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smurfy
02-24-2012, 09:15 PM
I enjoy...
Sue Grafton, previously mentioned
John Sandford (Minneapolis detective), broody Lucas Davenport
Sara Paretsky, VI Warshawski
have not read in ages, but used to read Robert Parker - Spenser series
And now I have some new ones to check out.

AYS
02-24-2012, 09:29 PM
A few years ago someone from FSU recommended the Julian Kestral mystery series by the late Kate Ross to me. I wholeheartedly second that recommendation! Some of the best writing and character-building I've seen! Kestral is a 19th Century British dandy who solves murder and other kinds of mysteries. Like a well-dressed Sherlock Holmes or a non-criminal Neal Caffrey (White Collar).
Love the Kestrel books! I am so sorry she wasn't able to write more of these, I have 3 and I think that was all she wrote. I also definitely second the CS Harris St. Cyr ones, similar type of hero.

I got completely addicted to the JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts) "In Death" series last year and have now read them all (with one due out around now, I think. It is officially a sightly futuristic (set in ~2060) hard-assed female NYPD detective and the plots are usually great, but it is just as much about the characters/relationships. Note: The series must be read in order, and the first is actually not the best in terms of plot, but introduces the main characters.

I've been really disappointed with Elizabeth George after adoring her for years. I started and put down her most recent. :(

PD James also has passed her peak, but enjoyed many of those over the years.

Cyn
02-24-2012, 09:32 PM
I'm not really a fan of Detective novels, but my Ex was. Because his job required long flights, he always packed a book to read to pass the time. If he forgot to pack one, he would grab one at the store at the airport, referring to them as "mind candy" :lol:.

The books he generally read were the ones written by James Patterson (the Alex Cross series - Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider being two of his more popular novels) and Patricia Cornwell (the Dr. Kay Scarpetta series - which were focused primarily on forensic evidence as Scarpetta was a medical examiner).

I read both of the Patterson novels listed above, and Cornwell's novel, The Last Precinct. The Patterson novels at least kept my interest, though the descriptive parts of what the killer(s) did to the victims were a tad too graphic for my liking (they were written in real-time as opposed to the detective surmising what happened to them).

The Cornwell book, OTOH, I found to be amateurishly written and the plot rather predictable and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. If her other novels are of this calibre, avoid them at all costs.

*******

I don't know if you enjoy the True Crime genre, but if you haven't read any of them, I highly recommend the ones written by Vincent Bugliosi, a former District Attorney for the Los Angeles Superior Court. In his career, he won 105 of 106 Felony cases, and received convictions in all of the 21 murder cases he prosecuted.

He (along with co-author Curt Gentry) wrote the Holy Grail of True Crime books, Helter Skelter which, needless to say, is about the crimes, prosecution, and 1st Degree Murder convictions of Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkle), is absolutely gripping (to date, this is the #1 selling True Crime book of all time). It's a long read (690 pages), but 100% worth it. I pull it out of my shelves of books and re-read it every few years as it's that good. Then again, I have a weird obsession when it comes to the Manson murders - I wrote a paper on the Manson Family from the perspective of Cult Behavior for my Abnormal Psychology class in college (I minored in Psychology), and since then (especially now with the Internet able to provide a shitton of information unavailable or extremely difficult to access back when I was in school

Another Bugliosi book I highly recommend is Outrage, in which Bugliosi analyzes and delivers an excellent yet scathing criticism of Marcia Clark's and Christopher Darden's prosecution and failure to convict O.J. Simpson of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Amazon listing for "Outrage"/Customer Reviews (http://www.amazon.com/Outrage-Five-Reasons-Simpson-Murder/product-reviews/0393330834/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1)

Two other outstanding True Crime books by Bugliosi are And The Sea Will Tell (http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Will-Tell-Vincent-Bugliosi/product-reviews/0393327965/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1) and Till Death Us Do Part (http://www.amazon.com/Till-Death-Us-Do-Part/product-reviews/039332544X/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1). Both books are about cases Bugliosi tried (and received convictions) for murder

rfisher
02-24-2012, 09:34 PM
I got completely addicted to the JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts) "In Death" series last year and have now read them all (with one due out around now, I think. It is officially a sightly futuristic (set in ~2060) hard-assed female NYPD detective and the plots are usually great, but it is just as much about the characters/relationships. Note: The series must be read in order, and the first is actually not the best in terms of plot, but introduces the main characters.
.
It came out Tuesday. :)

Holley Calmes
02-24-2012, 09:41 PM
Just found the name of the author who wrote the Henry II era mysteries. It's Ariana Franklin. These books are wonderful-a very intriguing heroine unlike most I've read about.

http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/mystery-94.html

znachki
02-24-2012, 10:04 PM
The Cornwell book, OTOH, I found to be amateurishly written and the plot rather predictable and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. If her other novels are of this calibre, avoid them at all costs.

Cyn - you picked exactly the wrong one to read! I used to read her books - until I read "The Last Precinct" (if that's the one with the weird cat digression?). Hated it. Coincidently, it was about this time that I discovered Kathy Reichs (Temperence Brennan), and never looked back!

emason
02-24-2012, 11:10 PM
No, the "Wire in the Blood" series is based on the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series.

Wire in the Blood and Touching Evil are two entirely different series, although Robson Green starred in both. Touching Evil was created by Paul Abbott and written by Abbott and Russell T. Davies. Wire in the Blood is based on characters created by Val McDermid.

