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Hard to Find but Worth It

One of my all-time favorite mystery series is Dorothy Cannell's Thin Woman series. Ellie Haskell is a detective after my own heart. It's a shame that some of the early books are out of print (at least in the U.S.). It is worth your time to rummage the used book bins in your town looking for the first few in the series (and, for safe measure, use our Notify Me service).

Here's a complete list of the series.

I was at the Oregon Coast this past weekend, staying at the reader's paradise that is the Sylvia Beach Hotel. When I wasn't curled up in the library with a cup of tea, I was poking around the wonderful local bookstores looking for early Dorothy Cannell mysteries!

I am loath to read a series out of order (the Thin Woman series is no exception) and, yet, I love these books so much that I'd rather you read the latest addition to the series, Withering Heights, and then work backwards. As Withering Heights opens you'll find Ellie in domestic bliss, which is not what you'd ever expect when reading the first book The Thin Woman. When you finally get to read the early books in the series, it will be like discovering the secret past of a close friend.

Dorothy Cannell creates excellent puzzle mysteries, as well as rich memorable characters. Ellie Haskell and (okay, spoiler ahead) her husband Ben are joined by an eccentric but lovable cast of supporting characters. Put a tea kettle on the stove and curl up with a wonderful series.

Books mentioned in this post

3 Responses to "Hard to Find but Worth It"

    Carla October 8th, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    That's just the nature of the business. 10 or more years ago I'd get lots of calls for books by authors like Ngaio Marsh, Arthur Upfield etc. Now, only a few requests for them trickle in, not because the books aren't good any more.. but because everybody is after the newest latest best seller, and book stores have to make room for that newest latest best seller (you can't always add a new shelf). And unfortunately out of print titles get moved out and forgotten..

    I too find myself caught up wanting that new, next book from a favorite author..

    but it's always nice to curl up with a old friend.. here a few of my recommendations..

    Non fiction..
    Floreana: A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galapagos by Margret Wittmer
    any of Dayton Hyde's books found in nature studies and farming..
    and "Lightning Bird" by Lyall Watson..

    and for fiction...
    Try Patricia Wrightson..she combines Aboriginal Myth with fantasy in a delightful package..
    Anything by Zenna Henderson..
    or Evelyn Lampman..
    and try "Night in the Lonesome October" by Roger Zelazny..
    or "Ophelia" by Florence Stevenson..

    These books maybe hard to find.. but they are, oh so worth searching out..

    lynnr “aka” the viper October 9th, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Curling up with a newly discovered series is one of my favorite activities. When I discover a new one, I do my best to gather all the previous titles in the series together so I can start at the beginning - good thing I work at Powell's!

    While Beth likes "cozy" mysteries, I'm a "thriller" kind of girl, myself. Burying myself in a "blood and guts" thriller is my way of blocking out the world. But I have to admit one of my all time favorite series is Agatha Christies "Miss Marple" books - you can't get more "cozy" than that. I read these in junior high and still love them.
    However,like many other readers, I wait with baited breath for my favorite author's newest release. Patrica Cornwell has a new Kay Scarpetta book out this month that I can't wait to read and I just started Tess Gerritsen's "Bone Garden", another in the Maura Isles series. Gerritsen intertwines stories from two different eras (the 1830's and present day)and includes some strong scenes that remind us how far medical treatment of pregnant women has come since then. Gerritsen and Cornwell write strong, smart female characters that I love to come back to again and again.

    Beth can keep the "cozies" (except my good friend Miss Marple), I'll stick to my blood and guts - I guess it's proof of a warped mind that I find them relaxing!

    Carrie October 23rd, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    One of my favorite hard-to-find series is The Canterbury Tales by P.C. Doherty. Set in medieval England, the six mysteries pick up where Chaucer leaves off, and are rich tales of mystery, murder, and mayhem. The books in the series are: An Ancient Evil, Tapestry of Murders, Tournament of Murders, Ghostly Murders, The Hangman's Hymn, and A Haunt of Murder.

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