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


We’re reading amazing mysteries, detective stories, and thrillers from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Modern eras. Read, weigh in, subscribe to our podcast, and stay tuned!

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)

Edgar Allan Poe is the mystery master. Set in Paris, this gruesome tale introduces amateur detective Auguste Dupin and his trusty sidekick.

“The Purloined Letter” (1844)

Edgar Allan Poe called it “perhaps the best of my tales of ratiocination.” It’s a great mystery — minus the Gothic horror of “Rue Morgue.”

Bleak House (1853)

In Charles Dickens’ masterpiece, Inspector Bucket, the first important police detective in English literature, investigates a murder.

The Woman in White (1860)

Wilkie Collins’ book has it all — switched identities, false imprisonment, foreign agents, blackmail, conspiracies, and shocking secrets.

The Notting Hill Mystery (1862-3)

A woman dies after drinking acid. Was it an accident? The intrigue includes a kidnapping, a sinister mesmerist, and many dastardly crimes.

The Moonstone (1868)

Wilkie Collins’ amazing mystery includes red herrings, plot twists, a small circle of suspects, and a stolen Indian gem with a bloody past.

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886)

Set in Melbourne, Fergus Hume’s literary sensation puts a spotlight on social class as a crime is committed by an unknown assassin.

A Study in Scarlet (1887)

Arthur Conan Doyle introduces us to Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most famous “consulting detective,” and Watson, his sidekick.

The Big Bow Mystery (1892)

In Israel Zangwill’s locked-room mystery, two detectives race to solve a murder and the startling solution is revealed at the very end.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

In Arthur Conan Doyle’s Gothic-inspired spine-tingler, the great Sherlock Holmes must discover the truth about a deadly spectral hound.

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (1910)

Baroness Orczy’s short story collection stars one of the first female detectives in fiction. Lady Molly solves crimes using feminine intuition.

The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)

G. K. Chesterton’s first collection of short stories featuring a Catholic priest who solves crimes by tapping into spiritual and philosophic truths.

Trent’s Last Case (1913)

In E. C. Bentley’s “whodunit,” new clues appear throughout the story, making readers feel as if they’re solving the crime along with Trent.

The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)

In John Buchan’s prototype of the “man-on-the-run” adventure, a spy is murdered in Richard Hannay’s flat. Can Hannay evade his pursuers?

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)

Agatha Christie’s incredible whodunit introduces brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, and Inspector Japp.

Whose Body? (1923)

Dorothy Sayers introduces Lord Peter Wimsey, the father of the “gentleman sleuth” who will appear in British novels for decades to come.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)

One of Agatha Christie’s most controversial novels due to an unexpected twist at the end. Christie considered it her masterpiece.

Red Harvest (1929)

Dashiell Hammett’s portrayal of the Continental Op as a “hard-boiled” detective became a prototype for many detective stories to come.

The Maltese Falcon (1930)

Dashiell Hammett introduces Sam Spade. The third-person-objective narrative includes no insights into characters’ thoughts and feelings.

Malice Aforethought (1931)

Frances Iles’ novel is an early example of the “inverted detective story,” in which the murder AND murderer are revealed at the beginning.

The Case of the Velvet Claws (1933)

We meet criminal defense lawyer and detective Perry Mason. Earle Stanley Gardner went on to write 150 books that sold 300 million copies.

Murder on the Orient Express (1934)

Agatha Christie’s  books have sold more than two billion copies. This page-turner starring Hercule Poirot helps to explain why.

The Nine Tailors (1934)

The murder method in Dorothy Sayers’ marvelous story was unique. The idea came from a sixpenny pamphlet about bell-ringing.


We’re reading and discussing many of the best mysteries, thrillers, and detective stories ever written. Join us on this marvelous journey!