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Your Favorite Detective Novels

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Holley Calmes, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    Over the past ten years or so, I have been obsessed with detective/crime/murder mysteries and novels that are well written, or maybe not so well written but fun. If it says "Edgard Award Nominee" I'm your girl! I just wanted to know who you all liked in this genre. I'm always looking for new writers, so I hope you will recommend some.

    I just got through with all the Peter James I could get imported from Britain. When my darling Karen Slaughter recommended him as "the best," I had to give him a try, and he is more than great....

    Just starting up Ian Rankin. Just finished the latest Elizabeth George and Deborah Crombie. Actually reading "Raylan" by Elwood Leonard just because I think Timothy Olyphant is gorgeous.

    So-bring it on! Who are your faves? (Dorothy Sayers....my fave. I identify so with Harriet Vane...)
  2. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    Ever a Russian writer called Boris Akunin? If you liked Agatha chistie, hen you may like Akunin. How about a novel called The Memory Man by Lisa Appignnesi. Not your regular crime story but a mystery novel nonetheless and very interesting.
  3. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    My favorites are the classics (Christie, Sayers and Marsh) and the historicals ... everything from Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen series to Fiona Buckley's Ursula Blanchard, and further back to Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael books
  4. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    They're not detective stories, but mysteries byThomas H. Cook are great. He won an Edgar Award for The Chatham School Affair. I've liked all his books, but the two most recent ones not as much as the earlier ones.
  5. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    I know this is probably a totally obvious recommendation but have you read Agatha Christie's books? I love them and they are rather quick reads.
  6. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Ian Rankin and Michael Connelly are my favorites.
  7. Orable

    Orable Well-Known Member

    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).
  8. jbjanderson

    jbjanderson Member

    I absolutely love the series by Julia Spencer-Flemming - the mystery aspect is okay, but the characters are great and I cannot put the books down. First book is called In the Bleak Midwinter.
  9. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    Dorothy Sayers & PD James.
  10. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

    Sue Grafton's series. I am now working on her latest "V" is for Vengeance that I got for Christmas. For some reason, I can't get into this one and she's always been one of my favorite authors and sometimes I would finish a book in 1-2 days.
  11. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    :lol: Do you want it broken into sub-genres?
    Cozies, Police procedurals, romantic suspense, speciality (knitting, cooking, etc.,) animals, etc., etc., ?
  12. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    My absolute favorite is Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey series. (Harriet Vane is the best heroine ever!) Second favorite, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series. In third place, probably Margery Allingham's Albert Campion series.

    This is a great thread!
  13. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Louise Penney is wonderful! I love her books.
  14. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the ideas. Yes, I have the latest Louise Penney in que for next. I love her! I love Juia Spencer-Flemming too. I'm trying to think of the name of the author, unfortunately deceased, who wrote the mysteries set in the time of Henry II with the female/physician-trained heroine? I cannot think of her to save my life, but I adored those books-there were about 4. Love the Masie Dobbs books too.

    Looking forward to Ian!

    Edited to include:

    Edna Buchanan and her Miami set mysteries
    Martha Grimes! She's fantastic - two series, Richard Jury mysteries...
    Deanna Raybourn - a guilty pleasure. Part mystery, part bodice ripper and totally fun
    Jacqueline Windspear
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  15. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I recommend Barbara Hambly's Benjamin January series. The lead character is a black Paris-educated physician in New Orleans in the middle 1800's.

