Underrated gems I read in 2016


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it’s fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

This week I’m talking about Underrated gems I read in 2016. 


Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor (Irish Village Mystery #1) — Contemporary Mystery

I loved the Irish village in County Cork and the O’Sullivan family.

Out of the Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce (Detective Sarah Alt #1) — Police Procedural

Well-written book about a young police detective. Written by a veteran police officer.

Among the Departed by Vicki Delany (Constable Molly Smith #5) — Police Procedural

Takes place in mountainous eastern British Columbia in a small town where Moonlight (Molly) Smith grew up. She has hippy parents and everyone in town knows her and many still call her Moonlight. But she’s an ambitious police officer. The series keeps getting better and better.

The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty (Sean Stranahan #1) — Contemporary Mystery

Sean is a fly fisherman and private detective living in Montana. The setting is wonderful and I like Sean and all the fishing talk. The royal wulff is the name of a trout fly and it’s found in a dead man’s lip.

Murder on Bamboo Lane by Naomi Hirahara (Officer Ellie Rush Mystery #1) — Police Procedural

Ellie is a young bicycle patrol officer in Los Angeles still on probation. She has dreams of becoming a detective, but still has a lot to learn. A very good series.

The Darkness and the Deep by Aline Templeton (DI  Marjory Fleming #2) — Police Procedural

Marjory is such a good character in these books. She’s deeply human even though she’s a detective inspector. She has doubts sometimes, a complicated relationship with her father, is a farmer’s wife (she loves her chickens) and does what’s right even when it causes her grief. And it’s set in Scotland!

Death Comes to the Fair by Catherine Lloyd (Kurland St. Mary Mystery #4) — Historical Mystery

I’ve enjoyed the progression of the lives of the main characters from the very first book to this one. Takes place in Regency England and has a lot of humor and a little romance.

Moonshadows by Julie Whitesel Weston (Nellie Burns and Moonshine Mystery #1) — Historical Mystery

This book takes place during Prohibition (though in the small Idaho town there’s no shortage of liquor) in 1920’s Idaho. Nellie travels to Idaho from Chicago. She wants to make a name for herself as a photographer. Moonshine is the Labrador Retriever she finds. I especially love all the photography detail in the book as well as the mystery.


An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca (The Maradaine Constabulary #2) — Police Procedural

I love the fantasy setting for these police procedurals. There’s magic and politics and lots beneath the surface we don’t always see.

Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle (Dark Alchemy #1) — Urban Fantasy

Petra Dee is a geologist working for the federal government. She arrives in Wyoming with a dual mission of finding her father (who disappeared in the area years ago) and working in Yellowstone National Park. It turns out Yellowstone and the area around it is very strange. There’s magic and mysticism and alchemy. It’s a great mix.

Do you have books you love that you consider hidden gems? That you want more people to know about and read?

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

12 thoughts on “Underrated gems I read in 2016”

    1. The first book takes place in the Yellowstone area. Lots of the second book is within Yellowstone. I hope if you read the books you enjoy them, Nathan.


  1. I loved Murder in an Irish Village! Did you see the 2nd is on NetGalley? Super excited about it! I really want to read more from Vicki Delaney this year. I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read but it’s only been 2 books and I’ve had the Lloyd book sitting on my shelf for entirely too long. I’ll have to check out the rest of your mysteries listed!


    1. Wasn’t the first book good, Katherine. I’m not going on NetGalley. I have several NetGalley books I haven’t read so I’ve decided I need to read and review those books first.

      I hope you get a chance to read more of Vicky Delaney this year. And the Lloyd book, too.


  2. Yes- good post! I’m not blogging right now but I do read a few select blogs, yours one of them and for good reason… I have the first three books mentioned on my kindle but unread, another book on my wishlist for awhile, and two more I want to now add to my wishlist. Love your choices of titles, and even when you talk about space operas (a genre I don’t read) I’m interested in hearing what they’re about out of curiosity. Thanks Jan, take care!


    1. I’m sorry you’re not blogging right now, Rita. I really enjoy reading your posts and I’ve found lots of good books from your lists, but I understand that we all need a break sometimes. I hope you enjoy some of the books and authors I’ve listed.


    1. Always glad to enable, Barb! Hope you get a chance to read about Constable Molly and Dark Alchemy as well as others on my list.


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