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38 posts categorized "What I Like to Read"


What I Like to Read: Robert B. Parker


 If you're a regular reader at KdBlog you've seen me mention Robert B Parker before. He was always one of my favorites. Even the books that didn't live up to his reputation were still enjoyable. I found Walking Shadow at a used book store and didn't remember the story when I read the back cover copy, so I purchased it. Walking Shadow was Parker at his best. Even with the annoying Susan fully involved, this was a superbly crafted mystery. Walking Shadow was an excellent story. If you haven't read it, it's worth the cover price.  It's sad to think there won't be any more new Spenser novels.



What I like to Read: Donna Andrews

I met Donna at a conference many years ago. She was laugh out loud funny in person, so I picked up her books. They were laugh out loud funny as well. Meg Langslow is a blacksmith, and her family is crazier than mine. Her significant other is an actor and professor at the local college. Her father is a retired doctor with a deep seated love of crime fiction. Add in a mother with a penchant for society, a coroner that thinks he's a vampire, various aunts, uncles and cousins and a sheep farmer that can't keep his sheep at home and you have the makings for hilarious mystery. My personal favorite is We'll Always Have Parrots, but the whole series is great. Don't miss Donna Andrews.


What I Like to Read: Beverly Connor

Keeping with the forensic theme started with last Friday's post, I'll add Beverly Connor to my list of must reads. Her main character, Dr. Diane Fallon, after years of identifying victims of mass murder in third world countries retires from forensics to takes over management of a museum in Rosewood, Georgia. This move from forensics lasts just until and old friend turns up with some unidentified bones, a falsely accused teenager and a multiple murder. We get to follow Dr. Fallon as she deals with her personal demons and steps back into the world of forensic anthropology. This is an excellent series, start from the beginning and you'll enjoy it even more.


What I Like to Read: Jefferson Bass

If you like forensics in your mystery, but you prefer amateur sleuth's over police procedurals, this is a good pick for you. Dr. Bill Brockton is a forensic anthropologist and is in charge of the University of Tennessee Body Farm. Police departments and the FBI come to Dr. Bill when they have a case that doesn't add up or a set of bones they can't identify. Along the way he usually manages to vet involved in the investigation and stir up the bad guys. This is a great series, you won't want to miss out.


What I Like to Read: Rhys Bowen

This new series featuring Lady Georgie is wonderful, funny, and I really enjoyed it. If you enjoy a little humor with your murder, check out Lady Georgie in Her Royal Spyness, A Royal Pain and Royal Flush. Who knew that being a minor royal could be so dangerous? And if you enjoy Lady Georgie, take a peek at Ms. Bowen's other series' featuring Evan Evans and Molly Murphy.


What I Like to Read: Lisa Black, Elizabeth Becka

and Forensic Scientist Lisa Black knows how to make you keep turning pages. Her thrillers are suspenseful and exciting. Don't miss out on these great books.


What I Like to Read: Lee Goldberg

I discovered Lee Goldberg's blog, before I discovered his books. He's currently the author of the Monk series tie in novels. If you are a monk fan, you don't want to miss these books. Lee does a perfect job of bringing Monk alive on the page. If you're looking for an amazing story, scour the used book stores, or order a kindle copy of Lee's book The Walk. It is amazing, and I'm not sure why it hasn't been optioned for a movie. And, if you're looking for a way to kill a little time, check out lee's blog, A Writer's Life


What I Like to Read: Dana Stabenow

I love both of Dana Stabenow's series. I love Kate Shugak. I like her strong will, her independence and I've enjoyed watching her grow as the series has progressed. I love the Alaskan setting. Dana does such a beautiful job setting the scene I feel like I've been to Alaska. Her second series, featuring Liam Campbell is a little lighter than the Kate Shugak stories, but I love the characters and the Alaskan setting is every bit as amazing. If you want to take a trip to Americas last frontier and you can't afford a plane ticket, pick up a Dana Stabenow novel.


What I Like to Read: Stephen J Cannell

I fell in love with Stephen J Cannell before he branched out from the TV world. In fact, I've been in love since the A-Team. Maybe even before that. I don't think I've ever seen his name on a series I didn't enjoy. Silk Stalkings was one of my favorites, then I discovered his books. I love his main character Shane Scully. I like the LA Setting, and the story telling is awesome. Stephen J Cannell can write for any medium and I'll be one of the first in line to purchase what he writes. Check out one of Stephen's books and meet Shane Scully, I think you'll like him.


