• The cover of the book Chronicle of a Death Foretold

    Chronicle of a Death Foretold

    “On the morning that they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on.” Thus opens Márquez’s brilliant non-linear murder mystery based (loosely) on a real-life killing. In a small Colombian town, Angela Vicario is rejected by her husband for not being a virgin. When she admits to having slept with Nasar, her twin brothers loudly announce their plan to kill him. Everyone knows he’s going to be killed, so why does no one step in to stop the murder? And if everyone knew, is everyone to blame? The novella lacks Márquez’s trademark magical realism, but it’s filled with his concerns about family, small-town life, and Latin American masculinity.

     
  • The cover of the book In a Lonely Place

    In a Lonely Place

    “It’s harder to come back than it is to arrive.” The heyday of hardboiled noir wasn’t just a boys club. Dorothy B. Hughes—among others—wrote thrilling hardboiled novels that every crime fan should read. Her best-known is probably In a Lonely Place, which was also made into a classic film with Gloria Grahame and Humphrey Bogart. The novel follows an ex-fighter pilot, Dix Steele, who teams up with an LAPD officer to hunt down a misogynistic serial killer and rapist.

     
  • The cover of the book McGlue

    McGlue

    Before Moshfegh became a Man Booker finalist with her debut novel, the literary mystery Eileen, she published the short, weird, and fantastic novella McGlue. “I wake up,” the book starts. “My shirtfront is stiff and bibbed brown. I take it to be dried blood and I am a dead man.” The titular McGlue isn’t dead, but he might have killed his best friend. He’s still drunk, being held prisoner on his ship, and trying to clear away the fog of his memory. Moshfegh does a virtuoso job of creating a 19th-century sailor voice in this inebriated nautical tale of murder and memory.

     
  • The cover of the book The New York Trilogy

    The New York Trilogy

    Three short postmodern mysteries for the price of one, The New York Trilogy collects Auster’s “anti-detective fiction” works from the mid-1980s: City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room. Each of the novellas takes classic hardboiled and mystery tropes and reinvents them into a surreal detective tale. A mystery novelist receives a strange phone call in the dead of night that drags him into a metafictional mystery involving Paul Auster. A series of men named after colors—Blue, Brown, White, and Black—are caught in a tangled web of spying. A mysterious disappearance leads to an investigation of family, friendship, and artistic creativity. These are detectives stories turned inside out, but they’re as fun as they are philosophical.