16 October 2012

Ten on Tuesday - Whodunit???

Here's another topic that grabbed my attention!  For this week:

Ten Favorite Mystery Books 
(you can choose mystery authors, series, or individual titles)

I enjoy reading mysteries, from very difficult, intense ones, to cozy mysteries that are just plain fun to read.  However, since I am nearing 100 years old, individual titles are becoming hard for me to remember, so I'm going for series that I enjoy, listed here in no particular order.  (Needless to say, there are numerous others that I also enjoy, but these ten immediately came into my brain.)

1.  The Armand Garmache mysteries, by Louise Penny.  These take place in Quebec, and Armand Gamache is an older detective who is older, fond of literature and music, and takes his time thinking through the evidence.  

2.  The Bess Crawford mysteries, by Charles  Todd.  A mother and son team, calling themselves Charles Todd, write stories about a WWI nurse from England and so far, the mysteries all have some kind of relationship with one of her patients.  There is also a series focusing on Inspector Ian Rutledge, but I find those less appealing.  

3.  The Cat Who ... mysteries, by the Lilian Jackson Braun.  I discovered these in high school, and enjoyed spending time with journalist Jim Qwilleran, and his two sensitive Siamese cats, Koko and YumYum, as well as the residents of Moose County, where Qwilleran settles when he receives an unexpected bequest.  I have read them all, and no they are not Literature, but they are entertaining and sometimes that's all you need.

4.  The Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries.  Rita Mae Brown writes these with the help of her tiger tabby cat, Sneaky Pie.  I love the characters of Crozet, Virginia, and always like to see how Mrs. Murphy (a tabby cat), Tee Tucker (a corgi), and Pewter (an overweight gray cat) help Harry Haristeen and the other humans solve mysteries.  Again, very entertaining, and I love the discussions that the animals have amongst themselves.

5.  Sherlock Holmes mysteries, by Arthur Conan Doyle.  Classics, and never out of date as far as I'm concerned.  My favorite is "The Blue Carbuncle," which takes place at Christmastime, because (of course) I love that time of year, and I also like the word "carbuncle."

6.  The Needlework Mysteries, by Monica Ferris.  Entertaining, and they take place in Minnesota, so the locale and the weather is often as much a character as any of the people involved.

7.  Lisa Scottoline's mysteries, particularly those featuring Mary DiFazio.  Lisa Scottoline writes a witty, suspenseful book, and most of them take place in Philadelphia or the region, so you recognize locales that are being talked about.  Mary DiFazio is a South Philly girl, and I especially like it when she visits the old neighborhood.

8.  Clare Fergusson mysteries, by Julia Spencer-Fleming.   Clare Fergusson is a former military officer who is now an Episcopal priest in a small community in upstate New York.  She herself is an interesting enough heroine, but her relationship with the local sheriff, who is a married man, makes the stories more complex than you would generally expect.

9.  The Vish Puri mysteries, by Tarqin Hall.  Vish Puri is a detective in modern-day India, who loves to eat.  He works on solving crimes while also dealing with his mother, his wife, and an adult daughter, all who think they should have priority in his life.  I would suggest not reading these books when you are hungry!

10.  The Chet and Bernie mysteries, by Spencer Quinn.  Chet is a dog, and Bernie is a divorced man who lives with Chet in southern California.  The two of them make up the Little Detective Agency, and often are in need of funding, so take cases they would prefer not to take in a more perfect world.  Chet's observations as a dog just simply crack me up.  These are a lot of fun to read!


sprite said...

I picked up a (significantly) later Cat Who book once and found it appallingly bad. 100 pages in and still no actual mystery. But the Amazon reviews suggested that it was an exception to an otherwise enjoyable series, so I haven't ruled out going back to one of Braun's early titles for a second shot at the series.

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Ooo, I couple series I've read before, but some new to me ones that sound like I need to check them out! Thanks for posting!

kmkat said...

Some overlap with my list and some new to me. Thanks!

Kym said...

Just can't beat Sherlock Holmes! (I also love Louise Penny!)

17th stitch said...

The early and middle "The Cat Who..." books are wonderful! I agree with the commenter who said that the last few in the series are terrible, and have no actual mystery.

The Vish Puri mysteries look wonderful. Thank you for pointing them out.