Favourite authors

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Favourite authors

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apr 8, 2008, 1:52pm

My current faves are Deborah Crombie, Elizabeth George (although I haven't read her two latest ones), Laurie R. King, Barbara Vine (only the Barbara Vine novels, not Ruth Rendell's) and Kate Wilhelm. I've also enjoyed Nevada Barr, although I haven't read very many of hers. I'm starting to feel like I'm in a bit of a rut and would love to hear what others would recommend!

Redigerat: apr 8, 2008, 4:17pm

I really like Rosamunde Pilcher, she's the pseudoynm
for Joyce Carol-Oates. These are very-well written
psychological thrillers, sometimes on the sexually
kinky side. I also recently finished reading a great
book in a series by Barbara Nadel. This is a mystery
series that takes place in Turkey and the one I
read, A Passion for Killing was excellent. I plan to
read a lot more of Nadel'swork.

apr 8, 2008, 4:34pm

I enjoy anything written by Carol O'Connell.
My favorites in her Mallory series are Stone Angel, Winter House and Find Me. Judas Child, her non-Mallory work, is also good.

(Arrggh.. wonky touchstones!)

Redigerat: apr 8, 2008, 4:54pm

>3 VictoriaPL:

Hmm, I don't think Rosamunde Pilcher and Joyce Carol Oates are the same person; as far as I know, Pilcher is British while Oates is American. Are you thinking of someone else? Oh, I just noticed that Oates writes under the pseudonym Rosamond Smith--that must be who you meant!

I've also read one of Barbara Nadel's books (Belshazzar's Daughter) and while I liked her main character, I found the story a tad disturbing. But maybe I should give her another shot.

Edited to close brackets.

apr 8, 2008, 5:35pm

For women authors who write about women detectives/PIs/etc., I like:

Sarah Dunant--before The Birth of Venus, she wrote some stories about PI Hannah Wolfe (Birth Marks, Fatlands, and Under My Skin). The mysteries aren't as intricate as many that I read, but the character depiction is excellent.

Denise Mina who writes a noirish thriller series about Paddy Meehan, a female journalist for a Scotland newspaper.

Kerry Greenwood's mysteries with independent lady adventurer Phryne Fisher are set in 1920s Australia (and are absolute fluff).

Åsa Larsson writes some good mysteries featuring Swedish attorney Rebecka Martinsson.

Redigerat: apr 8, 2008, 7:19pm

Mark me down as another Carol O'Connell fan. She is simply the best, and her Mallory series is outstanding.

(Author touchstone won't work - sorry.)

apr 8, 2008, 9:48pm

So many books, so many authors. I like Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Tony Hillerman, James D. Doss, (who writes about the Utes the way Hillerman writes about the Navajo, only funny), JA Jance, my favorite Seattle author. Janet Evanovich is good for comic relief.

I live in Seattle, so I like mysteries set in Seattle, and the library puts out a list of mysteries set in Seattle. I like the Leo Waterman series by G. M. Ford, and the first book in his Frank Corso series, Fury. The other books in the Corso series seem redundant, but maybe it's because I read all of them in about two days. Mary Daheim's Bed and Breakfast mysteries are cute, and her Alpine mysteries are nice. You do have to get past the smoking Catholics, though.

I also like Sue Grafton, and Amanda Cross writes very literary mysteries. I like historical mysteries like the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Peter Ellis and the Sister Fidelma mysteries by Peter Tremayne, and mysteries set in ancient Egypt like The Anubis Slayings By P. C. Doherty.

Well, there are a lot more, but these are the ones I can think of for now.

apr 8, 2008, 10:13pm

OK, I forgot this was about women in mystery. Of course, Patricia Cornwell has Kay Scarpetta, and Kathy Reichs has Temperance Brennan, Janet Evanovich has Stepanie Plum. The cousins in Mary Daheim's bed and breakfast mysteries are female, as is her protagonist in the Alpine series.
Kate Fansler stars in the Amanda Cross mysteries, and Kinsey Milhone in the books by Sue Grafton. I also like the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters. Although JA Jance writes her Seattle mysteries with a male protagonist, her Arizona mysteries feature Sheriff Joanna Brady. I'm sure there are more that I've forgotten, and by looking in my library catalog for women detectives, I've found even more I haven't read and will put on my list.

apr 9, 2008, 7:07am

I have to start with Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Mary Kruger(knitting related mystery) & Debbie Macomber (also knitting related). Julianne in Tacoma WA.

apr 9, 2008, 8:04am

I have to say Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Kerry Greenwood.

apr 9, 2008, 8:52am

Has anyone mentioned Minette Walters? I really enjoy her books, as well.

