Four crossover mysteries


This blog post first appeared on the blog of paranormal fan Allie Shields 

No matter how I disguise myself and my work, no one is going to mistake me for a paranormal author. So what am I doing here? (on Ally Shields paranormal blog) What can I offer you?

I’m guessing that you, like me, sometimes read outside your genre. Either you want something new and different, or you’ve exhausted the books of your favorite author and are twiddling your thumbs waiting for her to cough up another book.

So I thought I’d approach your subject sideways, pointing out books I’ve read and enjoyed that might appeal to paranormal fans. Call it my para-paranormal list:

  • Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri series I picked up this series about a coroner who sees the ghosts of the dead after hearing Colin speak at a conference. He cracked me up. So do his books. He defies description. His books do too. On the surface, the books are about Dr. Siri Paiboun, an aging, beleaguered medical doctor, forced by the new socialist Laotian regime to become the national coroner. Powers that be hope he’ll do a bad job, but he’s too conscientious. From Amazon: “His lab is underfunded, his boss is incompetent, and his support staff is quirky, to say the least. But Siri’s sense of humor gets him through his often frustrating days.” But just under the surface is a rich celebration of being true to yourself, making the best of an unworkable situation, thinking outside the box, and finding ways for everyone to contribute.

  • Petaybee Trilogy, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough Both these authors are best known for their science fiction and fantasy series, but a sentient planet populated with selkies and telepaths probably nudges the line dividing paranormal and science fiction. Inhabitants of the planet share a culture all their own, but it incorporates aspects of Celtic and Inuit customs. Classified as young adult, these books appeal to a wide age range and audience. I’ve read them all several times.

  • Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book (plus Black Out and All Clear) Time-travelling historians from Cambridge University conduct field work to complete their degrees. Their costumes and accessories are carefully researched as are the time and place of their arrival. But futuristic technology can’t overcome human error. In the Doomsday Book, a student is accidently transported into the middle of a medieval plague outbreak while a similar epidemic erupts in the contemporary world, making it difficult for her academic advisors to bring her back. In Black Out and All Clear, the historians travel to World War II England. My family’s opinions on these books are split between those who consider them favorites worth rereading and those who never warmed up to the them.

  • Murder at the ABA by Isaac Asimov Yup, the king of science fiction wrote mysteries. Several compilations of his mystery short stories have been published, but Murder at the ABA (American Book Association) is, as far as I know, his only stand-alone mystery. There’s nothing paranormal here, but it’s a such a perfect example of a classic genre-buster that I had to include it. If you’ve ever thought that a conference would be a perfect place to set a murder mystery, or have been tempted to bump off an annoying conventioneer, this one’s for you.

Thank you for visiting my blog. When I'm not blogging, I write the Maggie McDonald Mystery series about a Professional Organizer and her Golden Retriever. Learn more about me and my cozy mystery series, including upcoming sales, appearances, and books here.