Peter is one of my favorite people! I had a lovely lunch with him one summer discussing his career as a journalist and newspaper editor in times before he became an author. In Colin Crampton and his girlfriend Shirley, Peter has created funny, quirky characters that make me smile even as I write this. Set in the Swinging Sixties in Brighton, England, the Crampton of the Chronicle mysteries are superbly written, fast-paced (never a dull moment!) and full of twists and turns.
Hsin-Yi went to university in England and you can certainly tell from her vivid descriptions of the Oxford environment and the people who inhabit it. The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries are fun, light cozies as are her other two series, the English Cottage Garden and the Bewitched By Chocolate mystery series. They are a perfect way to while away a sunny, or not so sunny afternoon.
I'm a bit late to the party with Ann Cleeves. After running out of new books from my favorites I turned to Raven Black and was so excited to add another author to my list! I've been reading the Shetland series, featuring the incongruously named Jimmy Perez, but now that I've seen the TV series, Vera – with another of my favorites, Brenda Blethyn – I'm keen to read that, too.
Again, I have read all of Deborah Crombie‘s work. She does a great job of setting her books in London (she's from Texas) and captures the city perfectly. Now that Duncan and Gemma are settled, I'm enjoying the development of Gemma's sergeant, Melody.
I first read Elizabeth George twenty years ago. Her earlier books are excellent (and a lot shorter than the more recent ones!) Sergeant Havers is always interesting and I keep reading to follow her adventures – and to see if she will ever sort her life out.
Although as I write this, only four books have been released from this series, I am enjoying it immensely. Being around the same age as J.K. Rowling (Robert Galbraith), I totally “get” her cultural references. This makes me feel like part of a certain (not always so cool) club. Again, the sidekick, in this case Robin, is my favorite character probably because my younger self identifies with her. I buy Rowling/Galbraith for long haul flights. Her storytelling is strong enough for me to keep the pages turning, ameliorating the tediousness of those otherwise interminable hours.
I stumbled upon Barry Maitland by accident many years ago. Gotta love those “Also Bought” lists on Amazon. I enjoy the older man/younger woman tag team of Brock and Kolla although he needs to do something with Kathy's personal life!
Nigel McCrery‘s books featuring DCI Lapslie are eye-watering and not for the faint of heart. I was taken by surprise by the first one and while I don't usually read anything gruesome or shocking, his characters are fascinating psychological studies and very innovative. It is a pity he has written so few in this series. They are all excellent. Still Waters is one of my all-time favorite books.