(Why won't the author touchstones work for me? It is so irritating.)

apr 9, 2008, 3:44pm

I will second Minnette Walters, though I don't think her last couple of books have been as strong as the earlier ones.

My local 2nd hand bookshop has had a stack of 1950s green Penguins lately and I picked up a couple that look very promising by authors I had never heard of - Helen McCloy and Holly Roth.

apr 9, 2008, 6:28pm

Jane Haddam is one of my favorites. I also like Kathleen Hills

apr 9, 2008, 11:46pm

I'm with #3 and 6 ~ Carol O'Connell's got to be my very favorite mystery writer today, male or female. I love her Mallory series, and I found her stand-alone Judas Child just amazing! Can't wait for her new stand-alone which comes out in December 08.

I also have a weakness for J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) for her Eve Dallas series and Elizabeth Peters for both her Vicki Bliss and Amelia Peabody mysteries. Oh, yes, and Ellis Peters.

apr 10, 2008, 9:52am

When my parents lived in England, my mother got me a lot of Ellis Peters mysteries that were modern time, with a cop named George something. But when I go to the bookstores, all I find are the Brother Cadfael books, which I haven't had any interest in reading. I loved the other ones, though.

I just finished working my way through all of P.D. James' books (except for the non-fiction, which I may get to soon), and they were excellent.

I have only read one of Minette Walters' books, but I loved it, too, and I plan to read more.

I am seriously addicted to the J.D. Robb Eve Dallas books, and I have read a lot of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, but I haven't seemed to pick up number 13 yet. I bought it, but I always pick other books to read.

I haved loved everything I have read by Elizabeth George except for her latest, What Came Before He Shot Her, which I just couldn't read. I hope she gets back to the mysteries with her book due out this year.

Of course I love Agatha Christie, who doesn't?

I have only read a couple of the Amanda Cross books, but I really liked them.

I haven't read any of Laurie R. King's mysteries, but I did read a science fiction book she wrote under the name Leigh Richards and loved it. If I had time to add another set of books to my list, I would probably add this one.

I liked the first 14 or 15 of Martha Grimes' Inspector Jury mysteries, but then they got REALLY AWFUL! There's a new one out, and I keep thinking about buying it to be completist, but I hated the last one so much, I am not subjecting myself to that. I borrowed the last one from the library anyway.

This is fun, thanks for making this group, aviannschild!

apr 10, 2008, 10:39am

>15 sussabmax: You're welcome, sussabmax! Thanks for the tip about Laurie R. King's SF book; I've added that to my wish list, as she's one of my favourites and I love SF too. I highly recommend her two mystery series.

apr 10, 2008, 12:14pm

I can highly recommend Ariana Franklin's recent books featuring a 12th century female forensic pathologist, Mistress of the Art of Death and A Serpent's Tale.

apr 10, 2008, 1:43pm

>16 avisannschild: The name of the SF book is Califia's Daughters, aviannschild, if you haven't found it. I just re-read it recently, and it was just as good as I remembered it. I definitely recommend it.

Redigerat: apr 10, 2008, 5:32pm

Oops, I didn't mean to post this twice!

apr 10, 2008, 1:58pm

Thanks, sussabmax, I had found it; it seems to be the only book she's written under that pseudonym. I look forward to reading it!

apr 10, 2008, 5:54pm

#17> Imprinted, I just read Mistress of the Art of Death and quite enjoyed it! I am now waiting for the second one to come out in paperback (if I don't find it first in one of my favourite haunts).

apr 12, 2008, 12:21pm

If we're also naming female authors who write about male detectives, I'd like to amend my list to add:

Dorothy L. Sayers who wrote wonderful classic golden age mysteries.

Margery Allingham--Albert Campion is a masterpiece.

Karin Fossum, a Norwegian author who writes mysteries centering on Inspector Konrad Sejer.

apr 15, 2008, 10:57am

Right now Faye Kellerman! Also love Grafton, Tess Garrison

apr 19, 2008, 1:40pm

Carol O'Connell
Sara Paretsky
Elizabeth George
Minette Walters
Jane Haddam*
Dorothy Sayers*

Once upon a time I read Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, but with the exception of Christie, no more.

