Introduce yourself! What's your favorite mystery/thriller novel or series?

(Marya Pasciuto) #1

Welcome to the first discussion on the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense page! To get started, why don't we all get to know a little bit about each other?

(For authors introducing themselves and their books, we have a special category called "I am an Author")

I'll start: My name is Marya Pasciuto, and I'm the Editor of the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense category at Riffle! I'm also a college student in New York, studying Italian literature and anthropology. I'm also hopelessly addicted to Netflix and outdoorsy stuff like biking and skiing.

It's so hard to choose a favorite book, but lately I've gotten really into a fantastic mystery series by the Italian author Andrea Camilleri. His novels follow Inspector Montalbano, a detective in Sicily navigating messy Italian office politics, local crime, and the looming threat of the Mafia. I was first introduced to Inspector Montalbano in an anthropology class I took about mystery novels (I know you're all very jealous wink ) and I've been hooked ever since. My favorite in the series is probably Angelica's Smile.

So, what about you guys? I can't wait to see what great books y'all have read!

(Becky LeJeune) #3

Hi, I'm Becky and I blog over at No More Grumpy Bookseller. I'm a serious book junkie who graduated a while back with a major in Criminal Justice and a double minor in English and Anthropology. After years working as a bookseller I attended the Denver Publishing Institute and have worked in publishing since.

I read a lot of mysteries, most of them series that I started after discovering the authors in my grandmother's massive book collection. While it is definitely hard to choose one favorite, I have to admit that I'm pretty partial to Sue Grafton and her Kinsey Millhone series. Millhone is a PI and the series is set in the 80s - Grafton says she started the series after her divorce when all she could think of were the many ways she could kill her ex. Fortunately she didn't and we got a great series of books out of it all!

(Jennifer D.) #4

Hello! :slight_smile:

I don't really read a lot of mystery/thriller books, but I do have a few go-to authors in the genre. I tend to gravitate towards these types of books for what I call a 'brain cleanse' - after I have read some heavier stuff, I find mysteries to be a good reset, and escapist fun. Not sure what that says about me, heh, but there you go.

I am a fan of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache Series. The books are mostly set in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, which is familiar territory for me, so I have the added bonus of being able to picture Penny's settings so easily. And her cast of characters are really quirky. Each time I read one of the books in the series, I just want to move to Three Pines and take up with the gang.

I also really enjoy Jo Nesbø's Inspector Harry Hole Series. Harry is a curmudgeony, flawed, anti-hero, and I love the Norwegian settings. (Though this first novel has Harry in Australia.) Harry really develops as the series goes along.

And, of course, Agatha Christie will always be a favourite. I began reading her when I was a pretty young kid, and her books are always, and maybe weirdly, a comfort.

@marya_pasciuto - my mum loves the Camilleri series too, and I keep meaning to get to that one. And to Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti Series, which I hear are great fun!

(Robin Geesman) #5

Hi! I'm Robin. I work and write Thrillers. I like all kinds of authors. I suppose my favorite Thriller writer is David Baldacci. He has a good pace and intelligent plotting. My Thrillers cross the genres. My most recent review from Blueink Review said, "Under Lock and Key: The Experiment incorporates elements of horror, medical mystery, and cybertech science fiction in a well-paced, inventive plot." That was such a huge compliment. smiley

But I love the direction Riffle is taking with things. Love the discussions.

(Robyn Godfrey) #6

Hi, I'm Robyn and it would be easier to select which genres I dislike!

At the moment I'm enjoying the newest in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear, and I lovelovelove Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce, she is such fun.

Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence are also favourites, and for a little more action with my mystery I enjoy David Gibbins' Jack Howard "underwater archaeologist" novels.

And when I've got the travel bug for Venice, Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti novels are much easier on the pocketbook. smile

(Olga NM) #7

I'm Olga. Like most of you I read in a variety of genres. I also write in different genres.
At the moment I'm reading 'Chaos Is Come Again'. Although I haven't read much, I've read several of the books by one of the authors, John Dolan, the series 'Time, Blood, and Karma' set in Thailand and I've really enjoyed it.
I haven't read many thriller series before, although I've enjoyed some of the novels by Christopher Brookmyre.
I'm making notes for my never ending reading list...
Nice to meet you all.

(BookBroad) #8

Hi, I'm Bookbroad, other wise known as Rebecca! I have a few favorite series of Mystery/Thrillers.

I love Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko series, particularly Gorky Park.
I am also a huge fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels.
Agatha Christie will always be a favorite.

There are a lot of others I enjoy, but most of them aren't series.

(Arlette Pixley) #9

I'm a big fan of murder mysteries esp. when they take place in small town mainly in the Northwest. My favorite writers are Chelsea Cain, James Lee Burke, Brian Freeman, and Greg Iles. But I'm willing to read other writers however I have noticed that the bigger the name of the writer the worse the book can get. This is just my opinion.

(Robin Geesman) #10

The worse? How so? I like finding out about lessons learned. Do you think it's because they run out of ideas?

(Marya Pasciuto) #11

Thanks for sharing! In case you missed it, I had an opportunity to talk a bit with James Lee Burke over the summer about Wayfaring Stranger! If you're interested, you can check out the Q&A on Riffle here smile

(HKelleyB) #12

Hi, I am Helen (HKelleyB), an editor, proofreader, and reviewer.

My favorite thriller is Michael Connelly's Nine Dragons.

My favorite mystery series is Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series.

And, my favorite thriller series is Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series.

(Patricia ) #13

I like to read almost anything (although I tend to avoid science fiction -- not sure why). Anyway, I love Dorothy L. Sayers and Daniel Silva. I'm also quite fond of Agatha Christie, Marjorie Allingham, and Elizabeth Peters.

