Let’s talk books today.  I read…a lot.  I mostly read mysteries and thrillers with a few other genres thrown in.  There are lots of authors I really like, but I especially appreciate an author who writes a series with characters I love.  I go back to those books time and times again.  I read and I re-read.  Don’t you?  Comfort reading at its finest.  Here’s what I re-read (often and in no particular order) and a cup of tea to sip while you’re reading.

Right now I’m re-reading Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell books.  I approached the initial book, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, with more than a bit of hesitationSELRES_bfd17c78-8420-4014-b84e-11631e8931c8SELRES_b0497824-92d4-4b50-8ea7-5c30cac5fec7SELRES_c2c2b604-7390-4598-be0f-a8a70bb988f6SELRES_5ad00ac5-3a04-42b9-812f-e23f959f2eb4SELRES_5ad00ac5-3a04-42b9-812f-e23f959f2eb4SELRES_c2c2b604-7390-4598-be0f-a8a70bb988f6SELRES_b0497824-92d4-4b50-8ea7-5c30cac5fec7SELRES_bfd17c78-8420-4014-b84e-11631e8931c8An aging Holmes and a young American???  But the book sucked in both me and my husband and we haven’t stopped reading since.  We also got to meet the author at our local independent bookstore, making it even more fun.

Deborah Crombie writes about policing in modern day London in her series featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James.  These are people with real people (and real police) problems, people I’d enjoy knowing in real life.   They are son/daughter/parents dealing with crimes of all sizes and colors.  Come and meet them.  There are 17 books, so you can enjoy them for some time.  Start with A Share in Death and go in order.  You’ll be glad you did.

Another of the Jungle Red writers is a favorite: Julia Spencer-Fleming with her Rev. Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series. In the Bleak Midwinter is the first in the series and takes place in upstate New York. A former army helicopter pilot, Clare is the first female priest in Millers Kill Episcopal church and Russ is the (married) sheriff. Where will all this go? You’ll have to pick up the book and find out for yourself.

I love history, have always been interested in archeology, and enjoy humor.  So Elizabeth Peter’s books about Amelia Peabody and her Egyptologist husband are right up my (and my husband’s) alley.  Peters also wrote as romances as Barbara Michaels and several non-fiction books about ancient Egypt under her own name of Barbara Mertz.  Start with A Crocodile on the Sandbank and get ready to laugh out loud.

Arizona is the location for J. A. Jance‘s Joanna Brady series. Jance has two other series that I enjoy, but the one about Brady is my favorite. Joanna is a mother and wife as the series starts, wife of Andy Brady, who runs for Sheriff but is killed before the election. After his death, he’s accused of being dirty and to clear his name, Joanna runs for the office. Once elected, she faces resistance from both inside her department and from outside.

I do have a few more series I enjoy enough to keep coming back to again and again. But these will do for a start. Do you have a series you like enough to re-read…or to recommend? If so, please let us know or, if you’ve enjoyed any of these, let me know. Now back to my book…

  1. I love series too… and I like deborah crombie… I actually read Garden of Lamentation… but I sadly have not enough time to read, because there is someone who starts a lamentation when he has to bear 5 minutes without attention ;O)))

  2. Su Leslie says:

    We have very similar taste in books it seems Janet. I also like Ann Cleeves; especially the Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez series’. I’m also an Ian Rankin fan from way back.

    • I read both of them, too, Su. Netflx here did “Shetland”, based on the Jimmy Perez books. It’s not bad and the scenery is beautiful, but it takes me half the show to get used to the accent and the actor who plays Jimmy is light-haired and not at all Spanish-looking. He does a good job, though.

      • Su Leslie says:

        I’ve watched the ‘Shetland’ series and also the Vera Series, with. Brenda Blethyn as Vera. Both very good, and I don’t need a translator with the accents. I actually find the Shetland accents very tame compared to some of my relatives (especially when they’ve had a dram or two) 😀

      • Ha! Vera isn’t on Netflx, but one of these days, I’ll get it from the library.

      • Su Leslie says:

        It is intermittently broadcast on one of the TV stations here, but these days I don’t even remember to check the schedule; there is so little on that I’d want to watch.

