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Perry Mason was one of our best loved courtroom crime shows long ago and far away. 

To Kill a Mocking Bird became a blockbuster classic film, but first it was a best selling novel.

Drama in the courtroom still intrigues millions of readers who love to follow all the twists and turns and see the facts reveal the truth. And sometimes it doesn't. Still it makes a good story.

Check out some of the most popular crime and courtroom novels of the past and present. Click any book cover to see the Amazon book page. And, also, send me a list of your favorites so I can share them with others.

Click any book cover to go to its information page on Amazon. 
Buying through these links supports Sweet Mystery Books and Indie Authors.

Mystery Books She who reads is booked every night

Cold Reading (A Nick Shaw Mystery, Book 1) by David Wisehart

Nick has sworn off his day job as a P.I. and is trying to live his dream of being an actor, but it's not going so well. With bills to pay, he accepts a P.I. assignment from the producer of his unsuccessful audition. Edward Grant hires him to find his missing lover and actress, Stella Burke. As the investigation proceeds, things get weirder still. Everyone he meets seems to be wearing the same symbol, a six pointed star with a clover in the middle. Everyone seems a little off, and yet he can't find any evidence of the missing girl at all. She just disappeared, left her purse, her cell phone and all her belongings behind. As he gets more seduced by the mystery, something is just off, but what is it? Is he mixed up with some kind of cult? Suddenly he's the only suspect in a murder. His gun was used, even though he left it in his safe that requres his fingerprints. No one believes his crazy cult story. It's a good story with some surprising twists and a somewhat surprising outcome. He's not the brightest detective I've met, but he is dedicated, and that may be his downfall. He's amoral, easy to seduce and not too clear headed, but likable. I would give this author another shot. Four stars for originality. ~Review by Sandy Penny,

Click for a list of David Wisehart novels on Amazon. 

Old Money by Bobby Cole

Greed, greed and more greed. This reminded me of the old comedy movie, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.." Only not as funny. Everybody's looking for old man Bronson's stolen money, hidden before he went to prison and never found, as far as they know. His twin son and daughter have searched everywhere, and it has made them bitter and mean. Jake, the new park ranger, former Wall Street Broker, is dealing with a his affluent hunters getting robbed at gunpoint while out in the woods alone. His old friend and mentor, a judge, asks him to keep an eye on the twins because they suspect they're up to something. They're hooking up with their dad's old prison cellmate to find out if he knows anything about the money. And then, the twins are also engineering a con on a New Orleans mafia family. Lots going on in this book. Enough to keep you dazed and confused until it all blows up. Everybody's looking to score, and only one person knows where the money is. It's a maze of conflicting agendas and a good read. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. There are a few plot issues, some inconsistencies, but still a good story. I think you'll like it. ~Review by Sandy Penny, 

Lady Justice, Robert Thornhill's mystery/comedy series 

These are some of my favorite light-hearted police novels with a kick-ass older cast of characters. Geriatric genius. Funny, quirky, clever. 

Lady Justice and The Conspiracy Trial by Robert Thornhill

This continues the theme from Lady Justice and The Conspiracy. Walt is learning where the gray areas are now that he's no longer a cop and is a P.I. It's not all black and white from his new perspective. There is the lesser of two evils and other difficult choices. When investigative reporter Jack Carson is murdered and Walt receives a package of Jack's research on the Contrail Conspiracy, he hesitates to share it with anyone because everyone who worked the story is now dead under mysterious circumstances, so he locks it away. When Carmine Marchetti, the mob boss gangster who saved Walt's life is arrested for Jack's murder with a load of circumstantial evidence, Walt knows Carmine is not guilty of that particular crime. Can he let Carmine be convicted? He certainly is guilty of many other crimes and it might be a service to the world to get him off the streets. But Walt owes him a favor, and if he is convicted of the crime, the real perpetrators will go unknown and unpunished. It's a weighty decision. He fears not only for his life, but for his wife and family. What can he do? What will he do? How do you protect yourself when no one can be trusted? It's X-Files meets The Rockford Files. There is still plenty of humor in this book, but it's overshadowed by the hidden dark manipulators. It's well done and thought provoking as always. Another Five-Star Read.  ~Review by Sandy Penny, 

Lady Justice and The Conspiracy

Robert Thornhill takes our favorite senior snoop, Walt, into much more dangerous territory with this novel involving chem trails, HAARP, government and corporate conspiracies, cover-ups, and mobsters. He maintains his humor, albeit a little more low key in this novel, as he tries to unravel a series of seemingly unrelated murders that keep disturbing his peace. The author maintains his objective perspective as he tries to find real facts to confirm or deny the stories he's being told, but facts are hard to come by, and interpretations abound. Will Walt make it through this maze of mayhem this time and will his beloved Maggie ever get to share another glass of Arbor Mist with him? Gotta read it to find out. Loved it, as always. [Review by Sandy Penny, Founder of]  

Lady Justice in the Eye of the Storm . Combining a real life traumatic experience and ripping scenes from recent headlines, Robert Thornhill has written one of his best novels yet. Controversial, hopeful and thought provoking. Our elder police heroes, Walt and Ox are involved in the shooting of a young black man, and it doesn't look good. It's their word against popular opinion that they are guilty of wrongful death. When they are sent on vacation to keep them out of the public eye, things are not any better. A hurricane strikes Cabo San Lucas where they are staying, and they now have to face the challenges of lack of food and water and the dangers of looters. Thornhill always includes some political discussion in his novels, and this one brings up some very important topics. So Many Storms to Face. Review by Sandy Penny, Founder, *****FIve Stars

