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 .
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 ).
Those two things were enough for me to give up on it . 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.
"Meryl is from a magic planet where Disney princesses come from, and [Charlie's] hair is a magic carpet." ~~ Stephen Colbert, on The Colbert Report
I like the noir genre. Raymond Chandler is my favorite.
"...some people are moulded by their admiration, others by their hostilities.”
― Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
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 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.
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.
Cyn, Kathy Reichs' books are so much better than the show! Although I don't hate the program as much as you do, we just don't watch it anymore. But, the books are really good, especially the first ones. Temperance splits her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, and there are books for each city but they all sort of fit. She flies back and forth. But the forensic imput is really fascinating, and you know this woman knows her stuff. Don't let the TV show throw you off the books if you ever feel like trying them. Go back to the first one and see what you think.
I like many of the ones already listed. Did anyone mention M.C. Beaton - Hamish McBeth series and Gail Bowen - Joanne Kilburn series?
Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone and The Woman in White. Talk about page turners!
"Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!"
I was glad to see a few posters in this thread mentioning some "Golden Age" authors and their works. To them I highly recommend books by Dorothy Cameron Disney, an author from this time period who has been unfairly ignored, even by scholars of the genre. Her first book, "Death in the Back Seat", is now in print again, though, and is available on Amazon.
I hate mysteries in which the villain in introduced at the very end, but I have never considered Christie books one of them.
"There are three social classes in America: upper middle class, middle class, and lower middle class." -- Judith Martin
And one of my favorite series is Preston and Child's Agent Pendergast series. Lurve me some Pendergast. I actually like John Sanford's Virgil Flowers spin off better than his Lucas Davenport novels. Mostly, because I like Virgil better than Davenport.
Some wonderful writers mentioned! Thanks for this thread! I consume several mysteries per week so obviously am on the lookout for new ones. Have read some wonderful Scandinavian noir recently. Indradson, Lackberg are two that come to mind.
Denise Mina (Scot noir!)
James Lee Burke
Alafair Burke (his daughter)
Jesse Kellerman (better than his parents)
and, my all time fave,
Reg Hill! He is a superb writer and you won't find a better character than Andy Dalziel! Treat yourself and read this series from the beginning!
My faves were always the Sherlock Holmes series, and any of Agatha Christie's. But I will say that the most re-readable for me based on how he wrote is Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels.
I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.~W. C. Fields
Some more of my favorites: Margaret Maron, Anne Perry,Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Douglas Preston, Preston & Child, Carolyn Haines, Lyn Hamilton, Karen Kijewski, Jack Higgins, Frederick Forsyth. I like all types of mysteries.
When growing up I’ve read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” novels, and all of Agatha Christie’s “Poirot” and “Miss Marple” novels.
I specifically enjoy just the “gentleman detectives” genre (or “lady detective”). I prefer high-society settings, conduct and characters, and “stories of elegant crimes” i.e. jewelry and art heists, like the story line of “Thomas Crown Affair - 2”.
The crime itself does not have to be exciting or complicated, but the interactions, the language, the form, and relations between characters are important to me. It makes it even more so pleasant if the scenario takes place in any luxury setting, a villa, a cruise down the Nile, on the canals of Venice, etc.
In addition to Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, I enjoy the following
Wilkie Collins – “Moonstone/Lady in White”
Lord Peter Wimsey – “Dorothy L. Sayers”
Edgar Allan Poe – “C. Augustus Dupin”
Robert Van Gulik – “Judge Dee”
Nikolas Blake (aka C. Day-Lewis) – “Nigel Strangeways/Issue of Proof”
Colin Dexter – “Inspector Morse”
Manuel Vazquez Montalban - “Detective Pepe Carvalho”
Donna Leon – “Commissario Brunetti”.
Last edited by Tinami Amori; 02-25-2012 at 09:48 PM.
As a kid, I loved Georges Simenon's Commissaire Maigret series. Still love to catch an episode on TV.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death
An unusual one that BrokenAnkle and I both like (that's rare!) is the Ian Rutledge novels by Charles Todd (which is really co-written by Charles and his mother Caroline). is a Scotland Yard inspector who came back damaged from WWI and is piecing his life together by solving crimes for the Yard. The Rutledge charactor is haunted by the memory of something from the War, a charactor named Hamish who resides in his psyche and provides an interesting counterpoint to the main charactor. Good stuff
Here's more info.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_and_Charles_Todd
Oh, I love reading detective novels. Though I haven't read in awhile my favorites are:
Kathy Reichs - the books are way better than the show. Though I do like the show I just wish they would have made the Dr. Brennan character on the show like she really is in the books. She's nothing like the character on the show.
Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown (that's a cat). - Rita Mae writes mysteries where the animals help solve the case and she includes her cat (Sneaky Pie) that she got from the shelter as co-author. There are easy to read and not too graphic.
Robert Crais - have not read his books in awhile but I liked his Elvis Cole novels.
Janet Evanovich - like her books but I feel she is starting to repeat the same humor over and over again.
Robert Parker - I did like his book with the female detective named Sunny.