*male detective

apr 28, 2008, 2:18pm

So many great books and authors on this thread, wish I had time to read them all!

My favorites are Laurie R. King, Dorothy Sayers, and Sara Paretsky (I highly recommend her latest book Bleeding Kansas - it's not a V.I. Warshawski mystery, but it's excellent).

Redigerat: maj 2, 2008, 1:50pm

Her are some Mystery Writers I enjoy reading and collecting too beside some of the others already mentioned.

Margaret Maron
Ruth Rendell
Catherine Aird
Patricia Wentworth
Iris Johansen
Charlaine Harris From Dead To Worse
Andrea Kane Scent of Danger


maj 23, 2008, 9:27am

For me right now, I'm enamored of Julia Spencer-Fleming--hardback worthy for me. I love Amanda Cross which is really a pseudonym for Carolyn Heilbrun. I read most of the popular female writers Sue Grafton, Kathy Reichs, J.D. Robb, Janet Evanovitch, etc. LT recommendations have turned me on to Carol O'Connell and reminded me to pick Agatha Christie back up.

I batted 1000 on the wonky touchstones. No Agatha Christie really???

jul 13, 2008, 3:39pm

For authors with female sleuths:

Sarah Andrews character, Em Hansen, is a geologist
Cara Black's Parisian P.I. Aimee Leduc
Linda Barnes' Boston P.I. Carlotta Carlyle
the stand-alone mysteries of Constance & Gwenyth Little, listed on LT as Constance Little, are just delightful, my favorite being The Black Goatee

For female authors with male sleuths my favorites are:

Kate Ellis whose series features a British cop who is interested in archaeology and confronts modern day crimes with parallels turning up in nearby digs
Susanna Gregory's Mathew Bartholomew chronicles of medieval Cambridge

jul 16, 2008, 7:03pm

How did we leave off Sarah Caudwell? Really, very very good and funny, too.

jul 17, 2008, 5:54pm

We read Sarah Caudwell's Thus Was Adonis Murdered for one of my book discussion groups, and I could not get through that book. It's one of the rare times I didn't finish a book.

I did find it interesting that nowhere in the book does the author make clear the sex of the protagonist, so the reader is left not knowing if it's a he or she. Tho some people in the group had made an assumption, but since the name is unisex, could not justify their guess.

aug 6, 2008, 7:54pm

Among my favorites women mystery authors,
several with women as the main character:

Earlene Fowler -"Benni Harper" mysteries

Dana Stabenow--"Kate Sugak" mysteries

Jan Burke--"Irene Kelley" series

J.A. Jance--"Johanna Brady" series

Martha Grimes--"Richard Jury" series.

Anne Perry---2 series set in Victorian England, plus 4-book WWI mystery series.

Deborah Crombie, Sarah Andrews, Patricia Cormwell,
P. D. James, Elizabeth George, Iris Johansen
(all mentioned previously).

aug 7, 2008, 2:04am

#31 Catgwinn, I'm delighted to find another fan of Sarah Andrews.

aug 7, 2008, 7:45am

CD1am, I own and have read all the books in the 'Thomas and Charlotte Pitt' and 'William Monk' series. I have greatly enjoyed them, probably favouring William Monk, except the very last ones (in both series), which, imho, were a bit "tired".

aug 7, 2008, 2:49pm

I've read one of Anne Perry's Thomas and Charlotte Pitt books and did not like it. I hate it when a character, who is not a professional P.I., puts themselves in danger without telling anyone where they are going, which is what Charlotte Pitt did in the book I read. On the other hand, I read the first two William Monk books and enjoyed them.

okt 3, 2008, 5:18pm

#31 Catgwinn, I'm glad to find another Jan Burke fan. She was mentioned somewhere else on LT and I decided to give her a try, nine books later I'm still not bored.
One I didn't see was Susan Dunlap. She has two series, one with Jill Smith, a Berkeley police officer, the other Kiernan O'Shaughnessy a medical examiner turned private eye. She's another author where I picked up one book and find myself now with almost the entire collection.

