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The wallflowers of the libraries are those books that languish on the shelves unread and ignored. Well-reviewed, (or they wouldn't be in the library), they are not sought out by readers, but may be stumbled upon by happenstance, a possible delightful discovery for someone. What makes someone take a chance on an unknown mystery? Is it an attractive cover, intriguing jacket copy, or a rave review from a favorite mystery author? Do people stick to certain sub-genres, i.e. police procedurals, British cozies, dog mysteries? Or, do they read omnivorously, picking anything that appeals at that moment? What sort of reader are you? Do you read strictly off the best seller list, reserving all your choices in advance? Do you depend on serendipity, enjoying the thrill of finding a really great book all by yourself?
Below are some of these wallflower mystery authors, some suggested by members of the Investigating Mysteries book discussion group. Take one out and have yourself a good time.
Max Allan Collins is a prodigious writer by anyone's standards. He is the author of novels based on popular films and television shows. He has also written the well-regarded Quarry series featuring hit-man Jack Quarry. If you like your heroes hard-boiled, you'll like Quarry.
Walter Satterthwait writes not only historical mysteries (some based on actual people such as Lizzie Borden), but a contemporary P.I. series starring Santa Fe resident Joshua Croft. He is surely an under-appreciated author who deserves a wider audience.
Margaret Yorke no longer writes, but she has written numerous psychological thrillers which will appeal to Ruth Rendell fans. Her plots often involved innocent people who make a fateful wrong decision and end up ruining their lives.
Cara Black is certainly not an unknown author, but her Aimee Leduc series sits on the shelf more than it should. The Paris setting is irresistible and so is Amy.
Priscilla Royal's heroine Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal is a plucky nun solving crimes in medieval times. The prioress/sleuth investigates the plethora of deaths not caused by the diseases, food or sanitation of thirteen century England.
Carolyn Haines writes the Mississippi Delta series starring Southern belle/P.I. Sarah Booth Delaney and her sidekick, a ghost named Jitty. Even if you don't appreciate the paranormal element, the characters and setting are charming.