Parry Sound Books

Proud to be your community book shop since 1988
Knowledgable Staff - Service - Selection
Good Literature for Children & Adults

Mystery novels for the dock or the rocks

Whether you are spending the beginning of the summer on the dock or the rocks there is nothing better than a new mystery novel to wile away the day.


Claire McGowan is relatively new on the scene with her series now in it’s third installment. The Silent Dead follows The Lost and The Dead Ground, with Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire once again working with the local police.

This time the victim is well known in the community. He was one of a group who planted a bomb killing many innocent people five years earlier. Though they were known to be guilty, they were not convicted.

When another of the group is found dead, and others are missing, the team begins to understand that this is an organized plan to eliminate the bombers. And, regardless of the fact that these people were guilty of mass murder, they had been tried and set free, leaving those investigating with a moral dilemma.

Paula Maguire is heavily pregnant and finding it all a bit difficult but she is determined not to be left out of this investigation. Missing people is Paula’s obsession. She has been searching for her own mother all of her adult life, and this case uncovers a few more pieces of the puzzle in her own quest for the truth.

What I find most fascinating about this series is the setting in present day Ireland, a country still so affected by the violence of the past. There are people who were once bitter enemies, who did terrible things, but who must now make an attempt to live together in peace if the conflict is not to continue into the next generation and beyond. Paula knows this, as do all of the others, the police, the journalists, and the victims and perpetrators of violence.  

Another, longer, series with a new instalment is the Ruth Galloway Mystery series by Elly Griffiths. Ruth is an archaeologist and a professor at a university in Norfolk, England. When there is a case that somehow involves an archaeological component Ruth is often called in by DCI Harry Nelson for assistance. Theirs is a complicated relationship and one that is never quite resolved from one case to the next. The newest book in the series, the 8th, is The Woman in Blue. Ruth has been contacted by Hilary, an old friend from their university days, who indicates that she needs some sort of help.  Hilary has left archaeology behind and become a priest. Ruth has a bit of an aversion to religion, to say the least, but she is reluctantly willing to meet Hilary. Discovering that Hilary has been receiving threatening letters Ruth urges Hilary to contact the police.

When two young women are murdered it appears that there may be a connection to the murders and Hilary’s letters, finding Nelson and Ruth uncomfortably working together once again.

If you have not read this series, start with the first, The Crossing Places, and you’ll find yourself involved in both the mystery and the personal lives of the characters Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson, and a summer of reading ahead of you.

Copyright © 1988 - 2013  Parry Sound Books, an independent bookstore in Parry Sound (Georgian Bay)