Skip to main content

Favorite Mystery Series

Not long ago Jen Robinson posted about her top 12 Favorite Mystery Series. The list included the mystery series she keeps going back to, picking up each new installment, and enjoying the arc of the series as a whole. In her words,
These are series that haven't petered out for me--I'm just as interested to read the 10th book in hardcover (if available) as I was to read the second. They are automatic selections for me.
I loved this post as it gave me a few new recommendations I'd never heard of before (Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series for starters) as well as made me think about which series would make my list. As I suspected, Jen and I share a couple favorites. I've been a mystery reader since my Nancy Drew days and I've been thinking about my list and I think I've whittled it down to the cream of the crop for me. There are so many series that are classic or already completed, but I kept this list to ones that are still in progress.
My top 7 favorite mystery series (in no particular order):
These are all auto-buys for me. I own most of them in a hodgepodge mixture of paper and hardbacks as I generally have discovered them mid-series. They're up, they're down, they're laugh-out-loud funny, they're can't-fall-asleep-at-night scary. And I love them. I re-read them often. I can always count on a good time within their pages.

What are your favorite mystery series? And which ones am I missing out on?

Comments

  1. What a great idea -- I'm tempted to write my own similar post!

    I just read book #2 in the Harper Connelly series and loved it, so I'm thinking that one will become a must-read series soon. And I also need to start reading the Maisie Dobbs series and the Tess Monaghan series... So many books, so little time!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, fun post idea!

    I really like the Steph P's and though I've only read the first book of the Mary Russell series, I really liked it.

    I really like the Chrissy McMullen books by Lois Greiman, and the Meg Langslow's by Donna Andrews. In a more serious vein, Anne Perry's William Monk books are good too. And I'm also a fan of Christie's Poirot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your list, Angie. Of the seven series you mentioned, five are ones I've LOVED. I haven't read the Harper C. series, but I'm working my way through Sookie now, so those are on my list for afterward. And clearly, if our taste matches up this well, I'm going to have to try the Julia Grey series sooner, rather than later. It's so nice to have book-selection kindred spirits like you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm off to post my own favorites, none of which are on your list. However, I fully intend to try quite a few from yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have yet to read ANY of these series. I do have a bunch of the Harper Connelly books here, as well as just about the entire Sookie Stackhouse Series...I just haven't gotten to them!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm reading the first Stephanie Plum novel right now, and have Harris' Sookie books on my TBR and Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey series on my radar.

    What about J.D. Robb's In Death Series. I've only read the first four of the 30something books in the series. The crimes can be a bit heavy, but I really like the futuristic cop stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  7. avisannschild, definitely write up your own post! I'd love to see it. I really love the Harper books. That second one was great, wasn't it? I'm so looking forward to the fourth coming out soon.

    Vanessa, I'm always amazed at how authors can keep a series going, like the Mary Russell one, and keep my interest and keep the characters growing and developing in interesting ways. The most recent ones was one of my favorite installments.

    Jen, I do love your recommendations and when I read this post I realized I was in need of some good mysteries. I love the Harper books. They're so different from the Sookies, in a good way. And the Julia Greys, well, they're simply wonderful.

    Raspberry, ooh, I'll head on over to see it!

    Falling Off the Shelf, I know the feeling. Fortunately, the Harpers are quick reads and the two main characters are just great. Not your average mystery partners.

    Christine, wow, on the first Plum book! It's the darkest, IMO. They get increasingly fluffy as time goes on but you love the characters so much. You know how fond I am of the Julia Greys already. :) And I've had the Robb series on my radar. The sheer numbers of them kind of intimidate me, I think. But I've heard nothing but good about them. In fact, I think I started the first one awhile back. Hm.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can't think of any to add to this list. It seems quite complete to me (once I finish reading them all!).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Liza, you've read most of these. It's one of my favorite things following the same series together. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the Julia Spencer Fleming series....PJ Tracy's series, all of Donald Harstad's and also the Sue Grafton's.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rhys Bowen's series about Lady Victoria Charlotte Eugenie (aka Georgie) is a lot of fun. More serious but just as good is Ariana Franklin's Adelia Aguilar series.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tina, thank you for those recommendations! They look awesome. Think I'll start with the Spencer Flemings...

    Jessica, the Bowen books look charming. I'll definitely look them up. And I actually had the first Franklin checked out from the library but didn't get to it before it was due. Must get it back.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You need to try the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters (who has also written books as Barbara Michaels). They start in the 1880s and are about a woman who becomes an Egyptologist. Most of them are set in Egypt, so there's plenty of discoveries, tomb robbers, and counterfeit artifacts.

    They start out as fairly typical historical mysteries, but get into more detailed ongoing plots as they go along. One of the books is an H. Rider Haggard style adventure story, and others get into World War I spy stuff.

    And the author is actually an Egyptologist, so the descriptions of tombs and artifacts are really great and detailed.

    ReplyDelete
  14. deety, thank you for reminding me of the Peabody's! It's an embarrassing gap in my mystery reading as I've known about her for awhile and just never started the first one. I tried the first Vicky Bliss and was underwhelmed, but I hear that series gets better with each one. But everyone seems to love the Peabody books, so I think I will head that way next.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I found the Vicky Bliss books pretty hit or miss myself, I guess I just find Amelia a more entertaining heroine.

    Also, there's something really attractive and unique about a series that features a couple instead of a constant courtship.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey, I didn't see Julia Spencer-Flemming's series on your list. The first book is In The Bleak Midwinter.

    Keishon

    ReplyDelete
  17. deety, that's an excellent point and it makes the series sound that much more attractive to me. So thank you!

    Keishon, the Spencer-Fleming is definitely now on my radar and my library has a copy of the first one so I will pick it up on my next trip. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Everybody is missing out if you haven't read Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian Series! It is my favorite mystery series, hand down! The earlier books are all murders that happen during the holidays and those I am not sooo thrilled with but starting from "True Believer" on they are amazing.
    My other favorite's are the Harper Connelly series & another by Charline Harris that doesn't get enough attention called the Aurora Teagarden series.
    Great post & Great Blog you have!
    ~Heather a.k.a BookObsessedGrl

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oooh, some new recs to check out - great post!

    I adore the Amelia Peabody books, and they get better and better as the series progresses. If it helps, I don't love the Vicky Bliss books either!

    Maisie Dobbs is also a great series, I love the London setting and the post-war era in these books.

    I've just read the first books in both Joanne Dobson's (Quieter Than Sleep) and Ellen Crosby's (The Merlot Murders) mystery series, and loved both - have ordered the next books in both!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Heather, this is the first I've heard of the Demarkian series! I'm so glad to have your enthusiastic recommendation. I'm a huge Charlaine Harris fan and have read the first Aurora Teagarden book. I also love her Lily Bard mystery series, which was recently re-released but is not talked of much. Pity as they're quite good.

    Li, well, it's good to know I'm not alone. I will still give the Peabody's a shot. And I'm glad the Teagardens improve with each one! Such a good thing to know going in. I'd heard of the Dobson's but not the Crosby's. Will look them up as well.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Review | If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

It's been years since I picked up a Mhairi McFarlane novel, and I'm not really sure why that is. I liked It's Not Me, It's Youwell enough (it's obvious she's quite a witty writer), but something about the execution felt off and I think I let that keep me from diving deeper into her backlist. Then came an offer to review her upcoming title If I Never Met You, and something about this one seemed to call out to me. As though it was time. As though Laurie and Jamie might be the ones. Spoiler alert: It was and they were. It was the perfect read for a couple of dreary, grey January days. While not perhaps as bubbly as I've Got Your Number, I would definitely recommend it to readers who enjoyed that novel. They share a business setting, two individuals who are more than they know themselves to be, and a wonderfully slow burn romance. Readers who love Sarra Manning and Beth O'Leary's The Flatshareshould also take note.
Comedy was tragedy plus time, but the…

Review | The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion, Vols. 1 & 2 by Beth Brower

I feel a bit giddy finally talking to you all about this series. If you'll remember, I fell madly in love with The Q when it came out a few years ago. Now, Beth Brower is writing The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion—a series of novellas set in London in 1883. Each volume is an excerpt from the incorrigible Emma's journals, and the first two volumes are already available with the third on the way soon. I think they'd make rather perfect pandemic reading. Humorous and charming down to their bones, they're just what the doctor ordered to lift your spirits in this uncertain time that just proves to be too much some days. If you're experiencing one of those days, I suggest giving Volume 1a go (it's only 99 cents on Kindle, $4.99 for a trade paperback copy). It will surprise exactly none of you that I own print and digital editions of both volumes. 
Miss Emma M. Lion has waited long enough. Come hell or high water (and really, given her track record, both are likel…

Review | The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

All it took was hearing the basic bones of the premise of Beth O'Leary's debut novel The Flatsharefor me to determine I would absolutely be reading it as soon as I possibly could. I was so delighted to be granted access to an advanced reading copy by Flatiron Books. Even better, it became apparent from the moment I read the first few lines that this reading experience would take place in one headlong rush. No significant breaks allowed, let alone required. The Flatshare was published first in the UK and then slightly later here in the U.S. I dithered over which cover to buy as both have much to recommend them, but I finally decided on the U.S. cover (pictured here). I just love the two of them standing on either side of the same door, the tiny heart between the title and author name.

Tiffy is in a massive, massive bind. Out on her ear after breaking up with her exceptionally controlling boyfriend, she needs an inexpensive place to live and she needs it yesterday. Despite her …