Redigerat: okt 13, 2008, 10:26pm

Hello, everyone. I've just joined this group and am so excited to find others who enjoy mysteries written by women. The following are some of my past and current favorites:

Lori Andrews (Alexandra Blake novels)
Elizabeth Becka (Evelyn James novels)
Patricia Cornwell (the early Scarpetta books)
Linda Fairstein (Alexandra Cooper novels)
Kathryn Fox (Anya Crichton novels)
Lisa Gardner
Tess Gerritsen (Maura Isles & Jane Rizolli novels)
Echo Heron (Adele Monsarrat novels)
Kay Hooper (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit novels)
Alex Kava (Maggie O'Dell novels)
Laura Lippman (Tess Monaghan novels)
T.J. MacGregor (Mira Morales novels)
Suzanne Proulx (Vicky Lucci novels)

I'm sure there are others I'm missing, but these are all I can think of off the top of my head. :)

okt 17, 2008, 12:22pm

Welcome, hippolytus, and thanks for your list! Lots of new-to-me authors I will have to check out! Which ones would you recommend for someone who doesn't like scary or gruesome? (For example, I don't read Patricia Cornwell anymore; I find her descriptions a little too gruesome for my taste.) Thanks!

okt 21, 2008, 9:09pm

There is also Val McDermid who won the Golden Dagger Award a few years back. I didn't much care for The Mermaids Singing (very hard-boiled and I'm not much for torture scenes) but I loved The Grave Tattoo a historical murder reconstruction.

jan 6, 2009, 9:24pm

I have to speak up for Sarah Cauldwell- I found her very funny and clever! The protagonist is Hilary Tamar, is an Oxford don who hangs out with "wonderfully clever but trouble prone young barristers" in London, who neglect their work, cheerfully fall in love in all the wrong places, and get Hilary to solve mysteries for them. I'm very sorry SC is no longer with us.

Another funny and clever British writer is Dorothy Sayers, of Lord Peter Wimsey fame. They are very well written and thoughtful, as well as very entertaining.

jan 7, 2009, 5:07pm

#39> ziziaaurea, I totally agree with you. I love Sarah Caudwell and I am very sorry she only wrote four books.

Redigerat: jan 11, 2009, 4:13am

Additional women mystery writers I've enjoyed:

Marcia Muller ('Sharon McCone' mysteries)

Judith VanGieson ('Neil Hamel' series and her 'Claire Reyner' series which involves rare books)

Alex Matthews ('Cassidy McCabe' mysteries)

Laurie R. King ('Kate Marinelli' and 'Mary Russell' mysteries)

Deborah Crombie (who, BTW, lives here in McKinney TX)

Allana Martin ('Texana Jones' mysteries)

Redigerat: jan 11, 2009, 9:15am

I like these and many more

Margaret Maron (Sigrid Harald)
Gail Bowen (Joanne Kilbourn)
Marcia Muller ( Sharon McCone)
Ann Waldron (McLeod Dulaney)
M.D. Lake (Peggy O'Neill)
Sara Paretsky (V.I. Warshawski)
Sujata, Massey (Rei Shimura)

jan 21, 2009, 1:35pm

I am reading a cozy by a woman writer and the title
is Murder 101. The book is so predictable and irritating as it is more like chick-lit then a true mystery. A friend passed it on to me and I'm really tired of it. There is a degree of humour in the book which is satisfying but these tropes where the heroine falls in love with the cop is some tiresome. I wouldn't
call this a true mystery, although it does have elements of the mystery in it.

jan 24, 2009, 5:16am

>43 alans: Oh do tell us what the book is called (if only so we can avoid it)!

jan 24, 2009, 5:17am

Oh dear, I reread your message and realized I shouldn't be commenting on posts this early in the morning. My apologies, as you did tell us the title!

feb 4, 2009, 12:32pm

I have to add my new favorite author--Tana French. She only has two books, but they are absolutely amazing! I can't wait until she writes more, and I am not even all the way through her second book. I actively resent doing other things that take me away from reading this book, just like I did with her first book. If you haven't read In the Woods or The Likeness, I really recommend them. I say that even though I haven't finished The Likeness, because I just can't imagine that it won't be just amazing as it is up until now.

feb 4, 2009, 1:22pm


I have In the Woods in my TBR so I should be reading it soon. Glad you enjoyed it.

feb 7, 2009, 1:19pm

I keep hearing great things about those two books! They are definitely on my wish list.

