The Agatha Awards honor the "traditional mystery." That is to say, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie as well as others. The genre is loosely defined as mysteries that contain no explicit sex nor excessive gore or gratuitous violence. Enjoy these award winning titles.
Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time 10 hours 50 minutes
London, 1930s. Wealthy Joseph Waite hires private investigator Maisie Dobbs, a former battlefield nurse, to locate his missing thirty-two-year-old daughter, Charlotte. Maisie finds chilling links to Scotland Yard inspector Stratton's latest murder case and the Great War's terrible legacy. Selected as the 2004 Best Mystery Novel.
Download Birds of a Feather, DB67834
The Body in the Belfry by Katherine Hall Page
Read by John Stratton. Reading time 6 hours 44 minutes
Gourmet caterer Faith Fairchild's life is turned topsy-turvy by her marriage to the minister of a quaint New England village church. While she adores her husband and new baby, Faith finds the change from her busy life in New York to the quiet of the country hard to tolerate. But her discovery of a dead body and the ensuing investigation and danger make her yearn for the quiet life to return. Selected as the 1990 Best First Mystery Novel.
Download The Body in the Belfry, DB31471
The Body In the Snowdrift by Katherine Hall Page
Read by Barbara Caruso. Reading time 8 hours 43 minutes
Caterer Faith Fairchild and her extended family gather at a ski resort in Vermont to celebrate her father-in-law's seventieth birthday. But after Faith finds the body of a local lawyer, the chef disappears, and another corpse turns up on the slopes, the clan starts bickering. Includes recipes. Selected as the 2005 Best Mystery Novel.
Download The Body in the Snowdrift, DB61863
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
Read by Anne Hancock. Reading time 14 hours 22 minutes
Quebec. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigates the murder of an old man found bludgeoned in a bistro. At a remote cabin purportedly owned by the deceased, Gamache and his team find a cache of rare books, priceless antiquities--and blood. Some strong language. Selected as the 2009 Best Mystery Novel.
Download The Brutal Telling, DB70226
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Read by Anne Hancock. Reading time 13 hours 54 minutes
Chief Inspector Gamache, on leave in Quebec City, helps investigate the murder of an archaeologist who was searching for the remains of Samuel de Champlain. Meanwhile Gamache sends his colleague Jean-Guy Beauvoir to Three Pines to revisit the case described in The Brutal Telling (DB 70226). Some strong language. Selected as the 2010 Best Mystery Novel.
Download Bury Your Dead, DB72936
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
Read by Anne Hancock. Reading time 12 hours 53 minutes
Popular Three Pines resident Madeleine Favreau dies of fright while attending a seance at the old Hadley house. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache learns that a dose of diet pills played a part in the death--but Madeleine wasn't dieting. Meanwhile Armand deals with trouble in his ranks. Some strong language. Selected as the 2008 Best Mystery Novel.
Download The Cruelest Month, DB67419
Dating Dead Men by Harley Jane Kozak
Read by Gillian Green. Reading time 9 hours 29 minutes
Los Angeles greeting card artist Wollie Shelley, busy with a dating research project, dashes off to visit her institutionalized, schizophrenic brother. She finds a body on the road and fears that her sibling could be involved. As Wollie investigates, a colorful cast of characters gradually enters her life. Selected as the 2004 Best First Mystery Novel.
Download Dating Dead Men, DB59695
Dead Man's Island by Carolyn Hart
Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time 9 hours 20 minutes
Retired newspaper reporter Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins (Henrie O.) is surprised to be summoned by her long-ago lover, powerful Chase Prescott. Chase has also invited all of his close associates and family to the island he owns to determine which of them tried to murder him. This task is made more difficult when a repeat of the hurricane that gave Dead Man's Island its name occurs. Strong language and violence. Selected as the 1993 Best Novel.
Download Dead Man's Island, DB63926
Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet
Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time 8 hours 44 minutes
British mystery writer Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk invites his grown children to his wedding. The four siblings are not happy about the bride and her possible threat to their inheritance. When Sir Adrian and his eldest son are both murdered, Detective Chief Inspector Arthur St. Just investigates. Some strong language. Selected as the 2008 Best First Mystery Novel.
