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Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Seeking An Excellent Series-Suggestions?


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Showing 1-25 of 200 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 18, 2012 4:39:53 PM PST
Garnet says:
I have been reading the book reviews for James Lee Burke books. They are mixed with either 4-5 stars good or 1-2 stars stink. It appears to be no in-between with his books...you either like him or you dont. His series of Dave R. dates back 25 years so it must be interesting to see (read) him grow in certain areas of his life and age. One reviewer says after reading his 2nd book, that she couldn't take reading about a character with "no redeeming" qualities. Wow! Is he that bad?
I am looking for a good-no...a great series to start. One that I will absolutely love! I don't care for grit and gore. The protag can be male or female; Anglo, African American, Hispanic, American Indian-no preference; PI, Cop, FBI, amateur sleath. No mushy romantics that get in the way of the mystery/thriller/suspense that leaves a rush and epilogue at the end. Preferably U.S. soil.
Any suggestions?

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 8:25:18 PM PST
J. Robinson says:
Read the OLD Robert Tannenbaum books, before he dumped or got dumped by Michael Gruber. The recent ones are horrible. The old ones great.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 6:15:52 AM PST
Burke is an excellent writer and his Dave Robicheaux character certainly has many redeeming qualities. I've lost count of how many books there are in the series but I think there are about 17 or 18 now. I haven't read them all but have read the first nine or ten. I like his Robicheaux character but got tired of the series and have moved on to other writers. I'm sure I'll go back and catch up with the later books in series some day but it's not such a favorite series that it's a priority.

Following are some of my favorite mystery and thriller writers, in no particular order: Dick Francis (most are set in England but I highly recommend them), Robert Crais, Vince Flynn, Brian Haig, Robert B. Parker (only his early Spenser novels through Book 7: Early Autumn), Ted Wood (Reid Bennett series, set in Canada). Also, if you've never read Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe series and Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade and Nick and Nora Charles books, you should certainly give them a try. They may seem a bit dated now but are still among my favorites.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 8:35:30 AM PST
Charlie Fox says:
I would suggest Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series. They are fantastic.

Start at the beginning with:
The Harry Bosch Novels: The Black Echo, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 3:15:18 PM PST
Cassiesgram says:
Emily Brighwell's the Mrs. Jeffries series. Victorian Murder Mystery w/ female slueth. Love it, have all the books in this series. The The Manor House series by, Kate Kingsbury, I own all this series also, fun read. I also suggest Anne Perry The Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, own all also. This is a more serious murder mystery read, set is late 1800's. She also has a Christmas series that is really good. I hope you try them all. Enjoy!

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 3:33:48 PM PST
Miss M says:
A bit of a cliche to recommend, but you should try Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. Reason I mention it is I read tons of detective/mystery stories, but for years thought I wouldn't like that series. Then I picked up "The Affair" (most recent Reacher, actually a prequel to the rest) got hooked, and have since read & enjoyed the first four books. Think if I sat down and read the entire series in a row it would be a bit much, but am looking forward to working my way through the rest.

Definitely second the Michael Connelly (multiple series), Robert Crais (also 2 series) and Brian Haig recommendations, plus would include John Sandford's Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers (2 separate) series.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 4:27:35 PM PST
G. says:
@Mitford: Thanks for the Lee Child rec (The Affair). For some reason, I have had a reluctance to read this series, and thought it wouldn't be my cup of tea. The book you mentioned looks really good (placed on my wishlist) and I think I may just dip my toes in the Jack Reacher series.

@Mightymac: The Harry Bosch novels are very well done, and I also highly recommend this series!

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 5:01:56 PM PST
Susan Solin says:
I second the recommendation for the Sandford series, both the Prey series (Lucas Davenport) and the Virgil Flower series are excellent. I still look forward to every new book in these series.

Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child co-write the Pendergast series. Again a series that I buy immediately regardless of cost and in different format (DTB and kindle) the first is Relic

and Louise Penny's series set in Canada Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel only $2.99 right now is a series I can't put down.

My 2 cents - I've tried James Lee Burke but only once and as an audio book and I couldn't get into them, not sure why....

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 12:50:31 PM PST
insanity! says:
I've been enjoying the Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery series by Teri Reid. She's a new author for me and I'm glad I found her. All of the books in the series are under $3.00.

Also love the Alex Cross books by James Patterson.

I'm currently reading a classic by Mary Roberts Rinehart - The Circular Staircase (written in 1908 I believe) - very much enjoying this classic murder mystery. Most of the Rinehart books are free.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 1:23:38 PM PST
I echo the recommendation of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series - in my opinion, he is absolutely THE BEST mystery/thriller writer out there. Start with the ones linked by @mightymac above - but keep in mind the first two (I thought) were a little rough, so just keep going on them. You'll love them I think! It doesn't have all the gratuitous gore you see so much of these days. He also has the Mickey Haller (lawyer) series, I think there are three or four of those out, and at one point they dovetail and Harry Bosch appears in them.