What I Like to Read: Elizabeth Peters

If you've wandered among the old posts on KdBlog, you've probably noticed that I've mentioned Elizabeth Peters before. I won't apologize for the repeat. I just finished re-reading the entire Amelia Peabody series. I enjoyed it as much the second go round as I did the first. If they were all available on Kindle, I'd purchase the whole series in ebook format so I'd always have something good to read close at hand. If you haven't met Amelia Peabody, her husband Emerson and their son Ramses, you are missing out on a rollicking good time. And, you might just learn a little bit about Egyptology while you're at it. If you are an historical mystery buff, don't miss this series. If you're just discovering Amelia for the first time, I'm envious. You have many many fun hours of reading ahead of you.


What I Like to Read: Sandra Parshall

Psychological thriller, romantic suspense, whatever you call it, it's a good read. Check out Sandra and meet Veterinarian Rachel Goddard. This is a good story. There just aren't enough crime solving veterinarians around. I like Rachel. You should check her out.


What I Like to Read: Gregg Hurwitz

The premise behind the thriller, whether your main character is MacGyver or Plain Joe Smith, is to face him with a problem not of his own making, make it imperative that he solves the problem and keep throwing roadblocks in front of him until your protagonist and the reader are exhausted, then and only then, can you put Plain Joe in a position to solve his dilemma. Few do this as well as Gregg Hurwitz. If you like thrillers, give him a try.


What I Like to Read: J.F. Englert

JF Englert is the creator of Randolph, that Labrador of exceptional intelligence. You, Randolph, the labrador detective. Yeah, you read it right, The Dog is the detective, and before you ask, no, he's not a talking dog, he's just a dog, that's a detective. Trust me, this isn't your grandmother's cozy talking cat mystery. You need to give Randolph a try in A Dog About Town. You'll enjoy it. I promise.


What I Like to Read: Jim Butcher

I Heart Harry Dresden. Seriously, if you like a detective with a little magic, Harry is your guy. He's tall, he's smart, he's a smart ass, he's funny, he's humble, he's a wizard. What's not to like, oh, and he wears an awesome black leather duster and cowboy boots. When I grow up, I want to be Harry Dresden. Maybe Harriet Dresden. Doesn't matter as long as I get to wear the awesome black leather duster.


What I Like to Read: Dick Francis

I’ve read them all. I loved them all. I reread them from time to time. They’re like old friends. Life getting you down? Just grab a Dick Francis novel. The bad guys are bad, but the good guys always win. To the Hilt is my all time favorite.

What’s your favorite Dick Francis novel?
Is there anyone writing now that reminds you of his style?


What I Like to Read: Sarah Andrews

I love Sarah Andrews. Her protagonist, Em Hanson, starts out as an oil company geologist and gravitates into a forensic geologist. And Sarah, is a forensic geologist, so Em and Sarah, know of what they speak. I know nothing about the oil business or geology, but Em is a woman after my own heart.

I think Tensleep is the first book in the series. Check it out, then grab the rest of them...Bet you can’t read just one.


What I Like to Read: James Doss

I really like Charlie Moon. He’s the Ute special investigator featured in James Doss’s Charlie Moon mysteries, but I love Charlie’s Aunt Daisy. She’s feisty, funny, grumpy and she’s a Shaman. She makes the story. Do yourself a favor and start with the first book in this series. You’re not going to want to miss a minute of Aunt Daisy.


What I Like to Read: Nancy Martin

Make an acquaintance with the Blackbird sisters if you haven’t done so already. They have everything, style, sex appeal, scandal, a mob connection, murder. What more could you ask for from a mystery protagonist? Nancy is also one of the booktarts over at TLC. Check out her books and visit TLC, you’ll thank yourself, I promise. The first book in Nancy's new series, Our Lady of Immaculate Deception will launch on March 2nd. It promises to be a romping good time, don't miss out.


What I Like to Read: Kit Ehrman

If you like Dick Francis, you’ll love Kit Ehrman. Her Steve Kline mysteries are terrific.  Buy them, add them to your library, re-read often. Just like Dick Francis. Hey, what could be better than that?


What I Like to Read: Tim Cockey

I love the main character Hitchcock Sewel. He’s in the funeral business, hence the book titles. He’s funny, I like his dog, I like his aunt. I enjoy his take on funerals and the bereaved.I really enjoyed every book in the series, but the publishing gods apparently did not. I heard Tim is writing under a new pseudonym, but if I ever heard what it was I’ve forgotten. If someone could tell me, I’d love to know. I like his writing style and would add his new series to my TBR list if I could.

Update---Tim’s now writing under the pen name Richard Hawke. Try him out, I think you’ll enjoy.


