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For Summer Sleuths: Best Mystery, Crime Novels

Starting when I was a kid of about 8 or 9, the greatest summer pleasure I could imagine was sitting in the afternoon shade on the stoop of my Queens, N.Y., apartment building, a Tupperware pitcher of Tang (the drink of astronauts!) by my side and a mystery novel in my hand.

Other kids were getting sweaty playing slap ball or tag in the alleyways between the apartment houses; I, meanwhile, was transported far away from the noise and grime of the city to an eternally leafy suburb known as River Heights. That's because, of course, the mystery novels I was reading back then were all Nancy Drews.

The years have gone by and summer is now as hectic as the rest of the year, but whenever I think back to the drowsy delights of summer vacations, a blue roadster and a certain titian-haired sleuth pop into my head. Maybe that's why I was so thrilled to discover, in advance of this summer reading season, five new books for grown-up mystery lovers.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2019, Corrigan was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle.