2012 Reading Challenge: Read an Entire Mystery Series
Sister Mary Murderous challenges you to pick a mystery series and read every book in the series this year. To identify all the books in a series in publication order, be sure to visit Stop You're Killing Me.
Feel free to choose to re-read a series. With the passage of time and all that wisdom about life you've earned since you first read the books, you might find fresh insights––or that the series now falls flat for you. Speaking of which, if you choose a series and find it doesn't work for you, just quit and start a new one.
I was tempted to re-read Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey series, but that would be too easy and obvious a choice for me. Not to mention that I'd be doing it anyway, challenge or no challenge. I've decided that this is the perfect opportunity for me to fill in one of the many gaps in my reading history. I think what I'm going to choose is Magdalen Nabb's Marshal Guarnaccia series. Any comments on that choice?
Let's use the comments below to talk to each other about series choices, to report in about progress as the year goes on and to share thoughts about the books we're reading.
OK, Sister MM, I'll bite. Just finished A Fall in Denver, the second in a series of ten books (last due out in June 2012) by and about a woman geologist in the good-old-boy oil industry. Some of these Sarah Andrews efforts are out of print, but I will try to find and read them in order.ReplyDelete
The opening lines caught my attention: "If I had seen the body fall past the window, I wouldn't have taken the job."
OK, that sounds like fun! I love that first line, too. It's a gift to be able to write a killer opening.ReplyDelete
***Any comments on that choice?*** [the Marshal Guarnaccia series]ReplyDelete
No comment until I've amassed all in the series! I've started already buying them (used paperbacks, due to financial ebb, not flow) and then will start reading. I may not finish reading this year---- but will eventually. Will I be like Sarah Winchester and her house, as long as I'm reading I'll still be breathing???
I'd never heard of Nabb and thanks for the tip.
I think you have the right idea---collect the books and then start reading. I have found two of the Nabbs in used bookstores so far. So I think I'll wait until I have more. I'm going to start with Josephine Tey instead.ReplyDelete
My brother-in-law lives in San Jose, so I get your reference to Sarah Winchester!
Love that opening sentence, Peri. It reminds me a bit of another great opening sentence, "The shovel has to meet certain requirements" (Harry Dolan's BAD THINGS HAPPEN).ReplyDelete
I want to re-read John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books since it's been so many years since I read them. I'm also going to read Paco Ignacio Taibo II's Hector Belascoaran Shayne series set in Mexico City.
Yes George. Best choice since the writing is glorious and they never go stale. My second choice would be Richard Stark's Parker series (plus the Grofield's) and my third would be Bronson's Gerber series (but one book doesn't make a series yet! alas). Travis McGee it is!Delete
Anonymous, I'm still working my way through a re-read of the Travis McGee books. I agree with you: Richard Stark's Parker series, about a professional thief, is dark and wonderful, and it would be a great choice to read or re-read.Delete
O.K, which one of youse guys beat me out on eBay for a group of five Nabb paperbooks. LOLReplyDelete
Oops! Not me, promise! Powells.com seems to have quite a few used copies, for what it's worth.ReplyDelete
It wasn't easy to decide which series to read but I'm now settled on Janwillem Van de Wetering's books with Henk Grijpstra, Rinus de Gier and the Commisaris. I have OUTSIDER IN AMSTERDAM and will begin it next week. I'm looking forward to Amsterdam with these good policemen.ReplyDelete
I'm reading Bill James' Harpur and Iles series beginning with You'd Better Believe It, written more than 25 years ago. I read a review of the 2011 H&I book and the reviewer said he pictured Peter O'Toole as Iles. That settled it for me. NikkiReplyDelete
How's everybody doing on the challenge?ReplyDelete
It's turning out to be a challenge for me, that's for sure. I changed my mind on Magdalen Nabb and decided to read Josephine Tey. I have all the books (which I've read before, long ago) and was ready to go, but then I read my first in Delano Ames's Jane and Dagobert Brown series and wanted to read all of them. So I have the first four, but I'm having problems locating the rest. I can find three others that I'll be able to get from interlibrary loan, but there may be as many as three I can't get. I'll give it my best.
Oh Nikki, Peter O'Toole would do it for me too! I have amassed six of the nine books Sarah Andrews books released; the last isn't due out until June.ReplyDelete
So Audible had a big sale on first books in a series, and I got Louise Penny's STILL LIFE. I read it a long time ago, but I thought it would be fun to listen to the audiobook since I really like Louise Penny and I'd heard good things about the audio production. It was great! And I'm seeing all kinds of seeds Penny planted for things that happen in later books. I'm also intrigued by the Ruth Zardo character. She shows us some of the really dark parts of Zardo. I'd forgotten all about that.ReplyDelete
So now I've decided I'm going to do the whole Armand Gamache series on audio. I just finished the second book today and I'll start the third tomorrow. At least I know this is one series I'll definitely be able to get through this year.
I picked up several books at that audible.com sale on firsts. The one that hooked me so far was DARK OF THE MOON the first in the Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford. I read about half of his Lucas Davenport series a couple years back, but my interest petered out on those and I never got to Virgil. Now I am really enjoying this character, and have already started book 2 in the series. There are only 5 so far so this makes the challenge a little easier.ReplyDelete
Rhi, great to see your comments on Sandford's Virgil Flowers series. I haven't read any of those books.ReplyDelete
How is it going for everyone else?
I'm reading John D. MacDonald's THE QUICK RED FOX, and Travis McGee has agreed to help an actress who's being blackmailed. McGee is an American icon, and I'm enjoying his company in this series.
I'm still reading Taibo's Hector Belascoaran Shayne books. Man, this sleuth is a Mexico City Sam Spade, although Spade isn't a detective through a correspondence school and didn't share his office with a plumber, an upholsterer, and an engineer. Spade and Belascoaran share a cynical view of the world. In AN EASY THING, there's a rumor that Zapata escaped, and Belascoaran investigates several cases while dealing with a personal life full of loss and uncertainty.
Rhiannon, that's great that you found a new series you like. I just finished number five in the Louise Penny series; two to go---at least until August, when the new one comes out. I'm finding it so much more interesting to follow the ongoing threads in the series while listening to one book after another. The next one I'll listen to, BURY YOUR DEAD, is my favorite in the series, so I'm particularly looking forward to that one.ReplyDelete
I also finished the second Jane and Dagobert Brown, MURDER BEGINS AT HOME. I didn't like it quite as much as the first, SHE SHALL HAVE MURDER. Dagobert was kind of annoying the second time around and Jane didn't do as much sleuthing. I'm about to start on the third in the series, CORPSE DIPLOMATIQUE.
I finished Louise Penny's Armand Gamache/Three Pines series. Now I'm missing the characters. This was a great experience. I got so much more out of the continuing story threads by reading the books one after another. I will have to find another series that would be good for. I particularly enjoyed doing the books on audio. Ralph Cosham is a terrific narrator.ReplyDelete
Georgette, in case you have any interest, I just got an email that Audible just got seven Travis McGees on audio for the first time.
The downside to reading rapid fire is you notice logic skips from book to book. I am currently reading Reed Coleman's Moses Prager series and in the first three books Mo says he found a missing little girl in a rooftop water tank, the third tank they looked in. Now in book four the story is told and they found her in the 5th tank they searched.ReplyDelete