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Sights and Sounds Department Collection and State Library Resources

Audiobook Mystery Writers

Traditional Mystery Genres: 
Caper/Comic Mystery
Cozy Mystery 
Hard-Boiled Mystery 
Police Procedural Mystery 

Detective Genres:
Culinary Detectives 
Detective Teams 
Forensic Detectives 
Literary Detectives 
Master Detectives 
Museum Curator Detectives 
Park Ranger Detectives 
Senior Detectives 
Telepathic Detectives 

Mystery Series by Detective Name (A to Z):
A
 B C D E F G H I J K L M N
P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 

 


TRADITIONAL MYSTERY GENRES

 

Caper/Comic Mystery 

(Humorous, focusing more on criminal’s personality; light mystery)

Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum Series) 
Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

Donald E. Westlake (John A. Dortmunder Series) 
John Archibald Dortmunder is a professional thief who solves the murders. Westlake’s style lends itself to the caper/comic genre.

Carl Hiaasen (R.J. Decker & Jack Tagger Series)
Hiaasen writes two mystery series featuring R.J. Decker and Jack Tagger.  Decker is a novice private investigator that solves murders in Florida.  Jack Tagger is a middle-aged, former investigative reporter who has been demoted to work the obituary desk; Tagger is trying to redeem his position by solving murders.

Cozy Mystery (Neat Murders)

(Amateur sleuth or eccentric personality; murders take place in small towns or country villages, quaint settings, often referred to as “English Drawing Room” Mysteries)

M.C. Beaton (Hamish Macbeth & Agatha Raisin Series)
Beaton writes two different mystery series featuring Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin. Hamish Macbeth is a town Constable in Lochdubh, a small village in the Scottish Highlands.  Agatha Raisin is a middle-aged, public relations person who lives in a small village in the English countryside. The former is more reserved maintaining a low profile while the latter is pushy and calculating.

Simon Brett (Charles Paris Mystery)
Charles Paris is a professional British actor in England and amateur sleuth.

Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple Series)
Agatha Christie first introduced the character of Hercule Poirot, a retired Belgian police officer with his very distinctive waxed mustache in 1920.  However, it is the Miss Marple Series, which exemplifies the “Cozy” Mystery Style.  Miss Marple is an elderly spinster who lives in the English village of St. Mary Mead.

Philip R. Craig (J.W. Jackson Series)
J.W. Jackson is a retired Boston cop who lives on Martha Vineyards.  He retired early from the Boston police force because of a gunshot wound. Craig also includes recipes prepared by J.W. Jackson. 

Carolyn Haines (Sarah Booth Delaney, Mississippi Delta Mystery Series)
Sarah Booth Delaney is a Southern belle sleuth in Zinnia, Mississippi. She lives in her family house called the Dahlia House that is haunted by her great, great grandmother’s nanny named Jitty.

Alexander McCall Smith (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Isabel Dalhousie Series)
The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency is located in Botswana.  Precious Ramotswe, a private detective, directs the agency.  This is McCall Smith’s first mystery series.  His second series features Isabel Dalhousie, a Scottish-American philosopher who lives in Scotland. Dalhousie is also the editor for the Review of Applied Ethics and her mysteries often involve unusual circumstances. Ms. Dalhousie's mysteries are also known as the Sunday Philosophy Club series.

Dorothy Leigh Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey Series)
Lord Peter Wimsey is middle-aged, amateur sleuth who works with Inspector Charles Parker of Scotland Yard in London, England.

Hard-Boiled Mystery (Gritty and Graphic)

(Gritty, graphic descriptions, featuring professional detectives who are often cynical)

Linda Barnes (Carlotta Carlyle Series) 
Carlotta Carlyle is a six foot one, redhead, and ex-cop who worked for the Boston Police Department; now she is a private investigator.

Lawrence Block (Matthew Scudder Series)
The Matthew Scudder series is not for faint of heart; Scudder is an ex-cop living in New York who becomes a private investigator.  Block’s style has been described as “harsh” and “bittersweet”.

On the lighter side, Block also writes mysteries featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, a Greenwich Village bookshop owner who is also a thief.  Bernie often stumbles upon a murder.

James Lee Burke (Dave Robicheaux & Billy Bob Holland Series)
Burke writes two mystery series featuring Dave Robicheaux and Billy Bob Holland.

Dave Robicheaux is a Vietnam Veteran and former New Orleans homicide detective who moved to New Iberia, Louisiana for relaxation; however, he soon becomes involved in a murder mystery and becomes a sheriff’s deputy for the New Iberia Police Department. Billy Bob Holland is a former Texas Ranger, defense attorney and amateur sleuth who lives in Deaf Smith, Texas.  His character is full of guilt and reckoning with his past.

