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This month's theme: Mysteries

Mystery Lovers Wanted

by Rob Kalchthaler

























The Bethel Park Public Library not only has a large collection of Mystery Fiction (including eBook and eaudio format), but also a Mystery Book Club (day and evening), access to databases book reviews of mystery novels, read-alikes and author bios.

Bill Pronzini, considered a master of the genre, has many titles in the Library’s collection. The Library’s Mystery Book Club selection for the May 17, 2017 meeting at 7pm is The Other Side of Silence. This stand-alone thriller finds former MP Rick Fallon, now a security guard, hiding from himself in Death Valley. Fallon happens upon a dying woman whose story leads him into the underbelly of Las Vegas. Rich characters and unexpected twists make this a fan favorite. Pronzini is also known for his series featuring the Nameless Detective (start with The Snatch), and he co-authors an historical mystery series set in 1890 in San Francisco with his wife, Marcia Muller who is also a well- known mystery writer.

Pronzini’s crime novels are typically known as “Hardboiled Fiction”. This specific genre usually features tough or cool heroes with a tendency towards violence, gritty settings, and private detectives working alone and clashing with police. Many trace this sub-genre back to Edgar Allen Poe and his story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”

There are many authors who share this style. Judith A. Jance’s crime fiction has similar characters whose life experiences and backgrounds come into play. Author Robert Crais, who has received the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, writes the Elvis Cole series. The title character is a refreshing take on the hardened sleuth. The Alex McKnight series by author Steve Hamilton can also be compared to Bill Pronzini’s work. Character driven and fast paced, these thrillers are set in desolate locations and explore the dark side of humanity.

Readers looking for Hardboiled Fiction with a twist should try Dan Simmons. His work has many of the same characteristics of a detective novel, but also includes elements of horror and science fiction. The Terror and Hard as Nails are available at the Bethel Park Public Library.

Not a fan of gumshoe mysteries? Fear not, the Bethel Park Public Library has something for you - our mystery collection has the classics, true crime, whodunits, and more.


Rob Kalchthaler is the Adult Services Librarian for the Bethel Park Public Library located at 5100 W. Library Avenue in Bethel Park, PA. For information about the library, visit


YA and Children's Mysteries at the Bethel Park Public Library
Submitted by The Children’s Department at BPPL

Young Adult
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You (the Gallagher Girls series) by Ally Carter
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
The 39 Clues (series) by Rick Riordan
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Jigsaw Jones (series) by James Preller
Where's the Big Bad Wolf? by Eileen Christelow (picture book)


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