If I thought Paranormal was going to be hard…Mysteries is even harder. Mysteries are my first love and I have been following some authors for over 15 years. Again, I will break it down into categories to help you determine what you are in the mood for.
Although may have been reading some authors for years I couldn´t claim that I had read all of their books or in order so I have recently started a lot of series at the beginning. I have a few mixed feelings about this…sometimes the first couple of books aren´t as good as the ones in the middle of a series but it is good to get to know the characters better and know their origins. I recommend starting at the beginning but if you can´t get into the books maybe go to one of the latest books or one that is highly rated…see if you fall in love with the characters then…
These are a mix breed but they are my favorites and stories I have been following for years! I am sure they are yours too 🙂
James Patterson – He has several series and several stand alone books and I love them all! Alex Cross, his main series is his best and longest series. This was my introduction to JP and it was before he put his picture on the flaps of his books. He wrote the Alex character so well I would have sworn he was a black man. Apparently he´s not but he does enough research to really understand the culture of DC etc… The Women´s Murder Club, The Max Ride and Michael Bennett series are also my favorites. In all of his books he intertwines social issues…not just terrorism like so many other authors do but issues like the environment, gangs, drug wars, corporate corruption, genetic tampering and other such issues. Sometimes when the bad guys kills CEOs for stealing pensions etc…I really don´t feel so bad…lol! With most of his books you can pick them up and read but it’s always better to start at the beginning so you know who is who. His books can be pretty graphic and gruesome (even the young adult ones).
Janet Evanovich – If you like goofy funny mysteries these are a winner! I absolutely LOVE the Stephanie Plum series…it has everything; wacky characters, mystery, intrigue, a sexy love triangle and LOL comedy. This is a story I tell everyone when recommending these books…and its happened three times! I was on a plane reading one of the books and I started laughing…just briefly. I continued reading and few mins later I started laughing again and the lady next to me asked what I was reading. I told her it was a book about…blah blah blah…”in this book Stephanie and Lula go to pick up a guy and he is naked (which isn´t uncommon in these books) and covered in vaseline. They try to capture him but are rolling and sliding around…etc…” the lady seems amused but I go back to reading my book and then I start laughing again…then she starts laughing at me laughing. Her husband then asks what she is laughing about… Later, I laugh, she laughs and then her husband laughs and says…I got to get those books! Another time I was on a flight next to a women and when I started laughing she asked my what books I was reading and when I said JE she laughed and said…she loved the books and she actually went to college with JE. The third time was actually when waiting to board a plane. So, if you want a good laugh but still enjoy a mystery these would be perfect for you!
The Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly – I started this series somewhere in the middle a couple of years ago and have now read them all starting at the beginning. Harry Bosch is old school in a lot of ways and is a kick ass man! He takes care of his people but don´t F with him because he will throw down. MC also address some of the issues going on in the world especially the main issues in LA like the riots, gangs, mexican cartels etc… He has a few series that have their roots with Bosch like for example the Lincoln Lawyer is Bosch´s brother.
Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child – Don´t let the new movie keep you away from this series. In the book Reacher is 6´5″ about 220lbs of pure muscle…and they casted Tom Cruise! Talk about a WTF were they thinking moment…anyway… Reacher is bad ass!! He was a MP in the Army and very loyal. When he left the Army he started drifting…in each book he is in a different location doing different things saving different people. Different concept than most mysteries since he drifts around…kind of like the ATeam but in one person.
These mysteries aren´t as gruesome as some of the ones I will discuss later. Most are actually devoted to food which gives them some awesome titles! What I found in most of these series, its single moms or newly divorced women who are trying to take control over their own lives…and then murder…
Goldy Bear Series by Diane Mott Davidson – A caterer that is always stumbling across murders, in the first book she is determined to find the person who is poisoning her food in order to kill other people. Interesting fast reads and includes recipes.
Chocoholic Mystery Series by JoAnna Carl – A woman who works in a gourmet chocolate shop on one of the great lakes. Great characters and in between chapters are little anecdotes and stories about chocolate.
