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Mysteries H, J, K

I’m doing something new: I’m listening to an audio book. And it’s working just the way I wanted it to.

The CD player in my beloved old car broke a few years ago and I don’t like wearing earbuds, so while I’ve been tempted to download audio books to my iPhone, I knew I wouldn’t bother to listen. Then, viola!, a new car with a CD player that works. I am going to listen to all those YA novels that sound so good (from their reviews), but then bore me to tears or kill me with angst when I try to read them. And so far, it’s working. I’m listening to Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, and it’s not bad. The downside is that my commute is less than 15 minutes one way so I’ve been listening to this book for more than a week. I could have probably read it in one night. But I feel good: I’m saving my reading time for books I really want to read and using my car time to keep up with YA books.

Now, back to grown-up mysteries.

14. Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah’s books will not be for everyone. Her mysteries combine police procedurals with domestic/psychological thrillers. To that end, the chapters alternate between the detectives and a protagonist of some sort (a victim, a killer, someone accused). I really like one of the detectives – Charlie Zailer – but Charlie doesn’t get much page time and lately she has become too caustic. Still, I can’t help but gobble up these books. In England, Hannah is often compared to Tana French (But I think French is on a whole ‘nother level). Note Hannah’s books are re-titled for the American market, so you must be careful or you may find yourself reading the same book twice (it's only happened to me once so far). Start with Little Face. (England.)

15. Mo Hayder
I really enjoy Mo Hayder’s DI Jack Caffery books, though I did not begin with the first. I started with the third (it may have been the first one published in the U.S.) and may or may not I go back and read the others, because it’s in the third that Caffery starts to team up, sort of, with police diver Flea Marley. And I really like her. I’m curious about how Hayder will keep involving Flea in plots because you don’t always need divers, but so far, so good. If you want to start at the beginning, read Birdman. If you want to start with Caffery after he’s transferred to Bristol, go with Ritual. Hayder has several non-Caffery books – don’t let those confuse you. (England.)

16. Tony Hillerman
Once upon a time, I read nearly all of Tony Hillerman’s books. But then I stopped along the way and I don’t know how to fix that. The completist in me cannot just jump in again. I would have to start from the beginning and figure out what I read and what I didn’t read and the correct order and I don’t have it in me. There are only 18 of them -- maybe it’ll be a retirement project. (Arizona and New Mexico.)

17. P.D. James
I’m listing P.D. James here only because I WANT to read her mysteries. It’s a place-holder

18. Jonathan Kellerman
Once upon a time, I read Jonathan Kellerman’s books featuring psychologist Alex Delaware. But the formula got tired and every book involves pedophiles and/or dead children and I just couldn’t take that anymore. Obviously, that’s Delaware’s business, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it or read it.

19. Lars Kepler
Lars Kepler is the pen name of a Swedish husband and wife (Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril) writing team. I didn’t love the first book – The Hypnotist. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what I was reading. But I liked it enough to want to read the next two, and the pair have gotten better. The third and latest book was quite good. The lead detective in the books is a hard-boiled Finn who likes to break all the rules. The Ahndorils may be saying something about Swedes and Finns that I don’t understand, but it doesn’t matter. Start with The Hypnotist and then tell me what it was about. (Sweden)


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