mystery lovers discussion

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Any fans of British Mystery? Who is your favorite author?

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Doina | 18 comments I love most types of Mystery, but I am especially addicted to British Mystery. I recently added to my collection several British Mystery series, and I wanted to see if there is anybody else out there that enjoys reading this type of mystery and who is your favorite author? Or your favorite book/series?


whichwaydidshego? (whichwaydidshego) The Lynley Mysteries – Elizabeth George

Though she is an American writer, her books are set in Britain and she writes in the British style (most Brits assume she’s one of them). I love the continuing characters. And the stories are never anywhere close to alike from one book to the next.

Actually I heard about the series on National Public Radio. A couple of years ago there was a story about how her fans were in a huge uproar over something that happened in her (then) latest book. Funnily enough I haven’t yet read that book! Anyway, go NPR!

P.S. If you know what I was referring to, DON'T TELL ME!!!


Heather (hmr1126) | 7 comments I am a big fan of the P.D. James novels, I've read about 6 of them so far, starting from the beginning and have also read the two most recent Adam Dalgliesh titles.

I am also a fan of the Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes. I've read almost all of them as well. I think that Martha Grimes may be an American author, but her novels capture the essence of Great Britain.

Finally, Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kinkaid and Gemma James series is also fantastic!


Doina | 18 comments I love her Lynley series too. I also love the PBS series based on the books. Not quite the same, as TV series based on books usually are, but it is a good one nonetheless. Have you read Jill McGown? I enjoy her writing style as much as I enjoy Elizabeth George.


Doina | 18 comments I have never read Martha Grimes, but was contemplating picking it up next. I am currently reading and re-reading P.D. James and Deborah Crombie too. :)


Christine (murdermostbritish) | 10 comments I read mostly British mysteries...usually historical or traditional and definately cozy....
some of my favourite series are:

Amelia Peabody
Jane Eyre mysteries
the Robin Paige mysteries
Mrs. Jeffries (very VERY light reading)
of course the Agatha Christie books and Dorothy Sayers
Sir Merrivale (spelling?)

oh there are so many! I can't think of them all

I'm still working on my website from time to time
www.geocities.com/murdermostbritish








Liz DeCoster (taygete) I'm a fan of Josephine Tey's Inspector Grant mysteries. The author is Scottish, but Inspector Grant is with Scotland Yard, so it sort of counts.


Thediplobad | 1 comments My fave British mysteries are the Inspector Morse series by Colin Dexter. He killed him off a few years ago. I miss that old acerbic.


Julie | 9 comments I've read Ngaio Marsh, PD James, and Agatha Christie and have just started on the Inspector Wexford series by Ruth Rendell. I quite enjoyed it and am excited to see there are 20+ books so far in the series.


Doina | 18 comments Hello Julie!

Please let me know what you think of Ruth Rendell. I was just looking at that series not long ago, and was debating whether or not to pick it up. I have several series on my to read list, and I love it when I can buy almost the entire series at once (or at least a good portion of the series), that way I can read at my own pace and not wait on pins and needles until the next book comes out. So, let me know what you think of that series.


Sean Little Ian Rankin is my hero when it comes to the British mystery. Granted, he's Scottish, but I think it should count. John Rebus is a great character and the police procedurals he writes are brilliant.

"The Falls" was my favorite of his.

I also like Laurie R. King's take on Sherlock Holmes. I know she's not British, but she does so well with the Conan Doyle style of writing, "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" should be considered a British mystery.


Susan | 3 comments I love Ruth Rendell, Elizabeth George (with the exception of her last novel...which I didn't particularly like), P.D. James, Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin (I definitely count Scottish authors and settings among the best of British mysteries!), and others...

My favorite (British) mystery author is Ruth Rendell. Absolutely no question about it...she's just brilliant.


Doina | 18 comments Well, I just started reading Colin Dexter, Ian Rankin and Martha Grimes. Next on my list to pick up will be Ruth Rendell and Ngaio Marsh. :)


Barbara | 3 comments I love the Inspector Wexford series. I've heard the others are too dark


Robin (kanata) I'm becoming a big fan of Peter James. He's only written three books with the character D.S. Grace and I can tell he will be one I will follow for a long time.


