Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson here, again recommending other people’s books. Today I want to highlight a few mystery series I particularly like. The first three are Indie published by authors who were first published by traditional publishers. In other words, these writers are professionals who know how to do it right.
First up is Patricia McLinn’s “Caught Dead in Wyoming” series of eleven books (# 12, Air Ready, is scheduled for April 12, 2023). I was hooked from #1, Sign Off. The amateur sleuth is Elizabeth Danniher, formerly an on-air reporter at a top TV station in a major market, now reduced, through no fault of her own, to working at tiny a station in the middle of nowhere. The balance of personal growth with mystery solving is just about perfect, and the cast of supporting characters adds both complexity and humor to the mix.
I met Patricia back in the 1990s when we were both writing category romance. Her day job was working for the Washington Post, a background that serves her well in creating this series. For more information on her books, go to www.PatriciaMcLinn.com.
I also met Patricia Rice back in my early writing days. She’s written in a variety of genres, including romance, historical romance, urban fantasy, and mystery. Many of her books feature characters who have inherited a little something extra from their ancestors. In the case of Evie Malcolm Carstairs, amateur sleuth in the “Psychic Solutions” series, it’s the ability to communicate with ghosts. The Indigo Solution, the first book in this five-book series (#5, The Aura Answer, will be released on November 8), introduces her as a “dog walker and ghost buster,” but by the second book, she and some equally interesting continuing characters, some of them with tech and law enforcement experience and some who contribute in non-traditional ways, have formed a company called Sensible Solutions. Their goal is to make a living solving crimes and other problems. There is lots of humor, along with the woo-woo elements, but best of all these books are page turners. You can find out more at www.PatriciaRice.com.
I’ve never met Sara Rosett, but her background is similar to that of the two Patricias. First published by an established New York publisher, she then moved on to become quite prolific as an Indie author. Her “Murder on Location” series falls into the cozy subgenre. Seven books, starting with Murder in the English Countryside, feature amateur sleuth Kate Sharp, an American location scout in England. In the first book, she’s there to scout locations for a new movie version of Pride and Prejudice. Later assignments include scouting locations for filming a documentary about Jane Austen and attending a Regency house party. Each one returns her to England so that other characters who appeared in the first book, including a love interest, can pop up again. A nice sprinkling of humor keeps plots centered around murder from becoming too dark. Sara’s website is www.SaraRosett.com.
All three series are great escapist fare. So is a seven-book, humorous, paranormal mystery (aka urban fantasy) series that is traditionally published by DAW Books. The Esther Diamond series by Laura Resnick (yet another acquaintance from the days of writing romance) features a mostly out-of-work actress in New York City who keeps getting involved in solving murders with a occult twist. She’s aided and abetted by a 350 year old sorcerer charged with fighting evil in Manhattan and her on-again, off-again love interest, a police detective. The series starts with Disappearing Nightly and continues with Doppelgangster, Unsympathetic Magic, Vamparazzi, Polterheist, The Misfortune Cookie, and Abracadaver. In case you couldn’t tell from the titles, there’s a strong element of humor in all these books. My personal favorite is Polterheist, in which Esther takes a seasonal job in a department store as Santa’s Jewish elf. Laura’s website is www.LauraResnick.com but she posts more frequently on her Facebook page, where she keeps followers updated on her work fostering cats for a local rescue group and her day job as a walking-tour guide to the “underground” of her home town.
Happy Reading, Everyone!
Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett has had sixty-four books traditionally published and has self published others, including several children’s books. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Her most recent publications are The Valentine Veilleux Mysteries (a collection of three short stories and a novella, written as Kaitlyn) and I Kill People for a Living: A Collection of Essays by a Writer of Cozy Mysteries (written as Kathy). She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com.