…Blondie and I each listen to 100+ audiobooks each year via Audible.com. “Listening to books” is not what it was years ago. All the books are in your smart phone. These author recommends are for readers and listeners.
Authors are like Barbecue and Bond Girls. We all have our own favorites. These are mine and Blondie’s. Check’em out. You might like’em too. The only joy comparable to the latest story by a favorite author is Discovering a New Favorite!
What BobLee is currently reading… Recently found a new (for me) series by Andy Maslen. His hero is Gabriel Wolf… former British SAS Super-Soldier… doing special assignments for “a deep-cover British Intelligence Agency”. A fairly common sub-genre; but I like the character and the “wasting bad guys” action. It is, so far, a five book series.
What BLONDIE is currently reading… BLONDIE loves anything set in England and UK especially stories set in early 20th century. Currently T.E. Kinsey’s – Lady Emily Hardcastle Mysteries. She is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. … BUT…
Why Is Crime Fiction So Popular…
The popularity of Crime Fiction might wax and wane but at the end of the day, it still remains one of the most popular genres. … READ MORE …
Some of Our Favorite Authors are…..
I hesitate to burden C.J. Box as My #1 Favorite but he is. I encourage you to check him out. His hero in a 15+-book series is Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett. Joe is not a former spec ops commando. … just a Game Warden, husband, father with a strong sense of Dudley Do-Right. His ever-lurking sidekick – Nate Romanowski – is a stone-cold killer. The character ensemble in Box’s “Joe Pickett”s Adventures are among the best I’ve found especially Wyoming Governor Spencer Rulon… I’ve never recommended CJ and Joe to anyone that did not thank me later for doing so.
Everyone loves “Travis McGee”. Think Magnum PI w/ Tom Selleck living on a houseboat (“The Busted Flush”) at Bahia Mar in South Florida. Travis saves damsels in distress then they leave and another one takes their place. Travis McGee is “iconic” in the independent renaissance man “fixer”/ PI genre similar to Robert Parker’s “Spenser”. 18-20 books in the series. The ideal “beach books”. … … NOTE: Blondie has a special place in her heart for Travis… as most women do.
“Jack Reacher” is the #1 iconic figure in current crime / mystery fiction. You cannot read that genre without knowing “Reacher”. There is no literary character quite like “Reacher – The ultimate Lone Wolf. There is violence wherever Reacher goes and he, and a toothnrush, are always going.
I met “Dirk Pitt” and the NUMA staff over 20 years ago. This is Indiana Jones-type High Adventure stuff. Dirk is a modern day pulp fiction hero of the 30s. Over-the-top adventures with James Bond-type villains. Cussler has co-authored several other similar series that I enjoy especially The Oregon Files and Isaac Bell.
“Myron Bolitar” is a former Duke BBall star turned sports agent turned “white knight” go-to-guy. Coben no longer writes about Myron and Win and Little Pocahontas but his 8-10 Myron stories are all available. Myron is a “good guy” hero but the real fun is his associates especially “Win”. ……. I’ve never found any group of series characters I enjoy like this bunch.
His Outlaw Chronicles is an 8-book series of great historical fiction about Robin Hood as told through Alan Dale. I compare this to Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove series. It is THAT GOOD. In the same category as Louis L’Amour’s “Sacketts series”. Definitely read these in order.
His hero is Bob Lee Swagger a/k/a “Bob The Nailer” !!! Duh! Swagger is a “Rambo” combat veteran (super sniper) who just wants to be left alone in his Idaho ranch…. but Nooo! Danger keeps calling. Hunter has adventure yarns about Bob Lee and about his father – Earl. Bob Lee ages in the series so the most recent books have an older Bob Lee. Bob Lee and Reacher are a lot alike.
The consummate Western writer known for his “cowboy stories” but my ALL-TIME FAVORITE LITERARY CHARACTER is L’Amour’s BARNABAS SACKETT …set in Very Early America around Lost Colony era. Barnabas leaves England for The New World with adventures versus pirates, brigands and “native Americans” (!). There are 5-6 books that trace Barnabas’ sons / grandsons in their adventures. He is just a special brand of heroic character. Barnabas’ death is as memorable as Gus McRae’s in Lonesome Dove. Has to be read in series order.
Preston & Childs
Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast in a 14+ book series. Pendergast is a combo of Sherlock Holmes / Dirk Pitt / Van Helsing. Lots of scary, supernatural bad guys “in the sewers of New York” and “swamps of Louisiana”……. probably not for everyone but I really like Pendergast.
A Clive Cusser / James Rollins – type. Over-the-top High Adventures saving the world from mega-villains. Reilly has a short series featuring Call-Sign Scarecrow that I really enjoy. Very much predictable “formula” stories but so what?
Ian Fleming lives on with Ted Bell thru his hero Alex Hawke. The Bond similarities are numerous… the urbane British Bond-thing, you will like Sir Alex Hawke and his international derring-do with super-villains. … Blondie and I met Ted Bell at a fancy soiree at The Breakers in Palm Beach 10 years ago. … nice fella!
DeMille’s “Gold Coast” featuring John Sutter is one of my 2-3 all-time favorite stories. The sequel – Gate House – is almost as good. DeMille’s John Corey stories are FBI guy versus diabolical Islamo-terrorist genre.
Vince Flynn, Ben Coes, Brad Thor
I include these three together because their heroes are so similar. Mitch Rapp – Dewey Andreas – Scott Harvath. Enjoy one you will likely enjoy them all. “Mitch” is almost on Reacher’s level of reader popularity. Mitch / Dewey / Scott are all spec ops guys who have “issues” with bureaucrats (and bureaucrats have issues with them!). These guys do NOT play well with others…. especially Islamo-terrorists.
Other Favorites We’re Always Reading:
James Lee Burke… “Dave Robicheaux” …. Detective in New Iberia LA… hard-core crime / police procedural with plenty of “the Nawlins thing”.
John Sandford … “Lucas Davenport & Virgil Flowers” … crime in Minnesota. “Virgil” is a spin-off of the Lucas Davenport “Prey” series.
Wayne Stinnett … “Jesse McDermitt” … a literary cousin of Travis McGee. A retired Marine sniper living on an island in the Keys. Does “special assignments” for Homeland Security.
Michael Connolly … “Harry Bosch” … LA homicide detective deals with gritty underbelly of LA’s crime world.
Robert Crais ... “Elvis Cole & Joe Pike” … “Elvis” is a PI in LA. “Joe” is his homicidal partner. … similar to CJ Box’s “Nate”.