Some books you might want to consider for October

1.  Craig Johnson’s Longmire series – they are the basis of the A&E series that ran this summer.  Longmire is a sheriff in Wyoming.  The first book in the series of 8 is The Cold Dish.

2. Canadian author Louise Penny has a series set that features Chief Insp Armand Gamache and most take place in a mythical town with the world’s best B&B.  First in the series is Still Life and they do progress a bit in order.  Penny has won every award given to traditional mysteries with this series, many of them several times.  Latest title is The Beautiful Mystery due out in late August.

18 thoughts on “Some books you might want to consider for October

  1. If you like traditional mysteries with a foreign twist, you might consider the series by Alexander McCall Smith. He has some set in Scotland but my favorite series is the The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency set in Botswana. Or you might try Colin Cotterill’s series set in Laos featuring Dr. Siri Palboun.

  2. Here are some of my recent favorites:
    1. Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Millers Kill series with Clare Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne. The first of the series is In the Bleak Midwinter. You should read this series in order! Julia visited the library last year and has a blog where she posts excerpts from her latest work (due out in April 2013?)

    2. Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler series. Serrailler is a Chief Inspector and you will get involved with his family members as well as the crimes he’s investigating. The first in the series is The Various Haunts of Men, but you don’t need to start here.

    3. Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brody series, which was made into a mini-series for the BBC and aired here on PBS. Start with Case Histories. Jackson is a former soldier and police officer and current private investigator with a heart of gold.

    4. Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie series. Bernie is a private investigator, whose dog Chet is his business partner and narrator of the books. Chet is an ecellent tracker, but is often perplexed by human motivations and the quirks of human language. The first of four books is Dog On It. Number 5 is due out in September.

  3. Think we need some darker recommendations here.
    1. Ian Rankin – his character is John Rebus and he patrols the darker side of Edinborough. The first book in the series is Knots and Crosses. Rankin let his character age in real time so in 2007, he hit the retirement age with Exit Music and we thought Rebus was gone. This year at a festival in June he announced another in the series – Standing in Another Man’s Grave which is due in November 2012.

    2. Michael Connelly – has some stand alones that are excellent and two series – the Harry Bosch Series (detective in LA – first title is The Black Echo) and the Mickey Haller Series which started with The Lincoln Lawyer – a lawyer who works out of his car and he brings them together in some books.

    3. Dennis Lehane – six books featuring Patrick and Angie – PI”s – the first in the series is A Drink Before the War. (Lehane will be at a fund raiser for the Framingham Library on Oct 6 and has a new historical novel coming out soon)

    4. James Lee Burke – His best known books are in the Dave Robicheaux series set in New Orleans. In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead is one of my favorites. His daughter Alafair Burke (you will recognize the name if you have read this series) is also an author and has written a couple stand-alone thrillers that I have liked. Never Tell is a good place to start.

    5. Laura Lippman uses the Baltimore area as her local and her main character is a newspaper reporter – Tess Monaghan – when the series begins with Baltimore Blues. In the last few years she has been alternating with stand alone thrillers. Lots of awards for this author.

    6. Val McDermid is another Scottish author with a long list of books (about 30). Favorites of mine include The Mermaids Singing and The Grave Tattoo.

  4. Want to share this with a younger reader? Try Laurie King’s series that begins with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. The beekeeper is Sherlock Holmes and the apprentice is a young girl who is living with a not very nice guardian and who – it turns out – has a mind as quick as Sherlock’s. this is a series of 11 titles – not all of them as good as the first – but very enjoyable and suitable to share with the YA reader who enjoys a mystery.

    • I’m the opposite of a YA reader, but I really liked The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, and I plan to take the 2nd in the series with me on an upcoming trip. I’ve always liked Sherlock and that type of mystery, so I enjoy Laurie King’s Holmes and Russell characters and their brainy methodology.
      King’s latest is just out – Garment of Shadows.

  5. Another way to choose a book is to look at what the critics think are the best. Every year the Edgar awards (named for Edgar Allan Poe) are given to several authors – best novel, best first novel, best young adult, etc. Here are the Edgar winners for the last 5 years for best novel.
    2008 – Down River by John Hart
    2009 – Blue Heaven by C. J. Box
    2010 – The Last Child by John Hart
    2011 – The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
    2012 – Gone by Mo Hayder.

    and if you want to go back further:

    2000 Jan Burke, Bones
    2001 Joe R. Lansdale, The Bottoms
    2002 T. Jefferson Parker, Silent Joe
    2003 S. J. Rozan, Winter and Night
    2004 Ian Rankin, Resurrection Men
    2005 T. Jefferson Parker, California Girl
    2006 Jess Walter, Citizen Vince
    2007 Jason Goodwin, The Janissary Tree

