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Thread: Can you suggest a mystery author/book?

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  1. #1
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    Can you suggest a mystery author/book?

    My mom suggested a mystery would be a good birthday gift for her, but my knowledge of authors pretty much stops at Dick Francis and Robert Parker. Does anyone have a favorite book/author that might appeal to her (that doesn't have a hero who is an alcohol-swilling sexaholic)?

    Thanks!
    - KATE

  2. #2
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    I love mysteries. I like the Philip Craig series, which are set in Martha's Vineyard and have recipes in them. I love the Diana Mott Davidson mysteries in which the main character is a caterer who solves mysteries in Colorado. I also like Janet Evanovich with the Stephanie Plum series. The Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson are quick reads. I think Julie Smith has a series about a women detective in New Orleans. It's great to get lost in a good mystery.

  3. #3
    A few series I've enjoyed....

    Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon novels- Anna is a park ranger, and each book is set in a national park. The first book in the series is called Track of the Cat.

    Martha Grimes's Richard Jury novels.

    Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford novels.

    Carol O'Connell's Mallory novels.

    Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs novels.

    Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti books- set in Venice.

  4. #4
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    My favorites are:

    Diane Mott Davidson (as mentioned above)

    Martha Grimes (also mentioned above)

    Elizabeth George...set mostly in London, with Inspector Linley and Barbara Havers and other just as interesting characters. I think they had some of the books translated to TV shows as well, but I prefer the books.

    Elizabeth Peters...her mysteries are set in turn of the century Egypt, on archeological digs. I can't remember the names of the characters now, but the books start off when the main characters meet and fall in love. The latest one also involves their now grown-up son and his family. I love them so much. They satisfy the mystery cravings AND my secret Indiana Jones/archeological cravings.

  5. #5
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    I am a mystery fan. I second Stephanie's recs for the Donna Leon and Jacqueline Winspear books.

    Another option would be a classic mystery by Agatha Christie.

    The Bernie Rhodenbarr books by Lawrence Block are hilarious--about a burglar who solves mysteries.

    Sara Paretsky writes some excellent but somewhat dark mysteries set in Chicago, with V.I. Warshawski.

    I think one of the strongest women writers today is Marcia Muller, who writes the Sharon McCone series. Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries with Kinsey Millhone are fun. Margaret Maron has a good series with Judge Deborah Knott.

    Do you know what she likes? I will try to think of more writers.

    Also, if she likes short stories, there are several volumes of Sisters in Crime short mysteries, which might help her find new-to-her authors.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

    --Bill Bryson, "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

  6. #6
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    I love Philip Craig, Dana Stabenow, Marcia Muller, Margaret Maron, Nevada Barr, Susan Wittig Albert and Linda Barnes. I'll add more favorites as I think of them.

  7. #7
    Your mother might enjoy books by John Dunning. They feature a detective-turned-bookseller. If she loves books and bookstores, she might like the series.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the responses! I opted for Donna Leon because Mom was in Venice a couple years ago and really liked it.

    LOL! ErinM, if you only knew what my mother did for a living.... She can handle gruesome.
    - KATE

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackandme View Post
    Thanks for all the responses! I opted for Donna Leon because Mom was in Venice a couple years ago and really liked it.

    LOL! ErinM, if you only knew what my mother did for a living.... She can handle gruesome.

    OK, I'm biting...what did she do?
    Erin

    "Eating peanut butter is a sacred act, not to be defiled by pork or its substitutes."

    -generic


    New favorite bumper sticker: "Go Green. Recycle Yourself. Become an Organ and Tissue Donor."

  10. #10
    James Patterson
    Jonathan Kellerman (Alex Delaware books)
    Karin Slaughter
    Linda Barnes
    Janet Evanovich (although she is disappointing me these days)
    Lisa Scottoline
    John Lescroart
    Nancy Bush
    J.A. Jance (Joanna Brady books)
    Joanna Fluke (I *think* that is her name. Another one who writes cooking mysteries)

    Some of the ones I mentioned are more lawyer/police types (Lescroart writes Dismis Hardy books) but I still think of them as mystery.

    I am also trying to remember the author of the books that were the basis for the series 'Bones'. I think the heroine is Temperance Brennan.

    You can also search on Amazon by 'detective series' or even 'woman detective series' and you should get some results.
    Maria

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErinM View Post
    OK, I'm biting...what did she do?
    Vivisection of rats, plus work with a human brain and tissue bank.
    - KATE

  12. #12
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    Ridley Pearson - his Lou Boldt series books are awesome.
    Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are mystery/psycology - my new favorite.
    Linda Fairstein (I think) - her "Jeopardy" books are great. Linda is a former DA in the NYC area and her books are a little "gritty".

    Did anyone mention Nelson DeMille?
    barbara-cook

  13. #13
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    Ridley Pearson - his Lou Boldt series books are awesome.
    Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are mystery/psycology - my new favorite.
    Linda Fairstein (I think) - her "Jeopardy" books are great. Linda is a former DA in the NYC area and her books are a little "gritty".

    Did anyone mention Nelson DeMille?
    barbara-cook

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackandme View Post
    Vivisection of rats, plus work with a human brain and tissue bank.

    NICE! That is awesome! In that case, I'd say she like the Lincoln Rhyme books. There's more sexual tension in them than anything else, the main focus is definitely scientific/solving the case.
    Erin

    "Eating peanut butter is a sacred act, not to be defiled by pork or its substitutes."

    -generic


    New favorite bumper sticker: "Go Green. Recycle Yourself. Become an Organ and Tissue Donor."

  15. #15
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    What a lot of new authors to try! I love to read mysteries and I run out of authors long before I run out of books!

    A few of my favorites already listed above are:
    Sara Paretsky
    Diane Mott Davidson
    Sue Grafton's earlier Alphabet Series (I haven't read any of her recent ones)
    Lisa Scottolini
    Jonathan Kellerman & his wife Faye Kellerman
    Jeffrey Deaver
    Janet Evanovitch (her one,two, three series)

    Now I have many other authors to explore! Thanks!!
    EmptyNestMom
    Grandma Pam to 3


    "The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." – Julia Child

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