Jody (jselliott) | 2 comments I absolutely love Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series. They're gritty, funny and a wonderful and positive evolution of the gumshoe.


Jessica I'd rank Elizabeth George, P.D. James, Peter Robinson, and Ian Rankin right up there. I really like their detailed, complicated plotting and their characters are admirably flawed. I also like Val McDermid a lot, though she can get a little lazy with her plotting and character development from time to time.


Doina | 18 comments Martha Grimes is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors in this genre, and I just picked up Ruth Rendell. Thanks guys for your suggestions which added quite a few books to my to read pile. : )


Pamela Elizabeth George, PD James, and Martha Grimes are great. Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford series is probably my favorite Brit-series. I also love her stand-alones. Minnette Waters' first few books, as well as the first couple of Nicci French books, really drew me in. They're both very uneven writers, though. I'll have to give Ian Rankin a try soon.


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The vast majority of mysteries I read are British mysteries. I don't think I've found an American series I've liked. Agatha Christie and PD James are both great, but I really love Martha Grimes. She's actually an American writer, but she writes British mysteries. I am about halfway through her Richard Jury books.

I recently watched one of the Inspector Lyndley movies on DVD and I think I'd like to try Elizabeth George's books, too.


Doina | 18 comments Just read my first Ngaio Marsh book, and I absolutely loved it. Will definitely continue the Inspector Alleyn series. Next on my list is going to be Ian Rankin (already got one of his books in my to read pile), and will also check out Peter Robinson.


Bentley (byronicwoman) | 5 comments i cannot get enough of minette walters. i sit around the house pouting for entire years waiting for her new book.

bartholomew gill (rip) is another fave, even though - or perhaps because - he's irish.

another amazing irish mystery writer - though it's more in the 'noir' genre - is ken bruen. particularly his jack taylor series.


J.R. | 38 comments Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, Elizabeth George, Ian Rankin, John Burnett, Caroline Graham, Minette Walter, Reginald Hill.


Alissa (book_girl_14) | 2 comments The only British mystery I've read is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. That was really good!


Spuddie | 39 comments I love British mysteries! Much prefer the Brit police procedurals to American ones. LOL Favorites, aside from Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, are:

Martha Grimes
Colin Dexter
Deborah Crombie (actually an American author)
Stephen Booth
Ian Rankin
Peter Robinson
Mark Billingham
Jill McGown
Caroline Graham

I have several other series I plan to start once I get all the way through some of these series...Reginald Hill, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, etc.


Regan (livingscenery) I'm a big fan of Anne Perry.

I've heard a lot of good things about Elizabeth George, althought I have never read her books. She's next on my list though!



Drummy | 2 comments Hilary Norman is my favorite British author. Now reading Last Run which is very good. Anyone else read her books?


Roz Has any one read Denise Mina? Set in Glasgow, her crime novels are especially gritty (watch out for bad language) but extremely well written and exciting. Couldn't put them down! I especially enjoyed Sanctum.


Becca (becca2) | 19 comments Nancy Atherton (American writer of British cozy mysteries), M C Beaton (well, she could be considered British/Scottish--just the Agatha Raisin series--watching the Hamish series on BBC America ruined reading the books for me), Dorothy Dunnett (British/Scottish--the Johnson Johnson mysteries), E.X. Ferrars, Anthea Fraser, Antonia Fraser, H.R.F. Keating, P.D. James, Michael Z. Lewin (American writer who lives in the UK and writes a great, but small, British series about the Lunghi family of detectives who live in Bath, England), Ruth Rendell, and Julian Symons. Of course there are the classics, such as Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, John Creasey, and G. K. Chesterton (Father Brown Omnibus!!).

British mysteries that I love to watch on either DVD or BBC America:
Midsomer Murders
Inspector Lynley
Agatha Christie (only with Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple and David Suchet as Poirot)
Hamish MacBeth
Inspector Morse
Prime Suspect (sometimes I have to look away)
Lovejoy


Ronda (rmgardner) | 1 comments I love PD James, and her Adam Delgliesh series; and MC Beaton and her Hamish Macbeth series. I am also a fan of Ian Rankin, I just love british literature.