Raymond Chandler (Philip Marlowe Series)
Marlowe’s character is fashioned after the typical “hard boiled” private detective; he is a cynical, loner-type, private detective in Los Angeles, California.

Robert Crais (Elvis Cole Series)
Crais has written several scripts for television including:  Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey and Miami Vice. His mystery series features Elvis Cole, a wise cracking, Los Angeles Private Investigator who lives in Laurel Canyon.  He works with Joe Pike, an ex-marine and ex- Los Angeles Police Department Officer to solve the mysteries.

Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone Series)
Grafton’s trademark is murder by alphabet.  Each mystery begins with a different letter of the alphabet (A is for Alibi, K is for Killer).  Kinsey Millhone is a licensed private investigator. The mysteries take place in California.

Philip Kerr (Bernie Gunther Series)
Bernard "Bernie" Gunther is a former cop turned private eye in a series of historical mystery/thriller novels by British novelist Philip Kerr that are set in mid-1930s Berlin before World War II.

Dashiell Hammett (Sam Spade & Nick Charles & Nora Charles)
Hammett wrote the first “hard boiled” detective story.  His stories are developed from his own personal experience as an “operative” for Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Sam Spade is a partner in the private firm Archer/Spade Detective Agency located in San Francisco.  Nick Charles is a retired detective and his wife Nora is an amateur sleuth.

Laura Lippman (Tess Monaghan Series)
Lippman is a Baltimore writer who sets her mysteries in Charm City.  Tess Monaghan is a Private Investigator and owner of Keys Investigations located in Buther’s Hill.  Tess lives in Roland Park.

Margaret Maron (Judge Deborah Knott Series)
Deborah Knott is a District Court Judge in Colleton County, North Carolina who also solves crimes.

Walter Mosely (Easy Rawlings Series)
Easy Rawlings is a World War II veteran and crime fighting businessman in Los Angeles, California.

Marcia Muller (Sharon McCone Series) 
Sharon McCone is a Private Investigator in San Francisco.  The mysteries are developed around social issues.

Blair S. Walker (Darryl Billups Series)
Darryl Billups is a Baltimore newspaper writer and sleuth.

Mary Willis Walker (Katherine Driscoll & Molly Cates Series)
Katherine Driscoll is a Texas dog trainer who solves murders.  Molly Cates is a 40ish investigative crime reporter in Austin, Texas.

 

Police Procedural Mystery

(Focuses more on the investigative procedures; professional police officer crime solving)

Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch Series)
Harry Bosch is named after Hieronymus Bosch, a 15th Century Dutch artist. Bosch lives in Hollywood Hills and works as a detective for Los Angeles Police Department Open-Unresolved Unit.  He has over 30 years experience with the Los Angeles Police Department and is trained in hypnosis.

Deborah Crombie (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Series)
Crombie’s British mystery series features Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James who work for Scotland Yard. Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones are both professionally and personally involved.

John Dunning (Cliff Janeway Series)
Cliff Janeway is an ex-homicide detective for the Denver Police Force who is now an antiquarian book dealer.

Ardella Garland (Georgia Barnett Series)
Georgia Barnett is a wise-cracking, Chicago Televsion News Journalist who solves crimes.  Her escapades often involve Police Detective Doug Eckart. Yolanda Joe writes the Georgia Barnett series under the name Ardella Garland.

Tony Hillerman (Joe Leaphorn & Jim Chee Series)
Retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn teams up with Sergeant Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police to solve crimes.  In addition to being a police sergeant, Jim Chee is studying to be a traditional healer.

P.D. James (Adam Dalgliesh Series)
Commander Adam Dalgliesh is a professional detective for the Metropolitan Police Service at the New Scotland Yard in London . 

Judith A. Jance (J. P. Beaumont & Joanna Brady Series)
J. P. Beaumont is a Homicide Detective for the Seattle Police Department. Joanna Brady is a Sheriff for Cochise County in Bisbee, Arizona.

Stuart M. Kaminsky (Various Series)
Kaminsky writes several mysteries series. The Toby Peters’ Series features, a 1940’s Private Investigator who lives in Los Angeles.  The plots are straightforward and the characters are colorful including such celebrities as Errol Flynn and Joan Crawford. His Inspector Rostnikov Series features, Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov, a war hero and Moscow detective.  The Lew Fonesca Series features a middle-aged, widowed process server who moved from Chicago to Sarasota, Florida.  Kaminsky’s hard-boiled series features Abraham (Abe) Liberman a sixty-year-old Chicago police detective.

Henry Reymond Fitzwalter Keating (Ganesh Ghote Series)
Ganesh Ghote is an inspector for the Mumbai Police Department in India.

Laurie R. King (Kate Martinelli Series)
Kate Martinelli is a homicide inspector for the San Francisco Police Department.  She teams up with her trusted partner Al Hawkin to solve crimes.

