I have always loved reading since I can remember! In fact, since I grew up in a neighborhood with lots of kids that always came by my house to play, in order to stay in and read, my parents would tell my friends that I had been punished!
I taught elementary school for 14 years and have spent the last 10 years working with my husband. Now that I have more personal free time I am able to read more throughout the year and not just in the summertime.
I have a Kindle, a Nook and an Ipad2 that I use to read books as well. Although I have these electronic readers, I still like my books better!
Download and print this cute bookmark. Click on the image and save it on your computer, when you print it, make sure you don't print it to fit the page so it will print in real size (2" by 7") Enjoy!
On a daily basis, we all encounter a plethora of mundane mysteries: Who put the empty milk carton back in the fridge? Did the washing machine eat your missing sock? And who left the DVDs out of their cases? Of course, these mysteries are tame—not life-threatening adventures. Rarely do we civilians get to ferret out a murderer, or uncover the whereabouts of a missing piece of art. Thankfully, that's why we have mystery novels. Read on to learn more about 10 of our favorite mystery novels, both classic and modern. Can you figure out who the culprit is before the end of the book?
The year is 1363. The location is York, England, where townspeople are mysteriously dying. The only link between the deceased is that they all visited the local apothecary and received herbal remedies for their ailments. Owen Archer, a dashing, one-eyed former captain of archers, is sent to York to investigate. He goes undercover and apprentices himself to the master apothecary, simultaneously developing an interest in the apothecary's wife—the strong, intelligent Lucy. Owen and Lucy's chemistry is undeniable, but it is compromised when she becomes a suspect.
Candace Robb received her degree in English medieval literature and has two successful mystery novel series, the Owen Archer Mysteries and the Margaret Kerr Mysteries. Like all of Robb's novels, The Apothecary Rose is enjoyable not only for the mystery. In fact, Robb's meticulously-researched depiction of life in the 14th century is what makes her work stand out. From famous historical nobility to imaginary pub-owners, the characters hail from every societal rank, making the book a fully fleshed-out portrayal of life in the Middle Ages.
Haruki Murakami's most famous novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, is a post-modern mystery story that combines elements of magical realism, modern Japanese life, and tales of World War II. This fantastical novel tells the story of Toru Okada, a man-child who lacks the energy and career ambition stereotypically associated with Japanese men in the late 20th century. Toru is passive, content just to exist. But when his cat goes missing, Toru embarks on a quest to find it, consulting two psychics in the process. During the course of the novel, Toru's marriage dissolves and one day his wife fails to return from work. While trying to unravel the mystery of the disappearances of both his wife and cat, Toru meets an array of amusing characters, including a psychic prostitute; a WW II veteran; and May Kasahara, a teenage wig-maker who is obsessed with death.
A true classic in the mystery category, Rebecca is the story of a naïve young girl who marries Maxim de Winter a powerful, rich man she barely knows. The pair moves to Maxim's eerie mansion in England, known as Manderley, where the new Mrs. De Winter discovers that she has a tough act to follow. The memory of Rebecca, Maxim's deceased wife, haunts the estate. Meanwhile, Manderley's malicious housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who maintains an obsessive love for Rebecca, makes life difficult for Maxim's new bride. Determined to uncover the dark secrets that lie at the heart of Manderely, the new Mrs. De Winter unravels a surprise ending that will shock you even on repeat readings.
For all intents and purposes, Sherlock Holmes is the most famous detective in all of fiction. Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1880s, Holmes is a private detective who uses primitive forensic science techniques to identify criminals and solve mysteries. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes takes on the case of James Mortimer, whose friend, Sir Charles Baskerville, was frightened to death (literally) by a ghostly hound that hunts down members of the Baskerville family. Mortimer is afraid for the remaining Baskerville heir, Henry. If you're a budding sleuth, then you should pick up on a number of clues as to the origin of the terrifying hound, but beware the red herrings that will lead you to incorrect conclusions. One interesting fact: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based The Hound of the Baskervilles on the legend of Richard Cabell, a squire who lived in the 1600s in Devon, England. It is said that Cabell roamed the countryside after his death, accompanied by a pack of hounds.
