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Topic: Looking for Detective/Mystery - not too scary or dark...

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Subject: Looking for Detective/Mystery - not too scary or dark...
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2009
Posts: 93
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Hope I'm posting in the right spot! I'm looking for some good mystery/detective/fbi fiction but nothing too dark, gruesome or scary and please, nothing to do with hurting children.

The last few books I've ordered have been disappointing. (i.e. "A Perfect Evil" Alex Kava - couldn't even read it)

I like Robert Crais, Catherine Coulter, Sue Grafton, Dennis Lehane (except his latest), Lilian Jackson Braun, J.A. Jance...


I'm wondering about Michael Connelly, John Lescroart, John D MacDonald..


Can anyone suggest some new authors for me? 


Thanks in advance!


Date Posted: 4/13/2010 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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You may want to give cozies a try.  There's a thread further down that lists quite a few of them.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Here are a few that I enjoy...John D. McDonald's Travis McGee series, Dick Francis, William Tapply, MK Wren, JA Jance.  Another is the Peter Marklin mysteries by Neville Steed. These aren't cozies, but they aren't gut-wrenching either.

Last Edited on: 4/13/10 8:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Do you like British mysteries?  You might try P.J.James' Adam Dalgliesh mysteries or Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford mysteries.  Both of these lades have been writing for decades so some of the earlier novels might be a bit dated.  They are solid mysteries though!  Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse mysteries are good too.

Date Posted: 4/14/2010 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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You might give Wendy Robert's Ghost Duster Mysteries a try, not to graphic, but they are paranormal in the aspcet that Sadie can talk to dead people in order solve the crime. Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine Mystery, Truly Madly she sees objects that people have lost and solves mysteries. There is only one in the series as she just started this series and only 3 to the Ghost Duster. Lescroart is good, love his Dismas Hardy character, but don't read them in order, because his first books were not good. Carl Hiiasen is good, his books are crazy fun and his characters are nuts, but the books are killer fun to read. Start out with Sick Puppy. Midnight Rambler by James Swain was a hella good read and I loved John his caracter.

Date Posted: 4/14/2010 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2006
Posts: 174
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If you want to give historical mysteries a try, Anne Perry's 3 series: Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, Inspector Monk and World War 1 are all really good.  A few others that I really enjoy:  Molly Murphy books by Rhys Bowen, Amelia Peabody (Egyptologist) series by Elizabeth Peters and P.B. Ryan's Gilded Age mysteries.

More modern day mystery writers that I like:  Deborah Crombie and Elizabeth George.  Laura Lippman's stand alone books as well as her Tess Monaghan series are good reads.

Date Posted: 4/14/2010 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 1,899
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Try the Aunt Dimity series!  Just be sure to start with the first book.  There are 15 (?) books in the series and they do build on each other.  It's light and fluffly, not too scary!  Here's a link to the first book:

Aunt Dimity's Death

Last Edited on: 4/14/10 10:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/14/2010 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I really like both Michael Connelly and John Lescroart and would highly recommend both of them.

Also--I've enjoyed Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series--the earlier ones were the best.  Very humorous mysteries.

Another author that I recently discovered is Marcia Muller.  I find her Sharon McCone character to be similar to Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone.

Date Posted: 4/14/2010 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,994
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Susan Wittig Albert's "China Bayles" series are good.  There are several in the series and her new one, "Holly Blues" is being published at the end of the month.

Date Posted: 4/16/2010 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2009
Posts: 93
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far.  This helps a lot!



Subject: What about Mrs. Polifax, Adrien Monk or Hercule Poirot
Date Posted: 4/17/2010 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2010
Posts: 69
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Dorthy Gilman has the Mrs. Polifax series where 60+ old lady decides to join the CIA.  there are several in the series.  These are serious mysteries but without the blood and guts and illicit sex.

The Monk books follow the antics of a detective with several phobias and OCD who has a unique way of loking at a crime scene and figuring out who dunit.  These are more involved tha the television show.

Agatha Christie has a bunch of mysteries and several detectives.  These are very involved but without any ugly scenes or anything too dark.

Date Posted: 4/18/2010 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Christine, I have a bunch of Michael Connelly (Harry Bosh series) books on my shelf.  I love Connelly's writing style - Bosch is one of my favorite detectives.  Sorry, two of the 3 books have been taken.  Have only "Trunk Music" left from that series.

I'm open to deals for anything on my shelf (lots of mystery/thrillers there.  (e.g., 2 for 1 / 5 for 2).

Last Edited on: 4/20/10 6:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/18/2010 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2005
Posts: 395
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Michael McGarrity is really good, good suspense but no bad language and not real gory.

Date Posted: 4/18/2010 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2009
Posts: 93
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I just sent you a PM. Thanks for the offer!

Subject: Two Historical Mystery Writers
Date Posted: 4/19/2010 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2009
Posts: 8
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Just discovered Maureen Jennings...her detective is from early 20th century Toronto, Canada and Candace Robb has a great series featuring  medieval England.   

Date Posted: 4/20/2010 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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I forgot about Under The Beetle's Cellar by Mary Willis Walker, it is an oldie but a really, really good book. It is a work of fiction, but she took the headlines from California where those teen boys kidnap that bus full of kids and holds them for ransom. It was dramatic and suspensful and had you on the edge of your seat.

Date Posted: 4/22/2010 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2005
Posts: 53
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right now I am hooked on Stuart Woods books (Stone Barrington)

Date Posted: 4/22/2010 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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I love Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott series.  I think I was on the second book before I was really hooked but now I am sad that I'm almost caught up.  The first book is Bootlegger's Daughter.

Date Posted: 5/3/2010 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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The Asey Mayo Cape Cod Mysteries by Phoebe Atwood Taylor are traditional cozies, with no extreme violence. 

The book OUT OF ORDER was first published in 1936.  Figuring out who committed the murder is easy, but how it was done "will put your brain through a bit of a workout!"

Date Posted: 5/15/2010 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2009
Posts: 93
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

I'm currently reading my first Michael Connelly book, Void Moon and it is really hard to put down! I really don't know how this is going to end! great story.

I also got some John Lescroart books to read now. Funny thing, yesterday I was going thru some books I had found in a box in the garage and actually found a Lescroart book, The Oath. I don't think I've ever even read it. Fortunately it's not one I had ordered from here already so now I have another to read.

thanks again for your help everyone :)

Subject: Laurie R King and Carole Nelson Douglas
Date Posted: 5/15/2010 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2010
Posts: 69
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Laurie R King has a series about a Retired Sherlock Holmes who meets his mental equal in a young woman who becomes his apprentice in the first book, A Beekeepers Apprentice.  There are several books and she and Holmes travel around the world solving mysteries.  Nothing dark but very suspensful.

Carole Nelson Douglas has the Irene Adler series set in the same time frame as the original Sherlock Holmes stories.  She is culprit in the Sherlock Holmes story, a Scandal in Bohemia.  The first book tells that story from her side.  There are several stories in the series and she meets the man she ultimately marries who is her srong supporter. 

Both series have strong female characters an some light romance of a victorian bent.