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Mystery Writers N through R



I plan to wrap up my tour of favorite mystery writers in two posts. I was updating all sorts of lists this morning and did some counting … I try to keep track of more than 25 mystery writers. No wonder I’m so distracted. But it helps in the library. I have a patron who, though an adult, comes to me when he wants to put an entire series on hold. Yes, I have worked to, say, put all of Tony Hillerman’s books on hold for Mr. J.—all 18 books, but as he requests, not the ones we have here in this library, not the ones he’s read, and not all at once. And I've never once hidden when he’s come into the library. 

24. Jo Nesbo
Quite possibly my favorite of the Nordic Noir set, unless I think too long about how Harry is when he’s drunk. Then I get sad and say the Carl Morck series from Jussi Adler-Olsen is my favorite. I recommend this series to everyone in the universe and while I had to start in the middle with The Devil’s Star (first one translated and published in the States?), you can now read them in the correct order. Start with The Bat and find out how anti-hero Harry developed his reputation. These books are best sellers in every country, it seems, and Nesbo is being asked to rewrite MacBeth (does it need to be rewritten?). NB: His latest novel, The Son, is not in the Harry Hole series and is more political, so I won’t be reading it. Nor have I read Headhunters (published in 2011), also not part of the series. Plus, it’s fun to point out to parents that Nesbo writes a series of books for children – I’ll give them a copy of Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder, then say he writes dark and sometimes brutal mysteries for adults. (Oslo)

25. Nick Oldham
Nick is on my list and I have no idea if I’ve ever read any of his books. 

26. Louise Penny
On my list based on recommendations of two old friends, but I’m not sure if I’ll get to them in this lifetime. I read The Beautiful Mystery (book #8) and I was bothered a bit by the cerebral nature of the books. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache spends much time musing. It may have been the setting, though: a murder at a monastery. Plus, I figured out the weapon and the culprit too soon. I’ll probably try the first in the series, Still Life, before I decide to commit. (Quebec)

27. Ian Rankin
If Harry Hole is my favorite (or second favorite) Nordic crime-solver, Ian Rankin’s John Rebus is my favorite, period. I follow Ian Rankin on Twitter. I purchase books about Scotland. I long to go to Edinburgh. I have even been known to ask people at odd times, how do you pronounce Edinburgh? And I stayed up late to watch the Craig Ferguson show when Rankin was on just to watch two Scots talking to one another. Sure, John Rebus is another alcoholic, anti-establishment cop. But he’s a good one. Down deep, he really cares. I could never tell you the plots or the bad guys or whodunit. I read them for Rebus (and for Siobhan, another police officer who finds herself entangled in Rebus’s crazy ideas time and again). I can say, though, that the novels have gotten better and better over the years. Start with Knots and Crosses and keep going. Rankin retired Rebus a few years ago, in the 17th book of the series, and has written other things, including a series about another cop in Edinburgh. But Rebus is back, sort of out of retirement. And that’s a great thing. (Scotland)

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