  3. HI J. I have never re-read any book in my life. It’s a mystery to me how people can motivate themselves to do so. Motivate is obviously not the correct word in their case as they obviously love to do so – but it is for me. I have never had the motivation to read something that is already fully within my knowledge.

    • I think for me it’s more like being with old friends. I read so many books, and some mysteries and thrillers get rather gory or deal with unpleasant people/subjects so every so often, I need to relax and clean out my head. But whether a person re-reads or not, just read!!

      Hope your week’s off to a great start.


  4. Marian Allen says:

    Amelia Peabody — YES! I sort of … petered out (ba-dum-bum-CHING) after Rameses started to grow up, but I love the early books in the series. I like her Jacqueline Kirby and Vicky Bliss series (serieses? serii?), too. I love Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael mysteries, and Martha Grimes’ Richard Jury series. And Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion series. And Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series….

    • I’ve read most of those you mention, Marian, except for the Kirby and Bliss. Tried one and just couldn’t get into it. Maybe I’ll give them another try. I was so sad that Peter’s passed away. No more Amelia and Emerson. Such a loss!! I often laugh out loud when reading those books and yes, I got your pun, you rascal.


    • joey says:

      YES! Amelia Peabody. Marian and I actually discovered our shared affection for those books when we met 🙂 That’s the only thing on this list I’ve been a fan of. Got my mother into Ms Peabody as well. I agree, I preferred the earlier books.
      Love to re-read, although only about ten books I consistently go back to.

  5. darmay says:

    I read mostly Fantasy books, but sometimes I get the urge read historical books usually mystery ones. I love CJ Sansom’s Shardrake series and few others ones. Yes I re read all my favorites, catching a few tidbits of words here and there. that seems small but towards the end, makes the ending all more realistic in finishing the book

    • My husband and younger daughter are fantasy/sci-fi readers; me, not so much. I read a lot of historical mysteries for many years but have for some reason gotten away from them. May have to get going again. 🙂


  6. I don’t reread books for two reasons. I don’t buy books so they get returned to the library, and if I’ve read the solved mystery it’s not very interesting to read again – just me. It’s interesting that all your writers are female or the names appear to be, and the ones I’m going to list are all male. Hmm. I love these series: Jack Reacher by Lee Child, Mitch Rapp by Vince Flynn/Kyle Mills, Harry Bosch by Michael Connelly, and Dewey Andreas by Ben Coes. I also like Ace Atkins, Craig Johnson, Harlan Coben, Paul Doiron, Alex Kava, Jeremiah Healy, and John Sanford just to name a couple. 🙂

    • The female writer thing just happened, Judy. 🙂 I read and enjoy Child, Flynn/Mills (I think Kyle writes just like Flynn and he has some excellent books under his own name), Connelly, Coben, Doiron, and Kava (although you know Kava is female, right?). I love Craig Johnson and we got to see him at our local indie bookstore. What an interesting, friendly, and intelligent man! Just discovered Ben Coes.

      I have other series by men that I just didn’t get to. I, for better or for worse, collect books, but rarely buy new. I’ve been a financial supporter of Half Price Books since they opened their first store in the Cleveland area, fortunately or not, near us, and I frequent library sales, too. Now I just need a room for a library.

      Have to add that although I love Reacher, I won’t see the movies because Tom Cruise will never be Jack Reacher to me. He’s too small and too pretty. Maybe Stacy Keach when he was younger? Bill and I have discussed that more than once and not come to a satisfactory solution. 🙂


      • Now there’s a topic – Jack Reacher. I totally agree with you. Thinking about a tough, over 6′ guy, commanding presence, and I sure don’t think of Tom Cruise. Yes, Stacy Keach could have done it, and today I think Gerard Butler could pull it off.

      • I had to look Butler up, but he might do it. Reacher isn’t handsome, that’s the thing, and add to that that he’s really big and a you have a casting conundrum!

  7. Ruth says:

    Do you like Louise Penny series? I’m just four into the series. Listened to audiobooks while Knitting.

