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What mystery authors should we consider for 2013?

September 29, 2012 by sdc

As we prepare to wrap up our 2012 season of Just Desserts meetings and look forward to 2013, we are faced with that inevitable question -- what authors should we read and discuss as a group in the next year?

Harlan Coben, our October 2012 selected author, is the 67th author we've tackled thus far. Our goal for the past 6+ years has been to not repeat an author if we could possibly help it. Here are the other criteria we've used when choosing past authors/titles:

  • For the first several years of Just Desserts, we've alternated between "classic" authors and "contemporary" authors. We ended that practice after we ran out of "classic" authors for whom the library had sufficient copies to meet the group's needs.
  • The libraries need to own at least 12 to 15 copies of whatever title we select, preferably in a variety of formats, including audio and/or downloadable.
  • We've tried to avoid those authors that everybody already seems to be reading (such as Evanovich and Patterson), and focus on picking authors that may be new to a large percentage of the group's members.
  • We've tried to alternate tone and writing style -- including a mix of cozies, police procedurals, amateur detectives, noirish P.I.s, forensic detectives, various time periods, etc.
  • We've had some success with picking a few authors for whom we didn't select a specific title -- instead recommending that participants read whatever novel(s) they could for those authors (Louise Penny and Suzanne Arruda). We are certainly capable of trying this again! This makes for unusual discussions, as we try to discuss generalities rather than specifics of individual titles.

With all of these considerations in mind, what authors do you suggest that we consider for Just Desserts gatherings in 2013? Leave your suggestions as a comment to this blog post -- and feel free to elaborate on why you recommend particular authors in your comments!

Scott C. / Just Desserts coordinator

Here's a link to the Just Desserts archives, so you can see an entire list of all the authors we've used in the past.

Tagged in: Just Desserts, mystery, book discussion, book group, discussion group, poll,

Comments 8

Admin Comment
Scott Clark said:
The following list of suggested authors was sent in by e-mail by group member Vera:

I have some suggestions for reading. First choice is Peter Robinson, English author, who writes a series about Inspector Banks In a Yorkshire setting. He is an excellent writer; the series contains 20 books; York is a change of setting rather than often being in London. I have read only two of his books, but intend to read more. The problem is the number of copies available. Perhaps we could try a modified version of when we read Louise Penney.

Second choice is Donna Leon with her Inspector Brunnetti series set in Venice. They are elegantly written about a calmer culture than ours. Same problem with copies, but she too has written about 20 novels in the series and we could apply the same solution as for Robinson.

Perhaps Jo Nesbo would be a possibility. I didn’t check on availability of copies but since he is a “current rage” there might be enough.

Linda Fairstein is another suggestion. I like her New York settings.

A humorous read would be the Anne Purser series with the cleaning lady who solves mysteries Agatha-style.

One more suggestion. It is not labeled a mystery but it is: Jodi Picoult’s “The Tenth Circle”. The library did have a lot of copies but may not now.
Linda Riesberg said:
I like Vera's suggestion of Donna Leon. Her books are delightful.

Carolyn Hart is another suggestion. I haven't read her but several members of the group have recommended her books.

Lisa Gardner is another mystery writer I have found who is a prolific writer.

Laura Lippman writes a number of mysteries also.

We read Faye Kellerman maybe we could read Jonathan or Jesse Kellerman works.
Joan Flynn said:
I like the suggestion of Carolyn Hart. Her Death on Demand mysteries are excellent.

I also like the novels of Tana French especially Broken Harbor.
Carolyn Kitterer said:
I also think Donna Leon would be a good choice. I just spent 3 weeks in Italy and my friend has a cookbook based on her books. The book has an excerpt from one of the books and then a recipe for food/dinner mentioned. Yummy!

An author I heard about through a review is Daniel Silva. I haven't read anything by him, but the review was intriguing.

I just read my first John LeCarre mystery and although I can't say I was wild about it, I don't think Just Desserts has read a Le Carre mystery and it would be worth considering.

How about a Nordic Noir book? Nesbo or another author....
Marlene said:
Lawrence Block, James R Benn, David Baldacci, are a few I thought of.
Admin Comment
Scott Clark said:
Vicki e-mailed the comment "I like Walter Mosley", so I'll add that to this suggestion thread.

Although...the Just Desserts group read and discussed Mosley's "Black Betty" a few years ago already. For anyone who wishes to see a complete list of all titles/authors we've used in the past, they are archived here:
Admin Comment
Scott Clark said:
One of our past regulars, Barbara R., offered up the following recommendations, via e-mail:

Let me suggest some Just Desserts titles/authors:

Ross Thomas, The Cold War Swap. Introduces Mac McCorkle and Michael Padillo, who are in three more books. (I love them all.)

Ruth Rendell, Anna's Book. I think this is her best, about a Danish woman living in London and her daughter's search for identity, combined with a gruesome murder not far from their home.

Tim Downs, Shoo-Fly Pie. This is [the Third Tuesday Mystery Book Club]'s December book and I'm already liking the tale about a forensic entomologist.

As I think of more, I'll let you know.
JoAnn Thomas said:
I also recommend the Donna Leon mysteries.

Deborah Crombie and Laurie King are mystery writers I enjoy.

Henning Mankell has several I've enjoyed.

Ruth Rendell's mysteries appeal to me, but some of my friends think they are too weird.

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