By Amie Pilla
Why recommend one book when we can recommend 119? Let’s shine the spotlight on our favorite mystery series. To qualify for the mystery genre, someone in the book has to die and there has to be some kind of investigation, but the tone of these mysteries ranges from hard-core to cozy. Try these authors:
C. J. Box, “Joe Pickett” series, 20 books
Part mystery and part western, this series features Joe Pickett, a game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming. While game wardens aren’t typically murder detectives, Pickett gets thrown into an investigation in the first book when the body of a man he’s had run-ins with is found in Pickett’s backyard. In addition to solving murders, Pickett deals with the issues of drug abuse, oil and gas development, endangered wildlife, and more in this series where setting is as important as characters.
J. D. Robb, “In Death” series, 50 books
Police procedurals are common, but J. D. Robb puts a twist on hers by setting the series in mid-21st century New York City. The futuristic series follows Lieutenant Eve Dallas, a woman with a complicated past who navigates murder investigations with much greater ease than she navigates personal and professional relationships. With 50 titles in the series and a couple of new ones added each year, feel free to get hooked without the worry of running out of books anytime soon.
Louise Penny, “Armand Gamache Three Pines” series, 15 books
This series revolves around the work and life of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Provincial Police. Deep secrets lie just under the surface of the small communities Gamache is assigned to cover, but Gamache is experienced in uncovering secrets and lies. These complex and rich books are made to be savored, not rushed through.
Jefferson Bass, “Body Farm” series, 10 books
Author Dr. William Bass is the real-life founder of the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Center, where human elements are kept at an outside research site to be studied as they decay. It follows that his books, co-authored by Jon Jefferson, are dense with scientific forensic detail. Not for the faint of stomach, but creepily accurate, this series follows the investigations of fictional forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton as various law enforcement agencies call on his services.
Joanne Fluke, “Hannah Swensen” series, 24 books
For something completely different, try Fluke’s series, which follows Hannah Swensen, a baker from Minnesota who solves murder cases when she’s not working in the kitchen. Each of these books includes recipes to try, so cozy up with this series when you’re looking for lighthearted fun.
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