  8. These all sound wonderful. I love to listen to audio books while I sew, and have been on the John Corey Series by Nelson DeMille for a while. For lighter reading I like the Stone Barrington Series by Stuart Woods. For those lovers of British backgrounds I like the Clifton chronicles by Jeffrey Archer. If you want to go back a couple of centuries, The Aubrey Maturin Series by Patrick O’Brian will make you want to spend some time at sea! 🙂

  9. Allan G. Smorra says:

    James Lee Burke has been at the top of my list for a number of years, Janet. He has several series that overlap characters in time and generations.

    • His daughter, Alafair, is also a writer, on her own and with Mary Higgins Clark. I’ve read her but not her father (yet.)

      • Allan G. Smorra says:

        Hmmm, we seem to be opposites on this one—I haven’t read Alafair, yet. Her father published a new book this month and it’s a good one.

  10. Dan Antion says:

    I’m sort of the subject series kind of reader. Rather than a history series by an author, I will read as many books as I can find on a particular event, series of events or person. For instance, I’ve read a lot about WWII and several books on General Patton and a few on McArthur. I also religiously follow the Pacific Paratrooper blog, which is an ongoing fact-based series on WWII (currently, previously the Korean War).

    • You might find “Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II” by Liza Mundy interesting then, Dan. I’m waiting for another book about one of the women mentioned in that book. Also along the same lines, an older book,” Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker’s War 1941-1945″, by Leo Marks is fascinating.


  11. scr4pl80 says:

    Have you read the Alphabet ones by Sue Grafton? I love her Kinsey Milhone. Sadly Ms. Grafton passed away recently so her alphabet is going to end at the letter Y. I also liked the Cadfael stories and I like Laura Childs who writes mysteries set in scrapbook stores. I am definitely going to put your first recommendation on my TBR list though…Sherlock! Thanks Janet!

    • I’ve read all Sue Grafton’s books and was sad to read that she passed away. I’ve read the Cadfael and I read Laura Childs, although I much prefer the teashop mysteries. Enjoy Sherlock and let me know what you think.


  12. brainsnorts says:

    is someone writing books using the character of sherlock holmes? if it’s in public domain, i guess it’s legal, but…

    • Rich, there have been lots of books written using Holmes since Conan Doyle died. Most of them I don’t care much about, but Bill and I both really like this series, written mostly from the POV of Mary Russell.

      On a related note, Sophie Hannah has been approved by Agatha Christie’s estate to write Poirot books. She’s written two.

      Speaking of writing, how’s that going?


      • brainsnorts says:

        writing with characters created by others is basically “fan fiction.” it feels like karaoke but with writing. maybe we should take the mona lisa and paint her in front of the eiffel tower or the alps or somewhere else.

  13. JT Twissel says:

    I’ve reread many many books (as an English major who had to write papers on books – rereading was a requirement). My guilty pleasures are legal thrillers ala Grisham.

  14. Amelia Peabody I’ve read out of your list. I love series books too, and mysteries, and drama.

    I like Martha Grimes’ Inspector Jury series , Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series. I’ll check out some these other series that you’ve shared.

    • I read Dirk Pitt for quite some time, but they’re getting a little too formulaic for me. I like Jury. I think you might enjoy some of these others and another time I’ll share more that I like.


  15. pommepal says:

    I never had my head out of a book as a child, but slowly “things” (family, work, travel) got in the way. Now I only, very occasionally, read novels. My obsession is non-fiction.

    • I started as a child and never looked back (or up.) A day without reading means a very, very, very busy day. What non-fiction are you reading that you’d recommend?



  16. I saw in the comments that someone mentioned the author I’ve read many books by – Sue Grafton.
    Yes, it was sad to hear of her passing. Great reads always. I’m not one for series reading. I do read several books by an author but not in series form. Reading is so relaxing and engrossing if the story is just right.
    Izzy 😎

    • I always laugh when people discuss whether books or e-books are better. While I prefer real books, I just want to read, so whatever works. For travel, my Kindle is indispensable!!


      • I’m with you I like the feel of a book. However, unless I go to a thrift book store, I’m finding myself holding my Kindle more and more. And for travel … it’s perfection. Sometimes, I like to have different options which the Kindle has. 👍 🤔