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You have listed some really great authors and series. I have read at least half of them and I would say that for sheer fun, the Richard Jury series can't be beat. Peter Robinson is an author whose work I grab as soon as it is published. His Alan Banks series is excellent, and his stand alones are good too. I agree about Elizabeth George. The Lynley series has gotten away from me, starting with the book where the entire huge novel was devoted to the backstory from the denouement of a previous novel. No spoilers, so won't say more. There is so much great reading here, and you have given me new names to try too. Thanks.


I used to love both Elizabeth George and Louise Penny, but I have abandoned both of them. Believing the lie is the last George book I read in total, tried the next one but couldn't cope with the inanity of it. I can't remember which was the last I read in the 3 pines series but it too got too silly for my liking. Both authors have lost the plot, so to speak. A shame really. Still enjoy Peter Robinson and Peter Lovesey. I enjoy books which have some grounding in reality.


This is where FictFact comes in handy, isn't it? It makes it so easy to go from series to series. Maybe a little too easy.

I've read parts of several of the series you describe. Louise Penny is a favorite, though I didn't like the last one of the series I read, which I hope will not be a trend (referring to Anne's comment). That particular novel was set in a monastery and I found the subject matter a little dull, so hoping that has something to do with it.

When I'm in the mood for something lighter, I sometimes pick up one of the Dead End Jobs mysteries by Elaine Viets. I also love Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories.


Have you tried Inspector Rebus? It's a good one, but I'm not exhaustive nor do I read in order. And I also love Harry Bosch (Michael Connelly). I feel the same as you about Elizabeth George, it's been ages since I picked one up.


I realize that I've mixed up the two Peters. I have some of Lovesey books to try but will have to add Robinson to the list. I enjoyed Colin Dexter so much I finished the series. Ditto Gervase Fen and pretty much Agatha Christie. Authors I look for include Louise Penney, who I think keeps getting better, Jacqueline Winspear, Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch), Laura Lippmann, Jonathan Kellerman, Nevada Barr, Tana French, J.A. Jance (Joanna Brady sherriff series) and Becky Masterman. Then there are authors I enjoy when I find them, like Martha Grimes and Laurie King. Every now and then I find a new-to-me Agatha Christie, too--a read letter day :) I have really cut back on the author's I follow because they were keeping me too busy to read anything else. Elizabeth George I've given up on, but I think I have one last ppb set in the Lake District in a pile somewhere. Look forward to reading about your mystery readings! Always looking for someone new!


I am very eager to read the Richard Jury books, though a couple of other books have cut in line, lol. I skipped that Lynley book, I think. It was too much information and not what I wanted. I hate to abandon the series now, but I do wish the books were shorter as then it would not seem so much of a commitment to catch up. I suspect I will be reading a few of these other books first, however!


Too bad to hear that the Penny books also go on something of a downward slide. I will try the next couple of books as they are on their way. I think it is often the case that earlier books are better. As you can see I am also 'stuck' on the same Elizabeth George book!


Yes, I love Fictfact. I need to load more books into my account. It helps to see them in order, though sometimes so much time passes that I forget where I leave off! Have you read the Penny books in order? I will watch out for that one! Considering how slow I go with mysteries, though, I may not get that far anytime soon! I have not heard of Elaine Viets, so thanks--I shall look her up. And I always pick up those Stout books at the bookstore, but have yet to read one. Does it matter if you just pick them up randomly? I have been thinking of reading a Patricia Wentworth book--I always think of you when I look at Miss Silver stories!


I have not, but I have several of those books on hand--all ready for the right moment--lol. And I have heard so man good things about Michael Connelly--have you watched the TV adaptation of the books? I have heard it is good. It's a pity about Elizabeth George--I loved her early books.


We have lots of overlap in the mystery writers we like! I need to try Nevada Barr--curiously I tend to not read so many US authors--I want that exotic feel, I guess, but I know I am missing out, hence picking up the Dana Stabenow novel. I am slowly reading Agatha Christie--she wrote so much I have barely made a dent in her works. I do love Laurie King and need to get back to the next Mary Russell and Maisie Dobbs is the only sleuth (now) that I have read all her adventures and eagerly await the next. I very much feel a mystery binge coming on. Thanks for sharing your faves--I am going to check out those names that I am not familiar with (or have heard of but not really looked at)!


I do struggle a bit with classic crime writers despite devouring Agatha Christie books when I was a teenager. I am still reading the Josephine Tey book I started a couple of weeks ago but reading time is restricted at the moment and I have to be honest and say that it's not the first of the pile that I reach for!

