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Monday, July 20, 2015

Too Many Mystery Series? Never!

Posted by Cary H.
I grew up reading mysteries.  Like many other readers who have been caught the mystery bug, when I find a good series I’m thrilled to have so much reading to look forward to!  From my first set of Nancy Drew books when I was twelve, to my current reading habits today, I am always on the lookout for a new series.

What I find interesting is the way in which serendipity plays a role in our discovery of new books to read.  One of my absolute favorites – The “Prey” series by John Sandford – has been on the best-selling lists for years, with the twenty-fifth installment (entitled Gathering Prey) published in 2015, but I just discovered it.  New to me!  I can’t explain why it took me so long to give this sensational series, starring Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport, a try.  Possibly, my love of British mysteries and the wealth of wonderful choices of series with settings across the pond (Richard Jury series – Grimes / Reginald Wexford series – Rendell / Jack Frost series – Wingfield / Dalziel & Pascoe series – Hill / Jordan & Hill series – McDermid / Inspector Morse series – Dexter, etc.), kept me busy until now.  Not to mention years spent reading Agatha Christie over and over.  John Sandford’s Prey series is very well written, and he manages to evolve the characters over time so that you really feel like you understand their lives and backstories without this information getting in the way of the story.  Lucas Davenport is a wonderful fictional character and this series is really worth the time.  I prefer the audio version because the narrator, Richard Ferrone, is spot on.   

Speaking of wonderful British mysteries, I am delighted by the various new British mystery series out on DVD for American audiences.  If you’re already hooked on DVD series like Midsomer Murders and Inspector Lewis, you may be ready to give these newer choices a try:

Broadchurch – Each episode of the first season works toward solving the mystery of the death of a young boy in the town of Broadchurch.  Lots of suspects and twists and turns.  Great acting by two main characters (one being David Tennant of Dr. Who fame).

Luther – Not as new, but definitely a wonderfully-well done series starring Idris Elba as the handsome, intense detective with a passion for life and his job.

Grantchester – Totally different feel to this series, with a 1950s Anglican vicar as the main character.

New Tricks – Very popular, long-running series with all new characters.  I am happy to say I still like this series and have followed the new characters on an enjoyable ride.

We don’t carry every British crime drama DVD set at the library for space and availability reasons, but if you’d like a really good comprehensive list, check this out:

1 comment:

  1. Where is "Ripper Street"? Great BBC series about crime-solving policemen in the notorious Whitechapel section of London at the time of Jack the Ripper. Lots of neat historic stuff no one ever thinks of - like how the British army's decorated heroes were totally shafted by the government after they retired. Great writing and acting. Just filmed its third season.