Thursday, February 07, 2008
1. John Patterson. This is no surprise to any mystery lover. I would guess that he holds the distinction of being the most loved/read mystery writer of our times. I usually read books after they make it into the used paperback book stores, so I haven't read the two that are on the best seller lists right now. His books usually feature Alex Cross, a psychologist who works with the police. Two of the best ones of his that I have read recently are: Cross and Judge and Jury. I am waiting for 6th Target and Double Cross.
2. Mariah Stewart. She writes series of books. She had the "Dead" series: Dead Certain, Dead Wrong, etc. She wrote the "Truth" series: Hard Truth, Cold Truth, etc. She is currently writing the "Last" series: Last Words and Last Look, which is on the best-seller list now. I thoroughly enjoyed the unusual premise of Last Words. I am looking forward to reading Last Look.
3. Harlan Coben. This author's books vary immensely. Several I have really enjoyed; others seem pretty mediocre. I enjoy the ones with the sports agent, Myron Bolitar, as the main character. Deal Breaker and Promise Me were very interesting. Sometimes Coben allows crudity of language to become distracting and detrimental. It was minimal in these novels. I just finished The Innocent today. I am waiting to read The Woods, published in 2007.
4. Iris Johanssen. Ms Johannsen's novels usually feature a forensic sculptor, Eve Duncan. The best one I have read recently is On the Run. I am waiting for Stalemate, published in 2007.
5. Lisa Gardner. many of her books are similarly titled - "The" followed by an adjective and noun: The Perfect Husband, The Killing Hour, The Other Daughter, etc. My favorite so far is The Killing Hour. I am waiting for Hide.
6. Mary Higgins Clark. Everybody knows MHC. The most recent one I have read is I Heard That Song Before.
7. Janet Evanovich. I should have listed this one first. JE writes light mystery containing lots of humor along with the mystery. Her main characters feel like friends - Stephanie Plum, her protagonist, is a bond enforcement officer with two boyfriends, Joe Marino and Ranger. Her family and friends figure into the stories to the point that the reader comes to know Lula, Grandma Mazur and others. I buy these new if need be in order to read them ASAP. Janet Evanovich also has written some romances which pale by comparison to the Stephanie Plum books. I also thought that her two most recent ones, Plum Lovin' and Plum Lucky were sub-par. Her numbered series, One for the Money, Two for the Dough, Three to Get Deadly, etc. are by far the best. Number 13, Lean Mean Thirteen, is her most current of the series.
8. Tami Hoag. She is also inconsistent. Sometimes her books are great; other times just so-so. Dust to Dust was good.
9. Lisa Scottoline. I discovered this author late. I enjoyed Daddy's Girl, Devil's Corner, and Dirty Blond. Her most recent, Courting Trouble, was not as good as her usual. Her mysteries are based on law and court proceedings.
10. Jonathan Kellerman. I get tired of his books if I read too many too close together. The ones he writes with his wife, Faye, have not been as interesting to me.
11. Linda Fairstein. Good general mysteries. The Kills was one of her best.
12. Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb. She is a longstanding author who has written numerous books under each of these names. She also writes romances. I didn't care for the MacGregor series at all; but I liked several of her other efforts.
13. Robert Tannenbaum. I got hooked on Tannenbaum when I read one with amazing vocabulary. Later reads seemed altogether different.
There are so many others: Ed McBain, John Sandford, Brad Meltzer, Nevada Barr, Dean Koontz, Greg Iles, John Grisham, Sue Grafton, Nelson DeMille, and Rose Conners, to name a few.