If you like a local flavor to your mysteries, this list should be just your cup of tea!
For even more mysteries set in Wisconsin, you can search InfoSoup for Wisconsin fiction and mystery.
This booklist was contributed by Appleton Public Library Reference and Information Services Staff, 5/07
Putting lipstick on a pig (2006)A cold-hearted lawyer is unmourned by clients, colleagues, or anyone else. Interest in Vance Hayes' seemingly accidental death is truly perfunctory until it intersects with peril facing Vietnamese-American court reporter Sue Key, tied to Milwaukee's Hmong community. Syndetics
Dead boogie (2006)Doc Osborne and police chief Lew Ferris hook up again to solve the murder of one of Loon Lake's citizens. When they start digging into the background of the victim they find some startling connections to one of the wealthiest families in Chicago. Osborne and Ferris wonder if the secret they have uncovered will destory the family.A Loon Lake fishing mystery.
Dead center (2006)After Laurie Collins left him and headed west, New Jersey defense attorney Andy Carpenter didn't expect to ever see her again. So he's shocked when his ex-girlfriend appears on TV - and then calls him pleading for his help." "Two coeds in Wisconsin have been found brutally stabbed to death. As the town's acting police chief, Laurie had to arrest a young college student with a carful of bloodstains who argued with one of the victims just before her death. Yet Laurie strongly believes that the suspect, Jeremy Davidson, is innocent." "Trading the refineries and factories of Patterson for the frozen pastures of Findlay, Wisconsin, Andy soon finds himself in a small town handling a big-time double homicide case. He looks into Jeremy's romance with one of the victims ... and the possible involvement of a bizarre religious cult - one that may sanction the most unholy, and vicious, of acts." "While Andy tries to save Jeremy, make sense of his love life, and find a decent pizza for his beloved dog, Tara, the secrets of an ultra-religious community begin to rain down on him like bricks from a cracked fortress. But as Rosenfelt proves to us once again, the path to the truth is littered with lies and misdirection. And before it's all over, the unexpected is the only thing Andy can count on."--SyndeticsAn Andy Carpenter Mystery. (View First Chapter/Excerpt)
Murder at midnight (2005)A Catholic pastor in rural Mitchell, Wisconsin is brutally murdered. Authorities turn up plenty of suspects and even the murder weapon but no solid leads.Syndetic SolutionsSecond in the Monona Quinn series.
Dead jitterbug (2005)Hope McDonald's advice column syndicates nationwide, so when Hope is murdered in her home, Chief Lewellyn can think of more than a few suspects. Now, she'll have to think of the perfect bait to net a cold-blooded killer. OriginalSyndeticsA Loon Lake fishing mystery
The blood knot : a fly fishing mystery (2005)"The last thing The Dog wanted was to find another body. But there was Annie Adams - the barn lady - floating dead at his feet, her easel and paints set up on the bridge above his head. Standing defiantly beside them, a frightened and stubborn nine-year-old - The Avalanche Kid - shotgun in hand, dares the Dog, "You saw me hit her. Now go ahead and tell somebody." And so The Dog wades his way through "Kussmaul country," encountering some scandalous paintings, a dispute over trespassing, a shunned Amish woman on meth, and a quite possibly rabid beaver. And the Dog knows, this is not a fishing trip."--BOOK JACKET. Syndetics
Poison heart : a novel of suspense (2005)From the author of "Bone Harvest" comes a new novel starring Claire Watkins, the sole female deputy in St. Antoine, Wisconsin, who probes a rash of suspicious deaths and matches wits with a widow suspected of multiple murders. SyndeticsA Claire Watkins mystery. (View First Chapter/Excerpt)
A Matter of motive (2004)New police chief Dexter Loomis must deal with the murder of the mayor's daughter in this contemporary whodunit set in the small town of Higgins Point, Wis.
Bone harvest (2004)The unsolved murders at a remote Wisconsin farmhouse half a century ago have receded into time. But one deranged man will do anything to make sure that all of Pepin County remembers that bloody day. When a quantity of dangerous pesticides is stolen from the local co-op, Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is called in to investigate. The thief has left one bizarre clue: the finger bone of a child long dead.SyndeticsA Claire Watkins mystery. (View First Chapter/Excerpt)
Live bait (2004)"Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are bored - ever since they solved the Monkeewrench case, the Twin Cities have been in a murder-free dry spell, as people no longer seem interested in killing one another. But with two brutal homicides taking place in one awful night, the crime drought ends - not with a trickle, but with an eventual torrent. Who would kill Morey Gilbert, a man without an enemy, a man who might as well have been a saint? His tiny, cranky little wife, Lily, is no help, and may even be a suspect; his estranged son, Jack, an infamous ambulance-chasing lawyer, has his own enemies; and his son-in-law, former cop Marty Pullman, is so depressed over his wife's death a year ago that he's ready to kill himself, but not Morey. The number of victims - all elderly - grows, and the city is fearful once again." "The detectives' investigation threatens to uncover a series of horrendous secrets, some buried within the heart of the police department itself, blurring the lines between heroes and villains. Grace MacBride's cold-case-solving software may find the missing link - but at a terrible price."SyndeticsA Monkeewrench Mystery. (View First Chapter/Excerpt)
Murder over easy (2003)Monona Quinn thought moving away from the big city would be a refreshing change of pace. But when the owner of a popular local diner comes up murdered, she begins the hair-raising task of finding the culprit. All of the crime and violence she thought she was escaping has apparently snuck past the Mitchell, WI town limits, right on her heels. Can she handle the pressure? Can her marriage? Marshall Cook WebsiteFirst in the Monona Quinn Mystery Series.
