Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Top Ten Book Series For Readers Who Like British Crime Shows...or any crime show for that matter
This is a weekly event, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, where bloggers relate their "top ten" of a certain topic. This week's topic - Ten Books For Readers Who Like _________. As usual, my list will relate to mysteries or crime novels and, also as usual, I have tweaked it a bit by suggesting books in a series. I mean, who doesn't like it when the story continues and continues? I want to know what happens next and next and so on. Maybe that's why I like TV crime shows, especially British crime shows, so well and that relates back to the series thing. Anyway, here we go. I've divided these into sections.
If you like British Crime Shows that are essentially police procedurals...like Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lynley or Lewis or even Wire in the Blood:
1. DI Jack Caffery series by Mo Hayder - I've only read the first two, Birdman and The Treatment and really liked both of those. This series is a little, well maybe more than a little, gritty. Set in London, at least to begin, Caffery is a damaged individual who brings his past along with him. This gives him great insights into the criminals that he hunts.
2. DC Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey - I've read the first two books, The Burning and The Reckoning. My review of The Reckoning is here. I really like Maeve's style and am enjoying getting to know her colleagues as well. Maeve is ambitious and getting used to a new DI, Josh Derwent. Look forward to reading more as I think there are depths in several characters that could be quite interesting.
3. DC Lacey Flint series by Sharon (S.J.) Bolton - I've read all but the last book in Lacey's series. And I plan to get to the latest, A Dark and Twisted Tide, very soon. Lacey is a little odd and her life has been interesting. Her relationship with DI Mark Joesbury keeps me guessing. The first book in the series, Now You See Me, which has a Jack the Ripper angle.
If you like British Crime Shows but want your series set outside of Britain...try one of these:
4. DI Darko Dawson series by Kwei Quartey - Dawson works in Accra, Ghana, and that country's customs and procedures are an integral part of the books. I've read the first book, Wife of the Gods, and discussed it with my mystery group. Such an exotic setting by an author who is a native of Ghana. Don't think that you'll be in Precious Ramotswe's territory. Darko Dawson's world is a dangerous sort of place.
5. Police Sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir series by Quentin Bates - Gunna the Cop is a police officer, a widow and a mother of two teens. She resides in Hvalvik, Iceland. I really liked the first book, Frozen Assets. Gunna normally just deals with minor crimes, but then a body is found in the harbor. This is a different sort of procedural with a woman cop who has to try to find a murderer and also deal with teenagers. Lovely.
6. Constable Molly Smith series by Vicki Delany - I recently wrote about the 5th book in this series here. The setting - beautiful British Columbia and the little town of Trafalger - surrounded by mountains. Molly "Moonlight" Smith is the daughter of two former hippies and has horrified her mother by becoming a police officer. Her days are spent mostly dealing with tourists and local folks who stir up trouble. However, occasionally, she gets to work with Sergeant John Winters and when Winters is involved, you can bet that the stakes are high. The first book is In the Shadow of the Glacier.
If you like British Crime Shows but want a more historical perspective...try one of these:
7. Scotland Yard Murder Squad series from 1890's London by Alex Grecian - You might like this series if you liked the crime show, Ripper Street. Set at the end of the 19th century, just after the Ripper killings, the first book is The Yard. I love this time period and really enjoyed the first book. It's atmospheric, filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of London in Victorian times.
8. Timothy Wilde, New York City copper series in the 1840's by Lyndsay Faye - Again, if you like crime shows set in the 19th century, like the TV show Copper, try this one. The first book is The Gods of Gotham and it was also discussed by my mystery group. A brutal time period. Timothy Wilde starts out as a bartender and ends up a police officer at the beginnings of the New York City Police Department. It's in a part of New York that is not gentrified at all. Be prepared.
9. Maggie Hope series, a secretary turned MI-5 agent in 1940's London by Susan Elia MacNeal - Not exactly a police series, but if you enjoyed Foyle's War or Bletchley Park, you might want to try this lighter set of books. Maggie Hope is an American who initially works for the Prime Minister, but moves on to more spy-ish work. The first book is Mr. Churchill's Secretary and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
10. Claire Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, Police Chief, in Miller's Kill, New York series by Julia Spencer-Fleming - Again, this is not strictly a police procedural and is set in the present day, but if you've watched Grantchester, try this one - a melding of faith and police work. I love, love, love this series. And need to get caught up on it when I remember where I left off. The first book is In the Bleak Midwinter.
I'll give you one more, just because I love it. And I'd love to see a TV crime show that would compare to it. Set on the Jersey Shore with the best set of characters, great humor, and the most interesting fried foods:
11. John Ceepak and Danny Boyle series by Chris Grabenstein - Set in Sea Haven, New Jersey, with a boardwalk, fried Oreos and other strange fried things, games galore, tourists that sometimes murder each other, and Ceepak and Boyle - the best, best cops. The first book is Tilt-a-Whirl. Read it and have a sunny, funderful day!
OK, I hope you will find some new books that are appealing to you. I did not link to all the TV shows that I mentioned, you should be able to find info about them if you are interested. Maybe one day soon, I'll do a blog post highlighting the British Crime shows that I've watched and loved. There are a lot of them!