A Triple Boost of Appreciation by Holstine, Love, Zgorski

What happens when three established book advocates join forces to call attention to some underappreciated writing? You get this: the start of an occasional feature where Lesa Holstine, Dru Ann Love, and Kristopher Zgorski gather together to highlight books which might have been missed. Thanks to Krisopher who came up with this idea.

In the first post of this type, we have decided to discuss underappreciated series. We determined that we would each choose five of our favorites and share them on each other’s blogs. In order to see the entire list – and why would you not want to see the entire list? – you will have to visit each of the participating blogs.

Visiting dru’s book musings today is Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books. Included with each of Kris’ suggestions is a list of the books in the proper order. Let’s see which series Kris thinks we should all check out:

Sandra Brannan – The Liv Bergen Mystery Series
In the belly of jonah

I am starting with this series because it is probably the least well known on my list. I suspect people may be scared away by the religious sounding titles of these books, but they should not be. Sandra Brannan takes more risks than most new authors and that is what makes this series so addictive. For example, the two main characters in the series hardly interact in the first two books and the fourth book reads more like a thriller with a very tight two-day time frame. There is nothing predictable or clichéd about anything in this series. Beyond that, Liv is a character who feels very relatable and readers will find it impossible not to root for her.

In the Belly of Jonah (2010)
Lot’s Return to Sodom (2011)
Widow’s Might (2012)
Noah’s Rainy Day (2013)
Solomon’s Whisper (2015)

Solomon's Whisper# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #


Yrsa Sigadardoitter – The Thóra Gudmundsdóttir Series
Last Rituals

This is the only translated series on my list. Set in Iceland, the crimes in this series are very tied to their country of origin and make for fascinating reading for those of us less familiar with life in Iceland. Thóra is a lawyer and single mother who has a strict moral compass and refuses to see injustices go unpunished. Talking with Yrsa at Malice this year, she informed me that The Silence of the Sea was the final book in Thóra’s journey. I, for one, will certainly miss Thóra. Fortunately, Yrsa’s stand-alone novels are also excellent.

Last Rituals (2007)
My Soul To Take (2009)
Ashes to Dust (2012)
The Day is Dark (2013)
Someone To Watch Over Me (2015)
The Silence of the Sea (2016)

The Silence of the Sea# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #


Sophie Hannah – The Zailer/Waterhouse Series
Little Face

Probably the most well known of the authors on my list, Sophie Hannah has yet to break through in the US market to the level that she deserves. Sophie writes some of the most complex psychological domestic crime dramas out there. Different from other series, Sophie Hannah makes the players in each new case the focus of the novel and has her detectives act as supporting players. Because of this, they read more like stand-alone novels, but the continuing developments in Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse’s relationship do link these novels together. The cases in Sophie Hannah’s books are always convoluted and idiosyncratic; and because of this they become a sort of drug one becomes addicted to. Many of the novels were published under different names in the UK, so check out Sophie Hannah’s webpage for clarification.

Little Face (2007)
The Truth-Teller’s Lie (2008)
The Wrong Mother (2009)
The Dead Lie Down (2010)
Cradle in the Grave (2011)
The Other Woman’s House (2012)
Kind of Cruel (2013)
The Carrier (2014)
Woman with a Secret (2015)

Woman with a Secret# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #


Michael Robotham – The Joe O’Loughlin Mystery SeriesShatter

Michael Robotham is an Australian author whose reputation continues to grow in the United States. The dates included are from editions released by his current US publisher, Mulholland Books. Joe O’Loughlin is one of my favorite fictional heroes. Joe is a clinical psychologist, but what makes him so unique is that from the first book in the series, Joe is well into his struggle with Parkinson’s disease. As the series progresses, reader watch how this degenerative condition affects both his personal and professional life. The cases he is called in to assist on are unusual and the solutions are always unexpected. There is also a sub-series featuring Joe’s friend Vincent Ruiz which is also well worth checking out.

Shatter (2012)
Bleed For Me (2012)
The Wreckage (2012)
Say You’re Sorry (2013)
Watching You (2014)
Close Your Eyes (forthcoming in US)

Close your eyes# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #


Lauren Henderson – The Scarlett Wakefield Series
kiss me kill me

This choice is different than the others. First off, this is a young adult series. Also, this selection is actually a closed series; the three books that are currently out complete it. Lastly, Lauren Henderson has written one longer story broken into three interconnected novels. What makes this series stand out is Scarlett. Unlike many YA heroines, Scarlett does not fall into any stereotypes. Scarlett is a strong young woman who does not depend on the males in her life. Once reading the set-up for the overarching story, there is no turning back: Scarlett Wakefield has a major crush on Dan McAndrew, but when they share their first kiss and Dan dies in her arms, she finds herself both a pariah in British society and the lead suspect in his murder.

Kiss Me, Kill Me (2008)
Kisses and Lies (2009)
Kiss in the Dark (2010)
Kiss of Death (2011)

kiss of death# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Book Reviewer Kristopher Zgorski is an avid reader devoted to crime fiction who presently works as a Production Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University Press located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and is also the founder of the mystery and crime fiction book review blog BOLO Books (www.bolobooks.com).

Thank you for stopping by dru’s book musings today. Please journey over to Lesa’s Book Critiques and BOLO Books to explore more of our suggestions.

20 responses to “A Triple Boost of Appreciation by Holstine, Love, Zgorski

  1. Thanks for introducing me to some books that I probably would never has seen otherwise.


  2. I love the Liv Bergen Mystery Series books. Having met Sandra Brannan a couple of times, she’s pretty awesome too!


    • Sandra is awesome. I’m glad you like her series. I hope you give the others a try and make sure to stop at the other two blogs.


  3. Nancy Roessner

    Interesting concept, a triple threat!


  4. I’ve read the first two books in Sandra Brannan’s series, loved them, and have meant to catch up. I love Michael Robotham’s books. Love them. Have both the Yrsa and Sophie series on my list to read. One day. Thanks for the suggestions!!


    • There’s title I’ve never heard of and will check them out as well. I hope you visit the other two blogs for more books to enjoy.


  5. I’ve read Sandra Brannan series and it’s a good mystery series.


  6. Best. Idea. Ever!


  7. Love this idea! I love all of your blogs, of course, and this is a great feature.


  8. This was so much fun Dru. Thanks for joining me for this joint post. I just know that reader’s TBR piles are exploding everywhere. See you in Raleigh.


  9. Kudos Lesa, Dru Ann and Kristopher!!


  10. Thanks. A friend was just recommending Sophie Hannah.