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Find Your New Favourite Detective!

If you like crime fiction then you probably have a favourite detective, right? The nation’s favourites are usually the Big 3 – Sherlock, Poirot and Marple and there are now spinoffs which prolong the fictional lives and investigations of these world-famous detectives. There are also many household names such as George Gently, Morse, Vera and Frost who usually also have accompanying TV series befitting their national treasure status.

However, what they cannot offer is the thrill of being there at the very start (or thereabouts!) of a new detective series. Can anything beat it? Picking up the first in a series, knowing there is more to come and experiencing the smug anticipation of the next instalment is certainly a delicious feeling. Equally, if you find a series you love and there are already several published you have the enviable choice of bingeing them or going for the delayed gratification option of pacing yourself with one or two per year!

When you’re looking for a new series to read it is usually an instant feeling of affinity with a detective, investigator or amateur sleuth which grips you – perhaps their sense of humour, their private life or sometimes the setting or era in which they operate.

Here is a selection of some of the best new and newish crime fiction series around. Take your pick from amateur sleuths such as the world weary part-time consul in the Venetian Game, deaf fraud investigator, Caleb in the outback noir, Resurrection Bay or Ruth Galloway a forensic archaeologist in The Crossing Places set in the eerie and majestic Norfolk landscape. Or perhaps you might prefer the edgy and darkly comic IQ set in the mean streets of LA. The eponymous IQ is an unlicensed PI and is a brilliant new series which wittily pays homage to Sherlock Holmes. Trevor Wood recently won the CWA New Blood Dagger for his thrilling, pacy and original The Man on the Street – Jimmy, the homeless ex-army sleuth is an engaging reluctant detective in a bold and brilliant debut. 

The Long Call is the first in a promising new Ann Cleeves series and The Stranger Diaries is the first in a new series by Elly Griffiths featuring detective Harbinder Kaur and is a gorgeously atmospheric and gripping autumn read. Do not even try to resist the hypnotic beckoning of the marvellous tale within a tale at the beginning: “Why not pass the hours with some storytelling?”

Eight of The Best Crime Fiction: First in Series

The Crossing Places: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries

Elly Griffiths

Great atmosphere, tension and plotting and this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. You will love Dr Ruth and her forensic archaelogical investigations, be powerless to resist her on/off love life, be invested in the marvellous cast of supporting characters and enchanted by the majestic Norfolk landscape. Simply a great crime series!

The Man on the Street

Trevor Wood

Crime fiction does not normally concern itself with the homeless. But here in an original new series, a homeless man turns reluctant investigator in Trevor Wood’s excellent debut which grips from the start and is simultaneously smart, brutal, tender and addictive.

IQ: ‘The Holmes of the 21st century’ (Daily Mail)

Joe Ide

A demon dog, dazzling deduction – so far so Sherlock Holmes. But IQ, is an orphaned street smart kid from South Central LA and you can’t help rooting for him. Read to find your inner gangsta and a great new detective partnership. Full of adrenaline, thrills, menace, expletives and humour this is a bold badass book!

The Venetian Game: a haunting thriller set in the heart of Italy’s most secretive city

Philip Gwynne Jones

Nathan Sutherland is a delightfully jaded but heroic crime fighter who smokes, drinks and eats his way through the canals and shadows of Venice as he becomes embroiled in art crime. Superb fun and will make you yearn to visit La Serenissima!

The House on Half Moon Street: A Richard and Judy Book Club 2019 pick

Alex Reeve

Original and thought provoking historical crime full of rich detail and atmosphere.

Resurrection Bay

Emma Viskic

A lead character with impaired hearing forces the reader into a silent world, hard to decipher. This silence clashes to great effect with the vivid and brutal Australian crime story and the outback landscape. An intriguing debut full of vigour, violence and action.

The Long Call

Ann Cleeves

A new detective and a new setting for Ann Cleeves fans. A more considered and thoughtful detective than Vera or Perez but equally engaging and an excellently plotted mystery with evocative descriptions of North Devon.

The Stranger Diaries

Elly Griffiths

Gothic thrills, mystery and dark humour from an expert in suspense and plotting. Perfect for dark nights in by the fire!

Find your New Favourite Detective and let me know any other new detective series you are currently enjoying!

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