SLCLS Genre Study discussion

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message 1: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 43 comments How do you feel about mystery books in a series? Do you finish each title or get tired after a few books? I do both-some series (No.1 Ladies Detective Agency) I've read all of the titles. Other series (Hannah Swensen Cooking mysteries) I've given up after four or so books because I've gotten bored with them.


message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah  (sarcare) | 58 comments Sometimes I like series, but mostly I get frustrated with them. It is irritating when authors draw out relationships over several books, so you know who did it in a specific book, but not who will be together in the next one!


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather (h-town) | 37 comments I only get frustrated with series when the character arc remains flat over the series. For example, I am so done with Stephanie Plum and her same-stuff-different-day. On the other hand, I love Jack Reacher and the growth of his character due to his experiences over several novels. I think Lee Child is more successful at this character arc because he has written some prequels during the series in which the past story explains some aspect of Reacher's character. Janet Evanovich has not done this for Stephanie Plum. She's just a ditz and who really knows why? Of course, they are really different types of mysteries, and I admittedly prefer the procedural/analytical over the cozy/funny.


message 4: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (lleyandyr) I like series as a rule, but some mystery series really do get frustrating. I enjoy the character development you can see over a series--if an author bothers to develop their characters! I am a little sad to hear negative things about Stephanie Plum. I have only read the first one and was hoping for the series to remain entertaining and have Stephanie grow, but I am less than thrilled to read them now...thanks for the reviews!


message 5: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 43 comments I agree that characters need to grow and change. If you've read any of Josi Kilpack's Sadie Hoffmiller books, the author really develops the character over the course of the series. She (Sadie) starts out as kind of a busy body investigator but ends up suffering some pretty serious consequences when she meets up with a psychopath in one of the later books. Sadie has a personal breakdown and has to deal with that and put herself back together. I think this adds depth to the series and makes the character so much more real and interesting.


message 6: by Maureen (new)

Maureen | 4 comments I really enjoy mystery series and have some favorites where I look forward to seeing what happens to the characters in the next installment. However, I have found that I get bored if I discover a new series and try to read too many of the books in the series at once. I actually prefer it when I am caught up and enjoy the new books as they come out once a year.


message 7: by Danette (new)

Danette | 11 comments I love mystery series, if I love the character. For instance I can hardly wait for a new Stone Barrington (Stuart Woods)novel to come out. Although I will admit that some of the more recent books in this series haven't been as appealing to me. And I agree with Maureen--it is nice to be caught up and wait for the next installment.


message 8: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Hinkle (neutronflow) | 31 comments Maureen wrote: "...I have found that I get bored if I discover a new series and try to read too many of the books in the series at once."

I find that as well. As a result, I lag behind on all my series and have had to develop a more easygoing attitude toward spoilers. I'll introduce someone to a series and the next time I see them they're six books ahead of me.


message 9: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Timothy wrote: "Maureen wrote: "...I have found that I get bored if I discover a new series and try to read too many of the books in the series at once."

I find that as well. As a result, I lag behind on all my s..."


I agree. I enjoy the series more if I read the books one at a time, with several other things in between. If I read them too close together I get frustrated with the formulaic elements and don't enjoy the story or the characters nearly as much.


message 10: by Karen (new)

Karen (rhyta) I am currently hooked on J.D. Robb and just found J.A. Jance. I have stretched the Robb ones out over two years now, almost caught up to the new ones and I have enjoyed watching the relationships develop, both case related and personal.

J.A. Jance I just sampled some of 3 of her series: J.P. Beaumont (2), Joanna Brady (2) and Ali Reynolds which I just finished tonight.


message 11: by Ruby (new)

Ruby (rcheezy48) | 14 comments I love the Anna Pidgeon series by Nevada Barr...though I do agree that the first 5-6 books were the best. I often try the first 1-2 books in a series, just so I'll know about them for reader's advisory, even if I don't plan to read all of them.


message 12: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Ruby wrote: "I love the Anna Pidgeon series by Nevada Barr...though I do agree that the first 5-6 books were the best. I often try the first 1-2 books in a series, just so I'll know about them for reader's adv..."