The nail knot : a fly fishing mystery
(2003)Sequel to The blood knot.
Monkeewrench (2003)People are dying for the new computer game by the software company Monkeewrench. Literally. With Serial Killer Detective out in limited release, the real-life murders of a jogger and a young woman have already mimicked the first two scenarios in the game. But Grace McBride and her eccentric Monkeewrench partners are caught in a vise. If they tell the Minneapolis police of the link between their game and the murders, they'll shine a spotlight on the past they thought they had erased-and the horror they thought they'd left behind. If they don't, eighteen more people will die...SyndeticsA Monkeewrench Mystery. (View First Chapter/Excerpt)
Dead frenzy (2003)For fishing pals (or are they more than just pals?) Doc Osborne and Police Chief Lew Ferris, Loon Lake, Wisconsin is usually a great place to soak in some solitude. But lately, the town has been teeming with tourists. And Doc is spending less time catching bass and more time catching crooks... Between a fishing tournament and a biker convention, Loon Lake is flooded with visitors. And for the most part, they're less-than-savory characters. The million-dollar fishing prize is bringing out the worst in some people and the motorcycle rally is actually a front for a drug operation. To get to the bottom of all this, Osborne agrees to go undercover-as a biker! It's his first time on a motorcycle and it only takes a few revs of the engine and a quick taste of chrome to get him hooked. Meanwhile, there's an old murder case Doc's bent on solving, and sooner or later, he'll also have to face lovelorn Brenda Anderle and tell her the truth...that he's just not interested. SyndeticsA Loon Lake fishing mystery.
Cold hunter's moon (2002)On a cold November day in the Big Oak, Wisconsin woods, Ann Ransom's dog finds a human foot. Lark Swenson, the new sheriff, begins to investigate. With small-town charm, realistic portraits of rural towns-people, and accurate details of a police investigation, "Cold Hunter's Moon" is a tightly-written mystery that will leave readers eager to hear more from K.C. Greenlief. Syndetics
Glare ice : a Claire Watkins mystery (2001)Claire Watkins investigates the case of a murdered redneck in the lake, his abused girlfriend and a killer on the loose in a snowstorm that shuts down the town for week. Syndetics (View First Chapter/Excerpt)
Dead water (2001)Loon Lake, Wisconsin's Police Chief Lew Ferris, who's also a fly fishing expert, and her unofficial deputy, retired dentist Paul Osbourne, hit a snag while investigating the deaths of two women whose bodies are discovered in their peaceful community. Now, Lew is on the trail of a killer more slippery than any fish she's had her hands on. SyndeticsA Loon Lake fishing mystery.
Dark coulee : a Claire Watkins mystery (2000)After moving with her daughter to rural Wisconsin after her husband's death, Claire Watkins is enjoying being a small-town cop. But the murder of a well-liked citizen forces Claire to uncover truths that others want to keep hidden at any cost. SyndeticsA Claire Watkins mystery. (View First Chapter/Excerpt)
Blood country : a Claire Watkins mystery (1999)Clare Watkins had been a police officer in Minnesota, but after the death of her husband, she and her ten-year-old daughter, Meg, leave for the quiet and calm of the small town of Fort St. Antoine, Wisconsin, about ninety minutes away from the Twin Cities and all the memories there. Or that was Clare's idea: What she didn't know was that Meg had not only witnessed the hit-and-run accident that killed her father, she had also seen the man who was driving...and had been seen by him.SyndeticsA Clare Watkins mystery. (View First Chapter/Excerpt)
Sunflower : a novel (1998)In this riveting debut, a female detective and single mother in a small Wisconsin town pursues a serial killer of little girls--only to discover that he intends "her" to be his last victim. Syndetics
Snow on the roses (1996)A Garth Ryland Mystery #11.
Cold hearts and gentle people (1994)A Garth Ryland Mystery #9.
A dragon lives forever (1992)A Garth Ryland Mystery #8.
One man's poison (1991)A Garth Ryland Mystery #6.
Haunt of the nightingale (1988)A Garth Ryland Mystery #4.
The last laugh (1984)A Garth Ryland Mystery #1.