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Topic: Whole Series or mix it up?

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Subject: Whole Series or mix it up?
Date Posted: 8/4/2013 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 365
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I'm new to reading cozy mysteries and I was wondering how everyone else reads them. Do you read all the book available in a series or do you several series?


Also, I was curious to know how everyone feels about getting discarded library books when they request a book? I rarely send a discarded library book and when I do it is in very good condition. I just don't want to send them if someone doesn't like them to be ex-library.

Date Posted: 8/5/2013 12:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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I read all sorts of series...cozies to police procedurals and everything in between!! I normally have several series going at once...right now, at least 5-6. I don't like to read a complete series all at once. I have done it and always end up getting burned out on it after 2-3 books. Generally, I try to read one from each series a month. That puts enough time between them and I don't get tired of them. But, that's just me!! My husband will read a whole series (if he has all the books) one right after another!!

I have no problem at all with ExLib books. Probably because I have been buying them at library sales and FOL stores for years. If the book someone has requested from me is ExLib, I usually send them a PM letting them know. But, if people really don't want them, they will usually say so in Requestor Conditions.

Will be interested to read other's opinions!

Last Edited on: 8/5/13 12:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2013 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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I usually have multiple series going at the same time. Usually I try to get maybe 3 or 4 books into a series and then switch gears and try something else.


Date Posted: 8/5/2013 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 365
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I've always liked mysteries, but never knew there were sub-categories. I thought a mystery was a mystery. I'm trying to learn the "lingo". What is a "police procedural"?


I also don't mind ex-library books if they are in good condition. I don't know why, but I feel kind of funny about sending them out. I've read posts where people say they have gotten books in really bad condition. I've gotten a few that weren't perfect, but most have been in very good, like new condition. I guess I just don't want to disappoint anyone.

Date Posted: 8/5/2013 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Oh - mix it up all the way!    Like others above, I've got multiple series that I'm actively reading - probably about 20 right now.  I usually read 2-3 books in a series at a time and then move on to another series or standalone novel.    I find it difficult to understand how a person can read all of a series without taking a break.   Maybe if the series is only two or three books, but otherwise I would think that you would start to find it repetitive and need a break.  Having said that though, I know that there are readers who do this and are fine with it - so to each his own! 

And yes there are many sub-genres with Mysteries:

  • Cozy Mysteries
  • Historical Mysteries
  • Police Procedurals
  • Suspense / Thrillers
  • Political
  • Romantic Suspense (a blend of mystery and romance)
  • Noir
  • Humorous (.e. the Stepanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich)
  • And probably others that I'm not thinking of right now.  If anyone else has anything to add or correct, please go right ahead!

There are even sub-genres within cozy mysteries!  (Mostly classic British cozies and modern cozies.)

Police Procedurals are mysteries where a policeman is usually the main character, and the mystery is solved using the procedures that the policy would follow.   

Here's the Wikipedia definition for a Police Procedural:  The police procedural is a subgenre of detective fiction which attempts to convincingly depict the activities of a police force as they investigate crimes. While traditional detective novels usually concentrate on a single crime, police

procedurals frequently depict investigations into several unrelated crimes in a single story. While traditional mysteries usually adhere to the convention of having the criminal's identity concealed until the climax (the so-called whodunit), in police procedurals, the perpetrator's identity is often known to the audience from the outset (the inverted detective story). Police procedurals depict a number of police-related topics such as forensics, autopsies, the gathering of evidence, the use of search warrants and interrogation.



Date Posted: 8/5/2013 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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As for ex-library books, I send them out all of the time.   BUT, I try to be very careful not to send out unpostable ex-library books.  And I remove all of the library tags with Goo Gone before posting them.    Ex-Library books have usually had a lot of lovin' and use.  There are probably some members who aren't quite as careful as I am, and therefore ex-library books can get a bad rap.

But in general, the answer is that they are perfectly fine here at PBS as long as they are postable.  And you don't have to remove the library stickers, that's just something that I do.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 8/5/2013 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I mix them up. I don't think I've ever gotten as whole series read, not yet anyway.

