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

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Countdown to Summer: 4 Dystopian Young Adult Series

The Hunger Games trilogy has made way for a whole host of new dystopian teen fiction series to be published, much in the same way that Twilight did for paranormal romance. The dystopian series generally don’t have as much romance, but a lot more action and therefore tend to be more appealing to both boys and girls of all ages (yes, adults too!). Next time you’re in HPB, be on the lookout for some of these series for either you or your kids.
 
In the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, 16-year-old Beatrice, a.k.a. Tris, discovers that she is not like the rest of the people in dystopian Chicago. Instead of being chosen for one of five factions – Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent), Amity (the peaceful), Dauntless (the brave), and Abnegation (the selfless) – like the rest of the population, she is worthy of three: Erudite, Dauntless, and Abnegation. At the choosing ceremony, she chooses to be part of the Dauntless faction, while her brother chooses a rival. Tris then has to go through the Dauntless initiation process, where she discovers that her world isn’t as perfect as she once thought. Divergent makes way for the next book in the series, Insurgent, which was just published in May.
 
The beginning of The Maze Runner series, by James Dashner, starts with a boy named Thomas awakening in an elevator, remembering absolutely nothing but his first name. Once the doors open, he discovers that he is not alone. He is surrounded by other boys who were also dumped in an elevator with no memory. The very next day, something even more peculiar happens and a girl arrives. Every day they run through the maze, hoping to find the end so that they can escape this unknown place and discover who they really are and where they came from. if you didn’t get enough of your questions answered by the last novel The Death Cure, a prequel to the trilogy, The Kill Order, is scheduled for release in August. It is expected to shed some light on to how the world became such a dark and terrible place. Check out a sneak peek at the cover art and an excerpt from the book courtesy of USA Today.
 
Delirium by Lauren Oliver starts out in a dystopia U.S. where love has been banned. The government claims that love is a disease, or a “deliria” for which a surgical cure has been discovered. It is required that everyone receives this cure once they turn 18. Shortly before she is scheduled to have the operation, Lena falls in love with a man who has not had the cure. Because of this change in Lena, she decides not to have the procedure and to escape instead. Lena goes to live in “The Wilds,” where she encounters a whole new set of challenges. The next book in the trilogy, Pandemonium, was recently published, and the third book, Requiem is expected to be published in February 2013. There are also whispers of a “Delirium” movie adaptation.
 
The Legend series by Marie Lu, is the quintessential dystopian thriller for teens. Also set in a dystopian America,  a.k.a. The Republic, Legend features a rich and beautiful 15 year old girl named June, who is destined for the military, and Day, the country’s most wanted criminal. Day becomes a prime suspect for the murder of June’s brother, and they meet only to discover that they are not each other’s true enemies. The Republic is hiding secrets The next book in the series, Prodigy is expected to be published in January 2013.

Want some more adventure? Stay tuned for the next “Countdown to Summer” reading recommendations — 4 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Teen Fiction Series. And if you missed the last one, jump back to see 4 Vampire Romance Teen Fiction Series to try this summer.

— Kristen B.

P.S. Get rewarded for your extracurricular reading! Kids 14 and under can earn $5 HPB Back-to-School Bucks during the Feed Your Brain® Summer Reading Program. Pick up your reading log at your local HPB today to get started!

Countdown to Summer: 4 Vampire Romance Teen Fiction Series

Summer is so close, yet still so far away. It’s a great time to start looking for what books to get caught up in while most of your days are free. Or if you’re like me and are out of school, then what books you’ll be reading while dreaming of the beach.

All kinds of teen paranormal romance series have been flying off our shelves since the debut of Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight. If you’re a fan of teen paranormal romance novels, be on the lookout for some of these titles next time you’re in your local HPB store.

The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith was originally published as a trilogy, but after an outstanding debut back in 1991 and pressure from fans, the series exploded from there, launching several spinoff series, including The Return, The Hunters, and Stefan’s Diaries. Throughout the series, we follow Elena, a teenager who is torn between her love for two different vampires, Stefan and Damon, who happen to be brothers. If the books don’t quench your thirst for vampires, check out the CW television series that is loosely based off the novels.
 
The Last Vampire is an eight-part vampire series by Christopher Pike, which has recently been re-done into omnibus edition entitled Thirst. The novels follow the life of a 5,000 year old vampire, Sita, who believes that she is the last vampire and enlists in a public high school, where she falls in love with a mortal. Sita discovers that she’s being stalked and needs to figure out who it is. It’s a little bit slower-paced than most teen vampire novels, but Pike is successful in debunking old vampire myths and stereotypes.
 
In The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, you’ll find a lot more than just vampires lurking in the shadows. Clary, a teenage girl, goes to a club with her friend Simon, where she meets a boy named Jace and then witnesses a murder. Clary is quickly pulled into a world she never knew existed… one filled with demons, vampires, and werewolves, oh my! Clary becomes a Shadowhunter, or a human that kills demons. This is one series that you’ll definitely want to start at the beginning with The City of Bones. Are you already a fan of these books? The fifth book in the series, The City of Lost Souls, was just published last week!
 
Last but not least, dive into the teen fiction series Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Rose is a seventeen year old dhampir (a child of a vampire father and a human mother) who is in training at St. Vladimir’s Academy to become a guardian for her friend and Moroi Princess, Lissa. While learning how to defeat Strigoi (evil undead vampires), Rose falls in love with her instructor, Dimitri Belikov, while sharing a one-sided psychic bond with Lissa. There are only six books in the series, but if you don’t want the series to end, never fear. The spinoff series which starts with Bloodlines continues story from the point of view of Sydney Sage, a girl who helps out Rose in the Vampire Academy series.
 
Hungry for more? Next up in our “Countdown to Summer” — 4 Dystopian Young Adult Series, because let’s be honest: not everyone is a fan of vampires and romance.

— Kristen B.

P.S. Want to be rewarded for your extracurricular reading? Kids 14 and under can earn $5 HPB Back-to-School Bucks during the Feed Your Brain® Summer Reading Program. Check it out!

Plum Ready for “One for the Money”

When I heard that Janet Evanovich’s first Stephanie Plum book, One for the Money, was finally hitting the big screen, I thought, “It’s about time.” Finally, the luckiest (though not the most competent) bounty hunter and her two hunky counterparts will be chasing bad guys, hauling in naked septuagenarians and blowing up cars at a theater near you. The film adaptation takes full form with the leading lady played by a brunette Katherine Heigl.

For those of you who may not have read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, let me give you a run down of the first book:

Stephanie has lost her job and is desperately seeking a new one, before she is forced to eat hamster pellets for breakfast.  She begs her cousin Vinnie (a bail bondsman) for a filing job, but ends up working as a bond enforcement agent instead. Her first case involves Joe Morelli, a cop accused of shooting an unarmed man.  She teams up with ex-Special Forces hunk-turned-bounty-hunter Ranger to help her learn the ropes and, on occasion, help her reach her handcuff keys. Throw in a crazy grandma, auto theft, a psycho boxer and dumpster diving and you have a laugh out loud book, which promises to be a laugh out loud movie.

One for the Money premiers in theaters today, so grab some popcorn and report back on what you think. And be sure to check out all the other books in the Stephanie Plum series on the shelves at your local HPB store or online at HPB Marketplace.

— Julie