Mysterious Travels

I recently read the New York Times article, “52 Books for 52 Places: explore the cities, countries, regions and states in Travel’s ’52 Places to Go in 2019’ through these books” 2/14/19 NYT by the Editor, and it gave me the idea to create my own armchair travel/mystery reading list. These are all series that I have read and enjoyed, although unfortunately, I have not physically traveled to all of the places listed here. However, reading about them is almost as good as going. I also highly recommend listening to these books, because then you get a sense of how the people talk—their accents and the pronunciation of names and places.

I’ve listed the author’s name followed by the main character of the series in parenthesis. This list is by no means exhaustive, and I’d love to hear some of your favorites. If you are interested in learning about mystery books written in a specific place, check out Stop You’re Killing Me’s Location Index.

Happy travel reading!

United States

Chicago: Sara Paretsky (V.I. Warshawski)

San Francisco: Laurie R. King (Kate Martinelli), Kate Carlisle (Brooklyn Wainwright), James Patterson (Women’s Murder Club)

Seattle: J.A. Jance (J.P. Beaumont)

Arizona: J.A. Jance (Sheriff Joanna Brady)

Los Angeles: Jonathan Kellerman (Alex Delaware)

Massachusetts: Linda Barnes (Carlotta Carlysle),

Maine: Sarah Graves (Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree)


Australia: James Patterson (Harriet Blue), Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher)

Botswana: Alexander McCall Smith (Precious Ramotswe), Michael Stanley (Detective Kubu)

Denmark: Sara Blaedel (Detective Inspector Louise Rick), Lotte & Soren Hammer ( Konrad Simonsen),

Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis (Nina Borg)

Egypt/England: Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody)

England: there are so many, it’s hard to list them all:

  • Elizabeth George (Inspector Thomas Lynley)
  • Rhys Bowen (Lady Georgiana Rannoch)
  • Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike/Robin Ellacott)
  • Laurie R. King (Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes)
  • R. C. Kasasian (March Middleton/Sidney Grice)
  • Carola Dunn (Daisy Dalrymple)
  • Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway)
  • Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs)

Iceland: Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Thóra Gudmundsdóttir)

Montreal/Quebec: Louise Penny (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache)

Norway: Jo Nesbø (Harry Hole)

Paris: Mark Pryor (Hugo Marsten), Cara Black (Aimee Leduc)

Scotland: Anna Lee Huber

Sweden: Camilla Lackberg (Detective Patrik Hedstrom), Lars Kepler (Joona Linna)

Venice: Donna Leon (Commissario Guido Brunetti)

Wales: Harry Bingham (Fiona Griffiths)

-Pauli, WFPL Reference Librarian

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