I don’t think of myself as a series reader, let alone a series writer. I tend to prefer the stand alone novel, starting fresh with every new story: new premise, setting, characters.
In spite of this, I have followed SaraParetsky’s private eye character, V.I. Warshawski, in many of her adventures. And I have loved following Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache in his quest to solve murders in Three Pines. Lately, I’ve been reading everything of Charles Todd’s that I can get my hands on, especially his Inspector Rutledge series. And I’ve certainly enjoyed the series penned by my NYUS colleagues.
Back in the day, I used to watch Jessica Fletcher solve murder after murder in Cabot Cove. Since then, I’ve followed the various CSI shows, the DCI Banks, the Midsomer Murders, the Poirots…
And then I found myself writing not one, but two series: the Mendenhall Mysteries and the A’lle Chronicles.
I can’t speak for other writers, but I’ve discovered that writing a series can be challenging. Just keeping track of the recurring details like a character’s eye colour, type of car he or she drives, or admitted likes and dislikes within one story is hard enough. Trying to remember from one book to another while growing my characters, now that can be daunting. Tables become involved. Charts, even. You have to be organized.
Maybe I have a short attention span as a reader, and not so much as a writer. Maybe I’m fickle in my reading, or just can’t commit. Or maybe I just haven’t found the right series. What are your favourite mystery series? And what is it about them that keeps you coming back?