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Surprising Sleuths
By Hilary Williamson

'There certainly does seem a possibility that the detective story will come to an end,
simply because the public will have learnt all the tricks.'
(Dorothy Sayers).

That doesn't seem to be the case, given the number of new mysteries released every month, but readers are always intrigued by new kinds of investigators and unusual settings for mayhem and murder. It's led to sub-genres like culinary mysteries, medical mysteries, historical mysteries, SF mysteries, even crossword mysteries. Investigators range from an undertaker to a wedding planner, a paraplegic to a feng shuipractitioner.

BookLoons mystery reviewers are on a continuing quest to find surprising sleuths. Here are some that we especially enjoy, including both classics and recent releases ...

Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb
A bemused author is embroiled in murder at a riotous SF convention.

Dead Ernest by Alice Tilton
Leonidas Witherall is an absent-minded academic & Shakespeare double.

Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong
Inspector Chen investigates the death of a model worker in 1990 Shanghai.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Find out how to get away with murder in a 24th century telepathic society.

A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd
Inspector Ian Rutledge investigates with ghostly help from Hamish.

Miss Lizzie by Walter Satterthwait
60-year-old Lizzie Borden befriends and partners a child investigator.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in modern Botswana.

The Seville Communion by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
A priest is sent to Seville by the Vatican to investigate deaths in a church.

The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison
Stars a Chinese police inspector imprisoned in a Tibet labor camp.

You've Got Murder by Donna Andrews
Artificial Intelligence Personality Turing searches for her missing designer.

There you have it - author and academic, ghost and a telepath, AI and ax murderer, priest and prisoner in settings that range from Botswana to Tibet. They make the most surprising sleuths, don't they?
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.