The Murderous Month of May

According to Booklist, May is Mystery Month, but really any day of the year is the perfect time to read a mystery as far as I'm concerned.
I'm often asked who my favorite authors are, and really it's impossible to nail down just one or two. So in celebration of this murderous month, I'll give you a list of my favorite mystery writers.
You may not be familiar with some of these names, but isn't that a good thing? There's nothing better than stumbling on a new series of fabulous books or an incredible new (to you) writer.
Feel free to send me your favorite mystery titles and authors, too. My reading stack is a little low.

Favorite Mystery Writers
Jussi Adler-Olsen
Hailing from Denmark, Adler-Olsen lightens the Nordic Noir genre with his world-weary detective Carl Morck, who feels like he's been put out to pasture in his new Department Q, featuring a team of just one detective (Carl) and one odd assistant.

Fiona Buckley
After a seven year hiatus, Buckley (aka Valerie Anand) has picked back up with her terrific Ursula Blanchard series. The Tudor-era detective in this case is a dead ringer for Queen Elizabeth I, a fact that makes her both a pawn and a tool for the Queen.

Ann Cleeves
Her Shetland series, featuring Detective Jimmy Perez, is engrossing and perfectly captures life on the remote Shetland islands. She has another great series that features DI Vera Stanhope. I'm diving into those books this summer.

Lindsey Davis
I'm completely in love with Marcus Didius Falco, the savvy, witty, and infuriating Roman detective that stars in Davis's 20-book series set in 70AD. I've hooked many a reader on this terrific group of books.

Dick Francis
Every single one of his 40-some mysteries involves horse racing in some fashion, and the books are always a quick read. But don't make the mistake of thinking they're shallow. There's a reason that I worked hard to put every single one of his books on my shelves.

Tana French
French's set of Irish detective novels has been heaped with awards, with good reason. They are gritty, stark, and utterly compelling. Start with Into the Woods, an absolutely incredible novel for any genre.

David Fulmer
Take the infamous New Orleans red-light district of Storyville, add the evocative time period when Jazz was just taking form, and then mix in Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr and a heaping helping of real-life crooked politicians and criminals and you have an intoxicating (and additive) brew.

Elizabeth George
I defy you to find a writer that is better at giving you fully developed and completely alive characters. I catch myself thinking of Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers as people who truly live in my world. George is one of the top writers of our era. Period.

Sue Grafton
Her alphabet series may have started out as a fun way to write a series, but the private detective Kinsey Milhone took mysteries to a whole new level. Is the series stale after so many books? Quite the opposite. I think the newest book (V for Vengeance) is one of the best in the group.

Arnaldur Indridason
Iceland is the perfect setting for crime, with a rugged and forbidding landscape as a backdrop to dark deeds. Detective Erlendur takes it one step further as a loner fighting his own personal demons.

Stieg Larsson
Unless you've been living under a rock, you don't need me to describe Larsson's trilogy to you. I'll just say: It's worth all the hype.

Peter Lovesey
You gotta love a curmudgeon and Peter Diamond, a detective in modern-day Bath, is a rumpled, grumpy, lovable guy with a nose for solving crimes.

Denise Mina
It's a man's world when it comes to detectives and police procedurals, and that's what makes Mina's DI Alex Morrow so amazing. Who else could solve mysteries and whip her squad into shape, all while pregnant with twins? A fabulous case of Tartan Noir.

Jo Nesbo
The king of Nordic Noir, Nesbo's detective Harry Hole is conflicted, afflicted, and addicted. If you like your mysteries dark and deep, this is the series for you.

1 comment:

  1. I liked the Stieg Larsson trilogy so much that I am rereading it. Lindsay Davis' Falco series is a lot of fun and her historical research/accuracy is excellent. My favorite detective is Arkady Renko in Martin Cruz Smith's 7 books on Soviet and post Soviet Russia.