Beginner's Guide to Mystery Series

By Andrew Hazard

Because when you've found a favorite detective, just one book is never enough.

  • Indemnity Only

    1991 by Paretsky, Sara

    V.I. Warshawski Series. "Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean..." 40 years and 21 books ago, it was shocking to think that the "man" in Raymond Chandler's famous description might just as easily be a woman. Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski and her creator both have a deep love for Chicago that's obvious even as they continuously shine a harsh light on its gravest injustices. --Andrew

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  • A Study in Scarlet Women

    2016 by Thomas, Sherry

    Lady Sherlock Series. Charlotte Holmes refuses to see herself as an outcast, even if "polite" society does. Thomas reimagines characters like Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, frankly assesses the inequities of the time period, and develops a slow-burn romance. I love her great and subtle writing, especially when it's read by Kate Redding in the audiobooks. --Amber H.

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  • The Unquiet Dead

    2015 by Khan, Ausma Zehanat

    Khattack and Getty Series. A wonderfully complex mystery series featuring Toronto inspector Esa Khattack and his partner, detective Rachel Getty, as they solve crimes connected to modern-day issues such as racism, religious intolerance, and the dangers refugees face. --Rummanah

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  • Crocodile on the Sandbank

    2013 by Peters, Elizabeth

    Amelia Peabody Series. Elizabeth Peters is my all-time favorite mystery author. I read Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first in the series, the summer before I left for college. I fell in love with Peabody, Emerson, and the extended cast of characters. I loved the information on ancient Egypt, the turn of the century archeological practices, and Emerson and Peabody's witty and charming relationship. I loved the mysteries, but I loved all the world-building around the mysteries, too. --Lynnanne

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  • Arsenic and Adobo

    2021 by Manansala, Mia P.

    Tita Rosie's Kitchen Series. The first book in this series, Arsenic and Adobo was recommended by one of our advisory staff. We appreciate the well-developed characters and their relationships, as well as the Filipino culture and food references. The main character's pet dachshund, Longganisa, is also quite special. --Lorrie and Rummanah

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  • Gorky Park

    1981 by Smith, Martin Cruz

    Arkady Renko Series. In 1981, Smith handed Moscow homicide investigator Arkady Renko a case even the KGB seemed wary of and invented a new sub-subgenre: "totalitarian noir." Many excellent writers have since picked up the baton, but Renko (who unlike many long-running series detectives appears to age in something close to real time) remains the gold standard, whether it's Brezhnev in power or Putin. --Andrew

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  • A Curious Beginning

    2015 by Raybourn, Deanna

    Veronica Speedwell Series. I really enjoy this Victorian historical series with an unconventional female amateur sleuth. The writing style is amusing and witty and I really like how it subverts historical conventions of the time. --Rummanah

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  • Dissolution

    2003 by Sansom, C. J.

    Matthew Shardlake Series. I’d read Sansom’s mysteries just for the company of the much put-upon lawyer Matthew Shardlake, who can’t seem to stay away from the dangers of the Tudor court. Sansom keeps the pages of his long books turning with a thrilling blend of political intrigue and clever detective work. --Steven

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  • A Rising Man

    2017 by Mukherjee, Abir

    Wyndham and Banerjee Series. Whether it's the centennial or something else, 1920's India is definitely having a moment right now, mystery-wise. It's a pretty strong field, but I'm partial to Mukherjee's novels about Sam Wyndham and Surendranath "Suren" Banerjee, a couple of "good" (definition very much in flux) coppers in a system fast losing whatever legitimacy it possessed. You can feel the ground shifting beneath their feet. --Andrew

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  • The Thursday Murder Club

    2020 by Osman, Richard

    Thursday Murder Club Series. Historically, I’ve read a lot of cozy mysteries. I’ve recently really loved this series. It’s just a delightful and heartfelt series with some great mysteries. What sets this series apart for me is the strong relationships between not just the core four friends but among all the ancillary characters. --Lynnanne

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  • Suburban Dicks

    2021 by Nicieza, Fabian

    Suburban Dicks Series. From the cocreator of Deadpool comes a mystery that has the same energy and humor as the comics. Andrea stumbles on a murder scene while trying to find a bathroom for her kid. She had given up her hopes of becoming an FBI profiler when she became a mom, but she can't quite give up on the dream, and this is the perfect opportunity to be pulled back in. This series is very funny, but doesn't shy away from social commentary and serious topics as well. --Becca

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  • Truly Devious

    2018 by Johnson, Maureen

    Truly Devious Series. This is my favorite mystery series of the past five years. Stevie Bell is accepted to Ellingham Academy to solve a 100-year-old cold case and stumbles upon a modern murder while she's investigating. These books are so great and so very popular that while Johnson had only planned on a trilogy, she's so far written five books with Stevie as the protagonist. --Becca

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