"In Bed" with Harlan Coben

Posted by Goodreads on February 28, 2011
Harlan Coben In 1995, New Jersey native Harlan Coben published his first mystery in what is now a best-selling series starring Myron Bolitar, a six-foot-four ex-basketball player turned celebrity agent and accidental crime solver. He's a sensitive guy who loves his mom and dad—not a hard-boiled PI—yet he's always getting embroiled in high-stakes crimes involving his troubled clients.

Apart from this popular series, Coben is also known for his stand-alone mysteries, including best-sellers Tell No One (also an award-winning French film) and The Woods. His latest novel, Live Wire, is the tenth Myron Bolitar installment. While hunting for a missing rock star, Bolitar stumbles upon clues that may lead to his estranged brother, whom he hopes to find before their father passes away. Coben shares five of his favorite series featuring compelling sleuths.

Matt Scudder series by Lawrence Block
"One of the best ever. Block was, and remains, a pioneer. If you're in the mood for a truly dark, disturbing read, go with A Dance at the Slaughterhouse."


Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle
"We never forget our first love. When it comes to detective fiction, this was mine."


Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton
"When young writers want to learn what 'voice' is, I tell them to read any page from Sue Grafton's beloved alphabet series. You know that only Sue could write this. I love spending time with Kinsey."


Kenzie & Gennaro series by Dennis Lehane
"Brilliant on every level—character, plotting, dialogue, setting—Dennis is my favorite amongst the writers I came up with. If I had to pick one, it'd be Gone, Baby, Gone."


Spenser series by Robert B. Parker
"Simply put, my favorite series of all time. In Parker's obit, I was quoted as saying that 90 percent of detective writers admit Parker's Spenser series was an influence, the other 10 percent lie. RIP, Bob."



Comments Showing 1-50 of 81 (81 new)


message 1: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn So many detectives, so hard to choose. I like all of these but have to say Travis McGee is my all time favorite with Dave Robichaud a close second. And then there's Harry Bosch, not to mention Tommy and Tuppence and could go on and on.


message 2: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Sorry, James Lee Burke I've read all your books but can't spell Dave's last name.


message 3: by Alan (new)

Alan Although they seem a little dated now, I liked van de Wetering's Amsterdam detectives very much, and also Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn.


message 4: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa I love John Sandford's Lucas Davenport books.


message 5: by Denise (new)

Denise Wow, I can't believe none of you have mentioned the Robert Crais books, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are the BEST detectives!!! Great books, you should check them out!!


message 6: by Ian (last edited Mar 01, 2011 06:33PM) (new)

Ian Harry Bosch is definitely the guy. But what about Reacher! And Hillerman's books are such a pleasure to read. Robert Crais, John Lescroart, Faye Kellerman are other favorites.


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane Harry Bosch is definately a favorite, also love Marica Muller's Sharon McCone, Bill Pronzini's Nameless and Linda Barnes' Carlotta Carlyle


message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Does anyone else remember Margery Allingham's wonderful Albert Campion?


message 9: by Sue (new)

Sue Blackburn I'm with Denise - Elvis and Joe are amazing.


message 10: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh Burroughs I knew there was a reason I loved your books - I know and love all the authors you mention, except Scudder, who may wait til I can handle "dark" again.

What about Lord Peter Wimsey (D.L.Sayres) and Richard Jury (M.Grimes) and Adam Dalgleish (P.D.James)?
a/b


message 11: by Terry (new)

Terry Odell Sherlock Holmes hooked me on mystery (and ruined me for suspense). Add me to the Harry Bosch and Elvis Cole fan club. And Spenser. And -- to stretch things a bit -- Eve Dallas.

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery


message 12: by Wendy (new)

Wendy I've been reading the Sue Grafton books forever and read every single Sherlock Holmes story when I lived in Wales during college.

I hesitate to even look at these other authors (though I've been flirting with picking up Lehane for awhile) because I swear the last thing I need are more mystery/detective series to get addicted to!


message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy Lehane's Kenzie & Gennaro series is absolutely amazing. Everything Harlan said is true! Thinking about picking up some Lawrence Block, if it really is dark & disturbing as he says!


