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Modern Golden Age style mystery/crime writers?
#1  Uncle Robin 09-17-2020, 05:07 AM
Can anyone recommend modern mysteries/crime thrillers that DO NOT feature serial killers, graphic violence and/or double-digit body counts?

Browsing the Kobo Store there is a certain sameness to the overall flavour: (1)Graphic violence (normally prominently featured in the synopses as a selling point in the book's favour), (2) serial killers, and (3) lots of corpses (see 1).

I'm looking for something more cerebral and less visceral - sort of Louise Penny-ish in her prime, before she reached the crank 'em out formulaic state of her last couple. A focus on actual detection, deduction, etc, rather than long, lingering, loving descriptions of evisceration and mutilation and absent "catch the killer(s) before they strike for the 15th time this book" would be my preference as I am a VERY hematophobic fan of murder mysteries, while not necessarily being fond of the overly soft fuzziness of "cozy" mysteries (aware of the paradox I am). A modern-day Allingham or the like would be nice. TIA!
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#2  hildea 09-17-2020, 01:01 PM
Maureen Johnson's Truly Devious series.

Barbara Hambly's Benjamin January series might also be of interest - I don't think it's Golden Age style, but it does fit your "focus on actual detection, deduction, etc, rather than long, lingering, loving descriptions of evisceration and mutilation and absent 'catch the killer(s) before they strike for the 15th time this book'" description.
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#3  hobnail 09-17-2020, 02:15 PM
Donna Leon maybe; her Commissario Guido Brunetti series. She's American but lives and teaches in Venice.

Also try Andrea Camilleri, his Inspector Montalbano series. Andrea Camilleri was born in Sicily but he lives in Rome; his series is set in Sicily. Surprisingly, not a lot of Mafia violence.

Your question reminds me of one of the Hamish MacBeth books by M. C. Beaton where the body count was truly double-digit. The earlier ones in that series are quite entertaining because of her humor. The ones I read of her Agatha Raisin series never worked for me.

As always, read them in order.
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#4  hobnail 09-17-2020, 02:17 PM
Also maybe the Kurt Wallender series by Henning Mankell?
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#5  ApK 09-17-2020, 03:16 PM
Quote Uncle Robin
Can anyone recommend modern mysteries/crime thrillers that DO NOT feature serial killers, graphic violence and/or double-digit body counts?

Browsing the Kobo Store there is a certain sameness to the overall flavour: (1)Graphic violence (normally prominently featured in the synopses as a selling point in the book's favour), (2) serial killers, and (3) lots of corpses (see 1).

I'm looking for something more cerebral and less visceral - sort of Louise Penny-ish in her prime, before she reached the crank 'em out formulaic state of her last couple. A focus on actual detection, deduction, etc, rather than long, lingering, loving descriptions of evisceration and mutilation and absent "catch the killer(s) before they strike for the 15th time this book" would be my preference as I am a VERY hematophobic fan of murder mysteries, while not necessarily being fond of the overly soft fuzziness of "cozy" mysteries (aware of the paradox I am). A modern-day Allingham or the like would be nice. TIA!
Clearly you need intensive desensitization therapy to get over your aversion to cozies.

But seriously... have you tried the Cormoran Strike books by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)?
Except for one, where the violent nature of the murder was a specific plot point, they are light on gore, heavy on the who-done-it PI work. I've enjoyed them.

ApK
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#6  Luffy 09-17-2020, 03:43 PM
The Chocoholic series by Joanna Carl.
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#7  John F 09-17-2020, 04:34 PM
How about Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series. It has been a while since I've read them, but I don't recall to much gore.

I'm currently reading the first book of James Runcie's Grantchester series. Reads like several short stories tied together, and some of the mysteries don't include murder.
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#8  rkomar 09-17-2020, 05:30 PM
I like the Hans Olav Lahlum series of classic "locked room" type mysteries. Unfortunately, only five have been translated into English so far.
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#9  Uncle Robin 09-17-2020, 08:20 PM
Wow, thank you all so much! I shall check out all those mentioned, except Hamish Macbeth - I've read the first 30 or so of that series already.
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#10  4691mls 09-19-2020, 07:35 PM
I don't know about "golden age" style. But I am with you on trying to avoid books where it seems like the author is constantly trying to come up with ever more gruesome crimes which are described in disgusting detail. I also don't usually like the kind of cozy where the main character runs a local food or craft shop and annoys local law enforcement by butting into all their investigations.

Here are some series I've found that I would classify as not too cozy nor too violent:

Martin Walker's Bruno, Chief of Police

Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware

Faye Kellerman's Decker & Lazarus

Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch

Mary Daheim's Alpine/Emma Lord It's easy to keep these in order because the titles are alphabetical - Alpine Advocate through Alpine Zen, then starting over with Alpha Alpine. They're cozy but Emma runs the local newspaper so she and her staff at least have a reason to be looking into all the local crimes.

If you like something with a sense of humor, there's Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May. It's been a while since I read any of those but the ones I read, I enjoyed.

If you like historical mysteries, you might try Charles Todd's Bess Crawford or Ian Rutledge series.

I haven't read any of these in a while, but they are pretty cerebral and some of the investigations aren't about murders - Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series. Those books spend a lot of time in Isabel's head as she ponders her life and various issues so if that's not your cup of tea, give them a pass.
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