Hope y'all enjoyed yesterday's groaner! As promised, here is the second part of my favorite mystery authors. I could write on mystery writers I enjoy for days but I wouldn't presume to bore y'all that long -- two blogs is plenty!
* Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series is interesting because she's an American author who writes very English murder mysteries. Her Inspector Jury is the only relatively sane one of the quirky ensemble of characters she's built for this series that is really rather a fun read. All the books' titles are real names of English pubs, e.g., The Man with a Load of Mischief. Her plots are interesting, well-organized and punctuated with humor which keeps me coming back with each new book.
* Carl Hiaasen's Florida mysteries are another fun read loaded with satire and some of the most improbable characters ever to appear in print. A veteran reporter for the Miami Herald, Hiaasen's books are a send up of the industries and culture of Florida from theme parks to fake environmentalism. If you haven't a good sense of the absurd, you'll hate this series.
* John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series is also set mostly in Florida -- his hero resides in his houseboat, The Busted Flush, moored at Slip F-18, Bahia Mar, Fort Lauderdale. He is nominally a salvage consultant and what he salvages can cover a broad and dangerous spectrum. And yeah, he always gets the girl -- well almost.
* Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachian mysteries are set in the mountains of North Carolina and have roots in the old legends and culture of that area. Her central character, Nora Bonesteel, has "the Sight" and is acquainted with the spirits that roam the mountains. The rest of the characters are pretty much "down home folks" who respect Norah as the elder of the tribe as it were. Ms. McCrumb writes poetic descriptions of the area and its history while presenting interesting complex plots and I like that a lot.
* John Sandford's "Prey" series is not for the faint of heart or to be read at bedtime. This Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist writes some of the most insidious villains -- usually serial killers -- I've ever read. His tough-guy, cop/hero, Lucas Davenport, is pretty amazing, too -- he reads classic poetry, plays strategy games, and designs gaming software when he isn't busy catching bad guys. The series is set in Minneapolis but he also sometimes travels in his pursuit of justice but never by air -- I think it's the only thing that scares him. The word 'prey' is always in the title of each book. I find this series interesting because of the well-developed characters and plot and the authenticity of the portrayal of the police.
Well, that's it! I hope that if you're a mystery lover like me, you found some new reading material and if you aren't -- maybe you'll become one! I read a couple other series as well and there are a couple more I plan to try. So many books . . . so little time . . . sigh.