I do the same thing.


message 13: by John (new)

John Sanders I like the hard-boiled private detective/police procedural type of mysteries. One of the best recent examples of this genre is the "L A Quartet" by James Ellroy. The four novels in this series are "The Black Dahlia," "The Big Nowhere," L A Confidential," and "White Jazz." Covering the period from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s, this series gives a fictional history of the Los Angeles Police Department. Each novel features a separate group of cops as the central protagonists, but the whole series is unified by the history of Los Angeles and the recurring presence of the charmingly amoral figure of the villain, Dudley Smith. Not for the faint-of-heart, the novels are characterized by graphic violence and a disturbingly nihilistic world view.


message 14: by Darin (new)

Darin | 13 comments Some of my favorite series are by Lee Child, Sue Grafton (although I can't seem to remember one from the other, but enjoy them in the moment!), and Diane Mott Davidson.


message 15: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 14 comments I used to be the person who had to finish a book or series I had started. However, in the past year or two I have realized that there are too many other good books. Why spend time on one I am not enjoying?

As I read comments in this discussion I agreed that if the characters did not grow, I wouldn’t finish the series. Then I came across Natalie’s Josi Kilpack example. I actually lost interest in that series before she met up with a known psychopath. Maybe it is just a personality thing instead. If I have a connection to the characters and the situations then I will be a loyal follower, if not then I will stop reading and pick up something else.


message 16: by Robyn (new)

Robyn Bave | 6 comments I love series. There are so many great characters out there that grow and develop relationships. I think my all time favorite is Mrs. Pollifax by Dorthy Gilman. There are one or two I don't enjoy as much but later books in the series are as good as the first. I also love the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters, the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, Goldie the caterer by Diane Mott Davidson, The Cat Who by Lillian Jackson Braun, and so on and so forth. Thank goodness for What's Next that can help me get them in order


message 17: by Sheral (new)

Sheral | 12 comments Yesterday, I finished a really good book. Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. This is a page turner and a surprise at the end!


message 18: by Sheral (new)

Sheral | 12 comments Maggie recommended this and it's a fun book!


message 19: by Angie (new)

Angie The Librarian (angielibrarian) | 23 comments It depends on the series and how many other books I am reading at that moment. I have read so many series books, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Alan Bradley, Joanne Fluke, Elizabeth Peters, Elizabeth George that I get a few books behind, then I find I have to re-read some of the past few to remember what's going on. Although, with most you can just pick up right where you left off.


message 20: by Steph (new)

Steph | 25 comments Heather wrote: "I only get frustrated with series when the character arc remains flat over the series. For example, I am so done with Stephanie Plum and her same-stuff-different-day. On the other hand, I love Ja..."

I agree! Every Stephanie Plum book since number eleven has been the same and yet for some reason, I have to read to next one in the series even though I know exactly what will happen and by the time I finish the book I am mad enough to rip it to pieces. I keep hoping that maybe she will finally choose between Morelli and Ranger and that her car will not get blown up.


message 21: by Sheral (new)

Sheral | 12 comments I liked the first in the series: Aunt Dimity's Death. It was a heartfelt read. I liked the story and especially when the main character realizes that she viewed life pessimestically(sp?)and she relearns about joy from Dimity and her stories.


message 22: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 43 comments Sheral wrote: "I liked the first in the series: Aunt Dimity's Death. It was a heartfelt read. I liked the story and especially when the main character realizes that she viewed life pessimestically(sp?)and she r..."

I read that one too and liked it. I read the next one in the series and didn't like it as much.


message 23: by Heidi-Marie (new)

Heidi-Marie Natalie wrote: "How do you feel about mystery books in a series? Do you finish each title or get tired after a few books? I do both-some series (No.1 Ladies Detective Agency) I've read all of the titles. Other ..."

