When a mystery series features an amateur detective, the reader gets to investigate the clues on an equal footing with the sleuth, adding to the enjoyment. Some classic favorites…

The Big Nap by Ayelet Waldman. Juliet Applebaum was a public defender, but she’s now a harried stay-at-home mom who does her sleuthing with children in tow. (Berkley)

Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson. Colorado caterer Goldy Schulz investigates the murder of a friend in between preparing elaborate meals. Great for readers who love both mysteries and food. (Bantam)

Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman. The first and best of Kemelman’s mysteries featuring David Small, a crime-solving rabbi in Massachusetts. (iBooks)

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. The best of Sayers’s mysteries features aristocrat Lord Peter Wimsey and his love, Harriet Vane, as they investigate not-so-innocent pranks at a British women’s college. (HarperTorch)

In the Last Analysis by Amanda Cross. College professor Kate Fansler tries to help a psychiatrist clear himself of a patient’s murder. (Fawcett)

A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters. Brother Cadfael, 12th-century veteran of the Crusades turned monk, investigates a wealthy squire’s murder. (Mysterious)

Under the Beetle’s Cellar by Mary Willis Walker. A cult has kidnapped a bus full of children, and crime journalist Molly Cates is their best hope. (Crimeline)