ETA: Sharon Kay Penman has written some historical mysteries. I remember really liking The Queen's Man, the first in the series. I read it quite a while ago, but IIRC the queen of the title was Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Cachoo
02-24-2012, 11:18 PM
Love the Kestrel books! I am so sorry she wasn't able to write more of these, I have 3 and I think that was all she wrote. I also definitely second the CS Harris St. Cyr ones, similar type of hero.I got completely addicted to the JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts) "In Death" series last year and have now read them all (with one due out around now, I think. It is officially a sightly futuristic (set in ~2060) hard-assed female NYPD detective and the plots are usually great, but it is just as much about the characters/relationships. Note: The series must be read in order, and the first is actually not the best in terms of plot, but introduces the main characters.

I've been really disappointed with Elizabeth George after adoring her for years. I started and put down her most recent. :(

PD James also has passed her peak, but enjoyed many of those over the years.

I've never heard of the Kestral books but I will certainly check them out. I hate it when a career is cut short by death, illness, writers block..anything. I was thinking about Caleb Carr and "The Alienist" and "The Angel of Death" which were set in the Gilded Age in the US. I loved them and I know he went on the to write an authorized Sherlock Holmes novel but I would have loved to see a continuation of the first two titles. I don't know why but there is something about all of the forensic science we have now that sends me running back to a previous age sometimes when it comes to mysteries.

skatemomaz
02-25-2012, 03:29 AM
I love Dick Francis, always a good read may he RIP :(

escaflowne9282
02-25-2012, 04:59 AM
I love detective fiction, in particular murder mysteries from the Golden Age (1920s-1940s) Among my favorite authors are

Agatha Christie- she was the first murder mystery author I started to read(the Bobbsey Twins/Hardy Boys/Strattenmyer Syndicate do not count). I think my favorite book by her is Towards Zero which is one that I immediately had to reread after finding out the killer's identity. I also loved the Murder of Roger Ackroyd which apparently is considered a break in the rules of a whodunnit . I hated Murder on the Orient Express with a passion because not only is the ending a total cop-out, but Poirot let's them all get away with it which goes completely against his character to do so.

John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson- wrote many novels in the "locked-room" genre, where the identity of the killer isn't as perplexing as how they managed to pull off the crime. My favorite of his is probably The Crooked Hinge in which the final twist just caught me off guard completely.

Ellery Queen- his earlier books have a challenge to the reader, which I'm finding interesting. The problem with many of his books is that they are somewhat dated in their content so you have to read them almost as a period piece.

As for more modern ones. I recently read The Paris Enigma by Pablo de Santis and The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada (his only English translated work!). I recommend both.

Are there any other "locked-room" fans. Any recommendations on more modern works?

Grannyfan
02-25-2012, 05:44 AM
No, the "Wire in the Blood" series is based on the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series.

Yes, I have my series mixed up. Thanks for clarifying.

Cyn
02-25-2012, 05:52 AM
Cyn - you picked exactly the wrong one to read! I used to read her books - until I read "The Last Precinct" (if that's the one with the weird cat digression?). Hated it. Coincidently, it was about this time that I discovered Kathy Reichs (Temperence Brennan), and never looked back!

I'm guessing this is the series that's the basis for the show Bones?

Hopefully the books are better than Bones. Back when it premiered, I had high hopes that it would be a good, compelling crime drama. I tried watching it, but I found it lacking, mainly for two reasons:

1. Instead of being a relatively realistic crime drama, which it had the potential to be, it seemed like the main focus of the producers (and in turn, the writers) were more interested attracting the hipster-douchebag demographic. The dialogue in the scripts, in an attempt to create banter between the characters, reeks of trying too hard to be oh-so-sassy and "with-it," and instead, they come across as annoying, hipster-douchebag wannabes. Harsh criticism, I know, but that's how it seemed to me :shuffle:.

2. The characters on the show are irritatingly obnoxious, especially the annoying, sex-on-the-brain chick that operates the "amazing hologram person/image generator thingee" and the über-cynical-konspiracy entomologist dude (for my cynical konspiracy cop dude fix, I prefer Munch from Law & Order: SVU :lol: ).

Those two things were enough for me to give up on it :shuffle:. I've occasionally caught parts of it on TNT when I've forgotten to change the channel after watching Law & Order, and from what I've seen, it doesn't appear to have changed formula.

Sorry, Bones fans.

Nomad
02-25-2012, 06:01 AM
I like the noir genre. Raymond Chandler is my favorite.

triple_toe
02-25-2012, 06:20 AM
I like the classics. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie are great, although Christie can get a bit same-y after a while. However, she does some of the best twists. The ending of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd completely shocked me :eek: and And Then There Were None was fabulously suspenseful and had another ending I never expected.

Mystery lovers should at least give Conan Doyle a go, The Hound of Baskervilles sets the standard IMO. There are some great short stories if you don't want to dive right in to a longer one.

ETA: The Cat Who... series are good for light mystery reading. I call them good airport books because they're quick reads, entertaining, and not too heavy. Still a good hint of whodunnit in there though.

rfisher
02-25-2012, 01:15 PM
I'm guessing this is the series that's the basis for the show Bones?

.

In name of the lead character only. I'm a long time fan of Reich's, albeit, she's a bit full of herself now, but don't bother with the show. Her books are based on forensic anthropology as Reich is a forensic anthropologist at USC Charleston. The cases are based loosely on some of hers over the years. She does best when she focuses on what she knows best.

If people like Reich's books, they might like the series written by Jefferson Bass. Similar theme and authorship. The Bass part of the writing team is George Bass who is professor emeritus in forensic anthropology at U of Tennessee. He started the Body Farm at UT. There are four or five books in the series.

I'm not a real fan of the so-called classics in mystery writing. They are heavy on plot and very light on characterization. And Christie was notorious for introducing the villain at the very end and the reader had no opportunity to figure out what was happening. OTOH, some of the more recent focus in mysteries is on character development and the plot is so thin you know exactly whodunit in about a chapter. It is the rare author who can do both well.