Tea Tonic and Toxin: Mystery and Thriller Podcast and Book Club

2022 READING LIST

We’re reading 11 fantastic mysteries, thrillers, and detective stories from the Victorian (1837-1901) and Edwardian (1901-1910) eras. Join in the fun by reading, sharing your thoughts, subscribing to the Tea, Tonic & Toxin podcast, and listening in!

The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)

 

Edgar Allan Poe is the master of mysteries and thrillers. This early detective story set in Paris, features amateur detective Auguste Dupin, along with his trusty sidekick who narrates this original and gruesome tale.

The Purloined Letter (1844)

 

Edgar Allan Poe called this story “perhaps the best of my tales of ratiocination.” It’s a great mystery — minus the Gothic horror of “Rue Morgue.” Together, Poe’s stories form the foundation of the modern mystery story.

Bleak House (1853)

 

Dickens’ masterpiece addresses class and lineage, law vs. justice, social responsibility, guilt, and identity. Along the way, Inspector Bucket, the first important police detective in English literature, investigates a murder.

The Woman in White (1860)

 

Wilkie Collins tells the story of a woman wrongfully locked away in an asylum. This thriller includes a ghostly woman, a secret society, switched identities, foreign agents, bribery, blackmail, and conspiracies.

The Notting Hill Mystery (1862-3)

 

In this early detective novel, a woman dies after drinking acid. It looks like an accident until an investigator reviews the case. The  intrigue includes a kidnapping, a sinister mesmerist, and a series of dastardly crimes.

The Moonstone (1868)

 

Wilkie Collins’ AMAZING mystery novel includes a stolen Indian gem with a bloody past, red herrings, breathtaking plot twists, a small circle of suspects, bumbling cops, and one amazing detective.

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886)

 

This literary sensation sold hundreds of thousands of copies upon publication. Set in Melbourne, Fergus Hume’s thriller puts a spotlight on social class as a crime is committed by an unknown assassin.

A Study in Scarlet (1887)

 

The “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Watson, make their first appearance in Arthur Conan Doyle’s tale. This story forever changed the way mystery novels were written.

The Big Bow Mystery (1892)

 

Set in London’s working-class East End, it’s an early example of a locked-room mystery. Two detectives race to solve a murder, an innocent man is condemned, and the startling solution is revealed at the very end.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

 

This Gothic-inspired spine-tingler includes a spectral hound and the great Sherlock Holmes. It’s Arthur Conan Doyle’s at his best, and it’s one of the most gripping and  suspenseful murder mysteries ever written.

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (1910)

 

This collection of short stories by Baroness Orczy, author of The Scarlet Pimpernel, stars Molly Robertson-Kirk, one of the first female detectives in fiction. Lady Molly uses her feminine intuition to solve crimes.

ALL THE PODCAST EPISODES

 

Beginning with Edgar Allan Poe, we’re reading and discussing some of the mysteries, thrillers, and detective stories of the 19th century. Thanks for listening to our new podcast and joining us on this marvelous journey!