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Quick Reads (under 200 pages)

Quick Reads are crime fiction books of bestselling authors with less than 200 pages. They might encourage adults who do not read often, or find reading difficult, to discover the incredible joy of books - particularly crime fiction and thrillers. This selection includes some of the most famous authors, such as Agatha Christie, James M. Cain, John Le Carre or Raymond Chandler.

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Agatha Christie
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Hercule Poirot Novel
2022 (First published: 1921)
Poirot is settling in England near Styles Court, the country estate of his wealthy benefactress, the elderly Emily Ingle­thorp. When Emily is poisoned, Poirot puts his sleuthing skills to work. Suspects are plentiful, including the victim’s husband, her stepsons, her longtime hired companion, a young family friend working as a nurse, and a London specialist on poisons who just happens to be visiting the nearby village.
115 Pages
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Arthur W. Upfield
The Will of the Tribe
Inspector Bonaparte Mysteries
2020 (First published: 1962)
It is in a harsh and eerie landscape - the crater formed by the meteor they called "The Stranger" - that a stranger is found dead. In an area where the presence of every outsider is immediately announced by the bush telegraph, how had this man passed unreported? This Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (Bony) mystery that gives a glimpse into the lost world of aboriginal culture.
156 Pages
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Karen Inglis
The Secret Lake
Secret Lake Children's Mystery Adventure, Book 1
When Stella and her younger brother, Tom, move to their new London home, they become mystified by the disappearances of Harry, their elderly neighbour’s small dog. A page-turning time travel adventure for children aged 8-11.
122 Pages
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Brian Evenson
Last Days
2016 (First published: 2016)
When Kline is kidnapped by a dark sect that believes amputation brings you closer to God, he's tasked with uncovering who murdered their leader. Will he uncover the truth in time to save himself, take on the mantle of prophet, or destroy all he sees with a rain of biblical violence? But the puzzles grow more craggy and complex.
200 Pages
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Seishi Yokomizo
The Honjin Murders
Detective Kindaichi Series - Book 1
2020 (First published: 1946)
In the winter of 1937, the village of Okamura is abuzz with excitement over the forthcoming wedding of a son of the grand Ichiyanagi family.Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi household are woken by a terrible scream, followed by the sound of eerie music. Death has come to Okamura, leaving no trace but a bloody samurai sword, thrust into the pristine snow outside the house.
192 Pages
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Melville Davisson Post
Uncle Abner: Master of Mysteries
The tales of Uncle Abner take place in what is now West Virginia, in the 1840's or 1850's. The mysteries of the crime solving, justice dispensing West Virginian backwoodsman Uncle Abner - written between 1911 and 1928 - have been called some of "the finest mysteries ever written".
146 Pages
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Raymond Chandler
Philip Marlowe - Book 7
1988 (First published: 1958)
Marlowe is hired by an influential lawyer he's never heard of to tail a gorgeous redhead, but then decides he'd rather help out the redhead. She's been acquitted of her alcoholic husband's murder, but her father-in-law prefers not to take the court's word for it.
176 Pages
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John Le Carré
Call for the Dead
George Smiley Novel - Book 1
2020 (First published: 1961)
After a routine security check by George Smiley, civil servant Samuel Fennan apparently kills himself. When Smiley finds 'Circus' head Maston is trying to blame him for the man's death, he begins his own investigation, meeting with Fennan's widow to find out what could have led him to such desperation. But on the very day that Smiley is ordered off the enquiry he receives an urgent letter from the dead man.
160 Pages
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Ngaio Marsh
A Man Lay Dead
Inspectr Roderick Alleyn - Book 1
2021 (First published: 1934)
Ngaio Marsh has crafted a gripping tale where a seemingly innocent game turns deadly. As guests gather for an evening of entertainment, a real-life murder steals the show. With hidden motives and a tangled web of suspects, it's a race against time to uncover the truth. Follow Inspectr Roderick Alleyn and ive into this classic mystery that will keep you guessing until the final page.
196 Pages
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Christianna Brand
Heads You Lose
Inspector Cockrill Mysteries - Book 1
2021 (First published: 1941)
As war rages in Europe, the citizens of London flee to the country. At Pigeonsford, a group of guests plays cards, drinks tea, and acts polite — but Grace Morland is painfully in love with Stephen Pendock, the squire of Pigeonsford. Pendock, however, is smitten with young beauty Francesca Hart. One afternoon, Fran debuts a new hat, and Grace’s jealousy exclaims: “I wouldn’t be seen dead in a ditch in a thing like that!”. She will soon be proven wrong.
190 Pages
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James M. Cain
The Postman Always Rings Twice
1989 (First published: 1934)
Cain started a new genre: American noir fiction. It may be full of despair, sweltering greed, dark violence and raw sex, but the no-nonsense description of humanity heading towards destruction is impossible to resist. In his laconic style Cain tells the story of Frank, a tramp, who his attracted to Cora, the young wife of brutally violent Nick. When Frank and Cora start an affair behind her older man's back, the story is heading for disaster.
116 Pages
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Agatha Christie
A Murder is Announced
Miss Marple Mystery 4
1968 (First published: 1950)
Miss Marple is staying at a spa hotel in a small village for treatment, when a murder is announced in the local newspaper. It shall take place on Friday, 29 October, at Little Paddocks, at 6.30 pm. Miss Marple works with Inspector Craddock of the county police to solve the crime. Deft and ingenious plot fabrication!
197 Pages
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Michael Allen Rose
Embry: Hard Boiled
Our hero wakes up one day to find that some upstanding citizens have been scrambled. The king, his horses and his men are now after our hero for a crime he didn’t commit and proving his innocence is going to be nearly impossible - particularly if you are a chicken. A darkly comic novel noir.
178 Pages
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