In this installment of What to Read While You Wait, we look at alternatives to C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett series, the latest of which, Wolf Pack, is just as popular as previous outings. I’ll suggest some other series you might want to try. Set in Wyoming, Joe Pickett is a game warden, and if you like Wyoming, you’ll probably enjoy this series of intricate mysteries. Just be aware that they can sometimes be violent, so cozy mystery fans may want to consider that. Links to the series in the library’s catalog are provided, and as always, if we don’t have one of the books, contact us and we’ll get it from another library within Indiana for you.
- Anna Pigeon mysteries (Nevada Barr)
This is a popular, long-running series featuring Anna Pigeon, a National Parks Ranger. The books can be dark and complex, but they’re well written. Unlike the Joe PIckett series, Anna travels all over the U.S. depending on what park she’s assigned to. A thrilling series. 19 titles in the series.
- Dan Rhodes mysteries (Bill Crider)
Filled with suspense, this series features an ethical lawman in search of justice. Not as issue-oriented as the Pickett series, both have rural settings and complicated mysteries. 25 titles in the series.
- Mike Bowditch novels (Paul Doiron)
Set in rural Maine, this series isn’t as long running as some of the others, but the writing is very good. You’ll get a real feel for Maine from the books and the complex mysteries they depict. Intricate plots and well-written, strong characters make for great reading. 10 titles in the series.
- Cork O’Connor mysteries (William Kent Krueger)
This series is a favorite of our mystery book club. We’ve read a few of them, and enjoyed every one. The writing is lyrical, the stories are great, and there’s an emphasis on both how we treat the environment and each other. 17 titles in the series.
- Walt Longmire mysteries (Craig Johnson)
Like the Joe PIckett series, this one is set in rural Wyoming. Featuring complicated story lines and characters you’ll come to love, you’ll also come to enjoy Johnson’s clean writing style with just a little humor. 14 Titles in the series.
- Guido Brunetti mysteries (Donna Leon)
This one is a little surprising, in that it’s not set in the West. It’s not even in the United States! This series is set in contemporary Venice, and you can really get a feel for the city and the surrounding countryside. It makes sense when you realize that main characters in both series have a firm sense of integrity and personal values. Both series also deal frequently with themes of government corruption. 25 Titles in the series.
- Kevin Kerney mysteries (Michael McGarrity)
Our final series is also set in the American West. All the characters, even the less important ones, are fully developed, and the descriptions of place can make you feel like you know the setting very well. 13 titles in the series.
So there you have it. Seven additional mystery series that fans of C. J. Box and Joe Pickett will likely enjoy reading. Give some of them a try, and let me know what you think. Until next month!
— Greg R.