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Customer Discussions > Mystery forum

Authors that nail "sense of place".

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Showing 1-25 of 71 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 20, 2013, 7:08:56 AM PST
Ivan says:
When I read James Lee Burke I feel I need to wipe the Spanish Moss from my face. Sandford is great with Minnesota, Lehame has Boston down to a t, and Hiassen does South Florida perfectly. I would be interested in reading other authours that have the ability to make you feel you know a place you have never been.

Posted on Jan 20, 2013, 8:13:45 PM PST
L. Burns says:
Dana Stabenow's "Liam Campbell" mysteries (Fire and Ice (Liam Campbell #1) are set in and around a small Alaskan fishing village. They have a very strong sense of location/culture. Julia Spencer-Fleming has a series set in upstate NY(In the Bleak Midwinter (Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries). Well written and the setting is very much part of the story.

Posted on Jan 21, 2013, 4:03:12 PM PST
Elly Griffith's Ruth Galloway series are excellent at providing that cold British marshy coast feeling.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2013, 6:58:05 PM PST
B. Marks says:
I think Tony Hillerman's novels about the tribal police on the Navajo reservation are a prime example of someone getting the setting just right. And they're well done stories.


Posted on Jan 22, 2013, 12:44:19 PM PST
Customer says:
Louise Penny for Quebec/eastern Canada. Both small villages and Quebec City are big players in her series of novels.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013, 10:26:13 AM PST
R. Larkin says:
A blogger drove herself crazy here trying to locate Three Pines, the village where many of Penny's novels take place.

They are filming the Gamache series in a couple of different villages in Quebec. I can't wait for it to hit the US! It will star Nathaniel Parker, who played Inspector Linley in another mystery series, as Gamache.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013, 11:03:08 AM PST
L. Burns says:
Thanks for mentioning that! I didn't know that they were making a mini-series out of the "Three Pines" books. I will look forward to that (with some trepidation). They often don't do a great job adapting books for TV/movies. I could see Nathanial Parker as Gamache though.

Posted on Jan 23, 2013, 11:34:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013, 11:55:00 AM PST
janebbooks says:
Four of my favorite Irish Crime writers and a new Irish guy I've been reading have immense sense of place.
I've visited Ireland on two literary tours with my alma mater University of North Florida and went back in 1999
for a historical and literary tour sponsored by the 4 year liberal arts college in my S. C. hometown.
I revisit Dublin when I read any of these Irish writer's novels....

Faithful Place by Tana French. A member of the Dublin Murder Squad visits downtown Dublin near the Guiness Brewery to identify the body of a long-missing girl friend.

THE DYING BREED by Declan Hughes. Ed Loy, P. I. takes us to the Leopardstown horse races at Christmas time....to solve the cold case of a dead jockey.

The Death of A Joyce Scholar by Bartholomew Gill. Garda detective Peter McGarr reads ULYSSES to solve a murder on Bloomsday.

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black. John Banville writing as Black introduces his series character, a pathologist named Quirke, and sets him in 1950's Catholic Dublin.

And a new writer: The Priest by Gerard O'Donovan. In this debut novel Garda detective Mike Mularky hunts a serial killer who assaults young women with a crucifix in contemporary Dublin.

Enjoy all their Irish sense-of-place mysteries.......

Posted on Jan 23, 2013, 11:57:39 AM PST
Hiassen and Lehane - two of my favourites (even though Patrick Kenzie isn't a Bruins fan). And plenty of other great recommendations too.

I'd add Sara Paretsky's V I Warshawski novels set in Chicago. Her love for the city really shines through the books.

Posted on Jan 23, 2013, 12:38:11 PM PST
F Mundo says:
Walter Mosley's Los Angeles in the Easy Rawlins 10-book series is awesome from WWII to the Watts Riots. Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins Mysteries) is the first in the series.