David (mugsynoir) | 14 comments I like the Ellis Peters Brother Cadfael series and the Anne Perry William Monk series. I also like the M.C. Beaton Hamish Macbeth series. On the harder-edged side, Ian Rankin's Rebus and Peter Robinson's Alan Banks books are very good also.

I just read my first Gene Kerrigan Irish procedural, THE MIDNIGHT CHOIR, and that was just stunning. Another Irish writer doing fine work is Ken Bruen.


Heather (hmr1126) | 7 comments I love British mystery novels as well. I have just started reading Peter Robinson's Chief Inspector Alan Banks series and am enjoying them immensely. The characters are interesting and the books move fairly quickly. I also love PD James and Martha Grimes.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

No contest for consistency, and possibly longevity - P.D. James!


Elizabeth (Elizabeth_Red) | 2 comments PD James, Ian Ranking and Ngaio Marsh are my favorite all for different reasons. I love British mysteries. What makes it so much better? I have no idea but I love to read. I am going to give Elizabeth George a try based upon the above comments.


Libbie | 4 comments Has anybody read anything by the author, David Hewson? He is a Brit, however, most of his novels are set in different parts of Italy.
I just finished Lucifer's Shadow and I enjoyed it immensely. He has a whole series which I am considering "investing in" as in the time and the $. :)
Any thoughts? Thanks!


Lil | 4 comments Has anyone discovered Simon Beckett? I read "The Chemistry of Death" and "Written in Bone" - both are reminiscent of Patricia Cornwell when she was still on top of her game.
Once I got to the last 100 pages in each book I had to finish - no putting these books down.


Celeste (CelesteLueck) | 10 comments There's noone like Christie, but I do like Dorothy Cannell's Ellie Haskell Mysteries.


Dfordoom | 18 comments I've only recently discovered P. D. James. I loved Shroud for a Nightingale and A Mind To Murder.


Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) I like Anne Perry. She writes about Victorian Age Britain.


Sarah | 1 comments I love British mysteries and thrillers. I'm a huge Ruth Rendell fan. I've read everything she's written except her latest, which I'm looking forward to. She also writes under the nom de plume Barbara Vine, as I'm sure most fans know, and those books are also exceptional. I'm also a big P.D. James fan (though I was disappointed in The Lighthouse) and I've read all of her books, too, except her latest, which I've put in for at the library. I just discovered Minette Walters and can tell she's going to be another favorite. I like Martha Grimes a lot, too (the Richard Jury/Melrose Plant stories), but not as much as Rendell and James. I'm also a big Agatha Christie/Mary Westmacott fan. She only wrote six as Westmacott, and I've pretty much exhausted the Christie ouevre, except for a few plays and possibly some short story collections and a couple of novels, though it may be I've already read them, published under another title. I wish publishers wouldn't go in for that, it can be confusing--e.g., Ten Little Indians and And Then There Were None are the same book, but I didn't know that for awhile.


Denise (niser) | 25 comments British mysteries are my favorites!
I've read all P.D. James, Martha Grimes, Elizabeth George, Reginald Hill, Carola Dunn, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Dick Francis, Jacqueline Winspear and if you want a comedic series, try Jasper Fforde. M.C. Beaton's "Agatha Raisin" was a favorite but was very disappointed in her last outing.
I've been reading Jane Austen, joined the local book club and Friends of the Library (my daughter is the librarian!)...
I've been checking the Agatha winners on bn.com too for new 'blood'.


Kelly Sullivan | 2 comments I'd agree with the comment about the Inspector Morse Mysteries, written by Colin Dexter. A superb character who I dearly miss!
If you have not read Elizabeth George, you should. She does not follow a particular formula and each of her books/characters are unique. I enjoy following Lynley and Havers as their relationship develops.
Anne Perry's Inspector Monk and her Thomas Pitt series are wonderful- especially if you enjoy mysteries set in the Victorian era.
Has anyone read the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters? As a student of medieval history, these books always give me double pleasure when I read. Mystery plus history!
I've been a Martha Grimes fan for a long time, but have been more and more disappointed since "Star Gazey." Sometimes I wonder if it's time to kill off Richard Jury, though I love him so much- you can't help but hope he'll find happiness somehow. I've enjoyed some of her other books- Cold Flat Junction and Belle Ruin.
Finally, there's Jonathan Gash and his Lovejoy series, which became an extremely popular BBC mystery series. Someone mentioned humor- If you like a little humor with your mystery, try Lovejoy!