Download Death of a Cozy Writer, DB69655
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
Read by Anne Hancock. Reading time 11 hours 39 minutes
Quebec. Much-disliked businesswoman and writer CC de Poitiers is electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake during a curling tournament in the village of Three Pines. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, from Still Life (DB 66731), arrives from Montreal and discovers links to another unsolved crime. Some strong language. Selected as the 2007 Best Mystery Novel.
Download A Fatal Grace, DB67293
Grime and Punishment by Jill Churchill
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time 5 hours 49 minutes
Jane Jeffry's friend Shelley Nowack hires the Happy Helper Cleaning Service, who instead of sending the regular maid sends substitute Ramona Thurgood. When Ramona is found strangled with a vacuum-cleaner cord in Shelley's house, Jane thinks the killer could be someone in the neighborhood. Selected as the 1989 Best First Mystery Novel.
Download Grime and Punishment, DB68692
In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming.
Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time 10 hours 24 minutes.
Clare Fergusson, an ex-military pilot and the newly appointed Episcopal priest at St. Alban's Church in an upstate New York village, discovers an abandoned infant on the church steps. After the baby's mother is found murdered, Clare joins police chief Russ Van Alstyne in investigating the case. Strong language. Selected as the 2002 Best First Mystery Novel.
Download Grime and Punishment, DB61372
Letter from Home by Carolyn Hart
Read by Michele Schaeffer. Reading time 8 hours 41 minutes
Gretchen Gilman receives a letter prompting a flood of memories from her girlhood when a friend's mother was murdered. It's World War II, and Gretchen, a thirteen-year-old cub reporter for the town paper, seeks the truth and loses her innocence. Now, fifty years later, the truth finds her. Selected as the 2003 Best Mystery Novel.
Download Letter from Home, DB57369
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time 9 hours 28 minutes
Thirteen-year-old Maisie is lucky to be a maid in the home of a wealthy London suffragette who sees to her education. Maisie becomes a private investigator in 1929 after serving as a nurse during the Great War. Her first case involves a shelter for wounded veterans. Selected as the 2003 Best First Mystery Novel.
Download Maisie Dobbs, DB67808
Something Wicked by Carolyn G. Hart
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time 8 hours 17 minutes
Atlanta. Mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance, her fiance Max, and the rest of the summer stock players know their production of Arsenic and Old Lace needs to be a hit so they can get their new theater. Instead it is plagued by sabotage and murder. Some strong language. Selected as the 1988 Best Mystery Novel.
Download Something Wicked, DB65923
Storm Track by Margaret Maron
Read by Elisabeth Rodgers. Reading time 6 hours 45 minutes
North Carolina judge Deborah Knott helps detective Dwight Bryant investigate the murder of a Colleton County attorney's promiscuous wife, who was found strangled in a room of a local motel. Meanwhile, a second killer, Hurricane Fran, is threatening the coast. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. Selected as the 2000 Best Mystery Novel.
Download Storm Track, DB66003
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time 9 hours 31 minutes
England, 1950. Eleven-year-old aspiring chemist Flavia de Luce overhears her father in a heated argument with a stranger, who turns up dead in the garden of the Luces' decaying estate. When Flavia's father is charged with murder, she seeks clues in their village and his past to exonerate him. Selected as the 2009 Best First Mystery Novel.
Download The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, DB70410
Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
Read by Suzanne Toren. Reading time 8 hours 21 minutes
The author, a Park Ranger herself, creates an authentic West Texas setting for this murder mystery. When Guadalupe Mountains National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon finds the body of another female ranger, she alone refuses to believe that a cougar killed her. Anna finds that conflict abounds in the Park, among ranchers, rangers, hunters and conservationists, as she looks for a human killer. Violence and strong language. Selected as the 1993 Best First Mystery Novel.
Download Track of the Cat, DB65648
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
Read by Ray Childs. Reading time 12 hours 38 minutes
Small Plains, Kansas. Mitch Newquist--banished from his hometown for witnessing the cover-up of a young girl's murder--returns when his mother dies. Together with his former girlfriend, Mitch searches for the killer and uncovers disturbing secrets of the town's most prominent men. Strong language and some violence. Selected as the 2006 Best Mystery Novel.
Download The Virgin of Small Plains, DB64701