My favourite series…now that is a hard one! I have two series that there still books coming out for: In Death by J.D. Robb and Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne by Julia Spencer-Fleming. Then there is The Belgariad and The Mallorean by David Eddings. And there is always the Anne of Green Gables books by L.M. Montgomery. Since I have already featured a book from The Belgariad and I will feature Anne later I am going to cheat a bit and talk about two series today: Clare and Russ and In Death.
The Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne mysteries will feature in some of the later categories like Anne but I simply cannot leave them out of my favourite series contention. These books weave relationship, romance, mystery and social issues together so very well. Each book focuses on a particular social issue as well as a continued focus on the issues that occur in small towns. As I live in a small town in an area not unlike upstate New York (an area that relied on the natural resources and one or two big employers) I find that many of the issues in the books are issues close to my heart. Apart from the different social issues Spencer-Fleming also experiments with the chronological structure in each book. In Out of the Deep we see a young Russ, and a backstory from a minor character, switching between three time periods. In To Darkness and To Death we get to follow the characters during a 24 hour period. This helps keep the story from becoming stale and predictable. This series could easily have been a winner on its own.
I want to feature the In Death series by J.D. Robb because I do wait for each book with baited breath but I do find that the books have become somewhat repetitive of late. Something new and fresh needs to happen. Despite this feeling I do love the characters and stories that Robb (or Roberts) tells. What I like about these books is actually that I like the supporting characters better than the main characters. I find Even and Roark somewhat removed from me. Although they each have problems they are not problems I have ever faced. I am more like Peabody. I come from a large family, although we are not always close (mainly due to geographical location) I know that I can show up on anyone’s doorstep and I will get a warm meal and a place to sleep. I know that if I have a problem someone will be there for me. Although I sometimes feel lonely I have never been truly alone.
I also like the books for the humour in them. They can be hysterically funny. Both with the different idiosyncrasies of the individual characters (whenever Eve sees cows you KNOW you are going be laughing out loud) and for the sometimes dark and deadpan comments from different characters.