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7 Mysteries with Fun-Loving Characters

Jennifer Proffitt
December 8 2021
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The Scooby Gang, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, Sherlock and Watson . . . solving mysteries is always more fun with a little help from your friends and family. If you love mysteries, you might already be familiar with a few of the crime-solving crews on this list, but, if not, search through these books for more fun characters sleuthing.

Grave Reservations
by Cherie Priest

When Leda, a full-time travel agent and part-time psychic, impulsively rebooks the flight of Detective Grady Merritt, her life changes in ways she could have never guessed. Grady realizes Leda has talents, and her gift for premonition could help him solve a cold case he can’t crack. But Leda comes as a package deal. With the help of the patrons of her favorite karaoke bar, Leda and Grady work together and discover the chilling truth that links Grady’s cold case to the murder of Leda’s fiancé.

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Grave Reservations
Cherie Priest

A psychic travel agent and a Seattle PD detective solve a murder in this quirky mystery in the vein of Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series.

Meet Leda Foley: devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. When Leda, sole proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, impulsively re-books Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt’s flight, her life changes in ways she couldn’t have predicted.

After watching his original plane blow up from the safety of the airport, Grady realizes that Leda’s special abilities could help him with a cold case he just can’t crack.

Despite her scattershot premonitions, she agrees for a secret reason: her fiancé’s murder remains unsolved. Leda’s psychic abilities couldn’t help the case several years before, but she’s been honing her skills and drawing a crowd at her favorite bar’s open-mic nights, where she performs Klairvoyant Karaoke—singing whatever song comes to mind when she holds people’s personal effects. Now joined by a rag-tag group of bar patrons and pals alike, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer—and learn how the two cases that haunt them have more in common than they ever suspected.

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The Spellman Files
by Lisa Lutz

A family that solves crime together, stays together. That at least appears to be the family motto of the Spellmans in Lisa Lutz’s THE SPELLMAN FILES. But Isabel “Izzy” Spellman wants to get out of the family PI business. Her family isn’t going to make it easy—not with her little sister Rae on her tail and one last job to get through. What was supposed to be a final case, however, turns into the most important case of Izzy’s life.

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The Spellman Files
Lisa Lutz

“There’s something delightfully endearing about Lisa Lutz’s kinetic and quirky THE SPELLMAN FILES. It reads like a well-scripted television sitcom/family drama and, considering Lutz’s screenwriting background, that vibe makes perfect sense. As soon as I’d finished reading this offbeat novel, I wanted to binge-read the rest of the books in the series.”

Read the full review by Allison Tyler here.

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Game On
by Janet Evanovich

The latest Stephanie Plum book by Janet Evanovich, GAME ON, sees Stephanie pairing up with fellow apprehension agent Diesel, who she hasn’t seen for over two years. Diesel and Stephanie are on the trail of the same fugitive, a brilliant and ruthless hacker. As they try to bring this fugitive to justice, Stephanie can’t decide if Diesel is a stellar partner or an unbeatable rival.

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Game On
Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum returns to hunt down a master cyber-criminal operating out of Trenton in the 28th book in the wildly popular series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

When Stephanie Plum is woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of footsteps in her apartment, she wishes she didn’t keep her gun in the cookie jar in her kitchen. And when she finds out the intruder is fellow apprehension agent Diesel, six feet of hard muscle and bad attitude who she hasn’t seen in more than two years, she still thinks the gun might come in handy.

Turns out Diesel and Stephanie are on the trail of the same fugitive: Oswald Wednesday, an international computer hacker as brilliant as he is ruthless. Stephanie may not be the most technologically savvy sleuth, but she more than makes up for that with her dogged determination, her understanding of human nature, and her willingness to do just about anything to bring a fugitive to justice. Unsure if Diesel is her partner or her competition in this case, she’ll need to watch her back every step of the way as she sets the stage to draw Wednesday out from behind his computer and into the real world.

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The Eye of Jade
by Diane Wei Liang

THE EYE OF JADE introduces Diane Wei Liang’s Beijing-based private detective, Mei Wang. Mei’s private detective agency has given her the independence she wants, but her family shuns her. When family friend “Uncle” Chen hires her to find a Han dynasty jade of great value, history—both China’s and Mei’s own—comes clashing together. This book is as much a story of family and history as it is a mystery.

