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Topic: Recommend a series

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Subject: Recommend a series
Date Posted: 5/21/2009 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Do you love a series that you feel doesn't get enough attention?  Is there a character in a book who deserves to be as well known as Stephanie Plum or Jack Reacher?  Tell us about it!  Just list the author, the first title in the series, the number of books in the series (if you know) and tell us what makes the series so special.  Come back to this thread as often as you wish!

I'll start.

I'd like to recommend the Fever Devilin series by Phillip DePoy.  The first book in the series is "The Devil's Hearth" (published in 2003) and there are five books in the series so far.  The main character, Fever Devilin, is a reknowned folklorist who lives in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia.  The books are suspenseful, a bit spooky at times, and a bit humorous.  Fever is exceedingly smart and a bit of a wuss. I always learn something about folklore and there is a real sense of place in the books.  The mountains of Georgia become a character in their own right.  I would not call any of these books "high literature" but they are well written and interesting.  Check them out if you are not familiar!


Last Edited on: 6/13/09 4:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/21/2009 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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Looks like an interesting series LeeAnne. I'll recommend:

The Arkady Renko series is written by Martin Cruz Smith. The first book in the series is Gorky Park, six books in the series with another due out at the end of this year. Arkady is a Russian police investigator – smart, stoic, and resourceful with a dash of cynicism. Wary of the official lies of Soviet society, Arkady exposes corruption and dishonesty on the part of influential and well-protected members of the elite, regardless of the consequences. He loves the promise of Russia — its poetry, music and people — even though he is routinely battered and emotionally scarred. Despite this, and his own tough nature, he emerges as a man capable of displaying both compassion and a faith in the future. I love all the details about the Russian culture in the books as well as our down-trodden hero. The plots lines are deftly woven but in the end it is the detective himself that intrigues me the most.

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I've never heard of Phillip DePoy--I put that first one on my reminder list. Sounds interesting!

Now, to narrow it down to just ONE series...hmmmm....you are a harsh taskmaster, LeeAnne! LOL

I guess I will start off with J.M. Hayes, who writes a series featuring a county sheriff in rural Kansas and his family, known as the "Mad Dog and Englishman" series. There are no English people in it--the main character is Sheriff English (affectionately known as "Englishman") and his Native American half-brother known as Mad Dog, who is a practicing shaman. They are rather wacky, wild adventures--funny, but sometimes just plain weird--and each time I read one I laugh, sometimes cry, and definitely wonder why on earth these aren't more popular. I don't think I've ever gotten one of the books here at PBS...I have had all of them wishlisted at one time or another (there are 4 of them with the fifth due out later this year) but always end up checking them out from the library instead. The first one is called Mad Dog & Englishman.


Date Posted: 5/21/2009 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Cheryl!  You can post as many as you like!  I'll be posting more too.  I have "Mad Dog and Englishman" on hold at the library.  It doesn't seem to be available in PB here.

Sheila, I agree with your assessment of the Arkady Renko series!  I read "Gorky Park" many years ago and really enjoyed it.  I need to check out the rest of the books in the series.


Date Posted: 5/21/2009 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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The Jane Kelly books by Nancy Bush. Only THREE books in this lil series but I'm hoping she does more eventually. CANDY APPLE RED, ELECTRIC BLUE and ULTRA VIOLET. I saw them by accident at the library and took them home. It's doing them an injustice to call them "Plum in the Pacific Northwest" but Jane is a process server who works for a laid back, drowsy kind of good old boy named Duane and he's yum-yum. For those readers who like animals in their books, Jane has a pug.

I loved the setting - after reading a number Kristin Hannah books set in that area I fell in love with it, so it was easy settling in with the Bush books. I picked up the first book, CANDY APPLE RED, at the library sale a month or so back and hope to eventually get the other two. It isn't like there's a humongous backlist to glom but the fun of the accidental find is better than just ordering it, you know? I have a feeling that there won't be any more books - whether it's a publisher decision or the author's choice, I'll be sad if there aren't any more.


Date Posted: 5/21/2009 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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Gail, I've read all of the Jane Kelly series and enjoyed The Binkster http://www.janekellymysteries.com/fanclub.cfm as well as the antics of the human characters.

Did you know that Nancy Bush's sister is best-selling author Lisa Jackson? Together, they penned Wicked Game, which was released earlier this year (haven't read it). Bush's just-released stand-alone, Unseen, is on its way to me via PBS.

Last Edited on: 5/21/09 8:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/22/2009 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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While in the local branch library earlier this week, I happened upon Rosemary Harris' Dirty Business mystery series. The main character, Paula Holliday, is a 30-something former media executive who escapes to Springfield, Conn., and opens a landscaping business called PH Factor--Garden Solutions. The dialogue is witty, and thus far, the escapades of the main character and the memorable supporting cast have kept me engrossed.