Donna Leon (Commissario Guido Brunetti Series) 
Leon’s series features Police Commissioner Guido Brunetti and his assistant Vianello.  The mysteries take place in or around Venice.

Ed McBain ( 87th Precinct Mystery Series)
McBain’s mysteries take place in the fictional city of Isola and often feature gritty, realistic, urban settings. The members of the 87th Precinct include:  Steve Carella, Meyer Meyer, and Andy Parker.

Michael McGarrity (Kevin Kerney Series)
McGarrity’s character Kevin Kerney undergoes several changes in job title throughout the series but he remains involved in solving crimes in the police force. Kevin Kerney is an ex-Chief of Detectives for the Santa Fe Police Department who later becomes Chief of the New Mexico State Police and then becomes the Santa Fe Police Chief.  He is also a former rancher.

Jo Nesbo (Harry Hole Series)
Harry Hole is the protaganist and title character of a series of crime fiction novels by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. Hole is a hardened detective who works the streets of Oslo, tracking murderers, bank robbers, gangsters and more.

J.D. Robb (Eve Dallas "In Death" Series)
Robb’s "In Death" series is set in New York during the 2050’s.  This futuristic mystery series features Lieutenant Eve Dallas, a New York police detective. (J.D. Robb is the pen name for Nora Roberts)

Judith Smith-Levin (Starletta Duvall Series)
Lieutenant Starletta Duvall is a homicide detective who works with her partner Sergeant Dominic Parisi to solve murders.

Stuart Woods (Holly Barker & Stone Barrington Series)
Holly Barker is a former Military Police Commander who becomes the Chief of Police in Orchid Florida.  Later in the series, Barker becomes a CIA operative.

Stone Barrington is a former Manhattan detective who becomes an attorney for Woodman & Weld. He served fourteen years on the New York Police Force.

 

 


DETECTIVE GENRES

 

  Culinary Detectives

 

Diane Mott Davidson (Goldy Schulz Series)
Davidson’s mysteries feature Goldy Schulz a full-time caterer and part-time sleuth in Colorado. Her mysteries are food-related and include recipes.  Some examples include: Dark Tort, Killer Pancakes, and Sticks and Scones.

Joanne Fluke (Hannah Swensen Series) 
Hannah Swensen is the owner of the Cookie Jar bakery located in Lake Eden, Minnesota and amateur sleuth. Fluke’s mysteries are food-related (sweets & treats) and include recipes.  Some examples include:  Blueberry Muffin Murder, Lemon Meringue Pie Murder, and Sugar Cookie Murder.

 

Detective Teams

 

Rita Mae Brown (The Mrs. Murphy Series)
Brown and her tiger cat Sneaky Pie co-write the Mrs. Murphy Series who features Mary Minor Haristeen “Harry” as the amateur sleuth. Harry is a postmistress who lives in Crozet, Virginia and solves crimes with her cat, Mrs. Murphy and sometimes Tee Tucker, a Corgi and Pewter, another cat.  Some examples of titles in this series include:  Catch as a Cat Can, Cat’s Eyewitness, and Whisker of Evil.

Lilian Jackson Braun (The Cat Who Series)
Braun’s mysteries feature James Mackintosh Qwilleran and his Siamese cats KoKo and Yum Yum.  Qwilleran is a newspaper columnist for the Moose County newspaper who is also an amateur sleuth.  Together with his cats, Qwilleran solves crimes.   Some titles in this series include:  The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (first novel in the mystery series), The Cat Who Smelled a Rat, The Cat Who Turned On and Off.

Lindsey Davis (Falco & Helena Series)
Davis’s mysteries feature Marcus Didius Falco, a former Roman informer turned private eye, his wife Helena and their dog Nux.  Their adventures take place in the historical Roman world.

Elizabeth George (Inspector Thomas Lynley & Sgt. Barbara Havers Series)
Thomas Lynley is the 8th Earl of Asherton and Inspector for Scotland Yard. His crime solving partner is Sergeant Barbara Havers.

Tess Gerritsen (Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles Series)
Jane Rizzoli is a Boston homicide detective who works with Maura Isles a medical examiner to solve crimes.  Gerritsen, a former practicing physician, utilizes her medical knowledge to create her medical/forensic mysteries.

Faye Kellerman (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus Series) 
Kellerman’s mysteries feature the husband and wife team Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus.  Her mysteries are considered thrillers with a family aspect. 

Laurie R. King (Mary Russell Series)
This is another mystery series written by Laurie R. King set in England between 1914 and the 1920’s.  Mary Russell first encountered the retired Sherlock Homes in 1914 when she became his apprentice as a beekeeper. They eventually marry and work together to solve the crimes.