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The Eye of Jade
Diane Wei Liang

Mei Wang is a modern, independent woman whose intuition and curiosity make her Beijing's first successful female private investigator. When Mei is hired to find a Han dynasty jade of great value, the search leads her through banquet halls and back alleys, seedy gambling dens, and cheap noodle bars near the Forbidden City.

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Murder at the Castle
by M. B. Shaw

When Iris Grey is invited to Pitfeldy Castle to paint the portrait of American socialite Kathy Miller at the request of her fiancé, Baron Jock McKinnon, she doesn’t necessarily suspect she’ll be pulled into the heiresses’ confidence. Kathy has been receiving threatening messages telling her to call off the wedding and soon, remains are found on the castle grounds. As Iris fears for her new friend’s safety, she uncovers family feuds, deeply held secrets, and murder.

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Murder at the Castle
M. B. Shaw

Painter (and amateur sleuth) Iris Grey enters a world of buried secrets, village gossip, family feuds, and murder in the latest cosy mystery from New York Times bestselling author M. B. Shaw. 

Portrait painter Iris Grey arrives at Pitfeldy Castle in the Scottish Highlands, at the request of Baron Jock MacKinnon.

Jock has commissioned Iris to paint a portrait of his fiancé, an American socialite Kathy Miller, ahead of their New Year wedding. Kathy invites Iris into her confidence, as she's received a series of threatening notes asking her to call off the wedding. Iris begins to investigate, and when a body is discovered in the grounds of the castle, she fears for Kathy's safety.

With the wedding fast approaching, Iris tries to solve a mystery that is caught up in a rarified world of family feuds, romantic intrigue, buried secrets, and murder.

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Mysteries with Fun-Loving Characters

By Jennifer Proffitt | December 8, 2021

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In the Crypt with a Candlestick
by Daisy Waugh

Daisy Waugh’s IN THE CRYPT WITH A CANDLESTICK offers a fun twist on the country house murder mystery. Lady Tode, the much younger wife of Sir Ecgbert Tode of Tode Hall, has finally outlived her husband. But soon after the new owners of Tode Hall take up residence, Lady Tode is found dead in the mausoleum. The list of suspects is long and filled with distant relatives, who were the hall’s co-owners, and Lady Tode’s own tiresome children.

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In the Crypt with a Candlestick
Daisy Waugh

A wonderfully comedic mystery full of sharp drama, sly wit—and a smidgeon of murder—in the vein P. G. Wodehouse, Julian Fellowes, and Agatha Christie.

Sir Ecgbert Tode of Tode Hall has survived to a grand old age—much to the despair of his younger wife, Emma. But at age ninety-three he has, at last, shuffled off the mortal coil.

Lady Emma Tode, thoroughly fed up with being a dutiful Lady of the Manor, wants to leave the country to spend her remaining years in Capri. Unfortunately her three tiresome children are either unwilling or unable (too mad, too lefty or too happy in Australia) to take on management of their large and important home, so the mantle passes to a distant relative and his glamorous wife.

Not long after the new owners take over, Lady Tode is found dead in the mausoleum. Accident? Or is there more going on behind the scenes of Tode Hall than an outsider would ever guess?

In the traditions of two great but very different British authors, Agatha Christie and P. G. Wodehouse, Waugh's hilarious and entirely original twist on the country house murder mystery comes complete with stiff upper lips, even stiffer drinks, and any stiffs that might embarrass the family getting smartly brushed under the carpet.

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Mysteries with Fun-Loving Characters

By Jennifer Proffitt | December 8, 2021

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A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
by Manda Collins

Friends don’t let friends unmask serial killers alone. A murderer is on the loose in Victorian England. Newspaper owner and columnist Lady Katherine Bascomb is uncovering all the clues Scotland Yard appears to be missing. However, when her column, written with her friend and fellow sleuth, Caro Hardcastle, gets an innocent man thrown in jail—and the Scotland Yard investigator thrown off the case—Katherine vows to find the true killer (for real this time). However, before she can solve the crime, the murderer strikes again at a house party Katherine is attending. With the help of her friend and the disgraced investigator, Katherine must catch a killer and free an innocent man.

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A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
Manda Collins

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Mysteries with Fun-Loving Characters

By Jennifer Proffitt | December 8, 2021

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Photo credit: iStock / fcscafeine

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