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July 7, 2008 / C.T. Henry

Best FIRST Novels in a Great Series (REVISED)

Since 1990, I’ve been a serious fan of mysteries. Here’s perhaps the quintessential list to get you started with some of today’s best authors.

The Best First Novels in a Great Series SINCE 1990:

1992 Black Echo by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch series) Police Procedural
1994 The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laure R. King (Mary Russell series) Private Eye
1994 One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum series) Private Eye
1994 A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane (Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro series) Private Eye (NEW ADDITION – July 2008)
1997 The Killing Floor by Lee Child (Jack Reacher series) Thriller
1998 Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger (Cork O’Connor series) Private Eye
2000 A Dangerous Road by Kris Nelscott (Smokey Dalton series) Private Eye
2001 Right As Rain by Geroge Pelecanos (Derek Strange and Terry Quinn series) Private Eye (NEW ADDITION – January 2012)
2001 The Patient’s Eyes by David Pirie (Dr. Jospeh Bell and Arthur Conan Doyle series) Private Eye
2001 Open Season by C.J. Box (Joe Pickett series) Police Procedural
2002 Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt (Andy Carpenter series) Legal Thriller
2002 Rain Fall by Barry Eisler (John Rain series) Thriller
2003 Dissolution by C.J. Sansom (Matthew Shardlake series) Historical, Amateur sleuth (NEW ADDITION – July 2008)
2004 Tonight I Said Goodbye by Michael Koryta (Lincoln Perry series) Private Eye (NEW ADDITION – July 2008)
2005 The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Mickey Haller series) Legal Thriller (NEW ADDITION – July 2008)
2005 Already Dead by Charlie Huston (Joe Pitt series) Private Eye (NEW ADDITION – July 2008)
2006 Still Life by Louise Penny (Armand Gamache series) Police Procedural, Cozy (NEW ADDITION – January 2012)



Leave a Comment
  1. Meredith / Jul 8 2008 1:01 pm

    I just finished reading “The Lincoln Lawyer” during my trip last weekend. It was a great read! Very complex and interesting without being too obviously “twisty”.

  2. zoobbetedsild / Aug 3 2008 3:10 am

    Very nice!!

  3. john sheridan / Dec 5 2008 1:44 pm

    I’d add Lawrence Block’s “The Sins of the Fathers” featuring Matt Scudder.

  4. john sheridan / Dec 5 2008 1:48 pm

    forgot to mention “Hit Man” also by Lawrence Block featuring Keller – the stamp collecting hitman

  5. Gigistar / Jan 27 2012 9:34 pm

    Is it too late to mention 2001’s Right As Rain by George Pelecanos (Derek Strange series) (Private Eye)?

    Maybe yes, maybe no. Your choice of course.

    PS: Great blog guys!

    • C.T. Henry / Jan 28 2012 5:11 pm

      I totally agree! I made the change to the post as a result. Thanks!

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