Anne Perry (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt) (William Monk Series)
Perry’s Pitt Mysteries are set in 19th Century Victorian England.  The series features Thomas Pitt and his wife Charlotte Pitt.  Thomas is an Inspector for the London Police Force Special Branch.  Many of his cases are secret; however, Charlotte does contribute to solving the crime. Some titles in the Pitt series include:  Belgrave Square and Southampton Row.

Perry also writes another series featuring William Monk who is a police detective for the Thames River Police Department. The mysteries also take place in 19th Century Victorian England. According to Perry, the Monk series explores “…a different, dark character…” than presented in then the Pitt Series.  Some titles in the Monk Series include:  A Sudden, Fearful Death, and Twisted Root.

Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody Series)
Amelia P. Emerson (Peabody) and her husband Radcliffe Emerson are Egyptologist/Archaeologist who solve crimes.  The series is set in Victorian Egypt and England.

Forensic Detectives

 

Patricia Cornwall (Kay Scarpetta Series) 
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is a Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia and sleuth. Benton Wesley, an FBI agent and Pete Marino, a police officer, also accompanies her. 

Jeffery Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme Series)
Deaver’s mysteries explore the psychological aspects of crime and crime detection. The Lincoln Rhyme Series focus more on forensics and police work. Lincoln Rhyme is a quadriplegic (line of duty accident) who was formerly the head of the New York Police Department.  Now, he is a forensic criminologist for the New York Police Department.  Amelia Sachs, a New York City police officer, accompanies him.

Iris Johansen (Eve Duncan Series)
Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor working in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sharyn McCrumb (Elizabeth MacPherson Series)
Elizabeth MacPherson is a forensic antrhopologist and amateur sleuth.

James Patterson (Alex Cross)
Alex Cross is a former Washington, D.C. Police Department homicide detective who worked as a liaison between the police department and FBI.  Currently, Cross is a Senior Agent for the FBI.  He lives in Washington, D.C. and has a degree in psychology from Johns Hopkins University.

Kathy Reichs (Temperance Brennan Series) 
Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who works for the medical examiner’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition, Temperance Brennan also works in Montreal for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the Province of Quebec.  The television series called Bones is loosely based on Reichs’ novels.

Literary Detectives  

 

Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next Series)
Fforde’s mystery series takes place in parallel worlds (literary worlds).  Special Operative 39139 otherwise known as Thursday E. Next is a Literary Detective who lives in Swindon, England along with her pet dodo named Pickwick.  She works for the Jurisfiction Police Force who includes both real people and fictional characters such as the Cheshire cat and Voltaire.

 

  Master Detectives

 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes Series)
Doyle’s mysteries feature the infamous Sherlock Holmes, a master detective and his sidekick Dr. John Watson, a retired military doctor.  The mysteries take place in London, England. 

 

Museum Curator Detectives

 

Earlene Fowler (Benni Harper Series)
Benni Harper is a folk-art museum curator and amateur sleuth in San Celina, California.  The titles of Fowler’s mysteries are quilt patterns.

Margaret Truman (Annabel Reed, Capital Crimes Series)
Annabel Reed-Smith is a senior curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  The mysteries take place around the District of Columbia:  Union Station, Ford’s Theatre, Georgetown, Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon.

 

Park Ranger Detectives

 

Nevada Barr (Anna Pigeon Series)
Barr’s mysteries feature Anna Pigeon, a law enforcement ranger for the National Park Service.  The mysteries take place in various national parks such as Yosemite National Park, (California), Glacier National Park (Montana) and Cumberland Island National Seashore Park (Georgia).

 

Senior Detectives

 

Jeanne M. Dams (Dorothy Martin Series)
Dorothy Martin is a widowed, retired American schoolteacher and amateur sleuth residing in England. Dams’ series is also part of the “Cozy” Mystery genre.

Dorothy Gilman (Mrs. Pollifax Series)
Gilman’s series feature Mrs. Emily Pollifax, a grandmother who became a spy in her 60’s.  Mrs. Pollifax is a widow who lives in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Now that her children are grown, she decides to join the CIA and become an international spy.  After all, who would suspect a grandmother!  Gilman’s series is also considered part of the “Cozy” Mystery genre. 

 

Telepathic Detectives

 

Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse, Southern Vampire Mystery Series)
Davis’ mystery series features Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic barmaid who lives in Southern Louisiana.  Sookie’s adventures include vampires, werewolves, and other creatures of the night.

 

MYSTERY SERIES BY DETECTIVE NAME (A TO Z)

B

Alan Banks (Peter Robinson)
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks works at the Western Area Headquarters in Eastvale, North Yorkshire. He is described as a Maverick and has a distinguishing scar beside his right eye.

Holly Barker (Stuart Woods)
Holly Barker is a former Military Police Commander who becomes the Chief of Police in Orchid Florida.  Later in the series, Barker becomes a CIA operative.

Georgia Barnett (Yolanda Joe writing as Ardella Garland)
Georgia Barnett is a wise-cracking Chicago Televsion News Journalist who solves crimes.  Her escapades often involve Police Detective Doug Eckart.