Posted on Jan 23, 2013, 1:23:20 PM PST
L. Burns says:
Laura Lippman's "Tess Monaghan" series (Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan Mysteries)) is set in Baltimore. You can tell that the author loves the city and knows it very well. I really enjoyed that series (not sure if she's done with it or not). Too gritty to be called a "cozy", but very much character focused.

Posted on Jan 23, 2013, 1:38:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013, 1:40:04 PM PST
Doreen says:
Author Glenn Gordon does a great job of capturing the city of Seattle and its lifestyle. The descriptions of the raininess make you want to get inside and have a nice cup of coffee. Do read "Brother's Keeper" on your e-reader. It's a fine mystery/thriller.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013, 1:46:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013, 1:49:32 PM PST
Doreen says:
The Gamache mysteries are certainly a TV series I'll watch when it gets to the US! Thanks for the head's up.

Posted on Jan 25, 2013, 12:47:16 PM PST
MontclairMD says:
You mentioned Hiaasen for Florida, but for the Florida Panhandle, you can't do better than Sunshine Highway. You feel the old South and the Gulf breezes. Great mystery as well. As they say in the reviews, Hiaasen with depth.

Posted on Jan 25, 2013, 1:58:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 25, 2013, 1:58:20 PM PST
Marjorie says:
Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, set in Sicily. I love these books. Next best thing to going there.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2013, 9:52:46 PM PST
I agree with your assessment re: James Lee Burke. I've been to Louisiana, and hated it, but his writing makes me want to go back.

Another great example of an author's 'sense of place' is Wilbur Smith. His descriptions of Africa make the reader feel they are on the Veldt with whatever character is involved in that book.

Posted on Jan 25, 2013, 10:44:53 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 26, 2013, 4:51:26 AM PST]

Posted on Jan 26, 2013, 6:05:55 PM PST
Jacquie says:
How about some of the Scandinavian crime fiction that is so popular. I think particularly of Henning Mankell, Johan Theorin and Ake Edwardson.

Also the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves. There's something about those climates with long daylight or just the opposite in winter. And, the cold, ice and snow. You can really "feel" it.

Posted on Jan 29, 2013, 6:32:13 AM PST
Ivan says:
Thanks all. Lots of interesting suggestions I will have to check out.


Posted on Feb 4, 2013, 2:36:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2013, 2:43:58 PM PST
Cluny says:
The Michael Stanley(authors)Michael Stanley Bundle: A Carrion Death & The 2nd Death of Goodluck Tinubu: The Detective Kubu Mysteries with Exclusive Excerpt of Death of the Mantis series which takes place in Africa is excellent....the authors know their geographic and cultural character well (one who lives in South Africa and the other spends part of the year there).

and Misdirected Mayhem....just finished the latest Elly Griffiths book Dying Fall: A Ruth Galloway Investigationwhich will release 3/5 ...my favorite of the series so far!

Posted on Feb 8, 2013, 4:28:49 PM PST
L. M. Keefer says:
Our library mystery group read first book in Cliff Janeway series Booked to Die which we all enjoyed - it is set in Denver which is an original setting. Want to read more in the series.

Posted on Feb 8, 2013, 8:03:57 PM PST
Hound Dog 56 says:
Les Roberts does a great job describing Cleveland with his Milan Jacovich series. Good detail, makes you feel like you're there.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2013, 6:17:12 AM PST
Ivan says:
I was in Cleveland one time and still have nightmares about it. Guess I won't be reading this.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2013, 6:19:00 AM PST
Ivan says:
I enjoy all the books in the series but to me Denver does not come alive as comoared to some other series. Try James Lee Burke and you will see what I mean.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2013, 6:50:50 AM PST
Hound Dog 56 says:
Ha, ha, yes there are certainly good things and bad things about Cleveland. Not sure when you were there, but they have made some mice improvements to the city. It's not Paris but it's better than it was.

Anyway, Les Roberts is a very good mystery writer and he's produced some entertaining detective novels.
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  30
Total posts:  71
Initial post:  Jan 20, 2013
Latest post:  Apr 20, 2013

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