When I want to kick back and relax, I read a mystery. It still has to be well-written but they are a lot of fun. Love Dennlis LeHane (Mystic River most famous, ShutterIsland, most recent),Sue Grafton (A is for Alibi, etc), Robert Parker - so many!, James Lee Burke (a pesonal favorite - what a writer! - his Dave Robicheax books set in Louisiana are full of evil, corruption and madness. He also has his "Billy Bob" series set in Montana), Laura Lippman (Her detective, Tess Monaghan, does her detecting in Baltimore. Very Very location-oriented), Tim Cockey (also a Baltimore writer - his detective Hitchcock Sewell, is an undertaker. "Hearse of a Different Color" ETC), Sharyn McCrumb (Appalachian writer - wonderful, moody, evocative), Martin Cruz Smith (his detective is Russian - first one was during Cold War period - superb!), Margaret Maron (North Carolina - Judge Deborah Knott), Elizabeth George (English Lord who is also a detective and his working class sidekick who has her own "issues"), Anne Perry (melodramatic, Victorian but very detailed and well researched), good old Agatha Christie (Murder on the Orient Express and Who Shot Roger Ackroyd are my two personal favorites), Ian Rankin (gritty, Scottish, wonderful), John Dunning (Bookman's Wake and others about a book seller detective - really an education about rare books), Carl Hiassen (Florida - environmentalist - laugh out loud - his bad guys always succumb to very grisly deaths), Kinky Friedman (zany, unexpected, silly, fun!), Iain Pears (Middle Ages/Renaissance period - very erudite), Sujata Massey (her series set in Japan with young woman who is half Japanese and half caucasian and living in Japan - really educates you about Japanese society and mores), Andy Oaks (Dragon's Eye - Fabulous book about modern Chinese society - billed as a Chinese Noir - I loved it!) So much more but I have things to do!
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