What I Like to Read: Sarah Strohmeyer

I love Bubbles. I love Sarah. She’s got a couple of non Bubbles books out, The Cinderella Pact and The Sleeping Beauty Proposal. The Cinderella Pact was made into a Lifetime TV Movie.  Anyway, if you like Bubbles or Sarah, or any of her other books, check out her blog. She’s one of the BookTarts at The Lipstick Chronicles. TLC is an MRED Blog for me. These ladies are funny, their books are terrific and TLC is just a blast. And Margie, well, there’s just no way to explain Margie, you’ll just have to check out TLC yourself for that


What I Like to Read: David Baldacci

I discovered this book in a vacation cottage in California. I picked it up because I had nothing else to read and I’d already finished the back of the cereal box and the directions for my new printer. It was terrific. I bought it as soon as I got home and this week I just read it again. It’s a great book. David Baldacci is an excellent writer. Wish you well is a sweet story set in the Virginia mountains, but if your tastes run more to thrillers, check out his new paperback, The Collectors. It’s a great cast of characters and an action packed story set right in the heart of Washington DC. 

Check him out, I think you’ll enjoy.


What I Like to Read: J.A. Jance

I think J.A. Jance is terrific. I like all her series work, but my all time favorite is the one featuring J.P. Beaumont. I had the opportunity several years ago to hear Judy Jance speak at a writers conference. She's a great speaker and a better writer. Grab one of her books and meet up with Beau, Sheriff Joanna Brady, or Ali Reynolds, your time with them will be time well spent.


What I Like to Read: Robert Parker

Robert Parker has three series. I like all of them, but this new book may be my favorite. Sunny Randall is a PI, I like her quite a bit and this is a Sunny Randall novel, but Parker’s characters tend to turn up in each other’s stories. In this one, Sunny meets Paradise police chief, Jesse Stone, a character with his own series. Sunny and Jesse seem to work well together and I hope this book is only the first for the crime fighting pair.


What I Like to Read: Robert Crais

I heart Elvis Cole. Really, he makes me laugh. Elvis is a private eye in LA and his side kick Joe Pike is the bomb. Joe is like Stephanie Plum’s Ranger only he doesn’t talk as much. L.A Requiem is the finest mystery I have ever read and to this date, I love Elvis and Joe. Check them out, I think you will too.


What I Like to Read: Susan McBride

Susan makes me laugh. Need I say more? Her debutant dropout series is a hoot. Go to the bookstore right now and pick one up if you haven’t tried the series yet. I’m serious, get your keys and go. I’ll just read until you get back.


What I Like to Read: Clive Cussler

Raise the Titanic was the first Clive Cussler book I ever read and it was love at first read. I love Dirk Pitt. He’s like an approachable James Bond. All the cool, without the sophistication. I waited years and years for them to finally make a decent movie from one of his books and finally there was Sahara.

I guess the Dirk Pitt purist’s hated it, but I loved it. They kept the feel of the characters right. They were fun, they were smart, they were lethal when they needed to be. I thought it was perfect.

It took me longer to warm up to the Kurt Austin books from the NUMA files, but he finally developed a personality. I think it had more to do with me distancing the new character from Dirk. Anyway, he’s not Dirk Pitt, but he’s a lot of fun.

If I hadn’t grown up on Dirk Pitt, my favorite series would probably be the Oregon Files. I love this cast of characters. I love the non-stop action, and I like that they aren’t always the good guys, but they’re definitely always on the side of angels.

So, if you’re looking for a good thriller and you haven’t tried Clive Cussler, jump in. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.


What I Like to Read: Laura Lippman

I read my first Laura Lippman book a couple of years ago while I was working a few miles from Baltimore. I got huge kick out of being close to where the actions was taking place. It made the world of Tess Monaghan come alive for me. Well, that and the fact that Laura Lippman is an “Awesome” writer. Check out Laura and Tess as soon as you can. You won’t regret it.


What I Like to Read: C. J. Box

I just discovered C.J. Box and now I'm playing catch-up. I love his main character, game warden, Joe PIckett, and I can't wait to find out what scrape he gets into next. I haven't found the first book of the series, but I've read Savage run and I'm working on Winterkill. It's hot, hot, hot, here now. A book called Winterkill is just the ticket to cool things off.

If you're looking for a main character that's an unlikely hero and a genuinely good guy, check out C.J. Box and Joe Pickett.


What I Like to Read: Susan Wittig Albert

If you're looking for an enjoyable romp through the Texas Hill Country, pick up one of these China Bayles novels. Ex lawyer, China Bayles, runs an herb shop in a small texas town. With the help of her new age buddy Ruby and her ex homicide detective husband, McQuaid, she gets mixed up in murder investigations that often turn dangerous. Check out Susan Wittig Albert and get an entertaining read filled with herb lore, recipes and murder. What a great combination. 


What I Like to Read: Julia Spencer Fleming

Every time I read one of Julia’s books, I wonder why I bother to write. I’ll never be able to match her talent. I love her series, I love her characters, I love the way the small town setting is almost another character in the story.

If you haven’t tried Julia’s books, do yourself a favor and pick one up.