(Paula Longhurst) #14

Hi, I'm Paula, I work as a bookseller at The King's English Bookstore in Salt Lake City, my blog is . There are a ton of mystery series that I'm loving right now. Mick Herron's Slough House series, (Slow Horses, Dead Lions with Real Tigers coming next year) is great for lovers of anti hero spy novels.

The Fina Ludlow novels by Ingrid Thoft which feature a female Boston PI who shoots from the hip and the lip are not only a good read, Thoft qualified as a PI so the tradecraft is authentic too.

(Hornette) #15

Hello Rifflers,

I'm Hornette, a London based reading geek.

My best thriller is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Fantastic film by Hichcock too!

(Sigrid ) #16

I'm not as keen on series, but I like Michael Connolly's and Sue Grafton's.

My favorite suspense author is Karen Robards. Of all the suspense I've read, she's written only one clunker. I'm also fond of Lisa Gardner and Tami Hoag, although I like their stand-alones better than their series. I liked Elizabeth George's earlier books. Since Helen died, I think they've gone down hill a bit. I loved Evanovich, until she got too repetitive. I'd highly recommend the Stephanie Plums up to #5.

(Sigrid ) #17

I thought Nine Dragons read like the not-quite-final-draft of a great book. It needed tightening. I wondered what his editor was thinking.

I like Harry Bosch and haven't read Mosley.

(Jorie) #18

Hallo, Hallo Ms Pasciuto!

I must admit, just before I became a book blogger I was enjoying a new branch of my local library wherein I started to dig back inside my favourite genre as a child "Cosy Mysteries"!! I read an eclectic mixture of stories as a child and youth reader, except to say I grew up on Agatha Christie who set the standard for me! Yes, I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys equally enough, but with Christie you simply knew you'd 'arrived at the master of the craft'. To have been a part of the new Christie release authorised by the estate of her heirs was a privilege I never expected to have as a book blogger, but whilst I read Sophie Hannah's new spin on Poirot I saw echoes of Dame Christie coming centerfold into the story! I loved being able to be a book cheerleader for a new writer who has stepped up to the plate to honour an original canon with such clarity and tenacity as Ms Hannah!

Outside of this love of my mine for the genre itself -- it wasn't until my late twenties I started to notice I could handle "hard-boiled this side of cosy" mysteries! The revelation arrived when I picked up my first Cleo Coyle mystery: "Holiday Grind", which was unusual for me to do, because I would never normally read a series out of step with the sequence it had established! This was a foreshadow as now that I'm nearly a 2nd Year Book Blogger, I can attest, sometimes you have to bend your own rules on such things! lol That first book, gave me a wicked joy for Coyle's series (and the recipes she shares on her foodie minded blog!) but also, a clue into how I've come out of my shell with mysteries!

I'm still the Cosy girl at heart, but I can handle a few 'harder hitting story-lines' as well. I think partially this is due to my love of tv serials like: NCIS, the Mentalist, Perception, The Ghost Whisperer, Rizzoli & Isles, Foyle's War, etc. I'm not into CSI or half of the others on air, so I do draw lines!

My best discovery since I was a book blogger are the Cosy Historical Mysteries! These beautiful gems of a stories with a wicked historically enriched background to the narrative and a keen sense of awareness for the time, setting, and scope therein! I cannot fathom how I did not uncover them sooner!

My top favourites thus far are:
([if you visit [my Story Vault][1] you will find the reviews][1])

  1. The Study of Murder by Susan McDuffie
  2. Inscription by H.H. Miller
  3. Murder by Misrule by by Anna Castle
  4. Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann AND Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann
  5. The Spoils of Avalon by Mary F. Burns
  6. Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd
  7. Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd

They are eclectically diverse in their stories structures as much as their era of background! I never thought I could travel from 17th Century Japan straight into the heart of the Medieval Era and swing back into the 19th Century as readily as I have with Cosy Historical Mysteries! My upcoming reviews for Anna Lee Huber's Lady Darby novels will showcase just how much I have become anchoured into this area of literature, because her writings and those of Byrd are on similar veins of thought: both have Gothic Lit roots but they are more cosy than hard-boiled; except to say, Huber is a bit of what I spoke of earlier "hard-boiled this side of cosy".

I am reading the Maisie Dobbs series for the first time this year, as well! If you think I have an epic TBR for YA Lit, my TBR for mysteries is equally diverse and long! innocent I love recommendations, so if you love cosies, hard-boils this side of cosy (my own way of expressing it!), cosy historicals, OR psychological suspense and/or Gothic Lit Suspense -- do let me know the titles and authors!

*apologies on my delay to post this from April! frowning I have picked up a few new wicked new to me authors since I wrote this originally but wanted to let it stand as it was written. mushroom

(Steven Clark) #19

Paula, I'm one of the authors who participated in your book signing last Sat. I hope you'll take a look at All The Pretty Dresses and Wages of Greed.Thanks for your hospitality. I really enjoyed my visit.

(Steven Clark) #20

Hi, I'm Steve (Steven J. Clark). I'm a writer and a serious mystery/thriller reader. I have two published novels, All The Pretty Dresses, a mystery/thriller that recently placed in the top ten of an international book competition, and just released, Wages of Greed, a Tony Hillerman meets John Grisham legal thriller.

I'm currently reading Sue Grafton (W), and greatly enjoy Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, David Baldacchi, and John Grisham, Tony Hillerman has been my idol and mentor for years. He personally gave me written permission to invoke his name in promotion of Wages of Greed.

I look forward to interacting with readers and authors on Riffle and invite all to visit my website at

(Paula Longhurst) #21

Thanks Steven, I'll check those out.