This is a list I've been agonizing over. Writing names down. Walking away. Coming back to take another look. Crossing a name out and adding another. Lather, rinse and repeat. I've always said that my least favorite literary question to be asked is "What's your favorite book?" For voracious readers, that's exactly like asking a mother which is her favorite child.
I normally avoid these lists like the plague because narrowing down an extremely crowded and excellent field down to a mere ten hurts! It's been years since I've done it; however, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to take a look at the results. Once I finally had results I was (kinda sorta) happy with, that is.
This time I'm listing them in alphabetical order because I know that "the order in which they popped into my mind" can still denote a degree of preference. I'm showing the book cover of the newest book in these series, and in the caption beneath each cover, the beginning digits are the number of books currently in the series. Anything I have to say after those numbers will be linked to the page on the author's website that talks about all the books (except in Timothy Hallinan's case).
Is there anything you should keep in mind before looking at this list of mine? I am a character-driven reader who prefers mysteries with a strong sense of place. Those of you who find yourselves nodding at some of my choices will see what I mean. Let's get this show on the road, as my Grampa would say!
|#6-- I've rated no book in this series less than an A!|
|#15-- I always look forward to a new Owen & Spot book in August!|
|#17-- The absolute best pair of coppers working in London!|
|#7-- An unflinching look at the beautiful country of Brazil. Gage died in 2013. I miss him.|
|#9-- Such a character-rich environment!|
|Poke Rafferty #7, Junior Bender #6. Both characters & settings are extraordinary.|
|#16-- Long live Sheriff Walt Longmire!|
|#4-- Superb 17th-century setting & filled with laugh-out-loud humor!|
|#13-- What lyrical writing!|
|#6-- Long may Detective Kubu solve crime in Botswana!|
What do these series have in common besides being well-told tales filled with wonderful characters in settings that make you feel as though you're right in the middle of the story? Consistent high quality... and I make a point of being caught up with all of them. Of course two of the series are no longer being written, but I'm current on all the rest.
How does my list of favorite mystery series stack up against yours? Do we have any in common? Which ones? Which series did I not list that you think I should try? And... did I tempt you to try any of my favorites? I hope so!