I spent all week trying to write a blog entry different than this in my head, but it just did not come together correctly. So I decided to take a page out of Joe’s book and do a top ten list. I wrote a list of some of my favorite authors and picked ten to share with you. All have a book series that I enjoy a lot, and most are mysteries. I don’t have them in any particular order, but I will stick with Joe’s format and give them numbers. Here we go.
#10. Agatha Christie. Main characters in two of her series’ are the spinster named Miss Jane Marple from a small town in England, and the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot living in London. Agatha Christie was the first adult mystery writer I remember reading.
#9. Sue Grafton. Her main character is private investigator Kinsey Millhone. Her books are titled alphabetically, starting in 1982 with “A” is for Alibi, and so far, as of last year, she has reached “W” is for Wasted. I am rereading her series this year and it is like catching up with an old friend. The first few books in the series are a bit dry, but they loosen up as the series goes on.
#8. Dick Francis. Most of his books were not in a series per se, but all of his main characters felt like the same bloke. Dick Francis was a former jockey, and all of his books dealt in the world of horse racing in some way or another. He did have two characters who returned in other books, Sid Halley and Kit Fielding, but most of his characters found themselves in unfamiliar territory and had to fight their way through trouble by their wits and guts. In the last years of his life, he had help from his son Felix in writing his books, and since Dick Francis’ death, Felix has published a few books in the same line as his dad.
#7. Charlaine Harris. She has several series’, most of which I have read. Her most famous series featured Sookie Stackhouse, and was made into a television show called True Blood. I also enjoyed her two series’ that featured the main characters housecleaner with a troubled past Lily Bard, and lightening strike survivor Harper Connelly with her half-brother Tolliver.
#6. Jacqueline Winspear. Her main character is Maisie Dobbs, a psychologist and investigator in London, who was a nurse during World War I and now helps people in the years afterward. The author wrote that she got a lot of inspiration from the experiences of her own family members, who lived through WWI and gave her information about that time. The series does deal a lot with the aftermath of war, and especially the circumstances in this war, and the struggles everyone had in order to recover. A few of the books in the middle of the series do get a bit dark in tone, as Maisie Dobbs drops down in depression and post traumatic stress syndrome. But she gets professional help, and the books gradually get lighter as she recovers. They are written very well, and give a view of a time period that we don’t usually dwell in.
#5. Carrie Vaughn. Her main character is Kitty Norville, who is a werewolf. She has a weekly radio show where she talks about the supernatural, and tries to satisfy her deep curiosity about the unknown life she entered when she became a supernatural creature herself.
#4. C.J. Box. His main character is Joe Pickett, a game warden in Wyoming. Joe is a straight shooter, an honest government agent, who has had to bend the rules on occasion to see justice done. This is also one of the series that both my father and I read, so I feel a special connection to it for that.
#3. Elizabeth Peters. Her main characters are Amelia Peabody and (Radcliff – he hates his first name) Emerson. They are Egyptologists from the 1880s to the 1930s, and solve mysteries as they try to complete their digging seasons in Egypt.
#2. J.D. Robb. Her main characters are Eve Dallas and Rourke. This series is set in the future, where Dallas is a New York City cop and Rourke is a very successful business man. Some of the material can be tough to read as some of it is about sick violent minds, but it is handled with respect and Dallas always gets the bad guy at the end. You may also know this author’s romance novels under the name Nora Roberts.
#1. Janet Evanovich. Her main character is Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter for her cousin in New Jersey. She is not very good at it, especially at first, but she has gotten slowly better at it as the series continues. The first book in the series was made into the movie One for the Money, which got the spirit of the whole series down right, though the book is a bit darker than the others in the series. Overall the series has a light, slap-stick comedy tone.
I love reading and I love books, so this is a small list of authors that bring me joy and that I would recommend. I hope you also have a list of artists that you enjoy. Have a good day.