Books·Holiday Gift Guide

10 books for those mad for mysteries on your list

Know someone who loves a good mystery? We've sleuthed out 10 books for further examination.

Know someone who loves a good mystery? We've sleuthed out 10 books for further examination.

You can see the complete CBC Books gift guide here.

Human Remains by Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi is the author of the Hope Sze medical mystery series . (Melissa Yi/Windtree Press)

What it's about: When Dr. Hope Sze decided to spend a month doing research at a stem cell lab in Ottawa, she expects to have a quiet and productive month. But that all changes when she discovers a dead body in the snow. And this man's death is just the first of many. Hope must figure out what is happening and who is responsible, before it's too late. 

Let Darkness Bury the Dead by Maureen Jennings

Maureen Jennings is the author of the Detective Murdoch series. Her latest novel is Let Darkness Bury the Dead. (Iden Ford/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about: Maureen Jennings is best known as the author of the Detective Murdoch series — a collection of novels that follow Toronto detective William Murdoch as he attempts to solve the city's most gruesome crimes. Murdoch Mysteries is the CBC television drama based on Jennings's characters. The latest instalment in the series of novels traces what happens when the detective's son returns home from war injured and carrying dangerous secrets. 

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

Glass Houses is the 13th book in Louise Penny's bestselling Armand Gamache crime series. (Raincoast Books)

​What it's about: Glass Houses is Louise Penny's 13th book in the Armand Gamache series, which takes place in a warm, eccentric, tight-knit community known as Three Pines. Inspired by Knowlton, the small Quebec village the author calls home, Penny's beloved cast of characters have weathered many storms together — Glass Houses may present the most treacherous one yet.

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

Our Little Secret is Roz Nay's first novel. (Lisa Seyfried Photography/Simon & Schuster)

​What it's about: When her ex-boyfriend's wife goes missing, Angela is interrogated by police. Despite her claim that she's not involved, detective Novak is sure Angela is hiding something. 

So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum 

Rebecca Rosenblum is the author of So Much Love. (McClelland & Stewart/Mark Raynes Roberts)

What it's about: The theme of trauma is a driving force in this novel by Rebecca Rosenblum. Catherine Reindeer is abducted from the parking lot of the restaurant where she works as a waitress. After eight gruelling months in captivity, Reindeer returns to a life that is not her own, with traumatic memories that have damaged her beyond recognition.

The Substitute by Nicole Lundrigan

Nicole Lundrigan is the author of The Substitute. (Anna Lena Seemann/House of Anansi Press)

What it's about: In Nicole Lundrigan's chilling psychological thriller The Substitute, a middle school student is found dead in her science teacher's backyard. Narrated by an anonymous psychopath, the story unravels as a small community closes in around the man presumed guilty.

The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh

Adam Sternbergh is New York magazine's culture editor. The Blinds is his third novel. (Edwin Tse/HarperCollins)

​What it's about: This thriller from Adam Sternbergh, takes place in a dusty, isolated West Texas town made up of former criminals and witnesses to crime. The memories and identities of every inhabitant have been erased and replaced with new ones, a system that works to create a tentative sense of order. Eight years of relative peace passes under the stewardship of Sheriff Calvin Cooper, until two violent, sudden deaths upend the community.

The Traitors of Camp 133 by Wayne Arthurson

Wayne Arthurson is a bestselling crime writer from Edmonton. His books include The Traitors of Camp 133 and Fall from Grace. (Shawna Lemay)

​What it's about: Wayne Arthurson's latest takes place in a German POW camp in Alberta. Someone has died — suicide by hanging it seems. But what really happened? Sergeant August Neumann, a former police officer and war hero, is determined to find out the truth, while being closely watched by his Canadian captors.

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal

The Lost Ones is Sheena Kamal's debut novel. (HarperCollins/Malcolm Tweedy)

​What it's about: When Nora Watts receives a phone call informing her that the daughter she put up for adoption has gone missing, she decides to go and search for the teen girl. As Nora embarks on a harrowing journey of deception and violence, she will face her most terrifying demon, all to save a girl she wishes had never been born.

The Only Child by Andrew Pyper

Andrew Pyper talks about what influences his writing, including his latest book, The Only Child (CBC/Simon & Schuster)

​What it's about: Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Lily Dominick has evaluated some of the country's most dangerous psychotics. But when she meets an especially twisted patient, claiming to be over 200 years old, Lily embarks on a journey that will threaten her career, her sanity and ultimately her life. 


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