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Topic: would love some advice

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Subject: would love some advice
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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hi Everyone, I'm new to mysteries and thrillers in general. this is one genre that I really haven't read much of. I'm trying to broaden my horizons but I've found I'm horrible at picking out books on my own...either that or a lot of the "best sellers" and other contemporary fiction are just crap. I was hoping that someone might be able to help me pick out a good mysteries series to start out with. The only mysteries that i'm familiar with are the Stephanie Plum series but I would prefer something with less romance in it. A little is all well in it's place, but sometimes Evanovitch goes a little too far. I also like historical fiction so a historical mystery or one that relates to history would be great. I've gone through a lot of these threads but i'm a little overwhelmed! If anyone has the time I would love the advice. :) Thank you!
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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One great place to start is to check out www.stopyourekillingme.com. This is a wonderful website for mystery lovers. Once you get on the site, look at the categories on the left. Until the new Genre Index is finished, you might want to look at the Read-Alikes. You can also look at the Job Index, which lists the occupations of series' characters. The Historical Index will give you the time period of series' characters.

I'm sure others will chime in with their favorites, but I am a cozy mystery addict. I read Susan Wittig Albert, Sarah Graves, Rett MacPherson, Carolyn G. Hart, Rita Mae Brown, Joann Fluke, Diane Mott Davidson, Carolyn Haines, Denise Swanson, Joanne Pence and M. C. Beaton, among others.

Welcome, Hannah!

 

Date Posted: 8/17/2008 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Ooooh! You've come to the right place! You will get LOTS of recommendations and you will come to rely on this http://www.stopyou'rekillingme.com a lot. :) I always recommend the Inspector Lynley series by Elizabeth George and more recently the Inspector Rutledge series by Charles Todd. I am really enjoying the Clare Ferguson/Russ Van Alstyne series by Julia Spencer-Fleming. For something a little different, check out the Joe Pickett series by C.J.Box or the Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson. I'm sure I'll think of a couple more but I'll bet something here will strike your fancy.
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Anna, how did I know you'd show up here!! :)
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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Yes, I just have to stick my nose into everything "mysterious."  LeeAnne, I've just started the Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais. It's vastly different from my usual cozy stuff, but I've been enjoying Elvis' antics, nonetheless.

Sharon C. (Mamu) - ,
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 1,154
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Hey LeeAnn, your link didn't work for me.  Can you do it again? 

I absolutely agree with Elizabeth George and CJ Box.  I also love Nevada Barr (I'm in the middle of her latest right now)--not historical but has some depth of location and character development.  I also like Laurie King and Carol O'Connell for just plain fine writing.  One resource that I like to use is to read through the winners of the Edgar Awards.  Those are always on my radar when I need a new idea.  The Thirteenth Tale was wonderful but not a series.

Date Posted: 8/17/2008 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I've not read any Robert Crais but I've heard his books are good. Maybe I'll check them out. I still have your book and I WILL send it back! I'm a bit backlogged right now. My grandmother passed away on August 6th and I had to fly back to Maine for the funeral and the day after I got back (last Sunday) I started school and my son started the following day. Arrgh! I haven't forgotten!! :)
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2007
Posts: 148
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I'm always ready to recommend the Judge Deborah Knott series by Margaret Maron.  They are a good stepping stone into mysteries. Not cozies but not as graphic as a Kellerman or a Patterson. First in the series is Bootlegger's Daughter. I second Anne W.'s recommendation of Carolyn Haines. The "Bones" series is great.

Date Posted: 8/17/2008 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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My link was supposed to be for Stop, You're Killing Me. I'm not sure why it's not working. :(
Date Posted: 8/18/2008 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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I don't know that I have any authors to add- I also don't go in for the romance in the mysteries, there is a thread on this and there are several authors mentioned there you might enjoy. I have also found that many of the "cozy mysteries"- while my favorite genre- are not necessarily well written as you just mentioned. I recently read "knit 1, kill 2" and rather enjoyed it- the writing was good, the girlfriend stuff was nice (not overly humorous which I detest), and the yarn descriptions which I thought would be boring ended up being very vibrant and interesting since the author concentrated on color and texture instead of the craft itself of knitting. I also really like the "Mrs. Jeffries" books and the "Murder She Wrote" books. Neither have romantic subplots, but these would be very different from your Stephanie Plum. Actually, if you like Stephanie Plum- a snappy intelligent female, you might enjoy an older series like Rex Stout's "Nero Wolfe". Archie is also suave and quick witted, and the series stands up well to time. Its probably my favorite series!

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2006
Posts: 1,448
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You might want  to  try  Victoria Thompson'sGas light Series

 

 

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 8/18/2008 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,091
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 Tammy beat me to it!  I'm crazy for Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries!   They feature a midwife in 1890's New York City and they are amazing!   Terrific characters and she really brings you into Sarah Brandt's time very easily.

  I'm also a big fan of Dorothy Gilmore's Mrs. Pollifax series. It begins in the early 1970's and is about an older woman who decides to become a CIA operative in her golden years.  It's amazing to read about her adventures in countries that don't exist anymore, what was going on in the world around her at that time.  Plus, she's  a total hoot and I can only hope to grow up to be like her :)

 Stop You're Killing Me, Fantastic Fiction and CozyMystery.com are some of my favorite sites for finding new authors.

  Welcome!!!

 

 

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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I LOVE the Victoria Thompson Gaslight series books.

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,756
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I second the Dorothy Gilman, Mrs. Pollifax series. I have also just discovered the Mrs. Pargeter's series by Simon Brett, different than anything I have read before. I have also started the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters and it offers history, humor, and lots of fun along with good mysteries.

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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oh wow! Thank you Thank you Thank you! I'm going to have a lot of looking up to do now lol! I appreciate all the advise. much better than I get at the bookstore. I'm sure I'm going to like a lot of these. :) Thanks again to everyone. I appreciate all the advice!