Looking for mystery with some fantasy

shamguy4

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For years now I have struggled to find a book that I like. The truth is I start many books and end up returning them to the library because I don't find them enjoyable.
When I was younger it was not so hard. I guess back then I read anything that came my way. The books were also smaller, so by the time I realized I did not like them I was almost done.

As I got older, I gained a pallette. I read hardy boys, and then Narnia and of course fell in love with Harry Potter. I read many books at this stage in life.
I remember i liked stardust by Neil Gaiman.
I also watched fantasy shows and super heroes with powers. From Heroes, to Smallville to Disney's Once Upon a Time.

When I reached my twenties the reading slowed and I began to struggle to find books I like. I figured that I must like fantasy books.
So I began to take out fantasy books. I would start them. However I rarely finished them. A lot of these fantasy books are quite long and don't always have conflict for the first 500 pages.
I tried reading Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and failed to finish. The main character is tending to his bar for over 100 pages. I returned it... twice. I tried to read this book twice after hearing how good it was. The library didn't let me take it out a third time in a row so... :D
I tried reading Lord of the Rings. I loved the movies! Alas, I could not read too long because Frodo was taking over 150 pages to climb the same mountain.

At that point I decided perhaps it was not fantasy but sci-fi that I liked. I tried dune. Dune' ask me if I finished this book either.... :D

Recently I read a game of thrones. I liked it somewhat. What a miracle! It was a bit dirty for my tastes. But at least I finished it! I liked the mystery of it.

I suddenly had a realization that perhaps what I enjoy is mystery.
Harry Potter was a mystery. Stardust had some mystery. Mystery keeps me hooked.
So what books out there are mystery with some fantasy thrown in.
Any books at all will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and good day.
 

Vince W

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Since you mention you like Neal Gaiman you could try is Neverwhere or American Gods. On the other hand if you like science fiction you could try Asimov's The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, and Robots of Dawn which are straight up detective stories in a science fiction setting.
 

Elckerlyc

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Well, if it is mystery you're looking for start reading detectives ;) I don't read detectives. I don't care at all who killed someone I don't even know, not am I interested in the domestic troubles of DI W.D. It.
So, no recommendations from me in that area.

Mystery in SFF....
Roger Zelazny - Amber - certainly in book 1 the MC has to figure out what's wrong with the world
Neal Stephenson - Cryptonomicon. It's about crypto, next to a load of other stuff. And Anathem is for a large bit about discovering was going on.
Gene Wolfe - Peace. There's a mystery in there which is not likely you will be able to solve.
Dan Simmons - Drood
Tim Powers perhaps. All his books are spooky mysteries.
And btw, Patrick Rothfuss is good, but I agree the whole idea about the inn and having the MC tell his tale in between other mundane stuff wasn't helpful. Anyway, he never finished the trilogy, so you might as well forget him.
 
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tinkerdan

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I would suggest Dean Koontz--specifically his Odd Thomas series which is 7 books the longest one might be the first--most are around 100k words. I think the first novel is more like 130k words. [His writing in these is such that you can't put the book down(well, I couldn't anyway)].
From there, there are his Seize the Night and Fear Nothing.(So far a two book fit with same characters.)

However if you are looking more toward the fantasy and don't mind YA You might look into 'The Raven Boys' by Maggie Stiefvater. There is a series and they run around 150k words.

I'd give page numbers; however those can be deceptive. 100k words can be anything from 175 pages to 300 plus pages depending on formatting and some publishers are often tweaking page formats to bulk up the books(especially in the fantasy genre where more is preferable). When you get down to 80k word or less it starts to be a novella. (That's a bit more fluid these days and with the deceptive formatting.)
 

tachyon

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It seems to me you may just not be interested in giant epic fantasy doorstops (name of the wind, dune, lotr, asoiaf).

Check out Zelazny (Amber, seconded!, starting with Nine Princes in Amber) and for something more recent maybe try Max Gladstone's Craft series, starting with Three Parts Dead.

This being said, I have recently read something exactly like what you're asking for, Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey. A non-magic private investigator hired to solve a murder case at a high school for wizards. (Full disclosure: I didn't like it.)

There's also the Garrett, P.I. series by Glen Cook. This has more than just a little fantasy, as it's set in a fantasy world, but the main character is a private investigator solving mysteries.
 

Elckerlyc

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Perhaps Jim Butcher with his series Dresden Files. about Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Wizard P.I.

And, come to think of it, Ben Aaronovitch series Rivers of London.
 

CupofJoe

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Perhaps Jim Butcher with his series Dresden Files. about Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Wizard P.I.

And, come to think of it, Ben Aaronovitch series Rivers of London.
I'd second Ben Aaronovitch. They are almost noire in their style and approach but with beautiful fantasy touches. I've read a couple and liked them both.
 

soulsinging

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Perhaps Jim Butcher with his series Dresden Files. about Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Wizard P.I.
Definitely these. Probably a fair amount of urban fantasy really.

My book addiction started with the Hardy Boys as well so I know the feeling. This makes me wonder if the reason I've never been as into LOTR as most fantasy fans is the total lack of mystery/intrigue.
 

Parson

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You might like Jack McDevit books. They are S.F. but almost all (might be all) of them have a mystery that has to be solved. I suspect you would really like his first novel A Talent for War. If that's your cup of tea there are a lot more rather like it.
 

M. Robert Gibson

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If you don't mind a bit of humour, you might want to try Douglas Adams' detective stories Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul both of which feature sci-fi and fantasy type elements.
 

shamguy4

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Thanks so much for the responses!
I will look into some of these books.
And I’m definitely ok with YA. There is still a child within me.
It doesn’t have to be a murder mystery. As long as the book has me questioning how? Why? Where?

Most of the books that are not mystery have only one question: how will this end?

Mystery books I find have a lot more questions and leave you wondering how all of this is going to be solved.
 

Randy M.

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And, come to think of it, Ben Aaronovitch series Rivers of London.
I agree with this. And I expect a fair amount of urban fantasy would fit your requirements, too, since much of it stems from noir.

These might be along the lines of what you're looking for:
The John Silence stories by Algernon Blackwood (particularly "Ancient Sorceries" and "Secret Worship") and if you like these, look into William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki stories
The Man Who Was Thursday by G K. Chesterton (really odd book with a very definite mystery underpinning the story)
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag by Robert A. Heinlein (a riff on the Chesterton)
The City & The City by China Mieville
The Watchmen by Alan Moore (graphic novel)
Fata Morgana by William Kotzwinkle

I haven't read them, but I think from reputation that Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories would be worth your looking into. Also Majestrum by Matthew Hughes, another I haven't read, but I've read a couple of the stories that were merged to form this book and they were both fun and very funny.

Randy M.
 

BAYLOR

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Try Glen Cooks P. I Garrett series . Its fantasy noir and it's hilariously funny and lots of fun to read. :cool: (y)
The First 3 books in the series
1. Sweet Silver Blues
2. Bitter Gold Hearts
3. Cold Copper Tears
 

DannMcGrew

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Even if you read them in school, you might revisit good old Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allan Poe. And if by some chance you haven't read them, lucky you. You have a treat in store.
 

BAYLOR

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Sherlock Homes and the Servants of Hell by Paul Kane . This book is set in Clive Barke's Hellraiser universe . It's a very good book.:cool:(y)
 

Vince W

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Sherlock Homes and the Servants of Hell by Paul Kane . This book is set in Clive Barke's Hellraiser universe . It's a very good book.:cool:(y)
Sherlock Holmes and Pinhead in the same story. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
 
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