Read the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris. This is the series that the HBO show, True Blood, is based on - but the books are much better than the series! See also Charlaine's Website at http://www.charlaineharris.com/ and also the Everything Sookie Stackhouse site at http://www.sookiestackhouse.com/.
I have a real affinity for books dealing with murder and mayhem (a direct result of teaching high school, I think). I particularly enjoy legal thrillers. If you’ve read any titles in the Harry Bosch series, you should check out The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. Mickey Haller is the "Lincoln Lawyer", so-named because his office is in the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. This first book in a new series has really captured my interest and I'm looking forward to reading the follow-up, The Brass Verdict.
I enjoy the cozy sort of mysteries more that the blood and guts type, so I highly recommend two series by Elizabeth Peters. She has one series (starting with Crocodile on the Sandbank) that focuses on a family of Egyptian archaeologists at the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th. These are really very fun and addicting. There are 18 in the Amelia Peabody series, and the author, who swore she was retiring, is working on another one (they are addicting even for her!). There is also a rather fun compendium to go along with the books. The second series I like by her is the Vickie Bliss series, which is shorter at only 6 books (or 7, depending on if you count one that only includes one of the main characters). These are about an American (whose tall, blonde good looks mean that some often overlook her intelligence) who wrangles a job at a museum in Germany and ends up involved with a talented and charming art thief.
I also enjoy the Janet Evanovich "Stephanie Plum" series (hilarious and bawdy) and the Nancy Atherton "Aunt Dimity" series (sweet), but find that these become repetitive after a while.
One of my all-time favorite books, which is not strictly a mystery but it's not strictly anything else either, is "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis. If you ever liked Jeeves and Wooster, Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter, hokey Victorian spiritualism, time travel adventures or a clever cat-and-dog pair, then I highly recommend this book.
He's not a mystery writer, but Wally Lamb is one of my favorite authors. His book She's Come Undone was good, but his next book This Much I Know Is True is absolutely the best story I ever read. However, his newest book, The Hour I First Believed, might take its place. I'm half way through it and I'm enjoying every page. With the 10th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy it's a timely read.
Some of my favorite authors include
- John Sandford writes the Prey series starring a detective named Lucas Davenport and the Kidd novels starring Kidd a hacker.
- James Patterson writes about a Washington, D.C. homicide detective named Alex Cross and the Wonem's Murder Club which includes a detective, a district attorney, a medical examiner, and a crime reporter who join forces to solve mysteries.
- Sue Grafton writes the alphabet mysteries starring Kinsey Malhone.
- Elmore Leonard writes truly rich and lively characters. But don't judge him based on the movies, ead one of the books first.