This is a bit old school, but I used to love Ridley Pearson... honestly I don't even know if he still writes!

I also enjoyed the Alex Cross series from James Patterson, but I gave up after maybe seven of them because I started to feel there was too much "gleeful" violence against women... just that there was rather much detail and the victims were inevitably women, and it wasn't just murder but also hate behind the killings - if that makes sense. Patterson also has the women's murder mystery series, but I've not read any of them.

You might enjoy Kathy Reichs' books about coroner Tempe Brennan - her books are the basis for the TV series Bones (but better than the show, in my opinion). Finally, another old school series but you might enjoy them - Jonathan Kellerman's Dr. Alex Delaware series (about a child psychologist). I think I've read all of them! They're not so gory as Patterson and he has an awesome cop friend who is gay (Milo) who also plays a big role in the books. When the Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware) is the first one.

Hope you enjoy finding a new favorite series!

PS - I also have read these type books for about 20 years and could not get into James Lee Burke when I tried, for what it's worth.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 1:38:39 PM PST
Lee Child, John Sandford, John Lescroart, James Hall. All good.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 3:25:18 PM PST
Bkworm Bren says:
Lovin' Books in NC: It would be nice to see a new Lou Boldt novel by Ridley Pearson, but he seems to be through with that series... I guess I should just read them over again. It's been a long time, so they would probably seen like new reads for me!

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 5:05:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2012 5:20:49 PM PST
Garnet says:
To All:
Thank you so much for all the feedback and suggestions. I ordered the 1st Harry Bosch book Black Echo. All the best!
Garnet~

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 5:18:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2012 5:19:11 PM PST
Two Tub Man says:
The Nate Heller series by Max Allan Collins. Historical mysteries starring a former Chicago cop turned PI, dealing with Capone & Nitti ("True Detective" & "True Crime" the books that kicked off the series), the Lindbergh kidnaping (in "Stolen Away"), the disappearence of Amelia Earhardt ("Flying Blind"), and many more. After nearly a decade, Collins revived the series in 2011 with "Bye Bye Baby", which delves into the murder of Marilyn Monroe.
The Heller series has been brought back into print in trade paperback by Amazon, and are well worth your time. The "Quarry" series by Collins, revolving around a hitman, is also worth checking out.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 6:57:20 PM PST
Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch draws me in & keeps me there every time. Wonderful "LA as Character" but not noir subtext, too. Great series!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 6:57:53 PM PST
Hi Garnet, I have to re-respond because somehow I forgot to even MENTION my other favorite suspense/thriller/mystery writers out there, the first of which is Dennis Lehane. I have adored every book he's ever written. The actual series that he has is from the earlier part of his career but I found them on Paperbackswap.com and some here on Amazon too (suggest you buy used at like $1.20 per!). Look for the Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro series. Boston is as much a character as either of those two! They are a great team and I loved that series, along with every single one of his stand-alone books as well.

Another true fave of mine is the Charm City series by Laura Lippman. I cannot get enough of her stuff. The main character is Tess Monaghan, reporter-turned-PI, and Baltimore itself is a character like Boston is with Lehane. She has some stand-alone novels that aren't centered on Tess, which I also love, but the Tess series is long enough to give you months and months of great reading. The book that started it all was Baltimore Blues! Baltimore Blues: The First Tess Monaghan Novel

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention one of my all-time favorite authors, RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON. He has series books, books that tie in to the series, and true stand-alones. He pretty much has no qualms about being openly liberal and that is reflected in his writing when what he is writing about is a political / moral/ethical issue "of the moment" and where he feels his injection of his personal feelings about the issue works - so basically one of the characters will be the mouth for what Patterson wants to say. Since I agree with dang near everything he does, I have absolutely no complaints! And even when the books aren't about political topics (eg, gun control, death penalty), they are some of the most intellectual and intelligently written mystery/suspense books out there. I would very, very highly recommend giving him a try! If you want to dive right in to one of the more political novels (which seem to be coming now as he's more established and getting older, etc.), I'd hands-down recommend Conviction: A Novel from 2005. I'm frankly amazed at the reviews it got (I have not read them) simply because they average out to be 3 stars and I would say this was way off the charts for me - but to each his own! If you are interested in the death penalty and the possibility of an innocent man being put to death in the name of justice, I'd start with Conviction. However, if you'd like to start "at the beginning," as it were, you can go to his website at http://www.richardnorthpattersonbooks.com/books.html and see there the books in reverse chronological order. I'd literally just start with The Lasko Tangent and work forward from there! He truly is one of my absolute most favorite writers in this genre, right up there with Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and Laura Lippman.

Hope this second post also helps you add to your collection and figure out which one (or two, or three...) of these series we've suggested will be right for you! I absolutely love giving recommendations to others so don't hesitate to ask. I also agree with the gentleman below about the Max Allan Collins books that are back in full-force here on Amazon - print and Kindle too, if I'm not mistaken.