Lies Come True

(The Avery Hart Trilogy, Book 1)  

by Emerald O'Brien

Avery Hart narrowly escapes death after being attacked in the woods of Crown River. Ten years later... The body of a young woman is discovered along the path of a park in the same town. The killer is cunning and ruthless, but even the best killers make mistakes. Fiona Wolfe, the second woman to be attacked, survives and reveals a potential link between the current killer and the attack on Avery Hart. Noah Cotter, an ambitious new inspector, becomes drawn to the case when his curiosity combines with his attraction to Avery. The dangerous search for truth appears to be muddied with each shocking secret brought to light, as Avery, Fiona, and Noah realize that when someone is deceived for too long, sometimes ... Lies Come True

One Deadly Sister (The Sandy Reid Mystery Series #1) by Rod Hoisington

Who Knew Murder Could Heal a Family?

When Sandy Reid, investigator for a major law firm in Philadelphia, gets a call from her long lost brother, she is not happy to hear from him, especially when he says he has been arrested for murdering a Senator in Florida. With anger from the past at him for not helping her when she was incarcerated, she hangs up on him. Against her better judgment, she can't refuse to help him. He's in deeper than she thought, and she'll have to use all her considerable investigative skills to prove his innocence. And, if he didn't do it, who did? There are so many possible answers to that question. The twists and turns, pithy dialogue and smart characters kept me reading straight through. Really liked it. Can't wait to read some more. ~Review by Sandy Penny, Founder, 

Dead Girls Don't Blog by Pamela Frost Dennis

Ruined Lives Ruin Lives: Review by Sandy Penny,

Pamela Frost Dennis has created a unique voice in this book, having her heroine, Katy McKenna, blog her way through the murder of a friend she experienced as a teenager. The event scarred her deeply, and 16 years later, the murderer is about to come up for parole. Katy resolves to stop that from happening, and that starts a wicked chain of events that just might get her killed. The book is well written and very involving. I would not normally read such graphic details of a rape and murder, but this one was so real, like it happened to your best friend, that I could not stop reading. I definitely think there is room in the modern mystery market for blogging to be an integral part of a story line. Excellent job of creating something fresh and new and deeply emotional. Warning: Deeply disturbing graphic account of rape, kidnapping and murder. ***** Five Stars.

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter, author of the New York Times bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as “one of the best crime novelists in America” (The Washington Post). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice.

Cop Town: Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

 Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.

 Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter’s most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.

Bitter Nothings by Vicki Tyler


Half her family have been murdered in their beds. Her father is the prime suspect. And things are about to get a whole lot worse ... Graphic designer Dervla Johns wakes one morning to the news that her father, Warren, is missing and her stepmother and step-siblings were found dead in their beds. While the police hunt for Warren, Dervla searches for answers. Could her father really be a killer? Refusing to be warned off by police threats, or intimidated by the reporter who appears to be following her, she delves into her family's past. But as she uncovers one shocking secret after another, Dervla's world is rocked further by another murder - and she finds herself desperately trying to untangle a web of illicit love and betrayal. Soon, Dervla must face her greatest fear... or suffer the same deadly fate as her stepmother. 

"If you like mystery fiction with a psychological flair, Vicki Tyley will deliver. She understands that fiction is about real people, and that real people have their dangerous flaws." -Scott Nicholson, Bestselling author of Liquid Fear

Mystery at Pima Point by JB Clemmens 

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can get the Kindle edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more. Start reading Mystery at Pima Point (Lieutenant James mysteries) on your Kindle in under a minute. 

When Christa, the bride-to-be disappears from a cave above the fabulous Pima Point Resort, Lieutenant James and her fiance, Drew, search for her. What they find is a dead girl, not Christa. Can James and his nephew solve the murder and find the bride before the wedding?

Author: The author of Mystery at Pima Point, JB Clemmens enjoys writing after sixteen years as a high school math teacher. The Lieutenant James series includes Something Fishy in Manhattan, A Substitute for Murder, and Mystery at Pima Point. All are available on Amazon. Her first book, Jigsaw, is the fictional adventure of two women, who decide to walk from one city to another after a gasoline ban.

Donna Leon . Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery Series

The Hitman's Lover by Richard Newell Smith (A Jack Scully Mystery)

Jack Scully, a Jersey City "divorce and dog-bite" lawyer, is leading a nice quiet life until his cantankerous Aunt Maude guns down a policeman. Her defense: the cop was really a hitman hired by her alcoholic husband Teddy. When Maude insists that Scully handle her case, he is quickly drawn into the murderous world of organized crime and crooked cops. Blinding him to the dangers is the beautiful Mafia Princess Angela D'Annunzio. Is her love for Scully true or is she luring him into the final betrayal?

Chief Inspector Gamache Novels by Louise Penny

Blood from Stone by Frances Fyfield . Marianne Shearer is at the height of her career, a dauntingly successful barrister, respected by her peers and revered by her clients. So why has she killed herself? Her latest case had again resulted in an acquittal, although the outcome was principally due to the death of the prime witness after Marianne’s forceful cross-examination. Had this wholly professional and unemotional lawyer been struck by guilt or uncertainty, or is there some secret to be discovered in her blandly comfortable private life? Her tenacious colleague Peter Friel is determined to find out if that last trial held the reason for her taking her own life. The transcript holds intriguing clues, but it is another witness at the trial who holds the key to the truth. FRANCES FYFIELD has spent much of her professional life practicing as a criminal lawyer. See our blog for more info. 



Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.  "I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites." – Stephen King