I've continued with Hannah Swensen because I'm waiting for Hannah to come to her senses about Norman. And the author has thrown in a few twists in the last 3 books. But the best part is the recipes. All of my baking has come from Hannah recipies--and I've never been complimented more!


message 24: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 43 comments Heidi wrote: "Natalie wrote: "How do you feel about mystery books in a series? Do you finish each title or get tired after a few books? I do both-some series (No.1 Ladies Detective Agency) I've read all of the..."

Really? Hannah still hasn't made up her mind about Norman?!!! That's been going on for er...decades. I agree about her cookie recipes, I have one from her first book for chocolate chip crunch cookies that I love.


message 25: by Nora (new)

Nora (norawb) | 23 comments I love the In Death series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts). There is a progression and development in relationships.


message 26: by Nora (new)

Nora (norawb) | 23 comments Heidi wrote: "Natalie wrote: "How do you feel about mystery books in a series? Do you finish each title or get tired after a few books? I do both-some series (No.1 Ladies Detective Agency) I've read all of the..."

Mysteries & food! Love it!


message 27: by Tiff (new)

Tiff | 2 comments I like mysteries that introduce the characters slowly rather than all at once on the first page. Lol because I usually listen to BCD rather than read. It's a little harder to pay close attention listening rather than reading. I have really enjoyed the Stephanie plum series. The characters are so funny I tend to remember the characters easily. They are a simple kind of mystery series.


message 28: by Cherie (new)

Cherie Karen wrote: "I am currently hooked on J.D. Robb and just found J.A. Jance. I have stretched the Robb ones out over two years now, almost caught up to the new ones and I have enjoyed watching the relationships ..."

Leslie wrote: "Timothy wrote: "Maureen wrote: "...I have found that I get bored if I discover a new series and try to read too many of the books in the series at once."

I find that as well. As a result, I lag be..."


Leslie wrote: "Timothy wrote: "Maureen wrote: "...I have found that I get bored if I discover a new series and try to read too many of the books in the series at once."

I find that as well. As a result, I lag be..."


I like the J.D Robb books as well because she adds a little more to the character's backstory in each book so you get to know how the characters become who they are.


message 29: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Sometimes when the personality of characters in a series change over time, I enjoy seeing the development. But not always. I read the first 8 - 9 Patricia Cornwell books and really enjoyed them. But as she added other characters and drastically changed personalities of the main characters, I no longer enjoyed the series.


message 30: by Ruby (new)

Ruby (rcheezy48) | 14 comments Kevin wrote: "Sometimes when the personality of characters in a series change over time, I enjoy seeing the development. But not always. I read the first 8 - 9 Patricia Cornwell books and really enjoyed them. ..."

I totally agree with you, Kevin. I just couldn't read her series the last few years, but I really enjoyed the characters and plots in the first 5 or 6. Sometimes authors should learn not to mess with a good thing!


message 31: by Angie (new)

Angie The Librarian (angielibrarian) | 23 comments Kevin wrote: "Sometimes when the personality of characters in a series change over time, I enjoy seeing the development. But not always. I read the first 8 - 9 Patricia Cornwell books and really enjoyed them. ..."
I think I gave up after book 7. I found I didn't care as much about the characters. I tried to pick one up last year and still felt the same way.


message 32: by Danette (new)

Danette | 11 comments My mystery reading enjoyment is really tied to the characters too. I was disappointed when I picked up the first in the Temperance Brennan series because I love the television series Bones and found that I couldn't relate to the characters in the book series because they seemed so off from the tv series and less interesting and quirky.


message 33: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 43 comments That's interesting. Usually for me it's the other way around-the tv or movie is so different from the book that I don't like it.


message 34: by Marinda (new)

Marinda (marindak) | 39 comments Danette wrote: "My mystery reading enjoyment is really tied to the characters too. I was disappointed when I picked up the first in the Temperance Brennan series because I love the television series Bones and foun..."
I read a Bones book too after enjoying the tv show. The book was a huge let down. I threw it away after reading it!


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