Currently, there are two books in the series:

  1. Pushing Up Daisies
  2. The Big Dirt Nap

The first entry was a finalist for the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel and the 2009 Anthony Award for Best First Novel.



Date Posted: 5/22/2009 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Anna, thanks for the reminder...I still have an ARC of Pushing Up Daisies here that I got last year I need to read. I tried reading it once and wasn't in the mood so put it aside...I meant to get to it before it was actually released so I could do a timely review...but...I see there's another in the series already released, so that tells me I put it off a BIT too long. LOL

LeeAnne...whew! I'm glad we can recommend more than one series. I have a rather odd collection of not-very-well-known authors I just love.

The next one I would recommend is Colin Cotterill, who writes a series set in Laos in the 1970's, after the Vietnam War. The protagonist is Dr. Siri Paiboun, and he is the national coronor for all of Laos--which has become a Communist country almost overnight. Dr. Siri holds his position reluctantly. He's 72 years old and would like nothing more than to retire, but the Party won't let him, basically. He is also the embodiment of an ancient Hmong shaman, so there is a bit of the "supernatural" about this too--the spirits of the dead sometimes help him solve the crimes.

The characters are delightful and the author has a wonderful writing style. This is a time and place that I knew very little about prior to starting this series--and now I'm caught up and eagerly awaiting the next release. There are five books in series so far, beginning with The Coroner's Lunch. This is another series that I rarely am able to pick up here at PBS, though I think I have gotten two of them off my wish list--usually I lose patience with waiting and get them from the library.


Date Posted: 5/23/2009 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
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One of my all time favorites is Charles Knief.  His character is John Caine, an ex-Navy SEAL out of Pearl Harbor. 

I also really like Sarah Graves' Jacobia Tiptree home repair mysteries set in Maine.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Melani, I have looked at the Sarah Graves series but I haven't take the leap yet.  Aren't there a bazillion books in that series??  LOL!  Off to SYKM to check out Charles Knief. :)

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
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Ya know, there were more than I thought there were in the Graves' series. lol

I was crushed with Knief quit writing.  I thoroughly enjoyed his books.

Subject: Recommend a series
Date Posted: 5/24/2009 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2009
Posts: 5
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Thanks for the suggestions listed here.  I'm an avid reader and am always looking for a new author to enjoy.


I was in the book store recently, and came across a new book that I bought and read.  It's called "Dog On It" by Spencer Quinn.  I had never heard of the author before, but the book sounded good.  It's about a private eye named Bernie Little and it's narrated by his dog, Chet.  It's a good crime thriller with a litte humor mixed in, mostly because of the dog's narration.  It's a book I would recommend to adults and teens alike.  There is some strong language, but other than that, it was OK.  The only down side is that it's the first book in this series, but the author is now working on the next one.

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Dianna, I have both "Dog On It" and the second in the series (yet to be published, can't remember the title..."Therein Lies a Tail"?...something like that) on my WL.  I'm glad to hear you liked them!

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I'm back to recommend Lori G. Armstrong's Julie Collins series.  I read the first one, Blood Ties, last year and though I was number 1 on the WL for the second book, Hallowed Ground it took nearly a year to get to me.  Of course, I read all 472 pages in two days. *eye roll*

Anyhow, I was initially drawn to the series because they are set in the Black Hills of South Dakota and that's right up the road from me.  Julie Collins is a deeper and grittier version of Stephanie Plum.  The books are very funny in a dark and ascerbic sort of way.  They are also pretty graphic when it comes to violence and language.  I like that the books are set in rural South Dakota and there is an element of Native American lore that is quite interesting but not preachy, fake or overdone.  Julie drinks and smokes A LOT.  She swears a lot too, but she's tough as nails and smart as a whip. Good stuff!

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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LeeAnne, That Julie Collins series sounds good. I've read all of the series by J.A. Konrath (except the very latest one) and loved them - they sound similar to Armstrong's. The main character is Jacqueline (Jack) Daniels and she is a mid-forties homocide Lt with the Chicago Police Force. There is lots of action which can be pretty graphic and there is humor - I always admire authors who can write a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat one minute and laughing out loud the next. Since I used to live and work in/near Chicago, this series is comfortable for me. In order, they are: Whiskey Sour; Bloody Mary; Rusty Nail; Dirty Martini; Fuzzy Navel and the most recent is Cherry Bomb.

I will be going through withdrawals, I'm sure, after I read that last one so I will have to check out Julie Collins - thanks!

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I really LOVE the Savannah Reid series by G.A. McKevett. Nothing like a woman raised in small-town Georgia who now works as a P.I. in Southern California! Lots of great supporting characters. But I suggest reading them in order, because there are some references to previous books in them (though not spoilers... just a kind of ongoing story-line life-line for the characters).

