When you’re waiting for the latest mystery from an A-list author, try one of these. These authors may not make the bestseller lists, but they are reliable masters of mystery fiction and most write series. For help finding the second stringers who would most appeal to you, Ask Readers Services!
Donna Andrews’ detective is Meg Langslow in the long-standing mystery series. If you like laugh-out-loud stories with eccentric characters, you will want to explore Meg’s world. The latest is The Real Macaw, published in 2011.
Mysteries written by JoAnna Carl are set in Michigan and include action in or around a candy shop. The Chocolate Castle Clue: A Chocoholic Mystery was published in 2011.
Inspector O is the North Korean police detective featured in the mysteries by James Church. Church, a pseudonym of a former CIA agent, delivers fine mysteries along with memorable glimpses into the culture and politics of the divided Korea. His latest is The Man With the Baltic Stare, 2010.
In Reed Farrel Coleman’s 2011 publication Hurt Machine: A Moe Prager Mystery, retired Brooklyn P.I. Prager investigates the murder of his ex-wife’s sister. He investigates while dealing with stomach cancer, which he chooses to keep a secret.
If you like to venture into foreign land and culture in your reading, you might enjoy Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri Paiboun mysteries set in 1970s Laos. Dr. Siri and his team investigate in a remote Laotian locale in Slash and Burn, 2011.
Tim Dorsey writes hilarious mysteries that feature Floridian manic crackpot Serge Storms. 2012’s release, Pineapple Grenade, is the latest in the series. Happily, Serge is off his meds again.
James D. Doss writes the Charlie Moon mysteries set in Colorado. Charlie is an Ute tribal investigator and a cattle rancher. Doss’ stories will satisfy readers who miss Tony Hillerman. The latest in the series is Coffin Man, 2011.
The English Garden mysteries by Anthony Eglin feature retired botany professor Dr. Lawrence Kingston as amateur detective. The latest in the series is Garden of Secrets Past, 2011.
Dublin is the primary setting for Tana French’s mysteries. Police detective Cassie Maddox works undercover in 2008’s The Likeness while her sometime boss Frank Mackey is the protagonist in Faithful Place, 2010.
The Seaside Knitters mysteries are written by Sally Goldenbaum and set in Massachusetts. The latest is The Wedding Shawl: A Seaside Knitters Mystery, 2011.
Inspector Yashim Togalu is Jason Goodwin’s protagonist and the mysteries are set in 19th century Turkey. Yashim, known as “the eunuch detective,” last investigated in the 2011 publication, An Evil Eye.
Napoleonic Prussia is the setting for the historical mysteries featuring Magistrate Hanno Stiffeniis created by Michael Gregorio. The latest in the series is Unholy Awakening, 2010.
Rosemary Harris writes the Dirty Business mysteries about gardening. These novels feature gardener Paula Holliday. The latest in the series, Slugfest: A Dirty Business Mystery, was published in 2011.
John Harvey writes British mysteries and is sometimes compared to Michael Connelly. Harvey is best known for the Charlie Resnick police procedurals, such as Cutting Edge, 2007. But readers also enjoy his Walker & Grayson mysteries, including Far Cry, 2010.
It doesn’t hurt that Michael T. Harvey’s protagonist Michael Kelly is a Chicago P.I., but there is a lot more to like. In We All Fall Down, 2011, a pathogen is released into Chicago’s subway system and Kelly is determined to learn the truth behind the bioterrorism.
Joan Hess writes two mystery series set in Arkansas, featuring female sheriff Arly Hanks and book seller Claire Malloy.
Bill James has a long-running series featuring British police detectives Colin Harpur and Desmond Iles. In I Am Gold, 2011, the two look into the murders of a drug lord and his family.
Craig Johnson’s mysteries are set in Wyoming and feature Walt Longmire. In Hell Is Empty, 2011, Longmire is escorting a trio of convicts through the Bighorns when just about everything goes wrong.
Jaine Austen is Laura Levine’s feisty California freelance copywriter who solves mysteries with the help of her cat, Prozac. This series is funny and irreverent. The most recent is Pampered to Death: A Jaine Austen Mystery, 2011.
Paul Levine’s novels feature a second-string lawyer, Jake Lassiter, and are set in Miami. The Lassiter novels are definitely not cozy. His latest is Lassiter, 2011.
The mysteries by Karen MacInerney are set in Maine at a bed and breakfast. Berried to the Hilt: A Great Whale Inn Mystery was published in 2010.
Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel, 2011, is the latest mystery by G. M. Malliet. It’s set in the quiet English village of Nether Monkslip and features Max, the vicar of St. Edwold’s.
In Michael McGarrity’s gritty New Mexico mysteries, Kevin Kerney is the Santa Fe police chief. His cases often have a noir feel to them. Hard Country: A Kevin Kerney Novel is due to be published in 2012.
Denise Mina’s mysteries are set in Scotland. Her protagonists tend to be tough females. The most recent novel, The End of the Wasp Season, 2011, features a very pregnant Detective Inspector Alex Morrow.
Iain Pears’ Stone’s Fall, 2009, is a complex, intricately plotted historical. It is the turn of the 20th century and the mysterious death of a financier and arms dealer is at the center of this mystery.
Defense attorney Andy Carpenter and his girlfriend Laurie take on the defense of a former addict who is accused of setting a deadly fire in One Dog Night, 2011. Author David Rosenfelt delivers a fine legal thriller with likeable protagonists.
C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake is a 16th century English attorney. In 2010’s Heartstone, Shardlake is hired by Henry VIII’s Queen Catherine Parr to investigate the death of her former servant’s son.
Gordianus the Finder, in 2011’s A Mist of Prophecies: A Novel of Ancient Rome, seeks the truth about the murder of a beautiful young prophetess in this historical from Steven Saylor. Since the Roman army is away fighting, the powerful women left behind are the suspects.
The Supper Club Mysteries are written J. B. Stanley and always feature a warm, cozy mystery and good recipes. The latest in the series is 2010’s Black Beans & Vice.
Sister Fidelma is Peter Tremayne’s main protagonist in the Mystery of Ancient Ireland series. In The Chalice of Blood, 2011, a scholar has been murdered in his locked cell. The year is 670 A.D.
Morty Martinez is the protagonist in Brian M. Wiprud’s Ringer: A Crime Novel. It’s the night before his scheduled execution and Morty is telling the story of how his search for a diocesan artifact put him on death row. If you enjoyed Get Shorty you will want to check this one out.