Redigerat: apr 5, 2009, 9:04pm

I am officially adding Fred Vargas to the list. Previously a medieval historian and archeozoologist (who knew such a thing exists?), Vargas has a great knack for animal symbolism, intuitive and surprising characters not to mention a great plot. Her use of animal imagery is always something to look out for as is organic thinking and geology. A great mix.

apr 6, 2009, 12:54pm

> 46 I just finished reading In the Woods recently. A bit darker than my usual mystery reading, but I'm still interested in reading the next one!

> 49 Thanks for mentioning Vargas, Cecilturtle. I hadn't heard of her before.

jun 3, 2009, 1:57pm

The ending of In the Woodsreally peeved me. A lot of build-up for something that just doesn't come off.
A very disapointing read for me.

jun 5, 2009, 9:40am

{{{Spoilers ahead--don't read if you want to read In the Woods and be surpised by it all.}}}

I liked the way she solved the present day mystery without solving the older one. Sometimes things happen like that--children are so traumatized by something, they never can fully figure it out, especially not someone like Rob, who is such a train wreck. I liked--although that is not quite the right word--watching him fall apart, seeming to be almost inevitable, but you know that if he had gone about it differently, it could have gone entirely the other way.

I also think French is an amazing writer, so the whole experience was enjoyable.

nov 25, 2011, 9:24pm

I've just joined, but I'm amazed that people aren't listing Louise Penney as a favourite. She has written 6 or 7 books but she can't write fast enough to satisfy my hunger to follow Inspector Gamache. If anyone has read her work could you suggest another writer I can go to while I'm waiting for her next, due next Fall?

nov 30, 2011, 2:25pm

I've just joined as well. It seems there was quite a long dormant period for this group, but hopefully it will start growing again.

I agree with all the writers that have been mentioned, but thought I would add some of the female writers and their female detectives that I have enjoyed lately, some - if not most - aren't quite as well known: These are all cozy mysteries by the way.

P. J. Alderman with the Jordan Marsh series
Kathleen Bacus with the 'Calamity' Jayne series
Barbara Brettan with Chloe Hobbs
Dianne Day with the Fremont Jones series ( I really like these) She's an early 19th century blue-stocking with her own typing agency.
Laura DiSilverio with Charlotte "Charlie" Swift of Swift Investigations
Sharon Kahn with Roby Rothman, the Rabbi's widow and owner of a bagel shop.
J.J. Murphy with Dorothy Parker in the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries

Redigerat: nov 30, 2011, 8:06pm

Just heard that there's a new Mallory mystery coming out in mid-January 2012: The Chalk Girl by Carol O'Connell, one of my favorite mystery writers and one of my favorite mystery characters (Kathy Mallory). It was an LT Early Reviewer book and has gotten some great reviews. Just put it on hold at my local library ~ I'm already 12th in line!

ETA that these are anything but cozies.

dec 6, 2011, 11:41am

I'm new to this group, so...hello!

I didn't notice any mention of Elizabeth Peters. I love her Amelia Peabody series...although it is complete Victorian fluff with an Egyptology theme. I read them all, and they were pure fun!

I don't believe I've seen any mention of Josephine Tey, either. I loved The Daughter of Time.

Ayelet Waldman has an interesting series, the Mommytrack mysteries. They're a bit fluffy, but still complex enough to be interesting. The main character is retired from the L.A. DA's office in order to stay at home with her young children. She also happens to be Jewish, which adds an interesting aspect.

M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin series are both light and fluffy, but great fun!

I also turn to Leslie Meier's Lucy Stone mysteries when I'm in the mood for some fluff, as I do Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffry

Agatha Christie has already been mentioned, but I a have to give her a shout out, because I greatly enjoy her.

dec 30, 2011, 9:04pm

I'm not generally a fan of cozies, but one of my new discoveries is the Jane Austen series written by Stephanie Barron, which I'm enjoying so far. Another recent discovery is the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear -- the first one is great!

dec 30, 2011, 9:10pm

Oh and I'd almost given up on Elizabeth George after the whole What Came Before He Shot Her debacle, but I recently read her latest (This Body of Death) and I think it's her best yet!

mar 1, 2012, 3:12pm

One of my current favourites is Vicki Delany who sets mysteries in the British Columbia location where I live. And I just got the news that my February win on Early Reviewers is her latest book A Winter Kill.

I can't believe that I've only just discovered Val McDermid. The good news is that there are lots to catch up on.