One thing that helps me get my reading back into the 'normal' zone is to have the joy of diving into the latest books in two favorite mystery series. And that joy was mine in the last few days. I'll tell you about it in just a bit. I also want to invite everyone back here on Friday of this week to enjoy a guest post by my friend (who is also a mystery writer) Skye Alexander. Her latest mystery is What the Walls Know - more about that later.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Deborah Crombie's books featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. Truly, truly loved them. The latest (#19) is called A Killing of Innocents. This book starts with a trainee doctor, Sasha Johnson, hurrying across Russell Square, on her way to meet a friend. Unfortunately, Sasha doesn't make it to her meeting because she is very quickly stabbed and then dies. Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is called to the scene and he and his partner, Doug Cullen, begin the investigation. Duncan contacts his wife, Gemma James, who along with her partner, Melody Talbot, have been assigned to a special task force on knifing crimes. And we, the readers, get to follow along as we learn more about the victim and whether her death was targeted or if she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Deborah Crombie is a master at developing characters that the reader wants to know and follow along. She's also a great crime writer, so the puzzle to solve is also interesting. I have enjoyed all her books and learning about London (she does her research admirably there), other parts of England, and finding out the who's and why's and how's. However, as I said, the characters, their lives, how they grow and change - definitely a master. Well done, Deborah, and by the way, when will the next be ready? Ha! A highly recommended series.Elly Griffiths' series featuring Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, and DCI Nelson, representing the police. The title is The Last Remains and I once again 'cheated' and ordered this book from the UK. Well, it comes out in February there and won't be out until April 25 here. You see my dilemma. Ha! I have linked to the US copy and will be showing that cover as well. In this book, a skeleton is discovered in the wall of a cafe that is being renovated. The police are called (DCI Nelson) and Dr. Ruth Galloway is brought in to examine the bones and determine the age and possibly how the person died. There turns out to be connections to other favorite characters (Cathbad) and the trail also leads to some Neolithic flint mines.
I said that the author above was a master at character development and I believe that Elly Griffiths is another that is so, so talented in this area. I have loved Ruth and Nelson since the very first book, The Crossing Places. As the series has progressed, we have learned more and more about Ruth's profession of archaeology and more and more about Ruth herself, Nelson, his team, their families, and other characters that have been included. Each book lets us catch up with the whole 'family' and solve a crime as well.
I don't think it's a spoiler to say that this one may be the last in this series for a while. Elly Griffiths has not said it's the end, but other reviews have said this. I think she said - the last...for now. The crime-solving here is good, the updates and appearances of characters from all over the series are good, and the references (not by name but by small tidbits) to previous books are good. I don't think a reader would catch all of those references had they not read the previous books - just saying. I loved the book and I love this series. Finishing it made me want to start at the beginning and read them all again. If you haven't read this series, it is highly recommended by me. Elly Griffiths has been writing a couple of other series lately and also done some middle grade mysteries. She's busy. My request to her is to please let us see a bit more of Ruth and Nelson as time goes by.
Have you read either of these series or parts of them? What are your favorite mystery series? I can always use another one, right? LOL
I haven't kept up with these two series like you have. I read the first twelve in Deborah Crombie's series, and I really loved the first eight. With the Ruth Galloway series, I was slow to warm up to it and have only read four of them. But I do have the 5th on my shelves to read.ReplyDelete
I will have to think about my favorite mystery series. I do have a harder time keeping up with series now.
