The Alexander McCall Smith books are set in Botswana in southern Africa. They are really good books, beautifully written and give a really positive perspective on the lives of African people. Too often our views are coloured by news reports focusing on violence, famine and corruption. These books portray a more rounded view of Africa whilst not shying away from serious issues.
I'm an Agatha Christie junkie, and Miss Marple is my favorite regular sleuth of hers. I tried to like the Kinsey Milhone books, but I just couldn't. :shrug I'm currently reading my first Nero Wolfe book, and it's hilarious. While I like the T.V. series, the book is way better.
Originally Posted by Belfastgirl
Thanks, Belfastgirl. You articulated beautifully what I was fishing around for but NOT making clear. :bowdown
OH MY GOSH! YES! CHERRY AMES ! (Sorry, got excited there.) Cherry Ames was responsible for my wanting to be a nurse right up until I ran into a college chemistry course. I adored those books. I first got hooked on mysteries with the Trixie Belden series (I so wanted to look like Honey Wheeler), then moved on to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. Cherry Ames was next. After that came the classics: Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers. And the neo-classics: P.D. James, Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes.
Originally Posted by likeafox
Even now, before I get a mystery I'm not familiar with, I look to see if it's a series, because I hate to get interested in the characters only to find out that the author has only done one or two books. I'm a huge fan of most of the authors you guys have already named, and I'm for sure going to check out the others I haven't heard of.
If you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, check out Joan Hess' Maggody series -- she has some pretty funny stuff, too.
I also enjoy the Gregor Demarkian series by Jane Haddam. He's referred to as "the Armenian Hercule Poirot."
Yeah, I love all the Maggody series... police chief Arlie and her mother (can't remember her name!!) are a hoot. Joan Hess also has another series wherein the heroine, Claire, has a teen aged daughter who rolls her eyes and gets in trouble frequently, leaving mom to bail her out. Mom owns a book store in a small town. Laugh-out-loud funny stuff. Joan Hess is a great writer if you like light comedy.
Wow, it's nice to know that a lot of others like the same authors I do!
First of all - I grew up reading Agatha Christie and Trixie Belden (I had a crush on Brian, though :rofl )
Thomas Perry's Jane Whitefild novels are wonderful.
Joan Hess' Claire Malloy books are a guilty pleasure
Alexander McCall Smith - I bow at your feet
Sherlock Holmes - of course!
Lawrence Block's "Burgler" series is such a hoot - especially the recent ones.
Two of my favorites that haven't been mentioned are:
Elizabeth Peters - Her Amelia Peabody series is worth it's weight in gold.
Donald E. Westlake's Dortmunder series just keeps getting better and better (A movie was made from his "What's the Worst that Could Happen" - awful! The book is 100 times better!)
Ladies he's on you're side.
he's a crook, he lies,
he breaks the law, he
saves the world from the
Otherness, I'm guessing!
I'm hoping.....He'll outhink
Satan. F Paul Wilson....
He's a KEEP er
I lost track of this thread after the first few posts. I thought I'd pop back in and offer my support for some suggestions and throw out some new names I haven't seen in here. :)
First of all, I fell in love with mysteries by reading the kingpin of them all, Sherlock Holmes. I tore through every one of Doyle's Holmes mysteries when I was in junior high. Up to that point, I'd cut my teeth on the Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown. But Holmes was a REAL detective, and the stories were much grittier and authentic than that kids' stuff. I'd heard that Solar Pons, a Holmes clone created by August Derleth, was good reading for folks who had exhausted all of Doyle's stories. In reality, the Pons stories were merely OK. Worth checking out, though, if you're a Holmes fan, just to see some similar stories.
After that, I switched to Agatha Christie. Never got into her Miss Marple stories or the one-offs (except for Ten Little Indians). My favorite, without a doubt, was Hercule Poirot.
More recent favorites:
- Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, as I mentioned above. I've read quite a few of those. Archie (his sidekick) is hilarious.
- Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe. REAL hard-boiled detective stories.
- Nelson DeMille's John Corey. OK, The Lion's Game (sequel to Plum Island) isn't a pure mystery, but it's sure a page-turner. And Corey keeps you laughing on every page.
The pattern in what I like in my detective fiction is a good sense of humor. :) Those guys above all have it.
I loved Encycolpedia Brown! I loved Trixie Belden! (I wanted to be Honey, too :nod) I remember reading Hound of the Baskervilles at a pretty early age--I don't even think I was in Junior High. I was always an advanced reader, so I tore through pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I love reading mysteries, I just wish I had more time to read right now. :(
You still can't beat Chandler's Phillip Marlowe or Hammett's Sam Spade. I read those books over and over again. I like Parker's Spenser, and Donald Westlake's (as Richard Stark) Parker, the supercool thief.
Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly's LA homicide cop, is at the top of the form, past and present.
Years ago, I loved reading Timothy Kyd's PI novels. I'm having trouble remembering the PI's name, though. Wish he would've kept up.
Jesse Sublett's Martin Fender is supercool, too -- a bass player in Austin who moonlights as a private eye. Sublett also has a great new memoir out. It's part true crime account ( detailing the horrible murder of his girlfriend the night of his first big gig), part rock n roll journal. Amazing book.
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