Unless they are written by Elizabeth George, who is my favorite author of all time. While her books aren't exactly warm and fuzzy, they are so suspenseful and well done, I'm never able to put them down.
Now that fall is here, it's time to cozy up with a juicy murder mystery, and the Inspector Lynley series by George is the perfect choice.
None of George's books are simple whodunit's - she is a talented storyteller, and her novels are more about the people than the crimes. While each book in the nineteen volume series focuses on one specific case, the common denominators are Inspector Thomas Lynley and his trusty companion Detective Sargent Barbara Havers. Their struggles and successes are interwoven through all of the books, and they are such fully developed characters, I feel like I could walk into Scotland Yard today and find them working there.
Every book is full of psychological suspense, moral and ethical questions, and a complex murder mystery. Even though George is American, these are authentic British novels, and she obviously does extensive research on the locations and culture of each story.
If you enjoy compelling, beautiful storytelling with a dose of skin crawling crime thrown in, I suggest starting with the first book, A Great Deliverance, and working your way from there.
Elizabeth George actually lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, which is only thirty minutes from my home. She and her husband just put their gorgeous estate up for sale, as they are planning to move to Seattle to be closer to city life.
To see pictures of this stunning home, go here. If I had a spare $5.5 million dollars lying around, I'd probably go check it out! I'm pretty sure I could live quite happily in her sitting room.