Mayhem in the A.M. Mystery Book Discussion

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Henderson Library

4805 Emerald Street, Torrance, CA 90503 ~ (310) 371-2075

Discuss great mystery and suspense books every second Thursday of each month from 10 - 11 a.m.  All discussions are free and no registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Torrance Library.

The Chinese Orange Mystery cover

The Chinese Orange Mystery
by Ellery Queen - June 13, 2019

This classic American mystery from 1934 involves perhaps the strangest crime scene in all fiction.   Amateur sleuth Ellery Queen must solve the murder of an unknown caller, found dead in an empty waiting room. Nobody, it seems, entered or exited the room, and yet the crime scene clearly has been manipulated, leaving everything in the room turned backwards and upside down.  Selected as one of the top ten locked room mysteries of all time.


The Overnight Kidnappers


The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camillari - July 11, 2019
Inspector Montalbano's investigation into a series of odd kidnappings involving bank employees who are released hours later is complicated by a missing business owner suspected of arson, a secret affair, and a dead body. The twenty-third installment in the internationally bestselling Italian mystery series set in Sicily.


The Dry


The Dry by Jane Harper - August 8, 2019
Receiving a sinister anonymous note after his best friend's suspicious death, federal agent Aaron Falk is forced to confront the fallout of a 20-year-old false alibi against a backdrop of the worst drought Melbourne has seen in a century. An atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery.



The Feather Thief

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson - September 12, 2019
On a cool June evening in 2009, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist grabbed hundreds of bird skins, some collected 150 years earlier, and escaped into the darkness. Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was consumed by the strange case of the feather thief.  What would possess a person to steal dead birds? This is the gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice. A true-crime story with all the elements of a classic mystery.

A Gentleman in Moscow
A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles - October 10, 2019

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

The Witch Elm

The Witch Elm
by Tana French - November 14, 2019
Happy-go-lucky Toby is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. When a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed. 


Silent Night Deadly Night

Silent Night, Deadly Night
by Vicki Delany - December 12, 2019

Residents of Rudolph keep the spirit of Christmas alive year-round—but their joy is threatened when a group of grinches visits the town, in the charming fourth installment of the Year-Round Christmas series.



View a list of our previous selections here. 

View an annotated list of our previous selections here.