Beth If you enjoy historical British mysteries, I recommend two that are nominees for the Best First Novel category of the Agatha Award (named after Agatha Christie and given for traditional mysteries). I read both to see what my competition was like for the the award and was blown away. Loved them! They are:

A BEAUTIFUL BLUE DEATH by Charles Finch
SILENT IN THE GRAVE by Deanna Raybourn

They are both set in late 1800s London. Finch's book has a male sleuth and Raybourn's has a female sleuth.

For more information about the Agathas and past winners, go to: http://www.malicedomestic.org/agathaa...

Is anyone attending the conference? I'd love to see someone from the group there.


Denise (niser) | 25 comments I can't believe I didn't mention Colin Dexter! I saved all the books to read again when I retire-
I followed the TV series on PBS as well as all his books and cried when I read his last book and watched the last episode...
The actor who played Morse was a favorite of mine too, especially in "A Year in Provence" (books by Peter Mayle). They're not mysteries but I was fortunate in going to school in Aix-en-Provence, France for 4 weeks in college and had a wonderful experience!


message 45: by Jessica (last edited Apr 18, 2008 06:03PM) (new)

Jessica | 13 comments Margery Allingham is an English author who wrote the Albert Campion series set in 1930’s UK. Her character is a quirky upper-class man with a shifty ex-burglar man-servant who aids him in his mystery adventures (you can also check out the BBC versions of her books, they are also Great!!! Has the actor who played Tristan on “All Creatures Great and Small” playing Campion)

I would also recommend Ian Rankin, if you like police mysteries (though I would not call his books British Mystery as much as UK Mystery, as he is Scottish and his books are primarily set in Edinburgh, Scotland).

MC Beaton (Born Glasgow, Scotland but lives in England) has two great mystery series; the Hamish Macbeth books are set in the Highlands of Scotland, and her Agatha Raisin series is set in the Cotswolds (where she lives) in England. Both are great series, though I prefer the Macbeth books.

If you have ever wanted to read a good mystery series set in Wales then Rhys Bowen has her Constable Evans Mysteries, set in Llanfair, Wales. Good stories and a chance to get a taste of some Welsh culture.

If you like UK historical mysteries then Candace Robb (American) has some really great books. One set in medieval York, England with a female Master Apothecary and her apprentice husband (former lead archer for a great lord who was blinded in one eye and does spying for the church). She also has a series in medieval Scotland, though I have yet to read that particular series.

Also, if you like the British Edwardian setting then Kate Kingsbury has her Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery series. She has created some really fun characters.




Becca (becca2) | 19 comments I'd forgotten about Lovejoy! Yes, you must try Lovejoy. The books and the BBC telly series are both very good on their own.


Denise (niser) | 25 comments What conference?


Beth Denise,
I assume your question was about my reference to the conference where the Agatha Awards are voted on and given out. It is the Malice Domestic conference, a celebration of the traditional mystery, held every spring in Arlington, VA. For information about it, go to: http://www.malicedomestic.org/

Let me know if you decide to attend! I'll be there.


Dfordoom | 18 comments If you're looking for something in the style of Agatha Christie or Dorothy L. Sayers, try Margery Allingham. She was the other great British woman mystery writer of the 20s and 30s.

You might also enjoy Edmund Crispin's Gervase Fen mysteries. Written in the 40s and 50s, but very much in the style of the pre-war golden age mystery writers. Very witty, very amusing, and very clever plots. And Gervase Fen is a charming and brilliant detective.

Another author you might check out is Nicholas Blake (actually the pen name of the poet Cecil Day Lewis, later to become Poet Laureate).


Dfordoom | 18 comments I find most modern crime novels too grim and too violent. And they take themselves much too seriously.


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