  6. Found this on Book Page this morning – recommendations for lesser known authors whose books might appeal to series readers.
    A mystery series for every taste – Recommendations from Book Page
    by Eliza, Associate Editor
    Series fans are a devoted bunch, following their favorite characters through adventure after adventure and sending new installments to the top of bestseller lists. But what to do while you’re waiting for the next book?
    In the spirit of book fortunes, here are mystery series recommendations based on taste, from cozies to police procedurals to Nordic noir. In each case, we take a wildly popular series and offer a few suggestions for series that are newer or lesser known.
    If you like the forensic technology in Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series, try . . .
    • The Dr. Claire Waters series by Neal Baer and Jonathan Green, starring forensic psychiatrist Claire Waters and NYPD detective Nick Lawler. Book #1, Kill Switch, is a break-neck story about a serial killer’s rampage.
• Jefferson Bass’s Body Farm series, starring forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton. Whodunit columnist Bruce Tierney called the most recent installment, The Inquisitor’s Key, “highly original.”
• Andrea Kane’s Forensic Instincts series, about a crew of experts “working just a smidgeon outside the law” who solve near-impossible crimes.
    If you like Michael Connelly’s police procedurals about LAPD detective Harry Bosch, try . . .
    • The brand-new Bell Elkins series by Julia Keller, which focuses on the prosecuting attorney in a small town in West Virginia. We loved book #1, A Killing in the Hills, which starts with a bang when three men are murdered in a coffee shop.
• Owen Laukkanen’s Stevens and Windermere series, about an FBI special agent and a Minnesota state investigator. Book #2, Criminal Investigator, comes out on March 21, 2013.
    If you like Elizabeth George’s series about Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, try . . .
    • Louise Penny’s Canadian whodunits about Chief Inspector Gamache and his homicide department in Quebec. The latest installment, The Beautiful Mystery, is out this month.
• The excellent police procedurals about the Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French. We loved #3, Broken Harbor—our Top Pick in Fiction for August.
    If you like Lilian Jackson Braun’s lighthearted “The Cat Who” series of cozy mysteries, try . . .
    • Barbara Allan’s Trash ‘n’ Treasures series about a mother-daughter amateur sleuthing team. The latest, the offbeat and funny Antiques Disposal, is a must for cozy fans.
• Clare O’Donohue’s Someday Quilts series, which BookPage calls “a haven for those who love a good mystery as well as the history and colorful ambiance involved in the craft of quilting.”
    If you like Sue Grafton’s books starring feisty sleuth Kinsey Milhone, try . . .
    • Laura Levine’s series about wisecracking detective Jaine Austen. We liked Pampered to Death, a clever sendup of health spas. (The victim is strangled with spa-healthy kelp!) Look for Death of A Neighborhood Witch in September.
• Kate White’s Bailey Weggins mysteries, about a “smart, savvy, sexy” amateur sleuth.
    If you like Stieg Larsson’s edgy Millennium Trilogy, try . . .

    • Jo Nesbo’s gritty series about Oslo investigator Harry Hole.
• Swedish author Hakan Nesser’s Chief Inspector van Veeteren series, which Bruce Tierney calls an “absolute must.”
• Lars Kepler’s Detective Inspector Joona Linna series (also Swedish). Book #2, The Nightmare, came out in July. BookPage contributor Sukey Howard called it “crime fiction with real depth.”
• Taylor Stevens’ Vanessa Michael Munroe books, which have an assassin-heroine who will remind you more than a little of Lisbeth Salander.
    If you like Elizabeth Peters’ series about Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, try . . .
    • Charles Finch’s atmospheric Victorian mystery series about Parliament member/amateur detective Charles Lenox. BookPage review Barbara Clark called A Burial at Sea an “expertly written adventure.” Look for A Death in the Small Hours in November.
• Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series, romantic stories about spies in 19th-century Britain.
• Tasha Alexander’s historical mysteries about 19th-century English sleuth Lady Emily.
    What series do you love?

    • I;ve read 2 of Charles Finch’s books taking place in Victorian London with a rather elegant detective, Charles Lenox, and his love interest, Lady Jane. These are the “British cozy” type of mysteries and I like the historical context as well as plots. Titles: A Beautiful Blue Death” and “The September Society.” There are 2 more before “Burial at Sea,” and the new one mentioned due in Nov.

      • P.S. What a great compilation of mystery types and authors from Book Page! So many books, so little time!

  7. 1. I’ve really enjoyed the Jacqueline Winspear series featuring Maisie Dobbs as the protagonist. Maisie was a nurse in France in WWI and has returned to London to launch a career as a private investigator. She has a complex backstory and is dealing with a lot of demons. I found this to be a fascinating look at England between the wars and the changing role of women in society.
    2. Set in the same period is Nicola Upson’s series featuring mystery author Josephine Tey. The first in the series is An Expert in Murder. Apparently, Tey led quite an interesting life. There’s a lot of the London theater world in this series.
    3. Josephine Tey’s series with Alan Grant is one of my all-time favorites. Brat Farrar and Daughter of Time still hold up after all these years!

  8. A nice feature on the Minuteman catalog–if you find a series book, you can scroll to the bottom of the record to find a numerated list of all the books in the series. Just below this is a section called You Might Also Like which recommends similar series. I’ve found these recs to be quite good.

  9. If you are a serious fan and always looking for new mystery and thriller authors, you might want to check out the webcast from the Library Journal that features upcoming titles from AudioGo (which would be audio books) and Poison Press and Severn House. (about an hour long with both a set of slides and a title list that can be downloaded if you haven’t the patience to listen). Here’s the link.

  10. Has anyone read the series of books by “Benjamin Black” – pen name of John Banville? A Dublin police inspector, I think, is the main character. I’m wondering if this is a good set of mysteries to curl up with this winter.

  11. I have read a couple. Didn’t love them – they are “literary” as you would expect but I don’t think of them as curl up books. Read Christine Falls which I think might have been the first in the series and the latest – Vengeance. Liked Vengeance better than Christine Falls but this isn’t an author that I seek out.

  12. I just started Louise Penny’s latest book The Beautiful Mystery (#8 in the series). I think I will love it as much as the first seven! Ralph Cosham is a perfect narrator for this series. Just a note that you can probably start with this book as it has a different setting from most of the rest of the series.
    Also, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting) is now filming the first in the series (Still Life) with Nathaniel Parker as Gamache. Parker, who played Inspector Lynley (Elizabeth George’s books) is not what I pictured, but I think he has the right presence. I hope Mystery picks this up!!

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