I have tried both Louise Penny and Helene Tursten but neither of them really hit the spot - I don't think I finished either book, so maybe not for me. I don't recall having read anything by Martha Grimes but like you I gave up on Elizabeth George a long time ago - I sometimes wonder if some of her books are just too long? I always think that crime novels should be fairly short, not the size of War & Peace, and one or two writers (Tana French comes to mind) seem to be getting longer and longer, a lot of it padding which could do with being edited without harming the story. Maybe that's just me.

As you will discover if you start the Ken Bruen, I tend to like my crime a little more hard edged, but I still think that Jack Taylor is a fundamentally decent man no matter how much he protests. Like Matt Scudder and Michael Connolly's Harry Bosch (how have you not read any of his books- they are great!)
I do like Peter Robinson's books ( I met him once when I worked in a book shop and he was really nice - can't say the same about the PR who was with him though!) - but they adapted the books for TV and the actor they chose is so wrong as far as I am concerned, that I haven't read them since!
I have just started Charm City and need to concentrate on it - probably I will put it in my work bag to read while I wait for buses!
I can recommend Nevada Barr too; I know you like more exotic settings but at least her books are set all over the USA in the settings of the national parks and Anna Pigeon is an appealing character too.
A couple of British crime writers to add to your list: Alex Gray's Inspector Lorimer series is set in Glasgow and Susie Steiner's two books featuring Manon Bradshaw.

Joan Kyler

That is a great list! I've read all the books in some of the series. I especially like Louise Penny, the quality of whose books I think has been sustained. I've only read one, the one that takes place at a monastery on an island, that I didn't really connect with. Otherwise, like most fans, and most people I know are fans, I want to live in Three Pines. I like the Kate Shugak books. If you like wild woodland mysteries, like the Shugak and Anna Pigeon books, you might like Paul Doiron's Maine game warden books or William Kent Krueger's north country mysteries. You've reminded me that I need to get back to Laura Lipman and some others. The only mystery genre I don't like is the historical mystery. So, so many great mysteries waiting to be read!


I've read the Louise Penny books in order, and it helps because they build on each other. I think you can read the Stout books randomly (at least, that's what I've done). And speaking of Stout/Nero Wolfe, have you see the TV adaptation with Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin and Maury Chakin as Nero Wolfe? It was excellent and lots of fun.

I thought I'd heard of Elaine Viets through you! Wonder how I actually stumbled onto them?!


That's good to know about the Rex Stout books. There are so many of them it is nice to pick and choose. Normally I do like reading the books in order. I tried to add the Nero Wolfe TV series to my Netflix queue but they do not seem to be available at the moment-pity. I looked Elaine Viets up, and she is totally new to me. Maybe it was something local that mentioned her since it looks like a FL setting?


Honestly, I don't know how I have managed to Not read John Connelly--it is that-I like foreign settings/crime thing going on, but as I am very much loving the Kate Shugak mystery maybe US settings/sleuths will be more appealing now. Does it matter if you read the Bosch books in order? I am sure I must have the first one but heaven know where it is. Ken Bruen appeals right now, too. I thought you were not too fond of cozy mysteries and I am particular about my cozies, too. If they are too cute/cozy I can't get into them either! I am also on Charm City--whenever I get back to those books. And I agree that mysteries should not be massively chunky. I think they can be nicely complex without having multiple storylines involved like Elizabeth George does these days. I plan on trying Nevada Barr and have the first of her books in my virtual shopping cart as a matter of fact! And I like Peter Robinson's standalones very much and need to get back to those series books as well. So many mysteries. Will go and check out those others now, you have suggested--thanks!


The nice thing about mystery series is pretty much there is a book/series out there for every taste and in some cases too many to choose from. I like most of the subgenres, but nothing too cozy and I tend to avoid forensic type stories or FBI stories, but maybe I have just not found the right author. I just don't like stories that have too much violence or too gruesome of murder. I am going to try Nevada Barr, but the other authors are unfamiliar so I am off to look them up--thanks!


We share a lot of favorites! I've taken note of the first title you mention. Have you read any Elly Griffiths books? I really love her series featuring Ruth Galloway. I think you might enjoy it. Of course after this post now I want to start reading a good mystery. I haven't visited with DI Banks in a while and need to catch up too!


Michael Connelly writes Harry Bosch and I don't think that you have to read the books in order, I certainly didn't when I first read him and I don't recall feeling as though I had missed out on anything vital.
John Connolly is a very different writer - his Charlie Parker is a detective but the stories are laced with the supernatural. I do love them though and this reminds me that I have a couple to catch up on now!
I really loved Nevada Barr's earlier books - I think the first is Track of the Cat? - but I read a more recent one and was less keen; it seemed to be twice the length of the early ones and I kept wishing that she would just get on with the story!


I have read one lone Elly Griffiths book. I have a few others, including the first of her post-WWII series. So many good books I want to read (get back to).

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