PS - @Bkwrm Bren - YES, Lou Boldt, that was the character in the Ridley Pearson series! I don't know what it was but I was captivated by his books, probably read them early on in high school (8th, 9th grade). Loved them.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 10:38:50 AM PST
Amanda Peck says:
I just recently discovered Max Allan Collins with STOLEN AWAY. Apparently it is mostly true--not his detective's presence, mind you.

Horrifying. Dreadful police work, much of it insisted on by the family. I stayed up until way late to finish it.

Not quite ready to tackle the other one I have--about the Black Dahlia case.

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 10:47:42 AM PST
Amanda Peck says:
Pleasant and easy to read is the "Posadas County" series by Steven F. Havill. I think I prefer the earlier ones--featuring Bill Gastner. But if there's a new one I'll read it. Nice people to meet, nice sense of place (even if Posadas County New Mexico is fictional). Kind of slow-moving--canter instead of a gallop.

Phillip Depoy has two series--Flap Tucker (I have a cat named Flap Tucker, which should tell you how I feel about this one). Our hero is billed as a Zen detective. Oh, come on, he just sits and thinks when he's approaching information overload. Mostly the Atlanta area.

Not quite as fond of the Fever Devilin series, in which politics at the university have sent the folklore professor back home to North Georgia. But the folklore aspect is pretty well handled, and, I'd read another one if it passed by me.

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 10:54:54 AM PST
Amanda Peck says:
And Mary Anna Evans has a short series with a historical archaeologist heroine, Faye Longchamps. New one due this year.

(my archaeologist friends mostly worked in the Far East, all digging, no written records. There's also "classical archaeology" Greeks and Egyptians, some other places.)

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 3:03:12 PM PST
Star Reader says:
I agree! Michael Connolley's novels are a great series and easy to get into. I also like Nelson DeMille's John Corey series, Plum Island was the first book in this series. I like to read Janet Evanovich, her Stephanie Plum series is one of favorites. Another author similar to these is Lawrence Kelter. He has three books out right now in the Stephanie Chalice Mystery series, and i hope he releases another one soon because I love Stephanie Chalice. She reminds me of my Aunt who's also a NYPD detective! And I almost forgot you got to check out Brain Haig- The Sean Drummond Series!!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 6:25:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 21, 2012 7:50:45 PM PST
Two Tub Man says:
I've also enjoyed John Dunning's five book "Bookman" series. The main character, Cliff Janeway, is a retired Denver cop, who owns an antiquarian book shop, and does P.I. work on the side. Along with being pretty good P.I. novels, Dunning, who actually owned a Denver bookstore, delves into the rare book business, which is, at least in his words, not dull at all.

The 11th book in William Kent Krueger's "Cork O'Connor" series was released last September. Cork is a former sherriff living in northern Minnesota. I've been faithfully reading this series from book one "Iron Lake", there hasn't been one book that didn't reel me in and keep me hooked 'til the final word.

The Cork O'Connor books, along with Max Allan Collins' Nate Heller novels, are the only two series that cause me to drop whatever I'm currently reading and dive right into the newest entry!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 6:34:28 PM PST
I recommend Harry Bosch as well. Start with Black Echo. Bosch is amazing as is his half brother:AkA the Lincoln Lawyer. Bosch is dogged, fair, and clean. I also like Robert Crais and his PIs: Elvis Cole/Joe Pike. Lots of humor and danger. And John Lescroart.He has numerous players: Hunt, Hardy, Abe, etc. And each book features one or all of them. One is a cop, one an attorney and one is a P.I. I read all books from all three of these authors.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 12:20:08 AM PST
My favorite series is the "InDeath series with (Eve Dallas J D) Robb )author - there are about 36 so far and I have read and reread some, the story lines are great, and the main characters are in every book, and you get to see the evolving change in each. I love reading books by the Kellermans-great series. These series deals mostly in cop work, and hi-tec geek work, lot of murder and mystery. Hope this helps.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 6:02:39 AM PST
lvstotrvl says:
I second the recommendation for the "In Death Series" by JD Robb there is some romance but not enough to spoil the series.
Also try "Rizzoli & Isles Series" by Tess Gerritsen, the TV series was based on her books. For a single book read her The Bone Garden it was one of the best books I have read in a long time!

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 6:55:18 AM PST
Adgirl says:
So many good series listed above. Love Dick Francis, James Lee Burke, and the In Death Series. James Lee Burke isn't everyone's cup of tea but I really enjoy Burke's prose about a rough and tumble city like New Orleans and its crazy characters.

Also enjoy MC Beaton's series for Hamish MacBeth, constable in Scottish Highlands, and Agatha Raisen, ex-PR person who opens a detective agency in the Cotswolds. Cozies - but both characters and their surroundings are such a hoot! Fast read and good mysteries.

Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series is excellent as well.

Benni Harper series is enjoyable, light, but well-written about interesting characters in Central California.

Also, Stone Barrington series by Stuart Woods. (Maybe you can tell I'm another mystery series lover)
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Initial post:  Feb 18, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 29, 2012

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