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Ferrett Let's not forget Myron Bolitar! And M. C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth (a very different detective from Elvis Cole and Spenser).


message 15: by Elli (new)

Elli Harry Boxch, dave Robich....(sp.) So.LA, Have enjoyed Sue Grafton and J.A. Jance's forever, and what's the young lady from Chicago who was raised by her aunt, met the rest the family much later, but didn't care to have much to do with them since they waited until the offending aunt was much older before contacting her. Then there is the Park Ranger, some of her's are pretty good. And some historical like Sister Fidelma. then there is the Chinatown detective who keeps trying to get out of Chinatown where he grew up and keeps getting called back in. And of course, Hennings Mankell's wonderful detective and his stand alones. I really like Harlen Coben's stand alone. Oh, yes, and Brother Cadfill. And, of course, Joe Leaphorn. You know, I probably could go on all day....


message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Ferrett Elli: You bring up some more good ones. The Brother Cadfael mysteries are so much fun to read, and both of J. A. Jance's detectives--Joanna Brady and J. P. Beaumont--are great!


message 17: by Elli (new)

Elli And my first villan from years ago....Dr. Fu Manchu! He's still a strong picture in my mind, but don't remember what and who went with! And then there was the archeologist...Egyptology and his family who had to solve all sorts of hostility crimes mainly related to end of all selling profits (very illegal) and dig permissions. I do like the detective heros both in Steven Saylor...and Lindsay Davis. I keep getting them as they came out, but am not good with names. And I've enjoyed Elizabeth George, some of hers are pretty darn good mysteries. Lord who was it, now, and Dorothy Sayers, too. Her use of contrasting speech practically turned some of hers into readable movies with wonderful comedy touches..... There are some pretty good foreign modern ones, too, the pathologist gets together with native detective and a love affair turns into marriage after a couple books and they reside in China complete with his father and her mother who technically should have no use for each...have a wonderful time anyhow and practically leave their adult kids in trauma... And there is one russian who gets together with his American counterpart on a case of mutual interest and gives a great book out of it. And a couple pathologist authors that give some good case solving.


message 18: by Randy (new)

Randy They have been around a while, but if you have not read any of the McNally series, by Lawrence Sanders, you have missed some truly entertaining stories. If you like a little humor in your reading, try one!


message 19: by Michael (new)

Michael Redd Stone Barrington anyone?


message 20: by Liz (last edited Mar 07, 2011 09:09AM) (new)

Liz Nevada Barr is one of my favorites,as are Laura Lippman, JA Jance and Ed Connelly. Thanks to all for some new names. We've got a big used book sale in another 2 weeks. I'll be on the lookout!


message 21: by Don (new)

Don all these other guys are sissies compared to Reacher...
don't even try!


message 22: by Grant (new)

Grant Hay It's a wonder if any one of know of Dick Francis. Good stuff read.


message 23: by Florence (new)

Florence I have always enjoy reading books by Harlan Coben. I recently discovered Jeffrey Deaver and recommend his book also.


message 24: by Joyce (new)

Joyce And of course Doc Ford - Randy Wayne White


message 25: by Julie (new)

Julie Alan wrote: "Although they seem a little dated now, I liked van de Wetering's Amsterdam detectives very much, and also Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn."

I'm w/ you! Like detectives who eat!

Do try Henning Mankill, esp the 5th woman


message 26: by Grant (new)

Grant Hay Mr White is great as Dick Francis.
Great reads both.


message 27: by Greg (new)

Greg Dixon Could I get a little love for Commissario Guido Brunetti in Donna Leon's fine ouevre...?


message 28: by Greg (new)

Greg Dixon Grant wrote: "It's a wonder if any one of know of Dick Francis. Good stuff read."

I learned to drink Laphroaig Scotch after reading "Proof." You always learn a new topic after reading Dick Francis.


message 29: by Craig (new)

Craig Sisterson So many great sleuths out there. Interesting choices from Harlan Coben. Last year an extensive online vote to find the 'world's favourite detective', set up like an NCAA/FA Cup knockout tournament, with around 1000 crime fiction reviewers and book bloggers etc voting, was won by Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, beating Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe in the final.

The other seminfinalists were Christie's Poirot and Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.


message 30: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Bailey What about Nero Wolf who makes me so hungry; Hercule & Ms. Marple; Mitch Rapp; Oliver Stone; Kinsey Milhone. Then Janet Evanovich's crazy characters who ought to be on t.v. (especially Ranger & Joe & the whacko grandmother). The Lincoln Lawyer is coming out next week as a movie, and the "new" 2010 Sherlock from England is texting his way back this Spring too.


message 31: by Terry (new)

Terry Odell Greg wrote: "Grant wrote: "It's a wonder if any one of know of Dick Francis. Good stuff read."

I learned to drink Laphroaig Scotch after reading "Proof." You always learn a new topic after reading Dick Fran..."