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 6/4/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I honeslty havent heard of any of the suggestions, just what I need more books for my TBR, lol.

I am four books into the Sir John Fielding books by Bruce Alexander. I am really enjoying them. Sir John is a blind magistrate in the 1760-1770's in London. He has a keen sense of hearing and smell. He is known for being just. In the first book Blind Justice, a 13 yr old boy, Jeremy  is orphaned and finds his way to London where he is wrongfully accused of stealing. He is brought before Sir John. Sir John  sees through the lies and frees Jeremy. Jeremy than comes to live in Sir Johns household and becomes sort of a side kick to help him solve murders.  Sir John was a real person and was brother to author Henry Fielding.  The streets of London come alive in these tales.

Date Posted: 6/4/2009 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,760
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I hate to reccomend a series that is just starting but I LOVED The Anteater of Death by Betty Web!! I had it on my wish list forever and finally found it at the library. It is the first in a new series. I haven't read her other series but may read it now.

Date Posted: 6/5/2009 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I am enjoying the David Hunter series by Simon Beckett.  I've read the first two and the third one will be released soon or has recently been released.  Hunter is a bit of a tortured soul and he works as a rather reluctant though highly regarded forensic anthropologist.  The books are dark and a bit spooky at times and they move quickly.  I'm looking forward to the third book.

Subject: James Lee Burke Books with Dave Robicheaux;
Date Posted: 6/7/2009 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2008
Posts: 46
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Dave is a detective and deputy in the bayou country of S. Louisiana, with demons of his own, he tracks down the bad guys who manipulate others.

Every book is an exceptional who dunnit and the characters are Cajuns, Blacks, Whites, Priests and Nuns and ordinary folk just trying to live life till a bad guy gets in the way. Then Dave steps in....kind of a Gary Cooper guy in High Noon in every book.

it's best to read them mostly in order as Dave's life and career have tragedies and victories all along. The first book was Black Cherry Blues

 I have four

The Tin Roof Blowdown :: James Lee Burke
ISBN-13: 9781416548508 - ISBN-10: 1416548505

Swan Peak: A Dave Robicheaux Novel :: James Lee Burke
ISBN-13: 9781416548546 - ISBN-10: 1416548548

Pegasus Descending (Dave Robicheaux) :: James Lee Burke
ISBN-13: 9781416513452 - ISBN-10: 1416513450

Crusader's Cross: A Dave Robicheaux Novel :: James Lee Burke
ISBN-13: 9780743277204 - ISBN-10: 0743277201

There are 17 in the series, see more info at     http://www.amazon.com/gp/series/825?ref_=s9_kser_se_ser&page=1



I also really have enjoyed the Martin Cruz Smith books. Haven't looked...WHAT HAS he written lately?

Also like his non Renko book,  it was amazing: title: Rose


I really like series where we get to know the character and his/her families and lives.

Happy reading!

Angie  aka  aladdin



Last Edited on: 11/5/09 11:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/8/2009 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
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oh man... you guys are killing me! Just what I need --- another series to add to my ever-growing, ever-groaning TBR list! Have read the Konrath series (which I loved), will add the Collins series to my TBR list, and will highly recommend and toss into the pot the In Death series by J.D. Robb. Hesitated a l-o-n-g time before starting the read the series, because I thought it would be too much sci-fi, but that is not the case at all. Also: Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series, and John Sandford's Prey series, and Donna Leon's Inspector Guido Brunetti series, and gosh, I've got a million of them! Have read them all, and highly recommend. I may be more of a lurker than a poster, but I do appreciate this forum. Thanks again. Cele
Date Posted: 6/9/2009 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 776
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Im enjoying the Miranda Bliss cozy mysteries, I believe there are 5 in her series,  Monica Ferris needlework store cozy mysteries are a good read, she has about 8 or 9 books in her series line and Joanne Fluke books are set in a bakery setting Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke--Home Page

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 8:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
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So many interesting suggestions, great topic.

My recommendation the Meg Langslow mysteries by Donna Andrews. The first book is Murder with Peacocks. For those of you who loved the earlier  Stephanie Plum books but are sick and tired of the love triangle and the overall lack of character and backstory progression this is the series for you.

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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I really like the Tucker Sinclair series by Patricia Smiley.  Only four books so far about a management consultant gone PI.

And one of my favorites is the Sarah Booth Delaney series by Carolyn Haines.   I've never understood why this series is not more popular.

By the way, I've added about 5 books to my reminder list from this thread.  As if Mt TBR isn't tall enough!

ETA:  I have two of the Sarah Booth Delaney books on my shelf.  Both were bought and read only by me and are like new.

Last Edited on: 6/10/09 9:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2009 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Okay Twill, you sold me.  I ordered the first Carolyn Haines book and I have a couple more on my WL if it turns out that I like them.

Somedays I don't know whether to love this place or hate it! **grin**