Gift or Regift?

Books make great gift. New books, used books, cookbooks, but this post is about fiction, and book giving etiquette. Here's the question. Is it okay to buy a book as a gift and read it before you give it away?

I ask this because books are a big part of my family's gift giving tradition. I've gotten antique books, new books, rare books and cookbooks as gifts for birthdays and Christmas and I've given them as well. 

Obviously, an antique book in my price range is seldom going to be pristine. Used books, purchased to fill out a collection, will usually look used. But new books with pristine spines look, Here's where my question comes in to play. Is it okay to read a new book before you give it as a gift?

Here's why I ask. My mother was a slow reader. I'm a very fast reader. We used to read a lot of the same things, so I often bought her books that I wanted to read as well. If I wanted to read them in the same calender year they were purchased, I had to read them before I gave them away, or buy two copies. Authors would vote for the two copy route, but my wallet and my bookshelves leaned more toward reading before gifting.

If you read a hardback book and are very, very careful, you can read the book with no external signs that the book has ever been opened. Not so easy with a paperback. I'm a spine cracker. I like to roll the front cover of the book around so I can hold the book in one hand. My paperback books are decidedly lopsided when I finish reading them. That's the way my mom used to check through our shelves for books that I'd already read. I don't worship books, I love them like a well worn stuffed animal. I don't read paperback books before I give them away, but I'm serious in getting into the hardback one's before they get wrapped and tucked under the tree. I've been known to read into the wee hours of Christmas morning, to finish a book and hastily wrap it moments before the start of the paper shredding chaos that is our Christmas mornings.

So here it is, the real question. If you buy a new book as a gift and read it before you give it away is it still a new book? Should I just bite the bullet and hope that some day, some time, I'll get to read the book? And finally, what do you guys do? Huh? Come one, you can share, we're all friends here. Spill the beans.


What I Like to Read: Lee Child

I'm reading Persuader right now. I love Lee Child. I love Jack Reacher.

I wish I had an endless supply of Reacher books. Luckily for me, I haven't found all of the older ones yet, so I still get an extra one thrown in from time to time.


What I Like to Read: James Rollins

I found James Rollins just after his first book came out. I fell in love and bought every one as soon as they were available. I really enjoy his Sigma Force series, but my all time favorite is Amazonia. Subterranean and Excavation are a close second and third. I hope he does some more books like those in the future, but in the mean time, I do love the Sigma Force books. They remind me a little of Clive Cussler’s Oregon Files series. Don’t ask me to choose between Clive and James, I love them both


Writing Books can be Fun

These are my two favorite writing books.

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block, and On Writing by Stephen King. The information I picked up from these two books shaved years off the learning curve of my writing. If you’re new to the writing game, run, don’t walk to the nearest bookstore and get these books. If you’re an old hand and just want a refreshing look at what you’re doing while life goes on outside the closed door of your office, get these books. 

An you? What are you’re favorite writing books?


What I Like to Read: Elaine Viets

Elaine Viets has been on my TBR pile for ages. I finally got to read one of her Dead-End Job Mysteries. What a hoot. There must be something in the Florida water that makes mystery writers able to bring the ridiculous to life. Or maybe it’s just a great gathering place for the odd. Whatever the cause, florida based mysteries are some of my very favorites and Elaine’s Dead-End Job series has leapt to the top of my TBR list.

Elaine is also one of the book tarts over at TLC. Get over there and check them out, you’ll add them to your daily read list. I promise. Go on, check them out, I dare you. Oh and check out Elaine’s Mystery Shopper books, too.


What I Like to Read: Randy Wayne White

Doc Ford, is the main character in Randy Wayne White’s Florida based series. I love him, Doc, I mean. I don’t know Randy that well. Actually I don’t know him at all, but I feel like I know Doc Ford. I want his house, and his boat and all his cool friends. I want him to play tour guide in Columbia. *sigh* I’ll just have to wait for the next book. The man who invented Florida is somewhere in the middle of the series, but it’s one of my favorites. That’s why I chose it as the headliner. I you like the tall, silent, unassuming hero type, check out Randy and Doc.


What I Like to Read: Nancy Drew

Carolyn Keene made me the mystery fanatic I am today. The Secret at Shadow all time favorite Nancy Drew story. What wasn’t there to love about this girl? She had a convertible, a boyfriend, money, adventures and two best buddies to share it all with. So her mom was dead, big deal, she had everything and she was pretty. I wanted to be Nancy Drew. 

So between Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and the Hardy Boys, my future as a mystery fanatic was sealed at a very early age. Oh, I made my teenage foray into the romance world, and I still dip a toe there from time to time, but mystery is always where my heart lies. I’m still waiting for that convertible, and the boyfriend, well...and the money, too. 

Who made you a mystery lover?