Stone Barrington (Stuart Woods)
Stone Barrington is a former Manhattan detective who becomes an attorney for Woodman & Weld. He served fourteen years on the New York Police Force.

J. P. Beaumont (Judith A. Jance)
J. P. Beaumont is a Homicide Detective for the Seattle Police Department.

Darryl Billups (Blair S. Walker)
Darryl Billups is a Baltimore newspaper writer and sleuth.

Harry Bosch (Michael Connelly)
Harry Bosch is named after Hieronymus Bosch, a 15th Century Dutch artist. Bosch lives in Hollywood Hills and works as a detective for Los Angeles Police Department Open-Unresolved Unit.  He has over 30 years experience with the Los Angeles Police Department and is trained in hypnosis.

Joanna Brady (Judith A. Jance)
Joanna Brady is a Sheriff for Cochise County in Bisbee, Arizona.

Temperance Brennan (Kathy Reichs)
Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who works for the medical examiner’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition, Temperance Brennan also works in Montreal for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the Province of Quebec.  The television series called Bones is loosely based on Reichs’ novels.

Commissario Guido Brunetti (Donna Leon)
Leon’s series features Police Commissioner Guido Brunetti and his assistant Vianello.  The mysteries take place in or around Venice.

C

Carlotta Carlyle (Linda Barnes)
Carlotta Carlyle is a six foot one, redhead, and ex-cop who worked for the Boston Police Department; now she is a private investigator.

The Cat Who (series by Lillian Jackson Braun)
Braun’s mysteries feature James Mackintosh Qwilleran and his Siamese cats KoKo and Yum Yum.  Qwilleran is a newspaper columnist for the Moose County newspaper who is also an amateur sleuth.  Together with his cats, Qwilleran solves crimes.   Some titles in this series include:  The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (first novel in the mystery series), The Cat Who Smelled a Rat, The Cat Who Turned On and Off.

Molly Cates (Mary Willis Walker)
Molly Cates is a 40ish investigative crime reporter in Austin, Texas.

Nick Charles & Nora Charles (Thin Man series by Dashiell Hammett)
Nick Charles is a retired detective and his wife Nora is an amateur sleuth.

Jim Chee & Joe Leaphorn (Tony Hillerman)
Retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn teams up with Sergeant Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police to solve crimes.  In addition to being a police sergeant, Jim Chee is studying to be a traditional healer.

Elvis Cole (Robert Crais)
Crais has written several scripts for television including:  Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey and Miami Vice. His mystery series features Elvis Cole, a wise cracking, Los Angeles Private Investigator who lives in Laurel Canyon.  He works with Joe Pike, an ex-marine and ex- Los Angeles Police Department Officer to solve the mysteries.

Alex Cross (James Patterson)
Alex Cross is a former Washington, D.C. Police Department homicide detective who worked as a liaison between the police department and FBI.  Currently, Cross is a Senior Agent for the FBI.  He lives in Washington, D.C. and has a degree in psychology from Johns Hopkins University.

D

Adam Dalgliesh (P.D. James)
Commander Adam Dalgliesh is a professional detective for the Metropolitan Police Service at the New Scotland Yard in London.

Isabel Dalhousie (Alexander McCall Smith)
Isabel Dalhousie is a Scottish-American philosopher who lives in Scotland. Dalhousie is also the editor for the Review of Applied Ethics and her mysteries often involve unusual circumstances. Her series is also known as the Sunday Philosophy Club Series.

Eve Dallas (Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb)
Robb’s "In Death" series is set in New York during the 2050’s.  This futuristic mystery series features Lieutenant Eve Dallas, a New York police detective.

Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus (Faye Kellerman)
Kellerman’s mysteries feature the husband and wife team Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus.  Her mysteries are considered thrillers with a family aspect. 

R.J. Decker (Carl Hiaasen)
Decker is a novice private investigator that solves murders in Florida.

Sarah Booth Delaney  (Mississippi Delta series by Carolyn Haines)
Sarah Booth Delaney is a Southern belle sleuth in Zinnia, Mississippi. She lives in her family house called the Dahlia House that is haunted by her great, great grandmother’s nanny named Jitty.

John A. Dortmunder (Donald E. Westlake)
John Archibald Dortmunder is a professional thief who solves the murders. Westlake’s style lends itself to the caper/comic genre.

Katherine Driscoll (Mary Willis Walker)
Katherine Driscoll is a Texas dog trainer who solves murders.

Eve Duncan (Iris Johansen
Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor working in Atlanta, Georgia.

Starletta Duvall (Judith Smith-Levin)
Lieutenant Starletta Duvall is a homicide detective who works with her partner Sergeant Dominic Parisi to solve murders.

