One of the great joys of reading is the way it transports you into the extraordinary. For the mystery readers among us, we’ve all felt the thrill of unraveling a wide-scale, even epic whodunit - be it through a high-stakes police investigation, through cracking a government cover-up, or getting wrapped up in an international conspiracy.
But what happens when mystery strikes closer to home, in something as simple, and otherwise delightful as our hobbies? Our editors think there is something particularly entertaining when a jarring mystery appears in these pleasant and steady parts of our lives. It’s a thrill to realize that nothing is safe and insidious threats can creep in where you least expect them. From golf to baking to board games, these books show us that the ordinary can become extraordinary, and that even our most beloved past times can turn deadly.
Our editors compiled a list of their favorite hobby mysteries, in which our familiar, everyday past times become settings for conflict and intrigue.
A Wicked Sliceby Charlotte and Aaron Elkins – From Edgar Award winning Aaron Elkins and wife Charlotte Elkins comes this first installment of the Lee Ofsted Mysteries. While playing in the Pacific-Western Women's Pro-Am tournament, golfer Lee Ofsted discovers the body of the tournament star. With the help of a handsome Lieutenant, she’ll learn what a wicked game golf can be.
Words in the Darkby Giulia Beyman – A classic board game is used as a central clue in this haunting mystery. After the sudden loss of her husband Joe, Nora Cooper is stunned to learn secrets about him she never suspected. While searching for answers, she suddenly starts receiving inexplicable messages in Scrabble letters. Could they be from her late husband, directing her towards the truth?
A Peach of a Murder: A Fresh-Baked Mysteryby Livia J. Washburn – Retired school teacher Phyllis Newsom is determined to take the top pie prize at this year’s Peach Festival. But when her spicy peace cobbler kills one of the judges, the amateur sleuth must prove she’s not a murderer.
Murder on the 18th Greenby Federico Maria Rivalta – Golf once again serves as the background for this cozy mystery. The Euganean Hills golf community in northern Italy is a beautiful paradise for golfers – until one of its members turns up dead. Investigative journalist Riccardo Ranieri takes up the case, but as more bodies pile up, the community may never be the same.
To Brew or Not to Brew (Brewing Trouble Mystery #1)by Joyce Tremel – Maxine O’Hara’s dream of turning her love of beer brewing into a business is about to come true. But before she can open the doors of her new craft brew pub, she’s faced with suspicious acts of sabotage and even finds her assistant brewmaster strangled in one of the vats. Can she get to the bottom of the mysterious events before her business tanks?