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Topic: Mysteries without murder

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Subject: Mysteries without murder
Date Posted: 8/20/2011 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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One of my all time favorite books is The Eight by Katherine Neville.  I read The Fire, and Calculated risk as well, but thought The Eight was best.  I am looking for more of this type of novel, solid writing with a mystery involved.  Maybe these would be better classifed as novels of quest.  Rule of Four is similar in concept (even though there are a few murders thrown in).  Basically I am looking for more than the cozies I read so much of, or the espionage novels.  My husband will be reading these too, and I know he won't read Jodi Picoult or Anita Shreeve or similar.  He has been through all the Dean Koontz novels.

Anyone have any recommendations?

Date Posted: 8/28/2011 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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There are murders occurring in these books, but they're similar to The Eight, which I also loved.  Very rich writing, with intellectual puzzles.

  • An Instance of the Fingerpost. and Dream of Scipio, by Iain Pears
  • The Dante Club, by Matthew Pearl
  • Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
  • Ex-libris, by Ross King
  • The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
  • A Conspiracy of Paper, by David Liss
  • My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk
  • The Flanders Panel, by Arturo Perez-Reverte
  • The Rossetti Letter, by Christi Phillips
  • Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series -- witty, clever, innovative, fun, unique!
Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 11/19/2011 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Judging from Tess's list, I would say you are looking for what my sister and I call Intellectual Mysteries. They are my favorite type of books. smiley

The Historian is great. It doesn't have much murder,but  more disappearances. It has an element of fantasy to it, but a very good book.

the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke is a great series that I think may fit what you are looking for.

In line with the Dante Club, Matthew Pearl also wrote Poe's Shadow and The Last Dickens. Neither are as good as Dante Club, but still well written. Also Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte is good. 

THe Glass Harmonica by Louise Marley. It has supernatural elements, but is a great mystery without murder.


Tess, I loved all the books you listed (accept Dream of Scipio) but I have not read The Eight by Katherine Neville, I will have to check it out if it is similar to the others.


Last Edited on: 11/19/11 8:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1