2023 Pet of the Year Contest

Favorite Mystery Series

Cindy Burnett
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Mystery series

Cindy Burnett highlights two mystery series: The Cormac Reilly series by Dervla McTiernan and The Thursday Murder Club series by Richard Osman.

On my Instagram account, I am highlighting various mystery series that I enjoy with details about each series including information about the protagonist, how many books there are so far, the setting, what makes each series a standout, and more. These postings have been really popular so I thought it would be fun to share a couple of them here. These are two that I recently spotlighted:

Series #1: The Cormac Reilly series by Dervla McTiernan

This mystery series is set in present-day Ireland, and there are only three books in the series, so it is an easy one to finish. 

Series – Set in Galway, Ireland, Dervla McTiernan’s series is part police procedural and part thriller and tackles present day issues such as drug addiction and suicide. Reilly, new to Galway, must prove himself to his fellow detectives while solving crimes that at times seem to intersect too closely with his personal life. These fall in that perfect sweet spot for me – not light but not super dark, just really strong mysteries. I would read them in order starting with book one.

Highlights – Strong sense of place and culture (Galway), centered around modern issues, ethical and clever protagonist, and well-plotted mysteries.

First book – The Ruin

Number of books in the series: 3. She recently has been releasing standalones so I do not know if there will be any more in the series (sadly!).

Series #2. The Thursday Murder Club series by Richard Osman

This mystery series is set in present-day Kent in the U.K., and there are four books in the series, so it is another that is not too hard to start at the beginning and work your way through them.

Series – This series has been a HUGE hit from book one. Four septuagenarians – a former spy, a retired nurse, a still-practicing psychologist, and a former trades-union official – living in a retirement community in Kent meet in the puzzle room on Thursdays to discuss unsolved cases. When a murder happens near their community, they find themselves with a real case to solve, and they set out to solve it themselves.

I really enjoyed the first installment, loved the second and fourth, and thought the third book was fine (worth reading for the character development but the mystery is not quite as strong). These mysteries are definitely on the lighter side, but once you start reading the series each new one feels like a reunion with old friends. The series has been so popular it has launched a whole new wave of feel-good mysteries with older sleuths, and a film adaptation by Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment is set to begin production soon. I would definitely start with book one for this series.

Highlights – The well-developed and loveable characters (main and side), the witty banter, the relationships between the various characters, the setting, the glimpses into the various characters’ lives as the series progresses, and the way aging is addressed. 

First book – The Thursday Murder Club.

Number of books in the series – 4. The fourth one just published in the U.S. last week, The Last Devil to Die. He says in the acknowledgements for this one that his next book is the start to a new series, but that he plans to return to the Thursday Murder Club at some point.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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