Julia's Library

What I'm Reading

I became a writer because I was a reader. The two are inextricably linked, since the desire to write emerges from an early engagement with text, and I have loved reading since I was a very little person.

In recent years I’ve had the luxury of doing more reading, mainly in the mystery genre, but also in the areas of biography, general fiction, romance, and humor. I’m always happy to recommend a title to fellow readers.

I began reading cozies as a teen, when I discovered Agatha Christie, and then Dorothy Gilman. Later I was a big fan of Joan Hess and Dorothy Cannell, and these days I love to read Gigi Pandian, Jenn McKinlay, Juliet Blackwell, Carlene O’Connor, Miranda James, Linda Reilly, Julie Hyzy, and many others!

I also have a particular passion for British police procedural (or Scottish, Irish, Welsh–anything in the UK). Some of my favorite writers in this realm are Jane Casey, Harry Bingham, Tana French, Elly Griffiths, Elizabeth George, and many others that I’ll be mentioning here.

Scandinavian mysteries are also a favorite, and I’ve recently gone through the entire “Department Q” series by Jussi Adler Olsen.


Some recent reading favorites

This is the latest in Jane Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan series. I’ve read them all, and Casey’s impeccable writing makes each of these police procedurals compelling. She has also created characters that have become like my friends. Definitely worth the read, but start at the beginning with THE BURNING.

Another of my favorite reads is Elly Griffiths’ THE CROSSING PLACES, the first in the Dr. Ruth Galloway mysteries. The latest in the series is THE LAST
REMAINS, and the entire series is a delight.

I’ve recently become entranced by the Fiona Griffiths mysteries, written by Welsh writer Harry Bingham. These aren’t cozy mysteries, and yet Fiona has a delightful and loveable narrative voice, despite some very dark things that have happened to her in the past. A fascinating and unique premise for a crime series. The first is called TALKING TO THE DEAD.

I realize that Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) doesn’t need my praise or publicity, but the Cormoran Strike series is truly the most compelling I’ve read in recent years. Rowling’s depth of characterization, especially of Strike and Robin, creates a powerful bond between reader and text, and I have loved every book in the series. I think the most recent title, THE RUNNING GRAVE, was the best yet. I confess to being a little bit in love with Cormoran Strike. 🙂

What's next on the TBR pile


I’ll update my favorite reads now and again in Julia’s LIBRARY, Feel free to send me your recommendations, as well!