Two great murder mystery series to get you through the holidays

Because whose mind doesn’t turn to murder at least once during the holiday season?

What’s better than a good book? A whole series of good books when you’ve just discovered the first one. (And nothing leaves you more bereft than finishing the last book in a series and having to wait a year (or more!) for the author to write the next one.)

Yes, the holidays are fast approaching, but put aside your shopping lists and start organizing your ‘To Read’ shelf. You’re going to want a tall stack of books to curl up with when the weather outside turns frightful.

I’m currently hooked on two detective series that, between them, should have enough books to get you through all twelve days of Christmas and eight days of Hanukkah.

cuckoo calling recommended reading on whatsinsidethatnut.comFirst, the Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith, (aka J.K. Rowling). There are three books in this series so far (published in 2013, 2014 and 2015, so fingers crossed for another one next year). While the mysteries are well-written and keep you guessing right up to the end, it’s the ongoing story of Cormoran Strike, the one-legged, newly-single, detective working to get his agency off the ground, and Robin Ellacott, the temp he hires to help him out, that will keep you hooked. From the first pages of The Cuckoo’s Calling, through The Silkworm and into Career of Evil, the characters, new and recurring, are all fully realized and memorable. Career of Evil is the best one yet, and now I’ve finished it… sob, sob.

the crossing places recommended reading on whatsinsidethatnut.comI’m also waiting for the next book in Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist who is called in to help the police with their enquiries whenever bones are found, which happens surprisingly often! In this series too, the characters hook you as much as the mysteries. Ruth is single, overweight, and a bit of a loner, but she’s feisty and knowledgeable and a great match for Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson. It was the relationship between these two, and the continuing story of the other detectives and archaeologists, who are all well rounded characters with lives of their own, that kept me captivated through all seven books, but now, sadly, I have to wait until May 2016 for the next one.

I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I can’t say much more than give them a try, but I will say this: pace yourself. It might be a long winter.

Have a great detective series to recommend? Let me know. I need some more murder and mayhem to get me through the holidays.


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