E

87th Precinct Series (Ed McBain)
McBain’s mysteries take place in the fictional city of Isola and often feature gritty, realistic, urban settings. The members of the 87th Precinct include:  Steve Carella, Meyer Meyer, and Andy Parker.

F

Falco & Helena (Lindsey Davis)
Davis’s mysteries feature Marcus Didius Falco, a former Roman informer turned private eye, his wife Helena and their dog Nux.  Their adventures take place in the historical Roman world.

Lew Fonesca (Stuart M. Kaminsky)
The Lew Fonesca Series features a middle-aged, widowed process server who moved from Chicago to Sarasota, Florida. 

G

Ganesh Ghote (Henry Reymond Fitzwalter Keating)
Ganesh Ghote is an inspector for the Mumbai Police Department in India.

Bernie Gunther (Philip Kerr)
Bernie Gunther is a former cop turned private eye in a series of historical mystery/thriller novels by British novelist Philip Kerr that are set in mid-1930s Berlin before World War II. 

H

Benni Harper (Earlene Fowler)
Benni Harper is a folk-art museum curator and amateur sleuth in San Celina, California.  The titles of Fowler’s mysteries are quilt patterns.

Barbara Havers & Thomas Lynley (Elizabeth George)
Thomas Lynley is the 8th Earl of Asherton and Inspector for Scotland Yard. His crime solving partner is Sergeant Barbara Havers.

Harry Hole (Jo Nesbo)
Harry Hole is the protaganist and title character of a series of crime fiction novels by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. Hole is a hardened detective who works the streets of Oslo, tracking murderers, bank robbers, gangsters and more.

Billy Bob Holland (James Lee Burke)
Billy Bob Holland is a former Texas Ranger, defense attorney and amateur sleuth who lives in Deaf Smith, Texas.  His character is full of guilt and reckoning with his past.

Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) 
Doyle’s mysteries feature the infamous Sherlock Holmes, a master detective and his sidekick Dr. John Watson, a retired military doctor.  The mysteries take place in London, England. 

I

Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli (Tess Gerritsen)
Jane Rizzoli is a Boston homicide detective who works with Maura Isles a medical examiner to solve crimes.  Gerritsen, a former practicing physician, utilizes her medical knowledge to create her medical/forensic mysteries.

J

J.W. Jackson (Philip R. Craig)
J.W. Jackson is a retired Boston cop who lives on Martha Vineyards.  He retired early from the Boston police force because of a gunshot wound. Craig also includes recipes prepared by J.W. Jackson. 

Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid (Deborah Crombie)
Crombie’s British mystery series features Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James who work for Scotland Yard. Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones are both professionally and personally involved.

Cliff Janeway (John Dunning)
Cliff Janeway is an ex-homicide detective for the Denver Police Force who is now an antiquarian book dealer.

K

Kevin Kerney (Michael McGarrity)
McGarrity’s character Kevin Kerney undergoes several changes in job title throughout the series but he remains involved in solving crimes in the police force. Kevin Kerney is an ex-Chief of Detectives for the Santa Fe Police Department who later becomes Chief of the New Mexico State Police and then becomes the Santa Fe Police Chief.  He is also a former rancher.

Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James (Deborah Crombie)
Crombie’s British mystery series features Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James who work for Scotland Yard. Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones are both professionally and personally involved.

Deborah Knott (Margaret Maron)
Deborah Knott is a District Court Judge in Colleton County, North Carolina who also solves crimes.

L

Rina Lazarus & Peter Decker (Faye Kellerman)
Kellerman’s mysteries feature the husband and wife team Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus.  Her mysteries are considered thrillers with a family aspect. 

Joe Leaphorn & Jim Chee (Tony Hillerman)
Retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn teams up with Sergeant Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police to solve crimes.  In addition to being a police sergeant, Jim Chee is studying to be a traditional healer.

Abraham (Abe) Liberman (Stuart M. Kaminsky)
Kaminsky’s hard-boiled series features Abraham (Abe) Liberman a sixty-year-old Chicago police detective.

Lord Peter Wimsey (Dorothy Leigh Sayers)
Lord Peter Wimsey is middle-aged, amateur sleuth who works with Inspector Charles Parker of Scotland Yard in London, England.

Thomas Lynley & Barbara Havers (Elizabeth George)
Thomas Lynley is the 8th Earl of Asherton and Inspector for Scotland Yard. His crime solving partner is Sergeant Barbara Havers.

 M

Hamish Macbeth (M.C. Beaton)
Hamish Macbeth is a town Constable in Lochdubh, a small village in the Scottish Highlands. He is reserved and likes to maintain a low profile.

Elizabeth MacPherson (Sharyn McCrumb)
Elizabeth MacPherson is a forensic antrhopologist and amateur sleuth.

Philip Marlowe (Raymond Chandler)
Marlowe’s character is fashioned after the typical “hard boiled” private detective; he is a cynical, loner-type, private detective in Los Angeles, California.

