Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Reading: Women of Mystery

Summer is the perfect time to spend some time vacationing or just relaxing. Sit in the sun, lie on a chaise poolside, rest by the ocean or a lake, or under the shade of a tree, sip a cool drink, and read a book—hard cover, soft cover or digital.

Mysteries remain one of the most popular genres for summer reading. Why? Because they entertain us. They also engage our intellect in a satisfying manner. Of the most popular women mystery writers, few are young. Each has a popular mystery series. Who are some of these women writers of mystery fiction?

Janet Evanovich
Tess, Gerritsen
Louise Penny
Sue Grafton
Sara Paretsky (I just finished FALLOUT and it’s a winner!)
and the Queen of Suspense herself—Mary Higgins Clark

Lots of good summer reading on the bestseller list as well.
For instance, Paula Hawkins has a new thriller INTO THE WATER.I recently read Joanne Fluke’s BANANA CREAM PIE MURDER, #21 in her Hannah Swensen series and still going strong. I’m looking forward to the next one. The book on my nightstand I just finished reading is Molly MacRae’s PLAID AND PLAGIARISM. Molly used to be a fellow Five Star/Cengage author. So I was particularly delighted to read another of her fine novels.

But what about some of the excellent women authors that write for small independent presses and provide us with quality mystery series but don’t get as much publicity because they are not with the big publishers?

I recommend Patricia Gligor’s Malone series; her latest novel
MARNIE MALONE is a perfect summer read for those who enjoy mystery thrillers. Check it out on Amazon. I also recommend my latest novel THE INHERITANCE, a romantic mystery thriller, as well as the 4th in my Kim Reynolds librarian sleuth series THE BAD WIFE.

If you’re in the mood for Southern gothic romantic mystery thrillers, I recommend two--Susan Coryell’s BENEATH THE STONES and my own novel DARK MOON RISING. Both can also be checked out for reviews on Amazon.

Some other women mystery writers I recommend because I’ve read and enjoyed their mystery series novels are: Nancy J. Cohen (Bad Hair Day Series), Alice Duncan (Spirits cozy mysteries), Susan Oleksiw (mysteries set in exotic India) and Maggie Toussaint who has several series and displays a fine sense of humor.

There are many other fine women mystery writers who can be added to this list. As a reader and/or writer are there any authors and/or books you would like to recommend for summer reading? Please share!




25 comments:

  1. Love your list, Jacqueline! Found quite a few of my favorites on there. As for my favorites, I love have too many to list. Right now I'm in a nostalgic mood and am reading my way through Mary Roberts Rinehart. Her stories are definitely of their time (WWI era) but so beautifully written with such distinct characters and incredible plots! I wish I were half as good a plotter as she. My own work right now is in the romance field (it's where the contracts were) but I hope soon to get back and finish the first of my Rachel Petrie mystery series - A Killing at Tara Two. If the word gods are with me, it should be out at the end of the year. Then I'll do the next book in the Flora Melkiot series. Romance is fine, romance is where I started several aeons ago, but I do so miss killing people! Susan, aka Janis

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  2. Hi Susan,

    There's nothing wrong with combining romance and mystery. It's not easy balancing the two genres, but they do work well together. I tend to do that. My Kim Reynolds series, for instance, is as much romance as mystery.

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    1. Most of my romances have some mystery in them - not much, though - but my mysteries have very little if any romance. Don't know why - just works out that way. Susan, aka Janis

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  3. Jacquie,
    You certainly started my week off with a big smile. Thank you so much for recommending my Malone mystery series!
    Like you, I'm a voracious reader. There are so many fantastic books out there, which includes yours. But, to save space, I'll only mention the book I finished reading last night, "Among the Wicked" by Linda Castillo. It truly is a real page turner!

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    1. I haven't read that one, but I'll look for it. Thanks for the recommendation, Patricia.

