Mystery Solved: A Book Nerd’s Look at Mystery Series Week

Some people would kill to fall in love. Some people are thrilled to be scared out of their socks. Some people are dying to escape to a totally different world. Me? I like to solve mysteries. Of course, I don’t mind if those mysteries include a little love, scare me out of my socks or take me to a different world. Fortunately, no matter what your poison, there is a mystery series out there for you. So, if you’re dying to find a new mystery series to read this Mystery Series Week (October 1-7), here are some that just might crack the case.

The Mystery Lover’s Must-Reads– Classic Mystery Series:
With overly observant detectives, a meddling old lady and a bunch of curious teens, this list may seem elementary to some, but you’ll have to look elsewhere if you think the butler did it.

  1. Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. Miss Marple Mysteries, by Agatha Christie
  3. The Hardy Boys Mysteries, by Franklin Dixon
  4. Nancy Drew Mysteries, by Carolyn Keene
  5. Hercule Poirot Mysteries, by Agatha Christie

Just Doing Their Job– Crime Detective Mystery Series:
Looking for those hard-boiled detectives and rebel cops? These guys will have you on the edge of your seat.

    1. Inspector Rebus, by Ian Rankin
    2. Alex Cross, by James Patterson
    3. Harry Bosch, by Michael Connelly
    4. Harry Hole, by Jo Nesbo
    5. Virgil Flowers, by John Sandford

More Fun Than Fear– Non-Detective Mystery Series:
Bakers. Reporters. Bounty hunters. They may not be cops, but that doesn’t stop them from sticking their nose into a murderously good mystery. Booksellers are not exempt from this category either. (FYI–some of these books have recipes in the back, so if you like to cook, you could kill two birds with one stone.)

  1. Stephanie Plum Mysteries, by Janet Evanovich
  2. The Cat Who Series, by Lilian Jackson Braun
  3. Hannah Swensen Mysteries, by Joanne Fluke
  4. Flower Shop Mysteries, by Kate Collins
  5. A Coffeehouse Mystery, by Cleo Coyle

Not The Every Day– Paranormal/Fantasy Mystery Series:
Want to visit the future? Another world? Maybe just put a little magic into your day? These cross-genre series just might stop your heart.

  1. Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Mysteries, by Charlaine Harris
  2. The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher
  3. In Death, by J.D. Robb
  4. Dubric Bryerly, by Tamara Jones
  5. Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, by Laurell Hamilton

Start Them Out Young– Children’s Mystery Series:
Looking for mysterious bedtime stories this October? Maybe these will do the trick!

  1. Enola Holmes Mysteries, by Nancy Springer
  2. The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart
  3. The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  4. Encyclopedia Brown, by Donald J. Sobol
  5. A to Z Mysteries, by Ron Roy

So many books, and we haven’t even talked about the wonderful Amelia Peabody Mysteries, by Elizabeth Peters, the Dublin Murder Squad, by Tana French and The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith. Still, these books only scratch the surface of the wonderful mystery series out there just waiting to be revealed, like Jack Reacher and John Puller and Scot Harvath. Of course…

(Editor’s note: After much deliberation, we have decided to cut the next 18 paragraphs where the blogger debates the merits of including suspense/thrillers into the mystery genre verses the merits of leaving the suspense/thriller category as its own genre and decides that valid points can be made on both sides of the topic. Regardless, the editor really thinks the blogger needs to stop reading while she’s driving. That said, we will now skip to the end.)

So, whether you prefer a classic whodunit or a more suspenseful how will it be handled, you can celebrate Mystery Series Week by slaying an entirely new series or digging up an old favorite at your local Half Price Books.

Still haven’t solved the mystery as to what to read next? Why don’t you join the HPB Book Club, which will be reading Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express starting October 10.

Happy Reading!

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.

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