I picked up a used copy of the new Janet Evanovich, Lean Mean Thirteen
. One of my coworkers said, "Didn't you read number twelve? Why would you need to read another one?" I assured her that new and different things would happen to Stephanie's car and to her love life. And I wasn't disappointed. I always tell people, there is a reason Janet Evanovich is a bestselling author ? she's a great writer!
Stephanie Plum, the heroine of the series, has bad luck with cars and perhaps too much good luck with men. And every book is different. Evanovich does a wonderful job of concocting new mysteries for her readers. Her Trenton, New Jersey, world has enough good guys, bad guys, losers, and family members to fill a dozen more novels. If you have stayed away from Evanovich because you thought she was just churning out the same book over and over, give her a chance. You will be surprised.
Another series I love is Bruce Alexander's John Fielding mysteries. The first one is called Blind Justice. Set in the 18th century, the series is rich and steeped in history. John Fielding and his assistant Jeremy Proctor make a wonderful team. The streets of London, all the good and bad of the time period, come to life on the page.
Like Evanovich, Bruce Alexander has taken pains to set up a believable premise for his series. John Fielding is a magistrate so crime comes to him every day. The supporting characters are well-drawn and quirky without being distracting. The mysteries themselves are not puzzles, per se: usually we know who the bad guys are. Instead readers will delight in watching John Fielding put the facts together.
For compulsive readers like me, series are great. I finish one book and grab the next one without pause. It's not the same book over and over again (at least not the series I read!). It's a new day in a familiar place.