Miss Marple (Agatha Christy)
The Miss Marple Series exemplifies the “Cozy” Mystery Style.  Miss Marple is an elderly spinster who lives in the English village of St. Mary Mead.

Dorothy Martin (Jeanne M. Dams)
Dorothy Martin is a widowed, retired American schoolteacher and amateur sleuth residing in England. Dams’ series is also part of the “Cozy Mystery” genre.

Kate Martinelli (Laurie R. King)
Kate Martinelli is a homicide inspector for the San Francisco Police Department.  She teams up with her trusted partner Al Hawkin to solve crimes.

Sharon McCone (Marcia Muller)
Sharon McCone is a Private Investigator in San Francisco.  The mysteries are developed around social issues.

Kinsey Millhone (Sue Grafton)
Grafton’s trademark is murder by alphabet.  Each mystery begins with a different letter of the alphabet (A is for Alibi, K is for Killer).  Kinsey Millhone is a licensed private investigator. The mysteries take place in California.

Tess Monaghan (Laura Lippman)
Lippman is a Baltimore writer who sets her mysteries in Charm City.  Tess Monaghan is a Private Investigator and owner of Keys Investigations located in Buther’s Hill.  Tess lives in Roland Park.

William Monk (Anne Perry)
Perry also writes another series featuring William Monk who is a police detective for the Thames River Police Department. The mysteries take place in 19th Century Victorian England. According to Perry, the Monk series explores “…a different, dark character…” than presented in the Pitt Series.” Some titles in the Monk Series include:  A Sudden, Fearful Death, and Twisted Root.

Mrs. Murphy (Rita Mae Brown)
Brown and her tiger cat Sneaky Pie co-write the Mrs. Murphy Series, which features Mary Minor Haristeen “Harry” as the amateur sleuth. Harry is a postmistress who lives in Crozet, Virginia and solves crimes with her cat, Mrs. Murphy and sometimes Tee Tucker, a Corgi and Pewter, another cat.  Some examples of titles in this series include:  Catch as a Cat Can, Cat’s Eyewitness, and Whisker of Evil.

Mrs. Pollifax (Dorothy Gilman)
Gilman’s series feature Mrs. Emily Pollifax, a grandmother who became a spy in her 60’s.  Mrs. Pollifax is a widow who lives in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Now that her children are grown, she decides to join the CIA and become an international spy.  After all, who would suspect a grandmother!  Gilman’s series is also considered part of the “Cozy” Mystery genre. 

 N

Thursday Next (Jasper Fforde)
Fforde’s mystery series takes place in parallel worlds (literary worlds).  Special Operative 39139 otherwise known as Thursday E. Next is a Literary Detective who lives in Swindon, England along with her pet dodo named Pickwick.  She works for the Jurisfiction Police Force who includes both real people and fictional characters such as the Cheshire cat and Voltaire.

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Charles Paris (Simon Brett)
Charles Paris is a professional British actor in England and amateur sleuth.

Amelia Peabody (Elizabeth Peters)
Amelia P. Emerson (Peabody) and her husband Radcliffe Emerson are Egyptologist/Archaeologist who solve crimes.  The series is set in Victorian Egypt and England.

Toby Peters (Stuart M. Kaminsky)
The Toby Peters’ Series features a 1940’s Private Investigator who lives in Los Angeles.  The plots are straightforward and the characters are colorful including such celebrities as Errol Flynn and Joan Crawford.

Anna Pigeon (Nevada Barr)
Barr’s mysteries feature Anna Pigeon, a law enforcement ranger for the National Park Service.  The mysteries take place in various national parks such as Yosemite National Park, (California), Glacier National Park (Montana) and Cumberland Island National Seashore Park (Georgia).

Charlotte & Thomas Pitt (Anne Perry)
Perry’s Pitt mysteries are set in 19th Century Victorian England.  The series features Thomas Pitt and his wife Charlotte Pitt.  Thomas is an Inspector for the London Police Force Special Branch.  Many of his cases are secret; however, Charlotte does contribute to solving the crime. Some titles in the Pitt series include:  Belgrave Square and Southampton Row.

Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich)
Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christy)
Agatha Christie first introduced the character of Hercule Poirot, a retired Belgian police officer with his very distinctive waxed mustache in 1920. 

Mrs. Pollifax (Dorothy Gilman)
Gilman’s series feature Mrs. Emily Pollifax, a grandmother who became a spy in her 60’s.  Mrs. Pollifax is a widow who lives in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Now that her children are grown, she decides to join the CIA and become an international spy.  After all, who would suspect a grandmother!  Gilman’s series is also considered part of the “Cozy” Mystery genre. 

R

Agatha Raisin (M.C. Beaton)
Agatha Raisin is a middle-aged, public relations person who lives in a small village in the English countryside. She is pushy and calculating.

