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Topic: Book Series, Recurring Characters

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Subject: Book Series, Recurring Characters
Date Posted: 7/18/2010 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 759
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I thought we might start a thread where we can discuss book series and recurring characters (without spoilers!).  I find myself embroiled in at least fifteen book series.  I just recently started another, the Kinsey Malone series by Sue Grafton.  I started with A is for Alibi, but was wondering if I had to read them in order?  I am missing B-H, but I have some others in the series.  Can I read the ones I have without missing any major plot points that might have happened in the previous books?

If your as neurotic as I am, you hate to "jump the gun" when it comes to books.  Perhaps we can use this thread to answer each others questions on different book series that we've read, enjoyed, hated, wanted to know more about, but especially whether we need to read the series in order, or are they stand alone books. 

That said, can anyone tell me if I need to read Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus books in order?  And also Sue Grafton?  :)



Date Posted: 7/18/2010 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2006
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Ooh, this is such a good idea, thank you for posting!  I love reading different series also, especially when I can find a character that I really like.  Do you mind if I ask which series you've read that you really liked?  I never know what to read next sometimes unless I've heard something is really good by others.

Here are some of the ones I've really liked:
1) Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell
2) Women's Murder Club by James Patterson
3) Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
4) Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris (I started watching Trueblood and then got hooked on the books lol)
5) Alex Cross series by James Patterson (I didn't get through all of them, but I liked them starting out.)

Date Posted: 7/18/2010 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Last Edited on: 8/5/10 9:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/18/2010 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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  1. Jeff Lindsay's Dexter series (IMO, read them in order)
  2. Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's Pendergast series (read in order)
  3. M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth  series & Agatha Raisin series (reading order helpful but not essential)
  4. Tim Dorsey's Serge A. Storms series (reading in order helpful but not essential)
  5. P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves series (reading in order not necessary)

Last Edited on: 7/18/10 8:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/18/2010 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 759
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I also love the Sookie Stackhouse books, which you should definitely read in order. I also love the Inspector Lynley series by Elizabeth George (you can read them out if order, except for maybe the last 2 in the series). I'm also hooked on the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva(it helps to read them in order) Others that I have started are the Sister Frevisse series by Margaret Frazer- I've read the first two and have others in the series, but again I'm not sure if I need to read them in order, and also the Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy-someone told me I WAS reading them in the wrong order, good grief :)
Date Posted: 7/18/2010 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2009
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I also love series and will be keeping my eye on this thread for more reading ideas.  smiley  Great idea Carolyn! 

I haven't found many series that I really enjoy but am always looking for more.  Here are the ones that I have really enjoyed.


Any series by Beverly Lewis (read in order)  I have read almost all of them and love them.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire (and) The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest (read in order)  I'm presently in the middle of the second one and really enjoying them.

Date Posted: 7/19/2010 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I definitely would read the Sue Grafton books in order.  I have read them all up to "U" is for Undertow which I think is the last one she's written.  "V" is next.   I also have not read the Rebus books.

My favorite series was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but alas three is all there will be. 

Diana Gabaldon's The Outlander series is also one of my favorite series. 

I am now reading The Friday Night Knitting Club and enjoying it.

Date Posted: 7/20/2010 1:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I read the Grafton books all out of order and had no problems following them. 

It seems like every book I read is part of a series so I can't list them all.  I highly recommend fictfact.com if you want a place to track series order and which ones you've read. 

Some fave series of mine:

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (urban fantasy)

The Ghostwalker books by Christine Feehan

Sookie Stackhouse

Virgil Flowers and Lucan Davenport series by John Sandford

The Precious Ramotswe and Isabelle Dalhousie series by Alexander McCall Smith

The Pink Carnation books by Lauren Willig

The Arcane Society and Harmony books-these are 2 seperate but slightly connected series written by Jayne Ann Krentz and her pseudonyms of Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick.  The Harmonly books are futuristic and under the Castle name. The Arcane books are contemporary under JAK and historical under Amanda Quick.  I read the Arcane books in order of publishing which seem to go back and forth between the 2 time periods (the contemporaries are the decendants of the historicals).  The Harmony books are the sort of the decendants of the contemporary books but can be read independantly. 

Date Posted: 7/20/2010 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
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Good to know about the Lauren Willig series...I have a two of them :)

Date Posted: 7/20/2010 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2006
Posts: 43
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Great thread Carolyn, and since I'm from New York, love your avatar!!!

Series I've read and enjoyed:

Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers by John Sandford (should read in order)

Detective Malloy and Mrs. Brandt (Gaslight Mysteries) by Victoria Thompson (should read in order)

Lily Bard by Charlaine Harris (who wrote the Sookie Stackhouse series) (should read in order)

Matthew Shardlake by C.J. Sansom

Jack Reacher by Lee Child (don't have to read in order, but I did)

The Camel Club series by David Baldacci (should read in order)

Archy McNally by Lawrence Sanders (don't have to read in order and I didn't)

Sebastian St. Cyr by C.S. Harris (read in order)

Whew, I think that's enough! 

Date Posted: 7/20/2010 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I am series girl! LOL I think I am currently in the midst of about 125 different series, possibly more. Mostly mystery but also some fantasy, historical fiction, and general fiction. I am rather fanatical about reading series in order, so if you ask me if you can read a series out of order, I'm almost always going to say, "No way!" :)

Sue Grafton's alphabet series is one of my favorites--I don't read many "bestseller" type series--or often, I start and then end up stopping them at some point...case in point Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, etc etc. But Grafton's series, for some reason, I've just stuck with and still enjoy--although some of course are better than others.

Some of my other favorites that are still ongoing--these ones I'm actually caught up with and awaiting the next entry in the series, or else I have the latest one and am trying to avoid reading it for awhile longer. Most series I'm a few books behind because I very rarely go through and read one book in the series after another...I learn that I get bored, even with the best of series, if I do that.

  1. Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series
  2. Margaret Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series
  3. Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series
  4. Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri Paiboun series
  5. Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series (paranormal mystery)
  6. Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak series
  7. Andrea Camilleri's Salvo Montalbano series

Lots and lots of others...lots. I have to stop there otherwise I won't be able to stop. LOL


Date Posted: 7/21/2010 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I can't believe I forgot Sebastian St Cyr and Jack Reacher. 

Last Edited on: 7/21/10 2:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/21/2010 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 759
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I will also add to my list Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series (read in order, since it is historically accurate).  A very hefty series on ancient Rome, but so worth it.  She's an awesome storyteller. 

Date Posted: 7/22/2010 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 1,633
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I like to read all of my series in order, even if it might not be a must!!  Some of my favorites are:

Ann George's Southern Sister series  - Murder On A Girl's Night Out was the first, 8 books in total

Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series ~