For some months now I have been searching for a new ‘series’ to read while waiting for new books from my favorite authors Karen White, Patience Griffin and Charles Todd. It’s a lot of work searching for the perfect ‘series.’ After all, you get involved with the lives of the characters and root for them just like a favorite sports team. So with the New Year, I would like to share with you some of my findings. Remember to keep up with your favorite authors on www.fantasticfiction.com. Happy Reading!
Lauren Willig writes a fantastic series called ‘Pink Carnation’; what Ms. Willig refers to as the Napoleonic-Era British spy novels. The first in this series is The Secret History of the Pink Carnation introducing Eloise Kelly. Ms. Kelly begins her adventure into the hostile country of France to find The Purple Gentian whom she plans to work alongside to save her beloved England. If you enjoy the Renaissance period, this might be your next Romance Mystery. I found twelve books in this series as well as a collection of other novels from this author.
Karen Kingsbury has a slew of series for the inspirational reader. My favorite is her ‘Redemption’ series. Redemption is the first in this series about the Baxter family and the trials they face. Through faith in God, the Baxter’s will endure pain and challenges. Ms. Kingsbury has written over a dozen other series as well as stand-alone novels. She has had several releases in the past few months from which to choose. One of the best inspirational novelist today. (I want to try another inspirational writer –Becky Wade in 2018; her Porter Family series).
Another favorite I have been reading for years is M C Beaton’s ‘Agatha Raisin’ series. Begin with Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death to follow Agatha’s antics. Mrs. Agatha Raisin has just retired from her public relations job in a quaint English village where she becomes the neighborhood sleuth. Ms. Beaton introduces a host of colorful characters in each novel, which Agatha pursues with zeal, inflicting her less than friendly grilling techniques on to solve the murder. I just finished the latest in this series, The Witches Tree and loved it.
Jenny Colgan is a new author to me. I was drawn to this author because I love Comedy and Ms. Colgan has received awards for her Romance Comedy novels. I loved Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in ‘Bringing up Baby’ so who wouldn’t love a good Romantic Comedy. I’m starting with The Little Beach Street Bakery; however, there are others. Ms. Colgan lives in Scotland where she writes about Polly Waterford who to rebuild her life from a broken relationship discovers her new passion – baking. I’d suggest you make a trip to the local cupcake shop before you begin this delicious read.
Charles Finch, the mystery writer, is another recent discovery for me. His character, Charles Lenox is an English gentleman who prefers to spend his days solving murders. Though Lenox is an amateur sleuth, he does finally complete the job. A servant of his lifelong friend, Lady Jane has been murdered, and Lady Jane has requested his services to look into the matter. With the help of his brother, Edmond, who is a Member of Parliament; his manservant, Graham; and a few paid ruffians Lenox employs, he finally solves not one but two murders. A Beautiful Blue Death is the first in this series, and I look forward to reading the entire collection.
RaeAnne Thayne has written at least seven different series for the Western Romance lover. Just the book covers themselves will make you want to curl up with a cup of tea and your favorite quilt. Ms. Thayne incorporates scenes from her northern Utah Mountain home which I find most beautiful in the descriptions. I chose the ‘Hope’s Crossing’ series (start with Blackberry Summer), but I’m sure any of her novels will work wonders for the soul.
England, 1919, the Great War is over, and Verity Kent has lost her husband. After receiving a devastating letter suggesting her deceased husband Sidney may have committed treason, Verity travels to Umbersea Island. There she must work to uncover the many secrets lurking among her late husband’s fellow officers. Fortunately, her Secret Service training will assist her to discover the truth; perhaps that neither she nor her husband really knew each other. Anna Lee Huber is the author of the Verity Kent Mysteries and the first in this series is This Side of Murder. Another Huber series, Lady Darby Mysteries takes place in Scotland, 1830; Lady Kiera Darby’s husband has died, and she has been accused of using her artists’ talent to define his work. Society has condemned her as they condemned her husband in his morbid anatomy habits of collected cadavers. Enjoy The Anatomist’s Wife from this master storyteller.
One of my most favorite authors is Alexander McCall Smith. Though he claims authorship to dozens of books, my favorite is his Isabel Dalhousie series; I also enjoy 44 Scotland Street and Corduroy Mansions series. I first read The Sunday Philosophy Club with Isabel Dalhousie many years ago and fell in love with this philosopher sleuth who analyzes the perfect mystery, but not usually murder. Join Isabel, her niece Cat and her ex-boyfriend Jamie, and Grace, the housekeeper for an adventure. You’ll love how this series evolves, and check out some other series by Alexander McCall Smith.