Precious Ramotswe (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith)
The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency is located in Botswana.  Precious Ramotswe, a private detective, directs the agency.  This is McCall Smith’s first mystery series. 

Easy Rawlings (Walter Mosely)
Easy Rawlings is a World War II veteran and crime fighting businessman in Los Angeles, California.

Inspector Rebus (Ian Rankin)
Rankin’s Inspector John Rebus series takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland in real time.

Annabel Reed-Mackenzie Smith (Margaret Truman)
Annabel Reed is a senior curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  Her husband Mackenzie Smith is a law professor. The mysteries take place around the District of Columbia:  Union Station, Ford’s Theatre, Georgetown, Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon.

Lincoln Rhyme (Jeffery Deaver)
Deaver’s mysteries explore the psychological aspects of crime and crime detection. The Lincoln Rhyme Series focus more on forensics and police work. Lincoln Rhyme is a quadriplegic (line of duty accident) who was formerly the head of the New York Police Department.  Now, he is a forensic criminologist for the New York Police Department.  Amelia Sachs, a New York City police officer, accompanies him.

Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles (Tess Gerritsen)
Jane Rizzoli is a Boston homicide detective who works with Maura Isles a medical examiner to solve crimes.  Gerritsen, a former practicing physician, utilizes her medical knowledge to create her medical/forensic mysteries.

Dave Robicheaux (James Lee Burke)
Dave Robicheaux is a Vietnam Veteran and former New Orleans homicide detective who moved to New Iberia, Louisiana for relaxation; however, he soon becomes involved in a murder mystery and becomes a sheriff’s deputy for the New Iberia Police Department.

Inspector Rostnikov (Stuart M. Kaminsky)
Kaminsky’s Inspector Rostnikov Series features Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov, a war hero and Moscow detective. 

Mary Russell (Sherlock Holmes-themed series by Laurie R. King)
This series is set in England between 1914 and the 1920’s.  Mary Russell first encountered the retired Sherlock Homes in 1914 when she became his apprentice as a beekeeper. They eventually marry and work together to solve the crimes.

 S

Kay Scarpetta (Patricia Cornwall)
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is a Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia and sleuth. Benton Wesley, an FBI agent and Pete Marino, a police officer, also accompanies her.

Matthew Scudder (Lawrence Block)
The Matthew Scudder series is not for faint of heart; Scudder is an ex-cop living in New York who becomes a private investigator.  Block’s style has been described as “harsh” and “bittersweet”. On the lighter side, Block also writes mysteries featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, a Greenwich Village bookshop owner who is also a thief.  Bernie often stumbles upon a murder.

Goldy Schulz (Diane Mott Davidson)
Davidson’s mysteries feature Goldy Schulz a full-time caterer and part-time sleuth in Colorado. Her mysteries are food-related and include recipes.  Some examples include: Dark Tort, Killer Pancakes, and Sticks and Scones.

Mackenzie Smith-Annabel Reed
Mackenzie Smith is a Washington, D.C. law professor. His wife, Annabel Reed, is a senior curator at the National Gallery of Art.  The mysteries take place around the District of Columbia:  Union Station, Ford’s Theatre, Georgetown, Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon.

Sam Spade (Dashiell Hammett)
Sam Spade is a partner in the private firm Archer/Spade Detective Agency located in San Francisco. 

Special Operative 39139 (see Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde)

Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire mystery series by Charlaine Harris)
Davis’ mystery series features Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic barmaid who lives in Southern Louisiana.  Sookie’s adventures include vampires, werewolves, and other creatures of the night.

Hannah Swensen (Joanne Fluke)
Hannah Swensen is the owner of the Cookie Jar bakery located in Lake Eden, Minnesota and amateur sleuth. Fluke’s mysteries are food-related (sweets & treats) and include recipes.  Some examples include:  Blueberry Muffin Murder, Lemon Meringue Pie Murder, and Sugar Cookie Murder.

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Jack Tagger (Carl Hiaasen)
Jack Tagger is a middle-aged, former investigative reporter who has been demoted to work the obituary desk; Tagger is trying to redeem his position by solving murders.

Thursday Next (see “N” for Next, Thursday; series by Jasper Fforde)

Temperance Brennan (see “B“ for Brennan, Temperance; series by Kathy Reichs) 

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Lord Peter Wimsey (Dorothy Leigh Sayers)
Lord Peter Wimsey is middle-aged, amateur sleuth who works with Inspector Charles Parker of Scotland Yard in London, England.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared by Michele Ringger-Weil l Sights & Sounds Department 

ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY 

STATE LIBRARY RESOURCE CENTER 

Baltimore l Maryland l Martin J. O’Malley l Mayor 

http://www.prattlibrary.org     3/07 

 

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