Series fans are a devoted bunch, following their favorite characters through adventure after adventure and sending new installments to the top of bestseller lists. But what to do while you're waiting for the next book?
In the spirit of book fortunes, here are mystery series recommendations based on taste, from cozies to police procedurals to Nordic noir. In each case, we take a wildly popular series and offer a few suggestions for series that are newer or lesser known.
If you like the forensic technology in Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series, try . . .
• The Dr. Claire Waters series by Neal Baer and Jonathan Green, starring forensic psychiatrist Claire Waters and NYPD detective Nick Lawler. Book #1, Kill Switch, is a break-neck story about a serial killer's rampage.
• Jefferson Bass's Body Farm series, starring forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton. Whodunit columnist Bruce Tierney called the most recent installment, The Inquisitor's Key, "highly original."
• Andrea Kane's Forensic Instincts series, about a crew of experts "working just a smidgeon outside the law" who solve near-impossible crimes.
If you like Michael Connelly's police procedurals about LAPD detective Harry Bosch, try . . .
• The brand-new Bell Elkins series by Julia Keller, which focuses on the prosecuting attorney in a small town in West Virginia. We loved book #1, A Killing in the Hills, which starts with a bang when three men are murdered in a coffee shop.
• Owen Laukkanen's Stevens and Windermere series, about an FBI special agent and a Minnesota state investigator. Book #2, Criminal Investigator, comes out on March 21, 2013.
If you like Elizabeth George's series about Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, try . . .
• Louise Penny's Canadian whodunits about Chief Inspector Gamache and his homicide department in Quebec. The latest installment, The Beautiful Mystery, is out this month.
• The excellent police procedurals about the Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French. We loved #4, Broken Harbor—our Top Pick in Fiction for August.
If you like Lilian Jackson Braun's lighthearted "The Cat Who" series of cozy mysteries, try . . .
• Barbara Allan's Trash 'n' Treasures series about a mother-daughter amateur sleuthing team. The latest, the offbeat and funny Antiques Disposal, is a must for cozy fans.
• Clare O'Donohue's Someday Quilts series, which BookPage calls "a haven for those who love a good mystery as well as the history and colorful ambiance involved in the craft of quilting."
If you like Sue Grafton's books starring feisty sleuth Kinsey Milhone, try . . .
• Laura Levine's series about wisecracking detective Jaine Austen. We liked Pampered to Death, a clever sendup of health spas. (The victim is strangled with spa-healthy kelp!) Look for Death of A Neighborhood Witch in September.
• Kate White's Bailey Weggins mysteries, about a "smart, savvy, sexy" amateur sleuth.
If you like Stieg Larsson's edgy Millennium Trilogy, try . . .
• Jo Nesbo's gritty series about Oslo investigator Harry Hole.
• Swedish author Hakan Nesser's Chief Inspector van Veeteren series, which Bruce Tierney calls an "absolute must."
• Lars Kepler's Detective Inspector Joona Linna series (also Swedish). Book #2, The Nightmare, came out in July. BookPage contributor Sukey Howard called it "crime fiction with real depth."
• Taylor Stevens' Vanessa Michael Munroe books, which have an assassin-heroine who will remind you more than a little of Lisbeth Salander.
If you like Elizabeth Peters' series about Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, try . . .
• Charles Finch’s atmospheric Victorian mystery series about Parliament member/amateur detective Charles Lenox. BookPage review Barbara Clark called A Burial at Sea an "expertly written adventure." Look for A Death in the Small Hours in November.
• Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series, romantic stories about spies in 19th-century Britain.
• Tasha Alexander's historical mysteries about 19th-century English sleuth Lady Emily.
What series do you love?
By the way, if women's fiction series are more your thing, this week's Monday Contest highlights Susan Wiggs' Lakeshore Chronicles series. (You can enter to win 10 books!)