I get asked all the time for book recommendations. I completely understand the fascination; I’m always looking for something good to read as well. In fact, if I don’t already have a few titles lined up to read, I get nervous about finishing my current favorite. This post will be constantly evolving as I discover new great books, so please check here once a month or so. I do tend to favor a few genres, notably mysteries about forensic anthropologists, British police procedurals, paranormal/fantasy, and cozy mysteries. I tend to prefer series instead of stand alone books, because it really allows the reader to get to know the characters. This list is definitely incomplete-I will have to sit down and add the hundred or so titles that I love!
All individual links for books in a series will take you to the 1st book in the series*.
PARANORMAL BOOKS (this includes books involving time travel, witches, vampires, and other interesting creatures):
- The Outlander Series-Diana Gabaldon
- Favorite series of all time. Time-travel, historic Scotland, romance, it has it all!
- The Rook-Daniel O’Malley
- All Souls Trilogy-Deborah Harkness
- Riley Jensen series-Keri Arthur
- Beaufort & Company mystery series-Mary Stanton
- While this is a mystery series, the majority of the main characters are not human.
- Argeneau Vampire series-Lynsay Sands
- The Hollows series-Kim Harrison
- Nathaniel Cade/President’s Vampire series-Christopher Farnsworth
- If you want a different take on conspiracy theories with a paranormal explanation, this is the series for you!
- Mercy Thompson series-Patricia Briggs
- Women of the Otherworld-Kelley Armstrong
- Cainsville Series-Kelley Armstrong
- A woman in the suburbs of Chicago finds out she’s not who she thinks she is, and takes refuge in a town that isn’t what it seems
- Strange Practice-VIvian Shaw
- The main character is a physician to all the paranormal creatures that live in London.
“COZY” MYSTERIES (typically set in small towns, featuring a female lead, and downplays sex/violence):
- Aunt Dimity series-Nancy Atherton
- This one can also fall under paranormal, as the 2nd female lead is played by a ghost!
- Mrs. Murphy series-Rita Mae Brown
- Jane Arnold series-Rita Mae Brown
- Mags & Baxter series-Rita Mae Brown
- Goldy Bear Culinary mysteries-Diane Mott Davidson
- Knitting Mystery series-Maggie Sefton
- Home Repair is Homicide series-Sarah Graves
- Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series-Donna Ball
- A dog kennel/dog trainer also does Search & Rescue in the Smoky Mountains with her Golden Retriever
GENERAL MYSTERIES (mostly police procedurals):
- Deborah Knott series-Margaret Maron
- Set in rural North Carolina, it also gives a nice insight into living in the South
- Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Series-Deborah Crombie
- Set in and around London, the relationship between the two main characters is so well done
- Chief Inspector Gamache series-Louise Penny
- Set in Montreal and in a small village in rural Quebec, this started my fascination with French
- Casey Duncan series-Kelley Armstrong
- Set in a Northern Canadian town in the Yukon that technically doesn’t exist
- Come Sundown-Nora Roberts
- Set on a ranch in Montana, a serial killer is on the loose
- Diane Fallon Forensic Investigations-Beverly Connor
- Gideon Oliver series-Aaron Elkins
- This series can also double as a travel series, as each novel is set in a different country.
- Body Farm series-Jefferson Bass
- Temperance Brennan series-Kathy Reichs
- The Bride Quartet series-Nora Roberts
- 4 book series, each book’s main character is a different partner in a wedding planning business/venue
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