trove of useful memorabilia, including one unique and somewhat shocking collectible. Later she finds a dead body -- and a puzzle that would sorely test the skills of her spunky girlhood heroine. Now she'll have to channel her former idol and unmask a murderer, and the killer may be coming for Cece next.



A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton.

Other than the bullet lodged near his heart, former Detroit cop Alex McKnight thought he had put the nightmare of his partner’s death and his own near-fatal injury behind him. After all, the man convicted of the crimes has been locked away for years. But in the small town of Paradise, Michigan, where McKnight has traded his badge for a cabin in the woods, a murderer with the same unmistakable trademarks appears to be back. McKnight can’t understand who else would know the intimate details of the old murders. And it seems like it’ll be a frozen day in Hell before McKnight can unravel truth from deception in a town that’s anything but Paradise.



Calculated in Death by JD Robb

On Manhattan's Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better. A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn't seem the type to be on anyone's hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta's murder was the work of a killer who's trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.


But when someone steals the files out of Marta's office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke's world of big business to figure out who's cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer's violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . . .


Missing You by Harlan Coben

It's a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart—and who she hasn’t seen in 18 years. Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her. But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.


As the body count mounts and Kat's hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved—her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.




Did we include or leave out any of you favorite fictional detectives? Maybe one of these stories has grabbed your attention? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you on one of our social media pages or in person!



As always, images and info are courtesy of other web pages such as WV Reads, Google, and Goodreads, etc.

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