Hannah Swenson Series by Joanne Fluke – A single woman who owns a bakery turns detective. She is a strong willed funny character and the book makes you crave cookies!
Jaine Austen Series by Laura Levine – A writer turns detective when someone she writes a love letter for turns out to be a murder suspect. Really fun light books.
Charlotte Adams Series by Mary Jane Maffini – A professional organizer turns detective when she finds a dead body in the house she was supposed to organize.
Mary Kennedy – Talk show host turns detective
Blackbird Sisters Mysteries by Nancy Martin – I actually found these by accident in the library many years ago. Funny! Sisters with no money who came from old money in New England solve murders.
These are gruesome and sometimes scary mysteries. Some are series and some are individual books but in general they are pretty scary…there have been a few that I couldn´t finish
Dean Koontz – He writes a lot of thriller mysteries and there have been a few that I couldn´t finish because they scared me. All of his books have some supernatural parts including his Odd Thomas series. This series is interesting and mild compared to some of this other work.
Robin Cook – These are probably more thrillers than mysteries but they are intense and graphic. Mostly medical…one was about Eboli and I stopped eating meat for a while it scared me so much.
Maggie O´Dell Series by Alex Kava – She is a FBI profiler and only brought in to the toughest cases.
Dexter Series by Jeffery Lindsay – More gruesome than the HBO series. He is a sociopath but he only kills people who deserve it…rapists, other murders etc…
Karin Slaughter – Very scary stuff for a small town pediatrician. Gruesome reads…
Bones Series by Kathy Reichs – Not horribly gruesome but she is a pathologist. These are the books Bones was based one. I read several of them and liked Temperance Brennan even before the series.
Smart Ass Detectives…or wanna be detectives
Stone Barrington Series by Stuart Woods – Old school detective turned PI lawyer. Very sarcastic and blunt.
Spenser Series by Robert B. Parker – Just getting started on these but Spenser is hilarious. Old school…call it like it is kind of guy.
Alex Delaware Series by Jonathan Kellerman – Delaware is actually a retired psychologist who helps his detective friend Milo solve gruesome mysteries. Interesting blend of psychology and mystery. Based in LA. He´s not really a smart ass but Milo is…
Jack Daniels Series by JA Konrath – Jack Daniels is a strong sarcastic smart ass female detective in Chicago. She´s pretty bad ass but she has a smart mouth that will crack you up. All the titles of the books are alcoholic drinks such as Wiskey Sour and Cheery Bomb. These books can be pretty gruesome too.
Myron Bolitar Series by Harlan Coben – Bolitar is a sports agent who keeps getting wrapped into murders. He is a smart ass and very funny but also a bad ass when he needs to be. Super fast reads combines sports and murder!
Dortmunder Series by Donald Westlake – A different kind of mystery. The main character in these books (at least at the beginning) is a thief. Him and his montly crew are always entertaining.
Mitch Rapp Series by Vince Flynn – Another ex military bad ass who saves America against terrorism.
Jason Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum – Even more intense than the movies.
Jesse Stone Series by Robert B. Parker – Probably a smart ass too but more of a bad ass in a small Mass town. Lots of trouble for such a small town…
David Robicheux Series by James Lee Burke – Based in New Orleans this guy is also old school and his smart ass mouth always leads him into to trouble where he becomes a bad ass! He is also honest and deeply loyal to his friends and family. Interesting books though because sometimes the line between good and bad is blurry and lots of books about the mob influence in NO. Still reading the older ones but looking forward to seeing how the books change after Katrina.
Prey Series by John Sandford – Lucas Davenport is also old school and blurs the line between good and bad when trying to solve a crime. Based in Minneapolis Davenport also creates Dungons and Dragons type board games that evolve into video games. Very intriguing fast reads.
Politics and Lawyers
Paul Madrini Series by Steve Martini – Very suspenseful mysteries and fast reads.
Lisa Scottoline – A couple different series featuring woman lawyers. Strong main characters and supporting.
David Baldacci – He has several series from the Secret Service to secret societies in the government. All very intense suspenseful.