First one I read was Reflex - I was taking photography classes and I figured out what was going on. Felt so good. Have all his books.


message 32: by Dallas (new)

Dallas I read EVERY James Lee Burke I can find, Dave Robicheaux is my favorite and Hackberry Holland is also good. Hieronymous Bosch, Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee, Brother Cadfael and Commander Sam Vimes Round out the second rank.


message 33: by Julie (new)

Julie Greg wrote: "Could I get a little love for Commissario Guido Brunetti in Donna Leon's fine ouevre...?"

You Bet! There's also a cookbook


message 34: by Jerry (new)

Jerry What about Arkady Renko or V. I. Warshawski? You can't spell 'em, buth they're great reads!


message 35: by Jaime (new)

Jaime If you like Hillerman...try James Doss...he is great


message 36: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Bailey Wendy wrote: "I've been reading the Sue Grafton books forever and read every single Sherlock Holmes story when I lived in Wales during college.

I hesitate to even look at these other authors (though I've been f..."

Wendy: I'm w/ you. I get so addicted to this genre that no other work gets done, no deadlines met, all appointments are barely met!
"Just one more page..." Ludlum was like that for me @ his beginning. I almost missed a plane because of The Scarletti Inheritance.

Terry wrote: "Sherlock Holmes hooked me on mystery (and ruined me for suspense). Add me to the Harry Bosch and Elvis Cole fan club. And Spenser. And -- to stretch things a bit -- Eve Dallas.

Terry
Terry's Plac..."



message 37: by Grant (new)

Grant Hay Harry Bosch like Alex Cross are great. Sir. Francis is the best.


message 38: by Dltnewyork (new)

Dltnewyork HELP! I love Harlan Coben. He is my favorite author and I have read all of his stand alone books.
I have been reading compulsivly since I was 13 and always have a book in my purse. I read during commercials. I always know what the next book I am going to read next.
My problem is that I hate, hate, hate sports and I need someone to convince me that these are great books! I own every one of them but have not started any of them because of my hatred of sports! Someone please convince me that his series books are great!
Thanks!
Darlene


message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Amy wrote: "Lehane's Kenzie & Gennaro series is absolutely amazing. Everything Harlan said is true! Thinking about picking up some Lawrence Block, if it really is dark & disturbing as he says!"

I completely agree about the Kenzie and Gennaro series! Lovelovelove them. And any dark mystery sounds good to me.


message 40: by Grant (new)

Grant Hay Why dark.
Randy W. White. Kind of lighten things up.
G.Hay


message 41: by Doris (new)

Doris Luther Lee Child's, Jack Reacher, is the best. I'm a librarian, and I have all his books. All the patrons love him. I had to post a list of his books, in order written, so they could keep track of the one they want to read next. Can't wait for the next one.


message 42: by Grant (new)

Grant Hay I sell books, guess who sells most? None of the above.
Kind of sad when you think.


message 43: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Duck Jack Reacher, Dave Robicheaux, Easy Rawlins/Leonid McGill, and Scudder


message 44: by Julie (new)

Julie Desormeaux Ian Rankin's Inspector John Rebus


message 45: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Take a taxi ride through Chicago with Jack Clark's cab driver. He has written two very goo mysteries so far. The first is Westerfield Chain and recently released Relita's (sp?) Angel


message 46: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Love all of the ones mentioned. Have recently discovered Louise Penny and read each book in her series. Love the rich characters and the setting.
Hard to beat Lee Child and James Lee Burke, though, for books to keep you reading long into the night!
Thanks, Mr. Coben, for sparking this discussion.


message 47: by Mary (new)

Mary Carolyn wrote: "So many detectives, so hard to choose. I like all of these but have to say Travis McGee is my all time favorite with Dave Robichaud a close second. And then there's Harry Bosch, not to mention Tomm..."

I too loved Travis McGee, and Harry Bosch but Matthew Scudder is my favorite.


message 48: by Molly (new)

Molly Weston Anyone have an idea why I refuse to list a favorite author?

Anybody know why I don't read much outside the mystery genre?

My favorite T-shirt: Too many books, too little time.


message 49: by Julie (new)

Julie Desormeaux Oh you are right about Louise Penney-even makes me want to go to Quebec in the winter.
Just got into Stuart MacBride's series after it was recommended to me in the UK


message 50: by Dltnewyork (new)

Dltnewyork Your answers:

Too many authors too little time to name them!

Too many books in this genre to stray, too little time!

My favorite quote: "A room without books is like a body without a soul"!

"Too many books, too little time" is my second favorite quote.

I only read the first 100 pages of any book and if it does not grab me by then I quit. Because "TOO MANY BOOKS, TOO LITTLE TIME!!! LOL!

Darlene


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