Tracy, I do have favorite series that I manage to stay current on, but there are a lot of them that I am behind on or just decided to quit reading (for whatever reason). I will say that a series with 10+ books already is a little daunting. Ha!Delete
I've heard so many great things about Deborah Crombie's books so I hope to read that series one day. I've recently finished Elly Griffiths' Bleeding Heart Yard and I enjoyed it. Just gotta find time to write that review. ;pReplyDelete
Oh, good - I'll watch for your review of Bleeding Heart Yard. I have to read the second book in that series and then will go on to that one. Elly Griffiths has certainly been busy. And I hope you get to try the Crombie series at some point. Very English traditional police procedural.Delete
The joy you get from reading favorite series shines through loud and clear! Makes me wish I was a series reader, too... it must be like visiting old friends. Glad you enjoy these so much, Kay.ReplyDelete
JoAnn, you hit the nail on the head - visiting old friends indeed. Yes, I will say that I do love a series that I can go on and on with. However, I know that it's not for everyone. Each of us have to find our happy spot!Delete
Yes, I've heard that Elly Griffiths is not writing any more Ruth Galloway books for a while... I don't think she said 'never'... so I'll join my voice to yours in hoping she will eventually. I've read 12 of them so still have 3 more to read. In the meantime I've read 2 of her Harbinder Kaur books and enjoyed those very much too. I haven't tried any of her Brighton mysteries so far.ReplyDelete
I agree, Cath. She could take a break from Ruth and Nelson, but I would eventually like to revisit them. I've only read the first Harbinder book, but have the other two to read. I read one of the Brighton ones and didn't like it as well as Ruth/Nelson. I should try that series again.Delete
You know I have read some of the Ruth Galloway books and really liked them. I am embarrassed to say I have never read a Deborah Crombie book. Just lack of time. Putting on my TBR. Looking forward to your Friday post.ReplyDelete
Gayle, you read a bunch of books and don't we wish we could read all of them? That being said, I do think that the Crombie books would be you 'cup of tea'. And thanks for coming back to the Friday post!Delete
I haven't ever read Deborah Crombie, but I do love Elly Griffiths' books. Though I'm way, way behind in all of her series.ReplyDelete
Lark, we just all have so many books to choose from, right? There are only so many series that I can stay current on. Others have fallen by the wayside or I'm so far behind that I wonder if I could catch up. Sigh.Delete
I have not read either of these series but they sound good. I'm impressed you've read all of Crombie's. You'll have to wait awhile for the next one.ReplyDelete
I started the Crombie series way back when she began writing it and pretty much stayed caught up. Similar for Elly Griffiths' series. Doesn't always work that way though. LOLDelete
It's hard for me to keep up with series. I wish I was better at it! Ruth Galloway is on my list of ones to start.ReplyDelete
I think series aren't for everyone. Some prefer standalone books and that's fine. Ruth Galloway is a great character if you ever decided to 'meet' her - ha!Delete
I love Deborah Crombie's books though I'm a bit behind on the series and really want to go back and reread the series from the beginning. I didn't warm to Ruth Galloway in the one book I read in the series but I really want to give the series another try.ReplyDelete
Nice to know that you like Deborah Crombie's books. It's a good series. As for Ruth Galloway, if that one doesn't work for you, I know you have a bunch of other series that do. Enjoy whatever you read, Katherine! :-)Delete
Love Deborah Crombie as well! I've got a review copy of The Last Remains, but haven't cracked it open yet. I don't really want to read the last Ruth book....ReplyDelete
Luanne, I completely understand. I am hoping that Griffiths is just taking a break for a bit and that we will get to have more 'Ruth' books in the future. Guess we shall see.Delete
I really enjoy both of these authors but need to catch up on the series. One of my favorite things about the Crombie books is the maps that are included in the end papers! And, I didn't realize Elly Griffiths was also writing middle grade mysteries. She does have a lot on her plate. So glad to hear both of these were winners for you!ReplyDelete
Yes, those maps in Crombie's books. Really good and she always mentions them in her events or when she's telling about an upcoming book. Elly Griffiths is definitely branching out into other areas.Delete
Well, you know how much I love the Deborah Crombie books, and I am currently reading A Killing of Innocents, which is keeping me up far too late at night! Reading about Duncan and Gemma is like visiting old friends, especially since I've been reading these books (one almost every month) for the past two years. I haven't stay current with Elly Griffiths', though. I've read the first five, but didn't care for the 4th or 5th quite as much as the first few in the series. As I mentioned in a review, I think I need to start reading this in print rather than listening to the audio. My mind wanders too much when I listen to these, for some reason.ReplyDelete
Les, I'll be watching for what you think about the new Crombie book. And I think you mentioned what series you think you'll start next - was it Susan Hill's books? As to the Elly Griffiths' series, well, not every book is for every reader. If that one doesn't suit as well you've got lots more to choose from, right? LOLDelete
It's no surprise to you that these are two of my all-time favorite series as well. I'm currently reading The Last Remains (what am I doing sitting here?!?) and will dive into A Killing of Innocents as soon as I finish a couple of ARCs whose deadlines are fast approaching.ReplyDelete
Cathy, I'll watch for what you think about THE LAST REMAINS and also A KILLING OF INNOCENTS. I suspect you will have the same reaction as me with the Ruth story - being tempted to begin at the beginning and read again - LOL!Delete
I've never read anything by Crombie. I need to give her a go, especially since you like her so much. I do love the Ruth Galloway series, although I'm behind in it. Catching up is something I hope to do this year.ReplyDelete
I do love a series that works well for me, but it's tough to try to keep up with a bunch of them. And, yes, I do recommend Deborah Crombie's books...maybe one day, Susan.Delete
I also like Elly Griffiths. You introduced us to her with the first book in the mystery book club. Do I dare say I haven't read any Deborah Crombie? So many books, so little time.ReplyDelete
It's OK that you haven't read the Crombie series. You can just keep it in mind if you ever want to do a really good police procedural series that's set in England.Delete