I don't mind library books either, and they're perfectly within the rules, so you shouldn't feel bad about sending them. I kinda like a book that shows some wear, it means a lot of people have read it. That's a good thing.

Date Posted: 8/5/2013 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 365
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I became addicted to Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin. I read all of them and was looking for more kind of like them. I found the Puzzle Lady series and they were okay, but I wanted something else. I tried a few others, but didn't find anything that really grabbed me. Then I stumbled across the thread with all the cozy mystery authors listed. At the same time I found out that  library does the inter-library thing. Now I have sooooo many choices I'm a bit overwhelmed. I have read a few and I have found some I like and some I couldn't wait for the book to end. I was just curious as to how everyone else handles all the choices. I think for now I'm going to keep trying new authors and series and sometimes read a second one of an author I like. It's a bit overwhelming, but a lot of fun too!!!

Date Posted: 8/5/2013 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Definitely mix them up for me!  I have several series I reading--tracking 185 different series at fictfact.com.  Now some of those, I haven't read any in yet and some of those are completed.  But most I've read at least one or two books in.  I do have some favorite authors, so those series tend to get completed faster than others.  But, I almost never read two books in the same series in a row.  I've found that if I read too many books out of one series I can get tired of the characters, but if I mix it up when I get back to a series it's a pleasure to read about characters I'm already familiar with.  And I am a stickler for reading series in order--I'd be lost with out fictfact.com and fantasticfiction.com for figuring out what the next book in a series is!

Regarding ex-library books, I don't mind receiving them as long as there in postable condition.  I have received a few that had quite a bit of staining or cleaved spines--but marked those RWAP.  I've also received several ex-library books that were in postable condition.  I do send postable ex-library books out unless the requestor has an RC stating that they don't want ex-library books and haven't had a problem.  I figure if someone doesn't want an ex-library book, it's their responsibility to put an RC in place to that effect.

Date Posted: 8/5/2013 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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Lynne...You could always add "Gothics".  Most of those tend to be older, i.e., Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney; altho, I just read a debut book by Wendy Webb that would definitely qualify as a gothic.  Not sure how to define a Gothic Mystery...one of those I'll know it if I see it things!!  LOL

Date Posted: 8/5/2013 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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It depends on the series.  If a series has 2 dozen or more in it, like the Mrs. Jeffries series, then no, I find myself needing to switch gears after 2 or 3 in a row.  If the series has 4 - 6 and I have all of them in my TBR rubbermaid, then I might just power thru them all.  If I'm going to do that I try to set a goal for myself, like reading all 5 over the holidays in December.  That way I'm not bogged down with the series for a year!  However, I usually read one in a series and then I'll read a couple/few others, then back to the series.  I really just read whatever strikes my fancy as I look into the rubbermaid.  If I finish up a book and it's mid-October, I might decide to read a Halloween mystery, then knock out one from a longer series, then grab a holiday mystery.  No real rhyme or reason.

To answer another angle of your question, I read only one book at a time.  I don't know why.  I've done this my whole life.  My kid often has 2 or 3 going, and he didn't get that from me.  :)

Exlib books are fine.  All books are fine as long as they meet site posting guidelines.  Welcome to cozies, you have years and years of choices ahead of you so just work out what feels best.  :)


Date Posted: 8/5/2013 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
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Susan A., if you want to really blow your mind, go to this site:
Date Posted: 8/5/2013 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 365
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I've been there, Anna and it's GREAT!!

Date Posted: 8/5/2013 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,132
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Lynne J --- What a great job you did answering questions and providing information. 

Personally I do not tend to read series books one right after the other.  One exception to this was when, years ago, I read about the first 4 of Diana Gabaldon's time travel series just boom, boom, boom.   In this day and age it is almost impossible NOT to read series books if you love mysteries and thrillers, so I have numerous series I read.  I love Historical Fiction and even there many books are series.

Personally, I have a "requestor condition" about ex-library books.  Only to ask for senders to let me know if that is what they are sending.  Sadly I am one who has received some quite raggedy ex-library books, so that is the main reason I like to know.