Do you ever pick up a mystery novel that you just love, only to be disappointed that there aren’t more books that follow that character, or other works by the same author? We love finding good new mystery and suspense series because they’re guaranteed great reading for more than just a single book. While there are tons of great mystery series recommendations out there, we think that these five lesser-known crime fiction series are examples of great suspense books that deserve more love and recognition—and chances are you haven’t already read them. Win-win! Dive in and discover a new favorite series or author:
by Brad Meltzer
Brad Meltzer is best known for his thrillers, but the Culper Ring trilogy is one of his lesser-known trilogies that follows Beecher White, a young archivist at the National Archives who is tasked with organizing and protecting history's most sensitive stories—and the nation's most closely guarded secrets. His story kicks off in The Inner Circle when, in an attempt to impress his long-time crush, he brings her into a private room with some of the presidents' most classified rare documents, and they find an old book that people would kill to get their hands on...literally. White soon becomes a member of the Culper Ring, a secret society tasked with protecting the presidency throughout history, and he often gets a front-row seat to the most thrilling cases involving the nation, with all of the proximity to the danger that goes with it. If you love suspense books and historical drama, this is the perfect series for you! After The Inner Circle, read The Fifth Assassin and The President's Shadow.
Simon Riske is a freelance spy who takes jobs from any client that will pay—a bank, the British Secret Service, insurance companies. He's also not above a little bit of light theft, but only if his marks truly deserve it. He's managed to avoid any serious trouble because he likes to keep a low profile and take low-risk jobs, but when a former friend and gangster pulls off a brilliant heist in Paris, Simon is drawn into the drama. Reich's espionage series follow Simon as he encounters heists, treacherous plots, and high-risk investigations from Paris to Monte Carlo to Bangkok. After The Take, read Crown Jewel and The Palace.
Detective Betty Rhyzyk is a tough Brooklyn cop who finds herself out of her element when she relocates with her girlfriend to Dalla, TX to be closer to her girlfriend's family and new job. She's just getting the lay of the land in Texas and in her new job when her first solo case goes horrifically sideways, and suddenly Betty finds herself in over her head with drug runners, cult leaders, and a stalker. This trilogy is twisting and full of sarcastic humor, and it stars a memorable lesbian cop who does what she has to in order to close her cases. This is a great series if you like detective procedurals and strong female protagonists. Start the series with The Dime.
Kent Anderson's three Detective Hanson novels are Mulholland Classics! Pick up Sympathy for the Devil and meet Hanson, a young, poetry-loving man who joins the Green Berets to fight in Vietnam. What he experiences overseas shapes him, and when he comes home he becomes a detective and brings his skills learned in combat to fight crime at home. This series follows crimes the span the 70s and 80s as Hanson takes on crime in Portland, OR and Oakland, CA. After reading Sympathy for the Devil, read Night Dogs and Green Sun.
A deadly fall on a rugged stretch of California coast. A burglary gone wrong in Virginia. These incidents seem unrelated, but the victims were living undercover, their true identities closely held secrets. They are members of a classified team, the last line of defense against foreign threats. Now, someone is assassinating them, one by one, taking out family members and innocent bystanders to make the deaths seem like accidents.
Captain John Hayes, a special operations legend, has left the military to settle down with his family. But when he pieces together a pattern behind the murders and discovers that his protégée Claire Rhodes, a brilliant assassin, is the prime suspect, he returns to duty to unmask the attackers.
With every success, the killers grow bolder. Their ultimate goal: Lure Hayes and his remaining fellow soldiers to Manhattan, to eliminate them all in a single devastating strike. To save his teammates and thousands of innocent lives, Hayes must find a way to stop a seemingly unstoppable weapon. Finish this series with Cold Barrel Zero.
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