Curiosity Smites the Kitty..with a list!

What are some of your favorite mysteries? Kitty

In no particular order:

Ruth Rendell
James Lee Burke
Alan Furst
Ross Thomas

Harlen Coben's Myron Bolitar series
Rochelle Krich's Molly Bloom series

Charlie Huston
Dan Fesperman

Lawrence Block
Michael Gilbert
Charles Willieford

Jason Starr
Margaret Marron, both series
Sharyn McCrumb
Barry Eisler
Marcia Muller
Maggie Estep

Robert Parker, up to Widening Gyre.

Guilty pleasures
Edna Buchanan's Brit Montero books
Jill Churchill
Lillian Jackson Braun (ok, shoot me, I like cats)
Rita Mae Brown when she isn't pontificating
Elaine Viets
Roberta Isleib
Dick Francis

and that's just off the top of my head as I work through the query list.

For ongoing lists of what's good, you can't beat Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind Sarah Weinman's blog about the world of mystery. I read her every day.

Who do you like in the mystery world?


THRILL said...

I love Dick Francis. I tend to read more thrillers than mysteries, but some cross-over into mystery happens, but I'm out of my field. Here goes--Laura Lippman, P J Tracy, Dennis LeHane, Mark Billingham, Stuart Harrison's Still Water. Of course, I'll think of more as soon as I sign off!

On the subject of reading books...
I have an 11 year-old son who spends a lot of time reading. I've been considering putting him onto Dick Francis, since I started reading DF's books around my 11th Birtday. My son has been reading Harry Potter, Anthony Horowitz, Robert Muchamore, Eva Ibbotson, Bob Cattell, Lemony Snicket, Holes by by...argh, I'm getting old...it escapes me now, V M Jones, Jacqueline Wilson, David Hill, CS Lewis, Roald Dahl etc. Stangely enough he doesn't like fantasy...and as far as giving new authors a chance, he's worse than the crapometer. Some of the older YA stuff is probably too issue driven (mother frets).

Any suggestions on books?

kitty said...

For pure guilty pleasure, I've read all 11 in Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. (I was a "Ranger" gal until #11. Now I can't decide.)

Add to that:
Kent Kreuger's Iron Lake series
Scott Hamilton's Alex McKnight series
CJ Box's Joe Pickett series
Harold Adams' Carl Wilcox series

Those are the more recent ones I've read. Plus I've read several from others mentioned here.

I've never read Dick Francis, and now I will. Should I begin with his first book?

Miss Snark said...

Dick Francis should be read in some semblence of order only cause he gets so much better over time. That way you can read the first ones without thinking "yikes, what happened to him".

As for YA boys; Gary Paulson is the go-to guy I think for boys. And Encyclopedia Brown! Dick Francis might be ok for an 11 year old. Agatha Christie?

Pit Beagle said...

I can't agree more about Alan Furst. Every single one of his historical espionage novels is top notch. I love that he focuses on ordinary people in believable situations, rather than putting Hitler in their sights and Churchill on their arms. Not to mention his grasp of the complex politics of the day and his ability to evoke the places and era with extraordinary richness. I think only the best John le Carre comes close to Furst in the espionage thrillers. And Philip Kerr's "Berlin Noir" trilogy is another fascinating look at the era from a completely different perspective.

I'm also happy to see Lawrence Block on your list. I always thought that there are two novels that perfectly capture NYC in the '80s, "Eight Million Ways to Die" and "Bonfire of the Vanities." But I spent the '80s growing up in Montana, so what do I know?

Other than that, I still dig much of the classic hard-boiled stuff: Hammett, Chandler, Thompson, Cain, etc.

And some of the newer noir-ish guys as well: Ken Bruen, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, etc.

I'm ashamed to say that I've only read one mystery by a woman, Josephine Tey's "The Franchise Affair." It's about time I check out Ruth Rendell.

Maria said...

For the 11 year old--
maybe Lion Boy - Zizou Corder (it's a series)
Vivian Vande Velde (Not her horror--her other stuff is very good).
Witch World (Andre Norton)is an excellent series, might to too much fantasy content though.

Carol O'connell
Kay Mitchell
Sandra West Prowell
Virginia Lanier
Meredith Blevins
Steve Hamilton

Liz Wolfe said...

The Kinsey Milhone books by Sue Grafton.
Susan Wittig Albert
Thomas Perry
JD Robb
John Lescroat
Lisa Scotoline
Janet Evanovich -- although I think I just like her characters since I can never remember what the plot was about
James Patterson's early books - the last one I read was a struggle and didn't even sound like him
So many others. This just makes me want to turn off the computer and read the rest of the day.

Mama Rose said...

I've been reading mysteries since I was ten. Nancy Drew, anyone? I'd have a way too long list, if I put them all here. You all have listed a lot of my favorites. I also like Diane Mott Davidson's series about Goldy the caterer. But I'm a foodie, so it's a natural for me.


Mary Louisa said...

Harley Jane Kozak's DATING DEAD MEN and DATING IS MURDER are two current favorites; They are smart, funny, fast-paced, cultural encyclopedias of turn-of-the-millennium LA. (not a paid endorsement) ;)

I also enjoy most of Elizabeth George's work and think Lily Prior is very imaginative.

Amie Stuart said...

I don't read a lot of mysteries which suprrises me cuz I love romantic suspense--do they count? *g*
My 12 YO won't read. I've given up trying. The more I push him the more he won't wnat to. OTOH My 9 YO devours books. He's read all the Lemony Snicket books and JK Rowling and loves fantasy.

Christa M. Miller said...

P.D. James
Julia Spencer-Fleming
Martin Cruz Smith
Ed McBain

I would say they are my strongest influences.

THRILL said...

Thanks, Miss Snark. He reads Gary Paulsen (loves Hatchett), will try Encyclopedia Brown. Agatha Christie is a good idea, too.

Maria, I've added Vivian vande Velde and Norton to the list.

Cece - try Anthony Horowitz for the 12 year old.

carolyn said...

I like Ross Macdonald as the best ever. Ruth Rendell is sweet. I like some Dick Francis, but I understand his wife wrote them and he took the credit so forget him. Kathy Brandt, the early Patricia Cornwell, Elaine Flinn, and Tess Gerritsen, but she's more thriller than mystery.

THRILL said...

Carolyn, I like Tess Gerritsen too. Probably because the villains in her thrillers generally aren't serial killers. I am SO tired of SKs...and novels that open in serial killer point of view.