If you're in the mood for a hard-boiled detective novel, The Maltese Falconmight interest you. The protagonist, Sam Spade, is a successful private investigator who works in San Francisco during the late 1920s. He's intelligent, emotionally cold, and dedicated to his own brand of justice. In this story, Spade and his partner, Miles Archer, are hired by a beautiful woman to recover her baby sister, who she believes has either run away or was kidnapped by a man called Floyd Thursby. Archer tails Thursby but quickly turns up dead, shot in an alley, and Spade is named as a suspect. The book's plot, however, turns on the whereabouts of a small bird statue, which is rumored to be encrusted with precious metals and jewels hidden beneath a layer of black paint. Naturally, every character wants to get their hands on it. The most enjoyable part of this book isn't necessarily the hunt for the falcon statue—it's the process of tracking each character, and figuring out what they were willing to do to nab the statue. If you enjoy the book, check out the 1941 film adaptation of the novel, starring Humphrey Bogart.
One of the best detective novels ever written by one of the world's most famous mystery writers, And Then There Were None tells the tale of the demise of 10 people gathered together on an island. Before coming to the island, each of the guests was implicated in the death of another human being, but all have evaded consequences—until now. While on the island, each guest is murdered one at a time, paralleling the nursery rhyme “10 Little Indians.” After all of the guests are dead, a detective visits the island to figure out who the murderer was. Unfortunately, the detective does not reach a definite conclusion. Not one to disappoint, Agatha Christie includes several clues in her novel that could lead you to the identity of the killer. So here's your challenge: are you smarter than the detective in the book?
In this Swedish mystery, Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist in trouble. After writing a particularly damaging story about a powerful man, Blomkvist loses a legal battle over the credibility of his information. Facing jail time and a shattered reputation, Blomkvist reluctantly agrees when Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger asks him to investigate the cold case of his missing niece. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the first in the Millennium Trilogy) also introduces Lisbeth Salander, a genius computer hacker and private investigator who lacks major social skills. Salandar helps Blomkvist do some “research” into the Vanger case.
A true page-turner, this novel will keep you up at night, swearing that you have to read one more page before going to bed. It's a novel that might make you miss your stop on the bus. It's a novel you'll want to read surreptitiously at work. An international bestseller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has already been made into a Swedish film, with an American version to follow.
In The Final Solution: A Story of Detection, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon plays with the conventions of mystery novels and crafts an engaging story that at times reads like an inside joke for mystery lovers. From the depths of retirement a once-famous elderly man takes time out from his beekeeping hobby to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a talkative African gray parrot named Bruno. The sole companion of a deaf-mute German Jewish refugee who lives in the English countryside, Bruno is fond of singing songs and repeating a certain string of numbers. Was Bruno stolen because he knows too much? Can the old man in his tattered cloak reawaken his powers of detection? You might be able to solve the mystery yourself, but it will probably help if you light a pipe and talk it through with someone.
A neighborhood poodle is found impaled on a large garden fork in this darkly humorous English mystery novel. Interestingly, this novel is told from the point of view of Christopher, the 15-year-old autistic boy who makes the bloody discovery. Initially blamed for the poodle's death by its owner and by the police, Christopher (an avid Sherlock Holmes fan) decides to do some investigating on his own to unearth the true identity of the murderer. In the end, the investigation takes Christopher closer to home than he expected.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time reads very quickly and is extremely funny. Christopher tries to ferret out people's motives, but he can't quite figure out the complexities of human emotion and behavior. This novel might not be an extremely accurate depiction of life with autism (try Temple Grandin's Thinking in Pictures instead), but it nevertheless presents a unique voice through its unconventional narrator.
“Here was our quiet English house suddenly invaded by a devilish Indian Diamond—bringing after it a conspiracy of living rogues, set loose on us by the vengeance of a dead man.”
Originally published in serial installments in a magazine in the late 1860s,The Moonstone is a suspenseful, funny, and very readable book. It centers on the loss of an enormous yellow diamond—in fact, a sacred religious relic—which was stolen from India by a member of an aristocratic English family. Part upstairs-downstairs drama, part social satire, and part love story, The Moonstone deals with the effects of opium, the subordination of the colonies to the British Empire, social scandal, and murder.
In this novel, Wilkie Collins establishes some of the basic rules of the locked-room mystery—rules that have since become clichés in subsequent books. Collins, who was an opium addict and a friend of Charles Dickens, wrote many other excellent mysteries over the course of his career, including The Woman in White.