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  4. Hi, Jacquie :) I'm perusing your list of books and authors and taking down titles and names :) Of course, two of yours listed on here are on my TBR list. What a delightful smörgåsbord of summer reading. Heck there's enough on here to carry me through winter! Fantastic! Ok, back on topic. One book I recently finished is Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. The whole thing was gripping. Especially for anyone familiar with the dynamics of involvement with a sociopath who's very skilled at hiding their performance. The author delivered the interior thoughts of the female protagonist with such clarity that the reader was caught in this with her. On a different note, I downloaded Big Little Lies and read it too. Even though it's laced with all the nuances of female camaraderie and laughter, and can't truly be deemed an out and out mystery, there's enough angst in there to hold your eyes glued to the page. Again, I loved your list of recommendations, so I'm taking note for those I haven't already read. But, I think I'll pull from my TBR list and read one of yours first. It's been awhile since I've drifted to your corner and I'm ready to pay you a visit :) Ooops, I almost forgot, I'm writing cozies at the moment. The latest, The Verandah (Southern Breezes series) is set down Galveston way, like the one before it, Christmas on the Strand. Perfect! Come join me on the beach for a beach read! :) Lo

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    1. Hi Lo, (Yeah, kind of a play on words)

      Thanks for mentioning a writer new to me that you recommend. Also, I enjoy reading your books as well.

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  5. Jacquie, what a delight to read your post and find my Anita Ray (India) books included! This summer I've been reading short stories, trying to get through the backlog of AHMM and anthologies I've collected over the last few months and only dipped into. Reading short stories always leads me back to another Conan Doyle story, and then on to Poe. I seem to circle around. But it's summer and sitting on the porch to read is pure heaven. Hope your summer reading time is equally satisfying.

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    1. Hi Susan,

      I am doing a lot of reading this summer, but then I read all year round. I enjoy short stories as well. I was really pleased that Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine published a number of my short stories, a novella, and some nonfiction as well. I love writing mystery fiction and wish there were more publications interested in them.

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  6. Sounds like a great list, Jacquie!
    Hope you're having a blessed summer!
    PamT

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  7. Thank you, Pamela! Hope you are enjoying your summer travels.

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  8. Wonderful list! I was happy to see Patricia Gligor on there, as her Malone Mysteries are wonderful. I'm enjoying a book by Ritter Ames right now--Marked Masters. I hope you're having a wonderful and bookish summer!

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    1. Amy,

      Thanks for commenting. We agree about Pat Gligor's mysteries. Glad you added a new author to our growing list.

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  9. I'm happy that you added Patricia Gligor to your list, too. Love her series! Right now I'm reading a Paige Shelton book and thoroughly enjoying it. Great post!

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    1. Thank you, Marja. Our list continues to grow. More good writers getting publicity. So great!

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  10. Hi Jacquie. I think almost all of your recommendations are some of my favorites as well, including you! I've also discovered some new humorous cozy authors: Zara Keane, Morgan Talbot, Wendy Delaney and Heather Haven. Nothing better than a LOL mystery.

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  11. Thanks, Cindy. I think we all appreciate humor in mystery fiction. Very entertaining!

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  12. While women writers have a pretty nice lock on the cozy sub-genre and crime-romance mix (isn't it true that romance IS mystery?? joking), they're present in the edgier fringe of crime/mystery/thriller fiction too. Here are 3 recent ones: The spectacular new thriller by Gin Phillips, Fierce Kingdom, about the power of a mother's love; the fine literary crime/coming-of-age novel by Hannah Tinti, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley; and Lola, by Melissa Scrivner Love about the female head of a 4-person Los Angeles barrio gang. Write on!

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  13. I just featured Margaret Mizushima and her Timber Creek K-9 mystery series on my blog. Book #3 Hunting Hour will release next month. Excellent series. http://patriciastolteybooks.com/2017/07/margaret-mizushima-and-her-timber-creek-k-9-mystery-series/

    My newest release, Wishing Caswell Dead, won't be out until December -- it's a historical mystery to be published by Five Star's Frontier Fiction. I'll be telling more about that one soon.

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    1. Hi Patricia,

      I'm excited to read about your latest for Five Star! Congrats and please let us publicize on Author Expressions at the appropriate release date.

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  14. Nice blog and thanks for the plug for my Southern Gothic/cozy mystery BENEATH TH STONES. I admire your ability to cross genres with your awesome books!

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    1. Hi Susan,

      I very much enjoy your Gothic mystery series--as you know.

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  15. There are so many---here are just a few: Marcia Muller (an long time favorite), Heather Weidner, Susan Wittig Albert, Amy Reade, and, I can't resist---me!

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  16. Thank you, Maggie, for great suggestions!

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