05 October 2019


My ten favourite mystery series.  Asey is definitely Number One; the others are listed in the order of their first appearance.


Asey Mayo (24 books, 1931-51, by Phoebe Atwood Taylor).  Asey, "the Codfish Sherlock," is a jack-of-all-trades on Cape Cod.

Judy Bolton (38 books, 1932-67, by Margaret Sutton).  The series begins with Judy as a high-schooler in Pennsylvania, and continues after she finishes school and gets married.

Nero Wolfe (47 books, 1934-85, by Rex Stout, and 7 authorised sequels, 1986-94, by Robert Goldsborough, plus pastiches by numerous other authors).  Wolfe is a private detective in New York City.

Luis Mendoza (37 books, 1960-86, by Elizabeth Linington writing as "Dell Shannon").  Luis is a lieutenant in the LAPD Homicide (later Robbery/Homicide) Division. Linington wrote two other series about LA-area cops: Vic Varallo (13 books, 1961-85, by "Lesley Egan") and Ivor Maddox (13 books, 1964-86, using her real name).  Vic is a patrolman in the Glendale PD, and Maddox is a sergeant with the Hollywood PD.

Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee (18 books, 1970-2006, by Tony Hillerman).  Lt Leaphorn and Sgt Chee are members of the tribal police on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico and Arizona.  After Hillerman's death his daughter Anne added four books to the series (2013-18).

Colin Flagg (8 books, 1973-94, by M K Wren).  Colin owns a bookstore on the Oregon coast.

Brady Coyne  (25 books, 1984-2010, by William G Tapply).  Brady is a Boston Lawyer. Tapply also co-wrote three books (2001-07) with Philip R Craig, in which Brady teams up with J W Jackson, the star of 19 books by Craig.

Meg Langslow (25 books so far, 1999-2019, by Donna Andrews).  Meg is a blacksmith and mother somewhere in central Virginia.

Walt Longmire (21 books so far, 2004-19, by Craig Johnston).  Walt is a county sheriff in Wyoming.

Alafair Tucker (10 books, 2005-18, by Donis Casey).  Alafair is an Oklahoma farmer's wife; the stories are set before, during and immediately after WW I.  Casey's plan was to write one book centred on each of Alafair's ten children; having completed that, she is starting a new series which she says is a spinoff from the original series.

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