Afoot #13 January 28, 2018
Mystery series we initially enjoyed and then gave up on

Mysteries We Dropped

We’ve all started reading down mystery series or authors, and then hit a point where we said, “nah, I’m good.” In this episode, we talk about what we gave up on and why, and some we loved all throughout. This comes from a place of love: we enjoyed early installments enough that we kept reading, but something eventually got lost for us. In fact, we often recommend the first few or even several novels, and tell you when the best point to stop is —┬áthe subtitle of this episode is “exactly when to stop reading.”

An important note: this episode was accidentally recorded with macabre timing. The first author we discuss on this show, Sue Grafton, passed away while we were recording the episode — that same evening. We obviously didn’t know while recording, and found out the next morning. Thus, we speak about her as a current writer. We’ve edited the episode to remove some discussion about the planned final novel in her series, Z, which her family says wasn’t written and which they won’t hire someone else to write.

Some Afoot news: we haven’t been able to get enough panelists together for regular tapings, so we’re going on hiatus. We will produce episodes occasionally in the future.

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Show Notes

Authors we discussed:

  • Sue Grafton and her Kinsey Millhone series (several of us): some stopped at E, others at L
  • Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs (Katie)
  • Spencer novels: David found that they continued good through Robert Parker’s whole run, and through the subsequent author, Ace Atkins
  • Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe: Glenn notes they’re readable and solid until just the last couple
  • Ann Perry: Charlotte and Thomas Pitt (Shannon) through about book 20
  • Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch (James) about 11th or 12th book
  • Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy
  • Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder (Glenn)
  • Martha Grimes’s Richard Jury (Shannon, David) when he moves to America (Shannon) or until about the 5th or 6th (David)
  • Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series (Glenn), who still likes it, but stopped reading a few novels ago and hasn’t yet completed it
  • Kate Ross’s Julian Kestral (Shannon); Ross died young, so there are only a handful of novels
  • Dick Francis (Glenn, Shannon): retroactively, Glenn found it irritating that all the novels were nearly all one-offs
  • Tony Hillerman: David notes when he teamed up his two characters it becomes more formulaiac, but then they get good again; his daughter has taken over, and they’re quite good
  • Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who… series (Shannon) after book 24
  • James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux (David) until the 4th or 5th
  • Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware (David), good for the first few
  • James Bond (several of us): they don’t change the character enough, says James