A Few of My Favorite Books--Mystery Edition
Books make my world go round. At any given time, I have a nonfiction book selection that I read during the day, as well as a fiction option for bedtime. While my pace has slowed down a bit since beginning the podcast and my coaching practice, I still read every day. And I still feel excited for any time I have to sit and get lost in a bookFir.
So it only feels natural that I share some of my favorite reads here. Are you in? I am hoping to make this a regular series that will be titled, “A Few of My Favorite Books.” I intend to break it up by genre to make it easier for you to find what you are interested in.
First up? Mysteries.I love a well-written mystery. My favorite mysteries always have a psychological component, strong character development, and a plot that naturally drives the plot forward. While I have read Girl on a Train, Gone Girl, and The Woman in Cabin 10 (and enjoyed them), my top five mystery recommends will offer a bit more than just a riveting plot line.
The Inspector Armand Gamache Series by Louise Penny. It took me a couple of books to truly feel propelled forward but this journey is well worth the wait. Each book builds on the previous one. The character development is strong. The plots kept me engaged. Not to mention, I fell hard for the town of Three Pines (the place in the novel) and if you ask me now, it is as real to me as many of the places I dream about. I dare any reader not to fall hard for Armand Gamache, the Chief Inspector of Surete de Quebec. A deeper plot line develops beneath the surface of each novel that deepens the character of Inspector Gamache while also providing a mystery behind the mystery. Absolutely brilliant!
The Maisie Dobbs Series by Jacqueline Winspear. With fourteen books in all, this series should keep you busy for a while! You are so welcome! Set in post WWI London, Maisie Dobbs begins the narrative as a nurse. Eventually, Maisie emerges as a psychologist and investigator that forges her own path as woman at a time when marriage and children were the calling of choice. I so appreciate a strong female protagonist! Maisie Dobbs books have a strong historical backdrop to the narratives. These books also build on each other. I found this series to be insightful, engaging, and psychologically driven.
Kate Morton books. While Kate Morton does not write in a series format, I do find her books have common elements. Morton’s mysteries almost always involve a secret of some kind that a character is holding—and that secret drives the plot forward in significant ways. Her characters are well developed. The novel’s settings are always like entering into another world. They live and breathe much like her characters do. I always feel like I am able to transport fully to another place and time with Morton’s fine writing. She does jump back and forth in time a bit—and even from character to character with point of view. This writing technique is one that is used by many current mystery writers but does not appeal to all. Something to consider.
Agatha Christie mysteries, particularly the Hercule Poirot series (Note—I have heard great things about the Miss Marple series but have yet to read them for myself). There is a reason that Agatha Christie’s books are considered classics. She is arguably one of the best selling authors of all time. She writes masterfully. As fall and winter settle in each year, I always return to Agatha Christie books to match my mood. She is a sure thing. Enough said.
The Amory Ames mystery series by Ashley Weaver. Here is a relatively new author for you all. Ashley Weaver has completed four books so far. I enjoy how accessible the books are. Weaver is adept at creating plots that allow for character development, thoroughly engaging plot lines, and well-developed settings. While Amory Ames is a character that clearly enjoys a life of privilege, she is not protected from her own bit of suffering. I thoroughly enjoyed these books!