Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Books and Things...

I'm currently in a mode to read lots of things.  It goes in streaks, you know how it is.  Some months I read a couple of books a week, and then I go a couple of weeks where the only thing I read is whatever section of newspaper is left in the bathroom.

The thing is, I love murder mysteries!  And I get into a series of books like the Kinsey Milhone books from Sue Grafton, or the Robert B. Parker Spenser novels, and I want to read them from the beginning of the first book, and read them in order.

A lot of research is required to read an author in order, unless you're getting each book hot off the presses, as happened with Sue Grafton.  So discovering a new author and going back can be a challenge.

I like what Amazon has done with some authors... they'll put "detective xxx number 4" next to the title for some series.  I've read some really good ones and a couple of so-so series that I didn't read too many of... some of the ladies at church recommended the Left Behind series.  Really?  I started reading the first one and could not even get through half of it.  Sorry, I've read and studied Revelation, and I don't think I pictured it quite that way.  If you enjoyed it, more power to you.  Good thing I bought the book used or I'd be more disappointed.

So authors I like/really like:
  • Sue Grafton
  • Sarah Paretsky
  • Robert B. Parker (sadly, deceased and no new books are forthcoming) 
Spenser -- a Boston detective played on TV by Robert Urich and

Jesse Stone played in the made-for-TV movies by Tom Selleck.  Loved the movies but loved the books first!
  • James Lee Burke -- hard-boiled, but oh gosh his prose is more like poetry
  • Dana Stabenow -- Alaskan adventures at their most exciting
  • Ruth Rendell  -- classic English mysteries
  • Anne Perry -- Victorian novels in two series, I love them both
  • Dick Francis -- Don't know if he's still writing but he is a former jockey, his books all involve horses and racing.
murder most foul-- these will keep you up at night!
  • John Sanford
  • Michael Connelly 
  • Elizabeth George
  • Robert Crais
  • Lee Child
  • James Patterson  -- I like  almost anything he writes and now he's writing for kids too
Here's a list of light mysteries -- sometimes someone dies but it's not gruesome and gory most of the time:
  • Diane Mott Davidson -- her chef Goldie Schultz solves crimes
  • Monica Ferris -- knitting and crime solving
  • Maggie Sefton -- knitting and crime solving
  • Jennifer Chiaverrini -- quilting stories, sometimes a mystery, sometimes historical
So when I go to the used bookstore, Downtown Books in Milwaukee, I gravitate to the mystery section, and I'm always on the lookout for a new author.  Someone at work told me about Louise Penny.  He says she writes the same type of books as Elizabeth George and Ruth Rendell.  I'm about to meet her detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec in the first novel, Still Life.

He also says the BBC is making the Inspector Gamache series into movies or TV shows and they'll probably be on PBS at some point.  I'll let you know how I like this author!

Reading makes you beautiful!  Or so I keep telling myself...

Sew on!


  1. Hi Sue, all I can say is that I'm about 500 pages into Les Miserable. When I downloaded it, never knew it was almost 1800 pages. Of course, skipped the entire description of the battle of Waterloo.
    Funny, but I just cannot start a new book until I finish the current one. "Tenth of December" is downloaded but waiting to start after Les Miserable. So, maybe a year from now....

    1. Oh boy, you ARE reading a long one! I read the novel Dr. Zhivago in high school after I'd seen the movie. I tried to get all the way through in one summer, but it was huge. Now I 'read' those classics as audio books if I can! Good luck!


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