OK. I see a lot of people doing their 10 favourite this and that as we approach the end of the year, so I thought I would take a stab at my 10 favourite Mystery/Thriller series. I don’t know if I’ll get to ten; I haven’t planned this out. I’m just going to start and see what happens.
#1. Sue Grafton‘s detective series featuring P.I. Kinsey Millhone known as the “alphabet” series. They begin with A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, C is for Corpse . . . I keep wondering what will happen after she finishes Z is for . . .
#2. Ellis Peters‘ (alias for Edith Pargeter) Brother Cadfael medieval mystery series. I have the whole set now plus an introductory novel that sets the scene for Cadfael becoming a Benedictine. It’s called, A Rare Benedictine.
#3. Dorothy L. Sayers series featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, the younger son of a Duke, who survives WW I with some shell shock and as he recovers, with help from his former aide now his butler, Bunter, likes to solve a mystery or two along the way. Great stories made into a TV series in Britain and shown on PBS here in North America.
#4. Susanna Gregory‘s medieval series about a 14th century Cambridge physician and college medical instructor named Brother Matthew Bartholomew who is the corpse examiner for the university proctor, his buddy, Brother Michael. Together they bungle along, stumbling across corpses that have sometimes been murdered and sometimes have just died a natural death. Or have they? Some 20 odd books so far.
#5. Margaret Truman‘s series of mystery/spy thrillers that all take place in the Washington D.C. area and all of the murders occur at famous sites: the White House, Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian, the FBI, the Kennedy Centre . . . All fast-paced adventures full of lots of detail about many interesting, historical buildings.
#6. Susanna Gregory also has a great series of mysteries that take place in 17th century London. Thomas Chaloner is a spy or “intelligencer” for the Earl of Clarendon at a time of great political intrigue. Hard to put down.
#7. David Baldacci has written more than 30 adventure/thrillers. I’ve only read a few of them so far but have loved them all. I guess I have my work cut out for me in 2015.
#8. Michael Jecks‘ series about the last remaining templar, Baldwin De Furnshill, who returns to England after his older brother dies in order to take over the family manor and become the King’s Keeper of the Peace, and, along with his side-kick, Bailiff Simon Puttock, is responsible for getting to the bottom of all the deaths in his area. These are the turbulent times of the 14th century and it is very exciting.
#9. Joanne Fluke has a series of amateur sleuth stories starring a young woman, Hannah Swensen who runs a bakery, so all of the mysteries are related to some kind of baked goodies: The Blackberry Pie Murder, The Double Fudge Brownie Murder, The Peach Cobbler Murder. You get the idea. (Oh, yeah, recipes are included!)
#10. David Gibbins writes thrilling stories about underwater archaeologists who discover wonderful treasures from ancient times. The only problem is that unscrupulous others are always after the same treasure. His first novel, Atlantis, was an extremely fast-paced adventure and the ones that followed are terrific as well.
#11. Lillian Jackson Braun‘s Cat Who series is a lot of fun. Also set in a small northern town in the U.S. of A., it’s always the cat who solves the mystery. The humans are just in it for the ride. The Cat Who Read Backwards, The Cat Who Saw Red, The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare, etc.
#12. Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain team up for more Murder She Wrote mysteries. A spin-off from the popular TV series, these books are full of your favourite characters from the show and, of course, those reluctant authorities who don’t want help from an interfering civilian busybody.
#13. Steve Berry has a series of spy adventures featuring Cotton Malone, a retired operative for the U.S. Justice Department who can’t seem to leave it all behind him. Great adventures.
There you go! A different series for each month of the year plus 1. A baker’s dozen!!