One of the most frequent requests we get over the holiday shopping season is to make a recommendation for a friend or loved one. We have our favourites of course, as seen in our picks for 2016, but we’re also happy to help you find another title. A Whodunit gift card is always appreciated, but for those times you’d like to make sure your giftee (or you!) has something under the tree they can read right away, we can offer some guidance. If you know they like a theme or genre, we can direct you to something similar they might like as much or more! The list as follows is based on our bestselling titles in Whodunit for 2016.
This: Set in a remote location like Peter May’s ‘Enzo Macleod Investigation’ or ‘Lewis Trilogy’
That: We’ve seen an influx of series set in remote locations in the British Isles and North Atlantic, most popular of which has been Peter May’s two series. May fans will also enjoy Chris Ould’s ‘Faroes’ series with The Blood Strand and upcoming The Killing Bay (February 2017) and Ann Cleeve’s ‘Shetland’ series which now numbers 7 titles, most recently Cold Earth. Next time you see Jack, as him about his time in the Hebrides (no murder, but he did lose his luggage).
This: Quirky and witty like The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and A Murder of Magpies
That: Wendy is your resident expert for matters quirky and witty, so any of her recommendations will be winners. Another series worth trying (if you haven’t already) via Jack’s recommendation is Alan Bradley’s ‘Flavia de Luce’ books. We’ve got all 8 titles in stock, including the most recent hardcover Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd.
This: British Historical Cozy (20th Century) like Rhys Bowen’s ‘Her Royal Spyness’ series
That: If you’ve seen the new Netflix series The Crown, you’ll know that royalty and politics have often been intertwined. If you don’t mind switching your focus from the palace to No. 10, Bowen fans will enjoy Susan Elia Macneal’s ‘Maggie Hope’ series. We’ve got all six titles in store, including the most recent trade paperback The Queen’s Accomplice.
This: Female sleuth like in Sue Grafton’s ‘Kinsey Millhone’ or Sara Paretsky’s ‘V.I. Warshawski’ series
That: We’ve got lots of options for female sleuths, but a more recent (British) addition to the genre is Kerry Wilkinson’s ‘Jessica Daniel’ series. We’ve got a handful in store.
This: Scottish police procedural like Ian Rankin’s ‘John Rebus’ series
That: Here’s another genre where you’ve got lots of options, but might we suggest Denise Mina? She’s got three series, but we mostly have her ‘Alex Morrow’ series, with several titles in new and used.
This: British Police Procedural written by a Canadian author like Peter Robinson’s ‘Inspector Banks’ series
That: Steve Burrows is a Canadian author whose ‘Birder Murder Mystery’ series is a police procedural set in the UK (albeit with a Canadian Chief Inspector). Don’t let the bird theme put you off, the bird-phobic Bumsted who shall remain nameless was the series biggest fan! We’ve got the first three books in store.
This: Historical Espionage like Gavin Scott’s The Age of Treachery
That: Jack is your man to talk to about spy fiction. Some of his favourites include Aly Monroe’s ‘Peter Cotton’ series (although all the titles are proving a little hard to get, we’ve got Washington Shadow in stock) and Ariana Franklin’s standalone City of Shadows. Wendy would also add Jane Thynne’s ‘Clara Vine’ series (she is married to Philip Kerr, another Jack favourite), of which we have several.
This: Food themed cozy like Joanne Fluke’s ‘Hannah Swenson series’
That: Stand in front of our ‘New in Mass Market’ shelf, stick out your hand, and you’ll no doubt grab a cozy with food as part of the theme. But if you want a specific recommendation, try JoAnna Carl’s ‘Chocaholic’ series, which has an equally sweet backlist and lots of fun holiday tie-ins.
This: British Historical Cozy (Victorian) like Emily Brightwell’s ‘Mrs Jeffries’ series
That: We’re coming up on book #36 in the Mrs. Jeffries series, but we’d like to offer the first in a brand-new series as something else to try. Kate Saunders’ The Secrets of Wishtide launches the ‘Laetitia Rodd Mystery Series’ with more books to come.
This: Canadian Female Sleuth like Gail Bowen’s ‘Joanne Kilbourn’ series
That: Joanne Kilbourn started as a reluctant amateur sleuth whereas the protagonist in Janet Brons ‘Forsyth and Hay’ series, RCMP Inspector Liz Forsyth, is a professional detective, but both these series feature strong and interesting Canadian women solving crimes (it is 2016, afterall). We’ve got the first two Brons in stock.
This: Modern British cozy like Hazel Holt’s ‘Sheila Malory’ series
That: Sadly, Hazel Holy passed away in 2015 so there will be no further ‘Sheila Malory’ titles. Still, Rebecca Tope’s ‘Thea Osborne’ and ‘Lake District Mysteries’ series can both ably fill the void.
This: Post War WWI like Jacqueline Winspear’s ‘Maisie Dobbs’ series
That: This is an easy one! Jacqueline Winspear fans will find that Charles Todd’s ‘Bess Crawford’ series fits like a (medical) glove. We’ve got the most recent titles in store. A post WWII equivalent would be Iona Whishaw’s Lane Winslow series. We have the first title, A Killer in King’s Cove, in stock.
This: Historical with an unusual female sleuth like Darcie Wilde’s ‘Rosalind Thorne’ series
That: Of course, you may not have realized you wanted to read a historical mystery with an unusual female sleuth (Sian’s specialty), in which case you’d start with An Unusual Woman, her book of the year. But assuming you loved that book, why not try Caro Peacock’s ‘Liberty Lane’ series or Deanna Raybourn’s newest ‘Veronica Speedwell’ series?
This: Unusual British male sleuth(s) like Christopher Fowler’s ‘Bryant and May’ series
That: Why, Michael’s book of the year The Vinyl Detective Mysteries: Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel will fit the bill perfectly here. Other options would include store favorites Ben Aaronovitch and Michael Robertson.
This: Historical with romantic partners as sleuths like Anne Perry’s ‘Charlotte and Thomas Pitt’ series
That: There are more of these to choose from than you might think, but our resident expert Sian recommends particularly C.S. Harris’s ‘Sebastian St. Cyr’ series as well as book of the year author Tasha Alexander’s ‘Lady Emily’ series and Deanna Raybourn’s ‘Lady Julia Grey’ series.
This: Atmospheric modern European detective fiction like Donna Leon’s ‘Guido Brunetti’ series
That: Andrea Camilleri’s ‘Inspector Montalbano’ and Cara Black’s ‘Aimee Leduc’ series are both well established players in the genre. We’ve got lots of both in stock.
This: “Grip Lit” like Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train
That: The great thing about psychological thrillers is that they are often standalone novels, so you don’t need to commit to a whole series or track down the first book. Might we suggest Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris or The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell?