Saturday, May 2, 2015


The 141st Kentucky Derby takes place today. To celebrate, I've dusted off last year's list of Kentucky Derby mysteries and added a few more titles. You'll want to read some horse-racing mysteries to get in the mood and enjoy the day --  or watch the movie The Kentucky Derby (1922). It's full of grit and crime. Have a piece of Derby Pie (recipes on, filled with chocolate, bourbon and pecans-- and, since it's also National Truffles Day, make some Mint Julep Truffles or Kentucky Derby Bourbon Truffles. Planning on attending the Kentucky Derby this year? Don't forget your hat: "Crowning Glory: The Art of Kentucky Derby Hats"

Kentucky Derby Mysteries
King of the Roses by V.S. Anderson
Triple Crown by Jon Breen
Death in Lilac Time by Frances Crane  
Triple Cross by Kit Ehrman
Intercept by Mary Jane Forbes
Silent Partner by Karen Jones
Snip by Doc Macomber
Murder at the Kentucky Derby by Charles Parmer
Dark Horse by Bill Shoemaker (Triple Crown)
The Accurst Tower by John Winslow

Kentucky Derby Short Stories
"The Gift" by Dick Francis is set at the Kentucky Derby. It is in the collection Field of Thirteen. "The Gift" first appeared as "A Day of Wine and Roses" in Sports Illustrated, 1973.
Derby Rotten Scoundrels: A Silver Dagger Anthology, edited by Jeffrey Marks
Low Down and Derby, a collection of fast paced mystery stories set around the Kentucky Derby, by fifteen authors from the Ohio River Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime, edited by Abigail Jones.
Murder at the Races, a collection of Short Stories including "A Derby Horse", edited by Peter Haining.

Children's Mysteries
The Mystery at the Kentucky Derby by Carole Marsh

Great Horse Racing Mysteries: Tales from the Track by John McEvoy
Dancer's Image: The Forgotten Story of the 1968 Kentucky Derby (and 5 other non-fiction books about Thoroughbread racing and equine law) by Milton Toby

And there once was a thorough-bred named Mystery Novel. He did not win the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby (1922)

Authors who Write Horse Mysteries 

(not necesssarily about the Kentucky Derby)
Gabriella Herkert, Sasscer Hill, Jody Jaffe, Bruce Alexander, Fern Michaels, Carolyn Banks, Michelle Scott, Laura Crum, J.R. Lindermuth, William Murray, Mary Monica Pulver, Rita Mae Brown, Janet Dawson, Maggie Estep, Dick Francis, John Francome, Alyson Hagy, Michael Kilian, Peter Klein, Lynda La Plante, John McEvoy, Jassy Mackenzie, Nicholas Reeves, Bill Shoemaker, Laura Young, Lyndon Stacey, JD Carpenter, Lisa Wysocky, Sally Wright

Murder at the Racetrack, edited by Otto Penzler


jrlindermuth said...

Hi Janet,
My Cruel Cuts is about an insurance scam involving race horses.

Jeff Baker said...

Not as much mystery as general shady doings, but Damon Runyon certainly deserves a place here!

Sarah Glenn said...

Thanks for mentioning Low Down and Derby. I don't believe Silver Dagger is active any more. You can still get it used on Amazon, though. I'd like to think people could still enjoy our stories.