    They are fast-paced, and interesting historical reads as they focus on the seldom heard about black middle class.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  16. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

    A few months ago, I read Yrsa Sigurdardóttir's Ashes to Dust. I loved every bit of it and highly recommend it!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  17. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    If it's historical mysteries you fancy, try C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr series. Regency England, plots rooted in the social and political turmoil of the times and a main character the author describes as "Mr. Darcy with a James Bond edge." "What Angels Fear" introduces the cast which develops through the following five volumes. The newst one "When Maidens Mourn" comes out in March.
  18. merrywidow

    merrywidow Well-Known Member

    Sue Grafton, Susan Wittig Albert, Janet Evanovich, Linda Barnes, Nevada Barr, Mary Higgins Clark, Margaret Coel, Ken Follett, Earlene Fowler, Joan Hess, etc.. If you like Agatha Christie then try Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver series, same era as Christies.
    There is a great internet site for fiction of all sorts...fantasticfiction.co.uk/. It lists all books by author.
  19. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

    I loved the "Rabbi" mysteries series by Harry Kemelman. They are no longer in print, but you can get used copies from Amazon.com.
  20. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    That is another great series.
  21. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    :lol: Leave it to FSU to inform me of Akunin! That is, I've heard of him but didn't know he was a mystery writer.

    The Julian Kestral and Sebastian St. Cyr series sound interesting. Will check with our library. Thanks, guys!
  22. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    OMG! I love her too. I don't know why she isn't up there with other authors of the genre. I copied some of her awards:
    2002 Agatha Award for In the Bleak Midwinter
    2003 Anthony Award for In the Bleak Midwinter
    2003 Macavity Award for In the Bleak Midwinter
    2003 Dilys Award for In the Bleak Midwinter
    2003 Barry Award for In the Bleak Midwinter
    2007 Nero Wolfe Award for All Mortal Flesh
    2007 Gumshoe Award for All Mortal Flesh

    I'm glad to know of someone else here who enjoys Clare and Russ and an interesting cast of characters. I'm not sure if they fit the detective mold like other titles/authors mentioned here but getting to know these people coupled with the mystery is worth the read.

    In the detective genre I've become a big fan of Charles Finch's series featuring gentleman detective Charles Lenox:
    A Beautiful Blue Death, The September Society, The Fleet Street Murders, A Stranger in Mayfair and A Burial at Sea are set in Victorian England and are good mysteries imho. There is life after Sherlock after all. Finch has been nominated for a couple of awards (including The Agatha.)
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  23. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

    In the cozy detective genre, I liked Ryhs Bowen's Contastable Evan Evans series. I don't care for her recent series. G.M. Malliet's books are worth reading. I really liked Death of a Cozy Writer and Death and the Lit Chick.

    The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall is pretty good.
  24. Orable

    Orable Well-Known Member

    Very cool - I'm gonna check these out. Thanks!
  25. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    Loved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories when I was wee, and am still of fan of all things Agatha Christie (I adore Miss Marple), but my favorite detective novel of all time is still Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. In fact, I love all of Hammett's and James Cain's novels.

    Also a big fan of the Cadfael series.
  26. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Haha, I first learned of Akunin at a Skate America practice! He was recommended to me by Mr. MorganaLefay.
  27. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    A total mystery fan here. Where do I start? OK first, with this website:

    Stop, You're Killing Me! http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/

    Authors, titles, series orders, breakdowns by genre, vocation, time period.

    The only mysteries I'm not a fan of are all of the new cozies, with themes (cooking, wines, baking) and punny titles. Just can't do them.

    I'll try to avoid the ones that others have listed, but there may be some duplicates. I love, among others, Elizabeth George & Ian Rankin, but others have already chimed in there. I'm just going to list the authors.

    Val McDermid - Tony Hill
    Garry Disher
    Barbara Cleverly - Joe Sandilands
    PJ Tracey (With this one, you really must read Monkeewrench first)
    Charles Finch
    Laurie R. King - the Sherlock Hlmes & Mary Russell series
    Bruce Alexander
    David Liss
    Anne Perry
    Elizabeth Peters
    Will Thomas
    Victoria Thompson
    Clare Langley-Hawthorne
    Eliis Peters
    Jason Goodwin
    Walter Mosely
    Jim Butcher - The Dresden Books. Chicago, hard-boiled detective. Who's a wizard.

    I know that I'm missing tons more.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  28. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    I've read a couple of these and enjoyed them very much.
  29. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    I've seen some episodes of a British series called Touching Evil. Is this what they're based on?
  30. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    No, the "Wire in the Blood" series is based on the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series.