20 Books of Summer 2019

20 Books of Summer 2019

I had a lot of fun doing 20 Books of Summer last year, so I’m excited to tackle it again for 2019. There’s nothing better than spending a lazy summer day with a pile of books, taking vicarious vacations around the world. Here are some of the literary destinations I’ll be visiting this summer.

Britain in Summer Travel Poster

Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr

A village fête turns violent when a shot rings out in the fortune-teller’s tent. Is Lesley an innocent victim, or a brazen killer?

The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton

High Eldersham looks like a sleepy, picture-perfect English village. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Uncle Paul by Celia Fremlin

A  family’s seaside holiday is shadowed by the return of one sister’s former husband, fifteen years after her testimony sent him to prison for murder.

Die in the Dark by Anthony Gilbert

A wealthy widow looking for a new home gets more than she bargained for.

Loire Valley France

The House above the River by Josephine Bell

A group of holidaymakers are forced to take shelter in a French chateau that may prove more deadly than the fog outside.

The Crime Coast by Elizabeth Gill

A young Englishman hunts for a missing man among the artists’ colony of the French Riviera, with the aid of an eccentric new friend.

Egypt and the Nile

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot must investigate a boatload of suspects when murder unexpectedly joins a cruise down the Nile.

Mexico Travel Poster

Vultures in the Sky by Todd Downing

It’s death in the tunnel when a passenger dies mysteriously on the train to Mexico City. Customs agent Hugh Rennert must solve the crime before the killer strikes again.

Wings of Fear by Mignon G. Eberhart

A young woman’s efforts to help her friend lead to a dead body in her apartment and a frantic flight to Mexico.

Natchez Mississippi Postcard

Murder with Southern Hospitality by Leslie Ford

The gardening club’s trip to Natchez, Mississippi, is more eventful than expected, as a romance between star-crossed lovers ends in murder.

Catalina Island Vintage Postcard

The Puzzle of the Pepper Tree by Stuart Palmer

On a trip to Catalina, irascible spinster Hildegarde Withers finds there’s no holiday from murder when one of her fellow airplane passengers dies in mid-air.

New York City Vintage Travel Poster

Cat of Many Tails by Ellery Queen

If the heat doesn’t kill you, the Cat might, as Ellery and his father stalk a serial killer through the dark streets of New York City.

The Chinese Chop by Juanita Sheridan

Chinese-American sleuth Lily Wu solves a baffling murder in postwar Greenwich Village.

The Swimming Pool by Mary Roberts Rinehart

An upper-crust family doesn’t have much patience for the antics of their drama-queen sister—until a corpse turns up in the swimming pool of their country house.


The Chuckling Fingers by Mabel Seeley

After a wealthy widower marries a younger bride, strange things start happening at the family’s isolated lakefront mansion.

New Orleans Mardi Gras Vintage Travel Poster

Waltz into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich

A mail-order bride brings danger into the life of her new husband, as sinister events seem to follow them wherever they go.

Hawaii Vintage Travel Poster

The House without a Key by Earl Derr Biggers

Charlie Chan is on the case as the murder of a longtime resident rocks 1920s Honolulu (as well as the victim’s very proper Bostonian family).

New Mexico Vintage Postcard

Murder Begins at Home by Delano Ames

Hijinks ensue when Jane and Dagobert Brown meet murder on a New Mexico ranch.

The Forbidden Garden by Ursula Curtiss

Mrs. Marrable is protective of her property…with very good reason, as lethal secrets flourish even in the desert.

The Blackbirder by Dorothy B. Hughes

A French refugee travels to Santa Fe to evade a murder and help her cousin escape from a Nazi prison camp. Then things get really complicated…


12 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer 2019

  1. I’ll be interested to see what you make of some of these — not least The Chinese Chop, which I’ve started a few times now and simply not been able to get into. You’ve also reminded me that I I have a Mignon G. Eberhart book I’ve been reading to read for ages…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Juanita Sheridan is the only author on the list who is completely new to me, so it will be interesting to see what The Chinese Chop is like. Now I’m curious what you’ll make of the Eberhart–do you remember which one it is?


      1. It is The White Cockatoo; I know nothing about it, just grabbed a copy when I saw one going because I hadn’t read anything by her. So it’s a voyage of adventure!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for hosting such a great event each year! It’s a really fun way to organize summer reading while still being flexible (and, of course, get inspired by everyone else’s lists!)


  2. Like JJ very excited to see what you make of these titles. Think I have only read 6 of them, so lots of new authors/titles for me to learn about. Unlike JJ though I am a big fan of Juanita Sheridan’s Lily Wu series. Hope you enjoy your first encounter with it. That and the Delano Ames of course, which is another go to author for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheridan is the big wild card here. Hoping I like the series, since I went ahead and bought three of the four books on the assumption that I would! Reading challenges are always fun. There are so many good books out there it’s sometimes hard to know what to read next. It’s nice to have a little curated assortment to choose from.


  3. What an impressive list. I have read a few of them, I was surprised at that. I look forward to your reviews, particularly for books and authors I am not familiar with.

    The book by Todd Downing reminded that I need to read Clues and Corpses by Curtis Evans and read at least one book by Todd Downing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are any that you’ve read that you would especially recommend?

      I want to read Clues and Corpses as well, although it will only make me want to read a lot of impossible-to-obtain 1930s authors!


  4. Interesting that your list contains arguably the best works of Christie, Carr and Queen! Are all these books new to you or have you read some of them before?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Death on the Nile is a reread–it’s actually the first grown-up book I ever read as a child, so it’s special to me. I haven’t read it in years, however, so I’m excited to revisit an old favorite.

      All the others are first-time reads, so it’s good to hear that some of them are very worthwhile. The best of Carr and Queen is high praise indeed!


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